Unusual Ice Cream Recipes


Here’s a little round-up of some of the inspiring (and unusual) ice cream flavors that folks have been churning up…

Brian goes nuts with Gianduja Gelato.

Clotilde goes for simplicity with her lightning-fast Super Simple Nutella Ice Cream.

Deb’s Butterscotch Ice Cream looks scooper-duper!

Ricotta and Honey Ice Cream from Melissa sounds like a perfect match for the summer fruits just around the corner.

The Kitchn takes a whirl with my Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream.

Le Bernardin’s pastry chef Michael Laiskonis whips up Brown Butter Ice Cream.

Blueberry Basil Anise and Cinnamon Sorbet sounds like more than one mouthful.

Jessica find it takes two to tango in a Mango Tangelo Sorbet.

Keiko and her White Sesame Ice Cream with Molasses Swirl will have you swirling with pleasure.

Gracias to Nicky and Oliver for Helado de Cajeta.

Elise’s Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream would make any Girl Scout green with envy.

Something’s a-brewin’ with Heidi’s Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream.

Shuna scrapes up Yogurt Granita.

Rhubarb and Raspberry Ice Pops are popping up at Béa’s.

A luscious White Chocolate-Matcha Ice Cream comes out of Jaden’s steamy kitchen.

Mighty Foods’ Agave Frozen Yogurt looks mighty good.

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  • March 31, 2008 6:40am

    I am still waiting for you to come up with a home version of fior di latte gelato, my favorite. Fior di latte is a high quality cow’s mozzarella and the gelato is lovely.

  • Eileen
    March 31, 2008 8:21am

    I plan to dust off my ice cream maker and go down this list!

  • March 31, 2008 9:01am

    Eileen: There’s a few I want to try, too.

    Judith: I have a recipe for Fleur de lait in my ice cream book (page 133), which is made like Sicilian gelato. Never had a gelato made with mozzarella, though.

    We expect a full report if you attempt it!

  • March 31, 2008 10:24am

    Hey, what timing! I didn’t realize my sorbet would get publicized today — I just wanted to show it to ya. That mango tangelo combination really is refreshingly tart and tasty though, I must admit.

  • March 31, 2008 10:54am

    Even though I’m quite in love with your Milk Chocolate-Guinness Ice Cream, gianduja will always be my all-time favorite. Time to haul the ice cream maker out!

  • March 31, 2008 11:48am

    I was going to take a class this summer. And I was going to be working as close to full-time as possible.

    Instead I’m dropping out of my M.A. program, and quit my jobs, to make all the ice creams. Darn you!

  • michele
    March 31, 2008 12:58pm

    Love your ice cream cookbook. Your pear carmel ice cream is yummy. My son is allergic to dairy, soy, eggs and nuts. Is there any ice cream I could make with Rice milk?

  • March 31, 2008 2:26pm

    Check out all of Mercedes amazing ice cream flavors that she made last August including avocado, olive oil, and sweet beet. Many of her recipes are adapted from your book. Link

  • Steve G
    March 31, 2008 3:46pm

    Since you started your list with two chocolate and nut ice creams, I just wanted to follow up my last comment about using nut butters in ice cream: Kettle Chips is now marketing nut butters, and they’re really tasty. I assume that means they could be available all over the US in Whole Foods and the various local equivalents soon, not just in my special San Francisco gourmet co-op.

    What I really mean with the above paragraph is, give us some of your secret nut butter ice cream recipes in your next book!

  • Brittany
    March 31, 2008 4:32pm

    OOh these sound so yummy!! I just made Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Sorbet this weekend. I think that’s the strangest one I’ve made to date but also one of my new favorites. :)

  • Nancy
    March 31, 2008 4:54pm

    I made your vanilla ice cream last night to go with poached peaches from DiCamillo’s. I sprinkled some crushed amaretti cookies on top and it was yummy!

  • March 31, 2008 4:58pm

    Brittany: Strawberries and balsamic are wonderful together, but one of my favorites is just a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream with aged balsamic drizzled over the top. What a treat!

    I had it a year or so ago when I went to Modena. It was so simple, yet so so-o-o-o good…

    Michele: I haven’t used rice milk since I’ve moved to France, since it’s not so common here. But I would imagine it would work fine in place of whole milk. For cream, you might want to try coconut milk in its place. Or use a combination of coconut milk and rice milk.

    (On another note, I had no idea they don’t recommend using soy in ice cream.)

  • March 31, 2008 7:16pm

    Oh David, it was snowing here last week! Thoughts of homemade ice cream are many months away. Or at least they were until I read this. Sigh…


  • Dana
    March 31, 2008 7:27pm

    When I initially bought “The Perfect Scoop,” the recipe that intrigued me most was Pear-Pecorino, but I have to admit that it wasn’t particularly successful. A friend who I gave a taste commented: “It tastes good at first, but then you taste the cheese.”

  • March 31, 2008 9:02pm

    I did a maple-coffee bacon ice cream I adapted from your book, and I did something fun with a new flavor, too — I did the vanilla custard, steeped some dried Persian limes in it, then removed them. After churning it, I added dried burberries that I’d soaked in brandy for an hour prior, so it’s a sweet, smoky vanilla ice cream with these tart little berries that *ping* in every bite. It’s really, really good.

  • April 1, 2008 10:02am

    My ice cream maker is beyond dusting off, so looks like I will have to buy one. I am on a buttermilk kick of late. Hopefully this will translate into a good ice cream. David, any ideas on flavors?

  • April 1, 2008 10:27am

    Kim: Try the Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet (pg 117 of my book, if you have it.) And there’s a funny story about my shock the first time I saw “real” buttermilk.

    Dana: Different cultures do like cheese in their ice cream (Mexicans come to mind). For that ice cream, I was influenced by the Italians and like the salty bits of Pecorino with the sweet pears. When I tested the recipe, that’s why they’re cut into little bits rather than grated; to preserve their uniqueness.

    But feel free to leave them out, or replace them with chopped candied nuts. Or try the Pear Caramel Ice Cream!

    Carol: That’s just crazy-talk. But I love the idea of dried limes on their own. They sound like they might be bitter. But if not, I’d probably snack on them rather than cook ’em.

  • April 1, 2008 10:32am

    I made a Dulce de Leche ice cream this week with your spiced nut recipe studded in it. It’s similar to your salted caramel ice cream (which we also love), but it’s not the same.

    At this point I love to make ice cream more than I love to eat it. Which is saying something.

  • April 1, 2008 11:05am

    I went to a dinner party on Sunday where the host made cilantro ice cream (to be placed on top of plantain muffins). It was surprisingly refreshing.

  • April 1, 2008 11:20am

    Lisa: I had an editor that hated cilantro so much, she carried a pair of tweezers in her purse to pluck out any of the offending leaves if any was served to her.

    Sounds like her worst nightmare!

  • Kathy
    April 1, 2008 1:02pm

    I recently made your Cinnamon ice cream, David. It was heaven on earth! Then, having read your Great Book of Chocolate, I had to make a chocolate pairing with Alice’s Saucepan Fudge Drops. Susan’s chocolate tart will be next…

  • April 1, 2008 3:23pm

    I have been waiting to try Clotilde’s nutella ice cream FOREVER. I keep waiting for spring to feel like, well, spring. So it’s finally April and the minutes are ticking away and I can’t wait to try it outside.

    By the way, I think that your recycling of chocolate cake pieces was nothing less than genius:)

  • April 1, 2008 5:11pm

    I too have been working my way through your ice cream book. On Friday I made your grapefruit and champagne sorbet. My friend moved and in the pile of groceries he bequeathed to me, he just happened to have exactly the right amount of pink grapefruit and sparkling wine for the recipe. It happened to snow on Friday in Seattle (??) but the sorbet was tasty nonetheless. My dinner guest and I just sat in front of a space heater while we ate it. ;) I just made a Lime and Yogurt Sherbet (actually come to think of it, that one was not from your book I guess) that was delicious. With Greek yogurt and 3x the recommended zest, it tasted like a key lime pie. Num!

  • hag
    April 1, 2008 5:53pm

    I made the nutella ice cream…it WAS super simple, especially since I don’t own an ice cream maker. It is perfectly do-able with just a metal bowl. Though I did need to up the milk to nutella ratio in order for it to set up properly. My suggestion …don’t wait try it!

  • erik
    April 2, 2008 1:51pm

    I have to second the cinnamon ice cream as heaven on earth. You really nailed the recipe for that one, David. Absolutely spot on. And I find it particularly awesome “soft serve” style, right when it comes out of the machine. Went really well with the tarte tatin we had with Easter brunch.

  • Craig
    April 2, 2008 10:10pm

    David –
    The brown butter vanilla ice cream may very well be the elusive brown vanille glace holy grail that I’ve been looking for ever since having it in a small restaurant in Montagny les Beaune ten years ago. If this is it, once one trys it they will look no further….

  • andrenna
    May 1, 2009 9:55pm


    I just got an ice cream maker and now I seriously need your book. Your name is synonymous with amazing ice creams.

    By the way, you come off as so genuine! So sweet of you to answer all the comments and I like your tweets.


  • December 1, 2010 3:50am

    I have steadily been making all the recipes in your Perfect Scoop ice cream book and really loving it. I found two comments above about your cinnamon ice cream recipe and have a question. I made it for Thanksgiving and liked it, but found when paired with pie or anything with a stronger flavor, that the cinnamon flavor to us seemed a bit too subtle. I am wondering if you have any thoughts on intensifying the flavor? Would this be simply doubling the number of cinnamon sticks in the 1 hour soak, or perhaps adding ground cinnamon? Any thoughts on kicking up the flavor intensity would be great. Your ice cream book is my favorite cook book and my Cuisineart compressor ice cream maker gets a regular workout thanks to you! Reply

  • December 1, 2010 8:15am
    David Lebovitz

    Hi Scott: Infusing flavors, to taste, always requires a bit of futzing because some cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon) is stronger, or older. Or just various types may yield a different result. Luckily with something like cinnamon ice cream, you can taste the base before churning it and adding a bit of ground cinnamon if you want to augment the flavor. There’s also something called cinnamon oil, which has a nice kick as well, although it’s a little hard to find. And quite potent! Reply

  • December 5, 2010 8:30pm

    Thank you David! This is just the kind of advice I was looking for. The Amazon link for the cinnamon oil shows a product which gets rave reviews. I will order some.

    By the way, I have a day dream that you will offer a gelato, ice cream, sorbet, and sauce making educational stay in Paris for at least one week this sping. Sort of like the David Lebovitz version of the Gelato University. I would like to send you my deposit for this incredible week if you can only tell me where to send it!

    Imagine: The David Lebovitz Academy of Ice Cream! You could get Mauro over at Pozzetto to be a guest lecturer (OMG the gelato is good there!) Maybe Cuisineart could sponsor it.

    Perhaps dreams really can come true…….. :) Reply

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