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Cherry Garcia Nice Cream

Cherry Garcia Nice Cream features frozen bananas and cherries blended with chunks of chocolate for a healthy and delicious, easy, soft-serve ice cream everyone will LOVE!

head on view of scoops of cherry garcia nice cream in a glass with spoon.

Cherries + dark chocolate is always a winning pair!

Inspired by one of Ben & Jerry’s top-selling ice creams, ‘Cherry Garcia’, I continue my love of banana-based nice creams, adding chocolate and cherries to the mix.

And the result is nothing short of AMAZING!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s healthy. Made with just 3 plant-based ingredients, each one containing its own health benefits, this cherry nice cream is 100% dairy-free, vegan, and delicious. Keep reading!
  • No-churning required. We love the ease of blending this recipe using a food processor or blender, without the need for an ice cream maker.
  • Easy to customize. You can serve this nice cream as a soft serve, ready in minutes, or freeze and enjoy as scoopable, hardened ice cream.

Gather your cherries, freeze a few bananas and get your chocolate ready – all in the name of good health and a tasty treat that you will enjoy time and time again!

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy chocolate cherry nice cream recipe.

Ingredient Benefits

Dark Chocolate 🍫

Dark chocolate can happily be a part of your healthy diet as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation. I usually have a small chunk every night with a dollop of Almond Butter as my dessert.

Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants that may help control blood sugar and insulin levels. This may help reduce the risk of diabetes. The flavanols in dark chocolate may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and slow the onset of dementia. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals and can improve your mood and reduce your stress. These are just some of the benefits associated with dark chocolate.

It’s best to consume chocolate that is 70% cocoa and above or pure raw chocolate, as it will have the most health benefits. And to the men out there, it has been found that men benefit most from eating dark chocolate.

So enjoy your dark chocolate without feeling guilty. For more information: Healthline: 7 Dark Chocolate Health Benefits.

Cherries 🍒

Cherries are the real star of the recipe!

Known as a ‘super fruit,’ cherries are among the few food sources containing melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycle. These little red beauties are also packed with antioxidants called anthocyanin’s which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer. This same anti-oxidant can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis and gout.

They are a perfect post-workout snack for those looking to reduce pain and joint soreness, like runners and heavy training athletes. Cherries are abundant in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber and contain 19 times more beta carotene than strawberries and blueberries.

They are perfect for any healthy lifestyle. For further reading, take a look at these: Everyday Health: Cherries 101.

Bananas 🍌

Bananas are economical, abundantly available, and are a key ingredient in nice cream recipes! Plus, they are loaded with fiber, are good for gut health, and add natural sweetness. Once frozen, blend them into a delicious soft serve or no-churn ice cream.

top down view of banana and cherries added to food processor.

How To Make Cherry Garcia Nice Cream

Making non-dairy Cherry Garcia is as easy as can be!

  1. Start with nice cream base by adding 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup of frozen cherries, and a splash of almond milk (or Vegan Cream) into the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. Finish it off by adding 1/2 cup more frozen cherries and 1/4 cup chopped chocolate. Blend for a few more seconds. You want these last ingredients to be chunky.

And that’s it – delicious banana cherry Garcia soft serve made simple and easy!

Top Tips ✅

  • Enjoy right away as a soft serve or freeze for hard ice cream. To freeze, place the nice cream in a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 6 hours to harden fully. It will last for 2 – 3 months.
  • Serve in chilled bowls or glasses.
  • Using a food processor. If using a food processor, you can skip the plant milk. Just make sure to stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
top down view showing the process of making chocolate cherry nice cream.

More Vegan Ice Cream Recipes!

top down view of healthy non-dairy chocolate cherry nice cream in a bowl.

If you try this cherry soft serve recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



A delicious, non-dairy nice cream made with a mix of cherries and chocolate chunks blended with bananas. This is my vegan version of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. It’s an easy no-churn ice cream or soft serve ready in minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Vegansita
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Snack, Ice Cream
  • Method: blender, food processor
  • Cuisine: Raw, Vegan


  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and frozen (divided)
  • splash of unsweetened plant milk (plain or vanilla) or Vegan Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (70% +), cacao nibs or raw chocolate chips


Place banana chunks, 1 cup cherries, and a splash of milk into blender/food processor and blend until just combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Add another splash of milk to help the mixture move (especially if using a blender).

Add in chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup cherries, pulse until just combined.

Serve immediately as a soft serve or freeze for later and serve as hard ice cream. To freeze, place the ice cream into a sealed container and freeze for at least six hours. It will last for up to 2 months. Before serving, let sit at room temp for a few minutes, scoop and serve.

Makes about 2 cups.

Serves 4 small portions or 2 generously.


If using a food processor, you can get away without using non-dairy milk.

It helps to freeze your serving bowl beforehand if possible. It will keep your soft serve chilled a bit longer.

If you don’t want any chocolate chunks, try adding 1 heaping teaspoon of raw or dark cocoa powder instead. 

Updated: This recipe was originally published in May 2013. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in August 2021.

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  1. carla clayton says:

    I just made this and it is SO good! I can’t believe how easy and fast it is to make, and healthy too! Thank you very much for. this, I can’t wait to make for my grandsons.

  2. Loved this recipe!

  3. Preciousnikkio says:

    You are amazing ty4 all the awesome recipes btw banana is it suppose to be ripe or very ripe
    Have a blessed day

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      You’re welcome, it’s a pleasure making and sharing all these vegan recipes! Thanks for the note, I will add that to the recipe so there is no mistake and someone uses an just ripe or underripe banana! Overripe is where it’s at! :)

  4. First time I made this, forgot to put the cherries >< haha
    Anyway, it's super delicious

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Haha, too funny. I have many stories like that too. Lol Glad you liked it anyways! Cheers :)

  5. My mom loves Cherry Garcia, so I will have to try and make this for her. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I hope she loves it just as much! It’s also great frozen.

  6. Do you have the nutrition facts on these wonderful ice cream recipes? I am a diabetic and need to know the facts on everything I eat. Thanks so much.

  7. Add a splash of almond extract for that true cherry Garcia flavor.

    1. Thank you!! I just made this, cleaned my Vitamix, put everything away and then noticed in tiny type (underneath the recipe) a note about vanilla extract. WHY wasn’t that IN the recipe?? I’ll write this out and make a note of the almond extract so I’m not missing ingredients next time. Very frustrating.

      1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

        Sorry KT! I’ve added it right in the ingredients as optional so others won’t miss it too. Glad you enjoyed it and thank you for bringing that detail to my attention! Cheers :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love this!!! Just made it and can not wait to share it with my hubby!! Easy and tasty. Thanks!

  9. Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) says:

    I'm having one of those moments where I'm questioning why I, as a jealous cherry garcia addict, didn't come up with this brilliantness myself. Thank you for sharing this!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure this sounds really lame…but you don't say to peel the bananas before freezing…do you freeze them with the peel on or peeled? Thanks!

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Not lame at all…definitely peel your bananas before freezing. I use a large tupperware and place whole bananas, cover and freeze for at least eight hours or overnight. You may also like to cut your bananas into chunks before freezing instead of leaving them whole. Hope you get a chance to try the recipe. I just had it for my holiday dessert and it was so good! :)

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