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Creamy Vanilla Raisin Ice Cream

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raw vegan Creamy Vanilla Raisin Ice Cream served in an old tin mug

~ raw, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free ~

Plain vanilla ice cream has always gotten a bad rap if you ask me.  They are often pegged as boring or uninteresting.  I for one beg to differ.  They offer a creamy, velvety base that can be soothing and comforting on its own or it can offer a fantastic base for all sorts of creations!

Eat it alone, add nut milk and make a shake, top with raw chocolate and/or caramel sauces, spoon fresh fruit over it, add a dollop on top of a raw brownie… if you can dream it, you can create it, and you can eat it!  :)

This recipe turned out very rich, decadent, thick, and creamy.  You will need a high-powered blender to make this because one of the true signs of successful ice cream is that creamy mouth-feel.

There is no ifs-and-or-buts-about-it… this ice cream is not low-calorie, but that wasn’t my goal when I created it.  Raw foods tend to be very rich and dense not only in flavor but also in nutrition.  Therefore, it doesn’t take the same volume to satisfy your cravings.

A creative idea to help control portion sizes when making this or any ice cream is to make the batter, run it through the ice cream machine, and then pour it in 3 oz Dixie cups. Freeze and when you are ready to curb that ice cream snack attack, simply grab a cup out of the freezer and enjoy!

It is always best to allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes, just enough to soften it a tad.  The colder the ice cream, the less the flavors come through.  Did you know that softer ice cream will taste sweeter than a rock hard ice cream?  Conduct your own test; you will understand what I am talking about.

This is a good rule-of-thumb to remember when creating ice cream recipes.   You usually need to add more sweeteners than you might think.  When I am in the blending process and take a taste test, I have to actually remember this rule.  Does it taste perfect in the soft blended form? If so increase the sweetness.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.


Yields 4 cups


  1. Place the cashews in a glass bowl, along with 4 cups of water.
    • Soak for at least 2 hours.
    • The soaking process will help reduce phytic acid, which will aid in digestion.
    • The soaking also softens the cashews, so they blend nice and creamy.
    • After the cashews are through soaking, drain, and rinse.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine; almond milk, honey, coconut butter, vanilla, cashews, raisins, and salt. Process till nice and creamy.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
    • Option – you can either blend the raisins into the batter or hand mix them in. I have done it both ways. The blended raisins look like little specks, and it darkens the color some. The hand-mixed in raisins as you see in the photo leaves the ice cream creamy-white with chunks of raisins within.
  3. If you have an ice cream maker, after the mixture is blended, chill for about 1 hour in the freezer and then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. It is best to take the ice cream out of the freezer about 10 minutes ahead of time, so it can have a chance to soften.  Did you know that softer ice cream has more flavor than hard, ice cream?  Test it for yourself.

Freezing Suggestions for Ice Cream:

  1. Use an ice cream machine.  Follow the manufactures directions.
  2. Freeze in popsicle molds or 3 oz Dixie cups with a popsicle stick inserted.
  3. Store the ice cream in the very back of the freezer, as far away from the door as possible. Every time you open your freezer door you let in warm air. Keeping ice cream way in the back and storing it beneath other frozen-sold items will help protect it from those steamy incursions.
  4. Ice cream is full of fat, and even when frozen, fat has a way of soaking up flavors from the air around it—including those in your freezer. To keep your ice cream from taking on the odors, use a container with a tight-fitting lid. For extra security, place a layer of plastic wrap between your ice cream and the lid.
  5. To soften in the refrigerator, transfer ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before using. Or let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Wish to make your own raw ice cream, wonder what machine I might recommend, and more? Click (here) to check out the Reference Library!

24 thoughts on “Creamy Vanilla Raisin Ice Cream

  1. Yuna says:

    Awesome, as usual! :)

    On a different topic, just curious, how much do you spend on raw food to feed yourself and your husband each month?

    • amie-sue says:

      I have no idea Yuna. lol My routines are completely different due to always in the mode of recipe developing, taking pictures, writing down what I do… etc. amie sue

  2. shawna says:

    Hi Aimee Sue!

    I very excited to try this recipe, as I received an ice cream maker for Christmas! I am wondering how thick and rich is the almond milk you use? I have been meaning you ask this question because I also want to try the ice cream recipe you posted around Christmas this past year. I ask because I know when I make the almond milk a I drink daily I use I cup of almonds(soaked) to 3 cups of water. Will this ratio produce a thick enough milk for rich and delicious ice cream? How do think cashew milk or coconut milk would do in place of the almond milk? Boy do I ramble.

    I want to thank you for a beautiful website and your creative energy. After admiring your work for well over a year I recently became brave enough to attempt your recipes. All have been well received by my non raw non vegan husband!

    With Gratitude,

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Shawna.

      Thank you for all the sweet words. I appreciate that you took the time to share that with me. It made my day. :) And thank you for finally taking the plunge and trying some of the recipes. I hope you continue to try them and enjoy the process.

      Lets see, when I make nut milk I typically use 2 cups nuts and 5 cups of water. Your ratio sounds just fine for using in ice creams, unless I indicate more an almond cream like texture.

      Using cashew or coconut milk would work wonderfully as well. Each one will add a slight difference in flavor but I can imagine that they all would be delightful. :) Never worry about rambling. I am glad that you asked. :)

      Have a glorious day, amie sue

  3. kate says:

    I have my cashews soaking!! And almond milk made…I’m on it!! My concern is that when I blend these ingredients, typically, they seem to be really hard on my Vitamix. It sounds like it is straining and that scares me a little. Any suggestions..? If I do 1 cup of cashews at a time, with all the other wet ingredients, it seems to be fine…Does your machine blend this up without any trouble? thanks, kate

    • amie-sue says:

      I use a Vitamix or the Blendec… if I add the wet ingredients first, I have the best luck. If it seems as though you machine can’t take it, add a smidgen more almond milk. What blender do you use? amie sue

  4. Geoff says:

    Thank you for your excellent resourse on a professionally elegant website. Your recipe, here, uses cashews, may I assume that’s for the fat content. How would you substitute something like coconut milk in this recipe, my daughter is seriously allergic to anything cashewy.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Geoff,

      Yes you could use a heavy coconut milk for this recipe. Sorry to hear that your daughter has such a reaction to cashews. Blessings, amie sue

  5. Denise says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I am so excited about this recipe. I have been cooking plant-strong for my family for almost a year now, trying so many new recipes, but had yet to find a great icecream recipe. I made this for my daughter’s 9th birthday and she loved it! I froze portions in muffin tins with liners. The paper peeled right off without having to touch the icecream at all. Perfect for little ones. We’ve been eating the leftovers all week and they all want this recipe added to our “cook list”. That is an honor in our house…thought you might like to know! ;)

    • amie-sue says:

      Well Denise, I am so thankful that you shared that with me. I am honored! Please wish your young daughter a Happy Birthday from me, if you would. :) I love your idea on using the muffin tins. I freeze our ice creams in 4 oz freezer safe mason jars so Bob can always grab and go with them. So I understand the joy of no-mess ice cream. Have a beautiful weekend. amie sue

  6. Victoria says:

    I have a weird icecream maker that I purchased from a Big Lots store a while back.

    The ice cream maker was very inexpensive and looks like an ice cream cone and it came with 4 small ice cream cups.

    It worked well when I tried it using a recipe from Atkins. I will try your recipe and post back with the results. :)

  7. Racheal says:

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I made it at home to go with a chocolate cake and it was just perfect. I’m sure that I will be making it again. Your recipes are great!

  8. Lulabelle Mischeaux says:

    Would like see some recipes and get to involved in cooking healthy meals for my family some about preraring healthy meats thank you. I’m encourage to do this please help.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Lulabelle,

      I am sorry but my site is a raw recipe site and I don’t have any meat recipes here. Happy to help you with fresh raw recipes through if you have questions. amie sue

  9. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie,

    Just a quick question as I write out my Family’s menu plan for the upcoming week.

    I would like to make this wonderfully inviting ice cream to serve with the your Breakfast Bread recipe. I am so excited.

    What nut might I substitute for the cashews. Because of fear of toxicity and family diet restrictions, I do not use them.

    Thank you Amie. Your culinary skills are second to none!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Rhondy,

      What a beautiful combination. :) Instead of cashews you can use macadamia nuts or even young thai coconut flesh if you have that. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it. Blessings,amie sue

  10. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for showing how to make a “nicecream” without bananas! I have a hard time finding some that dont use them. bananas do not like me but i LOVE “nicecream”

    • amie-sue says:

      Well those bananas are missing out Rachel. hehe I am glad that you are able to find a recipe or two that satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy! amie sue

  11. yvonne says:

    This turned out so incredible!!!!

  12. kalle says:


    I am trying to find info on the amount of soy lecithin to use in the making of ice cream. All your recipes contain ingredients that have unknown weights. No-one knows what soaked cashews weight etc. Do you have an idea of how much lecithin to use per kg?

    • amie-sue says:

      No I don’t Kalle. I typically don’t weigh my ingredients but I am trying to add that feature in more and more. It’s just not my norm so its been a hard habit to break into. I have found after all the years of developing raw recipes that there isn’t an exact science and the recipes are very forgiving. As a general rule, I add 1-2 Tbsp per ice cream batch and I fill a 2 quart ice cream machine. Have a great day. amie sue

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