After meticulous testing, the Food & Wine test kitchen discovered the surprising key ingredient for the creamiest vegan ice cream: pea milk. With the right balance of unsaturated fat and protein and a relatively mild, neutral flavor, it's the perfect base for this sweet, vanilla-flavored treat. Xanthan gum doesn't require heat to activate its thickening properties; it starts working as soon as it touches liquid, so the ice cream base will be slightly gelatinous after chilling. Whisk it well to create the best texture before churning. This vegan ice cream is a treat on its own, but is also lovely atop vegan Sour Cherry and Black Pepper Pie, or as a filling for vegan ice cream sandwiches using Double-Chocolate Rye Cookies.

August 2021


Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
6 hrs
4 hrs
10 hrs 35 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Process 1 1/2 cups pea milk and sugar in a blender until sugar is dissolved, about 45 seconds. With blender running, gradually drizzle in olive oil, processing until well combined. Add corn syrup, vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and remaining 1 1/2 cups pea milk. Process until combined, about 20 seconds. Add xanthan gum, and process 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.

  • Whisk chilled ice cream base until smooth and pourable. Transfer mixture to frozen freezer bowl of a 2-quart electric ice cream maker, and proceed according to manufacturer's instructions for soft-serve consistency. (Instructions and times may vary.) Transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container; freeze at least 4 hours. 


Freeze ice cream in an airtight container up to 1 month.