Dairy-Free Sugar and Spice Ice Cream

Hello everyone and welcome to this special edition of Firefighter Friday!

My thinking for this unique sugar and spice ice cream creation started with firemen and then went to heat and spice, which led to the warmth of cinnamon!

This recipe has components such as vanilla almond milk, pecan butter, and salted candied pecans, all of which I made from scratch. Let’s begin with the first simple recipe you’ll need to get started.


1 c. raw pecans

salt, to taste

Pecans are so easy to butterize. Just throw them into your food processor, and start it up! It takes about 5-10 minutes to completely come together. I usually have to scrape down the sides 4 or 5 times. At the very end, add your salt (or not, depending on your preference). I usually add about 1/8-1/4 teaspoon. Let it process one more time with the salt, then scoop it into a sealable jar.

Now for the main dish…I’m really happy with the way this recipe turned out! Taste, texture, flavor, it’s all there, not to mention I was able to keep it low in both fat and sugar.


1 c. almond milk, hemp milk, etc.

1/2 c. full-fat coconut milk, subtract 1/2 teaspoon

1/2 t. apple cider vinegar

1 T. arrowroot

3 T. sucanat (or another natural granulated sugar), ground into powder

8 drops liquid stevia

1/4 t. +1/8 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. sea salt

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. maple syrup

2 T. raw pecan butter (recipe above)

Mix the coconut milk (minus the 1/2 t.) with the 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Let sit in the fridge for about 8 minutes. Whisk the arrowroot with the buttermilk until you see few to no lumps. Heat the almond milk, ground sucanat, and stevia in a saucepan over medium heat. After about 3-5 minutes, steam should start to rise off of the mix. Whisk the arrowroot/coconut milk into the heated almond milk. Keep it over medium to medium high heat, and stir it constantly until thickened (about 3-5 minutes). It should coat the back of a spoon like this:


Stir in the pecan butter, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup. Take a few minutes to stir everything and make sure there are no chunks of pecan butter or cinnamon. Mash them with your spoon against the side of the pan so that they will disperse. Place the mix in the fridge to chill for about 2 hours.

After the ice cream has chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker for about 20-30 minutes, until it resembles traditional ice cream. Scoop it out into a Tupperware, cover it, and  pop it in the freezer for about 30-60 minutes, until hardened a bit.

During the time the ice cream is chilling, you can make the candied pecans! They’re super easy and taste great atop this confection.


1 T. coconut sugar

few drops of vanilla

1 t. hot water

sea salt

about 1/4 c. chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Begin by mixing the sugar with the vanilla. Add the hot water and stir until the sugar dissolves. You should have a syrupy mixture. Toss and coat the pecans, and pour them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle sea salt atop the pecans. Bake the nuts for about 10-12 minutes (some ovens may need longer). Once cooled, they should be crunchy.

Sprinkle the pecans atop a mountain of guilt-free ice cream!

Voila! An ice cream sundae fit for a king!…or a really cute fireman… 😉

What is the craziest ice cream flavor you’ve ever tried?

I think I get more crazy with my mix-ins. I love vanilla ice cream, mixed with saltines crackers and chocolate syrup. You get the sweet/salty and creamy/crunchy combo.


    • Lauren says

      Thank you Laura! They are a great nut to make desserts with. They almost have a sweetness that lends very well to this.

  1. says

    This is a great idea! To be honest though, I’d have to leave the whole pecans out. Something about nuts in my food just doesn’t go over well with me… The creamy pecan butter will definitely make up for that though!

  2. says

    This looks soo good, Lauren! I love all the photos also! I look forward to seeing it in foodgawker soon 😉 You’re so sweet for dedicating this lovely post to your husband and all the firefighters out there! I’ve never had vegan ice cream before! I’m pinning this!!

    • Lauren says

      Thanks Gabby! Yours looked great too! I tried lucuma once, but found I am allergic to it. :( I wish I could eat it though, it’s so tasty.

  3. says

    My mouth was literally watering when I was reading this post- heck, it still is!
    I love the ingredients in this recipe- and the idea of combining almond milk and coconut milk! I need to make this asap- I bet it would be a super impressive dessert! :)

    • Lauren says

      Thanks Natalie! I still love butter pecan! It crossed my mind to make that, but I didn’t know how to get the ‘butter’ flavor in there. I’m not a big fan of butter extract, and I wanted to keep it pretty healthy, so butter was out.

  4. Marion Armstrong says

    I’m puzzled–you say buttermilk, but I don’t see buttermilk in the ingredient list. Do you mean the pecan butter and milk together? Is this what you are calling buttermilk? I would really like to try this, as we can’t have sugar; and my husband loves butter pecan ice cream! Thanks!

    • Lauren says

      Hi Marion,
      The milk and apple cider vinegar mix is what gives this the buttermilk taste. I hope you get to try it! 😀


I love to read your comments!