Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches with Caramel Swirls – Vegan & No-Bake with Gluten-Free Option

a stack of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches dripping with caramel

Two layers of safe-to-eat cookie dough filled with the creamiest vanilla ice cream and swirls of lush caramel . Entirely dairy-free, these vegan cookie dough ice cream sandwiches are the ultimate frozen treat!

A rectangular aluminium tray filled with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream might be everyone’s favorite frozen treat in the summertime but there’s something extra special about ice cream sandwiches.

And yes, the ones made with baked cookies are delicious, but the one issue is biting into them. Cookies can be so hard when frozen, and if you let them sit for a bit so they soften, the ice cream in the middle melts into puddles of disappointment. Say no to frozen cookies that taunt you! These ice box sandwiches can be eaten straight out of the freezer. I did the testing for you 😉

So how was the ice cream cookie sandwich issue fixed? With two tender layers of safe-to-eat raw cookie dough. Bonus? They’re even easier to make because 1) you don’t need to bake cookies, or 2) assemble individual cookie sandwiches because these are made in one pan then cut into individual ice cream sammies!

Like any homemade ice cream recipe, these vegan treats do require some planning because cooling and freezing the components of an ice cream sandwich naturally take time, but these vegan cookie sandwiches are dangerously really easy to make. They’re also made with pantry staples with no weird or obscure ingredients! Despite their simplicity, these are the best ice cream sandwiches we’ve had!

Cookie dough ice cream sandwiches  cut on parchment paper, some dripping with caramel

How to Make Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

There just a few steps to creating these vegan ice cream bars, and the hardest part is just waiting for them to freeze! Here’s a rundown on how to make them:

  1. Mix together the edible cookie dough, press and layer in a cake pan and freeze
  2. Cook the stove-top ice cream custard base and chill (then churn it if you have an ice cream maker)
  3. Make the 5 minute caramel and let it come to room temperature
  4. Remove the top layer of frozen cookie dough from the pan, spoon in the ice cream, swirl with caramel and place the top layer of frozen cookie dough on top then freeze
  5. Slice and devour!
a silver bowl filled with chocolate chip cookie dough

Tips for Making Edible Cookie Dough

Bake your flour. For food safety, flour should be heated so that it reaches a minimum temperature of 165°F. This takes only about 5-8 minutes at 350°F in the oven on a large baking sheet. Cool and whisk your flour before making your dough so you don’t melt the vegan butter or end up with flour clumps in your cookie dough.

Use mini chooclate chips. They are more forgiving to bite into once they’re frozen than full sized chocolate chips. They’re also cuter in the cookie dough. I’ve used these ones for years and they’re pretty easy to find.

To make gluten-free, you could use oat flour.

Use vegan butter sticks, not tub style vegan butter. The vegan butter sticks have less moisture and make for a more “buttery” dough which remains tender when frozen.

Line your 8″ x 8″ baking pan with parchment and make sure that there’s enough parchment to overhang on two sides. This is important for lifting the frozen cookie dough layers out later. Otherwise, trying to scoop out the cookie dough without breaking it is making things harder than they need to be. This is tender cookie dough after all, and is ready to bite into effortlessly straight out of the freezer!

2 layers of chocolate chip cookie dough being pressed into a square aluminium tin. The layers are separated by a sheet of parchment paper.

How to Make Vegan Ice Cream

The vanilla ice cream sandwiched in the middle is nothing short of decadent. It’s thick, creamy and utterly divine. If you have an ice cream maker, now is the time to dig it out. If you don’t have one, don’t despair – lush dairy-free ice cream will, too, be yours. Churning helps get some air in there and also disrupts ice crystal formation creating an airier ice cream, but rest assured that the no-churn option freezes without becoming hard or icy.

The secret to this super creamy vegan ice cream is that the base is custard. Custard is traditionally made using cream or milk and eggs. Lucky for those of us who will not or cannot eat eggs, we can use cornstarch which thickens our vegan cream beautifully.

A white pot filled with a creamy white custard
creamy vanilla ice cream with the consistency of soft serve being scooped onto a layer of cookie dough in a square aluminum baking pan
freshly churned vanilla ice sits piled in a square baking tray over a layer of cookie dough

How to Make Vegan Caramel for Your Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

There’s the “real” way to make caramel which really isn’t hard but does intimidate some people and takes some time. Or there’s the quick and easy way which, really, yields results which are just as yummy. I went with the cheater version as we really don’t want to be standing over molten sugar in the summer, no?

The dairy-free caramel whisks together in a few minutes on the stove and then we cool it to room temperature. I was looking out for you when I tested this recipe – it makes more than you need for these chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches, so you’ll have some leftovers to enjoy on other things….or just off the spoon.

caramel being poured from a white pot into a clear glass jar
a spoon drips caramel onto a triple stack of cookie dough ice cream sandwiches

Try These Other Frozen Vegan Treats:

Mango Lassi Popsicles

Creamy Chocolate Fudgesicles

Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Blueberry Earl Grey Popsicles

If you make these vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches with Caramel Swirls, please give them a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes, I love seeing what you’re cooking! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!

a stack of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches dripping with caramel

Vegan Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches with Caramel Swirls

Two layers of safe-to-eat cookie dough filled with the creamiest vanilla ice cream and swirls of lush caramel. Entirely dairy-free, these vegan frozen treats are the ultimate ice cream sandwiches!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Vegan Ice Cream, Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Freezing: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 361kcal
Author: Crumbs & Caramel

Ingredients

Cookie Dough Layers

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter sticks, softened (not tub style)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, heated treated* (may use oat flour for gluten-free option)
  • 1 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan mini chocolate chips

Caramel

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk**
  • 4 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 400 ml cans full fat coconut milk**
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Cookie Dough Layers:

  • In a medium sized bowl using beaters, or in the bowl of a stand-mixer with paddle attachment, beat the vegan butter and brown sugar together until smooth. Blend in vanilla, salt and milk. Stir in the flour, and then the mini chocolate chips.
  • Line an 8″x 8″ baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough hanging over 2 opposing sides so you have paper handles to lift the dough out later. Divide the cookie dough in half and press half of it into the baking pan. Use a base of a dry measuring cup or a silicone spatula to flatten the dough. Place another piece of parchment paper over the first cookie dough layer leaving some hanging over the sides of the pan. Press in the rest of the dough evenly like you did for the first layer. Fold the parchment handles over the cookie dough, and place in the freezer for about 2 hours or until frozen through.

For the Caramel:

  • Combine all of the ingredients for the caramel except for the vanilla in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture is melted and smooth. Once boiling, let cook for one minute then remove from the heat. If you cook it too long it may turn into chewy caramel once cooled which is hard to swirl. Remove from heat and carefully whisk in the vanilla – it may bubble and sputter. Once cool enough to safely store in glass, pour it into a jar and let come to room temperature.

For the Vanilla Ice Cream:

  • In a medium sized pot, whisk together the coconut cream, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Turn on the heat to medium, whisking often to prevent sticking or burning. Bring to a boil, let cook one more minute and then remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into a heat safe bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Once cool enough, place in the fridge until completely chilled.
  • If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufactures instructions for churning once the custard has completely chilled. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, proceed to assembly.

To Assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches:

  • Once the cookie dough is frozen, the custard is completely chilled (and churned if you have an ice cream maker) and the caramel is at room temperature, you can assemble your ice cream sandwiches!
  • Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Carefully lift the top layer of cookie dough out of the pan using the ends of the parchment to lift. If you discover you didn’t evenly cover the bottom layer and now your two layers are stuck together, lift both layers out of the pan, and use a knife to carefully and gently separate the two. Place the first layer back in the pan.
  • Pour the vanilla ice cream base over the cookie dough, and smooth out. Drizzle about 1/2 cup of the caramel over the ice cream and, using a toothpick or knife, create some swirls in the caramel. Don’t over do it, or you’ll mix the caramel in without any distinct swirls. Save the rest of the caramel for another use.
  • Carefully place the second layer of cookie dough over the ice cream. If the ice cream is starting to melt, don’t press down very hard, just make it as level as possible. Quickly get it back into the freezer to set which takes 5-8 hours depending on the freezer and if you’d churned your ice cream.
  • Using the parchment paper handles, lift the cookie dough ice cream out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, cut into 12-16 squares and enjoy! Leftovers should be wrapped airtight, and frozen.

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

Notes:

*flour should be heat treated before being consumed. Spread it out evenly on a large baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5-7 minutes, or until it reaches 165°F, stirring once for even heating. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Whisk and bring to room temperature before making the cookie dough.
**use full fat canned coconut milk (or coconut cream if you can find it). Avoid those with gums or additives. Chill the cans overnight in the fridge to easily scoop out the coconut cream, leaving the water behind for another use.
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The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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