May 26

Five Ingredient Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars | Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free

Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars | vegan, paleo, gluten-free

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you’re all surrounded by friends and family to honor this special holiday. Chicago was graced with some amazing weather these past few days, so I’m feeling energized and slightly rosy-cheeked after spending yesterday on our deck with this in my hand and this on my plate. I’m actually writing this post outside with the birds chirping and the lush green trees peeking out over the city rooftops, and it feels so good. I’m looking forward to many more outdoor blogging sessions this summer when I’ll be able to dedicate 100% of my work week to Blissful Basil. The last two summers, I’ve taken on extra evaluation cases at work to keep myself busy; however, this summer I decided to focus solely on the blog. I’m grateful to be in a position where I can dedicate a solid 2+ months to building up content, interacting with all of you (my absolute favorite part), and investigating new paths and plans. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for reading, sharing, and being supportive of this journey. It means so much to me.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming…

All of the food photography books and tutorials I’ve read say that your photos should tell a story. I’m not sure that I went the most optimal route, but these photos certainly tell a story: I was hungry. As I started paging through the photos to edit them, I realized it was like a flip book of a disappearing ice cream bar. I started off with dainty, “creative” bites to showcase the vanilla ice cream tucked away under the chocolate shell, but halfway through those artsy bites turned into big, sloppy bites. So sloppy that I had to can a handful of photos where I was holding one of the ice cream bars up because I had smears of chocolate adorning my thumb.

These ice cream bars are plant-based and so delicious. The vanilla ice cream center is made with coconut cream, maple syrup, and fresh vanilla bean seeds. That’s it. Just three ingredients makes a flavorful and silky ice cream. As you pour the mixture into your popsicle molds, I highly recommend reserving a little bit of it to enjoy in its pre-frozen state. It’s so sweet and creamy!

The ice cream center is frozen and then coated in a mixture of raw cacao, coconut oil, and maple syrup. The shell hardens up almost immediately upon touching the ice cream bars, so you don’t have to worry about letting the coating set during yet another round of freezing. Biting into the bars gives way to a satisfying crunch from the chocolate shell, and then that simple vanilla ice cream works its magic. Here’s to sloppy bites and chocolate-covered hands.

Note | This recipe is dedicated to my incredibly thoughtful, ridiculously intelligent, and super hilarious brother, Brad. He’s recently embarked on a healthy lifestyle journey, and his passion for it is so inspiring. He’s the most humble person I know, and his knack for seeing the sweeter side in every situation is infectious.

Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars | vegan, paleo, gluten-free Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars | vegan, paleo, gluten-free Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars | vegan, paleo, gluten-free Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars  vegan paleo gluten-free

4.5 from 4 reviews
Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Bars | Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free
Prep time
Total time
Coconut cream is whipped with maple syrup and vanilla to create an ultra-creamy ice cream base. The mixture is poured into molds, frozen, and coated in a rich dark chocolate shell. The perfect summer treat.
Recipe type: Dessert, Ice Cream
Serves: 6
For the Ice Cream Bars
  • 1¾ cups coconut cream (about two cans without the water)*
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
For the Chocolate Shell
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
  • ⅓-1/2 cup pure maple syrup, depending on desired sweetness
For the Ice Cream Bars
  1. Add the coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds to a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small pitcher or mixing cup with a spout. Pour the vanilla mixture into popsicle molds. It should make about six bars depending on the size of your mold.
  2. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
For the Chocolate Shell
  1. Add coconut oil to a dish and microwave for 20 seconds to melt. Add in the cacao and ⅓ to ½ cup maple syrup and whisk together until completely smooth. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish to make for easier coating.
  2. Prepare a small baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  3. Remove the ice cream bars from the mold and coat them in the chocolate mixture one at a time. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with each bar.
  4. Enjoy and return any remaining bars to the freezer.
  5. You will likely have extra chocolate coating. I like to pour the extra into an airtight plastic container and pop it in the freezer. In a few hours you'll have a delicious chocolate bar.
*You'll want to scrape the coconut cream off the top of each can and measure only that portion. Do not include the water that sits at the bottom of the can in your measurements.



  1. These look so amazing!! They remind me of the So Delicious chocolate covered ice cream bars. Last summer, my boyfriend and I were obsessed with those but have since stopped buying them as often since they are expensive and are rather sugary. So I cannot wait to try out your much healthier unprocessed version! This will definitely be our favorite treat this summer! Thanks for another awesome recipe :)

    • As usual, thanks for your super kind words, Karissa! Oh my gosh, the So Delicious ice cream bars are so tasty! If you enjoy those, I think you’ll love this recipe. The only difficult part is waiting for them to freeze! :)

  2. Oh my goodness. These look perfectly delicious and would be great on a hot summer day. Pinning now! :)

  3. Love these! I’m such a fan of ice cream with the chocolate shell coating. It reminds me of being a kid and being able to eat whatever I wanted, hehe. My pictures NEVER tell a story. It’s more like, ‘this is what I made, I like it, I hope you do too’. Your pictures are awesome, and Brad is lucky to have you to make these for him!

    • Thanks, Lauren! Chocolate shell coating reminds me of childhood, too! It’s the little things that make life so sweet, and I think chocolate shell coating is one of them :) You are too funny about your photos! They definitely tell a story and every time I see your photo for 5-Ingredient Quinoa Pizza Crust I drool. It’s one of the most enticing pizza photos ever, and I love seeing it pop up all over Pinterest. So delicious looking!

  4. Absolutely amazing! So simple, and the ingredients are perfect. Making these this summer, no doubt. Thanks!

  5. Could these look any more delightful?! I need to buy some popsicle molds for summer – it’s still hiding over here – at some point – soon. These sound so simple to make yet totally amazing. Even sweeter knowing you created them for your brother.
    About the pictures telling stories: mine [at least those of food] would if I actually posted all I’m taking. But that would be too many. In a What I ate Wednesday post quite a while ago I showed the ‘before’ and ‘after’ stages of my meals – you could tell I was hungry and demolished them :).

    • You have to get popsicle molds for this summer! I had them on my to-purchase list for over a year and kept thinking I wouldn’t use them, but I’ve already used them twice since buying them in early May. Sometimes I go a bit overboard with photos, so I totally respect that you’re able to narrow your focus! Looking forward to checking out your blog! Thanks so much for reaching out and for your sweet compliments.

  6. I am drooling on my desk looking at these….I want one for breakfast :) I love the tribute to Brad! It’s a great start to my work week. Love, Mom

  7. Nathalie says:

    Hi, can I substitute the pure maple syrup? with honey or agave maybe? Please let me know, thanks! :-)

    • Hi Nathalie! I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure agave would work well as a substitute. Honey isn’t vegan and would probably affect the flavor and texture, so I would stick with maple syrup or agave if you can. I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  8. Stephanie says:

    I don’t know why, but it was a total failure when I tried to make these because the mixture didn’t freeze all the way and therefore wouldn’t come out of the molds. I left them in for two days. It was still delicious as just ice cream with chocolate syrup. May try my luck again some time.

    • Hi, Stephanie! I’m so sorry to hear that they didn’t come out of the molds for you. I usually run hot water over the bottom of the mold for 20-30 seconds for any bar or popsicle and they pull right out. Most popsicle molds don’t need to be greased, but if you try it again you might want to spray them with coconut oil so that they release a bit easier. Thank you for commenting with your feedback, and I’m glad you at least got to enjoy it as ice cream! :)

  9. Can you use a blender instead of a food processor?

    • Hi, Camynta! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think a blender should be just fine for this recipe. Just be careful not to over-blend as coconut milk can curdle if over-beaten, and I’d imagine the same would be true for blending. Hope this helps!


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