The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

20 alternative & fabulous vegan ice cream recipes

The weather has been warming up of late, which makes for a great excuse to revisit some unusual but delicious vegan ice creams from the Circus Gardener’s Kitchen archives, as well as to share some great vegan ice cream recipes from other bloggers.

There are one or two technical challenges involved in producing a good vegan ice cream, particularly around getting the right fat content to give it a creamy base. Fortunately, as you will see from the recipes showcased in this article, there are a number of different and sometimes ingenious ways around that challenge.

In my experience, vegan ice cream tends to be more effective at carrying flavours than dairy ice cream. It’s also generally healthier and often easier to make.

If you’ve never tried non-dairy ice cream I hope at least one of these recipes might tempt you into giving it a try.


bay leaf ice cream

Bay leaves have been used in cooking for thousands of years. Although usually associated with savoury dishes such as soups and casseroles, they add a delightful perfumed flavour to this unusual vegan ice cream. It pairs particularly well with chocolate, as in this recipe for bay leaf ice cream with vegan chocolate and smoked salt tart.

French tarragon and olive oil ice cream

This beautiful ice cream needs to be savoured slowly, to allow your taste buds to luxuriate in its subtle fruity, grassy and mildly aniseed tones. A delight!

Thai basil and lemongrass ice cream

My personal favourite of all my vegan ice cream recipes. The principal components – Thai basil, lemongrass and coconut milk – are more usually found together in savoury dishes such as Thai green curry, yet here they are rubbing shoulders in a vegan ice cream, where they combine gloriously.

When you try it, the first wave of flavour your taste buds will pick up has a subtle liquorice-like taste, which comes from the Thai basil. This is quickly followed by a deeper wave of flavour comprising the warm, aromatic lemongrass and the mellow sweetness of coconut, all coming together in an extraordinary but harmonious synergy.

loganberry and lavender ice cream

This recipe produces a beautifully light, flavourful ice cream, perfect served with a compote of summer fruits.

rose petal and rhubarb ice cream

Forced rhubarb has a more delicate, sweeter flavour than later rhubarb, although it still requires some sweetening. Here it pairs perfectly with the subtle flavour of rose petals in an elegant, beautifully scented vegan ice cream.

thyme, orange and vanilla ice cream

There’s a wonderful marriage of midsummer flavours in this light, beautifully balanced ice cream.

salted dark chocolate olive oil ice cream

A rich and decadent ice cream from Pickles n Honey, with that perfect level of bitter and sweet, all sprinkled with flaky sea salt to make it sing.

balsamic strawberry and basil ice cream

A great recipe from the Unconventional Baker. Strawberries and basil may seem strange to some, but it’s actually a really incredible flavour combination. Make that balsamic strawberries, and it only gets better.

coriander and blackberry ice cream

From The Flexitarian Way, this unusual but lovely recipe pairs the flavours of blackberries and coriander seeds

chocolate sriracha ice cream

Not for the faint hearted comes this unusual recipe from Vegan Yack Attack. Try out this delectable recipe to keep your summer cool AND spicy.

black sesame ice cream

This recipe from The Blender Girl is creamy and delicious. If you’ve never eaten black sesame ice cream before you are in for a treat: this ice cream is seriously tasty.

strawberry cappuccino ice cream

From Rebecca at Strength & Sunshine comes this three-ingredient treat that doesn’t need an ice cream maker. Using frozen strawberries, this is a delicious ice cream that you can whip up right in your blender.

rhubarb and anise coconut ice cream

Rhubarb and star anise are a great combination: the anise brings out the rhubarb and vice versa, as this delicious ice cream recipe from Foodie Underground shows.

dairy free chocolate stout Ice-cream

This dairy-free chocolate stout ice-cream from My Goodness Kitchen is loaded with the richness of both chocolate and chocolate stout, making it a decadent ice-cream treat.

vanilla maple sweet corn ice cream

From Fragrant Vanilla Cake comes this interesting combination. You may think sweet corn in ice cream sounds weird, but don’t knock it till you try it. Just the perfect amount of sweet, a light corn flavour with a hint of maple and vanilla make this ice cream simply heavenly!

salted caramel & pine nut ice cream

The flavours of vegan salted caramel sauce and toasted pine nuts work amazingly well together, as this delightful recipe from The Little Green Spoon demonstrates.

cardamom ice cream with cinnamon swirl ice cream

From A House in The Hills, this lively, spicy combination is free of refined sugar, but still sweet and creamy.

raspberry rose ice cream

From Elegantly Vegan, this recipe produces a creamy, velvety smooth ice cream It’s free from refined sugar as well as being gluten-free and doesn’t require an ice cream maker.

chocolate chunk beetroot ice cream

There are very few ingredients needed to make this unusual but delicious ice cream from Vegan Heaven. Make sure you use dairy free dark chocolate to keep it vegan!

apple pie ice cream with cinnamon oat crumble

There’s a lovely combination of flavours and textures in this ice cream recipe from Natural Girl Modern World, reminiscent of the perfect apple pie!

Categories: dairy free, vegan


10 replies

  1. Extraordinary range of flavours. Thanks for tracking down all these.

  2. The Thai basil lemongrass ice has my curiosity piqued! Will HAVE to play with this combo. I never thought of pairing savory with iced cream. Adventurous.

    • Hi Shannon. It really is a terrific combination. I hope you do give it a try. I’m currently working on a new variation which uses kaffir lime leaves, which I think may be almost as good 😊

  3. More foodie blogs to check out. I’ll save the recipes for summer.

  4. Great list Steve and useful too!

  5. Great list and so out of box ideas. thank you for inspiration!! 🙂

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