Maple Roasted Banana Ice Cream without Dairy

Non-dairy roasted banana ice cream- vegan and gluten-free
Roasting bananas makes for vegan ice cream yum.

Hot Banana!

I never bought David Lebovitz's ice cream book The Perfect Scoop because I'm allergic to dairy, and well. To be candid, a book brimming with rich and sexy recipes built around cream and butter and brown-eyed moo cow milk would just be, you know. Depressing as hell. I'd have to reinterpret and rebuild almost every recipe in the book to be dairy-free and huevo-free- except granita, and a sorbet or two. Yawn.

It's not easy being vegan when it comes to ice cream.

So when I browsed the book last summer, in an espresso scented Borders in Santa Fe, flipping through one forbidden recipe after another, I sniffed back a single tear, snugged the book back into its slot on the shelf and got on with my life. I'm used to it- this feeling of standing outside the glass looking in, admiring all the pastel ice creams or confetti-sprinkled whipped cream adorned cupcakes, or chocolate covered bites of buttery flaky goodness.

My life often feels like I'm living in a museum.

Look but don't touch.

And lest you think I'm feeling sorry for myself, Dear Reader, think again. I'm not. Really. I've been at this celiac thing awhile now (since December 2001). I vigorously pruned all additional allergens out of my repertoire in 2007. There's not much that rattles me. I roll with the punches and practice my best  Lebowski-zen detachment. And food is still linked with pleasure. Most of the time.

Although it took some patience and tweaking.

Tweaking of taste buds, I mean.

Luckily, we humans are adaptable. And with adaptation, change is inevitable, even if unbidden. I walk by the circular cheese display at Whole Foods now and wrinkle my nose (all I can think of if I inhale is a yellowed baby bib). Why cheese smells so unappetizing after only two plus years of not eating it, is fascinating.

The same response occurs if I cruise by the bread aisle. The smell of baked wheat is oddly sweet and sour and somehow, off. I hold my breath. I can't imagine ever eating it. Believe me when I say, I don't pine for it. I'm not singing songs of longing beneath its grainy window. I've moved on. Obviously, so has my body.

Perhaps all food is an acquired taste.

One tip I took with me from perusing The Perfect Scoop was roasting the bananas for ice cream. I knew it would kick up the flavor. I knew Mr. Lebovitz was on to something. I'm a big fan of frying bananas in a skillet for a simple dessert. I've done that for years- since my frugal art school days. Hot bananas are so sweet and gooey. Heaven. So I ask you.

Who doesn't love a hot banana?

Non-dairy roasted banana ice cream- vegan and gluten-free
Use full fat coconut milk for extra creaminess.

Karina's Vegan Maple Roasted Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Recipe posted June 2009.

If you can indulge in moo cow dairy cream, go treat yourself to David's The Perfect Scoop. You'll love it. But if your dairy-free and vegan like moi, try this frozen confection and see if it doesn't make you smile. Just a little. And yes, if you prefer butter and cream, knock yourself out. Sub away. My recipe is adapted (you might say loosely based) on David Lebovitz's recipe.


6 ripe bananas
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil (this adds fat lacking in most non-dairy milks)
2 tablespoons organic golden brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk, vanilla hemp milk, soy or nut milk
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum (may omit)


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Peel and slice the bananas, toss them into a baking pan. Pour the maple syrup and olive oil all over the bananas. Sprinkle on the brown sugar. Stir to coat.

Bake in the center of the oven till soft, stirring once during roasting. They should be ready in roughly 35 to 40 minutes.

Scoop the roasted bananas and syrup into a Vita-Mix, food processor, or blender. Add the non-dairy milk, xanthan gum, sea salt, vanilla, and rum.

Blend till smooth.

Chill the mixture. This is important.

When the banana mixture is good and cold dump it into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions for churning ice cream. This is the ice cream maker I use.

Makes roughly 6 servings.


Your ingredient choices make all the difference- so if you don't care for the taste of hemp milk (or a certain brand of hemp milk) don't use it in a recipe like this. Choose the best tasting vanilla non-dairy milk you can lay your hands on. 

Coconut milk is fabulous (if coconut floats your boat).

Recipe Source:

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

xox Karina


David said...

Glad to see the variation!

MaryG said...

Hi, this looks really good. I've always loved bananas fried alongside my pancakes and eaten with yogurt (forbidden to you I know) and maple syrup.

I have a cute little book called Granita Magic. They're mostly vegan since granitas rely on fruit. A sangria-themed one made with wine is one of my favorites on a hot day! And granitas are so easy to make--give the mix a couple of stirs occasionally and it's done! Of course one must have a freezer--doesn't work so good on the road!

Laura Schmitt said...

Looks Great! Karina, you need to get a copy of The Ice Dream Cookbook by Mastez. It's full of FABULOUS ice cream recipes with sinfully delicious ingredients (coconut based ice creams - whole foods, healthy sugars - gluten free sandwich cookies). Truly, you'll love it!
Thanks for this one,though. Looks very yum!

Micco said...

Have you seen the whole slew of vegan ice cream books that have come out in the last year or two? reviews some (though I feel like there's one or two more she fails to mention..?), and I know at least one of them makes a point of accommodating allergies like gluten and soy.

Steph said...

I'm curious, which milk sub did you use? I love coconut milk, but my tummy doesn't so much anymore...wondered how the texture differed with milk varieties.
I think I'm going to try this soon! But I might just have to add chocolate in some way/shape/form :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I remember the first time I went to a friend's house for dinner and she served grilled bananas for dessert. I'd never heard of grilling or sauteing bananas, and I was stunned at how delicious it was. Now I throw bananas on the grill all the time. Looks like it's time to try maple roasted ones!

Deb said...

Karina, You knock our socks off!!! I was looking for a gluten/dairy/egg/corn free ice cream recipe yesterday and lo and behold what did you post today but the most yummiest looking/sounding recipe possible...
Thank you, thank you, thank you my dear gluten-free diva (diva in a good way, of course :) :) :)!!!!) We will be digging our spoons into this soon...YUM YUM YUM!

Amy Green said...

Hi Karina!

Your ice cream looks delicious - i love bananas, especially with ice cream. I am gluten & sugar-free, so I will have to try a dairy version of your creation.

I am wondering how this ice cream hardens. Ice cream is one of my favorite gluten-free treats and when trying to make a dairy-free version for a friend I end up with a great tasting, but rock hard product. I understand the use of the oil but why the xanthan gum? Does it work the same way in ice cream as it does in baking?

jordan said...

i just got my hands on one of those cuisinart ice cream makers (the one you use) because my in-laws bought one last year and never use it. I've already made the banana lime ice scream and love it; last night i made a CF sherbet (just a can of minute maid limeade and 2 cups coconut milk --- HEAVEN); i'm SO pumped to try this one. is there anything better than the taste of maple syrup in ANY dessert? this canadian thinks not. Thanks for constantly being a source of great recipes, comfort, and encouragement along this hugely challenging journey with food allergy...

Jordan Woodsworth
(GF since December '07 d/t celiac, CF since February '09 - still recovering cheese addict)

Rach said...

oh goddess. that looks so good!

Kimi Harris said...

I LOVE roasted banana ice cream. It's so creamy and good, especially nice for dairy free ice cream. Here is a link to another recipe based off of David's.

Here's to good ice cream!

(by the way, this recipe was from the book-used with permission- that Laura recommended in the comment above)

Kimi @

makingloveinthekitchen said...

Wow does this sound like something I could fall in love with. Beautiful recipe and photo to match.

Alisa said...

Now this sounds like heaven!

ttfn300 said...

sounds delightful! what is the role of the xantham gum in the recipe? can i sub something else for it?

Jade Lam said...

Oh yeah..YUM, this looks awesome but alas I have no ice cream there any way it could be done without one?
"Please, ice cream Mum?" asks my 2 yr old daughter, lovingly licking her lips at your photos....

Vegetation said...

Karina, I'm able to eat dairy and there's no way I'd change a thing in this recipe! It sounds absolutely delicious and I can't wait to give it a try!


I love your thoughts on changing tastebuds, I have had the same experience. It seems every grocery store puts the bread right up front, I hold my breath as I run to the produce section! Thanks for all the great recipes!!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I could totally identify with how you feel about cheese. I don't long for it like I once did, and I've adjusted to coconut milk ice creams and sorbets. As for wheat, when I smell it, I only think of pain. This looks splendid. I will try it in a week or two when I feel the need for something really cold. Thanks.~~Dee

moonwatcher said...

Hi Karina,

This looks scrumptious. Absolutely, I've been putting bananas in my fruit crisps just because they taste so great baked. Last year your vgan peach ice scream was responsible, first for me borrowing an ice cream maker from a friend, and secondly, buying one myself! This recipe looks like a good one to kick off another summer of homemade vegan ice scream experiment. My son and his girlfriend will be visiting next week. . I'm sure they'll be willing subjects, as they were last summer. . :)

Thank you, thank you!!



Diane-The Whole Gang said...

Everyone is posting about ice cream. This must be a sign. Time to pull out that ice cream maker and get busy. Someone in this house must eat the gluten free, dairy free ice cream. It might as well be me. Can't wait to try this flavor. It sounds very comforting. So glad you shared.

Leela said...

I was wondering, can I use agar agar instead of Xanthan gum? I already have it and I'd like to try it before I need to buy something else new.

Any insight?


j.cro said...

This recipe seems to lovely and EASY - but what if someone (that someone being me) doesn't have an ice cream maker? What do you think would happen?

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks, everyone- let's make lots of vegan ice scream this summer!


Amy- Vegan ice cream tends to get quite hard in the freezer. I take it out before serving and let it soften a bit. Some folks zap it in the microwave before scooping (just make sure your container is microwave safe, and don't zap it longer than a few seconds at a time).

Another trick you can do is to add a little rum or vodka- this can influence how hard the ice cream gets (alcohol inhibits freezing).

ttfn300- Xanthan gum adds viscosity and smoothness to non-dairy and low fat ice creams. You could try leaving it out. I might add a little more olive oil.


You might try the agar agar flakes Leela asked about. I've never used agar agar, but many vegans use it as a substitute for gelatin.

Leela- If you use agar agar stop back and share some tips. Thanks!

And as for making this without an ice cream machine...

Blend till thick and frothy in your blender or Vita-Mix.

Spoon into a freezer safe baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for half an hour or so. Take it out and stir it. Cover and put it back into the freezer for another half hour or so. Repeat.

Basically- what the machine does is stir the mixture as it freezes; this keeps the ice cream from developing ice crystals.

Theoretically, you can achieve this by freezing and stirring it at intervals.

When it's the consistency you like, serve it- or spoon it into a container to freeze for later.

Soften a bit before serving for best flavor.

Hope that helps!


j.cro said...

Thanks for the tip about making the ice cream w/o the machine Karina! I can't WAIT to try this - I've got some lovely rum I'd like to finish off... Mmmm

Deb said...

Hey, if we can't use xanthan gum because of corn allergies do you think we could substitue guar gum?
Can't wait to taste!

Warm n Wonderful said...

I have a Blendtec blender, but no ice cream maker. If i just add ice to the ingredients will this work out as ice cream?

Lauren said...

What size bananas did you use, Karina? It looks wonderful!

Venusattwilight said...

I just pulled the ice cream out of the machine. I added gf chocolate chips and walnuts thus making "chunky monkey". Oh how I have missed chunkey monkey ice cream. This is fabulous! Thank you so much!!!

DenniseC said...

I bought a Cuisanart Ice Cream maker and the book Vice Cream by Jeff Rogers (after having seen a few recipes featured in VegNews mag a few years back). I've made three of the recipes and they are vegan, so creamy, decadent and good! They were cashews, water and maple syrup based. The ice cream recipes are either based on the cashews-water-maple mix or coconut milk. Check it out! I made the chocolate vice cream first. It was so creamy and rich, I couldn't eat too much at a time. So I indulge but not over indulge.

Recent undefined:=-

Morellocherry said...

hey,i really love your blog. But i REALLY love the cutlery! Where did you get it? like the spoon with the curly bit at the end....thanks :)

Karina Allrich said...

I find fun cutlery at either Pier 1, Target, or World Market.



Sweet Faery said...

I'm not usually very fond of ice-cream but your version looks absolutely delicious...

Sue B. said...

I used to make an easy "ice cream" by putting frozen bananas in a Champion juicer (NOT the centrifugal kind of juicer) with date sugar. The flavor wasn't as complex as your recipe (which looks fabulous), but it was quick!

Alea said...

thank you so much for this!! i was trying with cashew puree to pull off ice cream but the texture was never quite right- this however, is BEAUTIFUL. i hear my stomach flip flopping in triumph- finally, some ice cream! :)

Warm n Wonderful said...

I wonder if I can make this using my Blendtec. It makes ice cream, just need to use lots of ice.

Lucy said...

YUM! Can't wait to try this! Thank you!

lorrwill said...

I already have my tiniest of kitchens over-flowing with gadget and now you are gonna make me get an ice cream maker. You gluten-free, dairy free foodie enabler, you!

Chelsey said...

oooh, Vegan ice cream! I have to say I love roasted, caramelized bananas. Looks fabulous Karina.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

What's so funny to me in this post is that David's on your vegan wavelength - he posted a roasted banana vegan ice cream! I love making ice cream with coconut milk - I'm not allergic to dairy, but coconut milk makes for a silky cream. Yum.

Cherry said...

This looks fantastic!

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