Chocolate Mocha Ice Cream

This recipe was made possible by my future mother-in-law, who took a cue from my post about not having an ice cream maker and bought me one as a shower gift. I was so excited to get back to New York to start using it. There was one point in time where I thought ice cream makers were novelty items that collected dust in the cupboard. Then I developed a penchant for the vegan, agave-sweetened ice cream at Stogo and realized I couldn’t afford to keep up my delicious but expensive ice cream habit. That is, unless I learned to make my own.

It started with no machine ice cream — an icy yet creamy Amoxil tabletwas good enough to tide me over. But I knew that I couldn’t go machineless forever. So that’s where this gift came in handy. Sugar, whenever I use my new machine (which is sure to be often), I’ll think of you!

Of course, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing from there. The whole “vegan” part of it wasn’t exactly as easy as I thought it might be. I’m still in search of a great soy-based recipe. But for now, another coconut-based version will do. The difference, I think, between the two is that coconut milk — even the light kind — has naturally more fat than soy milk. Next time I use a soy base I may try to fatten it up a bit. Plus, I’m not sure if this makes a difference or not, but the coconut milk I used was the Thai Kitchen variety, which contains guar gum as an emulsifier. Perhaps that helped create some of the creaminess of this version. I think some additional experimentation may answer some of these questions. But for tonight, I’m going to enjoy this mocha version without any further questioning as to why it turned out while the others didn’t. I’ll leave that for another day. What I am wondering is how this one turned out so creamy and rich when I used light coconut milk (which has only 45 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving) and no additional fats. I feared it would be too icy in texture, but I don’t think that’s the case. Good to know, at least, that loads of fat is not a prerequisuite for good ice cream. I did make up for the lighter ice cream by sprinkling with a few toasted pecans, as pictured.

For my next experiment, I’m curious as to some of your favorite flavors. Perhaps I could try to tackle one of those next. Growing up, I always liked “Blue Moon,” though I fear the novelty of blue ice cream has worn off with age. These days, I’m digging coffee (hence, the mocha) and simple flavors like vanilla bean and coconut with a simple fruit sauce to top it off. I’d love to know some of your favorites.

Mocha Ice Cream:

1 13.5-oz. can lite coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchens)

1 tablespoon arrowroot

1 tablespoon ground coffee

1/4 cup brewed coffee

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2/3 cup agave nectar


1. Whisk together all ingredients except agave. Pour into a medium-sized saucepan and heat over high heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until mixture begins to simmer, whisking occassionally. Remove from heat and whisk in agave nectar. Set aside to cool.

2. When mixture has cooled, pour into a glass bowl or glass, 1-qt. measuring cup. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.

3. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and proceed according to directions.*

* my machine is a countertop Cuisinart. If you’re using a countertop machine, be sure the mixing bowl is completely chilled in refrigerator — which can take up to 24 hours — until completely frozen through.  


  1. says

    YUM! This looks really good! My favorites… many!
    I would love….love…love… see a cookies and cream icecream recipe I could actually eat (aka sugar-free)!

    And let’s see… chocolate chip is good. Oh and moose tracks……and marshmallow creme! :) YUM! :)

    Oh boy!

  2. says

    Two of my very favorite things – coffee & ice cream – all wrapped up into one sweet treat?! Yes, please :).

  3. says

    While butter pecan is always good, I think you need to try some Vernor’s ice cream. I haven’t seen it in a long time, but Stroh’s used to make it (& may still do), and it was spectacular.

  4. Laurel says

    Yeah, definitely mint chocolate chip. Fudge and marshmallow ripple?
    There used to be a website around called something like Vegan Ice Cream Paradise? I think she started the whole make your own vegan ice cream and most of the recipes are soy based. I think this is it: She hasn’t posted much lately but does have quite a few recipes and experiences to share. Good luck and thanks for testing out my next frozen treat.
    Oh, my very favorite ice cream in the world used to be dark cherry and French Vanilla ice cream. I don’t know how to do that without the coconut or soy flavor being too strong and the cherries freezing. It’s a poser.

  5. Beth says

    Ari — I made a mental note of the cookies and cream. Simple, yet a wonderful classic. I tried a peanut butter with liquid stevia and added wayyyy too much stevia, so I’ll have to re-experiment as it tasted, well, like crap.

    Charlie — Will I have to have the Vernor’s shipped to New York? I don’t think we get vernors here!! Maybe I’ll have to experiment with a substitution…

    Laurel — I’ve seen that site before!! Recipes sound awesome, I wonder if I can sub-in agave for sugar without a problem? Will have to see, I guess.

    For those ice cream + coffee lovers. I hear you — two of my favorite things ever, as well!!

  6. Jan Versical says

    I got my Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment on Sunday and made this recipe on Tues. It turned out great, even though I had to leave out the ground coffee (or I would have been up all night). Great job, MOM

  7. jennifer says

    I love your blog, I have tried several recipes and they have all been wonderful, including the ice cream; it was amazing! I really hope you are able to add new flavors, as I will be sure to try them. Good luck on getting the peanut butter to work!

  8. Beth says

    Jennifer — thanks so much!! So great to hear! I haven’t gotten the courage up to try the peanut butter again, but I made a light raspberry ice cream with stevia last night (for those non-agave fans out there) and it was pretty good, so I think that might be the next…then maybe a peanut butter/fudge? hmmm. Thanks for the feedback! : )

    take care,

  9. Sugar Filice says

    I’m so glad you like the ice cream maker — this recipe looks wonderful!!
    — Your future mother-in-law, Sugar

  10. Beth says

    Sugar — I love, love, LOVE it! Thanks so much (again). Gennaro will tell you that it is in constant use.

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