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Raw Vegan Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream Cake recipe!
It's been a minute since I've had a delicious ice cream cake. Carvel ice cream cake was my favorite growing up. But obviously those store-bought ice cream cakes are not very healthy friendly. I wonder how much sugar is in those cakes? I'd rather not know.
This raw vegan ice cream cake is a great substitute to meet those carvel-like-ice-cream-cake cravings, and it won't break your health.
Easy peasy ice cream cake recipe
This recipe is fairly simple. All you need is a blender, a food processor, and some type of pan to hold it all together. In this recipe, I'm using my favorite springform pan because I love how easy it is to just remove the sides from the base and leave the cake intact. However, if you do not have one of these handy springform pans, you can always use parchment paper all around your container of choice so that you can easily pull the cake out once it's frozen. Also, don't be limited to round containers. You can also use a loaf pan for example, covered in parchment paper for easy removal, and you'll have a rectangular cake instead.
Reasons why I'm loving this raw vegan chocolate vanilla ice cream cake:
1. Does not require an ice cream maker.
I have an ice cream maker and it is great, I love using it to make ice cream like this vegan hot fudge vanilla ice cream sundae, but there are times where I just want to whip up a quick dessert and not have to deal with the ice cream maker. So if you don't have an ice cream maker, or you're feeling a bit lazy like myself, this ice cream cake is perfect for you! The results are still extra rich and creamy, as long as you use the right kind of coconut milk.
2. Made with healthy ingredients and fits the bill for most diets.
Unlike our favorite childhood ice cream cakes filled with sugar and highly processed ingredients, this raw vegan chocolate vanilla ice cream cake is guilt-free. It's made with healthy ingredients like cashews and walnuts that are filled with healthy fats, raw cacao powder that is loaded with antioxidants, and we're using dates as our natural sweetener of choice so it's free of processed sugars.
The best part is that this ice cream cake fits the bill for most dietary restrictions. It's raw vegan, dairy-free, refined oil-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly. Did I miss anything? 😛
3. It's a sweet treat for special occasions (literally).
I first made this raw vegan chocolate vanilla ice cream cake for my husband's birthday last year. I asked him what special dessert he wanted for his birthday and his request was an ice cream cake so I went at it and created this baby. well, he loved it so much that this year for father's day he only had one request - he wanted this ice cream cake. This is a perfect treat for birthdays, holidays, or an awesome just-because surprise.
4. It tastes great!
Obviously one of the most important reasons of all as to why I'm loving this ice cream cake is because it tastes good! It tastes just like real ice cream cake, only healthier! The middle layer of chocolate nut crumble is the perfect icing on the cake, ha!
Let's talk about coconut cream vs coconut milk
In most health food stores you will find both coconut MILK and coconut CREAM. These two are usually not interchangeable and will greatly change the outcome of the recipe. Coconut milk usually comes in a carton (think milk cartons) and is usually thinner because it is watered down to resemble, well milk!
On the other hand, coconut cream usually comes in a can and is a lot thicker. It is not watered down, although it is a liquid, it is a much thicker and creamier liquid. This is the one you want to make sure you use so that your ice cream is silky smooth and creamy.
You might find fat-free or light coconut cream options at the store .. I would think that the light versions also work just fine but I have only tested this recipe with full-fat coconut cream. Due to the fact that we are not using an ice cream maker (which prevents crystals from forming due to the water content), I would suggest sticking with full fat, but if all you have is light - then go for it.
For reference - in this recipe, I use the full-fat coconut cream from Trader Joe's that comes in a BLUE can.
Want to see more wholesome recipes?
Check out our whole foods recipes page.
raw vegan chocolate vanilla ice cream cake (no churn)
A refreshingly satisfying raw vegan chocolate vanilla ice cream cake that doesn’t require an ice cream machine maker! It’s the perfect frozen treat for hot summer days. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined oil-free, Refined sugar-free, and Paleo-friendly,
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 8-10 slices 1x
- Cuisine: Dessert
- Diet: Vegan
For the ice cream part:
- 1.5 cans of full-fat coconut cream (not milk from carton)
- 1 cup of cashews (soaked if not using a high powered blender like a vitamix)
- 2 teaspoons of alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
- 6 soft medjool dates (soak in water if they are hard)
- pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 cup of cacao powder (Add this LAST – read instructions below)
Crust and Crumble Layer:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup of cashews
- 5 medjool dates (soaked if hard)
- 1/4 cup of cacao powder
- pinch of salt
- Prepare chocolate nut crust. Add walnuts, cashews, dates, cacao powder and a pinch of salt to a food processor, and process until a sticky crumble forms. It usually takes about 30 to 45 seconds (this depends on your food processor). If it’s not sticky enough, keep processing but make sure not to go overboard or you will end up with nut butter. The crumble should be sticky enough that it sticks together to form a crust.
- Form crust. Line the bottom of a 7” springform pan with parchment paper, and using about half of the chocolate nut crumble (around one loose cup), form a crust by pressing the crumble down onto the pan with your fingers until the base is fully covered. Let sit in the refrigerator.
- Make ice cream filling. Add coconut cream, cashews, vanilla flavoring, dates, and cinnamon to a high powered blender. Do not add cacao powder yet! If not using a high powered blender, I recommend that you soak the cashews in water for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour) beforehand for ultimate creaminess. Blend until smooth.
- Pour out half of the ice cream mixture onto the chocolate nut crust (around 2 cups) and set in the freezer.
- Make the chocolate ice cream layer by adding the cacao powder to the leftover ice cream mix. Blend until combined. Set aside in the fridge. You need to wait for the vanilla layer to freeze a bit before adding the chocolate layer.
- Once the vanilla layer has set a bit in the freezer (around 10 to 15 minutes) add the leftover chocolate nut crumble to the top of the vanilla ice cream layer. If you’d like, you can set aside around 1/4 cup to use for the top of the cake as pictured.
- When the vanilla layer is firm enough, now go ahead and add the chocolate ice cream mixture on top and finish off by coating with the leftover 1/4 cup chocolate nut crumble.
- Place in the freezer overnight or for 4 to 6 hours until firm. To serve, let ice cream cake sit in room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until soft enough to cut and serve. Cake must be kept in the freezer or it will melt.
- Make sure you are using coconut CREAM and not coconut milk from a carton. Coconut milk from a carton is watered down and will not give the same creamy results. I use the blue can from Trader Joes but it will also work with the Whole Foods Coconut cream can.
- No need to use ice cream maker – the results are creamy and smooth.
- When immediately remove from freezer cake will be hard obviously but if you let it sit for a few minutes in room temperature it will get soft and smooth just like ice cream.
Keywords: ice cream cake, raw vegan, gluten free, paleo, dessert, healthy, oil free, sugar free, birthday cake, chocolate,