I originally created this vegan cheesecake ice cream recipe for Go Veggie!, and they loved it so much that they created an entire recipe contest around it! I shared it here on Go Dairy Free a few years ago for National Cheesecake Day and thought it was time to update the recipe for this year’s festivities.
Photo by my good friend, Hannah Kaminsky.
Vegan Cheesecake Ice Cream with So Many Delicious Possibilities
The vegan cheesecake ice cream is so incredibly delicious on its own, but it also serves as cool and creamy canvas for your flavor cravings. My favorite toppings are this Maple Blueberry Sauce and “Cheesecake” Graham Cracker Crust Crumbles. Yes, cheesy graham crumbles – they are as good as they sound! Here are some more quick tips in FAQ format.
Which Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Alternative do you Recommend?
As mentioned, I originally created it with Go Veggie. But that brand is becoming harder to find. See our Best Dairy-Free Cream Cheese post for additional recommendations. We taste tested eight different brands!
Can I Make this into a Frozen Dairy-Free Cheesecake?
Yes! But you might need to double the recipe to fill a pie tin. I would use a graham cracker pie crust (most brands are dairy-free), pack the soft serve ice cream in (right after churning) and freeze. To serve, I would top with the blueberry sauce.
Can I Use Another Nut or Make this Nut-Free?
Honestly, cashews are the best here. Macadamia nuts could work well. Blanched almonds are a generally good substitute, but they will influence the flavor more. For nut-free, I’d recommend swapping the cashews and the water / milk beverage for about 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk. I would then add some more vanilla, to taste. But please note that I haven’t tested that coconut milk option.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Cheesecake Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose the cream cheese alternative and liquid that suit your dietary needs.
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese alternative (see post above)
- 1 cup water or unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- ¾ cup sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Place the cashews in a spice grinder or food processor, and whiz for 60 seconds, or until powdered.
- Add the ground cashews, cream cheese alternative, ½ cup of the water or milk alternative, sugar, lemon juice (to taste - use more for a bigger "tang"), vanilla, and salt to a blender or food processor, and mix on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well blended. Briefly blend in the remaining ½ cup of liquid.
- Place the blender jar in your refrigerator, and let the mixture chill for 2 hours.
- Make sure the canister for your ice cream maker was frozen overnight. Add the mixture to your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When done, you will have some tasty soft serve. Pack it into a freezer safe container, and chill in the freezer for several hours to get hard packed ice cream.
- Enjoy scoops straight up or with optional toppings.
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Place the blender jar in your refrigerator, and let the mixture chill for 2 hours. Make sure the canister or your ice cream maker was frozen overnight.
Yes, those instructions are in the recipe!
I’m always happy to get out the ice cream maker! I love that my lactose-intolerant niece will get to enjoy it too now!
This not only looks great but sounds incredible! Blueberry and maple?! Cheesecake (healthy) ice cream?? Yes please!
That is some seriously beautiful ice cream! So smooth and creamy!
Thank you Trish!
I love how you use cashews in this – such an interesting combo!
Just a head’s up it says the recipe is nut-free, but then contains tree nuts. Also, out of curiosity, any idea whether one could substitute anything for the cashews?
Thanks J, just a typo, should have just said peanut-free – fixed now. You can sub full-fat coconut milk for the milk bev and cashews – probably around 1 1/2 cups, but I haven’t tested, so I’m not sure on the exact amount.
This looks like such a creamy ice cream! I love that it is cheesecake flavored. My favorite!
It is amazing that this is vegan, it looks so rich and creamy! I can only imagine how good it tastes 🙂
It tastes pretty darn awesome and yes, dairy-free but so, so creamy!
of course this would inspire a contest – cheesecake ice cream is my favorite! this sounds so good…
Aw, thanks Kristina 🙂
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Can you tell me what to do with the other half cup of “milk”? The recipe looks fabulous but I’m just not sure where the other half goes? Lol thanks!
Oops, thanks for catching that error Cabrini! I’ve fixed it. You blend in half at first as it will blend better when thicker. Then blend in the other half. If you want it ultra-rich, you can just use 1/2 cup, and adjust the lemon juice to taste.