Tis’ the season for beautiful decorations, fun holiday music, spending time with family, and of course, enjoying some special, out-of-the-ordinary treats! Now, holiday cookies definitely fall into that “special treat” category, but sometimes nothing quite compares to a nice, frozen delight. And since candy canes are everywhere this time of year (and since they’re delicious!), I figured, why not crush those minty beauties up and make them into a thick, creamy, non-dairy ice cream?!
So, that’s what I did.
The result is something I’m certainly excited to share… an ice cream so sweet and minty and refreshing, with little bits of crunchy candy cane for a fun added texture. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doubling the recipe this Christmas so I’ll have plenty to add to a chocolate cookie crust for the ultimate candy cane inspired ice cream pie! Wow, I can’t wait.
If you’d like to give this fun, festive candy cane ice cream a try, please let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to know.
Ok, this is how you make it:
- At least six hours prior to making the ice cream, you’ll need to do the following: place the cashews in a cereal-sized bowl and completely cover them with water to soak. Next, place your can of coconut milk in the fridge to chill. Lastly, place the churning bowl for your ice cream maker in the freezer, (if it’s that type of ice cream maker!)
- When you’re all set and ready to make the ice cream, drain the cashews and add them to a blender.
- Then, open your can of chilled coconut milk and add ONLY the thick, creamy top part of the milk to the blender. It should be about 1/3 of the can’s contents. If there is any more than that, just use a rounded 1/2 cup worth. The remaining liquid part can be discarded.
- Aside from the candy canes, add all remaining ingredients to the blender as well and blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. I should note – if you decide to use a brand of red food coloring other than Watkins, then be sure to add only two drops at time until you achieve a nice, light pink color (since other brands may vary.)
- Transfer this lovely mixture to the frozen bowl for your ice cream maker and start the churning process!
- In the meantime, add your unwrapped candy canes to a large, resealable plastic bag, seal it up, and then crush those canes with something substantial, such as a rolling pin. You’ll want those candy cane pieces to be nice and small, about half the size of a pea, if possible. Add the crushed candy cane to the ice cream maker, too.
- I’ve made this ice cream a handful of times now and with every batch it only needs about 20-30 minutes of churning in the ice cream maker before it’s super thick and ready to be removed! However, in some ice cream makers it could certainly take longer.
- Once it’s done, you’ll have an ice cream that’s soft like frozen yogurt, so I like to place it in a storage container and allow it to harden in the freezer for at least two hours before indulging! *However – if you’d like to use this candy cane goodness in an ice cream pie like I will be this Christmas, transfer the soft ice cream straight from the churning bowl to a chocolate cookie pie crust (which I describe how to make HERE), smooth over the top, add more crushed candy cane to the surface, and then place it in the freezer to harden!
I hope you love this ice cream as much as we do!
Vegan Candy Cane Ice Cream
Makes about 8 scoops
- One 15oz. can Coconut Milk (Thai brand, if possible, which you can buy HERE), chilled in the fridge for at least 6 hours
- 1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews, soaked in water for at least 6 hours
- 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 3 Tb. Granulated Sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. Peppermint Extract
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 3/4 cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used unsweetened cashew milk)
- 15 drops of Watkins brand red food coloring (which you can buy HERE)
- 6 standard-sized Vegan Candy Canes (I like THIS brand, which can also sometimes be found at Target and Whole Foods)