Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Cake (Shhh! It’s Vegan!)

When your husband digs his fork into dessert and, with a mouth full of mumbling, asks what in the world this divine concotion (my words) is, you don’t say, “”Why darling, it’s sugar-free, butter-free, vegan ice cream cake.” No, you just bat your mascaraaed eyelashes and blow him an air kiss. Because, sometimes, what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him. At least until he’s polished off a second helping of the stuff, and made you feel all warm and proudish inside.

At which point he leans back contentedly, wipes the corners of his cute lips, and asks (because he knows you and your minxy ways much.too.well.) “All right, it was amazing. What was in it?”

At which point you say…

A heap of raw cashews.

And lots of coconut milk.

Every last seed from a vanilla bean.

And a glug of pure maple syrup.

Dubiously, he nods his head.

“Girl, you do beat all.”

And you ask him if he wants another slice. But he asks for a kiss instead.

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Vegan Ice Cream Cheesecake with Fresh Berries

This list of ingredients will likely seem strange if you've never cooked vegan. But, the combination is a fairly common way to make vegan whipped cream. The flavor is rich and creamy. It doesn't taste at all like coconut or cashews. Just like yum. We topped ours with maple-lime sweetened berries. It was a perfect compliment to the ice cream, as was a coconut-oil graham cracker crust. You'll likely find the ingredients to this recipe cost more than what you'd normally need for a basic cheesecake, but the fresh, clean feeling you're left with when you're done, without that tummy-grinding nastiness that often accompanies eating dairy food, it totally worth the extra pennies. Plus, any amount of grocery money is worth showing your hubby that he loves vegan desserts. I'm just sayin.

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST:
8 organic graham crackers, crushed (or your favorite vegan cookie, crushed)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup

FOR THE ICE CREAM:
2 cups raw cashews
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup (add more or less, depending on your preferred sweetness)
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

FOR THE TOPPING:
2 cups fresh, mixed berries
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

FOR THE CRUST:
In a 7x10-inch baking dish, use a fork to mix together the crushed crackers, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Press the mixture into the bottom of the dish.

FOR THE ICE CREAM:
Place all ingredients in an industrial-sized blender (you'll need the power of the Vita-Mix or Blendtec. If you only have a standard mixer, you can use a consumer-brand blender or food processor, but make sure you soak the cashews overnight in water, then drain the water before blending). Blend completely, until a thick, creamy mixture forms. Add as much maple syrup as you need to make the mixture sweet. Pour over the crust and place in the freezer until frozen.

FOR THE BERRY TOPPING:
Stir together all ingredients gently until coated with the maple-lime juice.

TO SERVE: Remove ice cream cake from the freezer 15 minutes prior to serving to allow it soften and thaw slightly. Top with berries. Enjoy!

That gorgeous looking fabric you see in my pics? It’s Heather Bailey. Love.

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17 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Cake (Shhh! It’s Vegan!)”

  1. 1

    Cara Quinn on June 15, 2011 at 9:22 am Reply

    Yum! :). I’m happy that it’s vegan, our whole family eats vegan

  2. 2

    Lesley Lifting Life on June 15, 2011 at 10:16 am Reply

    This looks amazing! We’ve been trying to eat predominantly vegan lately, and this will definitely be on the menu soon ; )

  3. 3

    Katrina on June 15, 2011 at 11:28 am Reply

    You clever woman! This cheesecake is a lovely idea, and I love how it’s cold!! Your husband sounds adorable too.

  4. 4

    Gayletrini on June 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm Reply

    This looks amazing. What could I use instead of maple syrup any GFCF suggestions?

  5. 5

    Jennifer on June 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm Reply

    Oh my gosh this looks delicious. I’m currently on a baking spree, so I must try this recipe!

  6. 6

    Cheeky Husband on June 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm Reply

    @Katrina: I like you. Please come visit us soon.

    @CheekyKitchen: I love you. This recipe was epic. XO

  7. 7

    Tessa on June 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm Reply

    Brooke, I LOVE this!! I hate when I see vegan recipes that only utilize funky commercial alternatives to animal products (to me it’s like, what’s the point?). Love your whole, fresh take on vegan baking.

  8. 8

    Stefania on June 16, 2011 at 12:33 am Reply

    Una deliziosa ricetta, ciao

  9. 9

    The Café Sucré Farine on June 16, 2011 at 4:31 am Reply

    Wow, these looks so good, and you are so funny, love it!

  10. 10

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective on June 16, 2011 at 9:35 am Reply

    This looks like a vegan treat I had at a little cafe and wondered how in the world it was made. I’m making this one right away!

  11. 11

    Lesley Lifting Life on June 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm Reply

    P.S. Just shared this recipe on my blog, can’t wait to try it!

  12. 12

    Lisa on June 17, 2011 at 11:56 am Reply

    This looks pretty easy and AWESOME! I love making things with cashews and coconut milk..but for some reason I haven’t put them together :)

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  15. 13

    Lucy on February 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm Reply

    I’m about to make this for tonight and realized I’m not sure if you are using canned coconut milk or the kind from the carton. Which one did you use? Thankx!

  16. 14

    Lucy on February 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm Reply

    I received an email from you, Brooke– but there was no response to my question. Am I missing something? Or was that just an automated email?

  17. 15

    Francis Pohler on May 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply

    The meaning of the phrase “ice cream” varies from one country to another. Phrases such as “frozen custard”, “frozen yogurt”, “sorbet”, “gelato” and others are used to distinguish different varieties and styles. In some countries, such as the United States, the phrase “ice cream” applies only to a specific variety, and most governments regulate the commercial use of the various terms according to the relative quantities of the main ingredients.

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