I love ice cream more than I love most things—I spent two years working at an ice cream parlor for Pete’s sake—but ice cream does not love me back. I’m lactose intolerant, so even just a few bites of the sweet, creamy stuff can flip my stomach completely upside down, which means that during the summer (peak ice cream season!) I have to find some creative workarounds to fill the ice cream-shaped hole in my heart.
I’m clearly not the only person so afflicted, because the internet is teeming with dairy-free frozen dessert recipes. Bloggers have transformed all the classics into lactose intolerant-friendly treats that taste just as good as their cream-filled counterparts. With ingredients like alternative milks and naturally creamy fruits (like bananas), pretty much everything from ice cream sandwiches to milky popsicles can be dairy-free.
These 15 recipes have all the dairy-free ice cream you could possibly want, plus ideas for frozen treats that don’t normally have dairy, like slushes and sorbets. So whatever kind of icy treat you’re looking for, you’ll definitely be able to find something here.
Even though I generally prefer savory to sweet, I have a real soft spot for creamy desserts. A pint of ice cream has no chance of survival around me and a strawberry milkshake is my ultimate weakness. When I say it’s my weakness, I’m not kidding. Since I’m lactose intolerant, those dairy-filled treats I so crave are basically my kryptonite. But even though I know they’ll destroy me, I can’t seem to stop seeking them out.
I used to think the only way to satisfy my creamy cravings was with actual dairy, but after dabbling in vegan desserts I’ve come to find that isn’t true at all. Thanks to a growing vegan population, it’s easier than ever to find creamy substitutes that taste nearly identical to the real stuff. Things like coconut cream and nut milks help the classic desserts you know and love taste just as good if not better than their dairy-filled counterparts.
If you’re not sure how to use these ingredients on your own to make the desserts you desire, let these 17 recipes show you the way. They include all the creamy treats you could want, from cheesecake to banana cream pie to rice pudding, and they’re all completely dairy-free. Even if you’re not interested in cutting out dairy, they’re still worth making.
Peppermint Bark is an iconic Christmas treat, so I tweaked things a bit to bring you a real food and dairy-free version!
There are lots of different options with this recipe. First, you can follow the recipe as is. Or, if you can’t do brown rice syrup, then you can omit the candy canes and use all-natural red sprinkles to make the candies look festive. Just choose whichever version works best for you.
I highly recommend using a food grade peppermint essential oil for this recipe. Peppermint extract contains some peppermint oil, but is combined with alcohol, so you won’t get as big of a peppermint flavor. I personally use doTERRA Peppermint essential oil and I find it lends the perfect flavor!
Another thing to note is that the white chocolate will remain mostly firm at room temperature, but isn’t quite as solid as regular white chocolate. So, I recommend storing the candies in the fridge and then leaving them out at room temperature for an hour before serving.
I hope you enjoy!
Makes one 11×7 pan of peppermint bark
Dairy-Free Peppermint Bark
20 minPrep Time
60 minCook Time
1 hr, 20 Total Time
Line an 11×7 baking dish with parchment paper (the paper needs to come up the sides of the baking dish. Place all, but about 3/4 cup of chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot with simmering water (or use a double boiler) until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and add 1/3 of the remaining chocolate chips to the hot chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate chips are melted. Repeat this two more times with the remaining chocolate until all of the chocolate is melted. If your chocolate isn’t melting, you can place the bowl back over the hot water for about 10 seconds at a time. Whisk in the peppermint essential oil and the pour the chocolate into the prepared baking dish.
Let the chocolate sit for 10 minutes at room temperature and then place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the cocoa butter in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (or use a double boiler) until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla and peppermint oil. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes to cool.
Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate mixture over top of the dark chocolate. Place back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, then remove and sprinkle the crushed candy canes overtop, gently pressing them into the white chocolate. Refrigerate for another hour. Cut into squares and serve.