No bake vegan mint chocolate ice cream cake with a chocolate cookie crust! This fun and refreshing cake is perfect for celebrations or when you need an easy cool treat. You only need 3 ingredients and 30 minutes to prepare this cake!
Ingredients you'll need
Vegan-friendly chocolate cookies either store-bought or homemade (check out the cookie component of my mint chocolate cookies). You can also use oreos or graham crackers with minor modifications which are listed in the notes of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Vegan butter/margarine or solid coconut oil (melted). I do not recommend using liquid oil as it won't set the base.
Dairy-free chocolate mint ice cream, either homemade (using just 4 ingredients) or your favourite store-bought vegan mint choc ice cream. If you don't have access to mint ice cream, you can get vanilla ice cream and flavour it with peppermint extract.
Assembling the ice cream cake
The base is a classic cookie crust which doesn't need to be baked so is perfect for an ice cream cake!
Blitz your chocolate cookies in a food processor until it forms fine crumbs. Add your melted vegan butter or coconut oil and blitz until the mixture resembles wet sand.
I used an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin but any similar sized pan will work. Scoop your cookie base into the tin and press it as firmly as possible! The firmer it is, the less likely it'll crumble.
It's important to work quickly for this next stage! As emphasised by Fine Dining Lovers, make sure you have all the equipment you need otherwise your ice cream cake will melt. This includes your:
- cake pan and something to cover it in the freezer
- a large bowl
- a spatula/spoon
AND make sure you have enough room in your freezer before preparing the ice cream layer.
I'd recommend scooping the ice cream into a large mixing bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Mix it a few times to remove any lumps or large frozen bits. But we don't want the ice cream to be fully melted!
Quickly scoop your ice cream into your cake tin and smooth the surface.
Cover your cake tin to prevent any freezer smells from getting to the ice cream cake. Then place the cake in your freezer for at least 2 hours or until set. The time needed will depend on your freezer and consistency of your ice cream.
Decorating the cake
This vegan ice cream cake doesn't neeeeed any decorations but if you'd like something extra, here are a few recommedations:
Easy decorations: Crush up some chocolate cookies or oreos and sprinkle them on top of the ice cream cake. You can even do this before freezing your cake and press the cookies into the surface!
Something pretty but requires a little effort: Make and drip a chocolate ganache (or just melted chocolate) on the sides of the cake. Top the cake with more ganache, whipped cream and/or extra chocolate cookies. These decorations can be frozen, though the texture of the cream may change (frozen cream sounds delicious though).
Showstopper wowza over the top decorations: Use your imagination here! You can use anything mentioned above but add ice cream cones, chocolate shards, chocolate fudge/candy, buttercream... I can't stop you here!
Ice cream alternatives
If you don't want to make my mint chocolate ice cream or use store-bought ice cream, here are a few other options...
You can make your own mint chocolate banana nice cream. However, banana nice cream tends to freeze rock solid so isn't 100% ideal for an ice cream cake. If you colour the ice cream with fresh mint or spinach, it'll be even icier!
If you make nice cream, I'd recommend adding ½ cup cashew butter and vanilla extract which makes it less likely to freeze into an ice brick. Before serving, allow the cake to defrost for around 15 minutes until you can cut it.
Alternatively, you can make a healthier cashew/coconut based ice cream, such as the one from my gingerbread ice cream sandwiches. Note that this ice cream freezes quite solid. Use double the quantities of the ice cream filling plus peppermint extract (or mint leaves) and green food colouring (or spinach leaves) and:
- Add all of the ingredients (plus your mint flavours / green colour) to a high powered blender and blend until as smooth as possible.
- Add chopped chocolate and mix using a spoon. Pour directly onto the chocolate cookie crust.
Yep! Just use graham crackers, sugar and melted butter/coconut oil. I've listed the quantities in the notes of the recipe card below.
Yes, slightly. Since oreo cookies have a cream centre, you won't need as much butter. The adjusted recipe quantities are in the notes section of the recipe card below
Check out my ice cream recipes
Vegan Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
Base (note 1 for alternatives)
- 250 g vegan-friendly chocolate cookies, gluten free and/or refined sugar free if needed
- ⅓ cup (75g) vegan butter, margarine or coconut oil
- 1 quantity (~4 cups) Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, or 1 L (33 oz or 2 pints) of your favourite vegan mint ice cream (see post for more alternatives)
Suggestions for decorations (optional)
- 200 g roughly chopped vegan chocolate or chocolate chips
- 200 g thick scoopable canned coconut cream
- Pistachios, finely chopped
- Whipped dairy free cream, or vanilla buttercream
- Line an 8 inch (20 cm) spring-form or loose-bottom cake tin with baking paper.
To make the crust:
- Add the cookies to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter or coconut oil and pulse until combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of your cake tin. Set aside.
To prepare the filling:
- Scoop the ice cream into a large mixing bowl and allow it to soften at room temperature for at least 10 minutes. Mix it a few times to remove any large frozen lumps. If the ice cream is already soft, you can use it as is.
- Scoop the ice cream into your cake pan on top of the chocolate crust. Use a spoon to flatten the ice cream and smooth the surface.
- Cover the cake pan and freeze for 2 hours or until the ice cream has set.
To decorate (optional):
- To make the ganache, add the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. When the mixture has melted, remove from the heat. If the ganache has slightly seperated, whisk until the oil is combined with the ganache or use a stick blender to emulsify the mixture.
- Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature. Remove the ice cream cake from the pan and use a spoon or piping bag to drip the ganache on the edges of the cake. Return the cake to the freezer.
- If desired, chill the remaining ganache in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove and whip for 1 minute until fluffy. Use a piping bag with a star tip to decorate the cake with the whipped ganache if desired. Freeze the cake until serving.
- To get clean slices from the ice cream cake, run a clean sharp knife under hot water and dry it with a tea towel. Use the hot/warm knife to cut slices out of the cake.
- The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week (note 2).
- For an oreo curst, use 24 oreo cookies (~270g) including the cream filling and ¼ cup (55g) melted vegan butter. For a graham cracker crust, use 1 ½ cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers), 5 tablespoons (70g) melted vegan butter and ¼ cup (50g) sugar.
- The ice cream cake is best eaten in 1 week but honestly, I've eaten the ice cream a few weeks after making it and it was still delicious! However, this will depend on how air-tight your container is and other smells that may be lingering in your freezer/fridge.
This post was originally published in 2016 and updated in 2022.
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help other readers and Rainbow Nourishments.