Dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream - Danielle Walker

I may say this every time I create a new ice cream, but I think this dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream is my new favorite ice cream recipe. The base is incredibly creamy and boasts the most velvety and slightly chewy texture.

Dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream in a Santa mug topped with crushed peppermint candy

A “stretchy” ice cream

We have a friend in LA named Ryan. My Ryan and that Ryan love to taste ice cream together when we visit. He normally has their freezer stocked with at least 5 pints of different brands, and they sit there with spoons comparing the “stretchiness” of the ice cream, the texture, and the flavor – specifically of vanilla bean ice cream.

I had never noticed the “stretchiness” of ice cream, nor would I think to compare it, before our friend Ryan made a comment about it one night. It’s similar to the chewiness, but so hard to actually articulate. 

Think taffy. The way it pulls from the spoon into your mouth and moves its way to the back of your mouth.

I always ranked ice cream based on its creaminess, and with dairy-free ice cream – how icy it was. A really good dairy-free ice cream should not be icy in the least bit, and this one is absolutely not!

But I haven’t been able to truly master that stretchy or chewy dairy free ice cream. Creamy and delicious – yes. But not thick and chewy. This dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream finally did it.

Dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream in a Santa mug topped with crushed peppermint candy

The Process

It starts with a base of raw cashews and full-fat coconut cream and heated slowly with egg yolks to make the custard. The base of this ice cream, before you add the flavor, would be an incredible base to start any flavor of ice cream. But here, we add peppermint extract and crushed organic candy canes.

A festive tradition 

When Ryan and I were first married, I would make him a peppermint ice cream chocolate freezer cake for his birthday every year. I frosted it in whipped cream and filled the top with crushed candy canes. He was born on December 4th, so I always loved to find a festive, Christmas flavored dessert for him. That quickly became his favorite tradition. Then, when we went mostly dairy-free, I couldn’t purchase the peppermint ice cream I used to. His birthday treat then shifted to something from one of my books.

This ice cream didn’t last long enough in our freezer the first time I made it with the intent to use it for a cake. Thankfully, I have some time to make another batch before his birthday. I might just surprise him with his old-favorite for the first time in 10 years!

Dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream in a Santa mug topped with crushed peppermint candy

The Candy Canes

I have yet to find a naturally-sweetened candy cane. My kids love these organic candy canes or circular peppermints and I buy them as a treat around this time of the year! I love that there’s no artificial red food dye too. One day I will make my own and give you all the recipe, just like my homemade sprinkles from Eat What You Love! I really don’t think it will be that difficult to figure out- I just need to find the time! Ha! 

Enjoy this new ice cream, friends! And again – welcome, welcome to my brand new website!

If you stumbled upon this new recipe through my instagram or Pinterest, but haven’t been fully introduced to the brand new DanielleWalker.com – hop on over to this welcome blogpost and grab your code to save 20% on my new store while you’re there!

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Dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Danielle Walker
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American




  1. Soak the cashews in warm water for 4 hours. Drain and rinse well. Add them to a blender with 1 cup water and the can of coconut milk. Blend until very smooth and no visible pieces of cashews remain.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, maple sugar, honey, and salt in a saucepan. Whisk in the coconut-cashew milk.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and warm, whisking frequently for 10-12 minutes, until the custard coats the back of a spatula. Scrape along the bottom periodically to make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t scorch.
  4. Pour the custard through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Cover well and chill for 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. Stir in the peppermint and churn the ice cream mixture in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the ice cream reaches the soft-serve consistency, add the crushed candy pieces and churn until incorporated. If desired, drip in 4-5 drops of natural red food coloring and churn until it’s just swirled in.


Dairy-free Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream


  1. Ilene says:

    I can’t wait to make this to surprise my husband, whose favorite ice cream is candy cane!! We have not purchased it since giving up processed sugar almost 10 yrs ago, but I know he still craves it.
    Just a clarification, please. Your ingredient list says full fat coconut milk, but then your step 1 says coconut cream. Are we to remove the cream from the top of the coconut milk? I am so excited to surprise him with his favorite treat!! Thank you Danielle for all you do and Congratulations on your new website and brand!!!

  2. Erin McCool says:

    This sounds great! Is there a way to make it without an ice cream maker?

  3. Amanda says:

    This is so perfect and yummy!! Thank you! 😍

  4. Nicole pinto says:

    Sounds delicious but can’t have the eggs, is there a substitute? Thanks

  5. Amanda says:

    Do you think you could sub out the eggs for something?

  6. Laura says:

    Maybe this is a silly question but is 4oz the same as a half cup? All I’m finding are conversions for liquids. Also, any recommendations on what to sub for maple sugar. I can’t seem to find it anywhere! Would coconut sugar work or maple syrup?

    • Laura says:

      Made this last night using coconut sugar and it was amazing! Thank you for another great recipe Danielle!

      • Laura says:

        Sorry for posting a 3rd comment, lol…but we had leftovers from when we made this last night and it was even better tonight!!! Can’t recommend this recipe enough! So yummy!

        • Danielle says:

          Thank you so much!!

          • Sonia says:

            Hi Danielle can’t wait to try this recipe. My girls love your ice cream recipes. My oldest will be 9 Dec. 26th and wanted to surprise her with a chocolate cake with this peppermint ice cream as the filling, which of your frostings do you recommend since it will be in the freezer so it’s not so hard to cut through? Thank you! 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Not a silly question at all! Yes – 4oz is half a cup (a cup is 8oz). You can use coconut sugar but it will slightly change the taste and perhaps the color since coconut sugar is darker.

  7. Keri A says:

    Congratulations on your new website Danielle (and family)!! We love trying your recipes and own 3 of your cookbooks. I have made your mint chocolate chip ice cream before and used a different brand of peppermint extract. We did not like the alcohol taste associated with the mint extract and are wondering if you’ve ever used peppermint essential oil instead?

  8. Kerry says:

    SO delicious! We have been on the hunt for the NadaMoo peppermint ice cream because it is SOOO good. Hoping we can usethis as a replacement. If we can’t do cashews, is there a swap for that? Could you use 1 cup almond milk or other dairy alternative?

    • Danielle says:

      You can use almond milk or double the coconut milk – but just know that it can slightly change the flavor and/or texture, but it’ll still be delicious!

  9. Didi says:

    Can you substitute almonds for cashews as I’m allergic to cashews?

  10. Rachel Busby says:

    This sounds delicious. Is there another nut you could use instead of cashews? My son is allergic.

  11. Amy Martin says:

    My daughter‘s 10th birthday is on Thursday and she has decided that she wants a half chocolate, half vanilla, peppermint ice cream cake with blue whipped cream frosting and crushed candy canes. She has recently had to go dairy free to eczema so the timing could not be more perfect. Any tips on Ryan’s ice cream freezer cake would be helpful since it sounds like he has the same taste. Thank you!

  12. Erica Weinberg says:

    What if you are SCD and can’t use the maple sugar? Any substitute? Looks wonderful!

  13. Molly says:

    This sounds wonderful, like all your recipes! I’m wondering if we can sub Lakanto golden sweetener for the maple sugar to make the ice cream keto-friendly? Thanks!

  14. Sammie says:

    Hi Danielle,
    I think I know the answer to this question but, can we use a different nut? My daughter can’t have cashew, dairy or egg yolk. I know the subs for dairy and eggs but any idea in a sub for cashews?

    • Danielle says:

      you can try almond! It won’t be as thick and creamy though. Another option is to just use all coconut milk- the flavor will be different, but it will still work!

    • Danielle says:

      You can sub cashews with almonds.

      • Leona says:

        Hello Dear Danielle, first I Pray you and your Precious Family are doing well. And let me say thank you for all You do to help
        People, as they are try to eat clean, you are a true Blessing to so very many people. A true Gem you are. My question is simple, can I make a chocolate ice cream out of this recipe, if yes, can I just add cacao powder? Many Blessings

  15. Sarah Nietupski says:

    I love this recipe! Made it tonight and it is delicious. I forgot to strain it before refrigerating but it seemed to do okay. Thank you Danielle for your detailed but easy-to-understand recipes! They are a delicious lifesaver 🍬🍨

  16. Darby says:

    Hey Danielle! Maybe this is a silly question, but if I don’t have an ice cream machine, is it possible to still make this or is that not worth the time? this sounds so yummy!

  17. Lauren says:

    I’m so excited to make this but I just realized that we don’t have an ice cream maker. What would you suggest?

  18. Tricia Bittinger says:

    Love this ice cream! If I wanted to use this base for your chocolate ice cream, what changes need to be made?

  19. Renee Kelcey says:

    My kid’s will only want this vanilla flavour so I’m planning on making it without the peppermint because I’m intrigued by the cashew texture. Just wondering if anyone else has done this yet and ha can report back 😉

    • Sal says:

      I got the link to this recipe from my DreaReneeKnits (Andrea Mowry) knitting newsletter. She says “We leave out the peppermint and candy canes for the most perfect Vanilla!”

  20. Sara says:

    oh I’m so eager to try this ice cream with the brownie but wondering if I can sub maple syrup for the sugar?

    • Danielle says:

      I haven’t tested it this way so I don’t know for sure how the maple syrup will work instead of the sugar, but you’d have to take into consideration that subbing sugar for syrup would mean adding extra liquid to the recipe. You might end up with a softer consistency than desired – if you try it out with maple syrup, let me know how it worked!

  21. Sarah Bosch says:

    I’m about to make this… how much does the recipe make? 1 pint? Thank you!!

  22. Morgan says:

    In your pictures the ice cream is very white but mine is very yellow. Is there anyway to make sure it stays white?

  23. Julia Diaz says:

    Can this just go straight to the freezer ? We don’t have an ice cream maker

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Julia! This recipe would need an ice cream maker but I’ve seen readers comment that they’ve found methods online on how to make ice cream sans the appliance.

  24. Amanda says:

    I love this recipe so much!! It first came out when I was pregnant with my son and I was OBSESSED with ice cream. It’s been a while since I’ve made it but I’m about to make it with my two-year-old who is also obsessed with ice cream! 😀

  25. Allie Fielding says:

    Hi! How many servings is this? I’m cooking for a lot of people this year!

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