Berries swirl through vanilla ice cream layered between chewy homemade oatmeal cookie bars for a wholesome frozen treat! These vegan ice cream sandwiches are easy to make, and include a gluten-free option.
Thank you to Stahlbush Island Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
A Winning Combination
Oatmeal cookies, berries, and ice cream. Yum!
If you enjoy the nostalgia of a homemade ice cream sandwich, you’re going to love these vegan oatmeal berry ice cream sandwiches! Swirls of jammy berries in vanilla ice cream, all sandwiched between chewy oatmeal cookies.
And let’s not get too fancy – there’s no tedious steps like scooping all the cookie dough, or cutting circles out of pans of softened then refrozen ice cream! Simply stack the layers of cookie bar and ice cream in a cake pan, freeze, and then slice!
The oatmeal cookie layers end up being chewy, soft, and warmly spiced with a bit of cinnamon. They bake up nice and flat, perfect for pretty ice cream cookies. The berries add a burst of flavor to the ice cream layer…plus just check out how inviting those swirls are!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Customizable – Use your favorite berries, frozen or fresh. For the ice cream, either store-bought or homemade works for these vegan ice cream bars. We love vanilla with the homemade berry swirl added, but other flavors would work, too! Some ideas: chocolate, strawberry, or coconut!
- Short Baking Time – Baking cookie bars in a pan means there’s no scooping out every cookie and baking in batches. The baking time is only 10 minutes, which is a relief for hot summer days!
- Easy to Make – Simply simmer and thicken the berries while you make the quick baking oatmeal cookie layer. Let them cool and you’re ready to assemble your ice cream sandwiches! Just be sure to plan ahead so they have time to firm up in the freezer.
- Simple Ingredients – Made with everyday, common ingredients – no one will believe these delicious frozen treats are vegan!
- Handheld Summer Dessert – Great dessert for BBQs, cook outs, picnics, and other get togethers – no dishes needed to serve, just a napkin or two!
- Dairy-free, Egg-free, and Vegan – Perfect for everyone at the table. Use gluten-free flour if needed in the cookie base.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Oats – I used quick oats for the oatmeal cookie recipe. Large whole rolled oats are a bit too hard and chewy once frozen. The broken pieces of oats (i.e. quick oats), provides just enough chew. Use certified gluten-free oats if necessary.
- Flour – The cookie base contains all-purpose flour for structure, but if you’re looking for a vegan gluten-free ice cream sandwich, you can use an equal amount of all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour which contains xanthan gum.
- Baking Powder
- Cinnamon – Optional, but adds warmth and hominess to the oatmeal cookie layer.
- Cornstarch (Corn Flour) – Helps create a chewy texture so that the cookies bars aren’t rock hard once frozen. Cornstarch also thickens the berries, for better definition once spooned and gently swirled through the vanilla ice cream.
- Brown Sugar – For sweet caramel undertones and extra chewiness, making these oatmeal ice cream bars irresistible!
- Vegan Butter – Provides the cookie base with a melty mouthfeel with each bite. Use stick-style vegan butter, not the type from tubs which have more water content, and will yield a slightly harder cookie layer. Melted refined coconut oil can be used instead.
- Plant-based Milk – I use soy, but use whichever you have on hand.
- Vanilla – A bit extra to make these ice cream cookie bars extra delicious!
- Berries – I used Stahlbush Island Farms’ frozen Marion blackberries. They are perfectly sweetened at harvest, and pair so nicely with the oatmeal cookies! Other berries work well in this recipe, like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or a mix thereof. Fresh or frozen berries work equally as well.
- If you’re completely out of berries, you can skip making your own and use about ½ cup (125 mL) of your favorite jam instead.
- Granulated Sugar – A neutral sweetener added to the berries so their flavors shine, and their tartness subdued a bit.
- Lemon Juice – Brightens the flavors of the berries, and is the cool liquid used to make the cornstarch slurry used to thicken the berry mixture.
- Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream – Both the white color and the flavor of vanilla ice cream goes well with the oatmeal cookie base and the blackberry swirl. You can use store-bought for an easy ice cream sandwich recipe, or you can go the extra mile (which is SO worth it) and make your own. I used the vanilla ice cream from my cookie dough ice cream sandwich recipe but increased the yield by 50%. No need to soften homemade ice cream once churned – it is already the consistency which is similar to soft-serve.
1. Make the homemade vegan oatmeal cookie bars.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment, leaving some overhang on two opposing sides. This overhang will serve as handles. Baking on parchment also ensures that the oatmeal cookie will not stick to the pan, and is easy to lift out when it’s time to assemble the ice cream sandwiches.
- If you don’t have a half sheet (which is 26 x 13 inches / 66 x 33 cm) then you can bake the oatmeal cookie batter in 2 batches, using a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan. This will result in the perfect thickness for ice cookie sandwiches.
- Slightly under baking the cookie ensures soft and chewy cookie goodness once frozen.
- Cut the cookie slab in half through the long side – this will leave you with two 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) cookie slabs – one for the top and one for the bottom of the ice cream cookie sandwiches. Cover and freeze, or set in the fridge so they are less likely to break during ice cream bar assembly.
If you’d prefer round ice cream sandwiches, chill the cookie batter for at least 30 minutes or until it firms up - the batter is too runny to make cookies without chilling. Baking time for the cookies is about 10 minutes. If you don't have the extra 30 minutes to chill your batter, double this recipe for vegan oatmeal cookies and leave out the candies.
2. Make the berry sauce for the berry swirl.
Simply simmer the berries with sugar, let them reduce a little, then stir in a slurry of lemon juice whisked with cornstarch. Once added to the hot berries, the cornstarch will hydrate and thicken the berry juices. Let this cool completely, about 2 hours at room temperature, or do so rapidly by pouring the mixture into a heat and freezer safe container, and place in the refrigerator on a trivet for about 20 minutes.
3. Assemble the ice cream sandwiches
Place one oatmeal cookie slab half into a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) cake pan lined with parchment.
Layer with half of the softened vanilla ice cream (no need to soften if you’re using freshly churned homemade ice cream). Swirl in half of the berry mixture – it’s best to go lightly than to overmix. Repeat with another layer of ice cream, following with the remaining berries. This method creates the prettiest swirls that are more evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.
Cover the ice cream layer with the second oatmeal cookie bar. Freeze 3-8 hours before cutting so you can do so without the ice cream squishing out the sides.
Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the giant ice cream sandwich into individual servings. This recipe yields 16 generous sized ice cream bars, or 32 mini ice cream sandwiches.
Make Ahead Suggestions
These vegan ice cream sammies might be super easy to make but they do require some planning:
- the cookie bars are baked and then chilled,
- the berry swirl is cooked and chilled (or just use jam!),
- the ice cream is softened,
- the assembled ice cream sandwiches are frozen solid so they cut nicely.
To Make the Oatmeal Cookie Bars Ahead:
The oatmeal cookie slab can be made up to a week in advance, and kept covered in the freezer.
Once the oatmeal cookie bars are cooled from baking, chill them for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then cut it in half as instructed in the recipe. Place one of the halves in the prepared 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over that half, and then place the other cookie bar half on top (so the two bars don’t stick together). Cover the top of the pan with plastic wrap or foil, and freeze for up to a week or so (any longer and the cookie bars may end up absorbing flavors from the freezer.) When you’re ready, remove the top cookie bar so you can add the ice cream and berry swirl, before adding the remaining cookie bar back on top.
To Make the Berry Swirl Ahead:
The berry swirl can be made up to 5 days in advance, and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To Make the Assembled Ice Cream Sandwiches Ahead:
Once completely assembled, frozen, and cut into individual ice cream sandwiches, these vegan oatmeal berry swirl ice cream sandwiches can be stored in an airtight container for up to a few months. Wrap them individually in parchment paper or plastic wrap, and then store in an air tight container to better protect them from absorbing other food flavors.
More Vegan Frozen Desserts!
- Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches with Caramel Swirls
- Blueberry Earl Grey Popsicles
- Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet
- Baked Alaska
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
- Homemade Fudgesicles
If you make these Vegan Oatmeal Berry Swirl Ice Cream Sandwiches, 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! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Vegan Oatmeal Berry Swirl Ice Cream Sandwiches
For the Oatmeal Cookie Layers:
- 2 cups quick cooking oats (not whole rolled)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup melted vegan butter (use stick style, not from the tub)
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
- 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract
For the Berry Swirl:
- 2 cups blackberries (see Notes for substitutions)
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2-3 pints dairy-free vanilla ice cream, softened to spread (but not melted) see Notes for Substitutions)
For the Oatmeal Cookie Layers:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C/gas 4. Lightly grease and line a half sheet (18 x 13-inch ; 45 x 33 cm baking sheet with ~1 inch/2 cm sides) with parchment paper – allow some overhang on two opposing long sides for handles.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cornstarch and salt.
- In a large bowl (or stand mixer with paddle attachment), beat the sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla extract together until blended/emulsified. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out evenly. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the sides of the cookies are just starting to darken but the center still looks soft. Set the hot baking tray on a cooling rack until room temperature. Slice in half so you have two cookie bars, each measuring 9 x 13 inches (23 x 33 cm.) Cover the tray with foil or plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator or freeze until ready to use. Chilling/freezing makes it easier to move without breaking during assembly.
For the Berry Swirl:
- Add the berries and sugar to a small pot over medium heat. Stir the mixture until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the filling to simmer for 5-8 minutes. You want the berries to release their juices and concentrate a bit, but you don't want them all to evaporate. Optional: If you’d like to remove the seeds, do the following before thickening:Turn off the heat. Pour the filling into a metal sieve or strainer resting over a medium sized heat-safe bowl. Use a rubber spatula or large metal spoon to press the fruit against the mesh to get as much juice as possible out of the fruit. Rinse out the pot and pour the strained berry filling back in.
- In a small cup, whisk the cornstarch and lemon juice together to make a slurry. Stir until the cornstarch is completely dissolved – any starch that is not dissolved will make lumps in your berries.
- Over medium heat, whisk the cornstarch slurry into the hot berries. Whisk constantly to prevent burning and lumps from forming. Once the berry mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook one more minute so the cornstarch is fully activated. Remove from heat and pour the berry mixture into a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the hot fruit filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours or for up to 5 days if making ahead.
To Assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches:
- Line a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23-cm) cake pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the long edges. Place one half of the chilled cookie slab into the pan. Don't worry if the edges of the cookies aren't perfect, you can trim later once fully assembled.
- Loosely spread half of the softened ice cream over the cookie base – this does not need to be even or perfect looking, in fact it's better if it isn't! Using a spoon, drop half of the chilled berry mixture over the first ice cream layer. Swirl the berries with the tip of a knife, or your spoon. Spread the remaining softened ice cream into the pan, and then the remaining berry mixture, swirling again. Do not overmix, or you’ll be left with purple ice cream without swirls. Level the top with an offside spatula, or the back of a large spoon. Top with the second oatmeal cookie slab, and press down very gently and evenly to eliminate air gaps. Quickly cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze until set. This will take 3-8 hours depending on how cold your freezer is and how soft the ice cream was as you worked with it.
- Using the parchment paper handles, lift the ice cream bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Peel the parchment down from the sides of the ice cream sandwich. Using a large, sharp knife, cut into 16 rectangles (or 32 for minis), and enjoy! Leftovers should be wrapped in plastic or parchment, placed in an airtight container, and kept frozen for up to a few months.
Berry Substitutions:I used Stahlbush Island Farms’ frozen Marion blackberries. They are perfectly sweetened at harvest, and pair so nicely with the oatmeal cookies! Other berries work well in this recipe, like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or a mix thereof. Fresh or frozen berries work equally as well. If you’re completely out of berries, you can skip making your own and use about ½ cup (125 mL) of your favorite jam instead.
Vegan Ice Cream Options:Both the white color and the flavor of vanilla ice cream goes well with the oatmeal cookie base and the blackberry swirl. You can use store-bought for an easy ice cream sandwich recipe, or you can go the extra mile (which is SO worth it) and make your own. I used the vanilla ice cream from my cookie dough ice cream sandwich recipe but increased the yield by 50%.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be considered an estimate rather than a guarantee. Crumbs & Caramel makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of this information.
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