Make your own vegan ice cream sundae bar at home. With recipes for chocolate ganache, coconut caramel sauce, and coconut whipped cream, this delicious DIY sundae bar is one everyone can enjoy!
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It is almost summer and nothing says summer like outdoor BBQs. And what's the best way to finish off a good vegan BBQ? With a DIY ice cream sundae bar, of course!
Don't believe the common misconception that vegans and people with dairy intolerances can't enjoy ice cream. We can, and this ice cream sundae bar has it all—delicious coconut-based ice cream, homemade vegan ganache and caramel sauce, and coconut whipped cream. It's a dessert bar that EVERYONE can enjoy.
And it all starts with choosing the best non-dairy frozen base: Coconut Bliss. Made with coconut milk rather than soy or almond, this frozen dessert was a game changer. It was (and continues to be) the creamiest, smoothest, richest, and over-the-top decadent dairy-free frozen dessert on the market.
Where I buy Coconut Bliss
I buy Coconut Bliss at my local Safeway store.
You can find their selection of frozen desserts in the freezer section next to the other non-dairy ice creams. Safeway carries Coconut Bliss Madagascan Vanilla Bean Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert and Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert as well as Strawberry Love Bars and a Gluten-Free Vanilla Cookie Sandwich.
And right now, Coconut Bliss is offering a coupon on their frozen desserts.
What I love about Coconut Bliss
It only took me one spoonful to fall head-over-heels in love with Coconut Bliss. Not only does their ice cream taste as good as the "real thing" but it is made with the cleanest ingredients on the market. But that's not all! Upon doing more research about the company, I became even more committed to Coconut Bliss.
All of Coconut Bliss' products are certified organic. Their chocolate, cocoa, and coffee are Fair Trade Certified (meaning the farmers providing these ingredients are fairly treated in all aspects of their business). The coconut comes from a farm in Thailand that Luna and Larry (co-founders) personally visited to connect with and check out the conditions. And throughout the year, they give donations to a variety of non-profit organizations that are together working to improve life for all living beings.
These commitments to responsible social and environmental practices are nothing short of amazing, and it is companies like this that I am THRILLED to support.
How to make a vegan Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Now that we've sorted out our dairy-free ice cream base, let's look at the other components to this allergen-friendly ice cream sundae bar.
DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar Components
- Coconut Bliss Dairy Free Dessert
- Chocolate Ganache
- Coconut Caramel Sauce
- Coconut Whipped Cream
Let's take a closer look at each of these components.
How to make the vegan chocolate ganache
Traditionally, chocolate ganache is made with heavy creamer. To get the same richness, I made my chocolate ganache with full-fat coconut milk.
To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate chips in a shallow bowl. In a small saucepan, gently heat coconut milk to a scald. You are looking for a thin skin to form on top of the milk. Bubbles will be starting below the surface, but you do not want it to get to the point that they are breaking through. If it's too hot, the coconut milk will burn the chocolate.
Once the milk has reached a scald, quickly removed the milk from the heat and pour evenly over the chocolate chips.
Gently stir together the ganache in a folding motion, from top to bottom. This will take about 2-3 minutes. At first, it will look lumpy but keep up with the gentle folding. Eventually, it will come together. Once this happens, the ganache will get dark brown and very smooth (see picture above). Be careful not to over mix. The least amount of agitation to the chocolate, the better.
How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce
While our chocolate ganache cools, let's now make our caramel sauce. Like chocolate ganache, caramel sauce also traditionally uses heavy creamer for richness. Again, I choose coconut milk both for taste and texture.
This caramel sauce has only 3 ingredients, but it does require a little bit of technique to master. When making homemade caramel sauce, here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Have all your ingredients measured out and within reach before you begin.
- Do not stir the sugar and the water. Agitating the sugar will cause crystallization. Simply make sure the sugar is fully hydrated and let the heat do the rest.
- When boiling, aim for a rich golden brown color—slightly darker than caramel itself. This will takes about 10 minutes. Once you've reached it, immediately remove the sugar/water mixture from the heat and slowly add the coconut milk while mixing vigorously. At this point, the caramel will bubble up quite a bit so use caution while adding creamer.
Pour the caramel through a sieve into a jar and allow to cool to room temperature.
How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream
Coconut whipped cream is the final component of our DIY vegan ice cream sundae bar. Coconut whipped cream is made from the fatty solids in a can of full-fat coconut milk. Some brands of coconut milk are already separated but if you can't find a brand that is, place your coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before. This will naturally separate the liquids from the solids.
Do not make the coconut whipped cream until you are ready to serve your ice cream sundae bar. When you are ready, scoop out the fatty solids into a bowl. Add ¼ cup of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and whip it together. This is best done with a handheld blender. Blend it until it's the consistency of whipped cream.
Assembling your ice cream sundae bar
Now it's time to serve!
When I am hosting an ice cream sundae bar, I like to offer Coconut Bliss's Madagascan Vanilla Bean and Dark Chocolate. They are just too good to choose between. Set out your cooled chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, and coconut whipped cream. You can also add additional toppings such as cherries, nuts, sprinkles, and bananas.
Visit Safeway.com to find find a store near you and pick up some Coconut Bliss today!
DIY Vegan Ice Cream Sundae Bar
DIY Ice Cream Sundaes
Vegan Chocolate Ganache
- 1 (10 ounce) bag vegan chocolate chips
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
Vegan Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup vegan granulated sugar
- ½ cup water, or just enough to cover the sugar completely
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ tsp. salt
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, solids only
- ¼ cup vegan powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup nuts of choice, optional
- 4 Maraschino cherries
- 1 banana, cut into slices
- Start by making the chocolate ganache. In a small pan, heat the creamer to a scald (just before boiling point). Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Once creamer is ready, pour over the chocolate chips and cover for 3-5 minutes. Remove cover and stir together with a spatula until the chocolate and cream come together to create a homogeneous thick sauce. Be careful not to over mix.
- While your chocolate ganache cools, make your caramel sauce. Place the sugar and water in a very clean medium-sized pot set over high heat and bring to a boil. Do not stir. Agitating the sugar will cause crystallization. Continue boiling for about 10 minutes until the sugar has melted and begins to turn a rich golden brown. Immediately remove from heat and slowly add coconut milk while whisking. Whisk until combined. If the sugar starts to clump together, return the caramel sauce to a low heat while continuing to stir.
- Pour caramel through a sieve into a jar and allow to cool to room temperature. The caramel will thicken as it cools.
- Let the ganache and caramel sauce cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving your ice cream sundaes.
- When the ganache and caramel sauce has cooled, make the coconut whipped cream. Skim off the solid top half of chilled coconut milk. Make sure your coconut milk has separated, otherwise you will not get the right consistency. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and whip together with a handheld mixer.
- To assemble, divide Coconut Bliss Frozen Dessert between 4 bowls. Add chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, coconut whipped cream, and toppings of choice. Serve immediately.