Whenever someone says dairy-free ice cream isn’t rich enough, I simply point them to this Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe. It gets a double dose of creamy from the peanut butter and the coconut milk, two flavors that blend seamlessly. To add indulgence to the indulgence, I swirl homemade Peanut Butter Chunks into the luscious ice cream. The recipe is a sample from my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook.
How to Make the Most Luxurious Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Ice Cream
This Peanut Butter Parad-Ice Cream, as I call it in Go Dairy Free, is a truly decadent treat. But it’s also surprisingly easy! Here are some tips, options, and notes to help you decide how to make it.
Choosing the Right Base
My original recipe uses 2 cans of full-fat canned coconut milk. That makes a very, very rich and creamy ice cream. I’ve since updated the recipe with an option for using all or part lite canned coconut milk. I find that the lite coconut milk is still quite creamy, but a good option if you don’t want it to be too rich.
I do not recommend using a milk beverage, unless you want to make “ice milk” instead of “ice cream.” See my Coconut Milk Guide for a detailed explanation on coconut milk vs beverage. If you can’t do coconut, see my Coconut Substitution Guide.
The Secret to Homemade Peanut Butter Chunks
You can make this vegan peanut butter ice cream without the chunks, but why? They are a thicker and softer version of the Peanut Butter Chips recipe in my book, Go Dairy Free: The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook.
The chips are firm, like chocolate chips, which can be too hard on teeth when frozen in ice cream. So I made these peanut butter chunks that taste like sweet, unrefined peanut butter chips, but they stay gently soft when frozen. It’s a delicious, peanut buttery melt-in-your-mouth experience.
Do You Need an Ice Cream Maker?
Since they continuously churn the ice cream as it cools, ice cream makers help to create a creamy consistency with minimal ice formation. And they can be relatively inexpensive. The Aicok Ice Cream Maker and Cuisinart ICE-21R Ice Cream Maker work well, and sell for a fair price.
But if you don’t have one of these handy appliances, simply check out my article on Tips for Making Homemade Dairy-Free Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker. Then, come back and make this beloved peanut butter ice cream recipe …
Reader Raves for this Peanut Butter Parad-Ice Cream
I’ve received some feedback on this dairy-free peanut butter ice cream recipe via social media too:
I made this tonight and upped the peanut butter to 1 cup and added mini chocolate chips instead of the peanut butter pieces… Soooo good and so easy compared to dairy based ice creams! ~ Katie
I put it in a metal cake pan and froze. It turned out great. Very peanut buttery! ~ Amy
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, optionally peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, refined sugar-free, and optionally paleo.
- 2 (14-ounce) cans lite coconut milk, full-fat coconut milk, or one of each
- ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter (can substitute sunflower seed butter for peanut free)
- ⅔ cup agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, or cane sugar, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla flavoring or extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (optional; can omit if using salted peanut butter)
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (can substitute sunflower seed butter for peanut free)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring or extract
- To make the peanut butter ice cream, put the coconut milk, peanut butter, sweetener, vanilla, and salt (if using) in your blender. Blend until smooth and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
- Put the blender jar in the refrigerator and let the mixture cool for 1 hour or more.
- To make the peanut butter chunks, put the peanut butter, sweetener, oil, and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Heat, while whisking, until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Line a plate with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Pour the melted peanut butter chunk mixture onto the plate and spread it out with a silicone spatula, if needed, to about ¼-inch thickness.
- Place the plate in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Cut the peanut butter chunk mixture into small pieces. Carefully break them up (they will be a little soft at room temperature) and return them to the freezer.
- Churn the chilled mixture in your prepared ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is almost fully churned, add the frozen peanut butter chunks.
- Pack the soft ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 3 hours or more for hard-packed ice cream.