Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream — this dairy-free peanut butter ice cream is rich, creamy, scoopable right from the freezer and just three ingredients that you probably already have on hand. It’s the thing non-dairy ice cream recipe dreams are made of.
It’s the night before the Presidential Election Of All Presidential Elections. The health of our nation, in so many more ways than one, is on the line in a big way, and I am craving a respite from all the questions that never should have been raised over the past four years.
Science? No, friends. Science.
Equality? No, no. Equality.
Human decency? Well, the clear answer is Human Decency., but to pose it as a question implies that it was ever on our current administration’s radar in the first place. We’re well past the point of red flags, but if ever there were one…
Politics aside, these past four years have been riddled with toxicity. In an Instagram post that received far less backlash than I expected (a glimmer of hope, perhaps? kindness prevailing?), I went so far as to liken our current situation to freaking Cancer.
Needless to say, a lot rides on Tuesday — and likely the days and weeks that follow.
Needless to say Part 2: we could all use some ice cream.
I have long believed that ice cream is a great uniter. In fact, I can’t think of a single person in my life who doesn’t like it (or one of its modern dairy-free iterations). I can connect just about every member of my family to an ice cream memory, and much of my social life as a tween and surly teenager revolved around the comings and goings of our neighborhood ice cream parlor. There is very little that ice cream cannot improve, and since I feel largely the same about peanut butter, this Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe is a little bit of a holy grail situation for me.
Truly Creamy Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Nailing both the texture AND taste of dairy-free ice cream can be tricky. There are plenty of people who have cracked the code out there, but if you’re looking to avoid either corn syrup or a distinctly coconutty flavor profile, the range of options narrows. This ice cream, inspired by an excellent Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Gelato that I had at Gelatio in Palo Alto more than five years ago, is rich, creamy and totally scoopable straight out of the freezer with zero chalkiness. And all without employing any gums or stabilizers you might not have on hand.
How To Make Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream
This Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream couldn’t be simpler — just three ingredients, one bowl and, as with all ice cream, a little patience. Yes, you’ll need an ice cream maker. I haven’t tried to make it without one. I’ve been using a previous generation of this ice cream maker for 14 years and it more than gets the job done. I’m not big on kitchen appliances, but if you make ice cream a few times a year (and you will, once this recipe is part of your repertoire), I can’t recommend it enough. Oh, and because we’re not adding eggs or dissolving sugar? There’s no real cooking involved. It’s the lowest-effort ice cream recipe I’ve made.
Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Ice Cream Ingredients
Now, about those three ingredients — let’s get into them, because they’re key:
- Chunky Peanut Butter. Does it have to be chunky? No. I like the textural contrast with the smooth ice cream. You do you on that part. But it does have to be no-stir. If you use the all-natural kind of peanut butter that naturally separates in the jar — even if you stir it up the best of your ability — the ice cream just won’t be super smooth and creamy and scoopable. This might mean having to buy your favorite store brands’ Peanut Butter “Spread” (usually containing some kind of oil and sugar). Or just the good ol’ Jif or Skippy. While these usually aren’t preferred products in our house, I’m happy to make the exception for exceptionally creamy results. (And let’s be honest: after years of eating only all natural peanut butter, a spoonful of the processed stuff tastes pretty dang good every now and then.)
- Honey. Obviously, this is what makes it very much non-vegan; and depending on whether or not you’re strictly vegan or just aiming to avoid meat, dairy and eggs, it could be problematic — or not. I’m hoping to try the recipe with maple syrup or brown rice syrup soon (or a combo of both, for flavor), but in the meantime, I’m not promising that using either of these would achieve the same results. I also just really love the nostalgic flavor combo that is peanut butter and honey together.
- Oat Milk. While I am fairly confident that this Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe would work with any full-fat non-dairy milk, the one that we’ve used for consistently creamy dairy-free peanut butter ice cream is Oatly — specifically, Oatly Original in the light blue package. Low Fat Oatly doesn’t achieve quite the same results, and I haven’t tested it with Full Fat Oatly, but I know from using it in place of the Original in other recipes that it’s much richer and more viscous, which could affect how the ice cream freezes. (Let’s remember: there’s plenty of fat in the peanut butter already, and when there’s too much fat in ice cream, the texture can go from creamy to waxy.)
Beyond those three key ingredients, all that’s left is a good pinch of salt — this is genuinely a “to-taste” situation since the saltiness of your peanut butter and your dairy-free milk might be different than mine — and any toppings you might choose. I like a combo of chopped dry-roasted peanuts and my fave cacao nibs (again, I’m all about textural juxtaposition) — but down the line, I could most definitely see experimenting with a little ribbon of not-too-sweet strawberry preserves.
Now, clearly you (or someone in your household) has to be a peanut butter lover to really get after this ice cream, but I have a feeling you wouldn’t be here if that weren’t the case. In my house, I’m lucky enough to be the only person who truly loves peanut butter ice cream, so I revel in the fact that there’s no need to share. It’s also why the scale of this recipe is on the small side — the loaf pan in the photos is smaller than average, about 7″ x 4″, but you can use whatever freezer-safe container you like with an approximate 2-cup capacity. Easy, friends.
Without a doubt, I’ll be sitting down with a big, heaping bowl of this goodness as we tune into Tuesday’s nail-biting election coverage. I mean, even if I’m screaming. And you’re screaming. We might as well all be screaming with ice cream…right?
Here goes nothing.
Like the sound of this Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream?
Be sure to check out:
- Cranberry Sherbet Freezes (Dairy-Free)
- No-Bake Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls + How To Build a Simple Snack Board
- The Reverse Affogato (aka the best coffee shop espresso at home)
- Pink Mini Vegan Donut Muffins
- Pantry-Friendly Zucchini Fritters with Greek Yogurt Ranch
- Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Ice Cream (via Dessert for Two)
- Salty Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream (via Heartbeet Kitchen)
- Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream (via Snixy Kitchen)
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅔ cup crunchy, no-stir peanut butter (see note)
- 1⅓ cups oat milk (NOT low fat -- see note)
- pinch salt, to taste
- Add honey and peanut butter to a medium microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave in 15 second increments until honey and peanut butter stir together smoothly. Mixture should just be warm, not hot. (Note: if your peanut butter and honey already stir together easily, you can skip this step.)
- Stir in oat milk and a pinch of salt, to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate mixture until cool.
- Add mixture to an ice cream maker (don't forget to pre-freeze the insert the night before, if needed) and churn for 20-25 mins or until the texture of soft-serve, occasionally running a spoon along the edge to scrape icy edges back into the mix.
- Pour ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm. Serve and enjoy.
2. Regarding the peanut butter: it doesn't have to be chunky. But it does have to be no-stir. If you use the all-natural kind of peanut butter that naturally separates in the jar -- even if you stir it up the best of your ability -- the ice cream just won't be super smooth and creamy and scoopable. This might mean having to buy your favorite store brands' Peanut Butter "Spread" (usually containing some kind of oil and sugar). Or just the good ol' Jif or Skippy. While these usually aren't preferred products in our house, I'm happy to make the exception for exceptionally creamy results.
3. Regarding the non-dairy milk: While I am fairly confident that this Almost Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe would work with any full-fat non-dairy milk, the one that we've used for consistently creamy dairy-free peanut butter ice cream is Oatly -- specifically, Oatly Original in the light blue package. Low Fat Oatly doesn't achieve quite the same results, and I haven't tested it with Full Fat Oatly, but I know from using it in place of the Original in other recipes that it's much richer and more viscous, which could affect how the ice cream freezes. (Let's remember: there's plenty of fat in the peanut butter already, and when there's too much fat in ice cream, the texture can go from creamy to waxy.)
OH! before you go…
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