These gluten-free ice cream sandwiches taste just like the classic stick-to-your-fingers version from your childhood. What's more, they're super easy to make! With your favorite ice cream sandwiched between two soft chewy gluten-free chocolate wafers, summer never tasted so good.
This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill, a long-term partner of Snixy Kitchen
School's out for summer! Time for a constant rotation of swimming, sunscreen, and homemade ice cream sandwiches. I'm aiming to turn my backyard into the most popular summer hang-out in the neighborhood.
Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe
These homemade ice cream sandwiches are so easy to make and require less than 15 minutes of bake time. They taste every bit as nostalgic as the classic stick-to-your-fingers ice cream sandwiches from your childhood. Only now with a flavor boost from gluten-free chocolate wafers that taste like thin chewy brownies.
When made at home, you've got options! Make them however you want or need: Gluten-free? Nut-free? Dairy-free? With mint chocolate chip ice cream? Dipped in chocolate? Go nuts. This recipe's got you covered with all of these tested variations.
I've developed these super quick gluten-free ice cream sandwiches as part of my year-long partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. Here’s a list of all the recipes I’ve made in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill over the years.
Chocolate wafers for classic ice cream sandwiches
The most important part of these chocolate ice cream sandwiches is the bread. And by bread, I mean the soft chewy stick-to-your-fingers chocolate brownie wafer. Adapted from my ultimate gluten-free brownies, these wafers stay soft and chewy even when sandwiched around ice cream and frozen.
Super-fine Blanched Almond Flour
With a subtle nuttiness, super-fine blanched almond flour shockingly has a neutral flavor that tends to mimic the flavor in classic cookies and brownies.
- Sub in hazelnut flour or chestnut flour by weight to add slightly more unique notes to the base. For a nut-free version, use the oat, buckwheat, or teff flour options below.
Sweet Rice Flour
For the chewiest gluten-free brownie wafers, the key is to use sweet rice flour. Made from sticky rice, sweet rice flour is distinctively different than white rice or brown rice flour, and despite its name, it's not sweet. Sweet rice flour is the same flour used to make mochi, and as such, its stickiness helps to make an ultra-chewy chocolate wafer for your ice cream sandwiches.
- Sub in tapioca flour by weight. Alternatively, substitute both the sweet rice flour and oat/buckwheat/teff flour measurements for Bob's Red Mill's 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
For all of these, I recommend Bob's Red Mill flours for their high quality and consistency in how finely ground they are. Using any other brand, your results will vary.
How to make Ice Cream Sandwiches Quickly
Rather than making 30 wafers, this recipe calls for baking one giant wafer in a sheet pan, cutting it in half, filling it with ice cream, then slicing the whole thing into individual sandwiches once frozen.
When made this way, it's shocking how quickly you can make a batch of homemade ice cream sandwiches. Here's how you do it:
- Sift together dry ingredients.
- Whisk melted butter, eggs, and vanilla into the sugars.
- Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Spread batter into a parchment-lined half-sheet jelly roll pan and bake for 12-14 minutes.
- Cool and cut the brownie wafer in half.
- Spread vanilla ice cream over one piece of the cooled brownie wafer then press the second piece of the wafer on top.
- Wrap in plastic, chill overnight, then cut into sandwiches.
How to store gluten-free ice cream sandwiches
Once cut, store leftover gluten-free ice cream sandwiches in an airtight container or plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months (ha, like they'll last that long).
Dairy-free ice cream sandwiches
For dairy-free brownies, sub out the butter for melted refined coconut oil or non-dairy plant butter. Use your favorite plant-based ice cream for the filling!
Nut-free chocolate wafer substitution
Based on my gluten-free brownies and gluten-free chewy chocolate cookies, I developed nut-free versions for these ice cream sandwiches as well. Simply sub the 42g almond flour for either 25g gluten-free oat flour, buckwheat flour, or teff flour.You'll notice that these variations use less flour because they have less fat than almond flour.
Each of these substitutions has different flavor profiles. The oat flour version tastes more like a classic ice cream sandwich brownie wafer that's soft and chocolate-forward.
Buckwheat flour adds slightly earthy notes with a subtle toasted nuttiness. Buckwheat and cocoa were meant for each other - the chocolate notes in buckwheat enhance cocoa's richness.
Teff flour adds rich toffee notes. While so delicious, this variation has a slightly different flavor profile than a classic chocolate ice cream sandwich, with the teff flour and cocoa powder sharing the spotlight.
Ice Cream Sandwich Variations
Customize these sandwiches to your heart's content. Here are some ideas for inspiration:
- Sprinkles: Press the outside of each cut ice cream sandwich in sprinkles.
- Nuts: Press the outside of each cut ice cream sandwich in toasted finely chopped nuts.
- Flavored ice cream: Switch up the flavor by swapping in your favorite ice cream. Mint chocolate chip? Strawberry? Coffee? Nearly anything will go with chocolate!
- Dip in chocolate: Dip a corner of ice cream sandwiches in melted chocolate.
Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
Feeling extra ambitious? Make your own ice cream for the filling! If using homemade ice cream, skip the freezer and spread the thick soft-serve-like ice cream onto the chocolate wafer straight from the ice cream maker!
- Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream
- Chamomile Blackberry Ice Cream
- Vegan Blackberry Basil Ice Cream
- Coconut Matcha Ice Cream (skip the sesame brittle add-in if using for these sandwiches)
- Vegan Cardamom Ice Cream
- Honey & Lemon Thyme Ricotta Ice Cream
- Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
- ½ (54g) cup dutch-processed cocoa powder (or natural unsweetened cocoa powder, see note)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon (42g) Bob's Red Mill super-fine blanched almond flour OR 3 tablespoons (25g) gluten-free oat flour, buckwheat flour, or teff flour
- ¼ cup + ½ tablespoons (45g) Bob's Red Mill sweet rice flour (different from "white rice flour" or "brown rice flour")
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (for dairy-free, use refined coconut oil or dairy-free plant butter)
- ½ cup (104g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) dark brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1½ quarts vanilla ice cream (dairy or dairy-free)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and line a half-sheet jelly roll baking sheet (13x18) with two sheets of parchment paper to cover fully.
- Sift together the cocoa powder, superfine blanched almond flour (or buckwheat or oat flour for a nut-free version), sweet rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Measure the granulated and dark brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot melted over the sugars in the mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and whisk together. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly, if needed.
- Whisk in the eggs and mix well. Whisk in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated and smooth. The batter will be thick.
- Dump the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it into a thin even layer. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the brownie wafer is fully cooked and bounces back when lightly touched. Let cool completely in the pan.
- Once cool, slice the wafer in half widthwise (so you have two 13x9 rectangles).
- Pull the ice cream out of the freezer to soften for a couple of minutes. If using homemade ice cream, skip the freezer and spread the thick soft-serve-like ice cream onto the chocolate wafer straight from the ice cream maker.
- Line a quarter sheet jelly roll baking sheet (13x9) with a large piece of plastic wrap. You can also use the same half-sheet baking pan if you don't have a quarter sheet - I just find the quarter sheet helps hold in the ice cream. Place one half of the chocolate wafer, face down, on the plastic wrap.
- Scoop the ice cream over the top of the wafer and use an offset spatula or knife to spread it into a smooth even layer all the way to the edges of the wafer. Place the second half of the wafer, face-up, over top of the ice cream, pressing lightly to seal it with the ice cream.
- Pull the edges of the plastic wrap up over the sides, adding more plastic wrap as needed to wrap the entire sandwich in plastic wrap.
- Freeze on the baking sheet until solid before slicing into 15 sandwiches (At least 4 hours, but preferably overnight). Store any remaining ice cream sandwiches in an airtight bag or container in the freezer.
Type of Cocoa Powder
I recommend Dutch-processed cocoa powder, but both Dutch-processed and natural unsweetened cocoa powder will work! If you use natural cocoa powder, your chocolate wafers won't be quite as dark.
Sweet Rice Flour: Sub in tapioca flour by weight. Alternatively, substitute both the sweet rice flour and oat/buckwheat/teff measurements for Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
Almond Flour: Sub in hazelnut flour or chestnut flour by weight to add slightly more unique notes to the base! For a nut-free version, use the buckwheat or oat flour option, subbing the 42g almond flour for 25g gluten-free oat flour, buckwheat flour, or teff flour (note: the oat/buckwheat/teff flour options use less flour because they have less fat than almond flour).
For dairy-free chocolate wafers, sub out the butter for melted refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter. Use your favorite plant-based ice cream for the filling.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 11g
This nutritional information has been automatically calculated, and as such, may be incomplete or inaccurate. Please reference the specific ingredients you use for the most accurate nutritional information.