Vegan Vanilla Soft Serve (No-Churn!)

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Drizzling chocolate magic shell onto cones with scoops of vegan vanilla soft serve

I scream, you scream, we all scream for soft serve! Isn’t that how it goes? This fluffy, creamy, and oh-so classic vegan soft serve has all the nostalgic goodness you know and love, with no dairy or ice cream maker required.

Just 6 ingredients and simple methods, friends. Let us show you how it’s done!

Cane sugar, coconut milk, cashew butter, almond milk, salt, and vanilla

It all begins with a happy accident we discovered a couple years ago. When you blend coconut milk with vanilla extract and then freeze it, some scientific magic (probably the alcohol in the vanilla) prevents it from freezing firmly. To the coconut milk and vanilla, we also add a little cashew butter, sugar, and sea salt for extra creaminess, sweetness, and flavor.

Pouring a sweet vanilla coconut mixture into an ice cube tray

After blending the sweet, creamy dairy-free milk, we pour it into an ice cube tray and pop it in the freezer to await the next ice cream craving.

Adding almond milk to a food processor with vanilla coconut ice cubes

Once they’re frozen (and the craving for ice cream strikes), the coconut vanilla ice cubes get added to a food processor with a little liquid (in the form of almond milk). The result? A thick, creamy, SOFT SERVE-style vanilla ice cream in minutes!

Vegan vanilla soft serve ice cream in a food processor

We hope you LOVE this vegan soft serve! It’s:

Easy to make
& SO delicious!

Enjoy it in a bowl or on a cone with your favorite toppings. Magic shell, caramel sauce, berry compote, and hot fudge are some of our faves! It would also be perfect for topping summer cobblers, crisps, and cakes (recipe coming soon!).

More No-Churn Ice Cream 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 vegan vanilla soft serve topped with chocolate magic shell

Vegan Vanilla Soft Serve (No-Churn!)

Creamy vegan vanilla soft serve made with simple methods and NO ice cream maker. SO classic and just 6 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Drizzling chocolate magic shell onto scoops of no-churn vegan vanilla ice cream resting in cones
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 (~1/2 cup servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1-2 Weeks
Does it keep? Store in freezer.



  • 1 (13.5-oz.) can full-fat coconut milk (use a smooth, creamy brand // we used Field Day)
  • 2 Tbsp cashew butter (we like Artisana)
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar*
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


FOR SERVING optional


  • ICE CUBES: At least 6 hours before you wish to enjoy the soft serve, prepare the sweetened coconut milk ice cubes.
  • For the ice cubes, place the coconut milk, cashew butter, cane sugar, vanilla, and salt into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth — about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to an ice cube tray — it should make ~14-16 standard-size ice cubes (as recipe is written). Freeze for at least 6 hours.
  • SOFT SERVE: To a food processor (our preferred method) or high-speed blender, add all of the coconut milk ice cubes and the almond milk (starting with the lesser amount — 2 Tbsp as the recipe is written). Pulse or blend until all of the ice cubes have completely broken down and you’ve achieved a thick, smooth consistency. You may need to stop and stir a few times to get it moving, or add more almond milk 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until it mixes more easily. If using a blender, use the blender’s tamper, pressing down to help it mix.
  • Enjoy immediately! If storing for later, place in an airtight container and freeze. Once refrozen, the texture will be firm, scoopable, and creamy but will be much more dense/icy than the fresh soft serve. Let sit for 10 minutes before scooping.



*Maple syrup might work in place of the cane sugar, but we haven’t tested it. Let us know if you try it!
*Loosely adapted from our Creamy Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of almond milk and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 (half-cup) serving Calories: 178 Carbohydrates: 11.6 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 13.8 g Saturated Fat: 10.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 67 mg Potassium: 130 mg Fiber: 0.1 g Sugar: 9.6 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 11 mg Iron: 0.7 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Joanne says

    Hi, Dana! I made this before and it came out perfectly. I just made it again and it was grainy and broke up into small shards when I scooped it out. There are so few ingredients, I can’t figure out what went wrong. I did use the 6T of almond milk and I think last time I used less. Do you think that’s it? The first time I also used raw cashew butter but they were out so this time I used a roasted brand. Would that make a difference? Thank you for your assistance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! We’re so sorry it didn’t work well this time, Joanne. We think the brand of coconut milk would be the most likely culprit. Were you using a different brand this time? Or did it seem less thick and creamy, perhaps? We wouldn’t think the cashew butter would make a difference. Possibly the almond milk, but it shouldn’t!

      • Joanne says

        Hmmm…no I used Let’s Do It heavy coconut cream both times and it seemed okay. Maybe it was just a change in that batch. The taste was still there, it was just a bummer for entertaining/presentation. I figured I’d check in with you about it to see if I missed something. Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cassia, we’d suggest sunflower butter, tahini (if you like its earthy bitterness), or just leaving it out!

  2. Kate says

    Hi there, I am allergic to cashews – what are the best alternatives to make it creamy as opposed to just leaving nut butter out? Or is it really the only viable nut butter option? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kate, cashew is the most neutral in flavor, but sunflower seed butter or a raw or lightly roasted almond butter might work. Hope that helps!

  3. Joanne says

    I made this with maple syrup instead of sugar and it was sooo good. Both soft and later when it was frozen. I served it with the caramel sauce and the dessert absolutely incredible! Total swoon. Definitely a five-star recipe.

  4. Brenda Bailey says

    This soft serve ice cream is so good! I am so thankful for this recipe. It’s s so simple to make and tastes wonderful. I’ve made it twice now, and this is definitely the best!!

  5. Sharon says

    I am a Minimalist Baker junkie. My go-to recipes almost exclusively come from you, so first, thank you. I made the recipe by grinding my own cashew butter from the raw cashews I keep handy for your vegan queso! I followed the recipe exactly. My tip is that I used a silicone mini-tart tray instead of ice cube tray to freeze the mixture. So easy to remove the discs for blending. I can’t wait to experiment with add-ins. Anybody remember Dairy Queen Blizzards? Can’t wait to have the kids over for a flashback!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Awww, we’re SO glad you enjoy our recipes, Sharon! Thank you for your kind words and support! Big Dairy Queen Blizzard fan here too (!!). We have a few Blizzard recipes if you’re interested :)

  6. Anastacia says

    I made this last week and it was an instant hit! I used your recipe for the magic shell topping and everyone loved it, bonus! I could not find the cashew butter, but saw that it was ok not to use and it still came out very creamy. Thank you so much, this is now part of our dessert rotation! 💗

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for the lovely review, Anastacia! xo

  7. Sascha says

    Just made this, except did 1 cup cashews + 1 cup water instead of cashew butter, plus 1 can of coconut milk, and subbed cane sugar for 5 large medjool dates!! instead of the almond milk, i reserved about 1/2 cup of this mixture to blend the cubes with!! so good & refreshing.

  8. Annette says

    I can’t wait to make this ice cream! However, inflation, being what it is, I can’t afford the more expensive nut butters. I love tahini, but I’m afraid it’ll alter the taste too much. So will the recipe still work as well with almond butter? I’ve got plenty of that!

  9. Nora says

    Is there anyway to make your recipes using coconut products that an alternative can be used. I am not allowed to use coconut products.
    Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nora, it will depend on the recipe and how much it’s relying on coconut for its rich, thick texture. For this specific recipe, we aren’t sure of an alternative that would produce a similar result!

  10. Megan says

    I know part of the appeal is a no-churn recipe but, do you think I can put this in a regular ice cream machine & churn it with equally good results?

  11. VICKY says

    Looks great and can’t wait to make it! Would coconut sugar be a good substitute for cane sugar? And are the ice cube trays really necessary? Wanting to make it now but don’t have those…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Vicky, we find cane sugar does the best job of preventing ice crystals. We think maple syrup would be a more complementary flavor than coconut sugar, but it might be a little more icy! The purpose of the ice cube tray is that it gets the mixture into small, equal-sized pieces that allows it to blend until creamy. You could use a similar-sized container (maybe a silicone mini muffin pan liner or silicone gummy mold) if you have something like that. Hope that helps!

  12. Deb says

    Looks yummy!
    Seeing as how vegan ice “cream” is so expensive in the markets, this is a great cost saver.
    What would be your recommended nut/seed subs for the cashew butter?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deb, we’d suggest sunflower butter, tahini (if you like its earthy bitterness), or just leaving it out!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Possibly! It might leave a little grittiness. It might be better to leave it out!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, the cashew butter adds extra creaminess. Banana or mango might work similarly!