Back when Kelly Brozyna released her Dairy-Free Ice Cream book, she shared this sample recipe for dairy-free Sunbutter fudge ripple ice cream with us. It’s a rich, yet remarkably healthy frozen dessert that’s made with a luxurious blend of sunflower seed butter and coconut milk, and swirled with decadent dairy-free chocolate. We’ve recently updated this post.
Sunbutter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream that’s Decadent, Dairy-Free, and Nutritious
Kelly is known for infusing healthful ingredients into all of her recipes, and for using natural sweeteners, like coconut sugar, apple juice, honey, agave nectar, or dates. That said, you might want to make some substitutions, or could have ingredient questions. So we’re addressing some FAQs upfront.
What Can I Substitute for the Dates?
You can substitute another sweetener, like sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup. I would start with 1/2 cup, taste test, and add more if needed. Keep in mind that the mixture will taste a little less sweet once frozen. I would avoid using another fruit in lieu of the dates. Dates are very sweet. A half cup of bananas, for example, wouldn’t provide enough sweetness, no matter how ripe they are.
What is Guar Gum? Is it Required?
Guar gum is a thickener that is extracted from guar beans. It’s similar in function to xanthan gum, but is used more often in creamy applications. For this sunbutter ice cream, it both bind and thicken, preventing ice crystals and a hard texture. You can substitute xanthan gum, or if needed, you can omit it.
How is this Recipe Nut-Free?
The FDA caused mass confusion when they decided to label coconuts as tree nuts, simply because the word “nut” is in the name. Coconuts are actually drupes (fruits) not tree nuts. And studies have shown that people with tree nut allergies are no more likely to be allergic to coconut than anyone else. See our post on Coconuts vs Tree Nuts for more information.
Can I Use Another “Butter” Alternative?
Technically, you can use peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, soy butter, pea butter, or whatever peanut butter alternative you choose. Just keep the flavor profile in mind, and make sure it suits your dietary needs.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Sunbutter Fudge Ripple Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. It’s also optionally paleo-friendly. Just be sure to choose the dairy-free chocolate chips and milk beverage that suit your dietary needs.
- ⅓ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk
- ½ cup soft pitted medjool dates (soaked first if they are dry)
- 1½ cups unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- ¼ cup SunButter (sunflower seed butter)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon guar gum (see post above)
- Pinch sea salt
- Pour the chocolate chips into a heat safe bowl.
- Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer.
- Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate chips and let them sit for 30 seconds.
- Stir until melted and smooth.
- Add the coconut milk, and dates to a high power blender or food processor, and puree until creamy and smooth.
- Add the milk beverage, SunButter, vanilla, guar gum, and salt, and puree until creamy and smooth.
- Freeze the mixture for about 1 hour or refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
- Process the mixture in your ice cream maker per your manufacturer's directions.
- Once the ice cream maker has finished, layer the ice cream with the ganache in a freezer-safe container.
- Cover and freeze until hard enough to scoop, about 4 hours.
More Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes
Ultra-Rich Peanut Butter Ice Cream (Sunbutter option)
Pumpkin Spice Latte Ice Cream
Pina Colada Ice Cream
I can’t get enough of the PB ice cream I just made but I think this vegan sunbutter version would give it a run for it’s money!
Hi there, def going to make this ice cream. I’ve never used hemp seeds before, do they give ice cream a creamyness like cashews?
Hi Fiona, when made into a hemp milk, they can be used in place of the cashew milk, but will have a stronger flavor.
ok. Does the hemp milk make it creamy?
The full-fat coconut milk and sunbutter are really what contribute to the creaminess most. You can use any non-dairy milk for the hemp milk. Kelly just prefers to use hemp milk or cashew milk, but rice, soy, almond, or flax milk will work fine, too.
Did you know that I just made my first ever batch of sunflower seed butter just a couple days ago!??!? And I’ve been eating it stright from the spoon, which is fine, but I feel like it deserves something more.
Any idea if guar could be replaced with something or just outright omitted?
Well, it could be replaced with xanthan gum, but I think you already knew that! I would say omit. It’s my understanding that gums are added to ice cream to improve consistency and help prevent “holes” where ice crystals form, but it should be pretty darn tasty and creamy without it!