This is a gourd frozen dessert recipe for all seasons! Enjoy this vegan pumpkin cheesecake ice cream as a cool and creamy treat in spring and summer, or a rich and festive treat in the cooler months. It has a light pumpkin influence that you can double down on, if you wish.
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream is Sweet, Rich, and Timeless
This vegan pumpkin pie ice cream was a Runner-Up Recipe from the Go Veggie Dairy-Free Ice Cream Contest. The entrants used Go Veggie Vegan Cream Cheese Alternative (made by Galaxy Nutritional Foods) to create a vegan ice cream recipe. This recipe was created by Brad Wolff.
Brad uses a few ingredients that you might recognize from other dairy alternative recipes: lecithin, xanthan gum, and oil. Lecithin helps to emulsify the oil with the other ingredients, and xanthan gum binds that emulsification to create a creamier finish with less iciness. Here are some notes on these ingredients to help you.
Do you need it? Maybe, but it’s not necessary. I don’t use lecithin in my Dairy-Free Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream Recipe, because most milk beverages contain enough lecithin to emulsify the whole blend. Depending on the cream cheese alternative you use, you might not need to add the lecithin. It might emulsify the mixture just fine without adding lecithin. If you decide to try it, you can buy soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin.
Do you need it? It does help. I do use a little bit of gum in my Dairy-Free Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream Recipe. With ice cream recipes that contain oil, gum helps to lock in the emulsion and create a creamier finish. You can omit it, but it’s possible that the pumpkin cheesecake ice cream will be a little icier or it might separate a little as it melts. You can use xanthan gum or guar gum – the latter is corn-free.
Do you need it? Recommended, but there are other options. Oil might seem like an odd ingredient, but it’s merely a plant-based fat that helps to add richness to the finish without dairy. It also helps to soften the ice cream. This is one time when I recommend skipping coconut oil (and palm oil) as it sets up too firmly when frozen. Other oils stay liquid, even when frozen, resulting in softer vegan pumpkin cheesecake ice cream. If you want to make it oil-free, you can substitute 1/4 cup coconut cream. It will cause this frozen dessert to be more firm and possibly a little icier.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- ¼ cup neutral-tasting oil (your favorite type for baking)
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¼ teaspoon liquid lecithin
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, or more to taste
- 1 (14-ounce) can full fat coconut milk
- 1 (8-ounce) tub dairy-free cream cheese alternative (Brad used Go Veggie)
- ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup agave nectar
- Dairy-free graham crackers, for serving, optional (use vegan or gluten-free graham crackers if needed)
- Put the oil, xanthan gum, lecithin, and spice in a small bowl and whisk until the xanthan is dissolved.
- Pour the coconut milk into a blender along with the cream cheese alternative, pumpkin, and agave. Blend on high for 30 seconds
- With the blender running on high, slowly pour the oil mixture into the blender
- Continue to blend until all ingredients are thoroughly blended
- Set the blender container in your refrigerator to cool for 2 hours
- Pour the cooled mixture into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions
- Serve immediately or pack into a freezer container and freeze for several hours
- To serve, scoop ice cream into small bowls. Optionally top with graham cracker crumbles.