Tofu Ice Cream (7 Ways!)This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
Silken tofu ice cream is a delicious, vegan, and dairy-free frozen treat! Made with just a few simple ingredients like silken tofu, plant-based milk, and your favorite mix-ins, this is a nutritious dessert that’s super easy to make. And with 7 different flavor options, there is something for everyone with this recipe!
Vegan homemade ice cream with tofu has got all the creaminess of traditional ice cream but is made without any dairy products. The silken tofu provides a smooth consistency, while the plant-based milk gives it a creamy texture. This is a great way to enjoy a cold treat for those following a plant-based lifestyle or who want to avoid dairy.
The base recipe is made with silken tofu, plant based milk, vanilla, sugar, and salt. From there you can add in any flavors and mix-ins that you like! We added cocoa powder and chocolate chips for a chocolate ice cream flavor, but see below for 7 additional flavor ideas to customize this recipe!
We love this easy homemade vegan tofu ice cream recipe because it is so delicious and versatile! It’s the perfect healthy treat to grab on hot summer days or really any time of year. It tastes just like regular ice cream but is much better for you! Churn up a batch to enjoy all the cold, creamy goodness of ice cream without the dairy!
🍨 What Is Tofu Ice Cream?
Ice cream made with tofu uses soft tofu or silken tofu instead of the heavy cream used in traditional ice cream. Because of that, it’s a dairy-free and vegan friendly alternative to regular ice cream. It’s typically made with tofu, dairy-free milk, sugar, salt, and whatever mix-ins or toppings you like!
Thanks to the tofu, it has a creamy and rich texture without needing any cream. It’s also lower in fat and higher in protein than regular ice cream. Keep in mind, the texture of this vegan soy ice cream recipe isn’t exactly the same as regular ice cream – it’s slightly more grainy, but it still tastes delicious!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Simple Ingredients: Just 8 basic ingredients you likely have on hand.
- Blends Smooth: Silken tofu and a high-speed blender equal velvety low fat vegan ice cream.
- No Eggs Or Dairy: Uses plant-based ingredients for a vegan dessert.
- Versatile Flavors: Easily adapts to make different flavors with any of your favorite mix-ins.
- Chocolatey Goodness: Cocoa powder provides a rich chocolate taste.
- Healthy: Higher in protein, lower in sugar and fat than regular ice cream!
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You only need a handful of ingredients to make this silken tofu ice cream recipe, all of which can be found at your local grocery store! Here’s what you need:
- Silken Tofu: This type of soft tofu provides a smoother texture for the ice cream base. Regular firm tofu would make the vegan soy ice cream too grainy.
- Plant-Based Milk: Any unsweetened dairy-free milk, such as soy milk, almond, oat, or coconut milk works well. The milk gives the ice cream base a creamy consistency.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste helps provide classic ice cream flavor.
- Cocoa Powder: Adds chocolate flavor and color without adding extra sweetness.
- Sugar: Granulated white sugar sweetens this non dairy ice cream recipe.
- Instant Coffee: Just a small amount of instant coffee granules enhances the chocolate flavor and makes this bean curd ice cream even more indulgent!
- Salt: A pinch of salt balances all the sweet ingredients.
- Chocolate Chips: Stir in vegan chocolate chips after churning for bursts of chocolate in each bite of this recipe for vegan ice cream.
- Chocolate Chips: Try chopped chocolate bars or cacao nibs – just make sure they are dairy free to keep this recipe vegan friendly.
- Vanilla: Replace the vanilla extract with two teaspoons of vanilla bean paste. You can also try almond extract if you don’t have vanilla.
- White Sugar: Instead of white sugar, use 1/3 cup maple syrup. Brown sugar or coconut sugar can also be used in this vegan soft serve recipe as a substitute.
- Instant Coffee: Use one teaspoon of instant espresso powder instead of coffee granules for a more robust coffee flavor!
- Nut-Free: Use oat milk instead of cashew milk for a nut-free version of the recipe.
🔪 How To Make Tofu Ice Cream
If this is your first time making ice cream with tofu, have no fear! This plant based ice cream recipe comes together in just 7 simple steps. Read on for tips on proper chilling, churning, and freezing to make smooth, scoopable vegan ice cream.
Blend Ice Cream Base: To make the ice cream base, combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in a high-speed blender. Blend on high for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy. This blending step helps ensure your ice cream will have a velvety texture.
Chill the Mixture: Once the base is blended, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Chilling the base properly before churning helps it freeze correctly later on.
Churn Ice Cream: When ready to churn, pour the chilled ice cream base into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker. Churn for 20-30 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until the ice cream reaches a thick, creamy, soft-serve consistency. It should be soft enough to scoop but not melted and completely liquid.
Add Chocolate Chips: After churning, gently fold in the chocolate chips, being careful not to overmix. Evenly distribute the chocolate chips throughout the soft ice cream.
Add to Freezer-Safe Container: Scoop the finished chocolate chip ice cream into an airtight container, pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface before sealing to prevent ice crystals.
Freeze Until Firm: You can enjoy the frozen tofu ice cream immediately for a soft-serve consistency. Or, to firm it up to a scoopable consistency, place it in the freezer for 1-2 hours until solid enough to scoop easily. When ready to serve, let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes if it’s become too hard. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy this tasty dairy-free dessert!
💭 Expert Tips
- High-Speed Blender & Ice Cream Maker: Use a high-speed blender for the smoothest possible base. A food processor works as well but may not get it as smooth for this non-dairy ice cream recipe. For the creamiest ice cream, use an ice cream maker!
- Chilling: For the best results, thoroughly chill the ice cream base before churning – chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator or overnight.
- Ice Cream Consistency: When churning, stop once the ice cream reaches a thick, creamy, soft-serve texture before it freezes solid.
- Adding Mix-Ins: Quickly stir in any mixins when the ice cream starts to set but is still fairly soft to distribute evenly.
- Scoopable: Let the ice cream sit out briefly to soften before scooping and serving in bowls or cones!
📖 Flavor Variations
- Classic Vanilla: Omit the cocoa powder and chocolate chips, and you will have a delicious treat for yourself – a classic vanilla-flavored ice cream! It can be used in the variations listed below to make all kinds of different ice cream flavors!
- Double Chocolate: Add vegan white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips for a super chocolatey ice cream!
- Cookies and Cream: Swap the chocolate chips for crumbled cookies like Oreos or Snickerdoodles.
- Fresh Fruit: Add 1/2 cup fresh fruit like raspberries, mango, or strawberries for a fruity twist!
- Mint Chocolate Chip: Add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves to make this classic ice cream flavor.
- Peanut Butter & Banana: Add 1 mashed banana and 1/4 cup peanut butter to make a creamy and rich, classic ice cream flavor. You can use any of your favorite nut butters for this recipe!
- Cake Batter Ice Cream: Omit the cocoa powder and the instant coffee and add 1/4 cup of colorful sprinkles and a dash of yellow food coloring to make a cake batter ice cream. Don’t overmix the sprinkles into the ice cream to avoid the colors bleeding into the ice cream base.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This versatile chocolate tofu ice cream is delicious on its own but can also be served so many ways. For a fun twist, set up an ice cream bar with scoops plus an array of toppings like nuts, fruit, sauces, and candies. Let guests create their own sundaes masterpieces.
Or, for plated desserts, top each scoop with toasted coconut, chocolate shavings, and a cherry. You can also layer it in parfait glasses, blend it into milkshakes, or sandwich ice cream between cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
However you choose to serve it, this simple chilled treat will satisfy any sweet tooth craving. With its creamy yet dairy-free base, the possibilities are endless for creating sundaes, parfaits, shakes, and more. Use your imagination and have fun customizing this vegan soft serve recipe into your favorite dessert creations!
🥜 Ice Cream Topping Ideas
Top your creamy tofu ice cream with anything you like! The possibilities are endless: vegan chocolate sauce, peanut butter or almond butter, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit! Here are some of my favorite combinations:
- Fresh Fruit: Top this frozen tofu dessert with fresh fruit like fresh strawberries, ripe bananas, or tropical fruits. You can elevate it even more with this pear compote, this apple curd, or served with this breakfast fruit salad!
- Creamy Toppings: Try a dollop of whipped cream, white chocolate hazelnut spread, or vegan nutella.
- Protein Toppings: Sprinkle some chopped nuts or seeds like walnuts, sliced almonds, pecans, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, or this high-protein granola.
- Syrup Toppings: Serve this vegan ice cream recipe with vegan honey, strawberry simple syrup, peach simple syrup, or blackberry simple syrup.
This plant based ice cream will keep for 2-3 months stored in an airtight container in the freezer. Make sure to press plastic wrap directly on the surface before sealing to prevent ice crystals from forming.
Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before scooping if it has become too firm.
For the smoothest, creamiest texture, use silken tofu. Silken tofu is much softer and smoother than regular firm tofu. Avoid using regular tofu, which would make the ice cream too grainy.
Yes! While an ice cream machine makes things easier, you can “churn” it by hand. Simply blend the base and freeze in a container. Every 30 minutes, take it out and stir it vigorously with a whisk to break up ice crystals. Repeat until frozen to your desired consistency.
Note: using an ice cream maker will give you noticeably smoother and creamier ice cream, but making it without an ice cream maker will still taste good – the texture will be more grainy, however.
No, tofu ice cream does not contain any dairy ingredients and is a dairy-free ice cream. It provides a dairy-free alternative for people who are vegan or lactose intolerant. The texture comes from freezing blended silken tofu, and flavors are added from fruits, nuts, or other plant-based ingredients.
🍦 More Ice Cream Recipes!
- Lychee Ice Cream
- Vegan Matcha Ice Cream
- Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
- Caramel Nice Cream
- Mango Mochi
- Coconut Milkshake
- Mango Nice Cream
Love this plant based dessert recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
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🎥 Watch How to Make It
Tofu Ice Cream
- Combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in a high-speed food processor and blend until smooth.
- Place the mixture into the fridge to chill for an hour.
- Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Transfer to a freezer safe, airtight container along with the chocolate chips and stir through.
- Enjoy as a soft serve or cover and freeze until it has set firmer, 1-2 hours, or overnight.
- If the ice cream has set firm, allow it to soften at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Store, covered in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- You can still make this delicious ice cream if you don’t have an ice cream machine. Follow the steps but instead of churning in a machine, pour the mixture into a sealable container and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer, stir to break up ice crystals, and freeze again. Continue to do this until the ice cream has frozen firm enough to scoop (this may take several hours).
- If the ice cream freezes firm, simply leave it out at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften before serving.
- Replace the chocolate chips with vegan chocolate chips to make this vegan-friendly.
- Try adding different add-ins instead of chocolate chips to add different flavors and textures, such as: crushed Oreo cookies, grated orange zest, a couple of scoops of peanut butter, or even chopped marshmallows and cookies for a rocky road flavor.
- Stir through the mixins once the ice cream has churned and has started to set.
- Blend the ingredients in a high-speed blender to ensure the ice cream is smooth and creamy.
- Any plant-based milk can be used.