Easy Chocolate No-churn Ice Cream – vegan, no refined sugar – 4 ingredients!

In my early years of healthy eating, I’d always make ice cream with frozen banana, fruits and cashew or tahini. It’s absolutely decadent and super easy to make.

In more recent times I’ve explored a myriad of different ways to make ice cream without an ice cream machine… all with delicious results. I’ve never owned an ice cream maker and love being able to create delicious treats with minimal fuss. In today’s recipe, I wanted to share something that was fuss-free, simple and delicious. Not churning your ice cream, means that you have slightly different considerations than regular ice cream.

I must say, that making this treat in such a way, can be equally delicious and undoubtedly much healthier than sugar, dairy-laden alternatives.

My husband doesn’t normally like chocolate ice cream, yet he can eat this version like there’s no tomorrow. So, the Bourne household gives it a massive thumbs up.

Chocolate no-churn icecream by Trinity Bourne

A recipe for successful no-churn ice cream

Here are some simple, yet important tips for making this ice cream successfully…

  1. Make sure that you purchase a good quality organic coconut milk with a minimum of 60% coconut. The less water content in there the better.
  2. The idea is for the dried (or semi-dried) dates (and cashews) to soak up the excess water from the coconut milk – so that it will turn to a pouring-type cream upon blending. So be sure to use dates that are not already very moist (i.e not Medjool dates but rather a variety like Sun-Dried Deglet Noor Dates). This is quite important to achieve the correct pouring cream consistency, before freezing. It’s easy with the right dates.
  3. After it has fully frozen, the key is to let it sit on the kitchen counter for about half an hour before you eat it, so a little bit of forethought is required. This simple step cuts out the entire need for traditional churning and we LOVE it!

Why chocolate, and is it good for us?

Raw Cacao is chock-full of antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, polyphenols, minerals and vitamins. Cacao brings yet another incredible line up of super-food nutrition to this healthy ice cream. The theobromine in cacao helps to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles and dilate the blood vessels. Chemicals naturally present also encourage serotonin, and other neurotransmitters, that help inspire a good-mood and relieve depression. Cacao (which is the raw form of cocoa) contains various components like alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, that all work together to improve physical and mental health. (Scroll down to the bottom of page for a link for recommended raw cacao powder.)


Chocolate no-churn icecream closer

Where can you buy raw cacao powder?

You can purchase raw cacao powder in any good health food store these days. I’ve tried lots of different varieties. The key is to find fairly traded, organic versions of this superfood. Here are links to a couple of my favourite brands. Both companies have ethical, fair trade policies.

(These are affiliate links by the way. If anyone makes a purchase via these links, I do get a tiny commission 😉 – which is always really appreciated and provides a means to pay for the costs of running my website here ♥ )

BUY USA: Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder, 16-oz. Pouches (Packof 2)

BUY UK: Raw Organic Peruvian Cacao Powder – 500g (Certified Organic)

Thanks for tuning in. Please feel free to ask any questions
or share your experiences in the comments below.


Let’s enjoy…

Easy Chocolate No-churn Ice Cream - vegan, dairy free, no refined sugar

Easy Chocolate No-churn Ice Cream - vegan, dairy free, no refined sugar

Yield: 4
An easy no-churn, dairy-free, vegan chocolate, coconut milk ice cream recipe without refined sugar


  • 400ml coconut milk (canned)
  • 100g dried pitted dates (approximately 11 dates)
  • 50g cashew nuts (or a handful)
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder


  • Soak the dates and cashew nuts in the coconut milk overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
  • When soaked, blend all of the 'soaked' ingredients together. This should create a nice pouring cream consistency. You can do this with a hand blender (you may get tiny flex of cashews if you use a hand blender - like I do) or alternatively, use a high powered jug blender.
  • Blend in the cacao powder.
  • Pour into a loaf tin or baking tin/dish (approximate size: 25cm x 18cm or 10in x 7in works well).
  • Pop it into the freezer.
  • Freezing time depends on the tin/dish that you are using. Freeze overnight or until solid (3 to 6 hours).
  • When ready to enjoy, take out of the freezer and allow 20 minutes to half an hour to soften before you scoop.
  • This will keep in the freezer for weeks (good luck with that!).
  • Enjoy with a sprinkle of coconut, nuts, cacao nibs or fresh berries.
  • Notes

    *Make sure that you purchase a good quality organic coconut milk with a minimum of 55% coconut. The less water content in there the better.
    *The idea here is for the dates (and cashews) to soak up the excess water from the coconut milk - so that it will turn to a cream upon blending. So be sure to use dates that are not already super moist. This is quite important for the correct pouring cream consistency, before freezing.
    •If you don't have raw cacao powder, you can use cocoa powder instead - but be sure to purchase a high quality, fair trade, organic version.


    1. Nóri @ ingeniouscooking.com July 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      “This will keep in the freezer for weeks (good luck with that!).” – I have no idea how you managed to get that piece of information! 😀 Simply gorgeous recipe! 🙂

      • Ha ha! It comes from having to make lots of different batches of different types. Also, changing British summer weather. One minute it is ice cream weather – next minute it’s hot soup time 🙂 Otherwise, it wouldn’t last two minutes.

    2. Roz July 25, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      I used a tray of dates, a tin of organic coconut milk, a small packet of cashew nuts, with the salt rinsed off, and 3 tbsp of cacao, and added two small tubs of natural yoghurt because it was very thick, and very sweet.. and it turned out fabulous!! Will be adding the yoghurt again next time, thought about adding vanilla and leaving out cacao for my OH who doesn’t like chocolate flavour desserts.. great recipe, thanks!

    3. Emily May 14, 2016 at 6:33 am - Reply

      I do almost this recipe (this looks even better so am looking forward to trying it) and put it into ice lolly moulds for the kids, they love them straight from freezer through the summer!

    4. Tundi August 27, 2016 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      I need to try this. How funny, I also often used banana to sweeten ice creams. Never thought of dates. Thanks for the fab recipe. x

    5. Tracy May 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      Oh my gosh this is so delicious! And it certainly doesn’t last long in the freezer 🙄. I do wonder how to determine the percentage of coconut in the can. It doesn’t seem to be on the label. Perhaps I’ll try the website for each brand for more information. Thank you. This is so scrumptious and without sugar, it’s a gem.

      • Hi Tracy – happy to hear that you like this.
        Ahhhhh – no idea how to determine coconut percentage if it’s not on the label. I’ve never known it not to be on the label of the ones I’ve purchased before. Yes ask the company 🙂 They should tell you.

    6. Nour March 7, 2019 at 11:22 am - Reply

      Really really good recipe. My toddler loved it.

      • Anastasia March 7, 2019 at 11:48 am - Reply

        Fab! I am making ice cream next week again… it’s time!

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