Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (2024)

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

I am sharing the easiest nice cream recipes you can make in under 5 minutes, plus 5 amazing, nice cream flavors I often make in my kitchen.

These frozen desserts are:

  • Dairy-free,
  • Sweetened with dates or dried fruits only,
  • Have a lovely soft serve-like consistency,
  • And are Vegan, whole30, and Paleo-friendly!
  • You can make frozen fruit ice cream with or without frozen bananas.

It's the perfect healthy frozen treat to satisfy your sweet cravings guilt-free any time of the year.

Jump to:
  • What is nice cream
  • Frozen banana ice cream—the basics
  • Nice cream without frozen bananas—the basics
  • Use dried fruits as a natural sweetener
  • How to make nice cream—a few tips
  • Nice cream flavors and toppings I love
  • Bowl, or cone, and dark chocolate
  • Storage
  • Serve Nice Cream with Cake
  • You might also like
  • 📖 Recipe
  • Common questions about nice cream
Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (1)

These nice cream recipes allow for dessert to be an afterthought.

When the weather changes to hot, sunny days, there is nothing better than creamy ice cream from frozen fruit you can blend in less than 5 minutes.

The frozen treats are concocted solely from fruits and sweetened with dried fruits only.

But if you want to take it up a notch, I suggest adding chocolate toppings, serving it in a cone, or adding chocolate peanut butter to the mix.

This is one of those frozen fruit ice cream recipes that, even if you have the basics down, you might want to adjust and taste as you go until you get the flavors, level of sweetness, and creaminess that is perfect for you.

And although you can become quite craftsy—I had my fair share of kitchen faux pas trying to go too wild with flavor experimentations—nice cream is not supposed to be complicated or overly time-consuming.

So, I've kept it simple here with a formula that makes everyone happywell, at least in my family—and creates a super creamy texture with or without frozen bananas.

And they are amazing. Let's make some nice cream!

What is nice cream

It's delicious ice cream made from frozen fruit and thus a dairy-free and vegan dessert without added sugars.

As I remember, the original nice cream was the one-ingredient banana ice cream or other fruits mixed with a frozen banana base to give this treat its creamy and soft-serve texture.

Sometimes I still make it that way if I have some frozen bananas on hand.

But you can get that same smooth texture with a few tablespoons of coconut cream or plant milk—cashew is my favorite.

So, let's look at the ingredients that make quick and easy nice cream recipes.

Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (2)

Frozen banana ice cream—the basics

Ripe frozen bananas give your nice cream recipes a beautiful soft serve-like texture. For banana enthusiasts, you probably won't need anything else.

Just throw three or four frozen bananas in a blender until smooth—it's delicious and perfect for kiddos.

But I often swirl in some other fruits or flavors and use frozen bananas as a base for making quick and creamy desserts.

The perfect bananas to freeze are the very ripe ones with a few brown spots. I peel them first, break them into large pieces, place them in a zip-lock bag, and keep them in the freezer.

It's best to freeze bananas overnight to get a more solid consistency. And sometimes, I still add some coconut milk or plant milk up to ¼ cup to get the blades of the blender to run smoother or create a more luxurious ice cream texture.

Frozen banana ice cream pairs so well with a few tablespoons of peanut butter and Medjool dates and, when topped with chunks of chocolate—a bit more decadent but so good and still simple.

And for the adults, a tad of rum or bourbon, maybe?

Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (3)

Nice cream without frozen bananas—the basics

You can still get a delicious soft-serve-like consistency without using frozen bananas.

First, choose your favorite frozen fruits

You'll need a bag or two of your favorite frozen fruits. Whatever fruits you choose will dominate the flavor of your ice cream, so go for the ones you love most.

Here are some of my all-time frozen fruit favorites, and not necessarily in that order:

  • Dark sweet cherries are incredibly sweet-tasting, and their color is so beautiful and irresistible.
  • Wild blueberries are always a kids' favorite.
  • Raspberries: they are heavenly sweet with an almost light citrus-like taste.
  • Strawberries or a bag of berry mix: a mixture of berries is always a winner.
  • Chopped mangoes: perfect if you like a more tropical flavor—an excellent choice in summer.
  • Peaches: creates a delicate sweet floral taste.
Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (4)

Add a touch of coconut cream

Just like frozen banana ice cream, it creates a creamy soft-serve consistency.

I always store my organic coconut cream (full fat) in the fridge. The congealed and hardened thick cream sets on top while the liquid part settles at the bottom—best to use the fattiest part.

Adding a bit of coconut cream creates a creamy touch to smooth out the frozen fruits without making them too liquid—you want rich scoopable ice cream, not a smoothie.

Another great option is to add a few tablespoons of cashew or almond milk.

Nice cream without bananas is a worthy ice cream dessert.

Use dried fruits as a natural sweetener

The frozen fruits are already sweet, but not enough, in my opinion, to call it "ice cream."

If you usually don't use sweeteners, you can omit dried fruits. Otherwise, blend in soft Medjool dates to make it naturally sweeter.

You only need 5 or 7 (about a cup) of them to make it dessert-worthy sweet. It also adds a hint of a caramel-like flavor and fiber!

Other options are black raisins or dried apricots, which sometimes work better depending on what fruits you use (see flavor combos below).

These dried fruits add tons of natural sweetness without even noticing their usually distinctive taste when combined with the right frozen fruits.

Note on dried apricots. Go for the very ripe dark-orange-colored Turkish fruits. Trader's Joe sells them, or you can find them easily online. They are deliciously sweet instead of the more sour-tasting bright orange ones—the sweet-tangy taste pairs well with frozen peaches.

Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (5)

How to make nice cream—a few tips

  • Place the dried fruits and coconut cream at the bottom of the blender. The softer parts go through the blades first and create a pasty base making it easier to combine the hard frozen fruits.
  • If you use a Vitamix, use the tamper tool to rotate the ingredients and use your highest setting at the end for a few seconds or until everything looks creamy.
  • If you use a food processor, fit it with an "S" blade. You might need to stop and scrape the machine down once or twice to ensure everything keeps moving and blending.
  • Work fast; otherwise, the fruits begin to lose their frozen consistency.
  • Make sure that your dried fruits are soft, so they pulverize easily. If hardened, place them in a small bowl, cover with boiling water, and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes until plump and juicy again.
Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (6)

Nice cream flavors and toppings I love

You can go fancy with your nice cream recipes and add herbal flavors like Basil, or mint, make it nutty with nut butter or chopped nuts as a topping or go a bit fancy with vanilla extract and cacao powder.

The FUN is experimenting with these nice cream recipes.

But I share a few flavor combos I love the most, and you can make them in no time as a quick weeknight treat—delicious, healthy, guilt-free, and super simple!

  • Very Berry: 1 (10 oz/284 grams) pack frozen berry mix, like strawberries with blueberries and blackberries, 7 Medjool dates, 3 to 4 tablespoon coconut cream. Top it with crushed pecans or chocolate bits.
  • Tropical: 1 (10 oz/284 grams) pack frozen mango pieces, 5 Medjool dates, 3 to 4 tablespoon coconut cream. Top it with dried and fine coconut shreds.
  • Floral: 1 (10 oz/284 grams) pack frozen sliced peaches, 1 cup black raisins or dried apricots or a mix of both, and 3 to 4 tablespoon coconut cream. Top it with homemade oatmeal raisin cookies or Einkorn Crispy Cocoa Cookies by Jovial—they are also accidentally vegan.
  • Raspberry or cherry chocolate: 2 cups frozen raspberries or cherries, 2 frozen bananas, 5 pitted dates, 3 or 4 tablespoons coconut cream. Top with dark chocolate chunks or shavings—The combo of frozen bananas and coconut cream makes it extra creamy!
  • Date and banana-peanut buttery: 2 frozen bananas, 5 pitted dates, 3 or 4 tablespoons coconut cream, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, Generous pinch of salt (if using unsalted peanut butter). Experiment here by maybe adding ½ teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, cardamom, or a dollop of "Nutella-like" nut butter.
Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (7)

Bowl, or cone, and dark chocolate

  • Serve your creamy creations in small bowls filled with plenty of dark chocolate chunks or your topping of choice.
  • But, I'll admit that If you have kiddos, they will be asking for a cone.
  • I always add some extra toppings at the bottom of the cone before filling it up with ice cream. You will love that special surprise at the end as my daughter does.
  • If you are a chocolate lover, use extra shaved or crushed chocolate chunks in addition to your toppings—adults might like chocolate infused with chili pepper—another great option! I always go for dark chocolate with 70 % cacao, or if you want to keep it Paleo or vegan-friendly, choose Hu chocolate Gluten-free snacks—insanely delicious.

Storage

To enjoy a super-rich consistency, you should make this dessert right before serving. But if you have leftovers, store the nice cream in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When in the mood for some healthy ice cream, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature to soften the texture and make it scoop-able again (it can become quite hard when refrozen).

Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (8)
Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (9)

Serve Nice Cream with Cake

A slice of homemade cake with a scoop of homemade frozen fruit ice cream? Perfect for celebrations.

Pair one of the nice cream flavor combos with one of these baked goods.

  • Fig and walnut cake
  • Flourless chocolate cake
  • Gluten-free cinnamon doughnuts
  • Healthy Paleo Brownies

Or serve your favorite scoop of nice cream topped with cookies:

  • Buttery Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Homemade Speculaas (perfect for the Holidays)
  • Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These are just a few suggestions.

Note: you will need a powerful blender or food processor to make nice cream recipes.

Enjoy!

You might also like

  • My nice cream sandwiches
  • Healthy Homemade Popsicles (3 flavors)
  • Mascarpone mousse

Hungry for more? Then don't forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter!

📖 Recipe

Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (10)

Healthy Nice Cream Recipes (Paleo, Vegan, dairy-free)

Mariska Ramondino

Make creamy and naturally sweetened nice cream recipes with or without frozen bananas—with 5 delicious nice cream flavors.

5 from 4 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Rate this Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Total Time 5 minutes mins

Course Cookies, Snacks, Desserts

Cuisine American

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Nice Cream Without Bananas

  • 5 to 7 pitted Medjool dates about one cup. You can also use black dried raisins or dried sweet apricots, depending on the fruits you use—see flavor combos below
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk the solidified and richer part on top, yields the best results (see note)]
  • 2 cups frozen fruits of your choice 10 oz/284 grams
  • Toppings of your choice optional

Banana Nice Cream

  • 5 to 7 pitted Medjool dates about one cup. You can also use black dried raisins or dried sweet apricots, depending on the fruits you use—see flavor combos below
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut cream optional but recommended, the solidified and richer part on top, yields the best results (see note)
  • 2 cups frozen fruits of your choice 10 oz/284 grams
  • Toppings of your choice optional

Very Berry Ice Cream

  • 2 cups frozen berry mix (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries) 10 oz/284 grams
  • 7 soft Medjool dates
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk see note
  • Top it with crushed pecans or chocolate bits optional

Tropical Ice Cream

  • 2 cups frozen mango pieces 10 oz/284 grams
  • 5 Medjool dates
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk see note
  • Top it with dried and fine coconut shreds optional

Floral Ice Cream

  • 2 cups frozen sliced peaches 10 oz/284 grams
  • 1 cup black raisins or dried apricots or a mix of both
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk see note
  • Top it with homemade cookies or Einkorn Crispy Cocoa Cookies by Jovial—they happen to be also accidentally vegan.

Raspberry or Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries or cherries
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk optional
  • Top with dark chocolate chunks or shavings optional

Salty Date and Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 3-4 tablespoons canned coconut milk see note
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Generous pinch of salt if using unsalted peanut butter
  • Homemade cookies or Einkorn Crispy Cocoa Cookies by Jovial to make ice cream sandwiches optional

Instructions

  • Place first the dates and the coconut cream into a high-speed blender or food processor. Then add the frozen fruits.

  • If you're using frozen bananas, break them into three pieces (if not cut before freezing) and throw them also in the blender.

  • Turn the blender on, starting with the lowest speed setting, then turning the power to the highest speed setting. For a Vitamix, use the tamper tool to rotate the ingredients. Blend until you get a beautiful creamy soft-serve consistency with no fruit chunks left.

  • For harder scoop-able ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe dish and freeze for 2 hours. Scoop and serve with your favorite toppings.

  • You can store leftover ice cream in a covered container for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, let it first sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to make it scoop-able again.

Notes

  • Nutrition information is for basic banana nice cream only.
  • The creamy part of the canned coconut milk adds a nice consistency to the healthy ice cream and a silky-rich texture. I would add a few tablespoons whether you use frozen bananas or not. Depending on the appliance you use, you can go up to ¼ cup if needed for your blender blade to run smoother.
  • If you don't like any chunks of Medjool dates or dried fruits in your ice cream, blend until all pieces are completely pulverized. With some appliances, this might make the ice cream a bit too soft to serve immediately. If that's the case, store it in the freezer for another hour or two, then take it out and let it rest a bit at room temperature (for 15 to 20 minutes, if too firm) before serving your creamy scoops.
  • Serving suggestions: My recommendation is to place some shaved dark chocolate or other toppings at the bottom of a small bowl or preferred ice cream cone. Then scoop your ice cream into the bowl or cone (I usually count one to two scoops per serving). Top off with some extra toppings, and enjoy!
  • I use my Vitamixto make nice cream, but you can adapt the technique depending on your own appliance. For example, if using afood processor,fit it with an "S" blade. You might need to stop and scrape the machine down once or twice to make sure everything keeps moving and blending.
  • The flavor combos are suggestions and the ones I make the most at home. Use my basic approach as a guideline, but adjust and taste as you go until you get the flavors, level of sweetness, and creaminess that is perfect for you.

Add your own private notes

Click here to add your own private notes.

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

Nutrition (% Daily value)

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 106kcal (5%)Carbohydrates: 23g (8%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 2g (3%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 249mg (7%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 59IU (1%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 15mg (2%)Iron: 0.4mg (2%)

Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.

Tried this recipe? PIN it for laterMention @mychefsapron or tag #mychefsapron!

Common questions about nice cream

How do you keep nice cream soft?

Coconut cream adds the right balance and moisture to keep your ice cream soft after refreezing.

If you don't want to add any cream, choose fruit as a base that at least blends up to a creamy consistency, like frozen bananas, peaches, sweet cherries, and mangos, for example.

Cover any leftovers in a freezable container, and let it soften at room temperature before scooping again.

How do you thicken nice cream?

Whether you use frozen bananas or another fruit as your nice cream base, make sure that they are entirely frozen (best overnight).

It helps if you have a powerful blender or food processor to process the frozen fruits as quickly as possible and work with large batches so your appliance blends easier—that's especially true for a Vitamix.

Add as little liquid as possible. If you need more for your blade to run smoother, start with three tablespoons and work up to no more than ¼ cup, depending on your batch size.

If, after all that, you still have a hard time combining all your ingredients, keep running it until you have no more chunks left, and then refreeze your batch for about one to two hours until it is scoop-able.

Note: this post was initially published in May 2017. It has since been updated to include new info and photos

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated and without optional ingredients or toppings.

Nice cream recipes ( plus 5 delicious flavor combos) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Corie Satterfield

Last Updated:

Views: 6429

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Corie Satterfield

Birthday: 1992-08-19

Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

Phone: +26813599986666

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.