This 3-ingredient matcha ice cream is dairy-free and vegan, but still as creamy as the classic ice creams. Plus, you can make this without an ice cream churner and have it ready in 4 easy steps!
If you're a fan of matcha ice creams but is unfortunately lactose intolerant like me, this 3-ingredient matcha ice cream might just become your new favorite! It's intensely enveloped with matcha floral notes with a touch of bitterness to contrast the creamy sweetness of the ice cream. Dreamy isn't it?! Plus, not only is it dairy-free, it's also vegan and churn-less! Mhmm, you read it right. Too good to be true? Well, what are ya waiting for? Try it and find out!
No-churn ice cream!
In one of our previous ice cream post, brown sugar boba ice cream bar recipe, many of you asked if there's a way to make those ice cream bars or any ice cream without churning, aka without an ice cream maker. The answer is yes! Although, I will confess that an ice cream churner will definitely make a more superior ice cream because of the even addition of air incorporated into the ice cream, but our alternative method can produce quite some competitive ice creams as well.
To make ice cream without churning, there are two methods: via a blender or more manually, with a sheet pan and a bench scraper. In this recipe, we'll focus on the blender method as it's less labor and, personally, I think produce a better ice cream than with the sheet pan and scraper. All you need is a trusty blender and a couple of ice trays!
Texture of no-churn ice cream
I'm sure many of you probably wondered what no-churn ice cream taste like compared to the classically churned ice cream. Well, the only major difference is really that churning helps incorporate more air into the ice cream than the no churn method. Because of the additional air, churned ice cream will usually taste a bit airier and creamier. However, because this matcha ice cream uses coconut cream and coconut condensed milk, it naturally result in an airier and creamier ice cream.
Use good quality matcha
Because this matcha ice cream only requires 3 ingredients, it is very important to use good quality ingredients so that the ice cream tastes good in the end. If I had to rank the three ingredients, I'd say the matcha is definitely the most important, flavor-wise because it's the most prominent flavor. So, I recommend using a good quality matcha, no lower than culinary grade for this 3-ingredient matcha ice cream. If your budget would allow, I highly recommend investing in a good ceremonial matcha. Not only will the matcha ice cream tastes more vibrant and floral, the color of the ice cream will be much brighter rather than a mucky green. So, yes. Very highly recommended. We really like using the Maeda-en brand universal matcha (not sponsored or anything, but genuinely like this brand). It's not ceremonial, but their universal matcha is comparable to some ceremonial ones.
Coconut cream is the way to go
As mentioned above for using good quality matcha, using good and the right coconut cream is VERY important as well. Flavor-wise, most coconut creams are good. However, for the right ice cream texture, especially if you're using this no-churn method, a good coconut cream is absolute. We always (unless stranded and can't get our hands on any) go for Savoy coconut cream. And if we can't, we settle for Aroy-D, which we love as well, but we are sometimes stubborn and dead loyal, lol.
Both Savoy and Aroy-D brand coconut cream are full fat and have very small amounts of coconut water, which means less icy ice cream.
The importance of coconut condense milk
We sweetened our matcha ice cream with sweetened coconut condense milk because coconut condense milk is dairy free and, most importantly, because it doesn't freeze! Well, it does, but not into a hard solid, like ice. Generally, condense milk will become super slow flowing after freezing. This in terms, benefits our matcha ice cream, preventing it from becoming rock hard, freezing completely, or becoming icy. The coconut condense milk will also help keeping the matcha ice cream creamy, even after freezing.
Let the frozen ice cream cubes defrost for a few minutes
Although the coconut condense milk will help greatly in preventing our matcha ice cream from become rock hard, the initial matcha ice cream mix can still freeze into a hard block if you leave it in the freezer overnight. Which, is not bad at all. Just remove the ice tray from the freezer and let the ice cream cubes defrost for a few minutes before blending them in the blender. Even better, if you're using those plastic, easy release ice cube trays like I did, You can take your time popping each cube out.
One of my favorite ways to pop those ice cream cubes out of the ice trays is by sitting the bottoms of the ice trays in some hot water. This will release the cubes and also help slightly soften the cubes for blending. If you find yourself staring at clumpy, hard ice cream when blending the matcha ice cream cubes, let the mixture sit and warm up a bit before blending again.
Pre-chill your storage containers!
This one applies to all ice cream making. It is highly recommended that whatever container you'll be storing the ice cream in, pre-chill it in the freezer. This way, your churned or no-churn ice cream can go straight into a cold container and not risk melting then refreezing. Even had ice cream that's be refrozen after melting? It lose its fluffy, lightness. So, make sure to stick your storage container in the freezer for about 15 to 30 minutes to prevent your ice cream from melting!
Making the matcha ice cream with a churner
If you want to make this 3-ingredient matcha ice cream with an ice cream maker/ churner:
- Chill the ice cream churner overnight.
- Mix all the ingredients according the recipe and chill in the fridge until cold.
- Pour the matcha ice cream mixture into the chilled churner and churn the mix until soft serve consistency. (Start on low speed and gradually work up to medium speed once the ice cream becomes thicker and can handle more sloshing.)
- Once the ice cream is soft serve consistency, transfer the matcha ice cream into a chilled freezable container. Freeze the ice crease for at least 1 to 2 hours before enjoying.
If you're looking for other ice cream or summer treat recipes, you may like these:
- Bourbon pecan ice cream
- Sparkling strawberry lemonade (with fresh strawberry bobas)
- All natural pink lemonade with black wolfberries
- Strawberry Matcha Latte
Happy ice cream making!
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3-Ingredient Matcha Ice Cream (dairy-free, vegan and no-churn)
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and matcha powder. Whisk until the matcha powder is completely combined and no dry matcha is visible. Slowly whisk in the coconut cream until throughly combined.
- Portion the matcha ice cream based into a couple of ice trays and freeze the base until solid, about 2 hours or overnight.*We used 2 easy release, plastic ice trays if you're curious.*
- Once the ice cream base is solid, remove the ice trays from the freezer and let it warm up slightly at room temperature. Pop the ice cream cubes out of the trays and transfer them into the blender. Blend the frozen ice cream base until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides as needed.*If your frozen ice cream base isn't blending smoothly, let it warm up a little at room temperature before continuing to blend.*
- Transfer the matcha ice cream into a chilled storage container. Freeze the ice cream for a couple of hours to let the ice cream firm up. Enjoy!