It’s been warm the past several days in Denver and I felt it appropriate to share an ice cream recipe before the cold blows in. Really though, is there ever a time when ice cream isn’t cravable? If you were to ask the hubs, he would eat ice cream every day for the rest of the his life…rain or shine (or snow).
If I were to choose my top three favorite cakes, carrot cake would definitely appear among the ranks…minus the ones loaded with pineapple (love the fruit but not in this cake). I reserve traditional carrot cake for special occasions as it’s extremely decadent. While it does contain nutritious carrots and heart-healthy nuts, most versions are laden with lots of oil or butter, white flour and of course, melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting…making it quite the opposite of healthy but ever so dreamy and divine.
I’ve made healthier versions such as Elana’s carrot cake with almond flour several times before, subbing honey for the agave and coconut oil for the grapeseed with delicious results! It’s been awhile since I made a cake (which I need to put on my list “to make soon”) but when I was recently craving my beloved carrot cake, I went with a cooler treat during the summer heat. Plus, it’s egg-free, dairy-free, sugar free and still creamy and delicious!
I put my ice cream maker to work and made a creamy, frozen dessert that didn’t include cake itself but incorporated the flavors that I love so much. A carrot and cinnamon-spiced ice cream base of dairy-free coconut milk is sweetened with medjool dates (reminiscent of raisins) and speckled with chopped pecans for a bit of crunch. I topped the ice cream off with unsweetened shredded coconut and more chopped nuts but rum-soaked raisins and/or crushed or dried pineapple would also be yummy!
Carrot Cake Ice Cream
1 can of coconut milk (I used full-fat but lite would probably work too but would be less creamy)
1/2 cup non dairy milk (coconut milk from carton, almond milk, soy etc)
1 large or 2 small carrots, roughly chopped (no need to shredded since you will be adding to a blender)
6-7 medjool dates (or you could use 3-4 Tbsp honey or agave or more to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used a rounded teaspoon because I love cinnamon)
1/4 tsp ground ginger, optional
dash of nutmeg, allspice or cloves, optional
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (raw or lightly toasted)
For garnish, optional
chopped pecans or walnuts
raisins (I’ve made this recipe several times and made one batch with rum-soaked raisins, yum!)
optional: crushed pineapple (I am not a huge fan of pineapple in my carrot cake but feel free to add or use as a topping)
Using ice cream maker:
1. Add all base ingredients except for pecans/walnuts in blender and combine until smooth.
2. According to your ice cream maker’s instructions, add to bowl and allow to churn until desired consistency is met. Stir in pecans/walnuts. Either serve straight from the ice cream maker and garnish with shredded coconut, pecans, raisins, pineapple OR if you have patience, place the ice cream in a freezer safe container and allow to freeze for 1 hour before serving then garnish with shredded coconut, pecans, raisins, pineapple and enjoy!
Without ice cream maker:
1. Add all base ingredients except for pecans/walnuts in a blender and combine until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts.
2. Pour into 2 freezer safe bowls and place in the freezer for at total of 1.5-2 hours, removing every 30 minutes to stir so that it doesn’t turn into one large solid block of ice.
3. When it gets to a soft serve consistency, you are ready to eat! Garnish with shredded coconut, pecans, pineapple, etc and enjoy 🙂
Recipe Notes: If you prefer boozy ice cream and enjoy the taste of carrot cake and rum, add a tablespoon or to taste of rum or spiced rum to the base ingredients in the blender for an adult treat.