This creamy Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream is made with just 5 healthy ingredients, thickened with oats and cashews, and FREE from coconut, gluten, refined sugar and oil.
A Healthier Vegan Ice Cream Recipe
Following my exciting realization that you can use a small amount of oatmeal to bring creaminess to vegan ice cream without 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 flavor, and I can honestly say it's one of my favorite vegan ice creams I've ever tasted.
The fact that this oat ice cream is made with ingredients that are considered healthy enough to eat for breakfast is just a bonus.
But don't take my word for it. Check out the comments section below to see what other readers had to say.
Compared to the base of the Pumpkin Oat Ice Cream recipe, I decided to change a few things for this vanilla version.
Since we're losing the density and volume of the pumpkin puree, I bumped up the amount of raw cashews.
I also decided to sweeten this one with maple syrup instead of coconut sugar for a totally irresistible vanilla-maple flavor. No kidding, the maple takes this vegan ice cream over the top!
What you'll need:
- unsweetened non-dairy milk - obviously oat milk is the top choice here! If you don't mind added oil, choose a full-fat oat milk or barista blend. You can also use homemade oat milk.
Soy milk is also great in this recipe because it is naturally higher in protein in fat than other non-dairy milks.
- raw cashews
- old fashioned rolled oats
- pure maple syrup
- vanilla extract
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
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.
As someone who loves frozen treats, but also appreciates healthier versions of recipes, tricks like using oatmeal in ice cream are just SO exciting. Once you try it for yourself and see how beautifully it melts, I think you'll totally understand my enthusiasm.
There is some planning involved when making any ice cream recipe, so let's do a quick review to make sure things go smoothly for you.
How to Make Oat Milk Ice Cream
If you're a visual learner, but sure to watch the 1-minute recipe video below!
- If using an ice cream machine with a removable canister, make sure the canister has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
- Prepare the oatmeal in a small sauce pan, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Blend the milk and cashews. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the oatmeal, and blend until completely smooth.
- Refrigerate the mixture until cold (anywhere from 2 hours to overnight).
- Churn the ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions for your machine. It will be the consistency of soft serve.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for 3 to 4 hours.
- Allow 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.
Tips for Serving
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 natural 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 goes like this:
- After blending the ice cream mixture, pour it into a shallow, freezer-safe container.
- Place in the freezer until the ice cream mixture begins to freeze around the edges, about 45 minutes. Give it a vigorous stir, then place back in 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 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 ago 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!
Vegan Oat Milk Ice Cream Recipe (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 away. 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.
Hi Lori I live in Australia where we can’t get “gluten free” oats, unfortunately. I am gluten intolerant, so wondering if this amazing recipe would work with quinoa flakes in place of the oats. I do make a creamy porridge with quinoa flakes. Thanks for your help!
I've never worked with quinoa flakes so I'm really not sure. Sorry I don't have a better answer for you! I'm of the mind though that it's just ice cream and definitely worth a try.
Thanks Lori. OK I’ll give the quinoa flakes a go soon! If anyone else has made this substitution, I’d love to hear how it went - thanks!
This tastes amazing!! I've made it 3 times in the last week!
My ice cream maker has been working overtime on my months-long quest to find the perfect vegan ice cream recipe that does NOT have coconut oil/cream/milk or any added oil for that matter-- no easy task! No exaggeration, though-- THIS RECIPE IS IT!! Incredibly creamy (thanks to the oats, I assume) and delicious. Oh my god.
Here are my alterations:
2 tablespoons vanilla extract instead of 1 (and no added vodka bc of the alcohol in the vanilla).
1/6 cup maple syrup and 1/6 cup + ⅓ cup erythritol/monk fruit blend sweetener. Perfectly sweet but with far less sugar. If using stevia or other non-sugar sweeteners, just play around with the ratios a bit.
Pro-tip: grab a couple Lara Bars and crumble them up to mix in. Lemon Pie, Key Lime Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Apple Pie Lara Bars would all be amazing (haven't tried this yet). Most Lara Bars have zero added sugar. (I did try crumbled ABC Bars from Trader Joe's and its amazing!)
Absolutely Delicious. I was skeptical and am now a believer. This will be my go-to ice cream base for Taste! Creaminess! And Cost! I've noticed many coconut-milk based recipes ALSO include a good amount of cashews or cashew butter. Coconut milk is expensive, and as this recipe shows, completely unnecessary! All that *AND* it's way lower in saturated fat. It's a no-brainer. I can't wait to experiment with new flavors.
I've made two different batches of mint chocolate chip using this base. I leave out the vanilla and swap for 1 tsp mint extract. One batch I colored with a small handful of spinach leaves and crumbled in some thin mint girl scout cookies. The other batch I just added crumbled dark chocolate. Both disappeared quickly.
Have you tried this with using a NutriBullet? I don’t have an ice cream maker and I’ve read that you can make ice cream in a NutriBullet blender. Will be trying tomorrow.
My guess is that you'll need to freeze the mixture first, then use the blender to process it into a creamy state again. I think the type of ice cream Nutribullet talks about is frozen banana ice cream where the bananas are frozen first, then blended until creamy.
I haven't tried freezing this mixture then blending it. If you give it a try let us know how it goes!
I placed the icecream in the Nutri Bullet (it was pretty icy so I added 1/3-1/2 cup of oat milk ). Once it blended it was even creamier. I froze it again but instead I placed parchment paper in the container covering the ice cream and then topped it. Doesn’t ice up and it’s super creamy! We loved it!
I substituted a few ingredients and it still works. This is a great recipe.
1. the oat milk for pistachio milk (I ran out of oat milk)
2. The cashews for 44g of coconut butter (for its fat)
3. Maple syrup for honey (I don’t keep maple syrup)
4. I used Steel cut oats
It yielded me about 6 scoops of ice cream, which feels a little similar like sticky gelato. Maybe because I used steel cut oats, my effort looks a little more grainy as compared to the pictures above.
This is a fabulous recipes for vegans and I may switch out the honey to make it keto next time.
Great thanks to Lori for coming out with this recipe. I had ever made vegan ice cream using coconut milk but it’s too soft, like soft serve. Oats is a genius way to get the ice cream to stick together.
So yummy. Texture is great. For my own tweak I toasted the oats in the pan for a few minutes and added brandy. No vanilla.
I have been looking for a coconut-free basic vegan ice cream recipe to adapt to various flavorings, and this one is amazing!
I used it to make mint-chip ice cream last night, using 2 cups of fresh mint to infuse the first 2 cups of milk, and then adding good quality chocolate "scribbles" at the half-frozen stage (rather than chips). The result is wonderful! My daughter can't have dairy or coconut, and her favorite ice cream flavor is mint-chip, so... she is so very very excited. Thank you!
Marianne, I'm so glad the recipe helped! Love the idea of infusing fresh mint into the milk. Sounds fabulous! Thank you for sharing with us. 😀
Has anyone tried Guar Gun in this recipe? It’s a natural additive and it’s worked for me with other ice cream recipes to keep a nice consistency.
Hi Geoff, I haven't tried it myself, but it sounds like a good experiment! The oats add a surprising amount of creamy/stretchy (for lack of a better word) quality, so I don't think it would take much. Definitely let us know if you give it a try!
Hi this recipe sounds delicious, but I was wondering what is the each serving size? Like 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup etc.
Hi Haley, the recipe makes about 3.5 cups of ice cream, and the nutrition facts are for 1/2 cup. Hope you enjoy!
Hi there. I just made the base for the ice cream and can visibly see the softened oatmeal. Did I not blend it enough? Or is this normal? It’s in the fridge chilling and I will churn tomorrow. Maybe I should strain it before I churn?
Sounds like you just need to blend it a bit more. You want the oats completely broken down. Let me know how it turns out for you!
Thank you for replying. I’ll try blending it again before I churn.
Wow! Made it yesterday. It was delicious! Thank you for a great coconut-free/dairy-free recipe!!! I used a vanilla infused vodka.
Do you know how long it will keep in the freezer?
This recipe is absolutely amazing! I looked everywhere online to find an oil free recipe for homemade vegan ice cream, especially no coconut oil or cacao oil, or white sugar and I just about gave up until I found this! I admit I was skeptical, but this turned out so fantastic!! I am in love with this ice cream - so creamy, and absolutely delicious, and so easy to make. I am making a blackberry crumble for visiting family next weekend and this will be going on top! Thank you so much!!
This made my day, Carole. I'm so glad you love it! Hope your family enjoyed it, too!
We were in the exact same boat, Carole. Can't believe how delicious and creamy this ice cream is-- and without coconut or added oil of any kind. Took me month of searching to find it. Truly amazing.
This was SO. GOOD. I don’t have an ice cream maker and was looking for a vegan vanilla ice cream I could whip up with ingredients I have on hand. SO happy I stumbled upon your recipe, because this is for sure my new go-to ice cream! I made to go with an apple crisp - and wow... seriously the best combo with the oats/maple. And the no-churn method worked perfectly for me! I also added the ounce of vodka. So creamy and flavorful. Thank you for this!!
Sooooo glad, Lillian! Thrilled you loved it so much and that you've found a new go-to ice cream recipe. Thank you for the feedback!
Hi! I made this ice cream base yesterday and added 3 soon to be bad ripe bananas in the oatmeal while cooking. The flavour was amazing! I totally recommend
Thanks for sharing the recipe, will be trying other oat ice creams as soon as the ice cream canister is frozen again!
Susanna, the addition of sweet bananas sounds fantastic!! So glad you enjoyed it. 😀
Made this today and it's amazing! Much easier than I expected and the results are so good. Now I need to know how to make mint chocolate chip for my grandkids 🙂
Oooh mint chip is a great idea! You could add pure mint extract to the blender, tasting as you so you don't add too much (or add fresh mint leaves). Then fold in mini chocolate chips before the final stage in the freezer. Hope the kids love it. 😀
Thank you for the feedback!
I love the idea of coconut (and banana) free ice cream! I have tried other recipes and the flavour of coconut and banana overpower all the rest.
We had an enormous harvest of cherries this year and I would love to have a recipe for cherry ice cream that showcases the lovely fruit taste.
Is there a way to use this base with fruit? How would I go about it? I am not very experienced in vegan food, but with age I feel my belly increasingly hates dairy. I still eat eggs and honey, though.
I don’t own an ice cream machine (yet...).
I made this in a PacoJet and it was amazing, thanks 👍
Before changing to a plant based lifestyle, I made ice cream all the time. I tried early on to make vegan ice cream, but I was always disappointed and just bought Ben and Jerry’s. We planned to have apple turnovers for Easter and I forgot about vanilla ice cream. I saw your recipe and decided to try again - I still had my ice cream freezer. It was AMAZING! Now we are enjoying the ice cream in the evenings with fresh local strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Thanks for a great recipe that is now in my favorites!
Wonderful, Lori! I’m so glad to hear it. And thank you for taking a moment to leave such a lovely comment. 🙂
This looks good, and I just love oats. Can this ice cream be made without an ice cream maker? I don't have one anymore, and don't remember how to make ice cream without one, like I did many many years ago...!
I haven't tried the no-churn method with this ice cream yet, but it's worth a shot. 😀 The standard no-churn method involves placing the ice cream mixture in a stainless steel bowl... freeze it for about 30 minutes, then remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously (or whip it with a handheld mixer). Then return the bowl to the freezer and repeat the process every 30 to 40 minutes until the ice cream is as frozen as you like.
Does that sound similar to the method you used to do? If you try it with this recipe I would love to hear how it goes!
AMAZING recipe. We just tried it out last night and were floored how good it was. It feels like cheating with how great the flavor/consistency is for how little work this recipe is than others we have tried. Will absolutely be trying the other suggestions down the line!
Thanks for the feedback, Tonks! So glad you enjoyed it. 😀
Just a followup, we made this recipe and tweaked it in a couple ways! We ran out of syrup, so we subbed in honey instead. We also strained the mixture before putting it in the ice cream maker (we don't have THAT good of a strainer, so it didn't pull all the particles out), We also added 1 oz of rum. WOW was it good. My guess is the alcohol had the biggest impact on the creaminess, but we had both the original recipe and the tweaked recipe side by side for a couple days, and the one with alcohol was noticeably creamier, even right from the freezer. It was scoop-able the moment we took it out of the freezer and stayed the same consistency three days later. You could probably get by with less than 1 oz, but, for anyone ok with adding a little bit of alcohol, definitely give it a shot
Oooh, yes! A small amount of alcohol works wonders in ice cream. Great idea especially with a lower fat one like this! I'll add a bit of rum to my next test batch (making a nut-free version). Thanks for sharing with us, Tonks.
Tonks, just made a nut-free version with sunflower seeds and added a splash of rum (probably half an ounce). It's in the ice cream maker right now. Snuck a taste, and WOW is rum good with maple syrup! Thanks again.
Sadly I'm not sure how much will make it into the freezer for an extended test of the texture. 😀 I'll be making several more test batches for the new recipe anyway. Maybe it will be a Maple-Rum flavor.
That sounds delicious. I haven't used sunflower seeds in ice cream yet, but I'll need to try it soon. I just tweaked the recipe quite a bit to make coffee ice cream out of it!
3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as soy or oat, divided
1/4 cup rolled oats
About 3/4 cup of Cacao butter. I estimated the amount by getting how many grams of fat are in a cup of cashews and substituted that amount of grams of Cacao butter
I actually am forgetting the sweetener I used xD it was some dark toasted coconut syrup or something. It had a nice flavor, and I did the same thing I did with the Cacao butter, substituted the same amount of grams of sugar with this other sweetener
A little less than 2 Tablespoons of freeze dried coffee
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
While cooking the oat meal, I put the freeze dried coffee and Cacao butter in with the oatmeal. Otherwise the steps were identical to the original recipe. I must say, it was pretty delicious!
Wowsa, this sounds fantastic! I bet those flavors were great together. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I had a quick question. Would the recipe still work if I decreased the amount of maple syrup? This is my first time making ice cream so any advice is greatly appreciated. Again, thank you so so much for this recipe.
Hi Denise, you're very welcome! Decreasing the maple will make the ice cream freeze more solidly, but a slight decrease shouldn't be much of a problem. You may need to let it soften a bit more straight from the freezer, but it will still be tasty. I hope you enjoy it!
Hey Lori, I just wanted to find out how you worked out the fat content? Is that fat per serving or for a full 7 servings? I ask because 9g of fat seems really low considering 1-cup of cashews.
I want to make the recipe without cashews and instead sub coconut-oil (to get the desired fat content), so I just wanted to double-check! Thanks in advance 🙂
Hi Trent, the nutrition facts are per serving. Would love to know how your experiment turns out!
How big is a serving? It's not on the "label." (haven't tried recipe yet, but am intrigued. Since I had to go lactose-free, I've really missed ice cream!).
Hi Judith, the nutrition calculations are based on 7 servings per batch. So a serving size is approximately 1/2 cup. Hope you enjoy it! 😀
This was great. With coconut having more saturated fat than anything you can eat, I needed an ice cream recipe that was without coconut. I have stents in my heart and don't want to ever go to the hospital again for something that I can avoid by changing my lifestyle. This makes a great tasting ice cream that is very low in saturated fat.
Donnie, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you taking a moment to leave this comment. Just made my day. All the best. 😀
This is my first recipe I tried with my new ice-cream maker. It came so nice and test like exactly store brought one. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.