Popcorn Crunch Ice Cream Cake is a Sweet Vegan & Gluten-Free Dessert


Have you had a rice crispy cake? What about a crispy ice cream cake? Okay, now take it to the next level with this popcorn crunch ice cream cake from The Popcorn Board. They shared this recipe with us for a super crispy, creamy, sweet, and fun layered dessert.

Popcorn Crunch Ice Cream Cake Recipe - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan Version (also allergy-friendly)

Popcorn Crunch Ice Cream Cake is a Sweet Vegan & Gluten-Free Dessert

There is no getting around it – this is a sweet and indulgent treat. The popcorn layers have a toffee-like crunch that contrasts the cool, creamy filling. Here are some tips for recipe modifications if you feel like mixing things up.

Not a corn syrup fan? The best substitutes are agave nectar or golden syrup. However, brown rice syrup or honey will also work well.

Is it too sweet? You can reduce the sweetener a smidgen – up to a 1/2 cup – and the recipe should still work.

Do you like coconut? Play it up! You can substitute part coconut oil and part liquid oil (like grapeseed, vegetable, etc) for the buttery spread. I don’t recommend using all coconut oil as it can form a rock hard barrier when frozen. You can also use a coconut-based ice cream.

Which ice cream to use? See our Dairy-Free Ice Cream Reviews for a good selection of brands. there aren’t many dairy-free butter pecan varieties (Tofutti and So Delicious No Sugar Added come in this flavor), but there are a lot of vanilla options, and even more flavors that would compliment this popcorn crunch ice cream cake. We like Haagen Dazs Coconut Caramel and Fronen Banana Coconut for this recipe, but there are many others that would work well.

Popcorn Crunch Ice Cream Cake Recipe - Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan Version (also allergy-friendly)

Special Diet Notes: Popcorn Crunch Ice Cream Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.

Popcorn Crunch Ice Cream Cake (Dairy-Free Version)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This "cake" is like a giant frozen novelty with crunchy sweet popcorn layers sandwiching a dairy-free ice cream filling. See the post above for a variety of substitution and serving suggestions.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 servings
  • 2 quarts air-popped popcorn
  • 4 ounces flaked coconut, toasted (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (see post above for alternatives)
  • ½ cup dairy-free buttery spread
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pints vanilla or butter pecan dairy-free ice cream (see post above for suggestions)
  • Fresh fruit, for topping (optional)
  • Dairy-free chocolate sauce, for topping (optional)
  1. In a large greased bowl, stir together the popcorn and coconut (If using).
  2. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan or line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, syrup, dairy-free buttery spread, water, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue cooking until the syrup reaches 290 to 295°F.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the syrup in a fine stream over the popcorn mixture, gently stirring until the popcorn is evenly coated.
  6. Working quickly, spread half the popcorn mixture in thin even layer, covering the bottom of your prepared pizza pan. Score into wedge-shaped servings. Remove that layer to a piece of parchment. Repeat using remaining popcorn mixture and let both layers cool completely.
  7. Cover one layer with dairy-free ice cream. Top with the second popcorn layer, lining up the score marks with the bottom layer.
  8. Freeze until firm.
  9. To serve, cut the popcorn cake in wedges. Serve with fruit or chocolate sauce, if desired.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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