Thick and delightfully creamy, this Coffee Cashew Ice Cream requires no heat, minimal ingredients, and just a bit of your time.
Get ready to dig in. You're going to love this recipe (assuming you're a coffee fanatic who eats cashews).
I've become enthralled with ice cream this spring...specifically dairy free ice cream, of course! I have a growing list of recipe ideas that I'm slowly working through. But as a coffee addict, an ice cream featuring cold brew coffee was at the top of my list.
There are a variety of ways to make dairy free ice cream. Most paleo versions feature coconut milk.
But one of the frustrations of dairy free ice cream is that the texture is icier than typical, full fat ice cream. Which is fine, honestly. Nothing wrong with that as long as the ice cream has flavor...but texture is one of the joys of the culinary experience.
There are a few ways to make ice cream creamier. First up, you can add egg yolks to the mixture, which technically makes a custard. I've seen some recipes add gelatin instead, but I haven't had much experience with that yet. So I decided to try cashews.
If you've spent any amount of time ogling over paleo recipes and hacks on Pinterest, you know that cashews are incredibly versatile. Cashew cheese, cashew sauce, cashew cheesecake...all from a little beauty we call cashew cream. Now don't let that intimidate you! All you have to do for cashew cream is soak cashews for 2 hours, drain them, and blend them with ½ cup of water. Versatile, silky cashew cream is the result.
And if you blend that with cold brew coffee, cashew butter, and maple syrup, you get some unbelievable ice cream.
I mean, it's like frozen pudding. Dense and bursting with the robust flavor of coffee.
Maybe the best part is that you can definitely eat this for breakfast for the caffeine boost. Totally justifiable. I might as well have named this recipe "Breakfast Ice Cream". But I think then I'd have to #putaneggonit.
Okay, I got a little sidetracked. Back to the recipe!
As you can tell from the pictures, there are two versions of this ice cream. One version has cacao powder for a "mocha" version, and the other version is simply coffee. Both are irresistible. I honestly couldn't tell you which I prefer - so you'll just have to try both!
If cashew cream is just too intimidating, you can sub cashew milk. However, the ice cream won't be as creamy.Print
Coffee Cashew Ice Cream
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: churned
Thick and delightfully creamy, this Coffee Cashew Ice Cream requires no heat, minimal ingredients, and just a bit of your time. Get ready to dig in!
- 1 ½ cups cashew cream (see notes for details)
- ½ cups cashew butter
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder (optional)
- 1 cup cold brew coffee (recommended) OR 1 cup strong black coffee, cooled
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- The night before, prep your ice cream machine if necessary. I have to freeze the freezer bowl overnight - so make sure you're prepared!
- Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Place in the fridge and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- A tip I recently learned about my ice cream machine: start running it before pouring the ice cream base in so the sides are already turning. This helps prevent ice cream from freezing to the sides as it churns! Once the ice cream has finished churning (about 15 minutes), transfer to tupperware or a loaf pan.
- Freeze for an hour until it hardens enough to create scoops. If completely frozen, thaw for at least 30 minutes before scooping.
Soak 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews for 2 hours. Blend with ¼ - ½ cup water (depending on desired consistency)
- Serving Size: about ½ cup ice cream
Keywords: Dairy free Coffee Cashew Ice Cream
The thought of eating ice cream for breakfast puts a BIG smile on my face! This ice cream looks delicious and you photos are so lovely! xx
Thank you so much! My husband tried telling me that you can only eat coffee ice cream between noon and midnight. He's a liar. 😉 It's totally cool to dig in for breakfast!
Whitney @WhittyPaleo says
Seriously I'm so mad at myself for not purchasing an ice cream maker when I had the chance.. I totally know what you mean about the texture of ice cream and I've been wanting that myself!
There's a chance that you could make this with the no-churn method (pour the blended ingredients in a cold loaf pan, put in the freezer, stir every 30 minutes until set) but I haven't tried it! An ice cream maker is such a big investment for a single use. I've honestly had mine for 4 years and only started REALLY using it this year, so I totally get it! I told myself I wasn't going to keep taking up cupboard space with it unless it was actually getting used, and now I'm obsessed with dairy-free ice cream. Go figure. 😛
Do the cashews need to be raw or can you use any store bought cashews?
Definitely go for raw and unsalted. I don't think roasted cashews would have the same flavor (or possibly wouldn't blend as well), and salted cashews would obviously be way too salty!
wishing I could eat dairy says
Thank you for the yummy recipe. Having not made my own cashew items I have several questions:
1) will one cup of soaked cashews make 1.5 cups of cashew cream? Do you drain water like with cashew milk? Or is that why you call it cream instead?
2) since cashew butter is just blended cashews, is it possible to just use more cashews in the blender (soaked or un-soaked?)?
Hello! When making cashew cream, I do drain the water, but I sometimes use the preserved soaking water as my 1/4-1/2 cup that I then blend it with. Yes, you only use 1 cup of cashews to make 1.5 cups of cashew cream - they will gain volume since they're blended with water and "whipped" up!
In theory, you could just use more cashews instead of dealing with the cashew cream. But here's why I wouldn't: Just tossing cashews into the blender won't result in a creamy ice cream. Soaking the cashews before blending is what makes them creamy for the cashew cream, and cashew butter is already creamy. The "hack" for this recipe is to make the cashew cream in the same blender you'll be using for the ice cream, and just add in all the other ingredients instead of taking the cashew cream out.
On a side note, you could try subbing the cashew cream for all cashew butter. But I think the result would be a lot more dense and not quite scoopable ice cream at that point!