Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake Ice Cream


I know pumpkin season has already started, but vanilla ice cream is always in season, am I right? I finally have answered your request for a vegan vanilla ice cream. I have received that request more than any other ice cream flavor over the years. And not just vanilla, more specifically, a birthday cake ice cream. Which basically is just vanilla ice cream that is next-level. One of my readers wrote me 2 weeks back asking me to create a birthday cake flavor since it was her daughter's favorite. She had just made my Butterfinger Ice Cream and loved it and sent a lovely email. Since I have received so many vanilla requests, I figured it was time to get it done. Everything is better with sprinkles in my opinion.

Guys, I finally cracked the vanilla vegan ice cream code, haha!

And I did it without full-fat coconut milk being the base. I'm sorry, but I don't want my vanilla ice cream to taste like coconut. There are so many vegan vanilla ice creams out there but they are always made with coconut milk and we alll know that it really tastes like coconut and not vanilla. Coconut, just like banana, overpowers every flavor, especially a delicate flavor like vanilla. If there is chocolate or lots of spices, that helps to mask, but this is vanilla and it needs to be front and center. I use "lite" coconut milk in this recipe because it is THE best milk base for ice cream because it is creamier than cashew, soy, almond, rice, you name it and it leaves NO coconut taste. I cannot stress enough how important that it is to use.

Sometimes I say that cashew milk is an ok sub for the lite coconut milk in my ice cream recipes, but that is because the flavor is chocolate, where the cashew flavor won't be noticeable. But if you put cashews and cashew milk as the ice cream base in a vanilla ice cream, that is TOO much cashew flavor. We don't want that. Not to mention, store-bought cashew milk is watery and tastes rather disgusting to me.


I came up with a couple of crack-the-vanilla-code ingredients to take this from your average vanilla ice cream to that true BIRTHDAY CAKE flavor.

I used....a yukon gold potato, a touch of apple cider vinegar and a touch of lemon juice! Holy moly. I swear both my hubby and I couldn't believe the flavor straight out of the blender, but after out chocolate ice cream. It was hard to put it away. My 5 year old gobbled it up. The yukon gold potato helps to add a touch of buttery flavor, as well as adding some body, but it's just enough to do some magic, but not so much that it tastes like potato. In fact, I'm thinking I probably could have gone up to a 1/2 cup, however, yellow potatoes are much thicker/starchier than sweet potatoes, so I didn't want to ruin the ice cream. I'll save eating full potatoes for dinner, not dessert. It is 100% undetectable. Y'all know how I love potatoes in my ice cream.

Exhibit A: 4 Ingredient Chocolate Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Exhibit B: 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Exhibit C: Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream.....Ancient recipe but proof of my love of sweet potatoes and putting them in unexpected places. Lol. I've been doing this potato thing in ice cream years back before it was "trendy" lol. Just look on IG how trendy and odd things are that go in ice creams, haha. But my original recipe is 5 years old! I had never seen somebody use a potato in ice cream before, so I really didn't know how it would turn out, but it totally worked! And when I posted this recipe years back, a few were thinking I was a little off my rocker. But, obviously, now it doesn't seem so weird.

So, to make this amazing Vegan Birthday Cake Ice Cream, you will need the following + salt:

  • raw cashews
  • canned "lite" coconut milk
  • pure maple syrup
  • vanilla extract
  • yukon gold potato
  • apple cider vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • sprinkles

Hey, if you are not a fan of sprinkles, booooo, just kidding...just leave them out and enjoy the vanilla cake flavor! Still divine. But I have to say, the sprinkles really do make it taste that much better, lol. I only buy my vegan sprinkles from Sweetapolita off Etsy. As you can see, these are some stunning sprinkles....not your average run-of-the-mill boring sprinkles. She has SO many sprinkle varieties, it's insane. Just make sure to select the vegan ones since she has non-vegan ones as well.

If you love birthday cake, then make sure to check out my #1 cake recipe on the blog, my Vegan Gluten-free Funfetti Birthday Cake, made by hundreds of readers and all of them have told me it's a big crowd-pleaser, vegans, non-vegans, etc. and that it's your all-time favorite cake. It resembles a true all-purpose flour cake, yet it is totally gluten-free and oil-free. I even had one reader tell me that her Dad said it was the BEST cake he had ever had in his life and y'all he isn't even vegan! So, please try it if you haven't yet.

Please watch the video to see how to make this in action!

I can't wait to hear what you all think of this ice cream. Please come back here and leave me feedback, it really means so much!

Yields About 3 1/2 cups

Vegan Birthday Cake Ice Cream

A Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake Ice Cream finally that doesn't TASTE like coconut! This ice cream uses a couple of secret ingredients to give that wonderful birthday cake flavor and is totally dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free and delicious! Made with cashews and lite coconut milk!

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

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5 based on 8 review(s)


  • 1 1/4 cup (188g) raw cashews, soaked overnight in hot water and drained if you don't have a high-powered blender
  • One 13.5 oz canned "lite" coconut milk (SEE NOTE!)
  • 1/2 cup (160g) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (60g) cooked/peeled and mashed yukon gold potato (they have a buttery flavor which helps the cake flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2g) fine sea salt (do not omit)
  • 3 tablespoons vegan sprinkles (I use Sweetapolita vegan sprinkles)
  • NOTE: Every time I post a vegan ice cream, somebody asks about subbing the lite canned coconut milk. Let me explain why I use it. It is creamier than any other plant-based milk, but unlike the full-fat regular version, it does NOT yield a coconut taste. I don't want my ice cream to taste like coconut and overpower the vanilla flavor. Using the lite helps it be creamy with NO coconut taste in the end result. If you don't mind having a coconut taste, then go ahead and use the full-fat. I do not recommend any other milks because they are simply watered down with preservatives and will yield a much icier result. Since this ice cream is NOT made with any gums like store versions, it will get harder if it fully freezes, so expect to thaw it a few minutes. I recommend an ice cream maker for the creamiest results, it DOES yield a creamier ice cream.
  • If you want to try subbing the coconut milk, my only suggestion would be my homemade cashew milk because it is very creamy, but it will definitely yield a strong cashew flavor, fyi. Any other milk will yield an icy ice cream.To make 1 1/2 cups of cashew milk, add 1 1/2 cups water to 3/4 cup raw cashews and blend until completely smooth in a high-powered blender.


    FYI: This does have a slight cashew flavor since it is made from cashews, which to me, have a natural vanilla-ish flavor, which works great. However, if you hate the flavor of cashews, you probably will not like this ice cream.
  1. If you don't have a Vitamix, you will need to soak the cashews overnight and drain, otherwise the ice cream will be gritty.
  2. Please note that I strongly recommend using an ice cream maker with this recipe. I have provided notes on how to do it without one, but it DOES freeze icier without an ice cream maker. So, if you do choose to not use one, I'd recommend making it early in the day and eating it later that day, 6 hours later or so, so that you can taste it when it is nice and firm and super creamy. If it freezes overnight, it does get hard and will need to sit out. I tested it both with and without (in the video) and the ice cream maker produced much creamier results with no ice crystals.
  3. I cooked my potato wrapped in plastic wrap in the microwave until soft, then peeled the skin off.
  4. Add all of the ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. Place mixture to chill in the fridge (not the freezer yet) for 1-2 hours. This step I have found really helps to make the final ice cream creamier, so don't skip it. After it has chilled, if you have an ice cream maker, please use it as it will yield the dreamiest creamiest ice cream ever. After the mixture has chilled in the fridge, pour into your ice cream maker (making sure your bowl to the machine is frozen) and churn for 15 minutes or until a soft-serve consistency is reached. Be careful about over-churning or it can make your ice cream hard and not creamy. Once it's done, pour the mixture into a parchment paper lined loaf pan and add 2-3 tablespoons (or as much as you want!) sprinkles and very gently stir them through. Be careful about over-mixing, as that will make the sprinkle colors bleed easily. Immediately place in the freezer, cover the top with foil and freeze until sold enough to scoop, about a couple of hours or so. This is the ice cream maker I use !
  5. No ice cream maker directions:
  6. While the ice cream maker will yield the creamiest results, if you don't have one, you can still make this, just keep in mind, it will NEED to thaw some at room temperature if it freezes overnight. This version also creates more ice crystals, so please follow the freezing instructions. After you have chilled the mixture in the fridge 1-2 hours, line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour the chilled mixture in the pan. You do not want to add the sprinkles yet, or they will just sink and melt. Cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap touching the ice cream. This will help the top from getting too icy. Then top with a double layer of foil and place in the freezer for 2 hours, remove and stir around well, paying attention to the edges. If it is at a soft-serve consistency at this time, go ahead and gently stir in your sprinkles. Place back in the freezer for another hour or 2, stir again and then freeze until firm enough to scoop. It may take around 5 hours or so until firm enough to scoop. I recommend tasting it at this stage so you can see how delicious and creamy it is.
  7. If you freeze it completely overnight, you will need to let it sit out at room temperature several minutes to soften, especially if you did not use an ice cream maker. Remember, this is homemade ice cream with NO gums like commercial ice cream, so it will not be as soft as those, but it is decadent, rich and creamy once it softens a bit. It helps to run a spoon or ice cream scoop under very hot water to get scoops out much easier. Enjoy!


  1. My 50th birthday is coming up in October and I can't wait to try out this recipe!
      Oooh, perfect timing Denise! Happy early birthday, I can't wait to hear what you think of the ice cream!
  2. Yes, making vanilla ice cream taste like VANILLA and not coconut has been a struggle for me! I love your idea of lite coconut milk. On the 13 of this month I sent you a recipe request. I have not heard anything, so I wanted to make sure you received it. I know you are fast to respond to comments so I wondered if it did not go through. If you don't feel like making the recipe I requested, of course that is fine! I just wanted to make sure you saw it. Thank you!
      I know what you mean, which is why I put it off for so long. Haha! Chocolate ice cream is easier because it can mask coconut much better, but vanilla, not so much. This vanilla base with the sprinkles is so delicious and we all loved it here. As far as the request, do you mean you sent one by email? I do not have an email from you. I did however get a question in the comment section from you on my Funfetti Birthday Cake post about a jelly roll cake, which I answered, but that was on Sept. 8th and wasn't a recipe request, just a question...was there something additional you sent me? So sorry that I missed it! Feel free to email me again at Thank you Hannah!
      • Thank you for getting back to me! Yes, there was something additional to the jelly roll cake. I just sent it to your email. I hope you get it!
          Ok, great! I got your email, will respond to it today, thank you Hannah!
  3. Oh my goodness. Words...they're just not...i don't even...nothing I type seems to be enough to fully express how happy this post/recipe/sprinkle fest is making me right now. I am going to try to get over my obsessive love for all things rainbow sprinkle long enough to address the fact that YOU PUT POTATOES IN ICE CREAM and it worked! You are a genius. I already knew it but this tops them all. When I first read the line about "yukon gold potato, a touch of apple cider vinegar..." I was like wait is she talking about a different recipe? lol It sounds insane at first, but once you mentioned the buttery flavor part it makes perfect sense! Well sorta sense...okay crazy but in a very good way! I bet it tastes extra bday cakey that way too. You know I have no problem with coconut milk ice creams, but it totally does overpower (although not quite as much as banana to me). I have yet to make a cashew ice cream, and was even toying with the idea of a macadamia, but this will absolutely be the first nutty one I try. The texture is perfect. The scoop shots are perfect. Dreams coming true right here on this page <333
      You are so sweet Natalie, thank you so much! Hahaha, it totally does sound weird, right? But the cashews needed a little acidity to counteract them just a tad and it really did give a better overall flavor to the ice cream. I have found that sweet potatoes in ice cream are easier to hide since they are much more moist and smooth, but regular potatoes are so much more starchy, so less is needed. The 1/4 cup did just enough to amp up the flavor and body, so it was perfect! I totally agree with you, coconut milk is great in ice creams with other strong flavors like chocolate or peanut butter, etc. so that it's not TOO strong, but with vanilla, it would just be the star, when instead I wanted vanilla to be the star and since we all know cashews already have that natural vanilla-ish flavor, it worked perfectly! Thanks so much girlie! xx
  4. Can you use vanilla bean also?
      Oh yes, that would make it even more yummy! :)
  5. Such pretty pictures! I love the sprinkles.
      Aww thanks Hannah, so glad you like them!
  6. YAY!!!! My daughter turns 5 next month and she's requested an ice cream party... This vanilla ice cream recipe and your chocolate sweet potato recipe will be front & center!! So excited! Thanks so much!!
      So awesome Tatiana! I hope she loves it and has a wonderful birthday, let me know!
  7. This ice cream is soooo pretty Brandi! The sprinkles are so cute! I love love love the addition of potato!! I definitely can't wait until my birthday to make this - so I'm going to have to pretend it's my birthday this weekend as an excuse to eat lots of this delicious ice cream hehe!
      Thank you so much sweet Harriet! You are so kind! Haha, I don't blame you...we've quite enjoyed it around here, lol!
  8. Okay first of all, this has to be one of the most genuinely FUN looking recipes ever! Throw sprinkles on anything and it's just taken up by like ten levels when it comes to aesthetics :) I have to admit my jaw actually dropped when I read that you used a potato, but then I realized it totally makes sense! As you mentioned I bet the potato gives the ice cream such a dreamy, rich texture. Love that you went for pure vanilla here, no competing flavors! Sometimes the simple classics are what we crave, right?! Love everything about this recipe, Brandi!
      Aww, thank you so much Sara, so nice of you to say that!! Haha, yes, like I mentioned in my post, I have had quite an obsession with putting potatoes in ice cream for years, lol! The fact that it works so well is why I keep doing it, but this was my first time ever doing a potato that was NOT a sweet potato, so I'm excited to do more now, haha :) Yes, this reader request was exciting, because hey, vanilla with sprinkles...who doesn't love that?!
  9. Oh Brandi I don't have words for how amazing this looks! I bought an ice cream maker this summer and have been struggling to find a recipe that doesn't taste too coconuty so I really can't wait to try this out. Thank you for sharing lovely!
      Thank you so much Stacey! Oh, you are going to love, LOVE having an ice cream maker! Seriously, the texture is a 1000% better than without one, it really and truly is!
  10. This ice cream is so creamy! I made it yesterday and it was a huge hit! We don't have an ice cream maker, so I followed instructions on how to make it without. It turned out perfect, so don't hesitate to make it if you don't have an ice cream maker. I'll definitely beg making it again and again!
      So very happy it was such a hit Nina, thank you so much for the review and following the freezing instructions! Some people skip that part and then wonder why their ice cream is so icy, it really is important! The biggest difference though is that without an ice cream maker, the ice cream will get harder and harder the longer it sits, but as long as you eat it the first 2 days and definitely have your first serving the first day as it's JUST reached that scoop--able texture, then it's wonderful and delicious still without the machine. Gets pretty hard past that though with ice crystals.
  11. Knocked my kids' socks off yesterday with your Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake Ice Cream--all 4 were swarming me like vultures trying to clean the bowls and spoons before we stuck it in the freezer for the final freeze! This is by far the creamiest homemade ice cream I've ever made!
      Brooke, you really made my day with this awesome feedback and your photo on Facebook! SO happy the ice cream was such a hit for ALL 4 kids, yay! That is the best review ever because kids tell it like it is, haha!
  12. The sprinkles are a HUGE yes!! Why wouldn't you put sprinkles in birthday cake ice cream?! Duh. It's absolutely gorgeous lady. Love it and will definitely be trying it soon! Screw the birthday part, I say celebrate every day!
      Haha, I know right?! But some people like just plain vanilla so this ice cream does double duty in the flavor dept, lol. I personally think sprinkles make everything better...although this with vanilla bean (minus the sprinkles) would make the ultimate vanilla ice cream! Thank you so much girl!
  13. It might be chilly outside I'm so craving this ice cream! It looks insanely creamy, and those sprinkles!! Putting potatoes in it to improve the texture is a such a great idea, it's the first time I hear about it! I've been thinking about buying an ice cream makers for years, this recipe (or your chocolate one!) might be the one that will make me go further. Definitely trying this one soon!
      Thank you so much Thomas, I really appreciate that!
  14. Hi, love this recipe idea. Do you happen to know what someone could use if they are allergic to cashews? Thank you!
      Hi Stephanie, I'm so sorry but this recipe has to use the cashews. They are the base of the entire recipe and what makes the ice cream super creamy. Unfortunately, it doesn't work without them. I do have other ice cream recipes on the blog though that don't use cashews. This one is my most popular ice cream and does not use nuts.
  15. OMG, birthday cake in ice cream form.. I don't think there's anything more perfect than that. I have my birthday in January, which is usually a frowned-upon month to eat ice cream. I don't care. I want birthday cake ice cream :D
      Thank you so much Bianca!! Oh, I eat ice cream year round just like I eat soup year round....the weather never stops me from my cravings, haha!
  16. Oh my gosh! You are BRILLIANT! I love your lite coconut tip! I use coconut products so so much but don't want every single recipe to be coconut flavored! I also read that that triple-filtered coconut oil doesn't taste coconut-y either so I am so excited by your tip! Thank you for this delicious share Brandi! Dee xx
      Aww, thank you so much Dee, you are way too kind! I'm so happy you like it and I agree, coconut is great but it CAN be overpowering so the lite coconut milk saves the day! I use it for practically everything and have for years. It is definitely my favorite vegan milk!
  17. First and foremost, I hope you, your family and friends are OK, Brandi! I recently coordinated colleagues to raise school supplies for a middle school in Texas that had lost everything, including a few students. Hearing stories of the detestation hurts my heart. I will continue to send prayers and healing energy! I want to thank you for posting your latest recipe for this phenomenal birthday cake ice cream. It’s been a tough few weeks in my community, as well as what has been going on throughout the states and the world. I know it might sound lame, but comfort food such as this recipe helps to lighten spirits and make everything seem just a bit brighter. I know I’ve mentioned this to you before but finding gluten & oil free vegan recipes that taste just like, or most times, better than “regular recipes”, is a wonderful thing and wasn’t always easy to do until your blog and your genius ideas came into our lives. :) Many thanks for this decadent ice cream. SO INCREDIBLY GOOD!
      Thank you so very much Colleen for the awesome feedback, I'm so glad this ice cream was such a hit! Thank you as well for your kind words! No, doesn't sound lame at all. Honestly, it's been really tough for so many going through such devastating times. It is heartbreaking, so to have something simple like delicious food is not only comforting but a necessity. I'm so thankful you enjoy my recipes so much. It's always so wonderful to hear from you Colleen!
  18. Ela
    Wow, Brandi!! This vanilla ice cream looks so creamy and delicious. It's still extremely hot where I live, so I would love to give it a try. Such a great tip to use light coconut milk, even though I LOVE the taste of coconut but if the ice cream still gets creamy with less fat, well that's even better. ;) And potato in an ice cream?!? That's genius! I will definitely try it out. :)
      Thank you so much Ela! It really turned out even better than I hoped! I like coconut too, but with ice cream, I don't want my vanilla ice cream to taste like coconut, haha! Thank you!
  19. What an amazing recreation of birthday cake ice cream! I love your tip about using lite coconut milk and using a potato is just brilliant!
      Thank you so much Nisha! We really enjoyed it!
  20. We think alike because I also believe ice cream is never out of season! Especially when it looks this good! Love the cute multicoloured sprinkles! :D
      Thank you Nadia!
  21. OMGoodness Brandi you've outdone yourself with this recipe! This tastes exactly like cake batter! I've got to admit that I was pretty nervous putting vinegar in ice cream but it came out perfect. 5 stars!
      Yay Genevieve! Thank you so much for the amazing review, it was the best thing to hear!
  22. Hi Brandi! My post is long overdue. I made this just before Thanksgiving as a trial run. In my excitement I put the inside piece to my ice cream maker in wrong and it was frozen and I could not get the piece out in order for the cream to turn. What a joke this ordeal was. Somehow I managed to salvage enough to taste it and I was surprisingly pleased. My daughter arrived Tuesday evening and I made it again that Wednesday. I am happy to report that my daughter, her husband and their 17 month old son enjoyed this healthy version of ice cream. My husband on the other hand was hesitant to try it but could not resist doing so because of the dialogue from everyone in the house. "Not bad" said the chocolate ice cream lover. I am happy to say this gets a 5 star rating. Thank you for taking the time to create this birthday cake flavor ice cream. I sincerely appreciate it.
      Hi Tamara! Oh my gosh, I somehow missed this comment come through last month, I am so sorry! I have been so eager all this time waiting and wondering if you had made it, haha. I'm SO happy you finally did make it and even more than that, everybody loved it! Especially your daughter since I know this recipe request was for your daughter all along! Thank you again for requesting it and making it, as well as reporting back!
  23. I finally got a chance to make this ice cream. I'm amazed by how much it tastes like cake batter. Yum. This is so good!
      So awesome to hear that Allie! Thank you so much for the wonderful review and rating! I know right, kind of crazy...haha..I remember how amazed I was at the taste out of the blender myself, lol!
  24. oops- forgot to rate it :)
  25. Hi Brandi, I just wanted to let you know that my making this never should have happened. I don't like potatoes (other than sweet potatoes). I love salads, but I don't put vegetables in my desserts or beans in my brownies. I found a cookie dough recipe from Oh She Glows and couldn't stop laughing when I saw that Angela used potatoes. I was convinced it would be horrible, but it was amazing. I had a leftover potato and saw your recipe, so decided that I would try it. It's also amazing. I was surprised you used lite coconut milk - I've always used full-fat in ice cream. I guess the cashews make up for the fat missing in the coconut milk? I am also so happy that this ice cream DOES NOT get icy after storage and is so easy to scoop, even after a few days! That has been a rare occurrence for me with homemade ice cream. I've been layering it with chia pudding and topping with bananas. I don't think the ice cream tastes like cake, but definitely has a great vanilla flavor and is fine with me. I'm not a huge fan of cake, but do love ice cream (I guess even if it has a vegetable every once in awhile). I also made your pudding with sweet potatoes so will head over to rate that, too. Still not putting beans in brownies, though.
      Yay! Like the best feedback ever, thank you so much Laura! So glad you loved it so much! Thank you for an amazing review!
      Oh and yes, the cashews are what help give it that sweet natural vanilla cake-y flavor and give a lot of fat so that full fat coconut milk isn't needed. I don't like full fat usually in ice cream because the coconut flavor overpowers all the other flavors!
  26. Hi Brandi :) I have been failing with ice cream lately. I tried to make a chocolate coconut vegan ice cream and all I got was ice crystals. I didn't realize I had * to have an ice cream maker! The recipe I got it from never confirmed whether they used one or not. I would love to try this birthday cake recipe! how do you get yours to such creamy consistency and which brand of ice cream maker do you recommend? Thanks for posting! -Trish
      Hi Trishina! OH yes, an ice cream maker makes a HUGE difference in the final result and texture. The texture from my ice cream comes from the cashews and coconut milk and using the ice cream maker. This is the one I use:

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