Easy Banana Ice Cream (Tips + 10 Flavors!)

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Bowl of strawberry, matcha, peanut butter, and salted caramel Banana Nice Cream

In the process of conducting our blender review, we came upon the challenge of banana ice cream (also called “nice cream”), which can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing! Think chunky ice cream, runny ice cream, blender fatigue, and everything in between.

We learned a lot in the process, which we’ve distilled here in this ULTIMATE Guide to Banana Ice Cream, plus 10 easy and delicious flavors to try!

Chopping bananas to make Banana Ice Cream

What is Nice Cream?

Banana ice cream, also referred to as “nice cream,” is a super simple, plant-based version of ice cream made with a base of just 1 ingredient: bananas!

It’s typically made in either a blender or food processor depending on the equipment available and your priorities (total time, hands-on time, quantity, etc.). We share the pros and cons of each method below!

Plate of sliced banana chunks for adding to the freezer for Banana Nice Cream

Tips for Success

  • Use ripe, spotty bananas for best flavor/sweetness
  • Peel and slice into 1/2-inch slices instead of large chunks, which can be more difficult to blend
  • Freeze in a single layer to prevent large clumps (parchment paper on a baking sheet is our favorite way to prevent sticking to the pan!)
  • If you’re having trouble blending, let the banana thaw for a few minutes. This will allow it to soften and become easier to blend. Alternatively, you could add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time of dairy-free milk to encourage blending. But be careful with this method as it’s the fastest way to get runny banana ice cream.
  • For true “ice cream” texture vs. soft serve, simply spread into a Tupperware or loaf pan and freeze for 2-3 hours. Then scoop with an ice cream scoop! If too firm, let thaw 15-30 minutes to soften.
Food processor of frozen banana chunks for making Banana Ice Cream

Food Processor vs. High-Speed Blender

Using either a food processor or a blender will work for making banana ice cream.

For best texture, we prefer a blender, but for an easier-to-master method, a food processor is the way to go!

Partially chopped frozen bananas for making Banana Nice Cream in a food processor

Food Processor

  • Generally takes a bit longer (5 minutes vs 2-3 minutes in a blender).
  • Requires occasional babysitting. Otherwise, relatively hands-off.
  • Not quite as smooth — can be a bit more difficult to fully blend and ensure there is no chunkiness.
Spoon with a scoop of Banana Ice Cream in a food processor

Blender

  • Fast! High-speed blenders (especially a Vitamix) with a tamper can make banana nice cream in 2-3 minutes, or depending on the motor power and skill, even 1 minute!
  • Requires babysitting and using the tamper the whole time.
  • Can be aggravating to the motor, and can sometimes require stopping for breaks.
  • Can make larger quantities.
Frozen banana chunks in a blender for making Banana Ice Cream

We’ve had success with both the Vitamix 5200 and Kitchenaid KSB8270FP Pro Line Series. See our full blender review here.

Banana Nice Cream in a Vitamix blender

Flavors

The flavor options for banana ice cream are endless! For most flavors, you can simply add the flavors after the bananas have already been turned into “nice cream”:

  1. Vanilla (1 tsp vanilla extract)
  2. Green Dream (1 tsp spirulina + 1-2 tsp matcha)
  3. Chocolate (2 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder)
  4. Chocolate Nut Butter (2 Tbsp cacao butter + 2 Tbsp nut butter)
  5. Peanut Butter (2-3 Tbsp peanut butter or other nut butter or choice)
  6. Chocolate Tahini (see this recipe)
  7. Cookie Dough (see this recipe)

But for the following flavors, add the fruit at the same time as the bananas:

  1. Strawberry (1 cup frozen strawberries)
  2. Berry (1 cup frozen mixed berries)
  3. Sea Salt Caramel (4-6 soaked pitted dates + healthy pinch sea salt)
Ingredients for making flavor variations of Banana Nice Cream

Toppings

If you’ve ever been to an ice cream shop where you get to choose your toppings, you know there are so many different options! The same applies here.

Some of our favorite topping ideas include:

  • Sliced fresh fruit (such as kiwi, banana, or berries)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Nut butter
  • Shredded coconut
  • Seed cycling mixes
Bowls of Banana Nice Cream in different flavors

We hope you LOVE this ice cream! It’s:

Creamy
Fluffy
Sweet
Fruity
Refreshing
& Delicious!

It’s perfect any time you’re craving a healthier dessert (or when you need to use up extra bananas)! It would also be fun as a homemade ice cream bar, allowing everyone to customize with different flavors and toppings.

More Banana Dessert Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of strawberry banana ice cream with bananas and strawberries on top

Easy Banana Ice Cream (Tips + 10 flavors!)

The ultimate guide to making EASY, perfect 1-INGREDIENT banana ice cream every time! We’re sharing our top tips and tricks, plus 10 delicious flavors!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowls of Banana Ice Cream in an assortment of flavors
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 (Servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? Best when fresh

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups sliced frozen ripe banana (~2 medium-large bananas as recipe is written — adjust amount if adjusting serving size // the riper, the sweeter)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup or other sweetener of choice (optional)

FLAVOR VARIATIONS

  • Vanilla (base recipe + 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • Strawberry (base recipe + 1 cup frozen strawberries, organic when possible)
  • Berry (base recipe + 1 cup frozen mixed berries)
  • Green Dream (base recipe + 1 tsp spirulina + 1-2 tsp matcha)
  • Chocolate (base recipe + 2 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder)
  • Chocolate Nut Butter (base recipe + 2 Tbsp cacao powder + 2 Tbsp nut butter)
  • Peanut Butter (base recipe + 2-3 Tbsp peanut butter or other nut butter of choice)
  • Chocolate Tahini
  • Sea Salt Caramel (4-6 soaked pitted dates + healthy pinch sea salt)
  • Cookie Dough

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

FREEZE BANANAS:

  • Be sure to start with ripe and spotty bananas. Peel and slice into 1/2-inch slices for easier blending (large chunks tax the motor). Then add to a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until firm (3-4 hours or overnight).

FOOD PROCESSOR:

  • Add sliced frozen bananas to a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. Then blend for 4-5 minutes or until completely smooth, fluffy, and blended. You’ll need to stop occasionally to stir and scrape the sides. You’ll be left with a soft serve texture. See “FREEZING” below for freezing tips.

HIGH-SPEED BLENDER:

  • Add sliced frozen bananas to a high-speed blender, our most recommended model being the Vitamix 5200 for ultimate control and its powerful motor. (The Kitchenaid KSB8270FP Pro Line Series works well, too.) Turn the Vitamix dial to its lowest setting and ensure the switch is flipped to “Variable” NOT “High” to start with. It’s too much to jump the motor from 0-100 that fast.
  • Once it’s started blending, quickly switch from “Variable” to “High” speed and use the tamper to press down and stir/agitate the bananas, which should turn into soft-serve texture banana ice cream quite quickly. If the motor seems to be struggling, stop and pause momentarily. Be sure to switch back to low speed / “Variable,” then switch to “High” speed every time to protect the motor.

FLAVORS:

  • Adding flavor to your nice cream is easy! For every flavor besides strawberry, berry, or Salted Caramel, simply add the recommended amounts of each ingredient to your ice cream at this time and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. If making strawberry or berry, we recommend adding them at the beginning with the unblended bananas for best texture.

FREEZING:

  • At this point you have soft-serve texture banana ice cream. To get more of a scoopable ice cream texture, simply spread into a Tupperware or parchment-lined loaf pan and freeze for 2-3 hours. Then scoop with an ice cream scoop! If too firm, let thaw 15-30 minutes to soften.

STORAGE:

  • Best when fresh. See freezing instructions above. Frozen banana ice cream should keep for up to 1 month if well covered, though we find it’s best when used within the first week.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 2 medium bananas and without optional ingredients.
*Prep time does not include slicing and freezing bananas.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 105 Carbohydrates: 26.9 g Protein: 1.3 g Fat: 0.4 g Saturated Fat: 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.09 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1 mg Potassium: 422 mg Fiber: 3.1 g Sugar: 14.4 g Vitamin A: 75.52 IU Vitamin C: 10.27 mg Calcium: 5.9 mg Iron: 0.31 mg

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  1. Leona Chatsko says

    I love your banana ice cream recipe. I noticed if I increase it to 4 servings the amount of bananas but not the berries. Is this right or should I double the berries as well?

    Leona

  2. Tricia Akins says

    Saw your notes on 1/2″ slice for banana’s so it’s easier on blender. Curious if a rough chop or mash would work, as well. Does it change the texture of ice cream if bananas are mashed before freezing?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tricia, a rough chop should work. We think mashing might still be hard on the blender.

  3. ♥ Dana & James ♥ says

    YUM! Probably our 100’th batch by now. Thank so much Minimalist Baker!

    — ♥ Dana & James ♥

  4. Jocelyn says

    This was fantastic. Made just Banana with a little agave for our first batch. Amazing. So easy in the Vitamix.

  5. Matija says

    Your tips are amazing! The choc. version is amazing! I would just like to add that if you do not have Vitamix or something from that category, use food processor. My blender is amazing (Moulinex Masterchef 8000), but still needs liquid and is simply not meant for this stuff.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it and found the tips helpful! Thanks for sharing, Matija!

    • Michelle says

      Love this! I used cocoa powder along w strawberries. Turned out amazing! Trying the salted caramel next.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Michelle! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  6. Eden Marie Blumenauer says

    Thank You Dana! Mind blown! I had been making this with almond milk and PB and could never get the right consistency. This was perfect and was the nice cream of my dreams!

  7. Jess says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I can no longer eat dairy and ice cream is the thing I miss the most. The sea salt caramel turned out pretty well. My food processor isn’t amazing so I would recommend chopping the dates as tiny as possible if you’re in the same boat as me.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Jess! If the dates are soaked they *should* blend easily, but yes, chopping also helps!

  8. Carly says

    Delicious! Be sure to use the tamper if using the blender. I added vanilla AND peanut butter! Delicious!

  9. Danielle says

    We love nice cream!🤩 We do “Chuncky Monkey” with roasted almonds, dark chocolate chuncks, and toasted coconut flakes. 😋 Super yummy! Or we add browney chuncks and marshmallow fluff, naughty “nice” cream🤭. 5hank you for the 💡!

  10. Ciara says

    So easy and delicious! Before adding flavor, I set some aside with a dollop of peanut butter to make a tasty dog treat for my pup’s birthday! We both loved it!

  11. Shuan says

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Do you know how the texture is after the ice cream has been frozen? Is it going to be real hard? And how many ounces in 2 servings? Thanks a lot.

  12. Alyssa says

    I’ve never made nice cream because I didn’t know it could be done in a food processor. Tried it today with strawberry and it was amaze :) ty!!!!

  13. Laura De León says

    This is an absolutely wonderful recipe. I have an old blender and it was really hard to get it to turn. I ended up putting in a tiny bit of almond milk, just enough to get the blades moving. A little squeeze of chocolate syrup and a bit of liquid Stevia was all it needed. Taste like the food of the Gods! Absolutely perfect! I brought a small bowl directly to my hubby who was working hard in the garage. One taste and his eyes almost came out of his head. “That’s delicious honey!“ Healthy! Easy! Delicious! What more can you ask for? THANK YOU! 💕

  14. Sandra Vera says

    Delciosousness like you say!! =)
    I’m big fan of you and cook many of your recipes.

    I have a question, how do you do to keep your Vitamix jar like new?
    It would be a good tip for me, sometimes mine is is yellow or green dependidng what my food color is. LOL

    Have a lovley day!

    Sandra V from Medellín – Colombia

  15. Andrea says

    This is so easy especially in a Vitamix blender. It is so good and refreshing. I made plain banana. I added maple syrup when blending and a tiny bit of plant milk. The bananas were very ripe when frozen so they had a strong flavor. Next time I’ll freeze the bananas less ripe. We added a little brown sugar which helped the strong banana flavor.

  16. Rileigh says

    AMAZING!!!!! I just made a batch of the chocolate peanut butter. We tried it soft-serve style before putting it back in the freezer for the final firm-up – absolutely delicious! I probably used closer to 3 cups of bananas, so I increased the maple syrup to 1 tbsp and used 3 tbsp of peanut butter and 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. I also added a pinch of sea salt – it’s perfect! Thanks so much!!! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can try but since there’s no tamper it’s hard to get the texture right. It takes practice and patience!

  17. sherry says

    i make this sort of ‘nice cream’ quite often. i have made it with all sorts of fruit like strawberries and raspberries, and of course bananas. it’s brilliant isn’t it? i add an egg white and a bit of sugar to the berry versions tho.
    cheers
    sherry

  18. Shelley Noble says

    Fantastic! Will try as soon as bananas go ripe. Love the clarity of instruction and the ability to select number of servings to get recipe amounts.

    Who are you angels??

  19. Elizabeth says

    I love this website! Minimal ingredients for recipes that are healthy, unique and tasty. I appreciate your efforts!

  20. Marti Glenn says

    Love. Love this banana “cream”… so easy to make and delicious! I always go for your recipes first and I LOVE when you show up in my “in box!” Thank you for all your delicious, down to earth, easy to create recipes. I make one almost every day!!