Mexican Dairy-Free Rocky Road Ice Cream

I wanted to title this Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream, but that seems like an oxymoron. It tastes like a warm cup of Mexican Hot Cocoa, in a deliciously refreshing ice cream form. The subtle spice of cinnamon, chile, and cayenne peek through the full and deep chocolate flavor. The marshmallows are swirled in, as opposed to melted on top of a mug, and crunchy almonds throughout. I dub it Mexican Dairy-Free Rocky Road Ice Cream instead.

Dairy-Free Mexican Rocky Road Ice Cream | Danielle Walker's Against all Grain

My family are huge ice cream lovers. That's why you can find a good handful of dairy-free ice cream recipes in my first book Against all Grain (Mint Chip, Chocolate Frozen Yogurt, and Vanilla Bean), as well as a few on my blog. Over the past year, I've slipped and taken to buying regular ice cream or frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, my gut has not been fond of that. I also forgot just how wonderful and easy homemade ice cream can be.

My favorite candy bar as a child was a Rocky Road bar so I naturally gravitated to making this a dairy-free rocky road ice cream. I remember going on special little outings with my mom and she would get one for us to share as a treat. I tired of coconut-tasting ice cream from the coconut milk, so I switched to cashew milk for this one. The cashew milk, in addition to the small amount of gelatin added to the mixture, makes this ice cream wonderfully creamy. Both of those ingredients, plus adding lots of air to the “batter” by the use of a blender, prevent it from getting icy in the freezer. It scoops like a dream, and doesn't require an ice cream maker! Just blend and freeze. So easy!

You can omit the mix-ins and just use the base to make a delicious chocolate ice cream, but I highly suggest using them to create that beloved rocky road taste. I like to add small marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, and chopped Spiced Candied Almonds. These mix-ins take the ice cream to another level with the added crunch and sweetness. Plus the almonds add a bit more spice to compliment the cinnamon and chocolate. I use a natural and gluten-free brand of marshmallows called Elyon for ease, but it contains sugar. You can easily make a batch of homemade honey marshmallows beforehand.

Dairy-Free Mexican Rocky Road Ice Cream from Danielle Walker's Against all Grain Dairy-Free Mexican Rocky Road Ice Cream--Danielle Walker's Against all Grain

Mexican Dairy-Free Rocky Road Ice Cream



Cuisine: Mexican American

Category: Dessert


Optional mix-ins



  1. Place a loaf pan in the freezer to chill.
  2. Soak the cashews in a bowl of warm water for 2 hours.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of the water into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin overtop. Set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the remaining 1 1/4 cups of water in a blender with the maple syrup. Drain and rinse the cashews well and add them to the blender. Blend on low for 30 seconds, then on high for 1 minute, until the cashews are completely ground and the mixture is smooth. Pour the cashew milk into the saucepan. Set the saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the gelatin has dissolved completely. Remove it from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until fully melted and incorporated.
  5. Transfer the mixture back to the blender and add the cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, chili powder, cayenne, and sea salt. Blend on high for 1 minute. Pour the chocolate custard into the chilled loaf pan and freeze for 1 hour. Fold into the optional mix-ins, then press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and freeze for 6 hours, or until firm.
  6. To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer and set it on the counter for 15 minutes before scooping.

Keywords: mexican hot chocolate, against all grain, danielle walker, gluten free, dairy free, rocky road ice cream, ice cream