Making vegan ice cream the easy way

Maybe you suffer a Lactose intolerance or you have the vegan lifestyle discovered for themselves. However, many types of ice cream contain milk, eggs or other animal foods. How do you make ice cream without these ingredients?

Äpfel, Ananas, Papayas und Bananen in Obstkisten
Vegan sorbets can easily be made from fruit. But there are also plenty of vegan alternatives for dairy ice creams.

Why store-bought sorbet is often not vegan

Of course you could also Sorbets eat. But especially with industrially or commercially produced sorbet, you can't be completely sure if they are actually vegan. For example can Gelatine used to clarify the juice or even processed as a binder for the ice. But sometimes are also Honey or egg-snow contained. The latter increases the fluffiness, for example.

The procedure is also critical, with fruit ice or sorbets animal dyes to use. Crimson (E120) is widely used. This dye is obtained from lice, which are crushed to obtain the red color. And who now thinks, then I just don't eat red ice cream, I have to disappoint. Because even in pink or even brown ice cream can contain this dye. So we prefer to make our own ice cream and expand the range of varieties.

rot, braun, gelb und grün gefärbte Flüssigkeiten in Gläsern mit Eiswürfeln
Colorants are often used in store-bought sorbet. The carmine red (E120) is obtained from lice and is sometimes also found in brown ice cream.

Individual ingredients and the vegan alternatives

1. replacing cow's milk with vegetable products

In many cases, cow's milk can be replaced by plant-based substances replace. Examples are Soya milk, rice milk or almond milk. Although the word milk is included, these are water-based drinks. These are obtained from the respective seeds. For this reason, they may no longer be called "milk" in sales and then bear names such as "soy drink". Ice cream on this basis is therefore not really "milk ice cream", but strictly speaking a fat-containing sorbet. But who wants to be quibblesome here.

Sojamilch im Glas und Sojabohnen in einer Holzschüssel.
Soy milk as an alternative to cow's milk. But rice or almond milk are now also available in many markets.

The following milk alternatives are available in many supermarkets or organic markets. You can also make them yourself in most cases.

  • Soy milk: is obtained by soaking the soybeans in water and then filtering them.
  • Rice milk: rice grains are soaked in water, then filtered and enzymes and thickeners are added
  • Almond milk: is obtained by infusion of crushed almonds in water and subsequent filtration.
  • Coconut milk: is obtained from the pulp of the coconut by pressing, very similar in consistency to cream or milk, but the taste of coconut must match the ice cream.

These "milk" varieties contain similar amounts of fat and sugar as cow's milk. Of course, the taste varies more or less.

2. substitution of non-fat milk solids [yes, that's what it's really called].

As I wrote in another article LINK, an ice cream must meet certain parameters of composition. A vegan ice cream can meet most of these criteria, except for one parameter. It is the representation of the non-fat milk solids. This consists essentially of Lactose, proteins and mineral salts. This is often provided by skimmed milk powder in conventional milk ice cream. It is important to bind the water, create a creamy texture and facilitate the introduction of air.

So how do we make ends meet in the vegan version?

There are the following Substitutes, which can be used alone or in combination:

  • Inulin (e.g. from chicory)
  • Citrus fibres
  • Baobab flour (= baobab tree flour)
  • Bamboo fibres
  • Soy protein
  • Pea Protein
  • Potato protein

Of all the alternatives, it is likely that Inulin one of the best because it can be used without any aftertaste. However, it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people because inulin binds a lot of water. But you can get your body used to it by getting used to it and slowly increasing the amount. Anyone who has ever eaten too much Jerusalem artichoke knows what I am talking about. It also contains a lot of inulin.

But you can also do not use these additives. Especially if you work with a very good ice cream machine, which introduces a lot of air into the ice cream mass during the freezing process.

3. replace cream or how do I get enough fat in my ice cream

By not being able to use cream, we lose a pretty important source of fat. Therefore we must rely on vegetable fats like Cocoa butter or vegetable oils fall back on. In ice cream, the Cocoa or Nut pastes (e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios) we have no difficulty in presenting enough fat in the ice cream.

Bauer beim Pflücken einer Kakaofrucht
Cocoa or nut pastes can represent the fat content that cream normally provides.

If you'd rather fruity ice cream the above mentioned ingredients are not a real alternative. But in the meantime there are also many cream-like products from e.g. soybeanwhich have a significantly higher fat content. These can also be found in well-stocked supermarkets or organic markets.

4. how do you replace eggs in vegan ice cream?

To do this, you must first understand what the egg for Functions in ice has. It performs the following three tasks:

drei braune Hühnereier
Eggs are mainly used to combine the fatty parts with the water part. Carob bean gum can be used as an alternative.
  • It's supposed to be a fuller flavour can be achieved. This function is probably the easiest to do without.
  • The Increase fat content in ice cream. We have already talked about alternatives for this as well.
  • Emulsify of the ice cream mass. This means that the components containing fat and water should be combined. Egg yolk is a natural emulsifier, which can be used, for example, by Locust bean gum, starch, pectin or guar gum can be replaced.

It is often recommended to take 1 teaspoon of locust bean gum instead of an egg yolk. Personally, this is too much for me. I take about half.

Basic recipe for vegan milk ice cream

A basic recipe for fruity, vegan milk ice cream can be found right here. This can be modified with all kinds of fruit that you can think of.


2 portions
500 g fruit (strawberries, apricots, raspberries, cherries, banana, etc.)
100 g raw cane sugar
100 ml water
30 ml Soya Cuisine or similar products (approx. 15% fat content)
300 ml soy drink or similar "milk" drinks
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Dissolve sugar with water in a pot with some heat.
  • Stir in Soya Cuisine until a homogeneous mass is formed.
  • Then puree the mixture together with the fruit, soy drink and lemon juice in a blender.
  • Allow the ice cream mixture to cool in the refrigerator.
  • Process in the ice cream machine.

If you keep this type of ice cream longer in the freezer, it becomes very hard. Therefore, it should be left to thaw in the refrigerator for about 30-50 minutes before eating.

This recipe can be adjusted a bit depending on the type of fruit and ripeness. That is, if I have very sweet fruit, I use a little less sugar and if necessary a little more lemon juice. For more sour fruits the whole thing vice versa.

Erdbeersorbet angerichtet mit frischen Erdbeeren und Minze
Strawberry sorbet with fresh strawberries

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