Modernist Nut Ice Cream

Modernist Cuisine Gelato

I have been struggling a little with how to start this post. I want to say that this is the best vegan ice cream recipe I have found, because it is, and it affords vegans an all natural frozen dessert that is almost indistinguishable from dairy based ice cream in taste and texture. But I don’t want to scare off non-vegans because this is also the most intensely nutty ice cream I have ever made, maybe ever tasted.

One of the things I enjoy when I am in Italy, is going to my favorite gelateria (gelateria alaska, venice)  for either pistachio or hazelnut gelato, who am I kidding, both. Carlo Pistacchi, like all the great Italian gelatiere are simply the world masters of nut ice creams. Well this recipe gets schlubs like us at least in the same ballpark and amazingly close to homeplate. This post ends up with my version of a recipe for modernist peanut butter ice cream and gets there by walking you through some earlier and more exacting variations on the technique that come out of the recent modernist cuisine movement. Though it builds on work by a number of cutting edge chefs, modernist cuisine per se was pretty much single-handedly invented by ex-Microsoft zillionaire and current patent maven, Nathan Myhrvold. It is the ultimate example of what someone with a large excess of brains, creativity, money and appetite can come up with for the sheer fun of it.

You might have heard about his cooking lab’s $600 cookbookmoderist-cuisinewhich in addition to documenting an amazing set of unique recipes and techniques, displays various cooking appliances and tools sawed in-half and beautifully photographed to better convey their actual use and generally to show off to fellow cooking and gadget nerds. The Modernist shtick is to explore our knowledge of the chemistry and physics of cooking in a more deliberate way, and in the process, to produce the most delicious versions of standard recipes they can and entirely new eating experiences. How can you not love their experimentalist perspective and the fact that they use very cool, professional chemistry lab equipment to cook with. Boys and Girls messing around with expensive, well made Toys to make delicious food.

Now that's a Kitchen!

Now that’s a kitchen!

How well does all this high-end technique translate to your average home kitchen? Well… They did publish a condensed, but still beautiful version of their cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home that sells for a mere $140, which is why as much as I would like to, I haven’t purchased it but I follow their website and have picked up a number of nifty and effective cooking techniques from it. So lets look at their “gelatos”. First of all as you will see, these are not even remotely real gelatos. The word gelato is used to give an accurate indication of what this frozen dessert looks and tastes like, but there is no milk, cream or eggs in these recipes, they are completely vegan. What I find most interesting about them is that they are the ultimate example of using a combination of tiny quantities of natural additives and an unusual but simple technique to improve the texture and creamy mouth feel of the resulting ice cream. Variations of these techniques we can apply to our own recipes. In the end what really appealed to me about this was how completely un-ice cream like it was from an ingredients perspective, but how delicious the final results looked in the Modernist videos and photography. In other words simple curiosity.

Pistachio Gelato

This was the original gelato recipe out of the Modernist Cuisine tome. The only substantial ingredients in this recipe are pistachio oil, ground pistachio paste, sugar and water. These are combined with very small amounts of hydrocolloids (stabiliziers), which are “..powders that set or thicken when mixed with water.”. Gelatin is common example of a hydrocolloid. In these recipes the hydrocolloids are used to help prevent the formation of large ice crystals (the smaller the ice crystal, the smoother the texture of your ice cream) and as stabilizers of the mix emulsion.

Remember ice creams are emulsions of fat, water and other ingredients. Fat and water, like to separate (think oil and vinegar), these stabilizers help prevent that. Unfortunately this recipe uses a combination of 4 that I can almost guarantee you are not in your pantry and some are almost certainly not available at your local grocery. Don’t worry I cover a simpler approach below.

In addition to using hydrocolloids to create a better ice cream emulsion, they use a laboratory grade homogenizer to mix all the ingredients together. You will see it if you watch one of their videos. Why do they do this, besides the fact that it gives them an excuse to play with cool lab equipment? Because a lab grade homogenizer, a kind of industrial strength immersion blender, really homogenizes, that is by spinning at 30 – 45,000 rpms, it will break down the fat into much smaller globules than say whisking ingredients together would, causing them to distribute through out a liquid mix very evenly. This results in as smooth and stable an emulsion and resulting ice cream as one can make.

The primary reason that these recipes are referred to as gelatos and not ice creams I suspect, is because homogenizers, like home immersion blenders, don’t add any appreciable air to the mix like whisking or using a blender would. From our humble home ice cream making perspectives should we get hung up on this? Heck no, if you have an immersion blender use that, if you have a blender use that. Though I do wonder if a dremel tool could be some how be setup as diy homogenizer, hmm..? Also it should be noted that, a very expensive ($4000?) ice cream maker called a PacoJet is used to freeze the mix. Though its use may contribute to an ultimate smoothness with these recipes, it is certainly not critical to making them. Anyway if you have read this far and are still interested, you will enjoy the description and fascinating video on the Modernist Cuisine Site.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

This recipe is from Modernist Cuisine at Home and as the website puts it was “re-engineered” from the the original pistachio recipe to be more accessible to home cooks. It forms the basis of what I ended up trying below. In this recipe the water is replaced with grape juice, the pistachio oil and paste is replaced with the much less expensive peanut oil and smooth peanut butter equivalents, and the 4 stabilizers are replaced with one, xanthan gum. Happily this is fairly readily available, I purchased Bob’s Red Mill brand at Whole Foods. It comes in packets similar to yeast and is inexpensive. To quote the site “First discovered by USDA scientists in the 1950s, xanthan gum is fermented by plant-loving bacteria, characterized by sticky cell walls. It is no less natural than vinegar or yeast.” You can read their whole entry on xanthan gum here. The biggest issue with using it, with this whole technique actually, is that xanthan gum is very powerful and small differences in quantity can yield very different levels of solidity. In the pistachio gelato post the author notes that they typically use between 0.1 to 0.2 grams for every 100 g of liquid in a recipe.

The Modernist folks strongly recommend measuring out what you need on a digital scale and don’t even give a volumetric equivalent. I suspect (untried) that you could use about 2/3 of an 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon for a quart of ice cream and about right. For a pint you have to measure with a scale, see my peanut recipe below. I haven’t made this particular recipe because to be honest the flavor combination of grape juice and peanut butter just doesn’t appeal to me. If you like the idea then by all means try it as laid out in their post or for a pint worth use my recipe below and replace the water with grape or strawberry juice. Though as you will see if you click through to the link, the resulting ice cream is a beautiful color, especially in the photo of the quenelle scoop. I ended up making a straight peanut butter ice cream. But the original post is very interesting and I encourage you to read it.

Modernist Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Because I had the ingredients I needed on hand, I decided to make a straight peanut version of this recipe. I wish I could say that this photo is of my ice cream but it isn’t. However this is almost exactly what mine ended up looking like and a good indication of what you can expect. Check out Liz Fabry’s blog she is an amazing food photographer.

One of primary glories of the original idea and execution is ending up with a super smooth, practically grain-free texture. I knew going into this that wasn’t going to happen because my fresh peanut butter was not smooth. But I didn’t care, I was mostly very curious about what the overall end result would taste like. Note that whatever nut butter and oil you try, they have to be pure and without any other ingredients or additives.

In case this experiment turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, I cut the recipe in half and made a pint. Lastly I decided to use my table top blender because the immersion blender I own is frankly, a piece of junk. Please note: if using a table top blender, the water mix you bring to a boil has to be combined in the blender with the nut oil and butter. Here’s thing, it is thick and at boiling temperature. If you get some on your skin you will almost certainly suffer a serious burn. Use a pot with a good handle that will let you pour without spilling.

The first issue that came up was that my kitchen scale was only accurate to a gram. Since I only needed .15 grams of xanthan gum this wasn’t going to work, so everything was put on hold while I waited for this small scale to arrive. I’m always looking for excuses to purchase kitchen gadgets so I was happy to spend the $10. Hey you never know when you are going to absolutely have to measure out a hundredth of a gram of something! The scale arrived and I’m happy to say it is idiot proof. Eyeballing it I would say that .15 gram is about a 1/16th of teaspoon but don’t make this based on that. As you will see this recipe is a bit fussy in regards to measurements. I divided the P. B. & J recipe exactly in half with no fudging, as I have no experience or feel for this technique at all. Also I used tapioca starch, not corn.

Modernist Peanut Butter Ice Cream
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 4
My take on a Modernist Cuisine technique for making non-dairy ice cream. Important Note If you use the Blender method: The water mix you end up adding back to the blender is thick and over 200 F. If you get this on you skin you will get a very serious burn.
  • 1¼ cup + 3 tablespoons of water / 340 grams water
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoons / 75 grams sugar
  • ⅛ cup (2 tablespoons) / 12.5 grams tapioca starch or corn starch
  • ⅞ teaspoons salt (round it up to a teaspoon)
  • .15 grams xanthan gum
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons / 105 grams pure peanut butter
  • ¼ cup / 51 grams roasted peanut oil (no additives)
If using an Immersion Blender
  1. Add water to a pot.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients, then add to pot.
  3. Continually mix with immersion blender until liquid boils.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add peanut butter and oil and combine until smooth with immersion blender.
  6. If you are using a freezer-canister ice cream maker, pre-chill the mixture in an ice bath. If you are using an ice cream maker with a built-in compressor you can skip this step.
  7. Churn in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
If using a counter-top blender.
  1. Add warm water and combined dry ingredients to blender and blend for 15 seconds.
  2. Transfer to a pot with a sturdy handle on burner and bring to a boil, whisking continually.
  3. Remove from heat. Please be super careful this mix is thick and hot!
  4. Add the peanut butter, peanut oil to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Very Carefully add the hot water to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pre-chill as needed by your ice cream maker.
  7. Churn in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.
  8. If desired, firm in your freezer for approximately 4 hours before serving.


The final result was amazingly good and not just because I was shocked that this worked at all. A beautiful very pale creamy brown with tiny flecks of peanut. Very creamy, rich and smooth. A small portion goes a long way. If someone didn’t tell you, you would never know this wasn’t dairy based. It is very simple to make, even with the slightly fussy measuring. As I say above, the water, tapioca starch, xantham gum, sugar and salt mix gets thick, not fudge thick, but thicker than other ice cream mixes. Its starts out milky and goes almost translucent as you approach boiling. Keep stirring until it just starts to boil and then take it off the heat. Again I can’t stress this enough, be really careful pouring the hot mix into a blender if you use this method.

I bet that a fantastic milkshake is waiting to be made with this ice cream, milk or nut milk, chocolate, and a little vanilla extract. The bottom line is if you are either a vegan or love nut ice creams, order up one of those little scales and start cooking!

More Variations

Well obviously you can use any nut for which you can get buy or make a reasonably smooth nut butter from. Actually I think I am going to buy a nut butter machine as they seem to be very inexpensive. I will add what I find out as an update at the bottom of this post. Even though you would ideally use the same flavor oil I don’t think this is a deal breaker. The nut butters are in themselves so flavorful you could probably use a pure canola oil or even olive oil which I suspect would complement nut flavors well. But there are a number of nuts that you can fairly readily get both oils and butters for.

At my local Wholefoods you can freshly grind, almond, cashew, and peanut butters, and there are jars of walnut, sesame, hazelnut and probably more. Nut butters and oils are not inexpensive, but remember this ice cream is very rich and small portions go a long way. A version made with almonds and strawberry juice is one I would like to try soon. Orange and almonds are also a great flavor combination.

More information of Modernist Cuisine

There are a lot of YouTube videos of people experimenting with Modernist techniques, but a good place to start is their website.


Vegan Saffron Kulfi

photo by Vegan Richa

photo by Vegan Richa

Vegan Kulfi

This post  is about a delicious vegan, gluten free version of the traditional ice cream of India. It uses coconut milk or coconut milk and almond milk and is flavored with saffron, cardamom and raw cashews. This is very simple recipe that you don’t even need an ice cream maker for. Basically a simple series of steps, heating and combining ingredients then freezing the resulting mix in individual serving molds. Traditionally these would be cone shaped but the author, Richa Hingle, used small rounded bottom bowls. As she suggests you could use popsicle molds or even plastic cups if you wanted a more traditional looking final shape.  Actually this would make great vegan ice cream popsicles. If you end up liking it you will see that it could make a great vegan, gluten-free base for all kinds of  flavor combinations.

For the recipe details and other delicious looking vegan indian recipes check out..

Kesar Kulfi Ice Cream on the Vegan Richa Blog


Traditional Kulfi

In case you are interested, kulfi is normally made from condensed milk or whole milk or a combination that is slowly reduced over a low flame until it is about half the original volume. Both of these versions result in a pronounced caramelized taste.

Here is a short video that shows how it’s typically made:


Saffron Vegan Kulfi

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
coconut milk, saffron / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)


Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream


This recipe for Vietnamese coffee ice cream is based on one by David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop.  What a fantastic idea for a coffee ice cream!

Here is David’s original ingredients list:

  • 1.5 cups (600 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1.5 cups (375 ml) brewed espresso or very dark coffee
  • .5 cup (125 ml) half and half
  • Big pinch of finely ground dark roast coffee

Here are the ingredients for my version:

  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • .5 cup of espresso or dark coffee
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • Big pinch of finely ground dark roast coffee

Both recipes make around a quart of ice cream. So which one should you make? In a word David’s is more intense and much sweeter. Mine is less sweet, still strongly coffee flavored and is easier to scoop after a night in the freezer.  A big trade off between the two is fat for sugar.  David’s tastes more like real Vietnamese coffee. Of course I hope you play more with these proportions on your own and let me know about it below in the comments.


  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Pre-Chill the mixture as needed. Read more here.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Store in a freezer proof container/s.  A layer of cling wrap pressed into the top of the ice cream will prevent ice build up on the surface of your ice cream.


Click here for more recipes based on sweetened condensed milk.


Vietnamese Ice Coffee Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
espresso, sweetened condensed milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45 min
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)

4.0 stars based on
1 review


Blueberry Lavender Sour Cream Ice Cream

My post on a sour cream ice cream base earlier this week has been working on me ever since, so yesterday I decided to make a blueberry version. I discovered how well the flavors of blueberry and lavender go together in a jam I had tasted earlier in the year and have been routinely adding it to blueberry pie filling since, so I knew I wanted to try this combination in a batch of ice cream.

My sour cream base is derived from Jeni Bauer’s. It is egg-less and gives you a very nice texture. Though this ice cream froze hard overnight, it is almost certainly because I used 2% milk and a full cup of blueberries. Both well worth the price of having to thaw the ice cream a little the next day before serving it. An additive that gives you an ice cream that tastes fresh, with great traditional ice cream texture, and doesn’t freeze super hard is the holy grail to me and I keep looking and experimenting.

So how did it turn out? Very well thank you, I will definitely make it again. The recipe below reflects a decision to add more sugar to the mix, as it sets up a better contrast between the sweetness and the slight sourness of the sour cream. Also as you will see I used a tablespoon of limonecello both to add some brightness and hoping the alcohol would help it freeze softer. I think even better would be a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of vodka. I plan to try this next time.


Blueberry Lavender Sour Cream Ice Cream
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Serves: 6
Blueberry Lavender Sour Cream Ice Cream These instructions use a blender but a large bowl and whisk can be substituted.
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender flowers
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of limoncello or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn or tapioca starch
  1. Add the sour cream, cream cheese, salt, vanilla and limoncello to blender. Cover and Pulse a few time to mix.
  2. Add cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of milk together in a small bowl, mix well.
  3. Put the containers you plan to store your ice cream in, into the freezer to pre-chill.
  1. Add the blueberries, lavender and sugar to a small saucepan over low heat. Heat until blueberries are soft, a lot of liquid has been released and sugar is completely melted.
  2. Add remaining milk, heavy cream, and corn syrup to medium heavy bottomed pan. Over a medium-low heat bring to a simmer for 4 minutes, stirring so as not to burn.
  3. Remove from heat, re-mix cornstarch slurry and gradually add it to the mix.
  4. Return to heat and cook for about 1 minute, stirring until it thickens a little. Mix is done when you can run your finger along the back of your spoon and leave a trail that doesn't refill in immeadiately.
  5. Pour the mix into your blender, cover and blend until well combined, 20 - 30 seconds.
  1. As required by your machine. Read more here..
  1. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer instructions.
Store and Serve
  1. Serve from your ice cream maker or ideally after 2 - 4 hours in your freezer. Pressing cling-wrap onto the surface of your ice cream before covering it helps reduce surface ice build up.


  1. Just a reminder that the light corn syrup used here and in other recipes on the site, is not the same as high fructose corn syrup, with its deservedly bad health rap. Regular corn syrup has been used in baking for probably 100 years and is mostly glucose. It is a little less sweet than table sugar and is excellent at keeping ice crystals small in ice cream.
  2. Make two cups of blueberries, double the sugar and lavender and set aside half  to spoon on later.
  3. Pre-chilling the mix before freezing can be essential depending on your ice cream maker,  if you don’t already have a preferred method, please read my post on this topic.
  4. I really like what the lavender adds to the flavor, but if you don’t have any don’t let that stop you from making the recipe.  A 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon would make a good alternative and a very different ice cream of course.


Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream


This is a very interesting, vegan vanilla ice cream created by Mattie on It is a sophisticated attempt to capture as much of the creaminess and mouth feel of a high butterfat dairy ice cream using only vegan ingredients. Given the reader comments, it looks like he has mostly pulled it off. Also there are links to recipes for other flavors on the site which you will see towards the bottom of the vanilla recipe page.

I plan to be experimenting with and writing a lot about using various ingredients and techniques to improve the texture and freezer life of homemade ice creams here, so I’m always really interested in what success other people are having. This is a particularly relevant topic in relation to creating “healthier” frozen desserts, i.e. lower fat, less sugar or in this case completely vegan.

Some of the things I find interesting about the recipe:

  • The use of apple cider vinegar to in his words “..add subtle notes of sweet cream..” to the flavor. I have never run across this before.
  • The use of xantham gum as a natural stabilizer that adds no discernible flavor to the resulting ice cream but helps a great deal with how smooth the texture ends up being.  It is sold in Whole Foods and in the baking area of many supermarkets by the way.
  • The use as corn syrup (NOT high-fructose corn syrup, don’t panic!) for part of the sugar, an excellent way of reducing ice crystals.
  • The versatility of the recipe, it can be used with any nut-milk or tofu.
  • The comments are from other vegan home ice cream makers and are uniformly positive.

Check out the full recipe on



Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Vanilla / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min


Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe


I liked the Strawberry sour cream variation of Jeni Bauer’s ice cream I came up so much that  I decided to re-post it here set up as an ice cream base.  The slight tang of sour cream complements fruits and chocolate flavors (maybe herbs?) really well. And the high butterfat content contributes to a smooth and creamy dessert.   If you try it please let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

Makes roughly 1 pint, double quantities for a quart. 

Sour Cream Ice Cream Base Recipe
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Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Sour Cream Ice Cream Base - variation on Jeni Bauer's base
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 ounces (2 tablespoons) cream cheese
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice Bath (if you are going to pre-chill)
  1. Add the cream cheese and sour cream and vanilla extract to a blender and blend until smooth. Or if you would prefer to use a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and vanilla to a medium mixing bowl and whisk until soft and smooth. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined and smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons milk with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Pre-chill the container/s you will storing the finished ice cream in, in your freezer.
  4. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottom, 3.5 to 4 quart saucepan.
  5. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula.
  6. Reduce the heat, remix the cornstarch slurry and slowly add it to the saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. You should be able to run a line through the back of your coated spatula with your finger and have it not fill back in immediately.
  7. If using a blender, pour in the milk mixture, make sure the lid is firmly on and blend covered until well combined, about 20 seconds. If using a mixing bowl, whisk in milk mixture until well combined and smooth.
  8. Pre-chill by pouring the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath. Let stand for about 30 minutes until the mixture is cold. For detailed tips on pre-chilling read this.
  9. Cut a corner of the ZipLoc bag, pour the chilled mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturers instructions. It should take about 20 - 30 minutes.
  10. Store in a freezer ready container/s. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper or cling-wrap right against the surface of the ice cream before closing the container. Store in the coldest part of your freezer for 2 - 4 hours before serving.


Simple Fruit Ice creams

  1. Puree enough fruit to end up with at least a cup or two of puree.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup of the puree with the sugar and heat over low heat until the sugar is completely melted and combined with fruit. You are not so much cooking the fruit as binding the sugar to the fruit and released water.
  3. Whisk or blend in the puree to the mix right before your pre-chill it.
  4. Chill the remaining uncooked puree to spoon over the served ice cream.  You can also use it in a cooked sauce but I love it fresh and simple like this.

Base Recipes for Frozen Yogurt

Frozen Yogurt is a type of dairy ice cream in which all or some of the milk and cream is replaced with yogurt.  I go over 3 different approaches in this post.  I will start with the simplest recipe and then show you some interesting and tasty variations, discussing the tradeoffs of each.

The first thing you should understand is that the frozen yogurt you make at home isn’t going to taste like what you may be used to buying at chain frozen yogurt shops, at the mall. Those guys have spent years perfecting a frozen yogurt that tastes as little like yogurt, and as much like bland soft-serve ice cream as possible. Of the processed franken-foods one can consume in a mall, commercial frozen yogurt has always seemed to me one of the strangest. Kind of a cold, white foam acting as a delivery system for fat and lots of sugar (or NutraSweet). I don’t think it is a coincidence that you are expected to load on the junk food mix-ins.

The recipes presented here will have a pronounced tang and tartness. They are going to taste like yogurt. If you don’t enjoy eating regular, non-frozen yogurt, you wont enjoy these recipes. For something that approximates mall frozen yogurt (but is IMHO, much better) use this simple vanilla ice cream recipe and replace the 3 cups of cream with 2 3/4 cups of cream and 1/4 cup yogurt. Eat it right out of your ice cream maker, once its finished freezing.


Some of these recipes include vanilla beans or extract. Vanilla complements and enhances most other flavors, however feel free to reduce or eliminate it entirely as your creative spirit directs you.

Use the highest quality, freshest yogurt you can. If possible make your own. It is easy as can be and yogurt makers can be found for peanuts on eBay, garage sales, thrift stores etc… For grocery store purchased yogurt I use and love Seven Stars brand, but I’m not sure how national the distribution for it is. Nancy’s is a good alternative.

Always use a yogurt with live cultures because whatever additional health benefit frozen yogurt can provide over ice cream, comes from these good guy bacteria. From what I have read freezing does not kill bacteria cultures in yogurt, it just makes them dormant and warming them up again when you eat them, reactivates them. Always check the For Sale By Date on a yogurt container, as freshness does effect the amount of live cultures you end up with, not to mention the taste.

Greek Frozen Yogurt

Greek Yogurt has become increasingly popular over the last year or so and has a number of advantages for home frozen yogurt making. It is essentially pre-strained yogurt that as a result has much less water and a higher fat content than regular yogurt. Both excellent attributes for a making creamy, non-icy, frozen desserts. You can substitute it in any of these recipes, and I encourage you to do so if you choose to use low or non-fat yogurt.

Strained Yogurt

You can make your own Greek style or strained yogurt (and the Bauer recipe below call for you to do this) by straining some of the water out of yogurt through cheese cloth or coffee filters for 6 to 8 hours. This is really easy to do. Place a colander in bowl. Line the colander with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour a quart of yogurt on top, cover with cling wrap, refrigerate and come back in 6 to 8 hours. As with Greek, strained yogurt can be substituted in any recipe below.

By the way if you strain yogurt long enough (12 -24 hours) you end up with a cream cheese like consistency and hence yogurt cheese, which makes a very tasty, healthy substitute for butter or cheese, especially when made with low or non-fat yogurt. It can be used plain or flavored with herbs, nuts , nut oils etc.. If you try nothing else from this post, I urge to try this, you will probably become slightly addicted to it.

I chose these 3 recipes because they all produce excellent but very different results. Unfortunately all of them freeze hard after more than a few hours in the freezer.

So from simplest to most elaborate…

David Lebovitz’s Frozen Yogurt Base

As pure and simple as can be.

Makes 1 pint or 4 servings.


  • 1 1/2 cups (360 g) of plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (200 g) of sugar


  1. Mix together until sugar is completed dissolved and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  3. Serve from your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours of additional freezing in your freezer.

David’s original recipe is from his book The Perfect Scoop and is for a vanilla version that is the same as above, but includes 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract per pint. The original recipe is for a quart and I have simply halved the ingredient amounts.


Use Powdered Sugar

I found a simple but interesting variation on this recipe, Nancy’s Yogurt Gelato, that is almost identical but uses 1/3 cup of powdered sugar instead of the 1/2 cup table sugar above. The powdered sugar should dissolve into the yogurt completely with very little effort. I tried to find some kind of sweetness equivalency formula for powdered vs table sugar (how much powdered sugar to use for the equivalent sweetness of one teaspoon of table sugar) on the internet but could not. If anyone knows, please post it in the comments below! Another feature of powdered sugar that makes it especially interesting here, is that it can contain up to 3% corn starch. This is included to absorb moisture and thus help keep the fine sugar powder a fine powder. Corn (and tapioca) starch is commonly used in ice cream recipes (including the very good Jeni Bauer Frozen Yogurt recipe below) to absorb water and produce a creamier, less icy dessert. So using powdered sugar may actually kill two birds with one stone, ensure the sugar is well incorporated into yogurt and result in a creamier dessert.

Low Fat Frozen Yogurt

Use low fat or non-fat yogurt. Though this will cut the calories, it will result in a noticeably icier dessert. Also, though I am not an expert on this by any means, using a non-fat yogurt may result in what you eat actually being more high glycemic than either the low or full fat versions. The presence of the fat potentially slowing down your bodies processing of the dessert’s sugars. It goes without saying if you have been diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic, you should not be making and eating anything on this website.

Greek or Strained Yogurt.

As I mentioned above you can you substitute Greek or strained yogurts for regular yogurt in this recipe and you will end up with a creamier, richer dessert, especially if you wish to use non-fat yogurt.

More Ways to Increase Creaminess and Scoopability

Like most homemade frozen desserts, frozen yogurt is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or with less than 4 hours of additional freezing in your freezer. Here are some suggestions for increasing creaminess and long term softness.

  • Add more fat. Use whole milk Greek yogurt and add 1/2 cup of cream.
  • Replace an 1/8 cup of the table sugar with 1/8 cup of corn syrup.

One of these can be tried with any of the variations above.

  • Add 1/2 tablespoon of vodka.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Dissolve first in 2 tablespoons of milk or some of the yogurts whey before mixing in.


Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook Version

I liked this recipe for its use of unflavored gelatin to improve the resulting texture and the addition of milk to soften the yogurt taste for those who might find the Lebovitz recipe to much of a good thing. This opening quote from the recipe says it all.

Recipes for homemade frozen yogurt often result in an icy slab with a grainy texture from the sugar and an overly tangy flavor from the yogurt from the namesake ingredient.

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook 2011

I was very surprised how well this turned out. I used Fage low-fat Greek Yogurt and Organic Valley Grass Fed Milk and we ate it after about 3 hours in the freezer. The texture was excellent; firm and smooth and I liked the softer, but still very dominant yogurt taste. I am definitely going to be experimenting more with gelatin as an additive. We served this at a dinner party and everyone loved it. In a funny coincidence, the host brought out the latest addition of the Joy of Cooking to show me how many ice cream recipes there were in it and I discovered that the frozen yogurt recipe included, was almost identical to this one.

BTW our host threw together a simple peach coulis that complimented the yogurt beautifully. The following is enough for 4 servings.

2 firm peaches cored and sliced thinly, and a tablespoon each of sugar, butter and lemon juice. Combine over a low heat and cook until soft and starting to brown. A splash of brandy or other alcohol is a nice addition. He used some limoncello.

Ingredients for 1 pint

  • 1 Cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 7/8 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 3/8 cup of sugar


  1. Strain the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer over a measuring cup in your refrigerator, until 1/4 cup of liquid has been released. Should take about an hour.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk in a small bowl until it softens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean. Video how here.
  4. Combine with the remaining milk and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat, stirring until mixture is steaming and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the gelatin/milk to the mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Discard the vanilla bean.
  6. Cool the mixture to room temperature over a bowl of ice water or in a refrigerator and combine with the yogurt. Cooling before mixing ensures that the yogurt cultures are not killed by the heat.
  7. Pre-chill the combined mixture as needed by your ice cream maker. Read more on this here.
  8. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  9. Serve or harden in your freezer for 2 – 4 hours. Cling wrap pressed onto the surface of the yogurt will remove air and prevent freezer burn.


Jeni Bauer’s Frozen Yogurt Base

Furthest afield from our purist recipe, this one is really a kind of yogurt flavor version of Jeni’s basic ice cream recipe. Regular readers of my site know that I am a big fan of Ms. Bauer’s recipes for home ice cream makers. I probably use her cookbook more than any other. This recipe has the highest fat content, and the yogurt is used a co-equal flavor with everything else going on in the recipe. You end up with delicious and complex dairy/yogurt flavor. Alas the few times I have made it its final texture was not as good as her straight ice cream base and it freezes harder than her ice creams. This could well be my own fault as I used greek yogurt as opposed to strained. If eaten with 4 hours or less in your freezer you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients for 1 Pint

  • 2 Cups of plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn or tapioca starch
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup light corn syrup

6 to 8 Hours Ahead of Churning

  1. Pour the yogurt into a fine wire mesh sieve that is lined with two layers of cheese cloth, set in a bowl.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in your refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.


  1. Mix about 3 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl or jar until smooth, set aside.
  2. Whisk cream cheese in a medium size bowl until soft and smooth. Or alternatively use my blender method of combining everything. You must have a blender with a jar big enough to comfortably hold the quantity of mix your are making. In that case drop the cream cheese in the bottom of the blender.

Cook the Mix

Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot. During the cooking process use a spatula to keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom of your pot especially at in the corners. If you use the same pot every time you make ice cream you will get a good feel for how much you need to do this and what temperature to set your burner at.

Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the corn starch mix. You will have to re-mix it before adding it.

Return the mixture to the your burner and cook for about a minute until slightly thickened. You want to be able to run your finger long the back of your spatula and leave a trail that doesn’t immediately fill in. Remove from heat.

At this point, even though this isn’t in the original recipe, I would suggest you cool the mix to room temperature or slightly warmer so that when you combine it with the yogurt you don’t end up killing the active cultures in the yogurt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and place your saucepan in it. It will only take a few a minutes of stirring to get the temperature down.

If you used a bowl, gradually whisk the tepid or cool mix into the cream cheese until smooth. Then add the yogurt and combine well. If you are using a blender, add the mix to it, cover, and blend together with the cream cheese. Turn it off, add the yogurt, cover and blend until smooth, maybe 20 – 30 seconds.

Pre-chill as needed.

Jeni’s standard method is to pour the mixture into a Zip-Loc bag and immerse it in an ice water bath for about 30 minutes. This works quite well, but its a bit messy. You can also read my post on alternatives.


Freeze the mix in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer’s instructions.

Freeze in appropriately sized freezer containers. Press a piece of cling wrap into the top of the ice cream first to remove air bubbles.

Read all our posts tagged Frozen Yogurt.


Frozen Yogurt

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
yogurt, sugar / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base


I wanted to have one post that contains my current version of a sweetened condensed milk ice cream base. This is a work in progress as I keep tinkering with various proportions of milk, cream and condensed milk. Why do I keep tinkering? Because I actually made the perfect version of this once; silky smooth, absolutely perfect texture, that stayed that way for days in the freezer and I didn’t write it down! Sigh..

If you haven’t tried a condensed milk based ice cream, you should. It has a unique, cooked milk, slightly caramelized taste and very nice texture. It is very sweet!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 8
Sweetened Condensed Milk Ice Cream Base
  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca or corn starch
  • 2 inches of split, scraped vanilla bean, use a whole for vanilla ice cream
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of milk and tapioca or corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat milk, cream, and condensed milk in a medium, heavy bottomed pot until simmering. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the remixed tapioca/corn starch slurry.
  4. Put back on heat and cook for about a minute or until you can run your finger along the back of your stirring spoon or spatula, and leave a track that doesn't immediately fill in.
  5. Remove mix from the stove and pre-chill as required by your machine.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions
  7. Store in freezer-proof container with a sheet of cling wrap pressed on to the surface of the ice cream.


Click here for more recipes that incorporate sweetened condensed milk.


A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base


This recipe is for a basic, very traditional, Philadelphia style ice cream. The primary characteristics of this ice cream are: a 2 or 3  to 1 cream to milk ratio, no eggs, and an uncooked mix. It’s main strength, a  simple, pure, super fresh, uncooked taste, also results in its primary weakness; after more than 4 – 6 hours in your freezer, what you make will become rock hard, with a slightly grainy texture from ice crystal formation.  This style ice cream is best eaten right out of your ice cream maker or after just a few hours in your freezer, when it will be delicious. I would also suggest pre-chilling the mix even if you have a built in compressor ice cream maker.  You want everything as cold as possible when you go to freeze this in your ice cream maker.  I would also suggest you use the freshest, highest quality ingredients you can for this recipe as you will taste the difference.

Here is a recipe for about a quart of ice cream.

5.0 from 1 reviews
A Classic Philadelphia Style Ice Cream Base
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Serves: 8
A classic Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream recipe
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ - 1 cup of sugar. To taste, ¾ cup is most common.
  • ½ vanilla bean split and scraped. or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • pinch of salt
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a lipped bowl.
  2. Pre-chill using one of the methods described here.
  3. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.
  4. Serve immediately or within 4 - 6 hours in your freezer.
  5. For a full vanilla ice cream, double (or more) the amount of vanilla called for in ingredients above.


Goat Cheese Ice Cream


Sunday I had a craving for goat milk ice cream. Unfortunately though I had some goat cheese and cream cheese in the fridge, I did not have goat milk and I didn’t have whole milk, just 2%. So I pulled out my copy of Jenni Bauer and sure enough there was goat cheese ice cream recipe. Actually she has two versions, one with cognac figs and the other roasted red cherries spun in. Sorry to say neither one made it in. This is straight goat cheese, egg-less ice cream and it is fantastic. A very addicting flavor that would work with just about any mix-in or sauce you would want to add. Also this is another ice cream that would make an excellent side to pie.

Using 2% instead of whole milk did cause it to freezer harder than im sure it would have otherwise. But it still scooped out fairly well, was not at all icy and had a very smooth texture after a few minutes of thawing.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream
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Cuisine: ice cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Goat Cheese Ice Cream very closely based on Jeni Bauer's recipe
  • 2 cups of 2% milk (whole would be better)
  • 1 T plus 1t of tapioca or corn starch
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) of goat cheese
  • 3 T (1.5 oz.) cream cheese
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1¼ cups of heavy cream
  • ½ - ⅔ cup of sugar depending on your sweet tooth.
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  1. Mix a few tablespoons of milk with the tapioca/corn starch, set aside.
  2. Put the salt, and cheeses in a blender. Put on the blender top but open the pour in it.
  3. Place the container/s you are going to be storing your ice cream in, into the freezer to pre-chill it.
  1. Add the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup to a 4 quart heavy bottomed pan on medium heat.
  2. Bring to a low rolling boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula so milk doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove from heat, re-mix the tapioca/corn starch and milk slurry and gradually add it to the pot while stirring.
  4. Put back on burner and stir for a minute or so until slightly thickened. It doesn't need to boil, we are just cooking the starch and using it to thicken the mix.
  5. Pour the mix into a heat proof bowl that has a lip.
  6. Turn on the blender and from the new bowl slowly pour the mix into the blender through the top pour hole. Blend long enough so that the cheeses are smoothly incorporated into the mix. This should only take 10 seconds or so.
  1. Pre-Chill the mix if you need to. Click on the link for suggestions.
  2. Pour mix into your ice cream maker and freeze as per manufacturer's instructions.
  1. Freeze your ice cream at least 4- 6 hours for the best texture. A layer of cling wrapped pressed into the top of the ice cream prevents ice build up on surface.


There is no reason why the milk and cream cant be substituted with goat milk and goat cream.

Using a blender when making ice cream has become a habit of mine. I like how smooth the mix ends up and I think Im getting a little more air incorporated into the mix.  But using one is a little extra work, so you don’t have to if you don’t want to be bothered. The cheeses can be placed in a large heat-proof bowl and after you are done cooking the mix, pour it over the cheeses and whisk together until smooth.


How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

You can make good ice cream without an ice cream maker. There are a number of ways to accomplish this and if you click here you can see the collection of posts I am accumulating on this topic. But in this post I want to share with you what I think is the single best technique I have found so far. It is simple to implement. You don’t need any special tools. And it results in a smooth textured, easy to scoop, even after hard freezing in your freezer ice cream whose flavor possibilities are open ended, limited to your imagination.

There are of course tradeoffs. This recipe/technique is based on sweetened condensed milk. Ice creams based on condensed milk have a fundamentally different taste and texture profile from simple eggless American style ice creams and egg custard based French style ice creams. They are their own third style of true dairy based ice cream.  I would characterize their taste as slightly carmelized, cooked rather than fresh tasting.  I am by no means, damning them with faint praise.  Vanilla-Cardamom, Vietnamese Ice Coffee are just two of a number of flavors based on condensed milk that I love.  I describe versions of them using this technique below.  Fruit ice creams in most cases, are better served with Philadelphia and custard based styles (not to mention ices) made in an ice cream maker.

With this technique you can not make vegan, dairy-free, or sugar free ice creams. You might be thinking that you could make it sugar free by replacing the condensed milk with evaporated, but unfortunately a cup of evaporated milk still has 23 grams or so of sugar. At some point I will post on blender, frozen banana based, dairy-free alternatives.

Lastly if you want to eat your ice cream as soon as you are done making it and/or you want to explore all the many varieties of frozen desserts you can make at home, including the very best ice creams, you are still going to need an ice cream maker.  With these caveats in mind, the method I’m about to describe is the best way to convince yourself that making homemade ice cream is easy, fun and well worth the half hour it takes to prepare.

I found this simple, clever technique on the Eagle Brands website. If you are a fellow fan of sweetened condensed milk, the website is worth checking out for the large number of recipes there.

Why This Technique Works

First it is based on sweetened condensed milk, which is in some ways the perfect ice cream base. It has a very high sugar content, a very low water content, and is over 8% butterfat by weight, more than whole milk. All of those attributes help a great deal in creating a smooth, non-icy ice cream.

The Second reason, and this is the clever part, is that the recipe calls for whipping the heavy cream used to incorporate air and then folding rather than mixing, the whipped cream into the condensed milk to keep as much of that air as possible. We don’t tend to think about air as ingredient, but in ice cream it is. In commercial ice cream air can be up to 50% of what you eat. Even premium ice creams are often 25% air. If you use an ice cream maker at home you are also incorporating some air into you ice cream. As a general rule when buying ice cream more air means lower quality. Having said that, some air in the mix will add body, contribute to a light smooth texture, and help create an easy to scoop result; all which is what happens in this case.

Creating the base is very simple.

  1. Pour one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk in medium mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in your flavorings.
  3. In another medium size mixing bowl, whip to stiff peaks, 2 cups of heavy cream.
  4. Fold whipped cream and any mix-ins into the condensed milk.
  5. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Here are the links to videos and recipes on the Eagle website, that walk you through the process. Please watch the vanilla one which is very short and shows the basic method.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

Cafe Ole’ and Butter Pecan Versions

More Eagle Brand Ice Cream Recipes

Many of these recipes a pretty bad, I’m recommending them mostly to help you get a feel for the technique. You don’t really want to use Folgers coffee or Smucker’s chocolate syrup as basic ingredients unless you are snowed in.

Here are some ideas to help you get more from using this method.


First and foremost, use the freshest, highest quality heavy cream you can.

As with all ice cream recipes ingredients can be halved or doubled to make as little or as much as you would like. With this technique you could actually make one serving if you wanted to.

An ice cream based on a full can of sweetened condensed milk, even with two cups of heavy cream is going to be very sweet. Personally I think a better ratio is 2 cups of cream with 1 cup of condensed milk. Even that is pretty sweet! Sweetness is a very personal preference and there is no getting around a little experimentation if the basic recipe turns out to be to sweet for you.

This technique requires gentle folding together of the ingredients. Check out this short video for a good demonstration of what this means. Remember to fold in ingredients one at a time.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Use a vanilla bean

  1. The first thing I would do is replace the vanilla extract with a vanilla bean.
  2. Split the bean with a knife, scrap out the seeds and add everything to 2 cups of heavy cream in medium heavy bottomed pot.
  3. Heat on the stove over a medium heat, until steaming or you just start to see bubbles. Stir while heating
  4. Transfer the cream to refrigerator friendly bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so until the cream is cold again.
  5. Once the cream is cold, whip it to stiff peaks.
  6. Pour between 1 cup and one entire 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into a medium size bowl.
  7. Gently fold whipped cream and any mix-ins into the condensed milk until the color of the mixture is uniform.
  8. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Add a complementary spice.

Readers of this blog know what’s coming, Cardamom! Cardamom vanilla ice cream is one of my current favorite flavors. In step 3 above add 1 tablespoon of freshly ground cardamom before heating the cream. If you don’t want bits of cardamom (I actually like them) in your resulting ice cream, run the cream through a sieve between steps 4 and 5.

A few other spices that go well with vanilla, alone or in combination, and just to scratch the surface, are nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Google flavor combinations or look for baking recipes that use vanilla for clues to flavors that might work. Add somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, and adjust by taste before freezing.


Mix-ins are solid ingredients (like nuts or raisins) that can be added to ice cream while its freezing. With this method they would be folded in when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined. At some point I will post a comprehensive list of what can be added, but basicly it can be anything that can be made bite size and which doesn’t not freeze to a rock hard, tooth breaking consistency, after your ice cream has spent a night in your freezer. What freezes like that? Anything with a high water content.

Mix-ins are the base of two ice cream favorites which you can easily make with one of the vanilla ice cream recipes above.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Take 1/2 – 1 cup of coarsely chopped Oreos or the cookie of your choice. Fold them in when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.

Cookie Dough Ice Cream

The cheater way to make this is to buy a tube of prepared cookie dough at the supermarket, coarsely chop into bite size or smaller pieces, fold in 1/2 – 1 cup when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.  Cookie doughs are easy to make and there are tons of recipes on the web.  Here is one from David Lebovitz’s traditional ice cream recipe that should work fine.

Cookie Dough

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Combine the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Stir in the flour until incorporated, then add the vanilla and chocolate chips.
  3. Shape into a 1/2 inch thick disk, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate until firm.
  4. Chop dough into small bite size pieces and fold in 1/2 – 1 cup when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.
  5. Bake a few cookies with what is left over.


Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Take 1/2 – 1 cup of chocolate chips or your favorite chocolate bar coarsely chopped, and fold in when the whipped cream and condensed milk are combined.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Actually this will work for just about any fruit. If using frozen fruit, let thaw first.

  1. Puree chopped fruit in a blender until smooth. Use enough fruit to end up with about a cup.
  2. Remove and add back to the blender one half cup of puree. Save the other half to use as a topping when the ice cream is served.
  3. Depending on how sweet you want your ice cream, add to the blender between one cup and one full 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Pulse until well combined. This will also add a little air to the mix.
  4. In a medium size bowl whip to stiff peaks, 2 cups of heavy cream.
  5. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk until combined.
  6. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.

There are a number of ways to intensify fruit flavors.

Use a full cup of fruit. Unfortunately this will add a lot of additional water to the mix, which will probably give you an icy ice cream using this technique. I haven’t tried this, so if you do, please let me know how it works out. Adding a 1 teaspoon of vodka might solve the problem.

Add a teaspoon or less, just a little bit, of the same flavor jam to your mix. Many ice cream makers will view this as heresy. BTW try this when making milkshakes.

Add a drop or two of a complimentary, organic extract or essential oil. Frontier makes a nice strawberry flavor extract. Again use just a tiny bit.

Chocolate Ice Cream

This such a huge topic and this post is getting way to long. Here is one simple suggestion for making a basic chocolate ice cream with this base. This one uses cocoa powder. Every cocoa powders tastes significantly different. Experiment. I currently use Penzey’s Natural Cocoa powder. It is a very strong, dark chocolate and even though I really like it, I’m using it primarily because my spouse bought a bag for her own baking when ordering spices. You might like a lighter version or a milk chocolate.

Use either the original vanilla recipe or the one I describe above but use either half a vanilla bean or one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

In step 2 of the Vanilla recipe above whisk in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Proceed with that recipe.

If you like dark chocolate ice cream, I recommend adding a shot of espresso or other dark coffee. Which leads me to, last but not least…

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

As with the Vanilla-Cardomom above, I think this is an amazing Ice Cream. The idea is from David Leibovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. If anything begs to be turned into an ice cream it has to be Vietnamese Iced Coffee. For those of you who haven’t tasted one before, it consists of very strong coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk and half and half or cream, served over ice. Very strong, very sweet. Sound familiar?

  1. Pour between 1 cup and one entire 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into a medium size bowl.
  2. Whisk in up to 1/2 cup of brewed espresso or dark, strong coffee.
  3. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and refrigerate for an hour or so until the cream is cold.
  4. Once cold, in another medium bowl whip two cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold whipped cream and any mix-ins into the condensed milk until the color of the mixture is uniform.
  6. Pour into a 9 x 5 baking pan (1.5 quart freezer read container), cover and freeze for at least 4 hours.


Well the above should get you started. I would love to here from you in the comments below if you try this method.


Vegan Carrot Cake Ice Cream


I love carrot cake and once bought a large piece with the intention of cutting it up and adding it vanilla ice cream near the end of churning. But having no willpower, I ended up eating the whole piece (with enthusiastic help from my girlfriend) before it made it anywhere near an ice cream maker. I will do this at some point, as I know from experience that this works well with pie and should work equally well with cake. Break up and use around a cup per quart and you will end up with the least elegant, tastiest of desserts (assuming you use good pie or cake of course). It does not hard freeze very well, so its good to make before a dinner party.

Alisa Fleming’s is a “real” vegan ice cream version of carrot cake as it is made completely from scratch. It uses a very interesting and delicious set of ingredients, that should result in a very flavorful, completely vegan ice cream, with a dairy ice cream like texture. The only thing I might be tempted to experiment with is blending some or all of the carrots with the liquids instead of mixing in larger pieces during churning.

Go Dairy Free is an excellent website for non dairy recipes and information. Even if you are not a carrot cake fan you should check out the site.


Vegan Carrot Cake Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
carrots almond and coconut milks / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Butterfinger Ice Cream

Well its turned out to be candy week on For this recipe another favorite candy of my long, long, long, lost youth, the timeless, the God Only Knows What’s In It, the quik-crete of teeth, the Butterfinger. Personally I cant imagine a better candy ice cream flavor. And I have to hand it to Nicki on her blog Nicki’s Sweet Side, this woman has a sweet-tooth the size of Texas. In the recipe below you will find: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 a cup of sugar and 3, count-um 3 crushed Butterfingers. This my friends is one sweet ice cream – not that there’s anything wrong with that!

My version would lose the the sugar and the milk, use 2 Butterfingers, 1 can of condensed milk and 2 cups of cream and I think I would try blending one of the butterfingers with the cream. None of this implies criticism of the original recipe, (I mean just look at it, yum!) just a reflection of my more boring taste.


Butterfinger Ice Cream Recipe

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Butterfingers, sweetened condensed milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Chai Tea Ice Cream with Coconut Milk

This delicious vegan ice cream is a version of chai tea using coconut milk in place of cream. All the heady Indian spices you would expect are here: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and allspice. As noted towards the end of the post you need to replace the honey with agave, maple or other vegetarian syrup for the recipe to be vegan. For non-vegans the two cans of coconut creme could be replaces by 2 cups of cream and 1 of whole milk.

Kate of Cookie+Kate uses a little arrowroot starch as an ice crystal tamer, I used tapioca starch because that’s what I had on hand, and you can also use corn starch in the same qty. The arrowroot is a nice touch, I haven’t seen that before and Kate reports that this ice cream scoops nicely straight from the freezer and since it makes close to a quart and half of ice cream, this is no small thing. You can always make a half recipe of course.

Click here for the recipe details at Chai Coconut Ice Cream Recipe


Chai Tea Ice Cream Recipe with Coconut Milk

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chai tea, coconut milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Strawberry Banana Sorbet

If you develop the habit of reading a lot of recipes at some point you cross over into a place where you start appreciating the creativeness of a recipe as an end to itself, as opposed to simply being a set of instructions that result in a hopefully delicious food. This is one aspect of cooking connoisseurship that I think sneaks up on most people. Maybe this is an unintended consequence of connoisseurship in general, the gradual appreciation of things that you had no idea were even there to be appreciated. I think this is mostly a good thing, life is as much process as it is destination and anything that helps you experience and appreciate that is good. On the other hand cooking is about creating food that is delicious or at least satisfying in some way and hopefully that doesn’t get lost.

When you read a lot a cooking blogs like I do, there is yet another layer of connoisseurship you end up developing and that is for the creativeness and attention to detail people pay to their food blog designs. Some people (unfortunately not me!) present their recipes in a way that, to be cliche, is a truly a feast for your eyes. The photography and general design almost compels you to drop everything and start cooking whatever is in the post.

Well that was a long introduction to this sublimely smart and simple recipe for strawberry sorbet with sweet mini-paratha rolls. The recipe uses frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, sugar and a little yogurt and the results are fantastic. The little parathas match the sorbet perfectly. There is no way whoever you make this for won’t be blown away. You couldn’t ask for simpler recipes and you don’t even need an ice cream maker for the sorbet. Last but not least I really love this website. Check out how beautifully this recipe post is laid out and how inviting the photography is. Hopefully you will be as inspired to try making some as I was.

Thank you Lakshmi!

Click here for the recipe details for Strawberry Sorbet & Sweet Paratha on Pure Vege


Strawberry Banana Sorbet

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
straberries, banana, yogurt / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame seeds, almost akin to dark chocolate or French roast coffee, have a toastier, nuttier flavor than white sesame seeds and are a favorite in Asian desserts. If you own an ice cream machine this is one recipe you have to try. Nutty and cool, this dessert is luscious. […]


The above quote pretty much says it all. I love simple, single flavor, nut and spice ice creams, but until I came across this recipe by Patricia Tanumihardja, on of all places the Christian Science Monitor, making a sesame seed ice cream hadn’t occurred to me. Silly really. This is a very straightforward American style (egg-less) recipe with standard proportions of milk, cream and sugar. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar but you can use anywhere between 1/3 and 3/4 cups depending on how sweet you like your ice cream. Use the freshest sesame seeds you can of course, and make sure to grind them very fine or you might end up with a slightly gritty feeling dessert. Though in my opinion a little “texture” is what helps make something homemade.

Black Sesame Seed Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Black sesame seeds / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Coconut Cereal Milk Ice Cream


Cereal milk is one of those things people seem to love or roll their eyes at. Soak milk in Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms or Coco Crispies, whatever, until the milk absorbs the flavors and sugars and tastes like what was left at the bottom of your cereal bowl when you were 7 years old.  Honestly the first time I came across it, at the Momofuku Milk Bar in New York, it didn’t strike me as very appealing. I probably have been in the Milk Bar 50 times since (the egg and pork buns are fantastic!) and have never been tempted to order it.

Having said that, I think its use in this recipe is inspired. Cereal milk ice cream just seems like such an obvious and natural concoction. Especially since you can mix in some of the original cereal late in the churning process and/or sprinkle some on top when served.

Ashlee at OH Ladycakes has come up with something even more interesting; substituting coconut milk for dairy. I have been on a bit of a coconut milk ice cream kick lately so timing of finding her post was perfect for me.

This is a very simple vegan ice cream that I would suggest you try to eat right out of the maker or after only a few hours in the freezer.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream Recipe on OH Ladycakes

This recipe got me thinking about my favorite cereal as a kid. Royal Lunch Crackers broken up by hand into a bowl with milk poured over them. If you have never tried this and you are a cereal fan, you have to! They can be a bit difficult to find these days.



I bet this would make a tasty base for an ice cream, maybe with some honey or vanilla added in.

Coconut Cereal Milk Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Coconut cream, cereal milk / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

This recipe is based on one from Jeni Bauer’s cookbook, Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream. I cut the ingredients in half for what turned out to be a little less than a pint of ice cream. To be honest I wasn’t going to post about it because I was disappointed with how it came out. I thought it tasted too fatty and that the flavor of peanut butter completely overwhelmed everything else. Though I am a big fan of nut ice creams, peanuts are probably my least favorite nut.

The good news is that it turned out to make a fantastic milkshake. I used unsweetened soy milk and a little (1/4 teaspoon or so) vanilla extract, but I am sure any “milk” would work well. The soy milk cut the fat and brought out the toasted coconut flavor. I found it to be quite addicting. If you are a milkshake person I can recommend this ice cream highly. The other reason I’m posting this, is that I made a critical ingredient substitution based on what I had on hand, that I think is the primary reason for it coming out a little fatty. I used canned unsweetened coconut creme instead of the coconut milk the recipe calls for, so blame the chef not the recipe.

Even though Jeni references Pad Thai as her inspiration, I think of this as an ice cream version of a Thai peanut satay sauce. One change I did make was to add some untoasted shredded coconut, in addition to the toasted, in order to bring up the coconut flavor. You can play with the proportions of the peanut butter to coconut milk to change the flavor balance even more if you wish. They both are pretty high in fat, so I don’t think it would drastically alter the texture of the resulting ice cream whatever balance you chose. As usual I used less sugar, 1/2 cup instead of the called for 2/3 cup. So peanut fans and milk shake aficionados, here is the recipe as I made it, except that I am showing Jeni’s ingredient quantities, as halving them didn’t make quite enough.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
My version of Jeni Bauer's Bangkok Peanut Ice Cream
  • 1/1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, preferably fresh
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (not light)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
Toasted Coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F
  2. Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Turn and stir every minute or two so that the coconut browns evenly.
  4. Bake for about 7 minutes. You really need to watch this carefully, at least once a minute, because it will go from nicely browned to unusable very quickly.
Cornstarch Slurry
  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl until well combined.
Cream Cheese/Peanut Butter
  1. If you have a blender, add to it the cream cheese, peanut butter, salt and cayenne pepper. You don't need to combine them yet. If you don't wish to use a blender, whisk together ingredients in a medium heat proof bowl. Set aside.
Ice Bath
  1. Prepare an ice bath of ice cubes and water in a medium size bowl.
  1. Combine remaining milk, cream, coconut milk, sugar, corn syrup, and honey in a 4 quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil on medium heat and boil for 4 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and gradually mix in the corn starch slurry. You will probably have to mix up the slurry again before adding it.
  3. Put the mixture back on the burner and cook until thickened, about a minute or so.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the blender or bowl you have the cream cheese mix in and combine until smooth.
  5. Mix in the toasted and untoasted shredded coconut. If using a blender, just pulse a few time to combine.
  1. Pour the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag and immerse in the ice bath for 30 minutes. Add more ice to keep cold if you need to.
  1. Pour the ice cream into your ice cream maker and freeze.
  2. Store in a freezer proof container with a layer of cling wrap pressed down to the surface of the ice cream to remove air bubbles. Store for about 4 hours before serving.

One Ingredient Chocolate Mousse


OK so this isn’t an ice cream recipe, but this vegan chocolate mousse recipe is so neat and so spectacularly simple I couldn’t resist posting it.  Hey there is no reason you can’t serve it with ice cream!  By itself this has got to be the most nutritionally politically correct dessert yet created. It is Sugar-free, dairy-free, low-fat (well relatively speaking), heck bittersweet chocolate is good for you!

Created by a French molecular gastronomer (I want that on my business card!); here is the whole thing, ready? Take 265 grams / 9.4 ounces of bitter sweet chocolate and 1 cup of water combined over a medium heat, pour into a bowl sitting in an ice bath and whip with a whisk to add air for 3 minutes or until stiff. That is it.  Here is Melissa Clark’s video on the New York Times website.

and here is the associated article:

One Ingredient Chocolate Mousse by Melissa Clark on The New York Times Diner’s Journal


One Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chocolate, water / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 10 min
Freeze Time: 13 min
Total Time: 23 min

Frozen Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Angela on Oh She Glows describes this recipe as kind of her healthy homage to the Dairy Queen Blizzard. If I was Dairy Queen I would be worried. This has all the taste and gratification of it’s inspiration and then some! Plus it really is much healthier and very low fat. I have been on a bit of a frozen banana ice cream jag this week, but what can I say, it makes a great base for dairy-free, and all the way vegan ice creams; as this recipe is.

Angela’s inspired variation is a very nice, raw chocolate chip cookie dough, that she both blends into the base and forms into delicious little balls that get added to the finished ice cream when served. As you might expect, the ice cream itself has a soft serve consistency and probably should be made and served right away. I’m not sure how well it will hard freeze in your freezer.

Though there is no such thing as an ice cream kids don’t love, this strikes me as one that would go over big time and be healthy to boot.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ‘Blizzard’ Recipe on On She Glows


Frozen Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
frozen bananas, chocolate chip cookie dough / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 15 min
Total Time: 45 min

Nutella Banana Ice Cream for Kids of All Ages

I have to stop using the expression the simplest ice cream recipe in the world because inevitably the next day I find one even simpler. But this surprisingly tasty, non-dairy, egg-less, no ice cream maker required, two ingredient, banana ice cream has to be getting close to the edge of simplicity. Unless someone has a magic spell for conjuring up a hot fudge sundae out of thin air or for instantly freezing cream, I am going to say this the simplest ice cream recipe in the world! Oh wait you can instantly freezing cream using the liquid nitrogen method, doah! Well if you have a magic spell to share please post it in the comments below.

Bethany Taylor on From My Kitchen to Yours has a serious sweet tooth and you can read how to make this neat little recipe there.

Something Simply Sweet on From My Kitchen to Yours

One variation I would try, is to add a little cold heavy cream in the mixing process; not much, maybe a tablespoon or two, just to add some dairy flavor. Greek yogurt, sour cream or non-dairy milks would work also. If this appeals to you add it a little bit at a time so that you don’t end up with soup. If you do, no worries, add even more and its Nutella banana milkshake time!

A last thought, as I indicate in the title, I think kids would love to be involved in making this recipe. The magic of bananas turning into ice cream can’t help but be fun and surprising to them.

Banana Nutella Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
bananas, nutella / 1 cup

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream


This is my current favorite recipe for strawberry ice cream. It is based on Jeni Bauer’s Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream recipe in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Here are the changes I have made to the original recipe:

  • Reduced the total amount of sugar by 1/3 cup from 1 cup to 2/3 cup.
  • Replaced the 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup sour cream.
  • Increased the amount of Strawberry puree added to 3/4 cup up from 1/2 cup.
  • Added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

The resulting ice cream, I am happy to say, retains that great texture of Jeni’s, even after freezer hardened. The reduction in sugar is compensated for by the additional puree; less sweet, more strawberry flavor. The sour cream plays a similar role to the buttermilk in the original recipe, offsetting yet highlighting, the strawberries. Of course there isn’t any tang from the missing buttermilk and it isn’t at all sour from the sour cream. I am very pleased with it and I think you will be too.

One of the nice things about this recipe is that you end up with left over strawberry puree. It is fantastic spooned onto the ice cream when served or added to milkshakes. Strawberry sour cream ice cream makes one fantastic milkshake!


Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream
Posted By: 
Cuisine: ice cream
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
My current favorite strawberry ice cream. Based on Jeni Bauer's Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream recipe. Makes about a quart.
Roasted Strawberries
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced ½ inch thick
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Ice Cream Base
  • 11/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Ice Bath
-Strawberry Puree
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine the strawberries with ⅓ cup sugar in an 8 inch square baking dish.
  3. Roast for 10 minutes or until just soft.
  4. Puree the berries in a blender with lemon juice.
  5. Measure out ¾ cup of the puree and add it back to the blender. Refrigerate the rest for another use.
-Ice Cream Base
  1. Add the cream cheese and sour cream to the strawberry puree in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons milk with the 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a small bowl. Mix together well.
  3. Pre-chill the container you will storing the finished ice cream in, in your freezer.
  1. Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottom, 3.5 to 4 quart saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring with a heat-proof spatula.
  3. Reduce the heat, remix the cornstarch slurry and add it to the saucepan. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. With the blender on a low setting pour in the milk mixture though the lid hole, add the vanilla extract, and blend until combined, about 15 seconds.
  1. Pour the mixture into a one gallon Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into the ice bath. Let stand for about 30 minutes until the mixture is cold.
  1. Freeze in your ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions. It should take about 20 - 30 minutes.
  1. Store in a freezer ready container. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper or cling-wrap right against the surface of the ice cream before closing the container. Store in the coldest part of your freezer for 4 hours before serving.




Sweetened Condensed Milk Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream

This is an easy as can be recipe, that makes one pint of silky smooth, sweet, homemade vanilla ice cream without eggs. Just combine the ingredients in a blender and freeze in your ice cream maker. On the other hand I suspect (note suspect, I haven’t actually tried this yet), that an ice cream maker might not even be required. Just mix everything together, store in your freezer, stir once an hour for the first few hours, and in 4 hours or so you will have ice cream. In that scenario you might need to use heavy cream rather than half and half, but this remains to be seen.  Another no ice cream maker required method, especially if you dont want to wait hours, would be to make it using the Ziploc bag method described here.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream
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Total time: 
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream, or milk and heavy cream as you desire.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
  1. Grind the cardamom seeds in spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Freshly ground cardamom explodes with flavor!
  2. Add half and half and cardamom to the blender.
  3. Open condensed milk can with a can opener and pour into a blender. It is much easier to use a spatula and scoop out the whole can with the entire top removed.
  4. Blend the mix until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  5. If you have a built-in freezer/compressor ice cream maker add the mix to it and freeze. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. If you have a freezer canister model. Pre-chill using one of these methods.
  7. Eat and/or store in a freezer proof container in your freezer. This ice cream stores quite well, getting a little harder in texture but still remaining soft and easy to scoop.


Serving Suggestions

Because it is so sweet, a scoop of this ice cream goes amazingly well with anything based on dark chocolate.  For example, it is a perfect side to a slice of flour-less chocolate cake.


Notes and Variations

I should sub-title this recipe the simplest ice cream base in the world because really that is what it is. You can see how easy the basic foundation of half condensed milk and half cream/milk is to experiment with. Depending on the strength of the flavors you want to add, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of any spice could be used in place of the cardamom. Up to 1/4 cup of a fruit puree or chocolate or caramel syrup are other possibilities. Keep in mind that even without added sugar this is a very sweet ice cream, so flavors that balance that are the way to go. Melting a 1/2 once of bittersweet chocolate in half of the half and half before combining is good example.

Update 4/14/13

A recent version of this ice cream that worked out well,  used these ingredient quantities. It has a nice texture, is just sweet enough for me and freezes fairly well.

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

2 cups of heavy cream

2 cups of whole milk

1 Tablespoon of cornstarch

1 vanilla bean

1 Tablespoon freshly ground cardamom

In this variation I cooked the base by bringing the heavy cream, milk vanilla bean and cardamom to boil for 4 minutes.
Took the pot off the burner for a moment while I stirred in the cornstarch which had been earlier dissolved into 1/4 cup of the milk.
Then I Cooked the mix for around a minute until it thickened from the corn starch.
Then I added it directly to my compressor ice cream maker to churn.
If you are using a freezer canister ice cream maker you need to chill the mix first.


Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream

Cardamom has been one of my favorite spices lately and I have been trying it in all kinds of foods. I decided it would be fun to use it as a strong second flavor in a chocolate ice cream. Then I remembered a fantastic chocolate chip cookie I ate at a little coffee shop in Park Slope, Brooklyn last year. It not only contained cardamom but also some chili pepper which gave it some heat The combination worked beautifully.

My recipe is based on Jeni Bauer’s Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World. In addition to freshly ground cardamom seed, I added ground chipotle pepper which adds a smoky heat to the flavor. The major change to the recipe, besides the additional spices, is that I don’t add any sugar to the chocolate syrup, so in my version it is more of a ganache. Also the original recipe has a full cup of sugar in it, mine only a half cup.

This recipe makes about a 2/3 quart of ice cream.

Prep time: 
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Chocolate Ganache
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup coffee (I used espresso)
  • 1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (55%+ cacao)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (other ground chili peppers can be substituted)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/12 (3 tablespoons) cream cheese (Organic Valley or better if possible).
Ice Cream Base
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • 1 1 gallon Ziploc bag
  • Ice Bath
  • Freezer proof storage container/s pre-chilled in your freezer.
Make the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Prepare bittersweet chocolate by finely grating it. A serrated steak or bread knife is good for this.
  2. Prepare cocoa powder by sifting it.
  3. Brew the coffee or espresso and add it while hot to a small saucepan on low heat.
  4. Mix in the chili powder, salt and a big pinch of the cardamom.
  5. Add ¼ cup of the heavy cream.
  6. Add cream cheese.
  7. When mixture is well combined and warm whisk in the cocoa powder. I use a fork rather than a whisk.
  8. When mixture is well combined, add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the Ice Cream Base
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Combine the rest of the milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and cardamom in a 4 quart, heavy bottomed, saucepan.
  3. Bring to a rolling boil for 4 minutes.
  4. Remix the corn starch slurry and whisk it into the milk mixture.
  5. Lower the heat and cook for a minute, stirring with a heatproof spatula until thickened.
  6. When you can coat the spatula with the mixture, run a finger through it and leave a clear trail that doesn't immediately fill back in, the mix is ready. Remove from heat.
  7. Add the chocolate sauce to the mixture, whisking to incorporate. It the syrup is difficult to remove from the pan stir some of the hot milk mixture into it first.
  8. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Chill the Mix
  1. Prepare an Ice bath in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the mix into the Ziploc bag.
  3. Gently lower the bag into the ice bath, removing the air in the bag until you get near the top and can seal it.
  4. Spread the mix into a thin layer around the bag and keep it submerged until the mixture is cold. About 30 minutes.
  5. For other pre-chilling alternatives click here.
Freeze the Mix.
  1. Pour the mix into your ice cream maker. It is easiest to cut off a corner of the bag and pour it from there rather than through the top.
  2. Freeze as per manufacturers instructions.
Harden the Ice Cream
  1. Scoop ice cream into the pre-chilled storage container/s.
  2. Press down a piece of cling film over the ice cream to remove any air (optional).
  3. Seal and store in your freezer for at least a few hours before serving.


Notes and Variations

I am pleased to report that my girlfriend and primary customer, was blown away by this ice cream when made as recorded in the recipe. Never one to leave well enough alone however, these are some of things I will probably experiment with next time.

  • I think I will try cutting back the spice amounts to 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. I would like to get the slight burn left by the pepper in the finish down a little. Also though I like the very strong cardamom flavor, but I’m curious about what will happen with the balance tipped more towards the chocolate and coffee.
  • I’m tempted to add some finely grated chocolate, maybe 1/4 cup, into the mix towards the end of churning.
  • I purposely did not strain out the crushed cardamom seeds before chilling because I wanted that occasional blast of spice. You may not want this.
  • Using 1/2 cup of sugar rather than the called for 1 cup did not noticeably hurt the texture of the ice cream and resulted in just the right amount of sweetness to my taste.



Now that I have made this a few times, here are some more notes.

As I am currently making it, this is a drastically dense, dark chocolate ice cream. It is more an Ice Fudge than an Ice Cream.

I have cut the spices back to what I suggested above 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black cardamom seeds and 1/8 teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper. Additionally I am using (from Whole Foods) Organic Valley cream cheese, milk and heavy cream, and Dagoba unsweetened chocolate for baking. Cocoa powder is Penzey’s Spices Natural High Fat Cocoa.

Now for the bad part. As I have currently laid out the steps, this is without a doubt the messiest ice cream recipe I have yet to make. Your kitchen will look like a chocolate bomb went off in it. The chocolate sauce is very, very thick and combining it with the dairy mix is not pretty. The resulting combined mix is like a very thick pudding that does not want to go into or come out the pre-chilling Ziploc bag willingly. Lastly it since it is so rich in fats, clean up takes lots of soap and water.

I am going to try a few things differently next time. First I’m not going to make a separate chocolate sauce. After cooking and thickening the dairy/cornstarch mix I am going to add the chocolate sauce ingredients directly to it, one at a time and gradually incorporate them over a very low heat. I will add the cream cheese, then the baking chocolate, then the cocoa.

I think Im going to either add more milk or use 2%.  Not that the current fudginess isnt interesting or tasty, but it is a bit to much of a good thing.  If you want to serve something that is sure to get a reaction from your friends, make it as is.

For this one recipe I am not going to use a Ziploc bag for prechilling. Either I will put the pot right into the Ice bath directly or use flat rectangular Pyrex dish, not sure yet. I think given how much heat this thick mix retains it is important to pre-chill it. On the other hand there is so much fat in it, maybe it isn’t needed at all. With a compressor ice cream maker it might make the most sense to just let it cool down on off the stove for 10 minutes and then go right into your machine.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Vegan coconut milk ice cream recipes are good alternatives to ones based on dairy products in frozen desserts for a whole slew of reasons. Let me quote from:

Top 10 Alternatives to Cow’s Milk on

Coconut milk is a very creamy, dairy-free alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or allergic to animal milk. Those who subscribe to the low-carb lifestyle often prize coconut milk for it’s minimal starch content. A vegan drink, it is also soya-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and nut-free while its fat content is considered to a ‘good fat’, easily metabolised by the body and quickly turned into energy rather than being stored as fat. Coconut milk is also rich in lauric acid, a substance also found in human milk, which researchers have shown have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Unlike other nut or plant milks, the saturated fat content of coconut milk is significant at five grams per serving, so drink it in moderation.

What I really enjoyed about this post by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan on The Kitchn blog, was its sheer joie de vivre or should I say joie d’expérimenter. Set some extreme starting rules and see what you can come up with that stays within them, still resembles ice cream, and of course tastes good. In this case, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar; pretty extreme wouldn’t you agree? Well Sarah came through with a spectacularly simple combination of coconut milk, inherently sweet fruit and vegetable juices, and corn starch. Talk about versatile and tasty. In the post she tries different combinations of beet juice, apples, celery, carrots, pears, ginger; just about anything you would use in your juicer. Read the recipes here:

3-ingredient-healthy-ice-cream at the The Kitchn blog

Not that the recipes need it, especially if eaten right from your ice cream maker, but one direction I might go if experimenting, would be to add ingredients to try to smooth out the texture further and keep it softer when stored in the freezer. Maybe a tablespoon or two of an appropriate liqueur or vodka. Also you have to wonder what you could come up with using a really good juice recipe book as the basis for more flavors to try.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Coconut Milk / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min

How to Make Ice Cream In a Bag with Kids

I want to say up front that I haven’t tried this recipe myself yet.  But I have gotten so many requests for it along the lines of “Have you heard about making ice cream in a bag?” or “My kids made ice cream in a Ziploc bag at school.” that I decided to go ahead and post this.  As you will see its a very simple process and I have it on good authority that kids love the simple magic of it.  Each Ziploc bag makes a cup of ice cream (2 servings).  I can see this as a fun kid’s party activity. Though come to think of it 15 kids and liquids hmm…   PLEASE NOTE STEP 5:  This mixture gets very, very cold while freezing.


Since I have published this I have gotten feedback from friends that this technique works quite well. See the videos at the end of the post. If you don’t have an ice cream maker I urge you to try this method. You should be able to make up to pint of any recipe on this site with no difficulty especially if you use rock salt rather than table salt.


  • 1 quart size, freezer ready, Ziploc bag
  • 1 gallon size, freezer ready, Ziploc bag
  • 3/4 cups of table salt. Rock or Kosher works even better.
  • 2 cups of ice


  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Add all the ingredients to the quart Ziploc bag.  Try to remove some of the air and seal it securely. Mix the ingredients together by gently shaking and rocking the bag.  “Gentle” may want to be emphasized here.
  2. Add the ice into the gallon ziplocTM bag.
  3. Add the salt (sodium chloride) to the bag of ice.
  4. Place the sealed ice cream bag inside the gallon bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon bag securely.
  5. Gently rock the gallon bag from side to side. It’s best to hold it by the top seal or to have gloves or a cloth between the bag and your hands because the bag will be cold enough to damage your skin.
  6. Keep rocking for between 10-15 minutes at which point the mixture should have solidified into ice cream.
  7. Serve. This is a no lose activity because at worst you will end up with a vanilla “milk shake” and happy kids irregardless of how solid the ice cream actually ends up getting.

Why it works.

Ice needs energy to melt, to phase change from a solid to a liquid.  It draws that energy out of the ice cream mix (and little hands if they aren’t holding the bag by the zipper seam!) causing it to get cold. Adding salt to the ice lowers it’s temperature of freezing so that even more energy than usual is needed to get it to melt.  This cause the ice to get colder and draw out more energy, faster from the ice cream mixture causing it to freeze.

This recipe is based on one by  , in the Science Projects section of   You can read the full post here.


My friends Kristi and Alex decided to try this out with their son Max and as you can see from the short iPhone videos below the process works as advertised. They doubled the recipe and added some thawed out frozen strawberries. I don’t see why you couldn’t make any recipe on this website using this method.

Max tumbling the ice cream while it freezes.

The moment of truth.

Enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Lemon Frozen Kefir

Clotilde DuSoulier at Chocolate and Zucchini entitles her post, and very refreshing and delicious recipe “Lemon Kefir Ice Cream” I hope she will forgive me for dropping the Ice Cream part. Not so much for accuracy (who cares really), but because I have been neglecting my frozen yogurt recipes section and kefir is close enough. 🙂

This is a very simple, low fat recipe that, as Clotilde points out, has numerous delicious substitution possibilities. For example, any citrus fruit in place of lemons. She uses Meyer Lemon, The Queen of the Lemon Family. I know this to be a fact, as the tree in my backyard reminds me copiously twice a year. You can use other fermented milks, buttermilk, or yogurt instead of kefir is you wish. Any sweetener you would like can take the place of agave syrup: Honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, or mix of all the above, etc.. And finally a splash of Limoncello or other alcoholic flavoring of your choice would not be out of order.

Lemon Kefir Ice Cream at the Chocolate & Zucchini Blog.

Lemon Frozen Kefir

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Meyer Lemons, Kefir / 1 pint

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

Strawberry Ice Cream with Red Wine Vinegar

Admit it, the “with red wine vinegar” part is why you are reading this right? Vinegar in Ice Cream!? Actually it is an inspired idea and should work very well, both intensifying and brightening the strawberry flavor. This and the use of condensed milk was enough to convince me. There were a couple of things that threw me at first. Combining sweetened condensed milk with 3/4 cup of sugar means the result is going to be VERY sweet. And using an entire teaspoon of salt in a quart of ice cream is a little unusual. The recipe is from a renowned San Francisco Ice Cream shop named Humphry Slocombe which I definitely plan on visiting the next time I’m there. I confirmed with these guys that the sugar and salt quantities are correct. Also that it would be ok to reduce the added sugar to 1/2 cup.

Sophisticated Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe at

Strawberry Ice Cream with a hint of Red Wine

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Strawberries, Red Wine / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min

Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary Ice Cream with Hot Lemon Syrup

First off I know this image is gigantic, but I don’t care, I love that old metal ice cream can.

I’m always on the look out for interesting lemon recipes because I have a Meyer Lemon tree that keeps on giving, a giant, bad hair day, rosemary bush and fresh ginger in house, most of which ends up going bad and getting replaced in an ongoing entropy feedback loop. When I ran across Katie’s recipe I knew I had to try it. I am happy to report it tastes as good as it looks.

Normally I would just link you over to recipe at this point, but I thought it might be helpful to list the ingredients in American quantity equivalents.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Juice 4 lemons
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, very finely grated

Note: The above will (i think) be less sweet than Katie’s version as castor sugar is finer than American granulated sugar. But I tend to cut back on the sugar used in most recipes.


Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary Ice Cream Recipe with Hot Lemon Syrup at the What Katie Ate blog.

Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary Ice Cream with Hot Lemon Syrup

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Lemon, Ginger and Rosemary / 1 1/2 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 35 min
Total Time: 55 min

Heather Honey Ice Cream

My girlfriend has a friend and colleague who with her husband, keep bees in their back yard. Tampa may not be the densest of cities, but the area they live in is a beautiful old streetcar suburb where the craftsman style houses are pretty close together. The bees don’t seem to mind. If anything the neighbors for blocks around conveniently provide lots of flowering plants to keep them both busy and content. I’m telling you all this because I don’t think I ever really tasted honey until I had some fresh from their hives.

This story is yet another example of how the long shelf life, mass farmed foods we buy in the grocery stores are zombies of what they started out as. Rather than gold colored sugar syrup, this honey had complexity and depth of flavor the way a great wine does, the extent to which I wouldn’t have believed beforehand. So I know this super simple recipe (4 ingredients) made with a great honey will produce an absolutely killer ice cream. If you can use local farm bought fresh milk and cream, Holy Cow!

Heather Honey Ice Cream at the 101 Cookbooks Blog

Heather Honey Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Honey / .75 quart

Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 40 min

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You Will Ever Eat

So this is quite a claim is it not? Cenk, the food blogger behind Cafe Fernando is a big time, serious, foodie chocoholic. So don’t take his boast lightly. When you visit his website you will be impressed.

Some interesting things about this recipe:

  • It uses a sweetened condensed milk base, which the more I experiment with, the more I am thinking of as a completely seperate category of true ice creams. The textural qualities it creates are unique.
  • No additional sugar is used so all the sweetness comes from the condensed milk.
  • This should be obvious, but you will want to use the highest quality bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder you can.
  • You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this ice cream! However by all means use your machine if you want to serve it more quickly.
  • I don’t know about it being THE BEST, but the reward for effort ratio is very high. It is a simple recipe that results in great ice cream.
  • As Cenk points our do not use more than 2 tablespoons of American corn starch which is different in action from the Turkish version he used.

The Best and Creamiest Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have Recipe at Cafe Fernando

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You Will Ever Eat

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Chocolate / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 30 min
Freeze Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour

Mark Bittman’s World’s Simplest Ice Cream Base

NY Times

Mark Bittman, The New York Times resident foodie and cook has come up with what has to be one of the easiest of all cooked ice cream bases. A basic corn starch base that is simple both in ingredients and in preparation. If you want to make a fast ice cream that is still better than anything you can buy at the supermarket this is the way to go. Plus as he notes in the article you can make this as low fat as you want or need to based on the type of milk or cream you use

Corn Starch Ice Cream Base

Mark Bittman's World's Simplest Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Corn Starch Ice Cream Base Makes 1 Pint
  • 2½ cups light cream, half-and-half or milk (whole or skim), or a combination. You can also substitute buttermilk or yogurt for half (1¼ cups) the mixture.
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch.
  1. In a small bowl blend ½ cup of milk mixture with cornstarch so there are no lumps.
  2. Add the remaining 2 cups of the milk/cream mixture, the sugar and salt to a saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, split it and scrape in the seeds and then add the pod to the pan, if not don't add the vanilla extract now. Cook over a medium low heat until mixture begins to steam.
  3. Remove the vanilla pods and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring until it starts to thicken and just begins to boil. Reduce the heat to very low and stir for another 5 minutes or so until thick.
  4. Take off the heat, stir in vanilla extract if using instead of a bean.
  5. If the mixture has any noticeable lumps, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. If you are not using an ice cream machine with a built in freezing condenser, pour custard into a bowl and refrigerate until cold. This will usually take a couple of hours but here are some options.
  6. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Go to the original recipe for a short list of flavor variations

Corn Starch Ice Cream on the New York Times

A Video of Mr. Bittman preparing the base.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Desserts for Breakfast


Pumpkin ice cream is one of my favorite fall flavors. You have to do something with all that pumpkin puree left over from pie making. The addition of cream cheese in this recipe is genius. Cream cheese not only adds its own characteristic taste which is a perfect compliment to the other flavors in this recipe; but helps improve the smoothness of any ice cream. I would consider serving it with gingersnaps as essential.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe at Desserts for Breakfast
It would be interesting to replace the sour cream with butter milk. Also an egg custard base might be very nice in this recipe. How about an egg custard base with an entire pumpkin pie chopped up and added during churning?!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Pumpkin/span> / 3/4 quart
Mix Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze Time: 25 min
Total Time: 45 min

Super Simple Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Mangos are one of my favorite fruits and they make a delicious frozen yogurt flavor that is very easy to make. The hard part is driving to a store that sells Greek yogurt. If you don’t have one near you don’t despair. You can simply use regular yogurt and strain it through some cheesecloth for a couple of hours ahead of time to end up with that same dense consistency.

Super Simple Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Mango Frozen Yogurt Recipe
  • Frozen Yogurt Base
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (preferably whole milk). Try to use a high quality brand ie. Seven Star's, Nancy's etc..
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (preferably non or low fat)
  • If you can't find Greek yogurt strain 2 cups of regular yogurt through cheese cloth (even a paper towel in a colander works) for a couple of hours to dense it up.
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Flesh of 2 Mangoes
  1. Slice flesh off of mangoes and puree in a blender or food processor.
  2. Whisk together well, all the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Process in your ice cream maker as per manufacturer's instructions.


This recipe makes around a quart and a half of frozen yogurt. Feel free to cut everything in half if that’s to much.

Some complimentary flavors, alone or in combination, that should work well are:

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint

Jeni Britton Bauer’s Ice Cream Base

To make great ice cream you need to start with a great base recipe that you can then build on with additional flavors. I first read about Ms Bauer’s in Saveur magazine and her base is one that I use regularly. I was put off from trying it for a while because of her use of cornstarch and (horrors!) corn syrup. Boy was that a huge mistake! For one thing the light corn syrup she uses is not the same as the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas. Most importantly, for philadelphia-style, eggless bases, it doesn’t get any better than this one.

The most amazing distinguishing quality of Jeni’s base is its texture. Smooth, grain free and slightly chewy, with an inherent warmth that allows you to bite into it without it being so cold as to hurt your teeth. And it melts in your mouth in that perfect lush wave of dairy creaminess which is what ice cream is all about. Her’s are the only ice creams I make that I prefer eating after hardening for a few hours in my freezer, as opposed to right out of the ice cream maker. That time and additional freezing very noticeably locks in the texture. Unlike most homemade ice creams this recipe stores well and scoops out like a dream.

No ice cream recipe is for everyone (what fun would that be?) so let me point out a few aspects that I have read people having issues with. Some people find the cheesecake component really stands out in flavor, and either find it distractingly strong or just don’t like it.  Try to use a very high quality cream cheese (she recommends Organic Valley). If you are concerned this will be a problem for you, just leave it out. The recipe will be less smooth but cream cheese is not a deal breaker. Some people also claim the taste of corn starch is overwhelming to them. Though my natural inclination is to think this is a figment of their imagination, the fact is the range of what people taste is surprisingly broad so who is to say.  I don’t taste corn starch in the final product.

One issue that I do notice is that with 3/4 cups of sugar and two tablespoons of light corn syrup this is a very sweet ice cream base. Not unusually so, many ice creams use a full cup of sugar. To sweet for my personal taste. Jeni says you can reduce the the amount of sugar by two tablespoons but no more. Honestly I reduce it by 4 tablespoons (using 1/2 cup of sugar rather than 2/3 cup) and yes it degrades the texture a small, but noticeable amount. Life is compromise. I would suggest you try making the original recipe (below) to the letter before making any changes.

The last thing I want to point out is that you need a good 3.5 or 4 quart saucepan or pot that conducts heat evenly. Jeni has you bring the milk and cream mixture to a rolling boil for 4 minutes in order to reduce out some of the water in the mixture. If you use one with a thin metal base, you are much more likely to get some burnt milk sticking to the base. I use an enameled cast iron Le Crueset style soup pot as it totally avoids this issue. The downside is that it is heavy and doesn’t have a lip. Whatever you use, try to set the heat of your burner low as you can and still bring the mixture to a boil.


  • Use Organic Valley cream cheese or better.
  • Harden the ice cream in your freezer for at least a few hours for the best texture.
  • Use the best quality ingredients you can. If you can get local, fresh milk and cream you will taste it.
Jeni Britton Bauer's Ice Cream Base
Posted By: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of cornstarch
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp. (1.5 ounces) cream cheese, softened (10 seconds in a microwave will do it.)
  • 1 Heavy duty 1 gallon ziploc freezer bag. Or a flat heatproof tupperware or rubbermaid style container that seals tightly and can hold a quart of liquid. The freezer bag works the fastest but can be a little messy when emptying.
  • A large bowl with a tray or two worth of ice and water in it.
  1. In a small bowl, stir together a few tablespoons of milk and the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set aside.
  2. Place the cream cheese and salt in heat proof bowl or pitcher big enough to handle the full quart of mixture. Ideally this would have a pouring spout and and handle to make your life easier and would be non metallic so you can microwave the cream cheese for 10 seconds to soften it.
  3. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Boil for 4 minutes; give the corn starch slurry a remix and stir it into the pot.
  5. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about a minute. Coat the back of a spoon with the mixture and run a finger through it. If the track left by your finger doesn't immediately fill back with the mixture it is thick enough.
  6. Pour in ¼ cup hot milk mixture into your cream cheese bowl whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk mixture.
  7. Pour mixture into the ziploc bag or container. Seal, and submerge it in a bowl of ice and water until chilled. This takes about 30 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. It is a little less messy if you cut off one of the bottom corners of the bag and pour the mix out through that.
  9. Process according to manufacturer's instructions.
  10. Transfer ice cream to a storage container and freeze until set. At least a few hours. This step is essential to fully lock in the perfect texture Jeni as conjured into this recipe.

Maple Syrup Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Pecans

You see a lot more ice cream these days with a savory flavor component, especially salt. My dad’s favorite ice cream flavor was maple walnut and this variation with pecans is one that I am looking forward to trying. It combines maple syrup and one of our favorite bases by Jeni Britton Bauer, of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus Ohio, with salty pecans. Yikes! Though I think I’m going to try a variation with an egg custard base and probably fold in the pecans while freezing. As you can see in the image the Putney family serves them on top. Also if you can, try and find grade B or C maple syrup to use. They are much more intensely maple flavored.

Click here for recipe on

Maple Syrup Ice Cream with Salty Buttered Pecans

Primary Ingredients/Quantity:
Maple Syrup, Pecans / 1 quart

Mix Prep Time: 40 min
Mix Pre-Chill Time: 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on method.
Freeze Time: 20 min
Total Time: 1 hour 30 min