Vegan ice cream sandwiches with no bake gingerbread cookie dough! These frozen treats are healthy, refined sugar free, gluten free and don't require an ice cream maker!
What to expect
- Only 7 ingredients and easy to make
- Packed with healthy plant based wholefoods
- Layers of no bake cookie dough which are fudgy, caramelly and nutty
- Creamy cashew-based ice cream filling
- No soy and no dates!
I originally made these ice cream sandwiches for my former cake business and they were so popular that my customers requested them for years! I've simplified my commercial recipe for you :).
Key ingredients for these ice cream sandwiches
Almond or cashew butter helps adds richness and helps bind the gingerbread cookie dough and binds together the almond flour.
Almond flour for the cookie dough so you can eat it without baking!
Cashews and coconut cream are the foundation of our dairy-free ice cream. Coconut cream has the highest fat content out of all types of dairy-free cream which allows us to mimic dairy ice cream as closely as possible, as mentioned by Serious Eats. I used and would recommend Nature's Charm whipping coconut cream for this recipe!
Maple syrup for a few reasons:
- Naturally sweetens the cookie dough and ice cream
- Binds ingredients in the cookie dough
- Prevents the ice cream from turning rock solid, as highlighted by David Lebovitz.
Gingerbread spices or a mixture of ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. I used LOTS of spices to balance out the nutty flavor of the cookie dough.
As always, all recipe amounts are in the grey box at the bottom of this post!
How to make the cookie dough and ice cream
To make the vegan gingerbread cookie dough, simply add all the ingredients to a large bowl or food processor and mix until combined.
The mixture should be a little drier than normal cookie dough but can be pinched between 2 fingers without breaking.
If you'd like, taste-test the mixture and add more spices, sweetener or water/dairy-free milk as desired. Divide the dough into 2 parts and set aside.
To make the ice cream, simply add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until combined. The mixture is ready when the cashews are as fine and unnoticeable as possible.
If you don't have a high-powered blender, you can use a powerful stick blender or maybe even a food processor. However, this will result in more grainy ice cream.
My stand blender broke so I used my powerful stick blender which was sufficient.
Assembling the vegan ice cream sandwiches
To save time, it's important that you follow these instructions closely! I'd recommend using an 8 inch (20 cm) baking dish or a large loaf tin.
It's best if your baking dish has straight rather than sloped edges (unlike mine) so your ice cream sandwiches are even (but it's not a big issue either way)
First, line your baking dish with parchment paper. Press half of the vegan gingerbread cookie dough into the bottom of your baking dish.
Then use the parchment paper to lift and remove the cookie dough from the baking dish. Set aside the slab of cookie dough on the parchment paper.
Next, line your baking dish again with parchment paper again. Press the remaining half of the gingerbread cookie dough into the baking dish.
Pour all the cashew ice cream mixture onto the cookie dough. Cover then freeze for 1-2 hours or until the ice cream is slightly dry to the touch.
Remember the other slab of cookie dough? Carefully invert it onto the ice cream in the baking dish and lightly press it down. If your baking dish has sloped sides, there may be some exposed ice cream on the sides which is fine.
Cover the dish with your used parchment paper and return it to the freezer.
Freezing and serving
It will take another 2-4 hours for your vegan ice cream sandwiches to freeze to the perfect consistency. However, this will depend on your baking dish and the coldness of your freezer!
You'll know when your ice cream sandwiches are ready when you can press the middle of your baking tray and there's no resistance. That means that your ice cream has frozen!
Use a sharp knife to cut the slab into sandwiches. If you're having trouble cutting them, run your knife under hot water and cut again.
Depending on how cold your freezer is, you can eat the ice cream sandwiches immediately from the freezer or let them soften for just 5 minutes. However, they will definitely melt if kept outside for more than 30 minutes!
Other vegan gingerbread recipes
Gingerbread cookie dough ice cream sandwiches
Vegan gingerbread cookie dough
To make the gingerbread cookie dough:
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl or food processor and mix until well combined. The cookie dough should pliable but a little dryer than typical cookie dough. You should be able to pinch it between two fingers without breaking.
- If your cookie dough is a little dry (this will depend on your ingredients), add a little dairy-free milk and mix again. Divide the dough into 2 parts and set aside.
To make the ice cream:
- Add all of the ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until as smooth as possible. Set aside.
To assemble the vegan ice cream sandwiches
- Line an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking tin or one of a similar size with parchment paper with some paper coming up the sides of your tin.
- Firmly press half of the cookie dough into your baking tin to form a flat base. Pull on the sides of the parchment paper to remove the slab of cookie dough (it will bend which is fine) and set aside.
- Press the second half of the cookie dough into the lined baking tin. Pour all of the cashew ice cream mixture on top.
- Freeze the baking tin for 1-2 hours or until the surface is just dry to the touch.
- Carefully invert the remaining slab of cookie dough on top of the ice cream.
- Set aside in the freezer for another 1-2 hours or until firm. It is ready when you can press the centre of the baking pan and there's no resistance (it means your ice cream has set).
- Use a sharp knife to cut into slices (note 2). Enjoy immediately or store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- To make your own gingerbread spice blend, use 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground ginger and ½ tablespoon ground nutmeg.
- The ice cream sandwiches don't freeze into a solid brick so it should be easy to cut them into bars. However, if you have any troubles, run your knife under hot water or fill a tall jug with hot water and dip your knife and cut the sandwiches.
This post and recipe was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021.
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