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Vanilla ice cream sundae with hot fudge drizzled on top = all of my vegan food dreams come true.
This vegan vanilla ice cream sundae is probably theeee most delicious vegan dessert, ever.
I love this recipe so much because I get to enjoy a childhood favorite but without any of the guilt.
This vegan vanilla ice cream sundae is free of refined oils, dairy, refined sugar, gluten, and most importantly, no animals are hurt in the making of this amazing dessert. Super WIN!!!
The only regret I have is not having shared this one with you guys at the beginning of summer... I was being selfish, and wanted to enjoy this delicacy all to myself - but then I came to my senses - you guys deserve to enjoy this delicacy, too. 😛 Totally just kiddinggg - it's been a busy summer.
let's talk about this hot fudge vanilla ice cream sundae:
As much as I hate to admit it, this recipe was inspired by a very large (and definitely not healthy) fast food chain restaurant which shall remain nameless... this place had theeeee best ice cream sundaes ever, and they were definitely a childhood favorite of mine.
One day after seeing a picture of this childhood obsession I had a light bulb light up inside my brain - why not recreate a healthier version! Doiii!
And so I did ... it definitely took a few tries - and then i had to decide if i wanted to go with a caramel sundae or a hot fudge sundae, and friends.. although the caramel version is great.. this hot fudge option takes the big cake.
I'll eventually share the caramel sundae version, once I finalize it, but for now you'll have to be satisfied with hot fudge. 😉
so what's going on in this vegan vanilla ice cream sundae:
- cashews - if you do not have a powerful blender I'd recommend that you soak your cashews overnight or at the very leasttt for 30 min to an hour in very hot water.
- light coconut milk from a can - it's important that it's milk from a can, those tend to be creamier than carton coconut milk which is wayyy watered down. I always use light and I find it to be creamy enough but feel free to try it with the regular version (but pay attention to the amount of fat!) My favorite canned coconut milk brand is the 365 Whole Foods brand.
- vanilla - preferably for that super duper vanilla flavor you should use vanilla pods or vanilla paste.. but if you don't have those around (i definitely don't) you can also use vanilla flavoring or pure vanilla extract. The best vanilla flavor I've noticed is using vanilla pods.
- dates - soft and chewy are best, if yours are on the drier side just let 'em soak for a few minutes before blending. You can also skip the dates and just sweeten it using your preferred natural sweetener.
For the hot chocolate fudge we're using:
- cacao powder (not the same as cocoa powder, cocoa will work but it is a more processed chocolate. Cacao on the other hand is a super food!)
- agave or your preferred liquid sweetener.
- and some water to bring it all together.
You can enjoy the fudge as is to keep it raw, or heat on the stove for just a few minutes until it begins to bubble for a delicious hot fudge version (my favorite!!).
If you want to serve it like a sundae with the 'swirl' then you'll need a piping bag with a very wide tip. This is the piping bag that I use, and this is the very wide piping tip that works for sundae-like ice cream swirls. Both are available on amazon.
Ice cream maker vs No Churn:
This vegan vanilla ice cream sundae is so delicious that I wanted to make sure that everyone could make this recipe, even those without an ice cream machine maker.
Now, let's be honest for a second. Having an ice cream machine maker at home as a vegan is a great investment because you get to make creamy delicious ice creams at home. I use this ice cream machine from cuisinart (affiliate link) and it is pretty affordable (under $45 at the time of this posting), very easy to use, and I find myself making lots and lots of different flavored ice creams like this vegan papaya ice cream (so gooood).
Having an ice cream maker also means you get to enjoy this sundae immediately vs having to freeze the mixture over night or for 6 to 8 hours..
But - if you do not have an ice cream maker - no worries!!! I did some research for you on different ways to make ice cream at home without a machine and I found a way that works with this sundae.
All you have to do is blend the mixture and then freeze it into ice cubes overnight. The next day all you have to do is blend the frozen cubes up (i used a food processor but a blender should work, too) and then there you have it - creamy dreamy ice cream.
All right friends - that's all for today - enjoy the ice cream lovelies!
Want to see more healthy vegan dessert recipes?
with love + gratitude,
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Watch how to make vegan vanilla ice cream sundae:
Hot Fudge Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae
Inspired by a childhood favorite – hot fudge ice cream sundae, but made much healthier, vegan, and refined sugar/oil free!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 ice cream sundaes
- Category: dessert
- 1 cup cashews
- 5 medjool dates (88g)
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1/2 a vanilla pod)
- pinch of salt
for hot chocolate fudge:
- 1 tablespoon agave (or maple syrup) (15g)
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder (5g)
- 1 tablespoon water (13g)
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
- Add all ingredients listed under ‘ice cream’ to a blender and blend until completely smooth. I use a vitamix and therefore do not have to soak my cashews, but if your blender is not very powerful I’d encourage you to soak cashews overnight (or for at leastttt 30 minutes in hot water) for ultimate creaminess.
- Place this blended mixture into the freezer for 20 minutes… or if you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mix into ice cube trays (I used these) and freeze overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
- Prepare the hot chocolate fudge. To a small bowl add agave, cacao powder, water and vanilla extract (optional) and mix by hand. You can use the fudge as is to keep it raw, or transfer it to a small saucepan and heat over low/medium heat for a few minutes, or until it thickens or begins to bubble.
- *If you are not using an ice cream maker skip to step #6. If you are using an ice cream maker machine continue reading: After 20 minutes remove the ice cream mixture from the freezer and transfer to your ice cream machine (I use this one). Make sure to follow the directions of your ice cream machine. Every machine is different. After about 20 to 25 minutes, the ice cream should be ready for the next step. You want to make sure that the mix is really thick and ice-cream-like consistency.
- Serve vanilla ice cream sundae in a cup, or if you want the classic frosty swirl, transfer ice cream to a piping bag with a very wide tip and swirl into a sundae glass cup. I like to place the piping bag (with mix in it) in the freezer for around 15 minutes to allow it to thicken up before serving, as that makes it easier to swirl. These are the piping bags and the wide tip that I use (affiliate link).
- If you do not have an ice cream maker: After blending the vanilla ice cream mixture, pour into ice cube trays and freeze overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours. Once frozen, blend the cubes up using a food processor or blender with a wide container. You may have to add bits of water or plant milk to help process the ice cream down if your food processor/blender is struggling. Once processed, you can transfer straight to a cup or for swirly effect, transfer to piping bag with a wide tip and swirl into an ice cream sundae cup.
- Drizzle hot chocolate fudge all over vanilla ice cream sundae and top with cacao nibs, shredded nuts, or both! Enjoy!
- very important tip – if you want to get the swirl effect using the piping bag, the mix must be very very cold and not melted/liquidity. So, what i like to do is to transfer the mix into the piping bag and then let it sit in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that it can thicken up again.
Keywords: ice cream, ice cream sundae, chocolate, vanilla, hot fudge, vegan, plant based, oil free, healthy.