This no-churn vegan cherry chocolate chunk ice cream is a sweet summer dream. Heaps of sweet cherries and chopped dark chocolate are folded into a naturally sweetened and super creamy cherry ice cream base. Best part? Thanks to Medjool dates and cashew butter, there’s no need for a fancy ice cream maker or lengthy churn to make this epic vegan treat ultra rich and exceptionally dreamy!
This post is sponsored by Natural Delights. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If I were to choose just one dessert to enjoy for the rest of my days, it’d be a toss-up between ice cream and cookies. Perhaps I’d go halfsies and split the time between both dessert genres: cookies in the fall and winter, ice cream in the spring and summer.
Yes, I think that would do the trick.
Although… a gal would be remiss to relinquish the opportunity to ever unite the two sweets as one again. Hypothetical dessert catastrophes…
…the struggle is (not) real.
But in all seriousness, I’d be willing to bet all the pretty pennies that this vegan cherry chocolate chunk ice cream could satiate even the most inattentive of sweet teeth for the rest of their days.
Dan’s gone right ahead and declared it his new favorite sweet thing ever, which means the Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars on page 262 of my cookbook have been knocked from their #1 spot on his prestigious taste charts.
Can’t say I blame the guy, because this ice cream truly is special.
Heaps of sweet cherries and chopped dark chocolate are folded into a naturally sweetened and super creamy no-churn cherry ice cream base. The result is a pink-hued ice cream overflowing with rich chocolate and tangy cherries, which play off one another’s flavors in the best of ways.
There’s a two-fold secret to creating a super rich ice cream that’s completely churn-free, and I’d be happy to let you in on it: Natural Delights Medjool Dates + cashew butter. Because neither the dates nor the cashew butter freeze completely, they allow the ice cream to set with a silky, scoop-able texture without the need for a snazzy ice cream maker or lengthy churn session. The Medjool dates also naturally sweeten the ice cream, so there’s no need for added sugar either.
To make this vegan cherry chocolate chunk ice cream, you’ll start by gathering your ingredients.
» Unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
» 100% pure tart montmorency cherry juice
» Natural Delights Medjool Dates
» Cashew butter (I use homemade—see recipe notes)
» Almond butter (or simplify and use all cashew butter)
» Vanilla extract + almond extract
» Sea salt
» Grated beet (optional, for color)
» Chopped frozen sweet cherries
» Chopped dark chocolate
Once you’ve rounded up your ingredients, you’ll add everything except for the chocolate and frozen sweet cherries to a blender. Then, blend, blend, blend until the mixture is super smooth and creamy.
Pour about half of the cherry ice cream base into a lined loaf pan. Then, sprinkle with the chopped cherries and dark chocolate, and use a toothpick to gently mix and fold into the ice cream base.
Carefully transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze for at least 8 hours to set the ice cream.
Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 20 minutes prior to serving to soften to a creamy, scoop-able texture.
Then, scoop, scoop, scoop to your heart’s content.
I have to say, I’m typically more of a bowl-and-spoon girl, but I’ve been loving this ice cream tucked into crisp waffle cones. There’s something sort of magical about it, and it reminds me of happy childhood memories.
I hope this ice cream finds as special a place in your heart as it has in mine. Happy scooping!
No-Churn Vegan Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
This no-churn vegan cherry chocolate chunk ice cream is a sweet summer dream. Heaps of sweet cherries and chopped dark chocolate are folded into a naturally sweetened and super creamy cherry ice cream base. Best part? Thanks to Medjool dates and cashew butter, there's no need for a fancy ice cream maker or lengthy churn to make this epic vegan treat ultra rich and exceptionally dreamy!
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
- 1 1/2 cups 100% pure tart cherry juice
- 1 1/4 cups pitted and packed Natural Delights Medjool Dates (about 16 dates)
- 1 cup raw cashew butter*
- 1/4 cup natural almond butter**
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional, for a richer cherry flavor)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2–3 teaspoons grated fresh beet (optional, for color)
- 10 ounces pitted frozen sweet cherries, roughly chopped (keep frozen)
- 1 (3.5-ounce) bar non-dairy dark chocolate, finely chopped
Line a 5"x10" loaf pan with parchment paper.
In a high-speed blender, combine the almond milk, cherry juice, dates, cashew butter, almond butter, vanilla, almond extract, sea salt, and grated beet (if using). Blend on high for 3 minutes, or until completely smooth.
Pour about half of the ice cream base into the lined pan and sprinkle with half of the sweet cherries and dark chocolate. Use the pointy end of a chopstick or a toothpick to gently mix into the ice cream base. Top with the remaining ice cream base and sprinkle the surface with the remaining cherries and chocolate. Again, use a toothpick or chopstick to gently mix into the ice cream base.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours, or until the ice cream has set.
Let the ice cream stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before scooping or serving. Dip an ice cream scoop in hot water and use it to scoop the ice cream. Serve as is or, for a custard-like treat, scoop as much ice cream as desired into a food processor and process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until it takes on a thick soft-serve texture, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
Store in the freezer, loosely covered, for up to one week.
*Make your own cashew butter by blending 3 cups raw cashews in a food processor for 6 minutes or until smooth (it should be very thick), stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. If the cashew butter is chunky and clumping as it moves around the food processor, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of filtered water to encourage blending and to yield a smooth, creamy cashew butter. Measure off the amount needed for the recipe and store the extra cashew butter the refrigerator in an airtight jar or container.
**To simplify, you can omit the almond butter and use a full 1 1/4 cups cashew butter (that said, I very much prefer a hint of almond butter in this ice cream); however, do not omit or substitute the cashew butter—it's very important to the texture of the ice cream.
***This recipe was inspired by the Unconventional Baker's nutty, no-churn ice cream magic!