Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly)
This vegan salted caramel ice cream will knock your socks off. So rich and creamy, you’ll fall in love with this dairy-free, vegan ice cream. Paleo friendly, too!
I wish I could get this blog written from O’s perspective.. but I already spend so much of my day saying “Write your blog, honey! Write your blog! Seriously.. write your blog!”
….and yet, there’s only oh, two posts on his sports blog. So I’m going to have to take this one over. But if O were writing? It’d go a little something like this.
“OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG this is the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten.” Except maybe, just maybe, slightly less tween-girly and a little more.. lawyery.
We love this vegan ice cream; my husband especially loves it. I mean, I thought I love caramel, right? Especially salted caramel. Especially salted caramel ice cream. Most especially super love vegan salted caramel ice cream.. Right? But nothing can compare to Mr. Aprons’s love of this stuff. And I don’t blame him.
Why this salted caramel vegan ice cream is so good:
- The texture is so rich and creamy–not at all icy or lacking–but perfectly smooth and buttery.
- The caramel is sweet and complex, the slight saltiness balancing the richness beautifully, the swirl of caramel adding to the overall indulgence.
- There’s a refined-sugar-free option for this vegan ice cream, making it almost too healthy to call dessert!
- The vegan ice cream base is super versatile, making it perfect for other add-ins, like my Samoas ice cream, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Cookie Butter Earl Grey ice cream, and my chocolate chip ice cream with roasted cherries.
I was a little shocked at how this turned out myself, considering how many batches of vegan ice cream I’ve trashed due their total lack of resemblance to real, honest-to-goodness ice cream. Eating something a bit healthier yet a little less delicious is OK from time to time, but salted caramel ice cream is not one of those occasions.
I whipped up my easy go-to caramel sauce but used a cashew-and-almond-milk blend in place of heavy cream to make it vegan. I blended a generous amount into my ultimate favorite vegan ice cream base and then swirled in some more, just because I can. Because I’m a grown up who gets to decide how much or how little salted caramel she eats. And the decision is..
lots. I get to eat lots of it.
- Substitute a premade vegan caramel sauce for the homemade to make this vegan ice cream even easier.
- Try my refined-sugar-free version of the caramel sauce for a healthy take on this salted caramel treat.
- Stir in dark chocolate chunks for a super indulgent variation.
- Try smoked sea salt flakes in place of the regular for a gourmet take on this classic vegan ice cream.
- Make sure your ice cream mixture is very, very cold before churning.
- Your ice cream maker bowl must be completely and totally frozen for this vegan ice cream recipe to work. Ideally you will freeze it overnight, but at the very least, when you shake it, you must hear nothing! If you hear any liquid sloshing around, it’s not cold enough. Back to the freezer she goes!
- If you use the traditional salted caramel sauce recipe, watch your sugar very carefully. You want the sugar to turn a nice, rich golden color, and that’s the moment when you should remove it from the heat. If you let it turn brown, you’ll usually end up with a burnt mess!
- Whisk very vigorously when adding in the cashew cream.
How do you make vegan ice cream?
It’s really pretty simple! For this salted caramel vegan ice cream, you start by making a caramel sauce one of two ways: the traditional way with burnt sugar or the refined-sugar-free way of boiling maple syrup, coconut oil, and coconut cream together.
Then you blend up the vegan ice cream base ingredients in a high-speed blender, stir in most of the salted caramel sauce, and chill until completely cold.
Finally, you simply churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer’s directions, freeze until it’s the consistency you like, and devour!
Is vegan ice cream better for you?
I certainly think so! There are a host of problems with dairy, and we feel so much better when we don’t eat it. And, of course, if you’re vegan, it’s not even an issue! The great thing about this vegan ice cream, too, is that there’s a refined-sugar-free option, meaning it’s healthier than almost any other ice cream you probably eat!
Other vegan ice cream recipes you’ll love:
- Cookie Butter Earl Grey Ice Cream
- Paleo Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with Roasted Cherries
- Samoas Cookies Ice Cream Recipe
Other vegan caramel recipes you’ll love:
- 5 Minute Paleo Caramel Sauce
- Paleo Salted Caramel Dip (Raw)
- Paleo Iced Caramel Macchiato
- Raw Caramel Apples
- Paleo Chocolate Cups with Caramel
- Instant Pot Caramel Sauce
Did you make and love this recipe? Give it your review below! ? And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!
Salted Caramel Ice Cream (Vegan)
Traditional Salted Caramel Sauce (Recommended)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons water , divided
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 2 teaspoons flake sea salt
Vegan Ice Cream Base
- 1 14- ounce can full-fat coconut milk (don't sub light coconut milk here!)
- 1 cup cashews , soaked at least 6 hours
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cups salted caramel sauce , divided
Refined-Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce Option
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut cream just the solid white part from a can of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons flake sea salt
If making the traditional salted caramel sauce (recommended)
- Make your "heavy cream": blend 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 cup cashews in high-speed blender until very, very smooth. Sieve or press through a nut milk bag for the smoothest texture.
- Make the salted caramel sauce: Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup turns golden (I advise to not wait until it turns amber, as that usually means it's burnt!), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped into water and swirling pan, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in Earth Balance. Very gradually add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir over low heat until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons sea salt. Makes about 2 cups.
If making the refined-sugar-free salted caramel sauce variation:
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking well. Boil 8 minutes then remove from heat and let cool.
Make the vegan ice cream base:
- Combine coconut milk, 1 cup soaked cashews, coconut oil, and 1 1/2 cups salted caramel sauce in a high-speed blender. Blend until very smooth. Transfer to air-tight container and refrigerate until very cold. Once the mixture is cold, churn according to ice cream maker instructions.
- Once churned, the ice cream will have the texture of frozen yogurt. Gently swirl in the remaining 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce and place in freezer at least 2-3 hours.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.
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