Cherry Vanilla Non-Dairy Ice Cream

Vegan Ice Cream Cherry Vanilla

As I was thinking last week about what recipe to post for today, my mind kept going toward ice cream. Might have had something to do with the fact that it was in the 90’s all week. And then when I came home Friday, I found a lovely surprise in my frig – 15 pounds of fresh cherries! So, naturally I decided to make some cherry ice cream.

Homemade ice cream is generally much better for you (and much better tasting) than store-bought ice cream. And this dairy-free (vegan) ice cream is much less fattening than regular ice cream.

Do you need an ice cream maker to make ice cream?

While there are ice cream recipes that don’t require an ice cream maker, I’ve found that most of them require sweetened condensed milk or whipped cream or eggs – all of which make the ice cream more fattening.

Using an ice cream maker means you can make the creamiest, yummiest ice cream without those fattening ingredients

Why Does an Ice Cream Maker Produce Superior Ice Cream?

An ice cream maker freezes the creamy mixture at the same time as it whips air into it, and the result is a light and creamy frozen treat. There are other ways to make homemade ice cream, but I think an ice cream maker gets you the very best results.

Older models required lots of salt and ice, but now you can buy ice cream makers that come with a double-walled canister that holds a chilling liquid within the walls. Before you make your ice cream, you put the canister in the freezer so the chilling liquid will freeze. (I usually just keep my canister in the freezer all summer.) When you’re ready to churn your ice cream, take the canister out of the freezer, add your mixture, and turn the maker on. You don’t need any ice or salt.

An ice cream maker is soooo easy to use – you can have homemade ice cream in about 20 minutes! Here is the ice cream maker I use.

How to Pit Cherries


The easiest way to pit fresh cherries is to use a tool made for the job — a cherry pitter. It’ll save you bunches of time – you can pit hundreds of cherries an hour! And it’s easy to use. My kids put on the cherry pitter hat when they were 3-years-old. It made canning cherries a fun, family project because everyone – even the little ones – could help.

Cherry Pitter

The cherry pitter I have used to be my grandma’s. It’s at least 30 years old and works great. (You can see the pit being pushed out the bottom and into the bowl in the photo below.)

How to Pit Cherries

They still make similar cherry pitters, both those that have a suction base and those that clamp to your surface. They also make hand-held models, but I’ve never tried one of those. They look easy to use, but it seems like you wouldn’t be able to pit nearly as many cherries as you would with the kind that attach to a surface and have a chute/cup to hold the fruit.

Click here to see a video we made of pitting cherries with a cherry pitter.

We’re lovin’ cherry season! How do you get the pits out of cherries? What’s your favorite summertime fruit?

Notes About This Recipe

1. While I don’t particularly care for rice milk, I’ve found that it offers a better flavor (over other non-dairy milks) in this ice cream recipe.

2. Be sure to use full-fat canned coconut milk. It’s essential for proper consistency and mouth-feel.

3. Even though there is a whole can of coconut milk in this recipe, the ice cream doesn’t have a strong coconut taste. You’ll probably love it even if you don’t like coconut.

4. You can chill the mixture in the freezer rather than the refrigerator; just be sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t freeze solid around the edges.

Cherry Vanilla Non-Dairy Ice Cream

What could be better than fresh, creamy, homemade ice cream? How about one that is much lower in saturated fat and refined sweeteners, and is made with wholesome ingredients?
Prep Time 10 mins
Inactive Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
YIELD 1.5 quarts
All recipes on jenniferskitchen.com are property of jennifer’s kitchen and cannot be republished without written permission.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup full-fat, canned coconut milk - (one 14-ounce can)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar, turbinado sugar, or evaporated cane juice crystals
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla rice milk - or other non-dairy milk
  • 7 teaspoons corn starch - or arrowroot starch or tapioca starch, (2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh, pitted and chopped cherries - (see note on pitting cherries at the end of this post)

Instructions

  • Place coconut milk, sugar, salt, and about half of the rice milk in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Meanwhile, stir starch into remaining rice milk and mix until completely smooth. Be sure there are no lumps.
  • When mixture in saucepan comes to a low boil, stir in starch mixture. Bring to a full, rolling boil, stirring constantly with a heat-proof spatula. Remove from heat.
  • Place mixture in refrigerator to cool (at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight).
  • When mixture is thoroughly chilled, stir in vanilla.
  • Pour chilled mixture into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • When ice cream is done churning, stir in cherries.

Notes

1. While I don’t particularly care for rice milk, I’ve found that it offers a better flavor (over other non-dairy milks) in this ice cream recipe.
2. Be sure to use full-fat canned coconut milk. It’s essential for proper consistency and mouth-feel.
3. Even though there is a whole can of coconut milk in this recipe, the ice cream doesn’t have a strong coconut taste. You’ll probably love it even if you don’t like coconut.
4. You can chill the mixture in the freezer rather than the refrigerator; just be sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t freeze solid around the edges.

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19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this post. I’ve been making vegan ice cream with my ice cream maker that’s very similar to yours. And I also use coconut milk, but your recipe is a bit different from mine. I’m going to try your recipe, and of course add some cherries. It looks soooooo good!

    Oh, I have a cherry pitter just like yours also. It works wonderfully.

  2. 5 stars
    I always stain my fingers too much whenever I pit cherries, which makes me not want to do it. I’d never heard of a cherry-pitter before! Thank you for enlightening me – great pictures too!

  3. Jennifer, I made this ice cream today, and it’s was fabulous. My ice cream turned out kind of purple, because I used sweet black cherries, and the juice from the cherries turned the ice cream purple. It was so pretty. Just like you see at an ice cream shop. And so yummy!

  4. 5 stars
    Jennifer, I made this ice cream today, and it’s was fabulous. My ice cream turned out kind of purple, because I used sweet black cherries, and the juice from the cherries turned the ice cream purple. It was so pretty. Just like you see at an ice cream shop. And so yummy!

    1. Glad you liked it! We gently stirred our cherries in when the ice cream was done to keep it white, but I like the idea of purple ice cream. Sounds pretty! We’ll try that next time.

    1. Hi Heather,
      Ice cream made with honey is a little more difficult to freeze as it requires a lower temperature. Also, the end result will be much softer (too soft, in my opinion). I’m not sure, but you may be able to overcome these factors if you made the mixture ahead of time and partially froze it before putting it into your ice cream maker. (Lightly blend again before transferring it to the ice cream maker.)
      Artificial sweeteners tend to make ice cream “ice-y” rather than creamy.
      I have found that pure maple syrup works great in homemade ice cream when I’ve used one part turbinado sugar and two parts maple syrup. The results were so good, I see no reason why it wouldn’t work to use all maple syrup if you don’t mind the maple taste. Because you would be replacing a dry ingredient with a liquid one, you probably would want to increase the thickener by about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.
      I hope this helps!
      Jennifer

  5. if I just wanted vanilla ice cream would I leave out the cherries. My daughter can not tolerate gluten or dairy and this would be wonderful for her but, she isn’t a huge fan of cherries, I suppose I could substitute strawberries if not but, her favorite used to be vanilla ice cream and it would be a real treat.
    Thank you so much, your mashed potatoes and oatmeal cookies are a real hit with her as well as my other kids.

  6. 5 stars
    This is so delicious! I am such a nice cream freak and that was one of the hardest things about trying to become more plant-based and leave dairy behind. I’ve tried some of the commercial dairy-free ice creams and I don’t really care for them. The only thing I changed when I made this was I used coconut milk instead of rice milk. I figured the coconut milk had more fat in it and would make the ice cream creamier and more yummy. It was so good! I don’t care for coconut but I didn’t notice it at all in this ice cream. I added a few raspberries instead of cherries and I am so happy with this! Thank you for this recipe! You’re making my journey much easier! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I have a question on this recipe. I absolutely love it but I was wondering if you’ve ever made it with date sugar? Just thinking that maybe it would make it a little bit healthier and would help reduce my sugar intake even more. 🙂 I have been experimenting with date sugar in my whole wheat bread, whole wheat pancakes and in my oatmeal. It works really well in those but I didn’t know if it would go well with the ice cream.

    1. Hi Laura,
      That’s a great question! I’m not sure if you can get the date sugar to melt into the milk (step 1), so you might have some date sugar grit in your ice cream, but it certainly would be worth a try. Maybe date paste would work better. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried either.

      Good for you for trying to reduce your sugar intake!! I’ve been avoiding it too and working on educating my palate to enjoy more simple tastes. Never know when the immune system is going to have to take care of a germ invasion. 🙂
      Jennifer

  8. Have you ever used frozen black cherries ? If so what adjustments to the recipe do you recommend if any ? Thanks .. it looks delicious but do I want to have to wait till cherry season to try it … well no ! 😁

    1. HI Michelle,
      I haven’t tried frozen black cherries, but I think they would work great! You probably wouldn’t have to make any adjustments to the recipe, however, it may work to add the cherries sooner.

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