Frozen banana ice cream, also known as "nice cream" makes the most delicious and simple dessert. All you need to do is blend 3 simple ingredients in a powerful blender until it reaches a creamy consistency. It's that easy!
Homemade banana ice cream is as creamy as traditional ice cream but without using heavy cream. It's perfect if you're vegan or on a dairy-free diet.
You may also like this frozen banana smoothie or this frozen yogurt smoothie.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This frozen banana ice cream recipe is really versatile. You can find different flavor combinations ideas below.
- It's made without added sugar and super kid-friendly.
- You don't need an ice cream maker to make it.
- You can whip it up in a few minutes on hot days.
- It's a healthier alternative to real ice cream if you have a sweet tooth.
- It's a great way to use up brown bananas (especially when I don't have time to bake banana bread).
- Frozen bananas are the key ingredient of this recipe.
- Plant-based milk (optional) helps the blending process. I find that coconut milk provides the creamiest texture that resembles ice cream the most. You can replace it with another plant-based milk (e.g., almond milk). If you do so, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of cashew butter to make it creamier.
- Vanilla extract adds a subtle flavor that brings the "nice cream" to the next level.
How to freeze bananas
Cut the bananas into slices. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Then, place a sheet of parchment paper on top and add another layer of sliced banana. Repeat until there are no bananas left. Freeze them for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container once frozen. This prevents them from sticking to each other and from picking up the tastes of your freezer.
Elo's tip: Also line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the bananas from sticking to the pan.
Step-by-step (with pictures)
STEP 1: Add the frozen banana slices, coconut milk and vanilla extract to a food processor fitted with an S blade. Start blending.
STEP 2: Increase the speed and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. It should take 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides with a spatula in between if necessary.
STEP 3: Eat as soft serve ice cream with your favorite toppings.
STEP 4: Alternatively, transfer the banana ice cream to a baking dish or loaf pan and freeze it for 2 more hours. Then, scoop the ice cream into bowls with an ice cream scoop.
Elo's tip: If you freeze the banana ice cream overnight or even longer, it will become turn super solid. Make sure to take it out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes prior to serving to be able to scoop it easily.
Watch the video!
- A food processor with an S-blade is perfect to make banana ice cream. It blends the frozen bananas easily and you usually don't even have to scrape the sides.
- A high-speed blender also works great to make banana ice cream. If yours comes with a tamper, make sure to use it to help the blending process. I got this KitchenAid one a few years ago and it was one of my best investments!
- An immersion blender surprisingly also works! You may want to run your frozen bananas shortly under warm water to soften them just so slightly.
Conclusion: you need a powerful blender to obtain the thick consistency without having to add too much liquid to help the blending process.
- Chocolate – add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder or of your favorite (vegan) chocolate spread.
- Cookie – break your favorite cookies into small bits and add them to the blended ice cream.
- Mint chocolate chip – blend the frozen bananas with ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract and fold in dark chocolate chips.
- Peanut – add 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter to the mix.
- Berry – use 1 cup of frozen bananas and 1 cup of frozen berries (e.g., raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
- Tropical – use 1 cup of frozen bananas and 1 cup of frozen mango or pineapple chunks.
- Protein – add a scoop of your favorite (vegan) vanilla or chocolate protein powder.
Frequently asked questions
Banana ice cream is mainly made from frozen bananas and therefore incredibly healthy. You could basically eat it for breakfast. It's higher in fiber and lower in sugar and fat than regular dairy ice cream.
Two medium bananas make one cup of sliced bananas.
Frozen bananas stored in a freezer bag or airtight container will last up to 6 months. Make sure they are sealed correctly to prevent them from picking up smells and tastes from your freezer and avoid freezer burn.
Frozen banana ice cream tastes best right after blending. I would therefore recommend keeping frozen bananas in your freezer and making it fresh every time. You can, however, store leftovers in a baking dish for up to one month. Make sure to take it out of the freezer ahead of time to make it scoopable.
Granola, chocolate chips or chunks, caramel sauce, maple syrup, shredded coconut, chopped nuts and fresh fruits make great nice cream toppings.
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Frozen Banana Ice Cream
- Baking sheet
- Food processor or high-speed blender or immersion blender
- 2 cups frozen bananas
- ¼ cup plant-based milk I like full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cut the bananas into slices and place them on a baking sheet that you previously line with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
- Add the frozen bananas, coconut milk and vanilla extract to a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Start blending on low-medium and gradually increase the speed until perfectly smooth. Scrape down the side with a spatula in between blending if necessary.
- Eat as soft serve right away or transfer it to a baking dish and freeze for 2 more hours until scoopable.
- How many bananas make a cup? Two medium bananas make one cup of sliced bananas.
- You can replace coconut milk with another type of plant-based milk. If you do so, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of cashew butter to make it creamier.
- If you freeze the banana ice cream overnight or even longer, it will become very hard. Make sure to take it out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes prior to serving to be able to scoop it easily.
- Equipment: you can make this ice cream in a food processor or a high-speed blender. I got this KitchenAid one a few years ago and it was one of my best investments!
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