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Lavender Ice Cream Recipe (No Ice Cream Maker)

Lavender ice cream is wonderfully floral, subtly purple, absolutely refreshing. It’s a summer treat you’d want to have all year long. And you don’t even have to have an ice cream machine to make this recipe at home.

(Love homemade ice cream as much as I do? Check out this easy tutorial on how to make no-churn ice cream to learn how to make the ice cream base and how to make different variations for the best ice cream flavour every time.)

Overhead shot of lavender ice cream, blackberries and lavender buds.

I know a lot of people are wary of eating lavender-flavoured food. 

I know because I used to be one of those people. I mean, who wants to eat soap or potpourri?

That changed when I tasted lavender ice cream from a lavender farm we visited a few summers ago. It was so unique and amazing that it’s become one of our family’s favourite ice cream flavours.

Let’s get to it.

What does lavender ice cream taste like?

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Lavender, as food, is surprisingly not soap-like at all. 

It smells great and it tastes even better. I’ve mostly had it in sweets (surprise, surprise) but I know others use them in savoury food as well.

With a vanilla ice cream base, lavender ice cream has just the right amount of sweet, hints of floral flavour, delightful. You really have to taste it and see for yourself.

The key is to use it sparingly as it can easily overpower any dish. A little goes a long way.

Why you’ll love making this recipe

Ice cream flavoured lavender in a bowl.
  • The flavour is so unique. Lavender is not an ice cream flavour you can easily find in your local supermarket so being able to make it yourself is awesome.
  • You can make it without an ice cream machine. What’s more, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make it. I’ve been making homemade ice cream with just my mixer and the result is always smooth, creamy and delicious.
  • Contains no eggs. And because it’s no-churn, you can make this recipe without eggs.
  • Easy to customize. Plus, you can customize it however you like. Drizzle honey, sprinkle dried coconut, add your favourite berries.

How to make

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Ingredient notes

Lavender ice cream is made of:

  • Culinary-grade dried lavender buds — ensure you’re getting culinary grade lavender. You don’t want to end up with lavender that’s not meant to be eaten! More info on this below.
  • Sweetened condensed milk — condensed milk is the secret to velvety and creamy no-churn ice cream. Condensed milk goes through a process where about 60% of its water content is removed. And less water means less chance of ice crystals forming in your ice cream.
  • Heavy cream — you want heavy cream, which has 36 to 40 percent milk fat, because it results to firmer, more stable whipped cream with stiff peaks that hold their shape longer. This adds to that smooth texture and creamy taste.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh blackberries — I use blackberries to give a hint of colour to my ice cream but this is optional. See below for more info.
  • Salt

Tools

Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make this recipe.

I usually use my stand mixer when making homemade ice cream but a handheld electric mixer would work just fine.

Other than that, all you need are some bowls, a spatula and a freezer-safe container.

Instructions with step-by-step photos

Prep the lavender cream. Microwave heavy cream on high for about 30 seconds or until it’s warm (not hot) to the touch.

Add lavender buds / dried lavender and allow it to steep. The longer you steep, the stronger the lavender flavour. I usually steep mine in the fridge for about 3 hours.

When that’s ready, strain and remove the lavender buds and add the lavender cream to the rest of your heavy cream and whip until stiff. 

Steeped lavender buds in cream.

To make your ice cream base, combine condensed milk, blackberry juice (optional, see below), vanilla extract and salt.

Photo collage - condensed milk, vanilla and blackberry juice in a bowl.

Add a dollop of whipped cream to your condensed milk mixture to lighten it.

Photo collage - lavender ice cream recipe.

Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream, careful not to deflate it. Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container, smoothen the top and cover with cling wrap to prevent ice from forming. Freeze overnight.

Photo collage - whipped cream folded into ice cream base.

Optional colour

Unlike the very purple lavender flower, culinary lavender when cooked is actually more greyish-white than purple. So to add a little colour, I add crushed blackberries (strain to get the seeds out).

The blackberries won’t take away from the lavender flavour but lends a nice purple hue. 

You can also use blueberries; just be careful because blueberries have a more distinct flavour that might outshine the lavender.

Purple food colour is also an option. I would recommend the gel kind.

Homemade ice cream tips for success

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As you can see, this lavender ice cream recipe is a breeze. To make it even easier, here are some tips for you:

Make sure to use culinary-grade lavender

When buying lavender, make sure to ask if they are culinary-grade. Remember, lavender is used for things other than food.

Culinary lavender (as opposed to ornamental lavender) is 100% safe for consumption. And it has the sweetest fragrance among all kinds of lavenders making it the best for cooking and baking.

The best way to bake with lavender 

Speaking of which, what’s the best way to bake with lavender? I can’t speak for others but personally, I hate getting big chunks of lavender buds in my mouth.

So I usually use a lavender infusion, like in this recipe. I also chop it as finely as I can if I’m adding it to cookies or cake. Grinding works too.

Of course, to make things pretty you can sprinkle buds on top for garnish, just remove them later.

And remember, lavender has a pretty strong flavour so a little goes a long way.

Go for full-fat heavy cream

When making homemade ice cream, it’s best to use full fat heavy cream (and forget about calories for a while lol!). This means fat content is between 36 and 40%.

It whips better and sets better.

Taste, taste, taste

And since no-churn ice cream has no eggs in it, it’s safe to taste as you’re making it. So go ahead and taste at every step if you like.

You’re making your very own ice cream and you can make it as sweet and as fabulous as you want.

Use freezer-friendly container

Not all containers are created equal. Some would lead to ice forming at the bottom or sides of your ice cream. While others might expand in the freezer.

I’ve amassed this collection of ice cream tubs since I learned how to make ice cream and I exclusively use them. I’ve owned them for years and they still look like new!

Cover your ice cream with cling wrap

To be extra sure that ice doesn’t form on any part of your ice cream, especially the top, place cling wrap on it (place it right on the surface of the ice cream) before covering and putting in the freezer.

Then when you’re ready to eat, remove the cling wrap and reveal the creamy, ice cream underneath!

FAQs

Freshly made lavender ice cream with blackberries on the side.
Can I use whipping cream or half and half instead of heavy cream?


Half & half cannot be substituted for heavy cream in no-churn ice cream recipes because it just doesn’t have enough fat content for whipping (10 to 18 percent).

In a pinch, you can use whipping cream (30 to 36 percent milk fat) but it will result to a lighter, softer texture.

How can I prevent homemade ice cream from getting freezer burn?


To prevent your ice cream from getting freezer burn or forming ice crystals:

(1) Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the ice cream’s surface before placing the lid. This also helps prevent freezer smells from seeping into your ice cream.

(2) Make sure you use a freezer-safe container with a proper, tight-fitting lid.

It’s still safe to eat ice cream with a few ice crystals. It’s going to affect the texture and the taste though so you really want to protect it from air (its main enemy) and eat it within 2 weeks of making it.

How long does homemade lavender ice cream last?


Homemade lavender ice cream lasts about 2 weeks in the freezer. 

Because it doesn’t have the same preservatives as store-bought ice cream, when it comes to homemade ice cream, the fresher the better. 

Some tips to keep it fresh for longer:

– Cover the top with plastic wrap (see above)
– Store in a relatively shallow and flat container vs. a deep dish
– Store towards the back of your freezer so that its temperature can remain fairly constant

Other homemade ice cream recipes

Making ice cream at home has really become one of our favourite summer activities. Simple, fun, delicious! Here are some of our favourite flavours.

  • Nothing beats homemade ube ice cream. Fellow Filipinos know just how expensive these can get at Filipino or Chinese groceries! So making it at home is awesome. My recipe is richer and creamier too.
  • Another summer favourite is no churn peach ice cream. We love peaches and this is a great recipe for all the fresh peaches we get every summer.
Blackberry Lavender Ice Cream

Lavender Ice Cream Recipe

Author: Jolina
Lavender ice cream is wonderfully floral, subtly purple, absolutely refreshing. It’s a summer treat you’d want to have all year long. And you don’t even have to have an ice cream machine to make it at home.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Freezing Time 8 hrs
Total Time 11 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine North American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 292 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Using a microwave-safe cup or bowl, microwave 1/2 cup heavy cream for 30s on high or until the cup is warm (but not hot) to the touch.
  • Add 2 tsp of dried lavender and allow to steep. Once cool, cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • Strain the lavender from the cream. Discard the lavender then add the cream to 1 cup of chilled heavy cream. Whip until stiff.
    Steeped lavender buds in cream.
  • In a large bowl, combine 5 oz condensed milk with blackberry juice, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
    How to make lavender ice cream
  • Stir until fully incorporated.
    How to make lavender ice cream
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream to your condensed milk mixture to lighten it.
    How to make lavender ice cream
  • Mix until combined.
    How to make lavender ice cream
  • Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream, careful not to deflate it.
    How to make lavender ice cream
  • Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container, smoothen the top and cover with cling wrap to prevent ice from forming. Freeze overnight.
    How to make lavender ice cream

Video

Notes

See post for lots of ice cream making tips and FAQs.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 3gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 53mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 975IUVitamin C: 4.6mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 0.2mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Easy, No-Churn Ice Cream, Refreshing, Summer
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy ice cream making!

Did you make this recipe? What’s your favourite ice cream flavour? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Rate the Recipe




Lois Christensen

Monday 15th of July 2019

I have never had lavender ice cream! It sounds delicious!

Marisa F. Stewart

Saturday 13th of July 2019

I simply HAVE to make this recipe. It sounds amazing. I've been wanting to do something with lavender for years. This is the perfect time. those blackberries are gorgeous! Can't wait to do this and to think I don't even need an ice cream maker -- YAY!!

Jolina

Tuesday 16th of July 2019

Double yay! :)

Anne Lawton

Friday 12th of July 2019

This ice cream has all of the fresh flavors of summer in it! I can't wait to try this out!

Denise

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Nothing beats home made ice cream! And the fact that you can make whatever flavor combo you like makes it even better! This looks absolutely delicious!

Veena Azmanov

Wednesday 10th of July 2019

Flavorful and yummy. Love the Berry option to making this delicious Ice Cream.