This post teaches you how to make sweet-tooth satisfying banana nice cream. It includes lots of tips and tricks to help you to be as successful as possible at making homemade nice cream with a delicious, creamy texture. A bunch of fun flavor ideas are included too, like vanilla, mocha and strawberry!
First off, what is nice cream? Well if you’ve visited the world wide web at any point since 2015, you’ve probably heard of it. You know, the frozen banana deliciousness that’s been giving ice cream a run for its money. Bananas are naturally creamy and sweet, making it the perfect base for “guilt-free” dairy-free ice cream.
The concept is simple: freeze sweet and nutritious bananas, then blend them up until they form a creamy, dreamy mock ice cream.
And for a food lover who studied both nutrition and sensory science, this recipe is basically a unicorn for me – the best of all worlds!
So today I’m showing you how to make nice cream, along with ways to customize it with your favorite flavors (like chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry)!
“I needed something that felt like a treat but was still healthy (and cheap). Your recipe turned out great! I haven’t tried the “refrozen” style yet, but the softer nice cream right out of the blender was very good, and it worked well as a shake with more milk like your other recipe says.” —Robbie
What is nice cream made out of?
This is the epitome of all banana recipes, because nice cream has just one ingredient – bananas! You can jazz it up by adding other fruits and ingredients (keep scrolling to see all of our nice cream flavors), but it’s also delicious as just the original banana flavor!
The riper the banana, the more sweet and delicious your nice cream will be! Those overripe bananas that are all sad and brown in your fruit basket? They’re perfect for making nice cream.
How Do You Make Nice Cream?
Step 1: Chop your bananas into chunks and lay in a single-layer on a parchment-lined plate or tray. It’s important that you peel the bananas before freezing! Bananas will take about 2 hours to freeze. (Grab our full guide to freezing bananas here.)
Step 2: Let the bananas thaw a bit (just 5 minutes or so), which will make them slightly easier to blend, then throw them into a heavy-duty blender or food processor. I use a Vitamix blender for this, which powers through the frozen banana like butter.
Step 3: To get this vegan nice cream blending, you can do a few things. Either let the bananas thaw a bit so they’re not rock solid, or add a splash of milk (cow’s or plant-based) until things start moving. Scrape the sides and push the nice cream down into the blades of the blender or food processor until you get a smooth, soft-serve consistency.
This is the blender I use and adore!
Step 4: You can eat the nice cream straight out of the blender if you like the soft-serve texture. For a firmer texture, spoon the mixture into a deep dish and set it in the freezer for about 30 minutes until it firms up. Then just scoop, serve, and enjoy!
Step 5: To store banana nice cream, cover it in plastic wrap (or transfer to an airtight container), and freeze. When ready to eat again, let it soften on the counter for a few minutes before scooping.
Can you make nice cream in a food processor?
Food processors are better for breaking up ingredients, while blenders are better for, well, blending. We highly recommend using a blender to make banana nice cream (the image below shows what happens when we tried making nice cream in the food processor).
Nice Cream Flavors
The best thing about making nice cream are all the flavors you can create! Here are a few of our favorites:
Vanilla Nice Cream: Use the base recipe below, adding ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
Tropical Nice Cream: Use 3 frozen bananas, ½ cup of frozen mango, and ½ cup of frozen pineapple. Instead of using milk to blend, add a splash of orange or pineapple juice.
Mocha Nice Cream: Use the base recipe below, adding 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, and a handful of chocolate chips.
Strawberry Nice Cream: Use 3 frozen bananas and 1 cup of frozen strawberries (or cherries!)
Raspberry Basil Nice Cream: Use 3 frozen bananas and 1 cup of frozen raspberries, adding 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil.
Banana Nice Cream FAQs
How long to bananas take to freeze? Sliced bananas should take about 2 hours to freeze hard enough for nice cream.
Can you refreeze banana nice cream? If you’re not ready to eat the nice cream right when you make it, transfer it to a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to dig in, let it thaw for a few minutes before serving.
How long can you store nice cream? Banana nice cream will stay good in the freezer for a few months. If stored longer (or without being properly covered), you run the risk of freezer burn!
How can you make bananas ripen quicker? Using ripe bananas is important for nice cream. You can make them ripen more quickly by placing them in a paper bag, which will trap the natural ripening gasses and help them to ripen faster.
More nice cream flavors
Just like there are a million flavors of ice cream, there are a gazillion ways to make nice cream! Here are a few of our favorites.
- 4 ripe bananas
- Splash of milk as needed cow’s or plant-based
- Freeze: Peel and chop bananas into chunks. Lay in a single layer on a parchment-lined plate. Freeze until solid (at least 2 hours).
- Blend: Allow bananas to thaw for 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides and adding a splash of milk as needed.
- Flavor (optional): Add ingredients to make your chosen flavor (see ideas above).
- Serve: Serve as is from the blender for a soft serve consistency. For a firmer texture, transfer to a deep dish and freeze for 30 minutes, until firm.