Vegan Mocha Ice cream (Starbucks Copycat)

Vegan Mocha Ice cream (Starbucks Copycat)

The most incredible Vegan Mocha Ice Cream inspired by the popular Starbucks Ice Cream . Dairy-free, vegan, oil-free ice cream that combines chocolate and espresso. Super creamy and made with cashews. You will be blown away by this heavenly bowl.

Hey everybody! I am guest posting today over at Eat, Live, Burp! I was honored when Pavithra asked me to do a guest post with one of my vegan creations. I love her blog because of all the amazing ingredients she uses, rich flavors and the beautiful photos that accompany them. She uses lots of awesome spices that are new to me and intrigue me. I can almost smell her food through the screen.

My favorite combo ever is chocolate and espresso/coffee. I used to be obsessed with the Starbucks ice cream, but now I'm obsessed with this one! Vegan Mocha Ice Cream (Starbucks Copycat)

When she asked me to do a guest post, I was thrilled and figured what better way to show her readers a recipe that most don't think of as vegan, than ice cream. This one is the best ice cream I've EVER had, non-vegan included. My hubby exclaimed it was "better than Starbucks" and definitely, by far, the best ice cream recipe I've made to date. I will most likely stick with this recipe as my go-to base from now on. Seriously, better than any ice cream I've made using coconut cream.

This tastes identical to dairy ice cream. I found the perfect balance of ingredients. It is just too addicting.

Sooooo, go check out this special post here and let me know what you think!

Vegan Mocha Ice cream (Starbucks copycat)

The most incredible Vegan Mocha Ice Cream inspired by the popular Starbucks Ice Cream . Dairy-free, vegan, oil-free ice cream that combines chocolate and espresso. Super creamy and made with cashews. You will be blown away by this heavenly bowl.

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5 based on 6 review(s)


  • 1 heaping cup (150g) whole raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups canned "lite" coconut milk (I really recommend Thai Kitchen, it is the best and creamiest)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons organic coconut palm sugar (gives a richer flavor than regular sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons raw agave (helps with the texture by preventing ice crystals)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fine ground instant espresso (adjust to your preference depending on how strong you want it, or omit for a chocolate flavor)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a power blender, such as a Vitamix, and blend for a couple of minutes on the highest setting until completely creamy and smooth. If you do not have a power blender, soak the cashews for 5-6 hours (the longer you soak, the creamier your ice cream) first in a bowl covered with room temperature water. Drain and rinse them and pat them dry. Add to your blender with the remaining ingredients.
  2. After you have gotten it completely smooth, taste and add any more espresso if desired.
  3. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn until firm and a soft serve consistency forms. Place in the freezer in an airtight container for a couple of hours to harden before eating. If it completely freezes overnight, just remove it a few minutes before serving.

If you make this recipe, please do not re-post it in full on your site, please link to me instead giving proper credit. I work very hard to create my recipes and share them for free, so please be respectful and link properly. If you are inspired by this recipe, again, please give proper credit and do not simply post it on your site.


  1. Thank you for your kind words and for the awesome guest post. This ice cream would put any dairy version to shame. I can totally see why your husband loved it:)
      Thank you so much Pavithra!! :)
  2. I've never been happy with a vegan ice cream before so I'm hoping for this one. Especially in my favorite flavor. Looking forward to giving it a try this weekend, Thanks!
      I hear ya Angela! Most vegan ice creams I've tried were so bad, I'm shocked they were even approved to be sold, haha! I have a few vegan ice cream recipes on my blog, they are good, but nothing as authentic and dairy tasting like this one. My hubby used to consume half gallons of ice cream in one sitting. His very favorite dessert is ice cream, so when he exclaimed this was better than Starbucks, I knew I had to share it. It really is delicious. We al have different opinions though, so I hope you love it as much as we do! Please let me know, I'm dying to hear your feedback! :) Oh and p.s. another popular ice cream on my blog with great feedback (all non-vegans) is my almond butter ice cream. That's a good one to try as well, but this one is my fav for sure.
      • I can't wait to try it, and others as well, I'm sure. I pinned it to our Vegan Community board and it too off! Would love to send you an invite to join us if you'd like. You do need to 'follow' the board first before it will send an invite. Let me know on that and I'll keep you updated on my ice cream quest ;)
        • Sorry, forgot the board link:
          Oh, wonderful, thank you so much for sharing Angela!! :) I'll follow the board now :)
          • Hmmmm? Not sure why your name isn't coming up to do an invite yet. Try following my boards and I'll try again. Pinterest is always tricky on it's invite criteria.
      • Is it possible to make this recipe without agave?
          Yes, just use extra maple syrup in it's place. Let me know what you think of it!
  3. I remember when I couldn't go a day without sucking down one of those Starbucks Ice Cream sticks!!! Uhhhhh swoooon!
      Haha me too! Thankfully, I don't have to now! :)
  4. ON MY WAY, this looks SO GOOD!
  5. This looks fantastic! I've been wanting to experiment with making my own healthy ice cream, but haven't had a chance yet. I can't believe you can grind up a bunch of cashews and turn it into ice cream. Amazing! I love all your recipes. ;-)
      Yep, cashews are pretty much miraculous!! :) It is shocking how much this tastes just like regular ice cream.
  6. You've created quite an ice cream, Brandi. Who needs dairy when there are such wonderful alternatives available. Congratulations and good luck with the re-blog. :)
      Thanks so much John!
    • You have right John. Wonderful alternatives! ^_^
  7. Wowed. Beautiful ice cream. The picture's making me drool!
      Thank you so much Ayesha!
  8. Hi there, just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for a Dragon's Loyalty Award. Participation is optional, so if you would like to know more you can check out my post here: :) - Niki x
      Thank you so much, so nice of you!
  9. looks so creamy & delish. Yum!
      Thank you, it definitely is :)
  10. This is just the blog I have been looking for!!! Thank you Thank you! I am a new vegan, 11.19.13, so just under two months so I have much to learn and this is perfect. I adore the saying "Anything you can eat, I can eat vegan." and boy do you prove this! I loathed cooking and preparing food before and I suddenly have a new infatuation with it, it's like a lifestyle project. I am greatly looking forward to this new lifestyle, thank you so much for making it so much easier for us Newbie Vegans! :)
      You are so sweet Rachel! I'm so thrilled you found me!! I really hope you love the recipes, and PLEASE let me know when you make them! Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello :)
  11. Can you use raw cashew pieces instead of whole raw cashews? That is all I could find. I am going to give it a try. Thanks.
      Yes, sure...just make sure to get the accurate weight measurement of 142 grams, since the smaller pieces will fill up more in a cup than whole cashews. Otherwise, then yes it should still definitely work! Please let me know how it turns out! Thank you. :)
  12. [...] Mocha Ice Cream is pretty flippin fantastic, but this time I wanted a vegan ice cream that didn’t rely on what [...]
  13. [...] “Starbucks” Mocha Ice Cream [...]
  14. Hallo again, Great blog and inspiring recipes! the Starbucks copycat mocha ice cream is definitely one of the best raw creams I have ever tried and I have tried many as I am compiling a book on raw creams. Loooove it, have made it several times already and just have one now in the freezer, just in case, when the mood or craving starts,....ha, ha! So, keep up the great work!
      Thank you so much Alex for taking the time to leave such awesome feedback! I appreciate it so VERY, very much! I love hearing about when people make my recipes, so feel free to leave me feedback on any you make. I love it! I'm so glad you loved the ice cream, it is my favorite too! :)
  15. Oh Brandi, this was an awesome recipe...for the 1st time in my whole entire life, i tasted a non dairy ice cream, and it was DELICIOUS....i added some of it into my protein shake this morning and it is to die for...thank you for creating this recipe....Love it!
      YAY!! Best feedback ever, thank you Elilta! So glad to hear you and your husband loved it so much!
  16. [...] not a fan of the ingredient list in the commercial ice creams. Besides, when a reader makes your Starbucks Mocha Ice Cream and says “this was an awesome recipe…for the 1st time in my whole entire life, I tasted a [...]
  17. Well, i made more ice cream yesterday.....except this time, i triple the
  18. My crack!
      Haha, I'm so happy you love this so much!
  19. Hi there, is there an alternative to using an ice cream maker for this recipe? Xx
      Hi Irini! I have never tried it without an ice cream maker. You can try this other ice cream which is my most popular chocolate ice cream and is done without an ice cream maker. You can add espresso to it as well if you like. It's rich, creamy, chocolatey and my favorite as well. Here is the link: Please come back and let me know what you think of it and leave feedback on whichever recipe post that you ended up making! :)
      • I was wondering the same thing. What if one froze the coconut milk/cream in ice cube trays (as one would with 'banana ice cream') and then blended up all the ingredients. Theoretically should work...the frozen coconut milk should freeze everything else
          Hi Angie! You are welcome to try that if you like, just know it will be more slushy-like, versus a solid scoop-able ice cream. Also, the ice cream maker is what makes the ice cream very creamy because it incorporates air as it is churning. So, if you don't use an ice cream maker, just know it will get much harder as it freezes solid (any leftovers you have), so you will need to let it thaw a while and it may have bits of ice in it.
  20. FAVORITE ICE CREAM RECIPE EVER!! ? My family has enjoyed several of your ice cream recipes, Brandi, but I was looking for one that didn't use coconut milk for a change. This recipe is PERFECT! I used unsweetened vanilla cashew milk, 2TBS dark cocoa and the rest regular cocoa, and no espresso. This was the most decadent chocolate ice cream I have ever tasted, vegan or not. To top it off I made your peanut butter caramel and drizzled it on top. Yuh-Umm!! My daughter likes when I make your regular caramel sauce and layer it with the ice cream while it is still soft so it hardens up with the cream. Guess I will just have to make this recipe again and do just that. :) Many thanks for yet another winner, Brandi!
      Holy wow, this feedback had me salivating while reading it! Thank you so much Colleen for such an incredible feedback! It made my day! This and the 4 ingredient chocolate ice cream are my favorites. What a great idea to add the peanut butter caramel on top. YUM! Thank you so much!
  21. Is there a way to enjoy this without an ice cream maker? I move every three months with my whole life in the back of my jeep. I can't really devote the space to one. I've never used one, so I'm not sure what exactly it does to the mixture. Thanks!
      Hi Vanessa, ice cream makers help to incorporate air while chilling the ice cream, so it makes a big difference in the texture being light and creamy. But I would suggest making this recipe instead. I created it to not need an ice cream maker and it's one of my most popular recipes on the blog. It's incredibly creamy and chocolatey and you could always add espresso to it. You do need a blender though. Or at the very least, a stick hand blender. Here it is. So easy too!
  22. I made this today and I must say it was FABULOUS! I got an ice cream maker for a wedding gift and have been waiting for the perfect recipe to use it, and when I saw this and read the ingredient list (I had all of the ingredients already!) I started soaking my cashews and put my ice cream bowl in the freezer right away so I could make it the next day. THIS ICE CREAM IS AMAZING! The texture is EXACTLY like dairy ice cream. I haven't had ice cream in a long time and the store bought ones are full of junky ingredients and are so expensive. I will definitely have to go through all of the other ice cream recipes because I was just blown away by this one. I did make a couple of tiny changes- I used regular organic cane sugar, I used lite canned coconut milk, and instead of espresso I used pumpkin spiced coffee. I highly recommend using a flavored coffee in this recipe, it really makes it stand out! Unless you like plain ol' espresso, it is I am sure just as great!
      Yay!! SO, so happy to read this feedback Meaghann! Thank you so very much for breaking in your ice cream maker with this recipe. I'm so thrilled you loved it so much! Any sugar and lite milk will basically yield the same taste, so they are easily interchangeable. That pumpkin spice coffee sounds so yummy! So glad you loved the texture, the combo of ingredients really makes it ridiculously creamy, it's my favorite too! You should totally try the 4 ingredient ice cream and the cheesecake vanilla one, so so good! The peanut butter one is excellent too. Thanks again!
  23. I want to really try this. I was wondering if there is a substitute for the cashews? My family and I are allergic to treenuts. We are fine with coconut, so I will use coconut milk in this recipe. Would seeds work, like sunflower or pumpkin? Just trying to figure out how to make it work so my family can enjoy it. Thanks
      Hi Lane! I wouldn't recommend subbing cashews, nothing else will work quite the same for this exact recipe. I would suggest instead making this recipe that is not made from nuts and you can add espresso to it and get a very similar taste. Just leave out the almonds :)
  24. Made this today with cashew milk, left out the coffee. Loved it. Two dairy eaters tried it and declared it better than anything store bought! Thank you for sharing your recipes. Will definitely try others!
      Wow, so awesome to hear! Thank you so much Diane for the amazing feedback!
  25. Meg
    Laaahhhhhhhhh! (The angels sing, after tasting this ice cream) Trying to make the best of hot Seattle weather, I decided to try this recipe. So delicious. I dont LOVE hot weather; but I do LOVE this ice cream! Thank you!
      Hahahaha, love that!! SO glad you loved this Meg, thank you for the feedback!
  26. Hello Brandi I would love to make this ice-cream but do not have a ice-cream churn. What would you suggest I use in place of the churn? Would an electric beater work on slow? Can't wait to try this ice-cream as since going vegan it's the one item I REALLY MISS -- ICE-CREAM!!! Thanks so much. Melanie Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal SouthAfrica
      Hi Melanie! It's going to be pretty icy without an ice cream maker, however, you can try this other ice cream recipe I wrote that does not require an ice cream maker and just add espresso powder to it. It's SO GOOD. Or you can make this mocha one and try to follow my freezing method steps on this other recipe. Let me know what you try. They are both so delicious!
  27. Hi this ice cream looks amazing and I can't wait to try it! My question is, and I'm sorry to ask, but can you use regular or Greek yogurt? I can't find non dairy yogurt anywhere and I have a ton at home that needs to be used! Sorry for asking I know this is a vegan website and I tried to to find it I just can't seem to find it?! I can't wait anymore to try this ice cream it looks too amazing! Thank you!! Kindly Stephanie
      Hi Stephanie! No need to apologize! But, there is no yogurt in this recipe :) Were you thinking of another recipe?
  28. Ok, so I finally decided to make this Vegan Ice Cream and why oh why did I wait sooooo long! This is the creamiest, most decadent Mocha Ice Cream I have E.V.E.R. had in my life..... better than dairy version!!!! Thank you for creating such a great recipe, now I am super excited about making your other ice cream recipes! Healthy ingredients and oh so yummy!!!!
      Brenda, you really made me giggle and smile with this amazingggg feedback! You basically described perfectly how I feel about it! Chocolate and espresso are my all-time favorite combo so this one is my favorite ice cream and I'm so happy you agree with how delicious it is. Thank you for the wonderful review!
  29. Ok, so I finally decided to try your Vegan Ice Cream and why oh why did I wait sooooo LONG... this Mocha Ice Cream is so delicious and easy to make! The creamiest and most decadent E.V.E.R..... blows away any dairy version and I didn't feel yucky after eating a huge bowl! I even licked the paddle attachment from my ice cream maker.... lol Thank you for a great recipe! Healthy ingredients and super yummy!
      Oh, and if you haven't yet, try the 4 Ingredient Chocolate Sweet Potato one, that one is my most popular and is SO easy and will blow you away too, I'm sure, haha!
      • Brandi! I am so excited about trying so many of your recipes! I just printed out the Cumin Lime Pea Soup recipe too.... so many I can't wait and I love how easy your recipes are! I am new to vegan cooking and was kinda intimidated until I tryed some of your recipes.... I have confidence now in the kitchen... lol
          You are so sweet Brenda, I'm so happy to hear how much my website is helping you! That's why I do this! And mmmm, yummy, that's an old soup recipe but a delicious and super easy one! Can't wait to hear what you think of it!
  30. Hi, Thanks for this recipe. I am alergic to dairy and the store bought Vegan Ice cream is so expensive! I have two questions about this recipe. I have a good food processor so can I use that in place of the blender? Also, I would like to convert this to Moca Almond Fudge so I was going to churn the base to soft serve and then stir in almonds and swirl in the choc. syrup before freezing. That was my guess on how to do it. Any tips on incorporating the choc. and nuts?
      Hi Frank! A food processor is not going to get the cashews creamy enough I'm afraid. You will need to soak the cashews for 8-12 hours minimum first, then drain them and rinse them well. Pat them dry and then you can add everything to the processor and processor for several minutes, scraping the sides, and process until completely smooth. That should work. That is the only way to truly get cashews smooth in a food not do a short soak for this, it doesn't work. I make my homemade cashew cream cheese this way and I do it by soaking the cashews for 12 hours. For adding the chocolate and nuts, once your ice cream reaches the soft serve stage, just drop them in there while it's churning and let them incorporate for 10 or so seconds just until it's mixed in and then freeze! Hope that helps!
      • Thank you so much for the advice. I might just buy a good blender as my Wife likes smooties anyway. Any recommendations? But if not, for the cashews, I bought MYLK grade cashews for this reciepe as they claim to be ultra creamy. I guess they are the ones they use to make Cashew milk from. Do you know if the long soak would effect those? Sorry for all the questions but I am really new to this and it is so nice having a resource like yours. I am a passionate disabled home chef that prefers making everything from scratch. Are there better cashews to use than others? Last question, About how much does this reciepe make? I am useing a kithchenaid ice cream churning attachment for my Stand mixer and am wondering if I need to work in small batches. It will churn up to 2 quarts (according to the instructions) but I worry about overload. Again thanks for your advice.
          Hi Frank, I apologize for the delay...I have been gone all day from my computer. I use a Vitamix for my ice creams and sauces, etc. because that requires no soaking of nuts and it get anything and everything 100% smooth. I love it. The only thing I don't make in my Vitamix is nut butters. I am not familiar with that brand of cashews, so I'm afraid I don't know how they work, but if you don't have a strong blender, I am still not sure they would get 100% smooth without soaking them, just to be safe. I don't want you to skip soaking them and waste your ingredients if the ice cream turns out gritty. Don't apologize for the questions, I am here to help! As far as cashews in general, I use raw cashews from any brands and any store and they are all the exact same, I've never noticed any difference. Sounds like 2 quarts will be just fine for your churning as this yields about 3 cups of ice cream. I hope that helps! :)
  31. OMG!!! WOW!!! It almost didn't make it to the freezer! My husband and I tested it when the ice-cream maker was done. We were prepared sit down and eat it all!!! We restrained ourselves and will enjoy for dessert a little later. I can't believe my husband's reaction. He is not plant strong/vegan but he told me I had to comment and give this recipe several gold stars. I think it is definitely more than a favorite! WOW!!!
      Omg Linda, you just made my day with this feedback! I am SO happy to hear how much your non-vegan husband raved about it too! That thrills me! Thank you so much for the amazing feedback and if you could, please star rate it in another comment, those ratings really help me out to rank higher, so more people find this awesome recipe, haha! Thank you Linda!
  32. Finally figured out where to rate this recipe. I would give it hundreds of stars but looks like Im limited to just 5, Absolutely delicious!!!
      Aww, thank you so much Linda for coming back and doing that! I really appreciate it!
  33. This recipe is AMAZING. Problem is, I couldn't get it to freeze in my ice cream maker (Cuisinart), for some reason. First time, I thought it was because my ingredients were room temperature, so I chilled for another 24 hours and tried it again - churned for over 30 minutes and it never froze. Each time, I'm licking out the bowl and thinking, this stuff is good I could DRINK IT. So, after a failed second attempt at making ice cream, that's what I did. I DRANK THE WHOLE DARN RECIPE!!! One cup cold, the second cup heated in the microwave (and added a little almond milk to thin it out). OOOOH MAMA it was good. I don't know if you've ever had Max Brenner's drinking hot chocolates that are this thick, rich concoction of chocolate, sugar and cream, but this stuff was JUST as good IF NOT BETTER. NOW. If I could just get it to freeze, I would like to try it as ice cream, too - but if not, it certainly didn't get wasted!
      I'm so very happy you loved it so much Caryn and you totally made me laugh that you drank it, hahahaha! I'll definitely need to try it as a drink, yummy!! As far as freezing, that is totally weird. I've never heard that problem, lol. Was your ice cream bowl frozen?? It has to be frozen in order to make the ice cream base turn into ice cream, so that is really the only reason it wouldn't work. I make it and it usually is only 20 minutes to reach the soft serve consistency!
      • I froze the bowl both times, so I don't know what went wrong. I haven't used my ice maker in YEARS (like literally TEN YEARS) so I don't know if they could possibly go bad??? I did have it in my garage freezer both times, which has a problem keeping cold when the outside temps are really, really cold, but we have been having 50-60 degree temps here in Maryland the last week or so (and everything else in the freezer is currently frozen solid), so I don't think that is the reason, but just to be sure, the bowl is in my kitchen freezer at the moment and we will see if that works - of course I'll have to make another recipe to try it out, since I drank the other! Even my husband, who typically is suspicious about all things vegan (and coconut) said it was delicious. Thank you so much for the excellent recipe, I just now subscribed to your site which I found when looking for vegan ice cream recipes.
          Oh wow, 10 years, that could possibly be it for sure! When you shake the ice cream bowl, do you hear any liquid moving around? That will tell you that it's not freezing properly if you do hear liquid. So glad your hubby loved it too! This is also my hubby's favorite ice cream and he hates coconut! But since it's lite, the coconut flavor doesn't stand out, so he has no clue it's in there, ha!
          • So I just took the bowl out of the freezer and shook it, I did not feel/hear any liquid now like I did after washing it out, so I think that's ok. However, I just read something about pouring in the liquid AFTER starting the machine, which I had not done either time - I poured it in the bowl first, then put the turning arm and cover on. Will try that the next time and see if that was the problem. Of course I won't really know if it's changing the freezer, or the order of operations at that point, but whatever works!
  34. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I had just shy of a cup of cashews and it turned out well. A tip from another recipe I've made suggested you can quicken the soaking process by boiling the cashews for an hour and the texture will be the same. So I boiled them in espresso and then blended. This ice cream was soo good I even added some chocolate chunks.
      So glad you enjoyed it Shanese, thank you!
  35. Just wondering if this can be made without an ice cream maker? Any recommendations?
      Hi Jennifer! Without an ice cream maker, it will be rather icy. I would recommend this recipe instead. I created it to not need one and you can just add espresso powder to it!
  36. This stuff is incredible! This combo of lite coconut milk and cashews made for the perfect texture, much better IMO than the ones I’ve made with full fat coconut milk. I just added one extra Tablespoon of agave because I thought my espresso powder made it a little bitter. Can’t wait to serve this along side my husband’s birthday cake tonight - thank you for the perfect recipe!
  37. Oops forgot to rate it 😊

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