Vegan Bourbon Soaked Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is a fabulously creamy cashew and coconut milk based dairy free, egg free, ice cream. Like my vegan Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, this cashew based ice cream is easy to make! Perfect for keeping you cool and satisfied.
Rob and I are on a quest to rid the Island of a noxious, invasive weed known as Scotch Broom and it just so happened that in this particular area we were pulling, over the weekend, there were mosquitoes. I’ve never experienced as many mosquitoes in my life! Not even in Texas, let alone on the Island where we rarely experience them.
My legs were particularly attractive to the mosquitos. Needless to say, I wont be putting on shorts anytime soon.
They itch, so much so, I’m waking up at night.
So I did what any sensible woman would do. First, I asked Google how to naturally remedy the itch. Two favorite pantry staples were suggested several times. Coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Have y’all heard of this?
Coconut oil soothed my itch to the point I was no longer clawing at my legs. Later I tried the apple cider vinegar, and while it seemed to cool the itch effectively, it didn’t last quite as long as the coconut oil.
Then I made ice cream. Boozy ice cream. A cashew and coconut milk based Bourbon Soaked Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
It made even the worst leg itch feel better!
I first planned to make this ice cream simply bourbon and vanilla bean. Then I spied perfectly beautiful Bing Cherries, which are finally in season, and knew I had to include them.
Bourbon Soaked Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream was born. I put a whole vanilla bean in this ice cream, y’all, beans and pod. It gets pulverized in the blender so it’s flavor is infused throughout.
Forget about the bourbon; the vanilla is intoxicating.
If you’ve not yet tried ice cream made with cashews, I encourage you to go for it, even if you’re not vegan or are egg-and-dairy tolerant. It’s just good stuff. I know y’all are adventurous in the kitchen, seeking out new flavors, textures and food combinations.
This recipe is no different. Cashews are pretty impressive little nuts. They have a neutral flavor and whip up silky smooth. Just look at the comments on my Homemade Cashew Milk post.
And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, borrow one. It’s worth the effort. Mine was borrowed for years up until this past winter when I finally got my own.
What I love most about homemade ice cream is you know everything that’s going into it and you can make whatever creative flavors you want. That’s the best part!
While this recipe does take a bit of planning and resting, the hands-on time is minimal. This is the timeline I followed:
- Day one: Morning – Prep, blend, refrigerate. Evening – Churn and freeze
- Day Two: Scoop and enjoy!
Oh and for a vegan ice cream sandwich treat, check out my Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich Cookie post. I’ll show you how to put homemade, pillow-soft, mouthwatering ice cream sandwiches together.
More Egg and Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipes to Love!
- Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib Ice Cream
- Strawberry Chocolate Chip Nice Cream
- Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Mexican Chocolate Almond Nice Cream Bowls
Vegan Bourbon Soaked Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 1 3/4 C Full Fat Coconut Milk 386g, 1 Can. I like Thai Kitchen
- 1 Whole Vanilla Bean beans scraped, pod reserved
- 1 C Pitted Fresh Sweet Cherries such as Bing quartered and halved., 144g
- 3 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbs Bourbon Whiskey
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract I use Rodelle
- 1 C Raw Cashews soaked in very hot water for 10 minutes or soaked in room temperature water overnight, rinsed and drained, 122g
- 1/4 C Water 59g
- 1/2 C Light Brown Sugar packed, 105g
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- Place the ice cream maker freezer container in the freezer 24 hours prior to making the ice cream.
- In a small saucepot add the coconut milk, vanilla beans and pod. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to steep and cool while the cherries are prepped.
- In a lidded container, add the cherries, maple syrup, bourbon, and extract. Lid and store in the fridge until just before churning.
- Into a high speed blender, (I use VitaMix), pour in the coconut milk including the beans and pod, drained cashews, water, brown sugar, and sea salt. Blend on medium-high speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down container. Blend again until silky smooth, about 30 seconds. It will get steamy - this is okay. Pour base mixture into a lidded container and store in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
- Before churning, strain the cherries, reserving the bourbon mixture. Pour the bourbon mixture into the cashew base mixture and stir well.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and place in freezer just before churning.
- Churn the base according to manufactures directions (mine takes about 25 minutes).
- Just a minute or two before the ice cream is finished churning, add the cherries. At this point, the ice cream may not be soft enough for the machine to distribute the cherries. If not, be sure to incorporate by hand-mixing in the cherries to evenly distribute them into the ice cream.
- Spoon the ice cream into the loaf pan. Pressing the ice cream down into the pan making sure there are no air gaps. Store in the loaf pan, placing parchment directly on top of the ice cream and then place it in a plastic storage bag (I use an old bread bag).
- The ice cream is ready when it is the desired consistency. It can be served right away if soft serve is desired. If a more firm, yet slightly soft, ice cream is desired, allow to rest overnight.
- Store covered in the freezer for up to a week.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
Hey there! This looks like a delicious recipe! I’d love to make it for a summer dinner party I’m about to throw for nonvegan friends of mine. Do you think I could skip the churning step though? Unfortunately, I don’t have an ice cream machine :(
Hi Hannah! I wouldn’t skip churning. It’s essential in this recipe. For a no churn ‘nice cream” see my strawberry chocolate chunk recipe.
I had quite the case of poison ivy last moth. Too bad I didn’t have this amazing ice cream then to soothe me. I would have taken a bath in it. lol. Gorgeous photography!
Can you recommend a substitute for the coconut milk? I seem to get terrible stomach pain from it. I am super excited about cashew milk for that exact reason. Thank you and sorry to revive an old thread.
Hey Jen! Thank you for your note and reviving an old thread! The fat in the coconut milk is essential to making this ice cream creamy. However, you could try soy milk or another vegan milk. If not vegan, you could go for heavy cream. I wish I had more of a clear answer for you. But because i’ve not made this recipe with any other milk, it’s difficult for me to make an accurate recommendation.
Carole from Carole's Chatter
Hi Traci! This is so beautiful. I would love you to stop by Food on Friday: Ice Cream & Sorbets over at Carole’s Chatter to add this to the recipe collection! Cheers!
PS If you would like to be part of the Food on Friday group, just put a reminder in your calendar each week to check out the new theme or email me if you would like a reminder by email. You can also see the themes coming up in one of the tabs at the top of my home page
Oh, YUM! This looks absolutely scrumptious and I LOVE the bourbon soak idea! And CASHEWS!
Thank you Carla! Oh yes, the Bourbon! It’s not overpowering at all.. just a hint in the sweet cherries. Aren’t cashews amazing? :D
I agree!!! Looks amazing!!! I want to make this for the kids but need to omit the bourbon. Will any sort of adjustment be needed?
Thanks for sharing this!
Hi Mary! You’re welcome. The alcohol makes the ice cream a bit softer and helps with reducing crystal size. BUT, maple syrup will help keep crystal size small too. So here’s what you do. Omit the bourbon and add two TBS of maple syrup in its place. It will be delicious! Please let us know how you do!
Meagan @ The F&B Department
Yessssssssss. I just finished reshooting a vanilla-bourbon cherry ice cream from last year (my photography skills at that time were less than acceptable). This flavor combination is so perfect, and the pictures are lovely. I’m sure you’re just as compelled as I am to buy up all the fresh cherries this time of year!
My goodness, Meagan! You did?! Oh I can’t wait to seeee!! It’s so fun to realize how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time with photography… me too! Yup.. I will be buying more cherries this weekend. They are so darn good. Bing are my favorite. Next up.. I think some pie!! :D
Thank you for this recipe. I made it last night and it was delicious! The timing was perfect as I had just bought some cherries a few days before your e-mail hit my inbox. I had Southern Comfort on hand, so that’s what I used. I’m not a huge cherry fan (they’re okay), but I would make this again! I love the idea shared above about using chocolate chunks. It does take some time from the first step until the last, but it’s worth it. :)
Thaaank you for sharing Annette! Cherries have such a short a season, so I love finding new ways to enjoy them. Thanks for the tip on Southern Comfort! So happy you enjoyed it! :D
There is NOTHING about this that I don’t love! Gorgeous, refreshing and delicious! Have I told you lately how happy I am that you’re a blogger? Thank you for everything that you offer! Have a beautiful weekend, my friend…and stay away from those mosquitoes!
Thank you so much Annie! I appreciate your sweetness and thoughtfulness, it means so much. I think I’ll stay away from pulling Scotch Broom this weekend! :D
Oh, my! Traci, I love the idea of a boozy icecream! This looks so great. Glad to have discovered your blog
Awh, thank you Diana! I appreciate that!
Wow, I have to try this!! It sounds and look absolutely delicious!!! I love boozy ice cream and cherries are a favorite around here :)
Thank you Trisha! We’re enjoying this one for sure! :D
So now you know why we bake so much down South.. all the damn mosquito bites! We can’t even eat outside after about early May because they’re so bad :( My husband and I are both “sweetbloods”–looks like you are, too!–but I just tend to ignore it, whereas he can’t stand it! I have a bite on my finger that’s been driving me nuts for days now.. grrr! The waking-up-mid-night is the worst, though. But boozy cherry vanilla ice cream can make it all better! Seriously, this looks AWESOME and I lovelovelove cashew-coconut ice cream. Cherries here are already super expensive again, but this seems totally worth it! Yummm
Baaahhhaaaa!! You’re killin me Cheryl! :D I’m so sorry about those dang ole’ mosquitoes. When we lived in TX, Rob used to run to get the mail and run back in due to the mosquitos in the summer!! They were soooo bad! And big enough to carry you off! I hope your bite gets better… go put some coconut oil on it! And the cherries… yesss.. expensive. I totally have to regulate how many I pop in my mouth. They’re sooo good! Our neighbor’s tree is just about ready for the pickin… now we just have to beat the deer, crows and raccoons to them!
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
Traci… what a gorgeous recipe and one that allows the star ingredients to shine without burying the whole affair in sugar :). So thoughtfully planned on the ingredient side (yes, cashews, delightful) and utterly beautiful… I must tell you, I LOVE that last photo of you my dear. You are gorgeous!! And now I think I have to try the combination of cherry and bourbon — you’ve convinced me, xx
Kelly, you always bring joy to my heart and a smile to my face. Thank you, my dear! Ohhh isn’t that the beauty of homemade.. adjusting that sugar so that it’s not overwhelming? Oh there’s too much sugar in processed foods. Now go get that bottle of bourbon and head to your nearest market for cherries.. you’ll love it! :D
I’ve wanted to try ice cream with cashews for a while now! This looks so good! And I love cherries, too! Washington cherries are the best! For the mosquitos – sorry to hear that! I hate them and we’ve got a lot of them in Chicago, because of the humidity :(
Do it, Mira!! You’ll wonder where they’ve been all you life! Seriously! Hoping the mosquitos don’t find you in Chicago! :D
I didn’t know you could use coconut oil for skito bites. Good to know. Also, I bought store bought ice cream in a pinch last week and didn’t want to even finish it (I did, of course). Homemade is just so exponentially better.
Oh that coconut oil! Always surprising me. What a disappointment.. that ice cream. I know it’s expensive too. Homemade is better and with a bit of planning, so easy too!
Medha @ Whisk & Shout
Such lovely photos! Cherries are absolutely wonderful this time of year :)
Thaaank you, Medha! Cherries are fabulous! :D
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
Mosquito bites are the WORST! We have a little creek right on our property, and I just know all the mosquitoes thrive down there. Anytime I go outside after 5pm, I must spray myself with bug spray. Thanks for the tip on coconut oil for the itching! Is there anything coconut oil doesn’t do? I use it as eye makeup remover, and I also use it to soothe a sunburn. Haha! Traci, this cherry vanilla bean ice cream is absolutely fantastic! I just spent about $20 on cherries at the farmers market. Worth every penny!
Ohhh, with a creek, oh my! Yeah, coconut oil is pretty impressive. It’s an all around winner! I didn’t know about soothing a sunburn! How about that! :D Yayyyy for cherries! Indeed worth it! You scored…. wonder what you’re whippin up with it?
Nora (A Clean Bake)
I saw this on Instagram and I had to come over here and check out the recipe! Those flavors!!
That IG! Thank you, Nora!! :D
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
I was waiting to see what you were going to make with the bourbon, and now I feel that the quote “good things come to those who wait” is totally spot on! This bourbon cherry ice cream looks so incredibly good! First, I love that there are nice clumps of cherries throughout, and that they’d been soaked in bourbon – YUM! I also love that you used vanilla bean – I can just imagine the bold vanilla flavor. And to top it off, you used coconut milk which I love and find so creamy! What a perfect, perfect homemade ice cream <3
On another note, I am so sorry about the mosquitos – I hate mosquitos! They seem to love me too and can be such a bother. I'm glad you found the coconut oil remedy and that it helped a bit. Like you said, you can't be upset for too long once you've got this ice cream in hand! :) Gorgeous job, Traci!
One never knows when bourbon’s in the housee!! It just goes with so many sweet things! I wanna put it in everything (have you noticed lately?!). Oh yeah, that vanilla bean flavor is just incredible. I am mesmerized by it’s flavor and fragrance. When I’m working with it in the kitchen it’s like this perfume wafting through the house.. and with that coconut milk… I just want to drink it up! :D Thank you, Beeta!
Your photography is on point, girl! And I love every single ingredient in this ice cream recipe- seriously cannot wait to try it :)
Thank you Amanda! :D I know you’ll love it!
Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven
Oh, gosh I am TOTALLY wishing I had an XXL triple-scoop of this gorgeous ice cream right now! I seriously cannot even stop drooling over those stunning soaked cherries! Gorgeously stunning photos as usual, Traci!
I’d gladly share with you, Sarah! It was enough alone not to dive into that bowl of soaked cherries, head first! :D Thank you my dear!
Vanessa @ VeganFamilyRecipes.com
I can’t get over how absolutely beautiful your pictures are! This is seriously some good looking vegan ice cream! Definitely one I need to try. Pinned…numerous times!! I’m in love.
Thank you, Vanessa! :D And thank you for your Pins! I hope you enjoy it!
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
I know exactly how you feel with those mozzie bites! I live in a sub-tropical part of Australia and they delight in feasting on me all summer long. I will have to try the coconut oil next summer!
Now, about this ice cream. I bet it has special curative properties! It looks amazing! Booze soaked cherries, heavy-on-the-vanilla ice cream – and I am excited to test out the cashew base! I love using my ice cream maker (I splashed out and bought myself a pink one) and I cannot wait to try this divine creation!
Oh nooo.. those dang mozzies!! WTH!? They like you too, eh? It’s too bad. Good thing there’s coconut oil to the rescue! Love how you splashed out and bought on – pink no less! Good for you! I hope you enjoy this one, Amy! :D
geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
Yum, yum, yum – I love cherry ice cream – and adding bourbon just makes it crazy good in my books. Every time I see one of your incredible ice cream recipes I swear I’ll get an ice cream maker. Haven’t done it yet but this recipe will push me over the edge. We’re in for a heat wave this week so it’s time I took the plunge and started making ice cream. I’m very impressed that don’t have a big melty mess when you shoot ice cream – I know that would be my problem! Gorgeous photos, Traci!!
Ohhh, I crave it when cherries out of season. And it’s just not the same with frozen! Yes, you must borrow a machine, Geraldine! You’ll thank me later! :D Oh and the melty mess comes with my next post! gah!
Ben Maclain | Havocinthekitchen
Now wonder, Traci! It’s been sad since the dawn of time that ice cream is the best cure for the itchy skin as well as many other things! As for the ice cream, it looks and sounds just amazing! Having made a lot of ice cream, I think I’ve never incorporated cashews in it, and that has to be changed! Nicely done!
The best cure for all that ails’ ya! I couldn’t agree more! You must try the cashews, Ben! :D Thanks for stopping by!
I would really love to try this one, but nobody at home likes coconut , can you feel it too much or not so much? Can I sub with any other non dairy milk?
Hi Vivian! I cannot detect the coconut milk simply because other flavors in the ice cream are bolder. But I understand if you don’t want to use it. I’ve not made this with any other milk, but if you want to try it with another milk, I would try unsweetened almond milk. If you give it a go, please let us know how you do!
Beth @ bethcakes
Holy moly, this ice cream sounds incredible! Cherries soaked in bourbon sounds perfect in just about anything, but even better in ice cream. I’m so sorry about your mosquito bites! Mosquitos love me for some reason, so I feel ya!
Thank you Beth! Oh, the bourbon! I know; It’s soo tasty! What is it with the Mosquitos? Rob didn’t get bit at all! How does that happen!? :D
Love the idea of this ice cream, esp using cashews instead of normal custard & cream base. With the cherries, I bet it would taste fab with a few chunks of dark chocolate as well, a la Cherry Garcia! Definitely going to make this
Oh yesss!! The cherries would be delicious with chocolate, and I thought about it. But I really wanted the vanilla to shine so I opted out. I can however see a chocolate cherry ice cream in my future though! YUM! I hope you enjoy the recipe Sue! :D
Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul
YUMMMMMM!!!! This looks so incredibly delicious and decadent and happy-making :)
I must borrow an ice cream maker asap.
I had never heard of using coconut oil and acv for mosquito bites, but I’m not surprised it works so well. I’m glad you found that relief and could sleep better at night. I’m going to spread the word to all my family down south where mosquitos are everywhere!
Thank you, Jenne! Happy making indeed! I hope the remedy works for them… the coconut oil certainly soothed my itch. I had to reapply several times, but I really preferred this remedy over other options! :D I hope you’ll locate an ice cream maker! It’s soooo good!
Sam @ SugarSpunRun
Ugh mosquitos… I feel your pain, hope the itching stops soon!
This ice cream sounds amazing, love the boozy infusion!
Thank you Sam! That bourbon… I know! :D
Wow, this is stunning! I love the combination of the cherries, bourbon, and cashews— that is magic right there! This is totally convincing me I need an ice cream maker asap.
The flavors come together deliciously. Go make ice cream, Liz!! :D
I never heard of coconut oil for bites! Does it help poison ivy? Beautiful recipe; I will never forget those Washington cherries! We had a cherry picnic on the ferry.
In know! Who knew? But I guess it shouldn’t be surprising giving the super power coconut oil has! Love the cherry picnic on the ferry! We have those, and others, on the ferry too! :D