It’s National Root Beer Float Day, which reminds me of a fun recipe that Hannah Kaminsky shared with us many years ago. It’s dairy-free root beer ice cream! Hannah makes reverse floats with it, bobbing a scoop or two in vanilla crème soda. But she also says it’s delicious on its own, or smothered with dairy-free hot fudge sauce.
Float Away with this Vegan Root Beer Ice Cream Recipe
When temperatures are hot, we love refreshing desserts, like this dairy-free root beer ice cream. It’s a little closer to ice milk in consistency, but still so satisfyingly creamy. That said, I have a couple options and answers to common FAQs.
Why Can’t I Use Diet Soda?
Sugar is essential for soft, melty, creamy ice cream. Without it, your frozen dessert will be more like a brick. That’s why sugar-free ice creams are often hard, and why they use more additives.
How Can I Make this a Root Beer Ice Cream a Bit Creamier?
The easiest way is to substitute full-fat canned coconut milk or coconut cream for the milk beverage. You’ll also want to add vanilla extract. I would use 1 to 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, to taste. You can add it at the same time as the root beer extract.
Where Do I Find Root Beer Extract?
I have seen it in stores, but not very often. It’s easiest to find online from retailers like Amazon. Believe it or not, there are quite a few brands available. In addition to root beer ice cream, you can use the extract to make your own sodas and in root beer float cupcakes!
How Can I Make this Recipe without an Ice Cream Maker?
There are a few methods. See our guide to Homemade Dairy-Free Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Root Beer Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose the milk beverage that suits your dietary needs.
- 1 cup vanilla dairy-free milk beverage
- 1½ tablespoons arrowroot starch (can sub cornstarch)
- 1 cup root beer (NOT diet)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon root beer extract
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk beverage and starch until the starch is dissolved. Whisk in the root beer, sugar, and salt.
- Place the pan over medium heat, and cook, whisking every few minutes, until the mixture comes to a rapid boil. Immediately remove the pan from the stove, and whisk in the root beer extract.
- Pour the mixture into a large glass measuring cup or similar container, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until cold.
- Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer the churned ice cream to a freezer safe container, and freeze for 4 to 6 hours, or until sold.