3 ingredient - no churn - chocolate ice cream {vegan}

This is one of those fantastic recipes that almost feels like a miracle. Three ingredients are combined with a minimal amount of intervention to create an outstanding ice cream with a dreamy texture. No ice cream maker is required either, so anyone with a food processor can make it. On top of that it’s also vegan, so if you are avoiding dairy, this one is for you.

3 ingredient, no churn, vegan chocolate ice cream

I discovered this method of making ice-cream sans an ice cream maker recently on Donna Hay and immediately put it to the test. I’m sure it will work with all my dairy ice cream recipes, but I still need to give this a bash. You simply freeze your ice cream base in a ziploc bag placed flat in the freezer. The frozen slab is then broken into shards and whizzed in the food processor until the desired consistency. The time will depend on how frozen your mix is. On my first trial it processed into ice cream within 30 seconds. On later trials it took a little longer, and I find if you allow it to soften slightly before turning on the blades, it goes a little quicker. 

3 ingredient, no churn, vegan chocolate ice cream

I’ve made a few unbelievably delicious ice creams using coconut milk instead of dairy and eggs, and this one is no different. In theory this should probably be called a sorbet because coconut milk comes from a fruit, but it really does mimic the creamy texture of a full-cream ice cream. You can check out my ginger miso ice cream (my personal fave), and my lime and coconut version.

3 ingredient, no churn, vegan chocolate ice cream

I made this recipe film in collaboration with a talented film making duo who own Echo Ledge Productions. Matthew Griffiths and Rafeeqah Galant were super keen to jump in and collaborate shooting food which is not what they normally produce. I think they did such a wonderful job. 


*Cooks Notes~ Because so few ingredients are used here, its important to use really good quality cocoa powder. Pull out all the stops. The chocolate is lovely and clean as is, but I find adding other flavours works brilliantly too. I’ve added vanilla extract and orange zest which always pair well with chocolate, and I think coffee or ginger would be fabulous. A splash of something boozy like tequila, orange liqueur or Baileys could only add value, but only a splash as you don’t want to interfere with the freezing process and this recipe makes small batch. 

I find pre freezing a metal container like a small loaf tin works brilliantly to help prevent melting after the ice cream has been processed. If you like your ice cream in a soft serve consistency, you can eat it straight out the food processor, or alternatively freeze again to get it scoopable.

3 ingredient, no churn, vegan chocolate ice cream

Recipe – makes one small batch that serves 4 (simply double up if you want to make more)


3 ingredient chocolate ice cream {vegan} no churn


  • 150ml water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 400ml coconut milk / 1 tin


  1. Bring the water, sugar and cocoa to the boil in a small pot until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mix to cool.
  2. Add the coconut milk and stir.
  3. Pour cooled mixture into a Ziploc bag. Place the bag on a tray and flatten out and seal. Freeze the bag for a few hours or overnight. Once frozen, remove from the bag and break into chunks into the bowl of a food processor. Whiz the processor for 30 seconds or until smooth.
  4. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and decant into a metal container. Smooth the surface and freeze until solid and you are ready to serve.


  • Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 5 – 10 minutes before you serve to allow it to soften (temper) slightly.

3 ingredient, no churn, vegan chocolate ice cream

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  1. Oh my word!!! Am trying that for the kiddo’s and hubby for a surprise tonight 🙂 I’ll be at a PTA meeting!! Thanks Sam as always…looks so easy 😉 and no ice cream maker – bliss!!!

  2. Sam I know this is for me — feet are still stuffed with pins, but the mouth is empty so will be able to instruct my helper on how to go about it. I can’t think of any better comfort treat. Also looks fantastic as always Sam

  3. Sam

    Thanks Usha, Im glad I could do vegan recipe

  4. Sam

    Thanks Hannah – yeah Coconut ice creams are really amazing. I do recommend adding a few flavour components like vanilla and orange to just give it that added dimension

  5. I’ve made coconut milk ice creams a couple times before, but I never tried freezing it in a ziplock bag first. Definitely gonna give that a try when I make my next batch. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Brilliant recipe!

    Oh my! How I love a quick and delicious ice cream recipe, can’t wait to go to the supermarket and buy a few tins of coconut milk and try your recipe.
    Chocolate and orange work so well together, I will follow your advice and add orange zest. 😉

    Yummy recipe and gorgeous photos!

  7. Sam

    I hope you enjoy Gemma, please let me know.

  8. Sam

    Hi Nic, I have no idea as I havent made it with stevia but Im sure it will be fine.

  9. Do you think a vitamix could be used instead of a food processor?

  10. Sam

    HI Megan – I dont think a blender will work here

  11. would condensed milk work? how about almond and rice milks? I have an array of vegan/non vegan friends coming for dinner and would love for all to have a serving!

  12. Do u have the imperial measurements for liquids as well? What is 150/400 ml in cups….thnx

  13. Sam

    HI Hmh – I live in a country that is on the metric system (along with 98% of all the countries in the world). A quick google and you will be able to convert any recipe this way. I also have a conversion table on my website. Those particular measurements do not direclty translate to cup measurements. They would need to be more specific as neither are a full or a half cup.

  14. Sam

    HI Vicky – the recipe is 100% vegan already so why would you want to change the coconut milk to another milk?

  15. Sam

    BY the way Vicky – condensed milk is NOT vegan

  16. This looks amazing, just what I’ve been looking for! I’d love to try it, but don’t have a food processor. Do you think I could use a hand mixer instead?

  17. Sam

    Hi Grace< I'm really not sure, I suspect not as the blades are required to break down the crystals quickly without it melting. I don't think a hand mixer will do the trick.

  18. the ice cream was vey crystal like and not smooth as per video.

  19. Sam

    Hi Tom, Im sorry you didnt like the ice cream, perhaps process it for longer? Really not sure what went wrong Ive made it often (and others) and its very smooth.

  20. Jody Blum

    Just made this and LOVE it! Tried to process it in my Vitamix first but it didn’t work so had to move it to my food processor. So easy, so delicious, so refreshing for me on a summer day when everyone else in the family is eating their Ben & Jerry’s! One question, my family doesn’t like the taste of coconut, so I too would be interested in trying a different vegan milk. Do you know if the recipe would work just as well? Thank you!

  21. Sam

    HI Jody, Ive never worked with vegan milks – so only know coconut milk which is incredibly creamy. but could be worth a try.

  22. I decided to make this in the last minute for my lactose-intolerant chocoholic mom, so I used the ingredients I had lying around. I used generic cocoa from my grocery store and low-fat coconut milk, and I added 1/2 tsp vanilla. It tasted pretty great, but had a bit of an icy, sorbet-like texture. I’ll definitely try it again with full-fat coconut milk for a creamier taste, and maybe I’ll splurge for some better cocoa. Thanks for the recipe!

  23. That video won me over! I’m making this tomorrow ?

  24. Sam

    Great and thanks for letting me know, Its defs more sorbet like.

  25. Hi there, can we use coconut cream instead of coconut milk…? Would it make a difference

  26. Sam

    HI Alicia you can definitely use coconut cream it will just be richer and creamier.

  27. how much gr is a cup??? for people who use a scale, and who do not use american cups

  28. Sam

    HI, Aline – I don’t have the weights here as the cup measurements are so easy and they don’t have to be 100% precise. I never weigh liquids. Sorry if you don’t have a cup measure (I thought this would be a standard item in any kitchen).

  29. thanks for your reply. no I am from Europe, and here we measure everything with scales.

  30. Hi this looks great! Do I need to let the chocolate mix cool completely before adding the coconut milk or just a bit? And if I don’t have a Ziploc bag could I use a freezer bag with a knot in the end or perhaps an ice cream tub?

  31. Sam

    Ha Laura, room temp or just above is fine.

  32. I don’t usually post comments but this recipe is AMAZING! So delicious and creamy – just as good, if not better, than the expensive commercial brands of chocolate ice-cream. A must try!

  33. Sam

    I’m so f=glad you enjoyed the recipe Janie

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