This vegan gelato is unlike anything I’ve ever made before. It has flavors of cinnamon and caramel, like a sweet cinnamon bun, with a rich soft-serve texture that melts in your mouth. But in contrast with virtually every other vegan ice cream recipe I’ve seen, there’s no coconut milk and no banana. It’s actually made from almond butter. Stay with me…
Back in my Cheesy Vegan eBook (which you all have, right?), there’s a recipe for ricotta ice cream, and I think that’s one of my favorite vegan ice creams of all time. The almond-based cheese makes the ice cream so creamy, with a slight cheesy/dairy flavor from the nutritional yeast, it’s so good!
That gave me the idea of making an ice cream with almond butter and almond milk, blended until smooth, with maple syrup and dates for sweetener, with a pinch of nutritional yeast to kick up the dairy-like flavors (trust me), and some cinnamon to give this gelato a beautiful, warm sweet cinnamon flavor. OMG it’s delicious. So delicious.
Best of all, it’s really easy to make – you don’t even need an ice cream maker. Just blend all the ingredients together, pour into a loaf pan or something, and freeze. The almond butter doesn’t take to freezing easily, which is a good thing – the end product never becomes overly icy or hard, it just freezes into the perfect rich consistency you’d expect from gelato.
Makes about 3 cups
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 5 large dates (pitted)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or more)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt (see note)
In a blender, simply combine all the ingredients and blend until totally smooth. A high-powered blender is recommended, just to be sure there are no chunks of almond butter or dates in the final mixture. You can drizzle in a little more syrup too, if you’d like it to be sweeter.
Note: You can also add a pinch of salt if your almond butter is unsalted, but it’s probably not necessary if using salted almond butter.
Idea: I’ve never tried it, but the Cinnamon Dolce latte is a Starbucks thing, which got me thinking how great this would be with coffee as well. Throw in a shot of espresso or a packet of instant coffee to make some cinnamon dolce latte gelato (which is quite a mouthful to say, but would be mighty delicious).
Pour into some kind of container, a metal loaf pan works well, but a tupperware container would also work. Cover and freeze. This is the tricky part – waiting. It took mine over 12 hours to fully freeze, which was surprising, but as I mentioned, it ends up with the perfect texture right out of the freezer.
Use an ice cream scooper to spoon into dishes, top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, and serve immediately.