21 Best Substitutes for Ice Cream

Best Substitutes For Ice Cream
Photo by kerdkanno

Let’s face it; ice cream is delicious, and it has been around forever. It’s the perfect dessert any time of year and the perfect cool-down treat on hot summer days, but what are the best substitutes for Ice cream?

Whether you are following a special diet or just want to try something different, there are many best substitutes for ice cream to fill your need.

In fact, some of them taste sweeter than traditional ice cream. Here are options to choose from if you ever find yourself wanting the best substitutes for ice cream.

1. Milkshake

This is the first on our list of best substitutes for ice cream.  A milkshake or frappe is a great idea for a hot summer day. It is made with ice cream and blended with milk, chocolate syrup, and any other flavorings you might want. 

A frappe can be made the same way but without ice cream. It’s a delicious cold beverage that will cool you off in no time.

2. Frappe

This is also on the list of best substitutes for ice cream. Frappes are ice-cold and rich in flavor. They’re perfect for hot summer days, but they’re so versatile that you can enjoy them year-round.

Here’s how to make a frappe: 

  • Add three scoops of your favorite flavor of ice cream in a blender and the same amount of milk or cream. 
  • Pulse for about 15 seconds until the consistency is smooth and creamy.
  • Add in 4-6 tablespoons of your favorite syrup (vanilla, caramel, chocolate, raspberry, etc.) and pulse again for 10 seconds or so until it is well incorporated into the mixture.

3. Chocolate-Dipped Bananas

Are you looking for the best substitutes for ice cream? Chocolate-dipped bananas are one of the simplest and most popular ice cream substitutes.

And it is simple to make! 

  • Just peel a banana, slice it in half lengthwise, and place it on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. 
  • Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then drizzle them over the banana halves. Place them in the freezer for at least an hour and enjoy! A scoop of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream: 

4. Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Coconut milk is a fantastic substitute for regular dairy-based ice cream because it’s rich, creamy, and naturally fat-free.

Furthermore, coconut milk contains healthy fats that are good for your heart and can help you burn belly fat. 

In addition, the flavor of coconut is so distinctly different from any other type of ice cream that it’s hard not to love it.

It has a subtle sweetness with hints of vanilla and sometimes even a little chocolate. If you’re looking for the best substitutes for ice cream this summer, give coconut milk a try!

5. Frozen Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is similar to yogurt. It’s made by adding kefir grains, which are strands of bacteria and yeast, into milk.

The mixture is left in a warm place for a day or two, then strained to remove the kefir grains. Kefir has more lactose than regular milk, which makes it ideal for lactose-intolerant people.

But what really sets kefir apart from other dairy products is its probiotic properties. Probiotics are live bacteria that help improve your digestion and build up your immune system.

6. Vegan Chocolate Shake

It’s no secret that chocolate is one of the best substitutes for ice cream. But this tasty treat becomes hard to come by when you’re vegan and dairy-free. 

This iced drink is perfect on a hot summer day and often features soy or almond milk instead of dairy milk. It’s also easy enough to whip up at home with your blender, so there will be no need for an expensive trip out just for an icy treat!

7. Gelato

The Italian word gelato translates to ice cream, but gelato is much different than the frozen dairy desserts Americans are accustomed to.

Gelato has a lower fat content and less sugar, so it’s less dense and richer in flavor. The key ingredients are milk, sugar, egg yolks, and flavors like chocolate or fruit.

One of Italy’s most popular flavors for gelato is Hazelnut Chocolate Chip. The rich hazelnut flavor balances out the sweetness of the chocolate chips while adding a light nuttiness that complements the natural sweetness of gelato well. 

Other popular flavors include Tiramisu, Pistachio Praline, Caffe Latte, and Hazelnut Praline with Chocolate Chips. Gelato is one of the best substitutes for ice cream. 

8. Soft Serve

As the summer season transitions into fall, we know that ice cream cravings will return. The cool and refreshing taste of ice cream is a perfect way to enjoy a hot day, but there are some other ways you can get your fix on. 

Soft serve is something that tastes very similar to ice cream but with less fat and calories. With many places serving up unique flavors like chocolate-covered strawberries or lavender honey, there’s sure to be one that you’ll love!

9. Hawaiian-Based Shaved Ice

Shaved ice is one of the most popular and best substitutes for ice cream. Traditional Hawaiian-style shaved ice is made with flavored syrup and served atop shaved ice from an ice shaver. 

To create this treat, a flavor is poured over crushed or cubed ice and then frozen for several hours until the mixture becomes solid.

This is then scooped into cones or cups and topped off with fresh fruit, condensed milk, coconut flakes, whipped cream, or anything else you can dream up!

10. Nice Cream

This vegan, dairy-free ice cream substitute is made with bananas and fresh fruit. The fruit provides all the sweetness necessary, while the bananas offer a creamy consistency.

The first step in making ice cream is peeling and freezing ripe bananas. Some people cut their frozen bananas into chunks before blending them into a smoothie-like consistency, while others simply blend the whole banana until it is completely mashed. 

Meanwhile, once you’ve reached your desired consistency, add in any other ingredients you would like to include, such as cocoa powder or peanut butter, for an extra flavor boost.

The general rule of thumb is one banana per person and half a cup of other ingredients if you add extras to your dish.

11. Pudding Ice Cream

Pudding is a dessert that almost everybody loves. It’s creamy and has many flavors, perfect for lactose-intolerant people.

This recipe for Pudding ice cream is so easy to make and tastes great! All you need is some vanilla pudding mix, milk, whipped cream, instant coffee granules or espresso powder (optional), and sprinkles. 

To make this recipe, mix the vanilla pudding with milk in a bowl until it becomes a thick mixture. Next, add the whipped cream on top of the pudding mixture in your bowl. For decoration, sprinkle on some sprinkles and enjoy!

12. Halo-Halo

This dessert is traditionally made with shaved ice, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and various toppings such as ube halaya (purple yam jam), jackfruit, red beans, Leche flan (caramel custard), macapuno (coconut gelatin), banana, mangoes, and other fruits. 

Are you wondering about the best substitutes for ice cream? Halo-Halo is a great option. It’s the perfect refreshing dessert that will leave you wanting more.

13. Sorbet

In the summertime, it’s hard to deny the ice cream cravings. But, if you’re trying with all your might not to indulge in a sweet, cold, refreshing dessert, then sorbet may be your best bet. 

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made of fruit juice or syrup that is churned together with water and sugar. The final product is an icy and slushy consistency that can be served on its own or as a topping for other desserts like brownies or pies. 

If you love the flavor of a certain fruit but don’t want all the sugar that comes with it, then sorbet may be perfect for you!

14. Tofu Ice Cream

Tofu is one of the best substitutes for ice cream because it is just as creamy and delicious as the real.

One common misconception about tofu is that it’s flavorless, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Like any food, tofu has a lot of different flavors depending on what you cook it in. 

For example, if you marinate your tofu in soy sauce and ginger before cooking it, your final dish will have an Asian flare!

However, if you want something more traditional and sweet, try making some vanilla bean or banana ice cream with frozen bananas instead of regular ice cream!

15. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is a sweet treat that’s healthier than ice cream but still satisfies the craving for something cold and creamy.

Frozen yogurt is typically made from dairy products like milk and cream and sweeteners like sugar or fruit juice

Meanwhile, The ratio of these ingredients varies depending on the type of frozen yogurt you’re making – for example, some recipes call for more milk and less sugar (while others may have more sugar or none at all).

After adding in any mix-ins or toppings you want to add (like fruit, nuts, chocolate syrup), the mixture gets spun in an ice cream maker until it becomes its signature soft-serve consistency.

16. Yogurt Parfait Popsicles

The only ingredients needed for these popsicles are vanilla yogurt, bananas, and a few toppings. You’ll need a muffin tin and popsicle sticks. To make it!

Slice your bananas into thin pieces and spread them evenly in the muffin tins. Use a one-quarter cup of yogurt per muffin hole, and then top each with your favorite toppings (fruit or chocolate chips). Freeze for at least three hours and enjoy this sweet treat!

17. Granita

If you’re the type of person who hates melting ice cream, then a granita is perfect for you. Granita is an Italian ice typically made from water and sugar, whipped with fruit or wine, and then frozen. The result is an icy dessert that’s not as cold as regular ice cream but still has plenty of flavors.

The best part about this frozen treat is that it only takes about five minutes to whip up and can be eaten immediately instead of waiting hours for your ice cream maker to churn out something. Plus, it’s healthier than most desserts since no eggs or dairy products are involved!

18. Popsicles

There are many other options if you’re trying to avoid ice cream or just want a different flavor. In fact, ice cream’s biggest competitor is popsicles.

Popsicles have been popular since the invention of the hand-cranked ice cream machine in 1904. They are a fruity and refreshing way to cool down on a hot day when paired with delicious toppings!

19. Ice cream sandwich

We all know that ice cream is a summertime treat. But during the winter, it can be hard to find any good ice cream.

Thankfully, plenty of the best substitutes for ice cream will satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the bank (or your teeth). Ice cream sandwich is a delectable and affordable substitute for ice cream: 

20. Coconut Ice Milk

Coconut milk is one of the best substitutes for ice cream when you’re following a vegan diet. It’s sweetened with dates and tastes delicious, plus it contains less saturated fat than cow’s milk. It also has loads of calcium, iron, and protein! 

Meanwhile, the drawback is that most store-bought brands contain too much sugar, so try making your own instead.

To make coconut milk ice cream at home, you’ll need these three ingredients: unsweetened dried coconut flakes, raw honey or maple syrup, and full-fat coconut milk (I recommend using Thai Kitchen brand).

Start by combining the two liquids in a high-powered blender; then add the flakes and blend until smooth.

21. Bingsu

It is a typical Korean delicacy that is essentially shaved ice. It has numerous versions to fit various flavors and toppings, including cheesecake, strawberry, chocolate, and azuki beans that have been sweetened.

  • Put on the toppings you want. Common ones are red beans, grass jelly, cornflakes, mochi balls, pineapple chunks, and chocolate syrup. 
  • Pour the condensed milk over the shaved ice until it’s completely covered. 
  • Top with another layer of shaved ice and pour more condensed milk over the top until it’s completely covered again.


There’s nothing quite like ice cream to fill your sweet tooth—and with so many different flavors to choose from, it’s hard to get bored with this yummy dessert!

But even though there are tons of amazing types of ice cream out there, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your flavor choices and never branch out into new territory.

If you want variety in your life, try these delicious ice cream substitutes that will satisfy your sweet tooth just as much as the real thing!

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