Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream

We’re right in the middle of cherry season here and, judging by the bottomless bowl of them in our fridge, we’re keeping the BC cherry growers in business! We’re also in the middle of ice cream season, so we’ve been putting our fruit bounties to good use! | Chocolate cherry chunk ice cream

Since finding a fantastic non-churn ice cream recipe that doesn’t use full-fat cream or sweetened condensed milk, we’ve been making our own at home, trying out different flavour combinations. We’ve gone through raspberries, mint and have now landed on cherries!

As with the others, this ice cream base uses raw cashews and bananas, and is sweetened with maple syrup and fresh fruit. Trust me when I say you will not miss the dairy!

For this batch, I pitted and chopped up a handful of cherries and reduced them over medium-low heat until they turned into a jam-like consistency. This was swirled into the ice cream, along with dark chocolate chips and cacao nibs (for a nice crunch). | Chocolate cherry chunk ice cream

The ice cream needs at least 4 hours in the freezer to firm up, so it’s a bit of a delayed-gratification kind of dessert. Definitely worth the wait, though. | Chocolate cherry chunk ice cream

Before you mix everything together, taste the ice cream for sweetness and add more maple syrup than you think you might need, as the sweetness does become subdued as mixture freezes.

If you want a nice scoop-able ice cream, take it out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before you plan on serving it. Jonty realized that you can cut this ice cream into perfect wedges with a sharp knife, so we’ve been making little ice cream sandwiches out of them, too! Very tasty 🙂

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 3 cups
  • Serving size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 296
  • Fat: 14.5 g
  • Saturated fat: 4.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.7 g
  • Sugar: 27.9 g
  • Sodium: 11.1 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 ripe bananas, frozen
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup (plus more, if needed)
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 200 g (~1.5 cups) cherries, pitted
  1. Soak the cashews in water for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse. Chop the bananas into chunks and place into the freezer, at least 4 hours before making the ice cream, or overnight.
  2. To make the cherry purée: Pit and roughly chop the cherries. Place ⅔ of the cherries into a small sauce pan and gently simmer over medium-low heat until they reduce (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. To make the ice cream: Combine the cashews plus ⅓ cup water in a blender and purée until completely smooth. Add in the frozen banana pieces, maple syrup, coconut oil, sea salt and remaining ⅓ of the cherries. Cut the vanilla pod down the centre and scrape the seeds into the blender. Blend mixture together until smooth and well-combined.
  4. Taste for sweetness. Once the ice cream freezes, it will not be as sweet as it tastes now, so if necessary, add a bit more maple syrup. Once you're happy with the sweetness, add the chocolate chips and cacao nibs and stir to combine.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a glass or metal container. Pour the cherry purée on the ice cream, using a knife to swirl the purée into the mix. Place into the freezer for at 4 hours.
To serve, let the ice cream soften on the counter for 10 minutes to make it easier to scoop.

Enjoy! | Chocolate cherry chunk ice cream