Homemade Non-Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream (Lactose-free Ice Cream)

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Non-dairy Vanilla Ice Cream

Do you need to make ice cream for someone lactose intolerant or someone who is avoiding dairy?  This is a good base recipe for lactose-free vanilla ice cream – just use mocha mix non-dairy creamer instead of cream and milk.  Texture-wise, it isn’t quite as creamy as real dairy vanilla ice cream – it’s a bit icy, like the icy soft serve that they have at self-serve buffets or on cruise ships.

You can customize your non-dairy ice cream by adding up to 1/2 cup of different mix-ins during the last 1-2 minutes of churning.  Some mix-in ideas: chopped fruit, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, crushed cookies, etc.  If you want to add a swirl of chocolate fudge or caramel – wait until the ice cream is done, then mix it in (lightly) right before freezing.

For homemade ice cream, I really love my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker – I got mine on sale at Williams-Sonoma last year, and use it all the time – it’s so easy!  You just freeze the bowl insert ahead of time (I store mine in the freezer so it’s always ready), put it in place, then turn the machine on!  As of right now: 6/25/14, this particular model is on sale with an extra freezer bowl insert for $69.95 with free shipping from Williams-Sonoma (so, 2 freezer bowls).  You can get the same model on Amazon for $49 if you want only the one freezer bowl.  I like having the extra freezer bowl insert because if I want to make two different flavors of ice cream back to back, I don’t have to wait for the bowl to re-freeze.  But if you are only going to make ice cream once in awhile – I’d go for the Amazon bundle since it’s cheaper and there is less stuff to store.

To store your homemade ice cream, you can use a plastic tupperware container and insulate it by wrapping it with a kitchen towel, or try the Tovolo Ice Cream Container - it is specially insulated for ice cream to keep it frozen soft without getting overly hard.  I bought one regular (white) Tovolo ice cream container on Amazon (about $15), but I found a pink one at Home Goods for $9.95.  (For easy identification in the freezer, I use the white Tovolo container for vanilla and the pink one for other flavors.)  Now go make some ice cream – it’s officially summer!  :)

Looking for a different flavor?  Here are some of my previous posts of ice cream recipes (these all have dairy):

Azuki Bean (Red Bean) Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream

Cheesecake Ice Cream

Non-Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream:

  • 3 c. Mocha Mix non-dairy creamer
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. sugar
Hardware needed:

1.  The day before making the ice cream, place the freezer bowl insert for your ice cream machine into the freezer.  Then prepare your ice cream mixture.  Mix the Mocha Mix non-dairy creamer, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a large pitcher.  Refrigerate the mixture overnight.

2.  The next day, set up your ice cream machine with the frozen freezer bowl.  Turn the machine on first, then pour your vanilla mixture into the bowl.

6.  Allow the mixture to churn for 18-20 minutes, until your ice cream resembles soft serve.

7.  Remove the ice cream to a plastic container, and freeze for 4-5 hours until firm enough to scoop.  My favorite ice cream storage container is the Tovolo Ice Cream Container – it is specially insulated for ice cream to keep it frozen soft without getting overly hard.

8.  Scoop, and enjoy!  (Storage tip:  if you have leftover ice cream to store, and don’t have a special container meant for ice cream – it can get really hard if stored in a thin plastic container.  I find that if I wrap the container with a thick terrycloth dishtowel in the freezer, it keeps the ice cream texture a bit softer and easier to scoop.)


  1. Agnes says:

    Hi. I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried making ice cream with coconut milk or almond milk instead of the Mocha Mix creamer. Thanks :)

    • Mika Mika says:

      No, I haven’t. I’m not sure how well almond milk would work because it might not be “fatty” enough. You need something with a heavier fat content to make a decent ice cream. Coconut milk might work well though!

  2. Marci m says:

    I have. Coconut milk, half and half, 1 eggs, vanilla ,salt and vodka ( eliminates the icy effect)