Dairy-free Mocha Chip Ice Cream--Super- Creamy and Coconut-free

If you love chocolate and coffee, you are going to love this dairy-free mocha ice cream that has the perfect coffee kick paired with cocoa and chocolate chips. You're only 8 ingredients away from this super creamy, cashew-based bowl of dreamy ice cream.

Bowl of Mocha Chip Ice Cream

I LOVE ice cream so much -I even used to work in an ice cream parlor, which wasn't a good idea :). Due to us having candida, and my son's life-threatening dairy allergy, I've already got a nice selection of dairy-free ice creams here, like Chocolate Almond Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Lemon Poppyseed, but I'm very excited to have this new Mocha Chip Ice Cream for you today.

Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream.

I have been hearing a lot about ice cream in my house these days. My 14-month-old has gotten into the habit of pointing to our freezer and saying, “i keem” (ice cream) whenever she passes it or whenever she’s hungry.

I suppose I should take the blame for this.

First, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (I was a junk foodie in my younger years), second, I MAY have let my kids have ice cream for breakfast ONCE…and I have been paying for it ever since =), and finally, I make ice cream that is FAR too yummy =).

I have been making homemade ice cream for a couple of years now (ever since I went dairy, and refined sugar-free and store-bought no longer fit the bill). To my surprise making your own is a lot easier than I thought, and with a blender and ice cream maker, it’s even easier!

I try to keep coconut milk and dried coconut (to make my own coconut milk) in great supply, but from time to time I run out. So when I wanted ice cream on a day I ran out of both, it was time to get creative.

I scoured the pantry and freezer for a coconut milk substitute. What I came up with was a big bag of raw cashews.

I figured I had made cashew cream before, so why not cashew ice cream?

(Please note: I am not a huge fan of cashew cream but I LOVE this recipe, so don’t be afraid if you’re not a fan either).

I felt like a genius. But an original idea it was not!

I am happy to say that some other lovely bloggers had some great recipes that I used as a jumping off point. The most helpful was one by Pamela Salzman that is sadly no longer available on the internet.

While her recipes looked heavenly, I either lacked the ingredients or could not eat them so I had to think on my feet and came up with Mocha Cashew Ice Cream.

It sounds amazing, and it is.

I crave this ice cream ALL THE TIME.

It’s almost a problem.

It really is that good. It’s creamy, chocolate-y, and has that great kick of coffee. This recipe is surprisingly rich and creamy, and a little will go a long way. The creaminess actually caught me off guard; it had the texture of real dairy (from my distant recollection)!

One “problem” with dairy-free ice creams is that while they have great texture right out of the machine, they can get hard in the freezer over time, and require a thawing period before serving. With this recipe, you will notice that while it still gets hard over time it is not as hard as (sugar-free) coconut milk ice cream and it doesn’t need to sit out as long to thaw.

YESSSSS! Less time from freezer to my mouth!

A word to the wise however, is that if you plan on eating this as saying a little treat after you get your kids to bed, use DECAF! I haven’t had coffee in a few years and a little sip of it will keep me up all day.

Therefore, 1 big bowl of mocha ice cream at 8pm = 1 mama awake far too late for having kids who wake up at 530am.

But it was worth it! =)

Other Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. Please check out these other yummy ice cream and frozen treat creations:

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (dairy-free, sugar-free) - a fun twist on traditional Mint Chocolate Chip
Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy-free and sugar-free) - rich and oh so simple to make!
Fantastic Dairy-Free Fudgesicles (sugar-free with vegan option) - they taste like the real thing!
Key Lime Coconut Milk Popsicles (dairy-free with vegan option) - super refreshing!
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (dairy & sugar-free) - a fave done low-carb and dairy-free
- Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream (dairy & sugar-free)
- Chocolate Almond Chip Ice Cream (dairy & sugar-free) - a childhood fave turned healthier

Recipe Notes

  1. If you have an ice cream maker (I am very fortunate to have this one) keep the freezer bowl in the freezer (deep freeze is best) at all times. That way when you want to make ice cream it is ready to go!
  2. Even though many recipes tell you to soak your cashews anywhere from 4 hours to overnight, DO NOT soak them for more than 6 hours. They get bitter and slimy if soaked too long. I've had bitter cashew cream and it leaves, well, a bitter taste in your mouth!
  3. Again, you can use either regular or decaf coffee, but if you’re really sensitive like me you may want to go decaf.
  4. White Chocolate Chips: You could try white chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips (see Homemade White Chocolate Chips).

Bowl of Mocha Chip Ice Cream

Special Diet Options

  • Cashews: If you have a cashew allergy, macadamias would be the closest substitute. See carb notes below.
  • Low Carb: Omit the dates completely and use either an extra scoop or two of stevia, about 15 drops liquid stevia (to taste - See How to Use Stevia), or other appropriate sweetener like xylitol if you are either dealing with severe candida or need a low-carb recipe (I always suggest doing this to taste). Cashews are also a higher-carb nut so watch your serving size to stay low carb, or use a different nut to keep it lower carb.
    On the other hand if you prefer not to use stevia you can omit it and double the dates (or add to taste).
  • Carob: Use organic carob instead of cocoa if you need to avoid caffeine.
  • Homemade Chocolate Chips: If you have dietary restrictions or candida please see this recipe for homemade chocolate chips that are super easy to make.
  • Coffee Substitute: Here is a great recipe for coffee substitute which you can use instead of coffee.
  • Homemade Liquid Stevia: See this good make-your-own option for liquid stevia.
  • Thickener: If you use MCT oil, not using a thickener should be fine.  If you do not use MCT oil, though, I would definitely use gelatin or arrowroot to improve the texture of the ice cream.
  • THM: This recipe qualifies as an "S" for those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, just make sure that you use gelatin if using a thickener.


three scoops of mocha ice cream in a bowl

Vegan Mocha Chip Ice Cream (dairy, sugar, and coconut free)

Vegan Ice Cream - sugar free! This yummy coffee and chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips is made with a cashew base, but adaptable for allergies. Full of healthy goodness.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan
Keyword: dairy-free mocha ice cream, Vegan Mocha Ice Cream
Servings: 6 - 8
Calories: 409kcal


  • 2 cups cashews (soaked and drained)
  • 6 medjool dates (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coffee (use strong coffee)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5/8-4/3 teaspoon liquid stevia (or 20-40 drops; to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-3 tablespoons MCT oil (optional - for creaminess)
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin (or arrowroot; optional - as thickener)
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)


  • Soak cashews in water (cover by about an inch) and let sit covered with a kitchen towel for 4-6 hours. Drain.
  • Place all ingredients except chocolate chips, if using, in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth (if using gelatin, let it dissolve in water before adding it to the other ingredients).
  • Pour mixture into ice cream maker bowl and follow manufacturers directions.
  • Add the chocolate chips, if using. (I usually add them as soon as the mixture begins to show signs of freezing in the ice cream maker--about 7 minutes after the machine starts processing).


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 4mg | Net Carbs: 37g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

So that's all - enjoy the savings and the flavor of this lovely ice cream.

What's YOUR Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?

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  1. Hi Heidi,
    I used my husband's coffee which is on the stronger side. He uses 4 heaping tablespoons of coffee for 6 (coffee) cups of water. I hope that helps!

    1. Hmmm...I'm not sure either. I would maybe brew it 1.25 or 1.5 times regular but I will ask the author to chime in.

  2. If we're using a blender rather than an ice cream maker, do we just put it in a freezer-safe container after blending and leave for, what, four hours?

    1. That should work just fine! I might add a bit more cocoa if you like a strong chocolate flavor.

    2. Dee,
      If you roast dandelion roots and grind them, they taste very similar to coffee. There are a lot of different instructions if you google it.

  3. I can't decide whether to try coconut milk or cashew based ice cream first! It will be chocolate though 🙂 Oh yes, me and my mom have gotten coffee ice cream before, after dinner, and definitely paid the price later ... totally worth it though! Thanks for sharing, pinned!

    1. I had a bad night the other night after eating some chocolate in the afternoon - I don't know that it's worth it for me :).