Creamy Chocolate Mousse Gelato

This creamy chocolate mousse gelato is an elegant dairy-free alternative to its Italian cousin: a bittersweet, icy treat that charms the palate and satisfies the sweet tooth. Churned to perfection, this smooth dessert gets it creaminess from cashews and coconut milk, and its soft sugar finish from maple syrup. Topped with a final floral flourish, this creation will delight your guests with every fluffy spoonful and crisp crackle of edible chocolate leaves.

Creamy Chocolate Mousse Gelato

Creamy Chocolate Mousse Gelato:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup 100% raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional topping: my homemade chocolate leaves, using natural molds from my garden (such as Camellia leaves, or another non-poisonous sturdy leaf with a waxy sheen)


  • High-powered blender
  • Ice cream maker


Prior to making the gelato, soak the cashews in water. Place the nuts in a small bowl and fill the bowl nearly to the top with water. Allow the cashews to soak for 2-4 hours until soft. After soaking, drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the water.

Add the drained cashews, coconut milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, coconut oil, raw cacao powder, and salt to your blender. Blend until smooth in texture. Depending on the power of your blender, this can take as little as one minute. A Vitamix, for example, can be set to the 1-minute smoothie setting, producing an ideal consistency.

This will yield about two cups of mousse, which can be enjoyed as is, without turning it into a gelato.

To make the gelato, pour the mousse into an ice cream maker. Churn according to the maker’s instructions. Scoop into bowls. Top with fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut flakes, or homemade chocolate leaves, then serve immediately. Alternatively, freeze this creamy chocolate mousse gelato for future use.

Homemade Chocolate Leaves


  • When selecting your coconut milk, consider brands such as Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk “Simple”, with no gums or additives.

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