Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Without A Machine

The next time you’re craving a healthy frozen treat, make this easy banana ice cream recipe. You’ll need nothing more than frozen bananas and a food processor or blender — no ice cream machine needed!

Kirsten Nunez, MS

By Kirsten Nunez, MS

5 Ratings

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Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Without a Machine
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Thanks to the increasing popularity of plant-based food, there are plenty of delicious vegan ice cream brands to choose from. In fact, you might already have a few pints in your freezer right now.

However, if you’re craving certain flavors — or if you want to use up fresh ingredients — it’s worth learning how to make vegan ice cream at home. The trick is to use frozen bananas and a food processor or blender, which you likely already have on hand.

Also known as banana ice cream or nice cream, this recipe for dairy-free ice cream is the epitome of simple and delicious. Once you’ve this made vegan ice cream without a machine, be sure to pair it your favorite toppings like coconut milk whipped cream, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts and fruit.

Key Ingredients

Bananas and a bowl of maple syrup.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
  • Frozen bananas. This recipe features a base of ripe bananas that have been sliced and frozen. Check out our guide on how to freeze bananas.
  • Maple syrup. This ingredient helps sweeten the ice cream, but you can also use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or honey if you are vegetarian. Another option is to omit it completely if your bananas are very sweet.

How to Make Vegan Ice Cream Without a Machine

Banana ice cream is a easy to make. The hardest part will be choosing which add-ins and toppings to use!

Here’s how to make vegan ice cream with bananas:

1. Add the frozen banana slices and maple syrup to a food process or blender. Blend until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.

Frozen bananas in a food processor.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

2. For an ice cream that’s similar to soft-serve, you can enjoy the ice cream as is. Alternatively, for a thicker texture that can be used with an ice cream scoop, transfer the ice cream into an air-tight freezer-safe container and re-freeze for at least 2 hour.

Enjoy with your favorite ice toppings. Store leftovers in an air-tight freezer-safe container for up to 4 weeks.

Homemade Vegan Ice Cream with strawberries and chocolate chips.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Recipe Tips, Variations, and Substitutions

  • Switch up the sweetener. White, brown, and coconut sugar all work well in place of syrup. Other options include dates or agave.
  • Consider the ripeness of your bananas. For a less sweet ice cream, use yellow bananas with minimal browning. For a sweeter ice cream, use yellow bananas with brown spots. The darker the banana, the sweeter it will be.
  • Use an air-tight container. When re-freezing your banana ice cream, be sure to use a container with a tight-fitting lid. This will prevent your ice cream from developing freezer burn.

Flavor Ideas for Homemade Vegan Ice Cream

There are endless ways to customize this frozen banana ice cream recipe. For most flavors, you can blend the additional ingredients with the frozen bananas, then fold in other ingredients as needed. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Strawberry: Add 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • Chocolate: Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
  • Mango: Add 1 cup frozen diced mango.
  • Peanut butter: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Coffee: Add 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder or 1/4 to 1/2 cup cold brew coffee
  • Vanilla: Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin: Add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Pineapple: Add 1 cup frozen diced pineapple
  • Mint chocolate chip: Blend 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract into base and fold in 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • Blueberry: Add 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • Peach: Add 1 cup frozen diced peaches
Homemade Vegan Ice Cream with strawberries and chocolate chips.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

How to Store Leftovers

This vegan ice cream is best eaten fresh. However, if you’d like to store leftovers, be sure to use an air-tight freezer-safe container and enjoy it within 4 weeks.

Serving Suggestions

Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Without a Machine

Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Without a Machine

The next time you’re craving a healthy frozen treat, make this easy banana ice cream recipe. You’ll need nothing more than frozen bananas and a food processor or blender — no ice cream machine needed!
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
5 Ratings
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Any
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: banana ice cream, frozen banana ice cream, healthy vegan ice cream, vegan ice cream, vegan ice cream without a machine
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 1
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen banana slices
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons maple syrup or sugar

Instructions

  • Add the frozen banana slices and maple syrup to a food process or blender.
  • Blend until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
  • For an ice cream that’s similar to soft-serve, you can enjoy the ice cream as is. Alternatively, for a thicker texture that can be used with an ice cream scoop, transfer the ice cream into an air-tight freezer-safe container and re-freeze for at least 2 hours.
  • Enjoy with your favorite ice cream toppings.

Notes

  • Visit our handy guide on how to freeze bananas.
  • Store leftovers in an air-tight freezer-safe container for up to 4 weeks.
  • For fruit-flavored ice cream, blend the bananas with 1 cup of frozen fruit.
  • You can also add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons nut butter, and/or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for extra flavor.

Recommended Tools & Products

Food processor/blender
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!
Kirsten Nunez

About the Author

Kirsten Nunez is a journalist who focuses on healthy food and cooking. Her vegan and plant-based recipes have appeared on VegNews, eHow, Shape, and more. When she’s not creating vegan recipes for Clean Green Simple, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen and sharing plant-based meals with friends and family. More articles by Kirsten.

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27 thoughts on “Homemade Vegan Ice Cream Without A Machine”

  1. 5 stars
    I rate my foods on a 1-5 scale.
    Unfortunately, this recipe broke the scale.
    The dessert tastes way better than ice cream (to me anyway)
    Thanks so much for this super treat and all of your wonderful recipes.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I made this ice cream. It was very good. I like banana’s and could taste them in the background. This ice cream was a cross between a pudding and a mousse. I was a chef for 30 years and used many thickening agents, butter, heavy cream and roux, before becoming a Vegan. I’m trying to work out a thickening agent that won’t have an after taste like the banana’s. I also plan to freeze the ice cream after removing from processor. I’m going to add your coconut whipped cream on top next time. I just love your Vegan recipes and will try many more. Thank you for sharing with us all:)

    Reply
  3. I absolutely love these recipes. I was amazed at the creaminess of the bananas. For me, it’s all about texture. I was very doubtful, but I am telling you it is amazing. My husband even likes it. I even put frozen dark cherries in mine and with no extra sugar added it was fantastic!

    Reply
  4. hey! im going to try this tonight and it sounds amazing! but just wondering…will it still stay creamy if i freeze it? or do i have to make a fresh batch every night?

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    So happy to have found this recipe! I have a 4 year old daughter who has been highly allergic to dairy and off dairy byproducts her entire life. Living in Florida and not being able to have ice cream isnt working. She is going to love this, especially since 2 of her favorite foods are bananas and peanut butter. Thank you so much for posting!

    Reply
  6. I’ve been looking for something as simple and wonderful as this for a bit now. My mom and her boyfriend have been eating Ben and Jerry’s all week, and it’s been making me a little sore. As soon as I tried the recipes my first instinct was to tell you that I love you, but soon decided that was a little exaggerated. So, thank you. (:

    Reply
  7. Hi, I searched for a vegan icecream I could make w/o a machine and found yours…tried it today, very yummy : ) It’s in the freezer waiting to be taken to a dinner party tonight…they asked me to bring something to go with chocolate cake. Hmmm, The hostess is vegan and after thinking thinking thinking, I chose this. Keep your fingers crossed for me : ) I think I will blog it for my Monday post if you don’t mind : ) Giving you credit of course…Thank you for the inspiration and the recipe!!!

    Reply
  8. I grew up eating this! I make it in a champion juicer, but I suppose the food processor would work just as well.

    I just tried frozen oranges, limes and lemons with the banana. It masked the banana flavor and was fantastic!

    And when I was little my dad would put root beer extract in the mix. Fantastic for kids and they would never know it was banana!

    Reply
  9. Just made this for the first time using peanut butter and cacao..my only problem was impatience.. didn’t give my bananas time to completely freeze so it was more like a soft serve on a hot day…but it didn’t hurt the flavor one little bit and next time I will let my bananas freeze solid. Thank you so much! Delicious!

    Reply
  10. HaHa! I just had this for breakfast as well! I made mine with banana & peach…yummy! I am so glad I don’t have to buy an ice cream maker… yet another machine to put on my counter.

    Reply
  11. Great recipe! My 8 yr. old can do this by himself! I had some turkey figs and pistachios I needed to use and added a spoonful of Nutella to it. Can’t wait to try it tonight!

    Reply
  12. Ooh those look so good! I plan on making homemade ice cream + all the fixings so I needed something low-sugar to keep it a bit healthy. Thank you!

    Reply
  13. What a shocker! Tasty!! This is a delicious cross between gelato and pudding texture…that is just right : )

    Reply
  14. Wonderful photography and excellent ideas!! I adore the fact that it’s Vegan AND Sugar-Free! Splendid!!!!!! I have the bananas freezing for the Butter Pecan (candied pecans are cooling now-I used brown rice syrup in place of agave and am using all organic ingredients). I decided to use “fresh frozen” bananas instead of the black ones in the freezer now (they have a “funny” taste I can’t get past). I’m really excited to try this recipe!! I hope my children love it! Thank you!! 🙂

    Reply
  15. I blend my frozen banana with low fat milk and I was just wondering why is my ice cream turn brown-ish after I put them back to freezer? 🙁 It still taste wonderful, though. Definitely will be so much better with cookie crumbs \\(^o^)//

    Reply
  16. Wow this is seriously fantastic. I am gluten free and dairy free (and getting married in a few months so watching what I am eating). I didn’t have any chocolate or peanu tbutter on hand, but did have some canned pumpkin, added a little spice and ended up with the best dessert ever – with no guilt. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  17. I loved this post! I’m not even vegan or lactose intolerant, but I make frozen banana ice cream all the time when it’s warm out. I’m excited to try these flavors.

    Reply
  18. Amazing concept! I love the simplicity and many variations! Might try a bit of almond milk with the chocolate combination.
    Between a dairy free son and my being wheat/egg free, I think we have a winner!

    Reply
  19. Wow all of those look so delicious! I’ve made the frozen bananas before (so good) but didn’t think about all of the amazing possibilities that could be created! I gave up dessert for Lent…but since these are technically sugar free perhaps its allowed?? Can’t wait to make them!

    Reply
  20. Wow. Already enjoying this for breakfast, I could not wait! I added frozen blueberries and strawberries. I did have to add about 1/2 cup almond milk as it was too thick to mix up in the food processor without some liquid help. Yum Yum!

    Reply
  21. ^About the banana taste… I think it’ll depend on how ripe the banana is when you freeze/process it. I don’t particularly enjoy ripe bananas because of the texture and the strong fragrance, but a frozen ripe banana isn’t nearly as strong. When we run out of fresh bananas for smoothies, I have to turn to my family’s reserve of frozen “overly ripe” bananas (we freeze them when they get too ripe and no one wants to eat them anymore! lol)

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I’m really excited to try it! A warning about using semi-green bananas though – although I’m partial to eating semi-green bananas (yellow, but with a touch of green), if it’s not ripe enough then the bitter taste might come through, and the texture might come out different. Any who, I’ll just try the recipe already 😀

    Reply