Scrumptious Ice Cream & Sorbet Recipes

Cool off your guests this summer. Try one of these homemade frozen desserts.

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Grasshopper Pie Ice Cream

Adapted from Mitchell’s, San Francisco, CA


This minty, green ice cream is chock full of chocolaty fold-ins. So you might as well go all the way and top it with Hot Fudge Sauce.


Makes about 1 quart


1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup whole milk, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure mint extract or mint oil
3 to 5 drops green food coloring (optional)
3/4 cup chopped fudge brownies
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Combine the cream, 1/2 cup milk, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to steam; watch it carefully and make sure it does not come to a boil.
While the mixture heats, combine the remaining milk, cornstarch, milk powder, vanilla extract, mint extract, and food coloring in a small bowl, and stir until smooth and both of the powders have dissolved.


2, Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, and bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Whisk until smooth, and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes, or until thickened. If the mixture is lumpy, strain it through a sieve.
Transfer the hot liquid to a storage container, and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming.


3. Refrigerate the mixture uncovered until it is completely chilled (below 40ºF), or quick-cool it according to the method below. 


4. Freeze the chilled custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the soft ice cream to a chilled mixing bowl and fold in the brownie pieces and chocolate chips.

5. Serve immediately for a soft ice cream, or transfer the mixture to an airtight storage container and freeze until hard. Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving if frozen solid.

Cooling It Down

These recipes employ a time-honored, effective technique for cooling liquids properly: time. The first step is to pour the ice cream custard into a container and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the hot liquid. This prevents the dairy solids from coagulating and forming a thick “skin.” When the custard reaches room temperature, you chill it to a temperature of between 38ºF and 40ºF by putting it on the top shelf of the refrigerator. And you preferably leave it overnight. This is called the “ripening” process in ice cream jargon.

But if you are in a hurry to get the machine going—it’s 6 p.m. and you want to serve the ice cream for dessert at 8 p.m.—you can go through a rather laborious cooling process. But the goal is that it must not be any hotter than 42ºF or the texture will not be smooth.


While the custard is heating, chill a metal mixing bowl in the freezer, and have a larger mixing bowl into which the chilled one will fit when the larger bowl is filled with ice. Then you’re going to replicate the environment of an old-fashioned cranked ice cream maker by placing ice cubes and salt in the larger bowl, and stirring the custard in the smaller bowl set over the ice until it has chilled. You must be careful, however, as the ice melts, that you do not inadvertently get salty ice water into the custard.

CREDIT: From SCOOP by Ellen Brown, Running Press, 2011

Photo Credit: From SCOOP by Ellen Brown, Running Press, 2011

Strawberry Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart


3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 pints strawberries, washed, dried, and hulled

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, homemade or store-bought
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Optional: 2 teaspoons kirsch liqueur


1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.


2. Place the half-and-half and ¼ cup of the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed pot. Heat it over medium heat without letting it boil, and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved, 5 to 8 minutes. In the meantime, set a fine meshed sieve over a large heatproof bowl.


3. When the half-and-half mixture is hot, whisk a little of it into the egg yolks to warm them. Then whisk all of the warm egg yolks into the hot cream. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula as you heat the mixture over medium heat—keep scraping the bottom and stirring until the mixture thickens and you get a good coating on the spoon. Again, do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and pour through the strainer over the bowl. Add the heavy cream to the mixture and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.


4. Put the strawberries in a large bowl and mash them a bit with a potato masher. Then add the remaining ¼ cup sugar. Let the strawberries macerate in their own juices, stirring occasionally until the sugar has melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the berries to the cream mixture. Then add the vanilla, salt, and kirsch, if using. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but up to 2 days.


5. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.




fridge • unfrozen base, covered container, 2 days
freezer • ice cream, freezer-safe container, up to 5 days (thaw in
the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving)


CREDIT: Reprinted from the book The Homemade Pantry. Copyright © 2012 by Alana Chernila. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo Credit: © 2012 by Jennifer May

Scotch Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream is not just a big improvement over what you can buy at the store, it’s also fun to make. Ice-cream makers come in a range of styles, including a few small reliable models that cost less than $50. My boys are thrilled when they see me take out our ice-cream maker, and we use it all year round.


Makes 1 quart

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cups whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons blended Scotch whiskey, such as Dewar’s
1 cup heavy cream


1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Let the mixture bubble vigorously just until thick and gooey, about 1 minute or less. Lower the heat, add the milk (carefully, because the mixture may splatter), and whisk to combine. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar in a medium bowl until pale yellow. With the mixer on, slowly dribble about ½ cup of the warm milk mixture into the eggs, beating constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture. Add the vanilla and Scotch and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and registers 185˚F on a candy thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes; do not boil, or the mixture will curdle.

3. Pour into a medium bowl, cover, and chill thoroughly, at least 8 hours or overnight. Add the cream and stir thoroughly, pour the blend into an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is ready, transfer it to a container with a tight-fitting lid and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.


CREDIT: Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist

Photo Credit: David Carlson

Watermelon-Lime Ice Pops

These frozen treats are perfect for adults and children. Everyone will find the icy fruit flavor totally refreshing on a hot summer’s day.


Makes 8 (2-ounce) ice pops

4 cups seedless watermelon, cubed (about 1 whole seedless watermelon)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from about 3 medium limes


1. Purée the fresh watermelon in a blender until completely liquefied and strain out the solids with a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the juice. You should have about 2 cups.


2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar and 3/4 cup water to make a simple syrup. Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, then immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.


3. Add the lime juice and simple syrup to the watermelon juice and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into frozen pop molds and freeze for at least 6 hours.


Make-Ahead Tips: The simple syrup can be made up to a week ahead of time. In fact, it is worth having some in your refrigerator all summer long to sweeten iced teas and desserts. The freezing time needed for the pops will depend on the molds. With my basic plastic mold they freeze in about 5 to 6 hours.


Variation Ideas: Many fruits can be combined with simple syrup to make popsicles. I’ve followed this basic recipe using peaches, raspberries, and strawberries with lemon juice. Add in some strained Greek yogurt to make creamy ice pops! This recipe will double or triple easy for a party. If you don’t have ice pop molds simply freeze the popsicles small paper drinking cups with wooden popsicle sticks and peel off the paper cup before serving. 


CREDIT: From THE NAPTIME CHEF by Kelsey Banfield, Running Press, 2012

Photo Credit: Steve Legato

Chocolate Whiskey Ice Cream

Servings: 1 Pint


4 egg yolks
1/4 cup whiskey
1/4 cup sugar (to mix with egg yolks)
1/4 cup sugar (to mix with cream and vanilla)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 vanilla bean split, seeds scraped
3 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


1. Whisk together egg yolks, whiskey and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, whisk together cream, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds and 1/4 cup of sugar. Add semisweet chocolate and let simmer over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Temper egg yolk mixture by slowly adding hot cream mixture to the egg yolk mixture, with a ladle, a little at a time. Once egg yolk mixture is thoroughly warmed add to the saucepan with the warm cream mixture. Stir until thickened and remove from the heat.


3. Strain mixture into a bowl over ice. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. Once cooled, fold in the chocolate chips. Spin in an ice cream maker for 20 minutes until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. 


CREDIT: Big Daddy, Chef Aaron McCargo Jr

Photo Credit: The Food Network's Big Daddy House

Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”

Peanut butter plus ice cream equals delicious. Peanut butter has more than enough yum factor to make you forget there is no cream in this decadent-seeming treat. I’m sure that it would not take you long to figure out that a topping of vegan chocolate sauce would be fabulous on a bowl of this peanutty treat. I used So Delicious Coconut, or Silk Soy creamers for this.

Serves 4


2 ½ cups/600 ml soy or coconut non-dairy creamer
½ cup/120 ml agave syrup
½ cup/100 g crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. In a blender or by hand, whisk together the creamer, syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a storage container and refrigerate in the bottom of the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.


2. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or transfer to a storage container to freeze until firm.

CREDIT: From BIG VEGAN by Robin Asbell, Chronicle Books, Fall 2011

Photo Credit: From BIG VEGAN by Robin Asbell, Chronicle Books, Fall 2011

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches with Strawberry Jam

Peanut Butter Cookies (20)


¾ cup butter, room temp
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt


1. Cream butter, brown sugar and sugar in a mixer. Next add the peanut butter, egg and vanilla extract.


2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixture.


3. Form the dough into 2” round balls. Place on a non-stick baking sheet about 3” apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool and reserve.


Strawberry Ice Cream

1 ¾ cups heavy cream
½ lemon, zested
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 pound fresh strawberries


1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan, scald the heavy cream, lemon zest and salt.


2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and ½ cup of the sugar.


3. Once the cream mixture has scalded, slowly add it to the egg mixture a little bit at a time so you don’t scramble the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on low heat while continuously stirring until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.


3. Once the mixture coats the spoon, strain the mixture though a chinois. Cool mixture in an ice bath.


4. While the base mixture is cooling, puree the strawberries and the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Strain the pureed mixture into the cream and egg mixture. Stir. Let the mixture completely cool and then using an ice cream machine, manufacture the ice cream according to the directions of the ice cream maker.

3. To assemble, spread the bottom of two peanut butter cookies with Strawberry Jam. Place a scoop of strawberry ice cream on one of the cookies. Top with the other cookie and enjoy right away or place back in the freezer to let it harden.


CREDIT: Recipe by Jamie Prouten, Executive Chef, The Lodge at Tiburon: Tiburon Grill.

Photo Credit: The Lodge at Tiburon

Dandelion Sorbet with Violet Petals

1 cup white sugar

1/4 cup corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3.5 cups cold water
1/4 cup freshly picked dandelions
1 tablespoon St. Germain liqueur
1/2 teaspoon dandelion root bitters (or dandelion tincture)
1/4 cup fresh edible flowers (preferably violas and borage flower petals)


1. Mix the xanthan and sugar.


2. Whisk the sugar into the cold water.


3. Cut the petals from the dandelions and add the petals to the sugar water. Add the corn syrup and St Germain to the water, mix completely and pour into a pot.


4. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally.


5. Cool overnight.


6. Strain out the dandelion petals. Stir in the dandelion root bitters.


7. Use a home ice cream maker to freeze the sorbet. After the sorbet freezes to a soft serve consistency, remove from the maker and gently fold in the fresh flower petals. Store in an air tight container and freeze overnight.


CREDIT: Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Photo Credit: Ro Tam, Salt & Straw

Cinnamon Crème Anglaise Ice Cream

Serves 4 

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1 cup light cream

1. In a stand mixer on high, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla for about 2 minutes until the mixture is a light lemon color.

2. Scald the milk and cream on a low heat in a small pot. The milk mixture should form little bubbles around the edge of the pot. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously. Be careful to pour the milk extra slowly so the yolks don’t scramble. Place this mixture back into the pot on a low simmer. Stir continuously for 8 - 10 minutes. The mixture should reach between 160° and 170° Fahrenheit, but no more. 

3. Once slightly thickened, immediately transfer the pot to an ice bath and let it cool completely.

4. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, churn the ice cream mixture in an ice cream maker and then transfer it to a plastic container.

5. Freeze for at least 3 hours and serve.






Photo Credit: Alex Larder

Baileys Chocolate Espresso Maltini

2 ounces Baileys Original Irish Cream
1 tablespoon chilled espresso
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
whipped cream
fudge sauce
chocolate covered espresso beans

1. Place Baileys Original Irish Cream, espresso, ice cream, and chocolate in a blender. Mix until smooth.


2. Pour mixture into a large martini glass.


3. Garnish with whipped cream drizzled with fudge sauce. Top with chocolate covered espresso beans. 


CREDIT: Baileys Original Irish Cream

Photo Credit: Baileys Original Irish Cream

Baileys Chocolate Espresso Sundae

1 ounces Baileys Original Irish Cream
1 tablespoon chilled espresso
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
whipped cream
fudge sauce
chocolate covered espresso beans

1. In a small bowl, mix Baileys Original Irish Cream, chilled espresso and fudge sauce until consistent.


2. In another bowl, place vanilla ice cream and drizzle with Baileys espresso fudge sauce.


3. Top with semi-sweet chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans, and whipped cream.

CREDIT: Baileys Original Irish Cream



Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.


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Photo Credit: Baileys Original Irish Cream

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