A gold spoon sits in a turquoise bowl with 3 scoops of vegan ice cream.

No-churn, dairy-free ice cream that is deliriously creamy? Yup, thank you very much, cashews! Cashews are fatty nuts that make for a thick and rich ice cream that is pretty darn close to the real thing. Great for herbivores and omnivores alike, you can make this dairy-free cashew ice cream into any flavor you want, but we love a good vanilla ice cream in our house.

The life-changing magic of cashew cream

Cashew cream is exactly what is sounds like—a rich, dairy-free cream made from nothing but raw cashews and water. After soaking the cashews in boiling water, you blend them into an incredibly smooth cream that can be the foundation to all kinds of dairy-free kitchen experimentation! Cashew cream is a great alternative for folks who choose not to eat dairy for either health or ethical reasons, because it really is incredibly close in texture and fattiness to regular cow’s milk dairy. We have a full post all about the benefits of cashew cream, plus our favorite tips and tricks for how to make it.

Spoon drizzling cashew cream into a turquoise bowl full of more cashew cream.

To churn or not to churn?

We’ve tested this recipe both as a churned (in a regular ice cream maker) and no-churn recipe, and while the churned recipe is ever so slightly creamier, we found it wasn’t worth the hassle to make sure our ice cream maker was frozen. Feel free to test this out in your ice cream maker, but if you don’t have one, no worries! You’ll still make some great dairy-free ice cream.

A gold spoon sits in a turquoise bowl with 3 scoops of cashew ice cream.

What can you do with this dairy-free ice cream?

Well, other than just eat it? Turn it into a root beer float. Put it on top of a crisp. Serve it with birthday cake. Enjoy!

Dairy-Free Cashew Ice Cream

Dairy-Free Cashew Ice Cream

Yield: 1 pint
Prep Time: 12 hours 3 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 3 minutes

Thanks to cashews, this dairy-free Cashew Ice Cream is super-creamy and super-delicious.


  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • Water
  • 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 2 vanilla beans, scraped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place cashews in a bowl or jar (I like using a wide-mouth quart mason jar) and cover with water. Let soak overnight (at least 6 hours).
  2. Once soaking is finished, drain and rinse the cashews, and place in the basin of a high-powered blender. Add in the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla paste, and salt, and blend on high until very smooth—about three minutes.
  3. Transfer to a freezer-safe container (I like a loaf pan) and freeze until solid—about six hours.


  • Quick soak method: Cover cashews with boiling water and let sit 1 hour before proceeding.
  • Super quick method: Place cashews and three cups of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse before proceeding.
  • You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this recipe, although it will be slightly creamier if you do use one. It’s just barely icy if you make it using the no-churn method.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 517Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 7g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. I cannot use almond milk , soy or coconut milk. Is there anything I can use in place of coconut milk? I could possibly tolerate almond milk, but are there any other alternatives?

    1. Hi Denise! The high fat in the coconut milk helps the ice cream be richer, but it might work with other milk alternatives. We’ve never tried it—so we don’t know how well it will turn out. If you’re up for experimenting, please let us know how it goes!

  2. I made this recipe with homemade coconut milk, and it was amazing! Super custardy and creamy. I do think the nutrition facts are off somehow though -42 g of fiber in half a cup?

    1. Hi Renee! We’re so glad you love the recipe—thanks for coming back to tell us about it! We bet the homemade coconut milk make it extra dreamy. Yum! That 42g you’re seeing in the nutritional info is actually for the carbohydrates. Fiber is 1g. The corresponding amount comes after each entry! Thanks so much for checking, though. Our nutritional info is automatically calculated in our system so it’s good to know when something seems off. =)

    2. I believe Carbs are 42g, fiber is 1g Renee.
      Just made this and it’s super creamy and delicious! Can’t wait to start modifying it with chocolate chips, cookies and fruit, maybe even mound in into bars… this recipe is a keeper!

  3. This Cashew Ice Cream has a good flavor, even using just pure vanilla extract. However, it froze solid, kind of like a brick! I left it out for 10-15 min, then chipped some out to blend again in my high speed blender with strawberries. Wish there was a way for it to soften, so it could be served resembling your photo!

    1. Hi, Maj! That amount of time on the counter usually does the trick for us. Our only real suggestion is to try leaving it out a bit longer. It really should soften up and be scoopable just like the photos! Let us know how it works out and we’ll help you troubleshoot more if you need it. Hopefully you’ll be scooping in no time, though!