Vegan Peppermint Swirl Ice Cream Cake

I know it is Winter, and it is chilly outside, but I still love to enjoy ice cream when I am home and all nice and warm in my pjs.  So, I still make ice cream year round, because it is fun to come up with new and exciting flavors, and I need something to serve with my fruit crisp, or pie.  It dawned on me though, I haven't made a Winter ice cream cake in a long time.  You know, like a Dairy Queen ice cream cake with the crunchy bottom and smooth ice cream filling.  I used to love those as a kid.  Well, mostly just the crunchy bottom and fudge crunch layer in the middle that they had because their vanilla ice cream did not taste like real vanilla to me.  So, anyways, last weekend I decided to be ambitious and make an ice cream cake instead of just scoop-able ice cream. I thought it should have a Holiday theme, and I had 3 ideas of flavors to make, gingerbread, eggnog, or peppermint, but I decided on the peppermint because I thought I could have more fun with color.  Plus, I haven't made anything peppermint in a while, and I love it this time of the year. I even put peppermint oil in my diffusers in the car and in my house because it smells so festive and happy.

So, I thought it was the perfect flavor for my cake.  I made a crunchy crust for this ice cream cake with no refined ingredients, unlike the ones I enjoyed as a kid. I know it is traditional to use Oreos or something, but I  have never really been a fan of those, they have lots of artificial ingredients in them.  I also did not want to make cookies simply to crush them up because that was just too much work. So I used ingredients I had on hand to make a chocolate crust which was pretty much what I use for my raw cheesecakes sans the cacao powder.  It is the perfect thing to showcase an ice cream cake on, and it is easy and fast to make.  For the filling, I used a mixture of coconut milk and cashew butter to give it a silky smooth texture like real ice cream.  I sweetened it with maple syrup, and added vanilla and peppermint extracts and it was super delicious even before I froze it.  I mixed beet powder into half of it to give it a candy cane swirl look once finished and it turned out lovely!  If you don't have beet powder for this recipe, you can use red food coloring, just make sure it is natural.

Lastly, I wanted this cake to have a fudge element, so I topped it off with a gooey sweet chocolate fudge.  It was the type of thing you would make a delicious ice cream sundae with.  I then sprinkled the cake with some peppermint white chocolate and it turned out even more lovely than I thought it would!  Originally I was going to buy some candy canes just for garnish but I really don't even care for them and they are pretty sugary and I didn't want to buy a whole pack just to use one.  So I made the white chocolate instead.  It was a good choice because it tasted wonderful with the cake! The cake was heavenly!  Just the right amount of peppermint and vanilla, sweet, creamy and delicious that gooey fudge, rich white chocolate and crunchy crust the perfect additions.  If you are in the mood for ice cream for your Holiday dessert, give this a try!

Vegan Peppermint Swirl Ice Cream Cake
Makes One 8 inch cake


  • 3/4 cup organic gluten free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded dried unsweetened coconut
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup soft pitted medjool dates (soaked in filtered water if not soft for 30 minutes and drained well.)
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


Ice Cream:

  • 2 15 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup raw cashew butter
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp beet powder or a few drops natural vegan red food coloring



  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp filtered water (or as needed)



  • vegan white chocolate*
  • vegan chocolate chips



  1. Oil a 8 inch spring form pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. To make the crust, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until fine and starting to hold together when squeezed. Once it is at that stage, press it into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Set aside.
  3. To make the ice cream, combine all ingredients but the beet powder in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until very smooth (if you are using a food processor and it still has little bits you may want to strain it through a fine meshed strainer to remove them).
  4. Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until chilled, whisking after 15.
  5. Divide between 2 bowls, and whisk the beet powder into one of them.
  6. To assemble the cake, pour the two different colors of filling into the center of the pan by the 1/4 cup, alternating between the two until it is full.
  7. Place in the freezer until firm, about 6 hours.
  8. Whisk together the fudge until smooth (if it is too thick add a little more water, too thin a little more cocoa powder, you want it pour-able but not too runny).
  9. When ready to serve, pour the fudge over it, sprinkle with the white chocolate and chocolate chips, and enjoy!
  10. Store any leftover cake in the freezer in an airtight container.


*You may use store bought vegan white chocolate or make your own, this is the white chocolate recipe I used:

Vegan Peppermint White Chocolate

  • 1/4 cup cacao butter (2 oz)
  • 3 Tbsp raw cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp beet powder, or a few drops natural vegan red food coloring



  1. Combine cacao butter, cashew butter, vanilla, peppermint, maple syrup,  and sea salt over a double boiler, and whisk until smooth.
  2. Divide in half, and whisk the beet powder or food coloring into one bowl until even in color.
  3. pour the two different colored chocolates into the pan, alternating between the two and swirl them, then place them in the freezer to set.
  4. Chop into pieces.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a few months.

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