4 Ingredient Dairy-Free Keto Ice Cream
How Does it Taste So Good?!
I didn’t believe you could make ice cream that tastes like the REAL thing without using dairy and sugar, but Oh. emm.. geeeee you guys. Now I believe!! I can’t believe how good this turned out. 100% plant based, all-natural ice cream.
Made with just FOUR simple, healthy ingredients?! YES. And it’s So easy. You’ve gotta try this!
Why You Won’t Regret Getting an Ice Cream Maker
Ok, here’s the “scoop” (pun intended, ha.) You need an ice cream maker. And here’s why. I’ve tried making the “no churn” ice creams before, but they didn’t taste like the REAL thing. Usually too firm, too dense, or too frosty.
I searched stores for a healthy, real-food, dairy-free ice cream — without any of the junk/artificial stuff/weird ingredients — and DID NOT find a single one that met my requirements.
So making my own was the solution! And I’m SO glad I did, because:
- An ice cream maker GREATLY improves the texture of the ice cream for a REAL DEAL ice cream experience
- It’s actually simple and EASY to make your own ice cream at home
- YOU control the ingredients (and the possibilities are endless!)
- Healthy ice creams are FEW and FAR between. There isn’t a whole-foods based, dairy-free, SUGAR-FREE ice cream even on the shelves that I know of! Especially that’s low-carb, keto, vegan and Paleo. You can’t get this in a store. You’ve gotta make it yourself.
Churning the ice cream for just 10 minutes aerates it, which gives it that fluffy, CREAMY to-die-for texture. ULTRA smooth, rich and creamy and SO satisfying.
For DELICIOUS homemade dairy-free ice cream with a creamy, fluffy texture, WITHOUT all the fillers and additives, you won’t regret getting an ice cream maker.
I have this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker! After reading tons of Amazon reviews and getting feedback from other seasoned dairy-free recipe developers, the decision was clear — Cuisinart brand all the way.
How NOT to Fail
In all honesty, there was a little bit of a learning curve involved and some frustrations and FAILS while learning to make ice cream *without dairy and sugar* that actually tastes like ice cream. It’s a tough job eating ice cream for a living, but somebody’s gotta do it, hahaha.
But seriously, there were some batches that turned way too icy, some way too gritty, some completely stuck to the bowl and had to be chiseled out with brute force!! UGH. But the good news is I endured all of that for you so you don’t have to! You’re welcome 😉
And now that I know what to do, it’s SUPER easy, super simple, and the flavor possibilities are endless! But in order to have the *best* outcome (NOT to fail) I highly recommend you follow my tips, rules & secrets below and the exact recipe. Trust me on this one.
Homemade Ice Cream Tips, Rules & Secrets
Rule #1: FREEZE the Bowl
This is stated in ALL ice cream maker manuals so it’s no secret, but people sometimes skimp this part. You must make sure your bowl is COMPLETELY frozen (which means you won’t hear any liquid sloshing around if you shake it.) The actual freezing time may vary, depending on the temp of your freezer, but it could take 12-24 hours. I keep my freezer at 1 degree (F) and place the bowl in the middle towards the back where it’s extra super duper cold.
Rule #2 Follow the Recipe
I admit I almost *never* follow a recipe as written. But here, I don’t recommend it. Why mess with perfection? 😉 But for real – different ingredients and different methods yield completely different outcomes.
Secret #1: Use NUT Butter
Why nut butter? This is the must-have ingredient to replace the volume of sugar, while also adding healthy fats and more creamy texture that also helps it not harden too much. Without it, the result is ICY due to the water content in the coconut milk. Icy = no bueno!
Secret #2: Add ALCOHOL
Yes, booze it up! Did you know alcohol doesn’t freeze? Adding it makes the ice cream NOT turn rock hard in the freezer. It keeps it soft and creamy! Trust me, you *don’t* want a solid block of ICE for dessert. You want ice CREAM. I used 2 Tbs of Mexican Vanilla extract, but you could also combine rum or vodka with your vanilla if you want! But I seriously LOVE the flavor of this Mexican vanilla.
TIP #1: Freeze the Mix
How do you make the ice cream NOT stick to the sides of your ice cream maker (making it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to remove without grabbing a sledgehammer?!) The mixture must be SUPER COLD before it touches the frozen ice cream maker bowl. If the temp is too different, the ice cream sticks BAD (like when you touch your tongue to a light pole (A Christmas Story anyone?)
TIP #2: Refreeze the Mix
After churning, the consistency will be like soft serve (which is good) but if you freeze it for one hour in a shallow container (I used a loaf pan) it tastes like LEGIT ice cream!
TIP #3: Thaw it
Patience, my friend! I know you’ll want to DIG IN as soon as it’s made, and you don’t want to wait. But if you let the ice cream sit on the counter for just a few minutes so it’s not as frozen, the result is INCREDIBLE. That 5-10 minutes is so worth it!! Promise.
TIP #4: WET the Scoop
Want easier, prettier scoops? Dip your ice cream scoop in a little bowl of warm water between each scoop. I don’t know why, but it makes the scoop glide through the ice cream like a BOSS. (Just don’t forget to shake off the excess water before scooping so there’s no extra water.
Don’t let all the tips and secrets make you think it’s complicated. It really is incredibly simple. Throw everything in a blender to make your mix. Chill, Churn, Freeze & Scoop!! See? EASY. 🙂
This ice cream is best served the same day. Since there are no fillers, additives, bulking agents, etc that commercial ice creams use for texture, you’ll get the best taste and texture when it’s freshly churned.
But if you do have leftovers or need to save it for another day, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
I recommend transferring it to the refrigerator for an hour or two* (keep an eye on it/check in periodically) to let it soften without melting too much.
You may use any DRY sweetener you like — try 2-4 Tbs of powdered sweetener such as:
- powdered monkfruit
- powdered erythritol
- powdered allulose blend
- powdered coconut sugar (use a blender to make homemade powdered sweetener)
What’s Your Favorite Flavor?
Now I wanna know, what FLAVOR ice cream do you wanna see a recipe for next? I’ve already got several ideas swimming around in my head, but I’d LOVE to hear what YOU want. Let me know in the comments: what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? I think mine is COOKIE DOUGH. Mmmmm.
Update: I made Low-Carb Cookie Dough Ice Cream! And LOTS more flavors. Check out all of them HERE.
Click the Image below to save this recipe on Pinterest:
4 Ingredient Dairy-Free Keto Ice Cream (Vegan & Paleo)
- 1 13.7 oz canned coconut milk - full fat *not lite*
- Heaping 1/3 cup natural almond butter - + pinch of salt if unsalted
- 2 Tbs vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp pure stevia powder - to taste, see notes for sub
- Place ice cream bowl in freezer for 24 hours or until completely solid.
- Blend all ingredients in a small blender.
- Taste and adjust if needed (more stevia, vanilla or salt)
- Chill mixture. Place blender container of ice cream mixture in the freezer for 1 hour prior to churning so it gets very cold, but not frozen.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn for about 10 minutes (or until thickened to soft serve consistency)
- Transfer ice cream to a loaf pan of shallow dish and freeze 1 hour.
- Thaw on the counter 5-10 minutes.
- Dip ice cream scoop in water to make scooping easier. ENJOY.
Is it possible to make it without an ice cream maker?
You can, but it doesn’t have the same consistency. Skip the churning step and freeze, removing every 20 minutes to whisk & aerate, repeating until frozen to your liking. 🙂 If you try it, please report back how it goes.
Can I use thai coconut cream?
Thai kitchen brand? Yes, but make sure you have 13 oz. not 5. 🙂 And you can add a little water/milk to thin it out a little if needed
Do you add the liquid stuff at the bottom of the full fat coconut milk?
I would love for you to try a coffee flavored ice cream. I’ve got a good idea in what I would do but would love to get your input. Thank
Great minds think alike 😉 That’s my most recent flavor creation. Recipe here
Faith Ann Lubitz
Thanks for your service! So I’ve got the 7-cup Cuisinart now, (came super fast!)..guess I need that ice cream maker too..lol. So isn’t 2 Tb of vanilla too strong tasting for that amount of ice cream?
Hope you have stock in Cuisinart!
It’s not too strong at all to me 🙂 You can add a little less and taste it, but I love my vanilla so much I could drink it haha!
Glad you got the food processor! Yep now you need the ice cream maker too 🙂 I love it.
Hey pretty pies maven… Love the ice cream recipe can’t wait to get me an ice cream maker and get on top of this one!
My faves are… Cookies and cream, Cardiman ice cream, lavender, and lemon cookie.
Oh my goodness those flavors sound incredible!! I had never thought about lemon cookie ice cream. I need to try blending some of my “Life Changing Lemon Cookies” in there. Yum!! Thanks for the ideas 🙂 So many flavors to make- I’ve gotta get to work!
Hello. What is the serving size please? I would love to see coffee or pralines and cream my 2 favorites. Also, how strong is the coconut flavor for this recipe?
Hi Debbie! I got about 5 servings out of mine. Each had 2 small scoops. I’m sorry I don’t know the exact amount.. but I would estimate 1/3 cup per serving.
I did not taste a strong coconut flavor (but I do love coconut) To me it has a vanilla flavor with a hint of almond butter.
Oh yum!!! Coffee is definitely one of my favorites too. Adding those to my list! I can’t wait to do some experimenting with flavors
Thank you for the recipe. What about a pistachio ice cream?
You are welcome! I have never tried pistachio! Must try 🙂
I am looking forward to trying this. I am doing Keto. I entered the recipe into My Fitness Pal. At 5 servings per batch, here are the macros: 256 total calories, 5.6g carbs, 21.8g fat, 4.9g protein. Perfect for Keto!
Could you please recreate butter pecan, pistachio and cherry garcia flavors?
Delish! Adding to my list!
I am not sure what I am doing wrong! I followed your recipe exactly and the mixture has been churning in the Cuisinart ice cream maker for an hour and it is just as thin as it was when I put it in. Help!
Hmm that is strange. I’ve never had that happen. I’m sorry. Was your bowl frozen for 24-48 hours?
The bowl is probably melted by now. You can just move the mixture to a shallow dish and freeze until it firms up some. I think it should still be ok that way.
Another option is to freeze into ice cubes and then blend it (if you have a really good blender)
Hope you still enjoy!
Can you use heavy cream instead of coconut milk?
Yes you can
Is it possible to use erythritol instead of stevia?
If it’s powdered, that should work. I’m not sure of the amount, but maybe start with 2-3 Tbs and taste it. You can always add more
Just made this as my first ice cream homemade! Consistency is very very good. Was super easy to make also! The only thing I wish I eased up on was the sweetener. I used 1/2 cup of Erythritol. Wooooooah nelly. Super sweet. Will do half that next time. Will be making this again.
So glad you liked it! I need to try with granulated sweetener next time 🙂
Thank you for this awesome recipe! My grandson needs less sugar than regular ice cream. Can I double the recipe? I didn’t read about that. Thanks again!
Yes you can Just double check the size of your ice cream maker but it should be fine!
This recipe makes about 2 1/4 cups, so if doubling you’d need one that holds 5 cups (1 1/2 quart size, or larger)
Hope you enjoy! You are welcome
I made this today & used fresh ground almond butter.
Sadly, the results were that there were tiny pieces of almond in the ice cream and the almond flavor overpowered the vanilla extract. I will use a smooth almond butter, from a jar, next time.
I did not taste the mixture before putting it in the freezer and did not add a pinch of salt. I would use a vanilla bean or paste next time, instead of the extract & decrease the amount of stevai, as it was a tad too sweet for me. My house mate love it, tiny pieces of almond and all!
I loved that the Cuisinart made the soft serve in less than ten minutes! Was very impressed.
Hoping to make again with the smooth almond butter & vanilla bean/paste & will use fresh peaches in my next batch!
Thank you so much for this great recipe!
So happy to find a vegan recipe using stevia!
Many many thanks!
You are welcome! Yes definitely try with smooth almond butter. And a good quality Mexican vanilla makes the flavor really pop. Adding beans would be amazing too!
How much alcohol should we add to this recipe, or any recipe, if we want to incorporate that?
I used vanilla extract for the alcohol, but you can sub that with vodka if you’d like
Okay, great! Thanks!
I increased the stevia a little and added cacao powder. After the ice cream was done in the ice cream maker, I added a few mini chocolate chips (no dairy, but a little sugar), a little unsweetened coconut flakes, and a few cut up almonds (maybe an 1/8 of a cup each, this is a small recipe.) So kind of like Almond Joy.
Also I’ll double next time. My ice cream maker wasn’t even half full.
Yum! I love almond joy flavor Great idea
Hi, your recipe looks fantastic.
I usually work in the evenings and get home late to start supper. This ice cream is pretty hands on for a couple hours prior to consuming – can I make it at say 1 pm and leave it in the freezer till 9?
Ideally I’d mix it while making dinner and let it churn while we eat, but this combination has a lot of freezer prep, where can I cut corners?
Hi there! Thank you!
You can make the mix and refrigerate it all day (for up to 5 days) until you’re ready to churn it.
The 1-hour pre-churn freeze just helps it get as cold as possible to prevent sticking to your machine. But refrigerating for several hours should be ok, too.
One thing I discovered last week: you can actually churn the ice cream, freeze it overnight, and then thaw it in the fridge (!!) for a few hours until it’s soft again! It’s delicious!!
It’s not exactly the same as freshly churned but i love it! And it’s wayyy way better than rock hard leftover ice cream!
Hope that helps!
I love ice cream, but am allergic to diary so I was excited to come across your recipe; unfortunately though, I also have an intolerance to coconut milk. Do you know if there is a suitable alternative?
Thanks for sharing all your recipes
Yes! I’m working on a cashew milk ice cream recipe I’m not done testing it yet, but you can use homemade (thicker) cashew milk instead of coconut milk and almond butter. About 1 cup raw cashews blended with 1.5 cups water.
Thank you. Can’t wait!
Have you tried substituting the almond butter with organic poppy seeds?
I haven’t. Never heard of doing that. But I do love poppy seeds! 🙂
This really did turn out delicious, though a bit hard and icy once left in the freezer. Would substituting half of the coconut milk with coconut CREAM possibly make it even creamier or softer?
It still tends to freeze hard, but what I discovered is I can place the frozen solid ice cream in the fridge for a little while to soften it back up. It works wonderfully for me 🙂 Thawed without melting.
Hi Emily, I just tried this recipe and the taste of the almond overpowered everything else. I did use smooth almond from a jar and I even increased the amount of vanilla, but no matter what I do it still just tastes like almond butter. Is there a substitution for the almond butter that doers not have such a strong flavor? Thanks!
I’m sorry 🙁 I use homemade almond butter from dry roasted almonds which has a very neutral flavor. I prefer that over store-bought almond butter. Different brands can have different tastes. An alternative is raw cashew butter.
Nut allergy. 🙁 Could subbing sunflower butter work?
Yes! It may add a little bit of sunflower flavor. I do have lots of ice cream recipes on my site though if you want to hide the flavor — mint, chocolate, strawberry & more 🙂 prettypies.com/tag/ice-cream
If you use the alcohol for consistency, how much? Also does the vanilla not already have enough alcohol in it to omit the addition of the alcohol?
Use vanilla for the alcohol. No need to add anything else.
Thanks so much! I like your site looking forward to perusing it further!
Can you use a vitamix blender to make the ice cream ?
To blend the mixture, yes, I don’t see why not 🙂
This turned out amazing! Thank you!
So happy to hear! You are so welcome
I have an ice cream maker with a compressor so I assume I don’t have to pre-freeze?
Possibly! I’m honestly not sure.‘I haven’t seen those types of makers before. If you try it let me know how it goes
I made this for the first time last night. I added some unsweetened chocolate chips and blended and it came out delicious! Overnight in the freezer it got a little bit hard, but as it warms up the consistency is pretty nice. Thank you for this great recipe!
Glad you liked it:) thanks for your review!
Hi tried coconut milk keto recipie (26 oz milk) and 1 Tablespoon vodka.
Ice cream has frozen hard! Do I need to add more vodka to keep it soft?
Thanks so much!! Nita
Yes I would add more. I use a 13 oz can of coconut milk.
But to save your ice cream already made, I would try leaving it in the refrigerator for a while to soften to the consistency you like. Hope that helps!
Would love a recipe for Caramel ice cream