These vegan salted caramel-cashew chocolate covered ice cream bars are my favorite summer treat. No-churn, caramel-cashew ice cream is slathered with a thick layer of vegan caramel and coated in a thin, perfectly crisp dark chocolate shell. The salted caramel-cashew ice cream is churn-free all thanks to dates and cashew butter. Both ingredients work their magic to keep the ice cream luscious, sink-your-teeth in dreamy, and ultra creamy (as opposed to a rock hard slab o' ice).
This post is sponsored by Silk. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Hot and steamy weather got your hair in a frizz and your face in a flush?
Well that makes two of us.
But I've got just the thing to cool and delight. These salted caramel-cashew chocolate covered ice cream bars (<—tongue twister) are currently my favorite sweet summer treat.
No-churn, caramel-cashew ice cream is slathered with a thick layer of vegan caramel and coated in a thin, perfectly crisp dark chocolate shell.
Similar to this ice cream recipe I shared a few weeks back, the salted caramel-cashew ice cream at the heart of these treats is churn-free all thanks to dates and cashew butter. Both ingredients work their magic to keep the ice cream luscious (yes, luscious), sink-your-teeth in dreamy, and ultra creamy (as opposed to a rock hard slab o' ice).
These ice cream treats are sweet, salted, chocolaty, rich, cool, ultra creamy, and super satisfying.
Soft, sticky Medjool dates plus a pinch of sea salt lend a natural caramel flavor to the ice cream base. The dates and sea salt are blended until smooth along with unsweetened cashew milk, cashew butter, and vanilla.
Then, the thick, creamy ice cream base is poured into a 9 × 9-inch square pan and frozen for 6–8 hours, or until completely set.
For those of you who want to take the caramel flavor over the top (my hand is raised), whip up a batch of 5-Minute Caramel and pour ¾ of a cup across the surface of the frozen ice cream base.
This is totally optional but also totally recommended for the ultimate ice cream decadence. Word to the unsweet teeth out there, these ice cream bars are saweeeet and rich; mellow the sweetness by omitting the caramel layer.
Once you've poured the caramel layer over the ice cream base, you'll return the pan to the freezer to set.
While the caramel layer sets, you'll whip up a batch of homemade chocolate (cacao butter, cacao powder, maple syrup) or keep things simple and melt down a couple cups of non-dairy chocolate chips and a few tablespoons of coconut oil (to thin).
Once the caramel is firm (like so), remove the bar from the pan and slice into 16 equal-size squares (just a touch larger than 2 × 2-inch squares). Then, use a fork to lower each ice cream bar into the chocolate and spoon the chocolate over the top and sides.
Repeat with each and every bar, and return to the freezer to set one last time.
These ice cream bars will keep well in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Thus, the generous 16-bar yield is great, because you can make the recipe and store the bars in the freezer for a quick, cool, and creamy treat whenever the craving strikes.
Salted Caramel-Cashew Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Bars (Vegan)
Salted Caramel-Cashew Ice Cream
- 2 cups Silk Unsweetened Original Cashewmilk
- 1 cup unsweetened raw cashew butter*
- ¾ cup pitted and packed soft, sticky medjool dates (about 12 dates)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Caramel Layer (optional but recommended)
- ¾ cup 5-Minute Caramel Sauce
- 1 ½ cups (6.75 ounces) roughly chopped cacao butter
- ¾ cup raw cacao powder
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
- 3–4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, or as much as needed to thin the chocolate
For the Salted Caramel-Cashew Ice Cream
- Line a 9" x 9" square pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use a 9" x 9" square silicon baking pan and leave it unlined.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the cashew milk, cashew butter, dates, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend on high for 3 to 4 minutes or until completely smooth.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into the pan. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for at least 8 hours to set.
For the Caramel Layer (optional but recommended)
- Prepare the caramel sauce once the ice cream layer is nearly set and allow it to cool slightly (you don't want it to be hot). Pour ¾ cup of the caramel sauce over the ice cream, tilting the pan back and forth to evenly coat the surface. Return the pan to the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until the caramel layer is firmly set.
For the Chocolate Shell
- Once the caramel layer is nearly set, prepare the chocolate.
- For homemade chocolate: Melt the cacao butter in a bain marie over low heat. Be careful not to overheat or the cacao butter will seize and take on a gritty texture. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the cacao powder and maple syrup until smooth and glossy.
- For a quick + easy chocolate: Melt the chocolate chips in a bain marie over low heat. Be careful not to overheat or the chocolate with seize. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut oil to thin the chocolate and make for easier dipping.
- Line two small rimmed baking trays with parchment paper.
- Carefully lift the ice cream bar out of the pan. If you used a silicon baking pan, you'll want to run a sharp knife along all four edges to release. Slice into 16 squares (each square should be just a touch larger than 2 inches x 2 inches), and use a metal spatula to transfer to and divide between the two baking trays.
- Now it's time to dip. I strongly recommend working in batches because they melt fast—keep one tray of the bars in the freezer while you're dipping the others in chocolate and then switch.
- Quickly and one at a time, use a fork to lower and dip each ice cream square into the chocolate. Use a tablespoon to spoon the chocolate over the tops and sides, and transfer to the lined baking tray. Repeat, coating all ice cream squares.** Note: You may need to reheat the chocolate. I recommend leaving it in the double boiler and reheating on low heat as needed to maintain the sweet spot where the chocolate is still warm and in a liquid state yet not so warm that it melts the ice cream immediately on contact.
- Freeze for 20 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely set.
- Transfer the ice cream bites to an airtight container and store in the freezer.
**Note: If you find dipping to be too messy, feel free to drizzle instead. Simply line up all of the ice cream squares in a single layer in the lined baking tray, and use a tablespoon to splatter spoonfuls of the chocolate across the surface of the ice cream bars.