German chocolate ice cream from Vegan a la Mode

It’s like Christmas in July, when the Canadian summer hits its high notes and I’m searching for ways to beat the heat, and the best gift happens to land in my mailbox. Hannah Kaminsky’s third book, Vegan a la Mode, is the perfect reason to break out my brand new ice cream maker and give it a test run—or three, or four.

You guessed it: this book is all about vegan ice cream. Those who are turning to a lifestyle free of animal products won’t be disappointed by this fabulous collection of inventive, inspired flavour combinations, infinite ice cream base variations, and delightful toppings and accompaniments.

But first, Hannah sets the stage for her recipe categories with a glossary of ingredients, recommendations for kitchen tools and toys, as well as a very helpful section on essential techniques (psst—you can make ice cream without a machine!) and troubleshooting to help us master the perfect ice cream at home. Here, Hannah proves her expertise—”Since the process of creating ice creams is so simple, attention to detail is key,” she says—but it’s in the creation of more than 100 recipes where she really shines. Trust me, there are no compromises on brilliant flavours here; they will lure you to taste a whole new world of possibilities.

Peanut Butter Bombshell Ice Cream from Vegan a la Mode | A Dash of Compassion

Since I love a combination of flavours and textures in my ice cream, I first gravitated toward Peanut Butter Bombshell, a rich frozen delight that is loaded with creamy peanut butter, chopped peanuts and peanut-butter filled cookies. Clearly, this is meant for peanut butter lovers only, but if you really can’t stand the sticky paste, Hannah suggests any other nut butter, along with standard vanilla creme-filled cookies, would make fine replacements. I personally couldn’t get enough of it.

Peach Melba Ice Cream from Vegan a la Mode | A Dash of Compassion

Equally high on my list of favourite flavours, mango and raspberry gelato is always on my must-have list when visiting an ice cream shop. Similar in flavour, this Peach Melba ice cream really rocked my world. Made with fresh peaches and coconut milk and with a swirl of seedless raspberry jam throughout, I was in heaven upon first bite.

Vanilla Ice Cream from Vegan a la Mode

Despite Hannah’s reputation for creative risk-taking in the recipe department, she did include a few basics for the less adventurous (like my hubby, who requested this particular treat). It turns out, after centuries of ice cream consumption, Vanilla is still firmly situated at the top of the list, outselling chocolate two to one. Hannah’s take on this classic is pretty simple—high-quality vanilla beans and custard powder—but the results are pretty incredible.

German Chocolate Ice Cream from Vegan a la Mode | A Dash of Compassion

Finally, the German Chocolate won over a crowd of dairy lovers at a recent family gathering. This intense, decadent concoction is a marbled beauty of chocolate ice cream base that is swirled through and through with sweet coconut flakes and pecans, much like the filling found in German chocolate cake. Who knew you could make ice cream out of a cake flavour? In this case, I’d much rather have the ice cream.

Because this final flavour swooned so many of my testers, I got permission from Skyhorse Publishing to share the recipe with you. If you enjoy it as much as we did, buy the book! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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German chocolate ice cream

Hannah says: "Go ahead and really layer the coconut in for this ice cream—it's hard to imagine ending up with 'too much,' even if it looks like a lot compared to the ice cream base."

Yield: Makes about 1 quart


  • 1 1/2 cups dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups plain, nondairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 12-ounce package extra-firm silken tofu
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Coconut swirl:

  • 1/4 cup plain, nondairy milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. To make the chocolate ice cream, begin by combining the cocoa, sugar, arrowroot powder, coffee powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. While whisking continuously, slowly pour in the nondairy milk, and beat vigorously until there are no more lumps. Turn on the heat to medium and bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring gently the whole time to prevent the solids from settling on the bottom of the pot and burning. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place the vanilla and tofu in your blender or food processor and thoroughly puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once smooth, add in the melted chocolate, followed by the cooked chocolate custard, and pulse until the mixture is well blended and homogeneous. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  3. For the coconut swirl, combine the nondairy milk, arrowroot powder, and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat, making sure to get out all the lumps. Cook just until bubbles begin to break on the surface; then turn off the heat. Quickly stir in the margarine so that it melts, followed by the vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Let cool while you begin to churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Transfer the soft ice cream into an airtight container, layering scoops of ice cream with spoonfuls of the coconut swirl. Let it rest in the freezer for at least three hours before serving, until solid enough to scoop.

Republished with permission from Skyhorse Publishing.



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8 Responses to “German chocolate ice cream from Vegan a la Mode”

  1. Amanda — July 9, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    I also love different textures in my ice cream. That Peanut Butter Bombshell looks incredible! I’m excited to try the German Chocolate recipe the next time a chocolate craving strikes…which should be any minute now. ;)

    • Nicole — July 10, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

      Hehe! I hope you get a chance to try the recipe. It’s amazing!

  2. Hannah — July 10, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    Your photos could make an Eskimo crave ice cream in the middle of winter! Thank you so much for the gorgeous, thoroughly covered, and well-written review. You really got to the heart of the book here. :)

    • Nicole — July 10, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

      Thank YOU, Hannah, for another masterpiece!

  3. Michaela — July 10, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    Your review came at such a great time! I was thinking about ordering Vegan a la Mode but I wanted to know what kinds of ingredients were used and what different kinds of ice cream she experimented with. Seems like its right up my alley! Thank you

    • Nicole — July 10, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

      Excellent! She uses common ingredients, and the bases are made with either plain non-dairy milk or coconut milk. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the book :)

  4. Cara — July 11, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    This looks absolutely divine. Two quick questions: any suggestions on which non-dairy milk works best? And, is this ice cream soft and scoop-able out of the freezer, or does it need to be left out to soften? Thank you!

    • Nicole — July 12, 2012 @ 10:36 am

      Hi Cara! I used Silk Pure Almond milk for my ice creams and it worked great. In the book, Hannah suggests that the higher the fat content, the creamier texture you will achieve.
      I found the fruit-based ice creams in the book to be softer and more scoopable than the heavier ones. The German chocolate recipe above might need to sit out for a few minutes before serving. Hope that helps!

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