This awesome vegan ice cream dessert is modeled after a Dairy Queen novelty called Buster Bars. I’ve never actually had the chain’s trademarked version, but there are a zillion copycat recipes out there. One of these evidently caught my mother’s eye in the nineties, as she made this dessert a lot when my brothers and I were young.

This weekend, one of my favorite people visited from out of town. Maybe I’m calling myself out for having the culinary maturity of an eight-year-old, but I can hardly think of a better way to celebrate with good friends than pizza and ice cream. So we got huge, glorious tomato pies at Sally’s and ended the day with this dessert, which I’d prepared the prior evening.

Be aware that this not particularly cheap to make, but it is totally ridiculous and decadent and fun for special occasions. It’s also very easy to assemble. Whatever vegan vanilla ice cream you have will do just fine, but if you happen to have french vanilla on hand, I highly recommend using that. The top layer is almost caramely in taste and texture, and the combination of rich, creamy vanilla and chocolate with crunchy, salted peanuts is what really makes this dessert.


Vegan Buster Bars
Recipe type: dessert
  • 9 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies (1/2 a standard package)
  • ¼ c vegan margarine, melted
  • 1 quart vegan vanilla ice cream, softened
  • ½ lb salted peanuts
  • ¾ c warm water
  • ⅔ c soy powder
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • ⅓ c chocolate chips
  • ¼ c vegan margarine
  1. Pulse cookies in a food processor for a few seconds until finely crushed.
  2. Stir in ¼ c melted margarine and press mixture into bottom of a 9x9” baking dish.
  3. Carefully spoon softened ice cream over crust.
  4. Sprinkle with peanuts.
  5. Place dish in freezer while you prepare topping.
  6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together water and soy powder until smooth.
  7. Add powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and margarine and cook over low heat, stirring frequently until chips melt and mixture is smooth.
  8. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom or sides. (Don't be scared -- I promise the chocolate won't seize up!)
  9. Set mixture aside and allow to cool completely.
  10. Spread mixture evenly over peanut layer and return to freezer until firm.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut into squares and serve.
The batch I made was ready to eat straight out of the freezer, but if your freezer runs particularly cold, allow it to soften slightly by placing the dish in the refrigerator for about ten minutes prior to serving.