Raw, Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

By Chef: Amanda Maguire
Posted:  September 10, 2013


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Put down that Cherry Garcia ice cream and back away from the freezer cause there’s a MUCH healthier and equally as tasty alternative for you here! This recipe by Amanda Maquire of Pickles and Honey is made with a base of freshly made cashew milk and coconut cream, dates, frozen pitted cherries and dark chocolate chunks. It can be made in an ice cream maker or a blender (instructions for both included below). Think ice cream can’t be deliciously decadent without the use of dairy or sugar? Try this recipe and prepare to be amazed.


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3½ cups filtered water
  • pinch of fine sea salt

For the Ice-cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (for a truly raw version try making a rich coconut milk by following the recipe and instructions for cashew milk — just sub shredded coconut for cashews)
  • 1½ cups homemade cashew milk
  • 7 pitted medjool dates, soaked for an hour & drained
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries, roughly chopped
    ½ cup vegan dark chocolate chunks (we recommend stone ground raw sweetened cacao paste), divided

1) Prepare the cashew milk by soaking the cashews in filtered water for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator (overnight is okay too).
2) Once soaked, drain and rinse the cashews.
3) Add the cashews, water, and salt to a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, or until the cashews are broken into very fine pieces. Reserve 1½ cups of the cashew milk for the ice cream recipe, and store the remaining milk in a covered container in the fridge.
You can add more water to the remaining milk for a less rich consistency. Homemade cashew milk should keep for 2-3 days. In the future, feel free to play around with the ratio of water to cashews. I typically use 1 cup cashews: 4 cups water, but I wanted a creamier texture for the ice cream.
4) Next, make the ice cream by adding the coconut milk, cashew milk, dates, vanilla, and sea salt to the blender and process until very smooth.
5) Pour the milk mixture into an ice cream maker* (see note at the end of the post for an alternative) for about 20-25 minutes, or until the texture resembles soft-serve.
6) While you’re waiting for the ice cream, chop ¼ cup of the chocolate chunks to create smaller slivers. You want a mix of small chocolate pieces and chunks in the final product.
7) Once the ice cream resembles soft-serve, fold in the chocolate and cherries until they’re evenly incorporated into the ice cream.Enjoy immediately, or place the ice cream in a freezer-safe container and allow to firm up in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight.

I used an ice cream maker to make mine, but I know this can be prohibitive for a lot of people. Alternatively, you can make ice cream using ice cube trays and a blender or food processor. Here’s how:

Instead of pouring the milk mixture into an ice cream maker (step 7 in the recipe instructions), simply pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for two or three hours until it’s mostly solid (not rock hard). Next, place the ice cream cubes into your blender or food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the ice cream base to a large bowl and fold in the chocolate and cherries. Grab a spoon and dig in, or allow it to firm up a little more in the freezer!