Delicious, creamy, wholesome Vegan Vanilla-Maple Oat Milk Ice Cream! Made with just 5 ingredients, thickened with oats, and free from coconut, gluten, and refined sugar.
Why This Recipe Works
Following my exciting realization that you can use a small amount of oatmeal to bring creaminess to vegan ice cream withOUT using coconut milk, oil, or loads of fat, you knew another flavor was coming soon, right?! (For the backstory see this post- Vegan Pumpkin Oat Ice Cream.)
If you're a fan of vanilla and you enjoy maple syrup, you are going to LOVE this new oat milk ice cream recipe! It has such a purely vanilla-maple vibe, and I can honestly say it's one of my favorite vegan ice creams I've ever tasted.
The fact that it's made with ingredients that are considered healthy enough to eat for breakfast is just a bonus.
This is just a summary. Be sure to scroll down to the full recipe when you're ready to make ice cream!
Compared to the base of this Pumpkin Oat Ice Cream recipe, I decided to change a few things for the vanilla version.
I increased the cashews since we're losing the density and volume of the pumpkin puree. I also decided to sweeten this one with pure maple syrup instead of coconut sugar for a totally irresistible vanilla-maple flavor.
- 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk such as oat or soy - I find oat and soy to be creamier and work better than thinner milks like almond or rice.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
How to Make Oat Ice Cream
Let's give another shout out to Miyoko Schinner, our vegan non-dairy queen, for inspiring this recipe, too. As I explained in the Pumpkin Ice Cream post, her low-fat gelato recipe in The Homemade Vegan Pantry was the inspiration.
When you're someone who loves frozen treats, but you also appreciate healthier versions of recipes, tricks like this are just SO exciting. Once you make this ice cream for yourself and see how beautifully it melts, I think you'll totally understand my enthusiasm.
There is some planning involved when making ice cream, so let's do a quick review to make sure things go smoothly for you....
The basic process for making Vanilla-Maple Oat Ice Cream looks like this:
- Be sure your ice cream maker's canister has been in the freezer for at least a day.
- Make oatmeal in a small sauce pan, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Blend milk and cashews until smooth, then add in the remaining ingredients, including the oatmeal, and blend.
- Refrigerate the mixture until chilled (anywhere from 2 hours to overnight).
- Churn the ice cream.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 3 to 4 hours.
- Let the ice cream soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then scoop and enjoy!
So even though ice cream requires some planning, it's not like it's a difficult process. It just requires a little patience, but once you taste this creamy and healthy ice cream you'll know it was all worth it.
After churning the ice cream it will have an almost stretchy consistency, but don’t worry! That’s just the oats working their magic.
After spending about 4 hours in the freezer the ice cream is very firm. So don't just try to dig in with a spoon, and then declare me a liar about its creaminess!
Let it hang out on the countertop for about 15 minutes, and then scoop up that beautiful maple and vanilla flavor.
Watch it melt in your bowl, and feel it melt in your mouth, and then thank the oats for their sliminess, ummm, I mean creaminess!
If you don't own an ice cream maker you can still whip up a batch of this vanilla-maple oat ice cream. The no-churn method looks like this:
- After blending the ice cream mixture, pour it into a shallow, freezer-safe container.
- Place in the freezer until it starts to freeze around the edges, about 45 minutes. Give it a vigorous stir, then return it to the freezer.
- Repeat this process every 30 to 45 minutes until the ice cream is the desired consistency. It will take about 5 to 6 hours to reach soft-serve state.
I've tested this ice cream once using the no-churn method. The results?
It still tastes amazing and melts beautifully; the appearance is the main difference. It will appear a bit grainy due to the formation of ice crystals, but overall that didn't really bother me.
I will say, there's something so enjoyable about watching an ice cream machine transform this healthy blended oat mixture into thick, creamy ice cream within a matter of minutes. And sneaking a taste straight from the machine is pure joy.
So I'll keep using our inexpensive ice cream maker until it quits on me! At that point I just might upgrade to a built-in freezer variety because I love the idea of making back-to-back batches and not having to wait for a canister to freeze.
If you're in the market for an affordable ice cream maker, I've been using this Cuisinart 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker for probably close to 11 or 12 years (so long I can't remember exactly, but I know we bought it before going vegan)!
I hope you enjoy this Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream. Be sure to drop a comment and a star rating below if you give it a try. If you’re on instagram tag a photo of your epic vegan ice cream with @myquietkitchen. I always love to see what you’re making!
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Vanilla-Maple Oat Milk Ice Cream [No Coconut]
- 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as oat or soy, divided
- ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw cashews - If you don't have a high speed blender, sub ⅓ to ½ cup raw cashew butter.
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 ounce good quality gin or vodka, optional - See Notes.
- If using an ice cream maker with a removable canister, be sure to freeze the canister at least one day before you plan to make ice cream. Also note that the ice cream mixture needs time to chill before churning (at least an hour), and the churned ice cream needs about 3 to 4 hours in the freezer for a firmer, scoopable consistency.
Make the ice cream:
- In a small sauce pan, simmer oats in 1 cup of milk until soft, about 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl to cool.
- In a blender combine the remaining 2 cups of milk and the cashews. Blend on high until completely smooth. Add the cooled oatmeal, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and gin/vodka, if using, and blend again. Refrigerate until cold.
- Churn the mixture according the instructions for your ice cream maker. At this point the ice cream will be softer than a typical soft serve consistency. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for about 4 hours.
- Around the 4 hour mark, and definitely once the ice cream has been in the freezer longer, it will be too hard to scoop right out of the freezer. It's important to let the ice cream soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com. For the most accurate nutrition information we recommend calculating it yourself to reflect the specific ingredients used in your dish.