Raw Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Friday, February 14, 2014 @ 11:02 AM Somer McCowan
Raw Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream 4.64/5 (92.73%) 22 votes


Raw Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream

Ben and Jerry’s most popular ice cream flavor goes Raw and Vegan! This ice cream is every bit as fantastic, rich and delicious as the original. Super creamy cherry flavored ice cream coupled with whole cherries and homemade dark chocolate pieces that will make you swoon. This is seriously the best ice cream I have ever eaten! If you make it for your friends and family, no one will ever miss the dairy, refined sugars, or artificial flavors.

Cherries and homemade raw vegan chocolate pieces mixed in.

Cherries and homemade raw vegan chocolate pieces mixed in.


For the Ice Cream Base:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2-4 hours, then drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups purified water
  • 2/3 cup raw agave or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla OR cherry extract if you can find it
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the Dark Chocolate Pieces:

  • 2 tablespoons raw organic cocoa butter
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw agave or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder


Make the dark chocolate pieces first: Melt the cocoa butter and the coconut oil together over a double broiler on very low heat (if you want to keep it raw, measure the temperature with a candy thermometer and make sure to keep it under 115 degrees). Once fully melted, whisk in the raw agave and the raw cacao powder and the pinch of sea salt. Pour the chocolate mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Stick in the freezer and let chill until solid.

While the chocolate mixture is chilling, blend the soaked cashews with the purified water to make a thick and creamy cashew milk, which is the base for the ice cream. Then add the raw agave or pure maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, coconut oil, vanilla or cherry extract, and just a few of the cherries (for color) until completely smooth. This may take a minute or two. Pour the mixture into a prepared ice cream maker and let churn for 25-30 minutes. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can try this method. While the ice cream is churning, cut the chilled raw chocolate into small rectangular pieces with a pizza wheel. Return raw chocolate pieces to the freezer.

When the ice cream finishes churning, pour ice cream into a large freezer safe container and stir in the chocolate pieces and the remaining cherries by hand, so they stay mostly intact. You can eat it now, like soft serve, but it’s much better when you freeze it for 2 hours ‘til it’s nice and solid.


What’s better than real fruit and homemade dark chocolate? Having them in raw vegan ice cream.


Diet type: Vegan

Diet tags: Raw

Somer McCowan

About Somer McCowan

Several years ago Somer was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease called Ulcerative Colitis. She was put on a prescription steroid and lots of other prescription drugs to control the disease. She was miserable and sick all the time. Luckily, she found out that a whole foods, plant-based diet can reverse disease. So she went completely vegan and it changed her life: she’s currently off all prescription drugs and her Ulcerative Colitis is in full remission. She’s never felt better! See her at www.vedgedout.com

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25 Responses to “Raw Vegan Cherry Garcia Ice Cream”

  1. Carrie says:

    This is fantastic! I had to use macadamia nuts and almonds(no cashews at home). Just came out of the ice cream maker. I am not vegan, but we try to eat as many plant based foods as we can in my house. Can’t wait to try variations-I suspect this would be a great base for chocolate ice cream. Thanks,so much, for sharing. I have been experimenting with other vegan ice creams (purchased 2 cookbooks to try recipes). None of the others have even come close to this recipe.

  2. Instead of making the homemade chocolate pieces, could you substitute vegan chocolate chips? I’m not able to find cacao powder and organic cocoa butter in my city? And maybe if you can’t find cherry extract, would almond extract work??

    • Sunwarrior Sunwarrior says:

      You can certainly substitute the chocolate pieces for vegan chocolate. And we’ll check with Somer about the almond extract.

  3. Yolande Gaymes says:

    I’m allergic to nuts….anything I can sub for the nuts in the base. Or can I remove it from the recipe completely?

  4. Angie S says:

    Two words: Nut Allergies. You should make it clear the recipe contains nuts.

    • Ryan says:

      What’s more clear than the first ingredient on the list being “2 cups raw cashews”. What more could you expect? Do you want a big disclaimer that says “This recipe contains nuts”? Using that logic, wouldn’t they need to include “This recipe contains coconut”, “This recipe contains chocolate” and all the other food allergies that someone could possibly have? Oh wait, that would just be the same as the list of ingredients. SMH.

  5. Julia says:

    Hi Somer

    What might I be able to use instead of the cherrie extract and cheeries?

    I also wanted to ask you if you have another recipe for delicous raw ice cream that has less nuts, I seem to get a tummy ach after nutty ice creams or too much coconut milk in ice creams :(

  6. Natalie says:

    I have tried Many vegan ice cream recipes and this is by far the best ever! I am going to keep using this as a base to a world of many options/flavors. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  7. Heather says:

    I know this is far-fetched but are there any alternatives to coconut oil? I’m currently intolerent to cocoa and coconut :(

    • Sunwarrior Sunwarrior says:

      Hey Heather,
      You could probably exchange it with a bit of nut butter. Cashew or tahini would probably work the best.

  8. Robert says:

    Your recipe ask for 2 cups of purified water, does it go in with “ice cream’ mixture?

    • Somer says:

      Sorry, I’ll see if they can update this, the cashews should be blended with the purified water to make a thick and creamy cashew milk, which is the base for the ice cream.

  9. michelle says:

    is there any alternative to cocoa butter? i can’t get my hands on any….

  10. Jennifer says:

    Update! You inspired me so much with this recipe that I actually ventured out and bought an ice cream maker! Lol

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hi! First off I have to say that this recipe looks phenomenal! I was just wondering if salts aren’t needed bcus this is a fairy free mix? Thanks!

    • Sunwarrior Sunwarrior says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      It does look good, doesn’t it? Somer made a really great recipe. :)
      I wasn’t quite sure which salt you were referring to, so I thought I’d mention both. The pinch of salt in the chocolate is there for taste. The salt used on the ice in the ice cream maker or ziplock bags is to help decrease the temperature. Salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra-cold brine that absorbs heat from the ice cream mixture, causing the mixture to freeze. This is necessary even for dairy free ice cream. Hope this helps!

    • Somer says:

      Thanks Jennifer! My ice cream maker is automatic and doesn’t require salts for freezing the ice cream, but I know that some ice cream makers/churners do, You should follow the instructions on your ice cream maker for the best outcome.

  12. mary says:

    are these sweet cherries or sour cherries?

  13. liz says:

    This recipe is 1000 x better than any dairy ice cream I’ve had….and I’m not even Vegan!

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