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.
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.
VEGAN BIRTHDAY CAKE ICE CREAM
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 freezing….watch 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 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
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!
Vegan Birthday Cake Ice Cream
PLEASE READ THE CHILLING INSTRUCTIONS!
- 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 NOTES!)
- 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 fine sea salt (do not omit)
- 3 tablespoons vegan sprinkles (I use Sweetapolita vegan sprinkles)
- I use this scale.
- This is the ice cream maker I use.
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.
- If you don't have a Vitamix, you will need to soak the cashews overnight and drain, otherwise the ice cream will be gritty.
- 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.
- I cooked my potato wrapped in plastic wrap in the microwave until soft, then peeled the skin off.
- 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 20-25 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.
NO ICE CREAM MAKER DIRECTIONS
- 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.
- 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!
- COCONUT MILK: 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.
- ALLERGIC TO COCONUT: However, if you are allergic to coconut, 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. If you do not have a high-powered blender, soak the nuts overnight, drain and blend in a food processor, which usually results better than a weak blender.