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.