Vegan Maple Bourbon Caramel, Fudge and Bacon Ice Cream Sundae

I always see these outrageous ice cream sundaes full of decadent ingredients on Instagram and Pinterest, so I was inspired to make my own.  I have always loved the idea of a Sundae.  I would have a small mudslide sundae at Dairy Queen when I was little, and I thought it was the bomb.  That gooey caramel and fudge with nuts and soft sweet ice cream was pretty amazing to my 8 year old self.  I no longer eat Dairy Queen as an adult, because obviously they are not vegan friendly.  But I still like to create my own vegan creations that are similar, not to mention more real and healthy than the sundaes I had as a child.  I have made ones just like the mud slide with date caramel and fudge.  But this time I decided to make the sundae over the top with some crunchy elements as well.  Coconut bacon was the main one.  It is one of my all time favorite things lately.  I make a big batch and keep a bag in the refrigerator at all times.  It is great on salads or savory dishes (added at the last minute so it doesn't get soggy), but I love it on sweets even more.  I love a little salty and crunchy with my sweet!  It goes especially well with anything maple or caramel.

So, for the sundae I mentioned, I made a delicious creamy maple bourbon ice cream.  It was delicious on its own, and I knew it would be out of this world once paired with the other ingredients. It was sweet and creamy, and it stayed soft once frozen.  That is one of the challenges of home made ice cream sometimes, keeping it soft and scoop-able.  But here is a tip.  Adding 1 Tbsp or two of alcohol keeps it soft, so the bourbon had a double use here.  For the caramel I used a date base again, and added some bourbon.  I divided it in half and added cacao powder to one bowl to make it fudge.  They were both luscious.  I have always been a huge fan of fudge and caramel on my sundaes.  Not that chocolate syrup stuff though, the gooey fudge which is accomplished perfectly using dates as the base!

I layered these things all together with the crunchy coconut bacon, chocolate chips and pecans and it was amazing!  It was the most amazing mudslide ever.  I am a big textural person when it comes to desserts, and this one had it all.  creamy, gooey and crunchy. Plus the salty sweet combo which is irresistible!  The next time you are in the mood for something decadent, give this a try.  Might as well as we are at the warmest time of the year and I can not imagine anything better than an ice cream sundae right now!

Vegan Maple Bourbon Caramel, Fudge and Bacon Ice Cream Sundae
Makes about 3 1/2 cups ice cream, enough for about 2-3 Sundaes


Coconut Bacon:

  • 1 1/2 cups large flake coconut
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup


Ice Cream Base:

  • 1 15 oz can full fat organic coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan butter or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple extract (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon (make sure it is vegan on Barnivore)


Fudge & Caramel:

  • 1 cup pitted soft medjool dates (if not soft, soak in water 30 minutes and drain before using)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup raw pecan butter almond butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon (make sure it is vegan on Barnivore)
  • 3 Tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder


For serving:

  • pecans
  • vegan dark chocolate chocolate chips



  1. To make the coconut bacon, preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and line a sheet pan with parchment.
  2. Toss the large flake coconut with the tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup and spread out on the pan.  Place in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes (depending on your oven), keeping a close eye at the end and checking it in the final minutes because it burns fast.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. To make the ice cream, combine coconut milk, nut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, maple extract, bourbon and sea salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Alternatively, if you do not have an ice cream maker, pour it into a bowl, and whisk every half hour until it is to the consistency of a thick malt.
  4. Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container with a lid.  Place in the freezer with the lid on, and continue to freeze until firm enough to scoop (at least 4 hours or overnight). If it becomes too firm, simply let it sit out for 15 minutes before serving.
  5. Meanwhile, place all caramel and fudge ingredients except the cacao powder in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth, adding a little more water if too thick.  Divide between two bowls, and mix the cacao powder into one.  If either is too thick add a little more water and mix well.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon some of the fudge and caramel into a dish, then scoop some of the ice cream over it, then a little more fudge and caramel, then more ice cream, then sprinkle the coconut bacon, dark chocolate chips and pecans over that and enjoy!
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