Spumoni Ice Cream

raw vegan spumoni ice cream slice plated

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A vegan spin on spumoni -- a molded Italian ice cream treat -- with layers of chocolate, cherry, almond, and pistachio.


Cherry Layer:

Chocolate Layer:

Pistachio Layer:

  • 1 ¼ cup pistachios
  • 7 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil (ideally unscented)
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¾ tsp almond extract
  • ¼ tsp raw ground vanilla bean
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ cup more pistachios (for folding)


  1. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.****
  2. Blend all cherry layer ingredients, except the ½ cup cherries for folding, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove just over a ⅓ of this mixture out of the blender and set aside (you'll need it for the chocolate layer in step 3). Add in the ½ cup cherries and pulse several times in the blender to fold them in. (Note: you don't want to over-mix as they'll blend into the mixture -- you want to keep bits and pieces of cherry). Transfer this mixture into a parchment-lined (along the base and sides) bread loaf pan (I used one that's 8½" x 4½", but anything of a similar size will do). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon and freeze for 30 mins to set.
  3. Add in the cherry mixture reserved in step 2 back into the blender. Add all chocolate layer ingredients and blend until smooth. Carefully spoon this mixture over the chilled cherry layer. Gently smooth out the top and return to the freezer to set for another 30 mins.
  4. Blend all pistachio layer ingredients, except the ½ cup pistachios for folding, in a power blender until smooth. Add the ½ cup pistachios and pulse a few times to fold in (don't over-blend). Carefully spoon this mixture over the chilled chocolate layer. Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon and freeze for 4-5 hours or overnight to let the spumone fully set.
  5. When ready to eat, thaw out a few minutes on the counter, then remove the molded ice cream out of the pan, peel away the parchment from the sides, slice, thaw out 10-15 mins for a softer texture and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.


*To pre-soak cashews: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.

**I recommend unscented coconut oil for this recipe so as to avoid adding a coconut flavor. If you don't mind, however, feel free to use regular coconut oil.

***Can use regular vanilla extract, but raw ground vanilla bean adds a lot of flavor so I recommend going with that if you can. If substituting with extract, use at least 1 tsp (or more to taste) per every ¼ tsp ground vanilla beans.

****If anything cold goes into the blender, the mixture will firm up pre-maturely and you'll end up with a thick chunky mix instead of a smooth creamy ice cream (this is because of the coconut oil). So it's important everything is at room temperature first.