Vegan ice cream sandwich (classic)

Vegan ice cream sandwich (classic)

vegan ice cream sandwich stack

Baby it’s hot outside! So so hot – a perfect level of heat for a refreshing vegan ice-cream sandwich, don’t you think? These, classic-inspired, dairy-free ice-cream sandwiches have been our latest treat of choice as UK is going through a major heatwave. I filled my freezer with these and we’ve been enjoying them when a mood for something sweet yet cold hits us in the middle of a hot afternoon.

These vegan ice-cream sandwiches are surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delightful – creamy (no-churn!) vanilla ice-cream hugged snuggly by two pieces of fudgy vegan brownie…heaven, I tell ya! So much so that Duncan pronounced them one of the best things I’ve made, which is a high praise indeed given I’ve now published close to 800 recipes!! – I think it’s because they are based on a suburban classic and he got all nostalgic.

To make the base, I simply baked two trays of my vegan brownies. I made a single batch and split it between two tins and adjusted the baking time accordingly. My original recipe uses aquafaba, which I have been using in brownies instead of eggs for years, but I am aware that some people are reluctant to consume chickpea brine and I wanted to offer and alternative. I decided to see what will happen if I whip activated flax in the same manner as aquafaba and after a little tweaking in terms of the amounts, I am happy to report that it worked really well indeed.

For the ice-cream layer, I blended softened cashews and coconut cream with some sweetener, vanilla and salt until smooth. I poured the mixture into a silicone mould, sealed it with a piece of baking paper to prevent ice crystals from forming and popped into the freezer for a few hours. Once solid, I sandwiches it between two slabs of fudgy brownie and cut into pieces.

Instead of making your own ice-cream, you can simply buy your favourite vegan ice-cream, let it thaw just a little and spread it between two sheets of vegan brownie then pop it back into the freezer for the ice-cream to harden before cutting.


CASHEWS: Raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for at least 20 minutes, are one of the key ice-cream ingredients. They are fattier than other nuts and neutral in flavour, which means that they cannot really be replaced with anything else apart from macadamias perhaps (apparently but I have not had a chance to try myself).

COCONUT CREAM: For best texture, use fatty, solid coconut cream – the type that separates from a tin of stabiliser-free full fat coconut milk or coconut cream after prolonged refrigeration. Even if you buy a tin labelled coconut cream, it pays off to chill it to separate the fat from coconut water to make the ice-cream as luxurious as possible.

MAPLE SYRUP: Maple syrup is used to sweeten the ice-cream, I didn’t use an awful lot as the brownie is rather indulgent but you can adjust that to your taste. You can of course use another liquid sweetener (like agave syrup or brown rice syrup) or sugar. Icing sugar/powdered sugar is best as it will dissolve easily.

VANILLA: A generous amount of vanilla gives the ice-cream delicious vanilla flavour.

SALT: A small amount of salt helps to reinforce sweetness and deepened the flavour both the ice-cream layer and the brownie layer.

DARK CHOCOLATE: A good tray of brownies relies on good chocolate. I used 70% cacao dark chocolate and that’s what I recommend for an intensely chocolatey flavour.

MUSCOVADO SUGAR: Muscovado sugar is high in moisture and so it helps to crank up brownies’ fudgy interior. If you haven’t got any, don’t worry. I made some tests with caster sugar and the brownies came out really good too.

ALL PURPOSE FLOUR: Plain flour is used in these brownies and that’s important – we don’t want to use self-rising flour as it would make these brownies cakey. If you want to make the brownies gluten-free, use a good GF flour mix, one which contains a high proportion of starches for binding.

CORNSTARCH: A bit of cornstarch helps with fudginess, but if you cannot have it, use another tablespoon of plain flour instead.

COCOA POWDER: natural (not Dutch processed) cocoa powder gives the brownie layer even more chocolate richness than what you would get if you were to use melted chocolate alone.

SALT: A bit of salt is great in desserts and especially in chocolate desserts as it makes the chocolate taste better. I only used a small amount as my vegan butter contains salt already, but if yours doesn’t, feel free to double the amount.

BAKING SODA: A very small amount of baking soda helps these brownies cook, but it’s not enough to make them cakey.

GROUND FLAX: I used ground flax seeds in place of eggs in this recipe. I have not tested with chia seeds, but they should work just as well in theory. Alternatively, you can also make them with aquafaba (chickpea brine) instead of flax and soy milk – see method.

SOY MILK: I used soy milk to activate flax seeds and to add moisture to the batter. I like using soy milk in baking as it’s high in protein, but I am pretty sure any plant milk will work just as well.

vegan ice cream sandwiches flax

Combine FLAX and soy milk in a large mixing bowl and let them sit together for 20 minutes. Next, add in all of the caster sugar. Place chocolate, vegan butter and muscovado sugar in a bowl suspended over a pot and start melting it on low heat.

vegan ice cream sandwiches flax whipped

Whisk the mixture with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, you want it become pale in colour and a little gooey/stringy – a bit like an egg white.

vegan ice cream sandwiches chocolate

Stir melted chocolate, vegan butter and muscovado sugar together gently until you have a homogenous mixture, then add it to the bowl with flax, soy milk and sugar.

vegan ice cream sandwiches flour

Stir until well combined, next add all of the dry ingredients in three batches, folding gently to combine. Fold only until there are no dry pockets left.

vegan ice cream sandwiches before baking

Divide the batter between two identical (I used square 20 cm / 8″ brownie tins) baking tins and bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven. Cool down completely, then refrigerate for a few hours to firm up and for the brownie bases to become fudgy.

vegan ice cream sandwiches components

Once the ice-cream is solid, remove it from the freezer. Take the baking paper sheet of and unmould.

vegan ice cream sandwiches assembly

Flip the first sheet of brownie upside down, pop a frozen slab of vegan ice-cream on top and cover with the second sheet of brownie. Quickly cut to size with a sharp knife. It helps to warm up the knife by dipping it in hot water and wiping before each cut.

vegan ice cream sandwiches cut

vegan ice cream sandwich box side

vegan ice cream sandwich box

30 min
15 min
30 min
15 min
ICE CREAM (or shop-bought vegan ice-cream)

  • 160 g / 1¼ cup cashews, soaked
  • 210 g / 1¼ cup solid coconut cream* (not milk)
  • 80 ml / 1/3 cup maple syrup (or sugar)
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • 8 g / 4 tsp ground flax + 120 ml / ½ cup soy milk (or 120 ml / ½ cup aquafaba*)
  • 200 g / 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 125 g / 1 cup all purpose flour* (or a GF flour mix)
  • 8 g / 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 50 g / scant ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda (GF certified if needed)
  • 150 g / 5¼ oz vegan 70% cocoa dark chocolate
  • 100 g / ½ cup vegan butter
  • 50 g / ¼ cup light muscovado sugar



  1. Place all of the ice cream ingredients in a small blender. Blend until silky smooth.
  2. Pour into a square 20 cm / 8″ silicone mould or a similar size container lined with baking paper. Gently stick a piece of baking paper to the surface of the ice-cream mixture and freeze until solid.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C / 355° F. Line two square 20 cm / 8 inch baking tins (or one rectangular tin twice the size) with two long strips of baking paper so that all of the sides are covered.
  2. If using FLAX, place it in a large mixing bowl with 120 ml / ½ cup of soy milk and set aside for 20 minutes. If using aquafaba, skip to the next step.
  3. Combine flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in another bowl – if your cocoa powder is lumpy, sift it into the flour. Mix well with a spoon.
  4. Melt broken up chocolate, brown sugar and vegan butter in a bowl suspended over a pot of barely simmering water. Allow them to melt slowly, switch the heat off when most of the chocolate has melted. Stir gently to combine at the end.
  5. Add sugar to the activated FLAX and whisk with an electric whisk for 2 minutes – until the mixture before pale, bubbly and gelatinous like an egg white (see photos in the post).
  6. If using AQUAFABA, place it in a large bowl and whisk until frothy (about 1 minute), then add sugar gradually while whisking. Whisk until luminous white, bubbly and still runny but thick.
  7. Using a spatula, gently fold warm (not cooled) chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture.
  8. Add dry ingredients in three batches whilst gently folding with a spatula. Keep on folding until there is no dry pockets left but no more than that.
  9. Divide the batter evenly between the two tins, spread to the edges with a spatula and bake for about 15 minutes. Handle very gently after baking.
  10. Cool completely and then place in the fridge for a few hours for the brownies to firm up and become fudgy.


  1. Remove both brownie bases from the fridge. Turn one of the bases upside down, place frozen ice-cream on top and the other brownie base (shiny side up) on to of that.
  2. Cut into 15 (6.5 cm / 2.5″ x 4 cm / 1 .5″) pieces with a sharp knife. For neater cuts, warm up your knife by dipping it in hot water (and drying) between cuts.
  3. Place in an air-tight container and return to the freezer. Allow the ice-cream to thaw a little before consuming. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

*COCONUT CREAM: for best texture, use fatty, solid coconut cream – the type that separates from a tin of stabiliser-free full fat coconut milk or coconut cream after prolonged refrigeration. Even if you buy a tin labelled coconut cream, it pays off to chill for a few days prior to using in order to separate the fat from coconut water to make the ice-cream as luxurious as possible. You could also use 240 ml / 1 cup of coconut milk and 120 ml / ½ cup of condensed coconut milk (Biona does a good one) instead of maple syrup/sugar to get the ice-cream nice and creamy.

*AQUAFABA: Originally, I made several versions of these brownies with aquafaba (chickpea brine) and I love them, but I wanted to make this recipe more accessible and I know that some people cannot have or are not keen on using aquafaba. If you love using aquafaba too, simply use it instead of flax and soy milk.

25 g
16 g
7 g
5 g
40 g
*per 1 out of 15 pieces
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1 review, 8 comments
Michelle Zunno:
This was the most amazing recipe! First, simple ingredients and simple instructions! With alternatives like using flax or chickpea brine as a thickening agent. I used the brine and it was great! The brownie came out delish.. this will be my go to brownie recipe for the rest of my life! And let me tell you about the ice cream and how creamy and tasty. Thank you for this recipe. Anyone who has not tried it yet, do it as you will not be disappointed!
    Aw thanks so much Michelle, I am so happy to hear that you share my enthusiasm for these vegan ice cream sandwiches and that you found the recipe simple enough. Thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
The recipe description and photos of the vegan ice cream sandwiches look delicious.
I'm sending well wishes for your dad's continued healing. I hope that his health continues to improve.
How is Tina doing?
    Thank you for your well wishes, Sue! He has just been released from the hospital and doing much better than was expected at this stage. Hopefully he will be back to his old self soon. Tina is as per usual, mischievous and adorable, but then I'm biased...Ania
Hello Anita,
I don’t like the taste of coconut , what can I use instead ?
    Hi Janine,
    I haven't tried using anything else and as you probably realise it's hard to find fatty enough things (which make for a creamy ice-cream) in the plant kingdom. You could use shop-bought ice-cream based on oats for example. Oh perhaps make nice-cream with banana and cashews (or banana and peanut butter) although it will, of course, taste of banana. You could also alter the ratios as use flavour-less coconut oil in the place of coconut cream. My educated guess is to use 200 g (1½ cup cashews) and 100 g (1/2 cup) of coconut oil + maple syrup, vanilla, salt as per the recipe. Hope this helps! x Ania
    Michelle Zunno:
    Guess what… I made this and you would not even know that the base is coconut cream. Honestly, I used vanilla paste and to me it was a creamy vanilla ice cream. 😜
Hi Ania, I'm so curious to know - why are people reluctant to use aquafaba? You mentioned that a couple of times in this recipe. Is it just a convenience thing (that they don't want to have to make it, or don't use precooked chickpeas enough to have to hand), or is it a health concern?
I'm going to cheat and use shop-bought vegan icecream for this tomorrow, but I've made your brownies loads of times so I know this'll be a success :)
    Hi Méabh,
    People have various reasons for not wanting to use it like incovenience, intolerance to legumes or finding it unappetising, for example. I am personally a big fan of it.
    I hope you'll enjoy these ice-cream sangers. x Ania
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