Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

During dinner this past week our middle daughter asked:  “Mommy, we don’t know what heaven will be like, how do we know we will like it?

My heart tugged and I said: “you’re right honey, we don’t know what heaven is like“… “I think you get to do your most favorite things in heaven all the time, like sing and dance and go swimming and be with people you love and have dogs all around you and eat ice cream“.

She giggled and asked: “can the people all be dogs?

(This girl really loves dogs!)  I replied emphatically: “yes, I think they can if you want them to be!!

She then asked: “and I can eat ice cream whenever I want?

…”Yep, I sure think you can!“, I replied.

I cherish these innocent talks with our girls.  We talk about heaven occasionally, because they understand that their poppy Burton (my father) is in heaven, and we regularly speak of him as their guardian angel.  And, we have talked about our loved ones being in heaven with our beloved animals.  I always try to keep the conversation light and happy because I know at the heart of the matter is some fear of the unknown and sadness surrounding mortality.

So, we joked about how we would eat our favorite foods and just do whatever the heck we wanted all of the time!  She has my fondness for ice cream, so of course we elaborated on the topic of “ice cream heaven”!

The next day on facebook I get this message from Kristi:

“Just made Chai Peanut Butter ice cream. I think this will be served in my Heaven. OMG! YUM!!!”

I chuckled to myself and the coincidence gave me a little shiver.

Let’s have a little taste of heaven on earth.  Today I am sharing that celestial Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream (photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky,

Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream gluten-free, soy-free (recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan)

RECIpage link to print/share

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk (regular, not light)

½ cup natural peanut butter (can substitute almond or cashew butter if you prefer)

1 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk

3/4 cup coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar), (see note)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp allspice (see note)

¼ tsp ground ginger (see note)

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp sea salt

Pinch or two ground cloves (see note)

¼ tsp (rounded) guar gum

In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed, stopping to scrape down the blender bowl once or twice, if needed. Transfer the mixture immediately (see note) to an ice-cream maker (follow the directions of the specific model, this is the one I use), and churn until the mixture is of soft-serve consistency.

Adult-Minded: If you generally like more spices in such sweets as gingerbread, pumpkin pie, spice cookies, and cakes, you can round the measures of the spices cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and ginger, and add a pinch more of cloves.

Ingredients 411: If using vanilla nondairy milk, you might want to adjust the 3⁄4 cup measure of sugar, starting with a little less, because vanilla milks are sweeter than plain. Keep in mind that the room-temperature ice-cream mixture will taste sweeter than when frozen.

Savvy Subs and Adds: Coconut sugar has a caramel flavor, and likewise a caramel-type flavor with undertones of coconut. It is a delicious and lovely sugar; however, if you can- not find it, try Sucanat or another unrefined sugar in its place.

Enjoy this heavenly dessert, and I wish you a sweet day!


  1. Erin says

    Can you make this with just maple syrup as the sweetener (instead of the coconut sugar)? Also, what role does the guar gum play? Could it be omitted?

    • Dreena says

      Erin, if you use all maple syrup, reduce the other liquid slightly or it will be thinner overall. Also may be a little darker. The guar gum gives some mallowy texture to the ice cream. Most commercial non-dairy ice creams contain guar gum or other similar ingredients that help the ice cream be a touch softer and more mallowy. But, I have made it without, and you can omit it if you prefer. Enjoy!

  2. Marie says

    Impatiently waiting for my ice cream maker bowl to freeze and the ice cream to chill! I only used half cup of sugar, added 8oz of melted chocolate and extra spice. Might need a bit more sugar before mixing but I’m excited 😀

  3. Julia (Newfoundland) says

    Hi Dreena,

    Just wanted to say I am a huge fan of yours! I usually make one of your creat

    • Julia (Newfoundland) says

      Sorry, I accidentally hit “send” too early! Hard to type in bed with a dog sprawled across your lap. Anyway… I usually make one of your creations about once a week. This ice cream is one of my favorites. I also love your curried almond dressing and apple swirl load… among many other things! Thanks for all the inspiration :)

  4. Molly says

    Today I made your Strawberries-N-Cream ice cream from LTEV. It was unbelievably good! Heaven is right!

  5. Jane says

    A couple of times recently you have said that photos don’t come up on your blog – well i just wanted you to know that they always come up on the email links you send to me!

    Also – I agree with the lady who said about knowing stuff will work from LTEV- the only difficulty for me being I am used to working in weights not cups and tho i have a set of measuring cups, i never know for example whether a cup of flour (or whatever) is piled high or completely level with the top. the use of the word “scant” suggests sometimes a cup is not a cup? so i have had to do a little adaptation if the mixture seems too wet or dry. But also your book has given me cooking confidence – i just made a French style savoury tart with no recipe and what I had in the Fridge and it was “a masterpiece” to quote my 11 yr old daughter!!! (I don’t want to boast but just wanted to say that before getting your book and branching out i wd have said i can’t cook without a recipe…)

    And your Luscious Lemony cake with almondy sauce was “like a proper cafe cake” (the same 11 yr old!!!!

    Enjoy summer ice cream – too cold for them at the moment here in Australia!!


    • Dreena says

      Great! Thanks, Jane. Yes, measurements are finicky. There is a measurement conversion at the back of the book, though I know that can be a little tedious and isn’t as exact as having the weights given in exact amounts. When I say a scant cup, it is probably about a couple tsp shy of the full cup. I know that’s particular, but sometimes it makes just the slightest difference that improves a recipes. Sorry that is is a bit of a nuisance for you, though I am reassured that you feel that you’ve gained extra kitchen confidence through your trials. :) That is exciting, to develop your own recipe (and one that sounds exquisite!) from scratch. “Pat on the back”!!

      And, thanks for the report on the almond cake. One of my testers says it’s her new ‘fave cake of all-time”. Your daughter sounds like a fun companion in the kitchen! Keep her cooking, she might become a chef and return your cooking efforts! (one can hope anyhow!!) Thanks for the note!!

  6. says

    Ooh, reading that gave me a little shiver, too! And this post reminds me that it is time to bust out the ice cream maker! We are finally having the weather for it. I’m a seasonal ice cream girl, I just don’t want it unless it is hot out. :)

    Hannah’s photo is gorgeous, as usual!

  7. Jenn says

    This is so funny, because I’m working in a cooking program at a summer camp this summer, and every time we make something yummy, my girls all talk about how “it tastes like heaven” and then start debating whether something merits the title “tastes better than heaven.” I wish I had time to share this ice cream with them!

    • Dreena says

      awww, that is so charming Jenn! I wish I could make it for them – the best smiles comes from an ice cream treat. 😀

  8. Molly says

    Hi Dreena,
    I have the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment too, and I know that the instructions for it say to make any ice cream batter ahead of time and chill it in the fridge before mixing/churning it in the ice cream maker attachment bowl. Is that what you do for your ice cream recipes? Or do you just do it right before you use the maker bowl?

    • Dreena says

      Hi Molly – guess I never paid close attention to those instructions b/c I have never chilled the mix! lol! I’ve always blended it and then straight into the chilled bowl… though, I will note that I wait until last minute to take the bowl out of the freezer. Once I took it out a little early, and it didn’t set quite as well. Every other time it has set perfectly, though – without having to prechill the mix. Maybe if you were blending a warmed/cooked mixture from the stove then, yes, I can see needing to chill it first. But, with ingredients at room temp (or from fridge) to start, it works just fine!

  9. Alana says

    Hi Dreena,

    I just ordered your new book and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Your other books were were among my very first when I went vegan and I had so much fun discovering all new foods and favors. I especially loved your books because I trusted that the recipes had been well tested (not one disappointment yet) and would be delicious. This really freed me to try recipes with previously unknown ingredients or spices without worrying that it would be a waste of time and money. I knew it would be tasty AND good for me.

    Your new blog is lovely and your how-to videos are adorable.

    Thanks again and congrats on the new book


    • Dreena says

      Alana, thank you from the bottom of my heart for that! I can be a stickler for testing and retesting, and it’s worth it knowing that it gives you (and hopefully other readers) that kind of recipe confidence. I hope you enjoy LTEV as much as my earlier titles (I think you will!!). :) And, I appreciate your kind words overall, about the recipes, my site and videos. Happy plant-powered cooking to you, thanks for the cheer!

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