Guys, I just don't even know what to say about this right here. You only need 7 ingredients for all of it, including the ridiculously easy raw caramel. I shared this post on Facebook yesterday and everybody was excitedly ready for something other than chocolate. I am so excited when a recipe turns out even better than I think it will. I have been meaning to make a vegan vanilla ice cream for quite some time. It is my Dad's favorite flavor and also several of you have asked for a vanilla ice cream or one that wasn't chocolate.
Well, I couldn't stop at just vanilla, so I made vanilla cheesecake flavored ice cream, and you will die. Me, my toddler and my husband <<<<MR. Picky, all just died over it. My daughter literally was moaning, hahaha.
So incredibly luscious and creamy. I'm not kidding, it really does taste like Vanilla Cheesecake in Ice Cream form....dairy-free and oil-free is hard to believe, it's that creamy!
I love how gorgeous and pristine this ice cream looks in all it's white glory. But.....
With caramel sauce, it's almost too good.
The caramel just takes it to another whole level. The ice cream isn't overly sweet, which makes this caramel sauce balance it out nicely. Although, the ice cream is certainly totally dreamy on it's own, let's not kid ourselves.
Let me just say that I'm obsessed with creating vegan ice cream. The commercial vegan versions I've tried are okay, but what I create at home knocks them out of the park. Also, I'm 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 non dairy ice cream, and it was DELICIOUS", how can I not keep busting out these amazing vegan ice creams that rival any dairy, truly. Especially, now that I'm discovering more and more ways to make them sooo creamy.
This one is sooooo creamy, luscious and really does taste like cheesecake in ice cream form. In fact, my husband's first words out of his mouth were:
"Omg, this tastes just like Vanilla Bean Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory!"
Now, I didn't add vanilla bean to it, but you get the idea. It is gourmet, silky, smooth and incredibly delicious.
And, of course, I couldn't stop there and created a caramel sauce to go over it. Several months back while making a dessert, I was combining my liquids of melted coconut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and tasted it, I was blown away by how much it tasted like caramel. So, that is my favorite way of making a vegan caramel.
- 3 cups (790 mL) of quality high fat coconut milk (Use TWO full 13.6 oz cans of FULL FAT coconut milk, all of it, don't drain them. (I find Thai Kitchen brand to be the best and creamiest, make sure yours has the 14g fat. Or for totally raw version, you will need about 6 young coconuts and can follow this tutorial
- ¾ cup raw whole cashews (120 g)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup or agave
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (taste and add more for a stronger vanilla flavor, I used 1½ tablespoons)(My favorite is Rodelle vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup melted coconut butter (not coconut oil!)
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave, room temperature! (I used Grade B syrup for a darker color)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- I love the way the coconut butter works in this caramel sauce, but I'm sure almond butter would work too, it will just have less of a caramel taste and will be much darker and a little thicker.
- Make sure your ice cream bowl has been in the freezer for several hours or overnight before making the ice cream. The liquid in the bowl must be completely frozen or it won't make the ice cream properly. If you do not have a high powered blender, you will need to soak your cashews in a bowl covered with lukewarm water and leave at room temperature for 2-4 hours (4 is best for the best creamy results) before making the ice cream. Pour out the water from the bowl and pat them dry with a paper towel and proceed with the recipe. Keep in mind a high powered blender gives the best, creamiest results just like dairy.
- Add all of the ingredients (except the caramel sauce) to a high powered blender and blend on high until very smooth and creamy, about a minute or two. Taste and add any more sweetener or vanilla, if desired. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it do it's magic. Mine took about 30 minutes churning. It will be a soft serve consistency once done. Add to a container and smooth the ice cream out and put a tight fitting lid on. Place in the freezer to firm up for a couple of hours or so. If it completely freezes overnight, just take it out a few minutes before to soften some before serving.
- To make the caramel sauce, melt some coconut butter and make sure to measure out ¼ cup. Add the syrup and vanilla mix with a fork. Add any water if desired, to reach consistency. Pour over the ice cream once you are ready to serve. Keep the ice cream stored covered in an airtight container and store the caramel sauce at room temperature. You may need to slightly reheat the caramel sauce when using again.
- Note: Homemade ice cream is best eaten within the first couple of days. Each time you take the ice cream out and it slightly thaws and then refreeze it, it becomes more icy and hard each time, which is why it's best to eat it the first couple of days. Otherwise, you can store the ice cream right after it's made into individual serving portions, so it doesn't keep getting taken in and out of the freezer.
*Nutrition per ¾ cup serving (without caramel sauce): 337.5 calories, 26.4 g fat, 24 carbs, 3.75 g protein, 18.3 g sugar
*Nutrition per 1 tablespoon serving of caramel: 70 calories, 5 g fat, 6 carbs, 1.8 g protein, 3.2 g sugar