Vegan cherry pie ice cream is luscious and ultra creamy, enrobed with cherry compote and pieces of cherry cookies that taste like pie! This ice cream recipe is made with wholesome, healthy ingredients and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free!

A bowl of cherry pie ice cream with whipped cream and pie pieces.

Growing up my dad always had Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream stocked in our freezer. Honestly, it was the only cherry dessert I really actually enjoyed. When I adopted a dairy-free diet, I started making Cherry Garcia Nice Cream with frozen bananas and cherries, and although it was delicious, it just didn’t stack up to the real thing. Banana-based nice creams are an amazing healthy dessert, but the banana can be overpowering and take over the flavor.

This version is made with a base of coconut cream and cashews, which creates the most creamy texture and the cherry flavor really comes through. No custard base, no eggs, no cooking time (besides the compote), just a quick whirl in the blender with a few healthy ingredients!

Why you’ll love this healthy ice cream

  • This ice cream is dairy-free/vegan, gluten-free, and lower in sugar than most ice creams.
  • This ice cream is egg-free and requires no cooking or custard bases.
  • Tastes like cherry pie but in a refreshing, frozen dessert form!
  • Very easy to make.
  • Freezes well so you can prep it ahead of time.
  • Easy to customize.
  • Can be made without churning or can be made in an ice cream machine for the best texture.

Ingredients for healthy cherry ice cream

Full measurements & steps will be in the recipe card at bottom of post!

  • Cherries:  Cherries are rich in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber & contain 19x more beta carotene than strawberries and blueberries. They are among the few food sources containing melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycle. They also contain antioxidants called anthocyanin’s which aid in the reduction of heart disease, inflammation, & cancer.
  • Raw cashews: Raw cashews create the creamiest, thick ice cream texture without the need for heavy cream or milk!
  • Coconut yogurt or greek yogurt: Be sure you’re using a THICK option. Low-fat yogurts will not produce the best texture.
  • Full-fat canned coconut milk: If you can’t have coconut milk you can substitute with cream.
  • Maple syrup & coconut sugar: the natural sweeteners we use in this recipe. You can also use honey in place of maple and monk fruit in place of coconut sugar.
  • Pantry staples: Vanilla extract, sea salt
  • Cookies or pie crust: I used Sprouts Gluten-Free Cherry cookies! They tasted amazing and were so pretty! You could also use graham crackers or homemade pie crust crushed into pieces.
  • Frozen cherries: I used Sprouts brand frozen cherries.
  • Orange juice: Two tablespoons is used in the compote, however you could also just use water!
  • Sweetener of choice: Monk fruit, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or honey all work!
A bowl of cherry pie ice cream with whipped cream and pie pieces.

How to make cherry pie ice cream

My favorite homemade ice creams are the ones that require very little effort on my part. This recipe is incredibly easy. You can also use store bought cherry jam if you want to speed up the process, but the homemade cherry compote really takes this homemade ice cream over the top!

Equipment

  • Blender: I could not recommend a Vitamix more. I use mine daily! If you’re looking for something smaller, I also adore my Beast Blender!
  • Ice cream machine: I never thought i’d need an ice cream machine. I thought it’d take up too much room and I didn’t want to take up anymore counter space. It’s now one of my most used appliances. This is the one I have – it’s not too big and even works great for individual ice creams (no need for a Ninja Creami!). A super expensive ice cream machine is NOT needed. The one I use is only around $60!

Steps

Note: The night before making your ice cream, place your ice cream bowl in the freezer. It needs to be completely frozen prior to making your ice cream!

  • Step one: Crunch up the cookies you plan on using into small pieces. You can place them in a small baggy and use something to gently hit the bag with on a counter, to do so. If making pie crust, prepare it, bake it, and let it cool. Then break it into pieces.
  • Step two: Make the cherry compote. Add the cherries, orange juice, sweetener to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, using a fork to help break the cherries down. Once they’re at a slight simmer and most of the cherries are broken down, stir in the tapioca flour/starch. Mix well, then remove from heat.
  • Step three: Blend the ice cream ingredients. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients, blending until super smooth. Turn on your ice cream maker.
  • Step four: Add the ice cream mixture to the ice cream maker and use according to it’s instructions. Once the ice cream is pretty firm, add in the cherry compote a little at a time. Then add in 3/4 of the chopped cookies or pie crust. Once it’s mixed well, remove the bowl from the ice cream machine.
  • Step five: Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of the reserved cookies/crust. You can also store the ice cream in an air-tight container and sprinkle the remaining cookies over top.

How to make healthy ice cream without an ice cream maker

Although I highly recommend using an ice cream maker, you can make this healthy ice cream without a machine. Simply blend all of the ice cream ingredients until smooth. Then pour the mixture into a large Tupperware container. Stir in the compote and cookie crust pieces. Place a lid on top and place in the freezer. To prevent an icy texture, I remove the ice cream from the fridge and give it a stir every hour for the first two hours. When the ice cream is totally firm, about 6-7 hours, let the ice cream thaw on the counter for 30 or so minutes before enjoying.

How to store/defrost leftover cherry ice cream

Store leftover ice cream in an air-tight container in the freezer. I prefer to store mine in individual containers, making it easier to portion out!

When you’re ready to eat the leftovers, let it thaw on the counter for 30 or so minutes. Give the ice cream a good store before enjoying!

Serving suggestions and variations

  • Cherries and dark chocolate is a delicious combo! Throw in some chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks!
  • Add sprinkles! Sprinkles and ice cream belong together and makes it even more fun!
  • Top with coconut whip or your favorite whipped cream!
  • Serve healthy ice cream in a cake cone or waffle cone!

Tips, Tricks, & FAQ’s

  • Serve in chilled bowls to keep the ice cream from melting and getting too soft.
  • Don’t want to use cookies as the pie crust pieces? Want real buttery crust pieces? Bake your favorite pie crust, crunch it into bite sized pieces once it’s cooled, and use in the recipe in place of the cookies!

More healthy frozen desserts to try

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream

Vegan cherry pie ice cream is luscious, ultra creamy, packed with cherry compote and pieces of cherry cookies that taste like pie! This ice cream recipe is made with wholesome, healthy ingredients and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Churn Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

Cherry ice cream

  • 1 1/4 cups raw cashews
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk *shaken
  • 2/3 cup THICK coconut yogurt or greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil (helps to stabalize)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cherry compote

  • 1 10oz bag frozen cherries *about 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup orange juice or water
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or monk fruit
  • 1 tsp tapioca flour/starch *optional

Crust/cookies

  • 1 bag Sprouts gluten-free cherry cookies, graham crackers, or homemade pie crust broken into pieces *The bag i used was 3.5oz. Any cookie will work!

Instructions
 

The night before:

  • Place your ice cream maker in the freezer the night before you want to make your ice cream. You can also place it in the freezer early in the morning to make it at night/later in the day.

Cherry compote

  • Add the cherries, juice or water, and sweetener to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a low boil. Once boiling, bring the temperature down to medium and cover with a lid. Allow to cook covered for 10 minutes, or until the cherries soften and begin to break apart. I like to use a fork to mash them up a bit.
  • Take the lid off, bring the heat down to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes until thick and the cherries are covered in a syrupy-like sauce. If you want your compote thicker, you can stir in 1 tsp tapioca starch but this is optional!

Ice cream

  • Blend the ice cream ingredients. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients, blending until super smooth. Turn on your ice cream maker. Add the ice cream mixture to the ice cream maker and use according to it's instructions.
  • While the ice cream is churning, crunch up the cookies you plan on using into small pieces. If making pie crust, prepare it, bake it, and let it cool. Then break it into pieces.
  • Once the ice cream is thick, add in the cherry compote a little at a time. Then add in 3/4 of the chopped cookies or pie crust. Once it's mixed well, remove the bowl from the ice cream machine.
  • Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of the reserved cookies/crust. You can also store the ice cream in an air-tight container and sprinkle the remaining cookies over top.

Notes

How to make healthy ice cream without an ice cream maker:
Although I highly recommend using an ice cream maker, you can make this healthy ice cream without a machine. Simply blend all of the ice cream ingredients until smooth. Then pour the mixture into a large Tupperware container. Stir in the compote and cookie crust pieces. Place a lid on top and place in the freezer. To prevent an icy texture, I remove the ice cream from the fridge and give it a stir every hour for the first two hours. When the ice cream is totally firm, about 6-7 hours, let the ice cream thaw on the counter for 30 or so minutes before enjoying.
Keyword cherry ice cream, cherry nice cream, healthy ice cream, nice cream, paleo ice cream, vegan ice cream

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