Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients) | #chocolate #icecream #recipe #vegan #dessert

Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients)

What’s better than really good ice cream on a hot summer day? Chocolate ice cream has long embodied everything good and true in this world. If you were to look back at pictures of me as a little kid, the photos where I don’t have melted chocolate ice cream (or frosting) all over my face would be the exception, not the rule. Normally I load up my ice cream with tons of toppings, but this ice cream…well, it can definitely hold its own. Plus, I get to refer to it as naked chocolate ice cream, which is so much more fun than plain chocolate ice cream.

Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients) | #chocolate #icecream #recipe #vegan #dessert

Today’s recipe is ridiculously creamy, rich, and intensely chocolatey and it only requires five pantry ingredients. Of course, it’s vegan too. I usually opt for the 365 brand of coconut milk when I make mine, and always full-fat because the texture is the silkiest I’ve found. Another trick is to add about a tablespoon or so of vodka to the mix—the alcohol helps to keep the ice cream from forming ice crystals by lowering the freezing point just a touch. You won’t taste it at all in the finished ice cream, but if you’d prefer, you can skip it or sub in a different alcohol (bourbon is delicious, although the flavor will be more pronounced).

I’ve been making versions of this chocolate ice cream for years now, and even though I felt confident it was perfect, I decided it couldn’t hurt to do a blind taste test with Aaron to be sure. When I was grocery shopping, I bought what I would consider the best chocolate ice creams, then asked him to sample each (a tough job, I know). While most ice creams rely heavily on sugar for flavor, Aaron said my homemade chocolate ice cream was “the most complex and chocolatey” and “just sweet enough.” So, now we know for sure: 1) I make the best ice cream and 2) simple, real, and quality ingredients win every time.

Go make yourself some chocolate ice cream…

Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients) | #chocolate #icecream #recipe #vegan #dessert

*If you can’t resist the toppings, I recommend cacao nibs for texture and extra dark chocolate flavor. (You can still call it “naked” chocolate ice cream, because why not?)


Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients)

Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients)

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: about 1 quart

Prep Time: 5 hours

Chocolate lovers, this recipe's for you! This simple vegan chocolate ice cream is extra dark and extra decadent, and you only need 5 basic ingredients to make it.

Naked Chocolate Ice Cream (with just 5 ingredients)



  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder, sifted
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons vodka (optional, for texture)

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: about 1 quart

Prep Time: 5 hours

Chocolate lovers, this recipe's for you! This simple vegan chocolate ice cream is extra dark and extra decadent, and you only need 5 basic ingredients to make it.


  • Add the coconut milk, cacao powder, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and salt to a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
  • Pour the mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in the vodka (if using) and allow to cool on the counter for 45 minutes, whisking occasionally to release steam. Refrigerate until cold (about 1 hour).
  • Once chilled, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, and freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions until just frozen (about 20 minutes). The texture should resemble soft-serve.
  • Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, laying parchment paper along the top to prevent ice crystals. Allow it to harden in the freezer for 3-4 hours, or until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • To serve, let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, then scoop and serve.

Notes [3]

The small amount of vodka helps to keep the ice cream from becoming icy and rock hard once frozen because alcohol lowers the freezing point. The flavor is not at all detectable in the finished ice cream, but if you’d prefer, you can skip it or sub in a different alcohol (bourbon is good, although the flavor is more pronounced). No worries if you skip the alcohol—the ice cream will still be delicious!

I use and recommend this (inexpensive) ice cream maker.

Recipe adapted from my Salted Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream.

Copyright © 2022 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Rachel says

    So good and so simple, I will definitely be making this! I don’t have an ice cream maker but I’m thinking of making it in my blender as more of a smoothie…maybe freezing the mixture in ice cube trays then blending with more coconut milk? Anyway, thanks for sharing. I love your recipes so much! 🙂

    1. So sweet, thank you Rachel! I think your smoothie idea should work really well! I’ve made similar milkshakes before using that method with great results. 🙂

  2. Sheila says

    It looks so creamy! I love this recipe!

    1. Thank you! It’s really, really creamy (full-fat coconut milk for the win!).

  3. Steph says

    What kind of ice cream maker do you use? I’ve been wanting one for a while but wasn’t sure which to get…

    1. Hi Steph! I’ve linked my ice cream maker in the post and recipe notes. I’ve had mine for a handful of years and it’s still going strong. 🙂

  4. Jackie says

    Wow, this looks awesome and easy to make. Perfect for a hot summer day. Thank you!

    1. Yes! It’s the best on a hot day (so, basically any day this summer… 😉 ).

  5. Hannah says

    I made this shortly after you posted, and it was so GOOD and easy! This might be the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had – vegan or otherwise! 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you Hannah! We’re smitten with this recipe, but it’s always nice to know others love it too. 🙂

  6. Maddie says

    I have a batch of this in my freezer right now! It was so easy and the flavor is out of this world good, Amanda. I can’t wait to dig in later this evening!

    1. Nice! You’re in for such a treat. 🙂

  7. So simple – a winner every time! Love it!

    1. Thank you, Melissa! Simple is my motto. 🙂

  8. Jessica says

    This is the best! Seriously. I’ve made it twice since you shared it. 😉

    1. Wow, what a compliment! I’m super happy you’re loving the ice cream, Jessica.

  9. Renee says

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but I haven’t commented before. I just have to say that I LOVED this recipe. I added in a splash of almond extract and there are no words—honestly the best ice cream! I look forward to a bowl of it every night and dread running out.

    1. So sweet, thank you! I LOVE almond extract…gah, it’s the best. I’m going to have to try adding it to my ice cream the next time. Brilliant idea!!

  10. Hope says

    Love this site for vegan recipes. I love using the reader version on my phone – but on this recipe when you do that, the recipe doesn’t show up at the bottom. Just wanted to let you know!!

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Hope! Thanks for your feedback. Are you saying that you’re not seeing the recipe when you view the post on your phone? If so, would you mind telling me what phone (for example, iPhone 6s) and operating system you’re on? We’ve tested the site on lots of devices and haven’t run into this issue before… Thanks for your help!

  11. Nova says

    My husband bought an ice cream maker for me. I am so making this! Thanks.

    1. Amanda says

      Yay! I hope you enjoy the chocolate ice cream and your new ice cream maker!

  12. Linda Bradley says

    Could you please specify exactly what you do if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Can you use a Cuisinart blender or Vitamix and then freeze in quart size tubs or Tupperware in the freezer.. A pan takes up so much room in the freezer

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Linda, I’ve had good results freezing about 3/4 of the ice cream mixture in ice cube trays, then blending the frozen cubes with the remaining 1/4 ice cream mixture in my Vitamix and enjoying some right away (I love a soft-serve texture), then freezing the leftovers. You’re welcome to freeze the final ice cream in whatever container fits in your freezer. 🙂


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