Sometimes, the simple things in life can be exactly what we need. In this case, it’s super-easy, budget-friendly, dairy-free ice cream sandwiches. I love that I can mix and match the flavors and toppings, how well they store, and that they are portioned nicely, so I can have just a treat rather than a full-blown dense dessert.
The Easiest Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches with Gluten-Free Options
This pseudo-recipe is really is about mixing things up. So I have several options and quick answers to common FAQs.
Why Graham Crackers?
For several reasons. They’re just the right thickness for Eskimo-style sandwiches. They’re not too sweet, because isn’t the ice cream sweet enough? And the shape is perfect for storage! Graham squares (sheets broken in half) make it easy to even out the ice cream so it is flat on all sides, the plastic wrap seamlessly folds right over them, and they fit perfectly, Tetris style, in the freezer. Plus, they’re naturally dairy-free (of course, always check the ingredients to verify!) and you can get either plain or chocolate graham crackers to mix things up.
What are the Gluten-Free and Vegan Graham Cracker Alternatives?
For gluten-free graham crackers, I really like Kinnikinnick S’moreables. But I’ve heard good things about Pamela’s Honey Grahams, which are also egg-free (they still contain honey). Graham crackers aren’t always vegan, since many brands contain honey. But check your local store brands – there is usually a vegan gem somewhere in town. Alternatively, you can use Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies. The non-graham varieties are vegan, in addition to being gluten-free and allergy-friendly. I’ve used them quite a bit for dairy-free ice cream sandwiches.
Which Ice Cream Do You Recommend?
Your favorite one, or whatever is on sale! But here is a ranking of the Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream if you need a place to start. And for the truly budget-minded, you can make your own. Here are 31 Flavors of Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes.
Can You Recommend any other Topping Options?
Yes, you can certainly have fun rolling the edges in other tasty toppings. I also like crushed oreo-style cookies, toasted coconut, crushed nuts, and my no bake crumble (it freezes well!). And instead of a chocolate dip, you could use my Peanut Butter Magic Shell Recipe for a peanut buttery coating.
Special Diet Notes: Easy Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian. See the post above to ensure you choose the ingredients that suit your dietary needs.
- 1 pint dairy-free ice cream (see post above)
- 4 graham cracker sheets (gluten-free and/or vegan, if needed; see post above)
- Dairy-free mini chocolate chips or sprinkles, for garnish (optional)
- Let the ice cream sit on the counter for about 15 to 20 minutes to soften.
- Give the ice cream a stir to make it uniform in consistency.
- If using full graham cracker sheets, break them in half, into squares.
- Place a baking sheet or flat freezer-safe plate in the freezer.
- Place a graham square on a flat surface, bottom side up, and top with a thick layer of the ice cream (about ¼ cup). It doesn't need to be pretty at this point.
- Gently top with a second graham or cookie, lightly pressing down to seal, without breaking it. Place it in the freezer on your baking sheet or plate, and repeat with the remaining graham crackers and ice cream.
- Once the sandwiches have chilled for about 20 to 30 minutes, remove them one by one and smooth the sides.
- If desired, place some chocolate chips or sprinkles on a plate, and roll the ice cream sides to cover. Freeze until solid, about 30 minutes.
- Individually wrap the ice cream sandwiches and keep them in the freezer until cravings strike.
Nutrition Notes: The nutrition facts are based on Honey Maid graham crackers and So Delicious vanilla cashew milk ice cream. Obviously the nutrition can vary widely based on the dairy-free ice cream that you choose.
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Leanne, I’ve only seen vanilla and chocolate in the Vancouver area, but may not gone to enough stores…
Hi, what is the best cookie recipe for this idea? This is fabulous!
I’m a sucker for oatmeal cookies for ice cream sandwiches. I use the recipe in Go Dairy Free, but these are also from my kitchen and would be yummy: Chocolate Explosion Oatmeal Cookies and Gluten-Free Bakery Style Oatmeal Cookies
Such a simple treat that you’ve created, Alisa! Wow, I didn’t know that they had a cookie dough ice cream that was gluten-free… I wonder if it’s in Canada? I usually just avoid anything cookie dough thinking it’s probably just something I cannot have. I usually just make my own (with bananas or soaked cashews) but sometimes I like to treat myself to the store bought versions.
I’ll check on that Leanne. mmm, love ice cream with cashews!