Aug 04, 2014

Vegan, Soft-serve, No-churn, Butter Pecan “Nice Cream”

Need a frosty treat in a hurry? Whip up some of this amazingness! OMG. Trust me, I hardly ever use the chat jargon OMG, but OMG! I’m also not usually a fan of a banana based “ice cream” made in a blender, only because the banana flavor is usually so dominantβ€”even when there’s chocolate in it! But this one, for some reason, works for me. The banana flavor is definitely in the background. 
By the way, I just got my new ice cream maker! So watch for some yummy, plant-based ice cream recipes coming soon. Anyway, if you were ever a lover of butter pecan ice cream (me! me!), you will absolutely love this dairy-free, plant-strong version. Try it!

  • 2 cups frozen, sliced bananas
  • Β½ cup chopped raw pecans plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1 TBS maple syrup or other natural sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tsp tamari or other low sodium soy sauce (use it! I know it sounds weird but trust me it makes this dessert taste like the real deal)
  • Β½ tsp natural maple flavoring


  1. Place all ingredients, except the pecans, into a food processor or high powdered blender and process/blend until smooth (I used a food processor).
  2. Add the pecans and whir again just until combined.
  3. Garnish with some extra chopped pecans and serve immediately.

Serves 3. It fit perfectly in three small ice cream cups.


Healthy trails,

31 responses to “Vegan, Soft-serve, No-churn, Butter Pecan “Nice Cream””

  1. birdgherl says:

    Looks like the perfect summer (or anytime really) dessert! YUM!

  2. yum….love maple pecan but what is natural butter flavouring when it is at home? Can I just skip it. I don't have maple essence so would just use some maple prob. I have been making nicecream and nisorbet lately in the middle of winter (today was the coldest day in Adelaide since about 180 years ago or something – there was frost on the cars outside work when I got in just before 8am…..yeh….that is pretty cold for us!!) Tonight / last night it was ruby grapefruit sorbet. I made this using one fronana / 1 frozen pink grapefruit and rind and a splash of grape juice (served 2-3) YUM. I got to eat it all as kids not huge fans and hb on statins so no grapefruit allowed (and he was never a fan anyway!). Other fave of the month has been Jaffa nicecream – 1 fronana 1 frozen orange (and rind) and generouse 2 T cocoa. I think I will try this one next as running out of frozen citrus this week. I did a lime one with avocado / banana / lime / lime zest too which was nice but my limes aren't zest worthy this week πŸ™

  3. Helyn says:

    Yes, you can certainly skip the butter flavoring. I'm not sure how they make "natural butter flavor" but it does give it a little extra certain something so it tastes like butter pecan. I've made it without before, though, and it was still yum! Stay warm down there! πŸ™‚

  4. Marie says:

    I am in a huge frozen banana ice cream phase and this recipe looks like a winner. Very creative!
    I love the combination of sweet and salty.
    Can't wait for more recipes πŸ™‚

  5. Helyn says:

    Thanks, Marie! πŸ™‚

  6. Where do you buy the butter flavoring? What brand?

  7. Helyn says:

    Suzanne, I found it on Amazon. Search in Grocery and Gourmet Food for Natural Butter Flavor. First one that comes up is Frontier brand. That's the one. It's not cheap but I so rarely use it. Lasts a long time if kept in the fridge!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just looked at the Frontier brand Natural Butter Flavor on Amazon and unfortunately it contains milk, so vegans may want to pass on this :-(. Otherwise, your recipe and your beautiful photos are making my mouth water! Can't wait to try this out, minus the butter flavoring. Thank you for the thought and effort you put into this wonderful website!!

  9. the butter flavoring is made with real butter….as a vegan I wouldn't use it

  10. Helyn says:

    Well, hells bells, I can't believe I didn't check the ingredients on this! Thanks much for pointing it out. At only 1/4 tsp. I'm sure it won't make a huge difference in the overall flavor without it!

  11. Helyn says:

    You're welcome. Sorry about that! See my comment below to Linda…

  12. I notice you have now removed this ingredient. I wonder if there might not be another way. I know you try much harder than I do to avoid oil, but what if we tried lightly sauteing the pecans in a little Earth Balance? It might make them crunchy and buttery tasting all at once. I just might give that a try. And our bodies DO need a little oil.

  13. Helyn says:

    That sounds like a yummy alternative, Suzanne! Let me know how it turns out if you do it.
    P.S. I get lots of oil from nuts and seeds :))

  14. Me too, but I also like my oil in oil form. VBG. Not tons, but I don't really obsess about it. I suppose that's partly because my DH is such a skinny little guy that I'm always trying to fatten him up a little so he won't blow away. I'm not a bad weight, but I could only dream of having his problem. LOL.

  15. Helyn says:

    Haha! I hear ya. My man is skinny too… I honestly don't know where he puts all the food he consumes!!

  16. Michelle says:

    I'm not a super strict vegan and would like to know how much butter flavoring to add. If I use the butter flavoring would I still use the maple flavoring?

  17. Helyn says:

    Michelle it doesn't take much. 1/4 tsp would do it!

  18. Michelle says:

    Thank you! And would I still add the maple flavoring called for in the recipe too?

  19. Helyn says:

    Yes! πŸ™‚

  20. Anonymous says:

    I made this last night & it was delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe, it's a keeper πŸ™‚

  21. Helyn says:

    Great! Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚

  22. Jean Lang says:

    I am new to your site and love your recipes and flair for writing. I bought all ingredients yesterday for this recipe at Earth Fare also found the Coconut Secret Amino there you mentioned in your Stroganoff recipe). I am confused as I don't see any mention of the Butter flavor in the list of ingredients above. Where do you find the most economical raw cashews in the Asheville area? Last question, is there s Nutritarion Meetup here? Thank you much for everything.

  23. Helyn says:

    Hi Jean! I deleted the butter flavoring because it is not vegan… duh, didn't realize that at the time. It's still yummy without it though πŸ™‚ Best place for raw cashews is at Trader Joe's! I had been buying online but their price is the same as the online price at $7 per pound. There isn't a specific Nutritarian meetup but there is the Asheville Vegan Society meetup and I created a vegan meetup here in Waynesville called Waynesville Vegan Culinary Crusaders. Welcome to the blog!!

  24. Jean Lang says:

    Thank you so much! I too grew up on LI, Lynbrook so so many years ago. On a personal note, my daughters brought me to this area as you did for your mom and I hope she is doing well. I will check out your Culinary Crusaders. Can't wait to make so many of your recipes! Thank you again.

  25. Helyn says:

    Jean, we will have lots to chat about at the next Meetup… I went to high school in Lynbrook! πŸ™‚ Mom's doing well, thanks so much for thinking of her. So glad you're here and can't wait to meet.

  26. Jean Lang says:

    Wow that's amazing! In all my travels, I never met anyone who went to LHS until now. Glad your mom is doing well and I hope to meet her too! Looking forward to next Meetup.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What else can you use instead of the soy sauce? For those who have a gluten intolerance.

  28. Helyn says:

    You can use tamari, which is a wheat-free soy sauce.

  29. Wonderful recipe! I found your post and was very intrigued, so I went out and bought butter flavoring, Then, I came back to your site to follow the recipe, and the butter flavoring amount was gone. I read thru the comments, and got curious and did a little research – and made your original recipe – it turned out GREAT! : )

    The Butter flavoring I had bought was Kroger *Imitation* Butter flavor. It is Kosher, certified by Orthodox Union (which is to say, it has the very common symbol on the package of a U with a Circle around it)

    I emailed Kroger and asked them if this flavor was Vegan, and this is (in part) the response I got:

    "Thank you for contacting Kroger. The Circled U symbol means that the product consists of 100% pure vegetarian ingredients. No animal ingredients present in food or processing. The supervising rabbi is always Orthodox and belongs to the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. If dairy was present there was be a D. "

    So, this recipe *can* be made Vegan! (I tried it without the butter flavor, and the butter flavor really does make a big difference in making it taste like the ice cream of my childhood – this flavor was my Mom's favorite : )

    Now perhaps imitation flavor is the healthiest possible way to make Vegan food, but it sure is nice for a treat that brings back childhood! : )

    Thanks for a wonderful recipe! : )

  30. Helyn says:

    Hi Anna! I'm happy that the ice cream turned out good for you! Yay. Good to know about that butter flavoring your found, too. Thanks so much for all the info and your research. :))

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