Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (sweetener-free!)

vanilla bean ice cream



I feel like I have some convincing to do in this post. Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream without any sugar added whatsoever? It sounds sacrilegious and like total BS, I know. But really it’s real food MAGIC. And you’re going to be happily surprised! And you won’t believe what the caramel is made from (keep reading!)


 Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream without ANY added sugar…. seriously!



vanilla bean ice cream



I love playing around with developing treats from fruits & vegetables without using sugars like honey or maple. I haven’t talked about it much but I participated in Ginger Newtrition’s Spring Liver Detox program last month + was so pleased with the results I’ve continued to keep sweeteners and nuts out of my diet. I’m also continuing with some of the detox tools as well.

I plan on doing a post either here or on Instagram about the positive changes I saw in my sleep, mood, energy, skin and digestion from their liver support program. It is designed to do 4x a year (every season) and the program changes slightly with each season passing.

So let’s get into the deets on this ice cream! Similar to my other delicious AIP homemade ice creams, I used white sweet potato to increase the creaminess. That’s a no-brainer these days! But simply combining coconut milk (this is my favorite brand), white sweet potato and Wild Foods Vanilla Bean Powder does not render you a sweet-enough treat…. even for someone who hasn’t tasted sugar in 6 weeks! Enter the SURPRISE ingredient!



vanilla bean ice cream



Want the creamiest homemade ice cream? I use the Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker – it’s electric so you just place on counter, plug in, pour your mixture & churn in 30 minutes!



The Caramel color and flavor actually comes from…. DRIED APRICOTS! Crazy! I bought several bags of Made in Nature’s Dried Apricots the other day and they have the MOST delicious caramel, vanilla flavor of any dried apricot I’ve tried. Their prunes, dried figs + dates are also amazing.


When you blend softened dried apricots into sugar-free vanilla bean ice cream, it transforms into perfectly sweet Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.



If you don’t believe me, try it! But please, please use those delicious organic Made in Nature dark golden gems. Did you know those bright orange apricots only look like that because of a preservative called sulphur dioxide? Choose organic preservative free dried fruit! Specifically, choose this brand for the best result!

Most importantly, I recommend Wild Foods Wild Vanilla Powder for this AIP-friendly ice cream! I’m always worried about the alcohol in vanilla extract causing a gluten reaction + the alcohol-free versions include soy-based glycerin which I’m allergic.

This richly flavored unprocessed Wild Vanilla Powder creates the perfect traditional vanilla bean ice cream! I also add a pinch to my smoothies every morning!




Note: For best results, use my suggested brands in the recipe! Do not replace Vanilla Powder with vanilla extract or dried apricots with fresh apricots or you will be disappointed.


vanilla bean ice cream

9 reviews

Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Prep Time :10 Inactive Time :30 Serves 2 to 4




  1. Combine coconut milk, sweet potato and Vanilla Powder in a high powered blender until very smooth.
  2. Place apricots in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds until soft. Drain the water.
  3. Add apricots to the blender and blend until pureed and caramel color.
  4. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Turn ice cream maker off once ice cream is thick and creamy.


Recipe Notes

 I prefer my ice cream on the softer side when freshly churned. Note that homemade coconut milk hardens significantly in the freezer and requires longer thaw time than store-bought ice cream made with emulsifiers. 




Looking for more dairy-free, low-sugar ice creams?


ginger cookie ice cream

Ginger Cookie Crunch Ice Cream


Low-Sugar Strawberry Ice Cream


Macadamia Cinnamon Cookie Ice Cream



caramel vanilla ice cream paleo


25 comments on “Caramel Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (sweetener-free!)

  • Hello, just curious, in your strawberry ice cream, 2 CANS coconut milk, this recipe is 2 CUPS. Making sure both recipes are corrected for themselves. Thx

  • Hello I just want to make sure 2 cups coconut milk are correct in this recipe as you called for 2 CANS in the strawberry recipes. Ty

  • The Wild Vanilla Powder is out of stock, so sad. I know you said not to substitute, but if I used a pure organic vanilla extract what amount would you suggest?

  • Have you ever made ice cream with homemade coconut milk?? Wondering if this could be used as a substitute for canned. Thanks 🙂

    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Keith – I’m still transferring recipes over to the new blog. I’ll let you know when they’re up!

      Until then here’s the recipe:

      Paleo Pumpkin Blondies
      Makes 9 to 12 squares | Prep Time 15 minutes | Bake Time 30 minutes

      ½ cup packed soft pitted medjool dates
      ½ cup pureed green plantain
      1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
      1/3 cup coconut oil, room temp
      1/3 cup coconut butter, softened and well-stirred
      2 tablespoons maple syrup
      2 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning (Use THIS one for AIP)
      ¼ tsp salt
      ½ tsp baking soda
      1 tsp apple cider vinegar
      1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
      ½ cup Zocalo sweet potato flour

      Maple Butter, for serving

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8×8 inch glass dish with parchment paper. 
      2. Combine dates in food processor until a paste forms. Add plantain, pumpkin, coconut oil, coconut butter, and maple syrup to the processor and combine well. 
      3. Add remaining ingredients to the processor and process until a smooth, dense batter forms.
      4. Spoon and smooth the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and the top has formed a nice crust. 
      5. Using the parchment paper to assist you, transfer the blondies to a wire rack to cool completely in the refrigerator. You may also cool on the countertop, but this will be take longer. Cut into squares.
      6. If desired, frost blondies with Maple Butter – highly recommend this! 

  • I’m planning to make this. It looks delicious, and I love that there are no added sweeteners! I was curious what you sprinkled on top of the ice cream in your pictures? Thanks for sharing your recipes. 🙂

    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Laura! Those are cacao nibs – they are an AIP reintroduction. The ice cream doesn’t need them though!

  • So, I made this with your recommended brands of apricots and vanilla powder, and it is wonderful! I think the apricots almost give it a butterscotch flavor. Yum! Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

  • Hello
    I saved a link to a beautiful looking Orange Fig and Rosemary Confit on your website a few months ago, and cant seem to find it, notice above someone asking a similar question! Are you able to share the recipe again?
    Many thanks, I love your site and its such an inspiration when on AIP!

  • Alaena, you are a genius! This turned out so delicious. You are spot on with the caramel flavor. I have a suggestion…a dessert cookbook with all of the recipes being no sugar added (no honey or maple syrup), just like this one. I would love to replicate the creative desserts you would come up with.
    Thank you so much for this gem!

  • What is the type of white sweet potato I have a couple different available and know that the starch content is different. Thanks.

    • Alaena Haber says:

      I’ve never tried this but you can try freezing the cooked sweet potato into ice cubes and then blend it in the blender on high speed until you get an ice cream texture. Just make sure nothing warm goes in the blender.

  • Meagan Faeth says:

    If i don’t have a microwave could i just soak the apricots in boiled water for a few mins? Or do u suggest simmering? Thanks!


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