Salted Caramel-Cashew Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars
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Salted Caramel-Cashew Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Bars (Vegan)

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).
Prep Time10 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time10 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert, Ice Cream
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegan
Servings: 16 ice cream bars

Ingredients

Salted Caramel-Cashew Ice Cream

  • 2 cups Silk Unsweetened Original Cashewmilk
  • 1 cup unsweetened raw cashew butter*
  • 3/4 cup pitted and packed soft, sticky medjool dates (about 12 dates)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Caramel Layer (optional but recommended)

Chocolate Shell

  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 ounces) roughly chopped cacao butter
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • OR
  • 2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 3–4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, or as much as needed to thin the chocolate

Instructions

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 3/4 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.

To Assemble

  • 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.

Notes

*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. Measure off the amount needed for the recipe and store the extra cashew butter the refrigerator in an airtight jar or container.
**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.