Ice cream is Summer’s best friend. This Honey Lavender Ice Cream will not only cool you down but its aroma will also take you on a relaxing summer vacation away from the hustle bustle of everyday life.
Don’t have an ice cream machine? Try this No Churn Mango Ice Cream recipe.
Is it cheesy to say I made this honey lavender ice cream because of Meryl Streep and the movie It’s Complicated? Probably is, but too late now! Thinking about the movie also makes me want a slice of chocolate cake and a chocolate croissant, if you know what I mean! Wink wink!
How to make Honey Lavender Ice Cream
This Honey Lavender Ice Cream recipe is made with a custard base, which uses egg yolks to thicken. Cream cheese is added to make the ice cream extra silky and luscious. First, let’s steep the lavender flowers.
Preparing the “lavender tea”
- Add cream and milk to a medium saucepan. Add dried lavender flowers into a spice bag and place it in the liquid mixture.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat and let the lavender steep for 5 – 10 minutes. The longer you steep, the stronger the lavender flavor.
Notes: If you don’t have a spice bag, just put the dried lavender directly into the liquid. After you finish steeping, you’ll need to strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the lavender.
Making the ice cream base
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 4 egg yolks with sugar on low speed until the mixture is creamy and light in color. When you lift the whisk up, it should fall off the whisk slowly in a thick stream.
- Return the “lavender tea” to a simmer and temper it into the egg mixture by adding just a little bit of hot liquid, a few tablespoons at a time, until completely incorporated.
- Once all of the hot milk has been added to the egg mixture, pour the entire liquid mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium low heat until the mixture thickens and reaches 175°F – 180°F. I use a candy thermometer to monitor. This will take approximately 4 – 4:30 minutes.
- Take the custard off the heat. It should coat the back of a spoon, and not run off when you swipe your finger across the middle.
- Add the room temperature cream cheese to the hot custard mixture and stir to dissolve completely. Softening the cream cheese in the microwave can help it incorporate easier.
- Add honey, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the hot custard mixture. Stir until completely dissolved and allow to cool to room temperature uncovered. Refrigerate overnight.
Churning the ice cream
- Add cold custard mixture to an ice cream maker.
- Churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. When finished, the ice cream will be of soft serve consistency. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving, though it can certainly be eaten right away.
I’m lactose intolerant, what substitution should I make?
If you are lactose intolerant you’ll want to modify this recipe using my Lactose Free Vanilla Ice Cream.
- Omit the cream cheese and replace it with 4 oz of lactose free milk or cream instead.
- Replace all the milk and cream called for in this recipe with lactose free version.
- Increase the number of egg yolks to 6 instead of 4 since you’ll now have more liquid to thicken.
- Proceed to make your ice cream as directed in this recipe.
I can’t find heavy cream, what can I do?
If you run out of heavy cream, you can substitute half and half (coffee cream), which contains half milk & half cream. For this recipe, that would mean using 1 cup of store bought half and half + 1 ½ cup of milk.
If you cannot find either heavy cream or half and half, just use all whole milk.
Can I use something else instead of cream cheese?
Cream cheese is used in this recipe to add richness and to reduce iciness of the ice cream mixture. You can substitute cream cheese with mascarpone cheese.
Storing Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Store churned ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer. To prevent ice forming on the surface and to keep out some funky freezer flavors, layer a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the ice cream.
Toppings for your ice cream
- Honey Rosemary Peach Sauce
- Mixed Berry Compote with a hint of lime
- Cherry Compote with orange and almond
- Strawberry Sauce with orange
- Blueberry Compote with lemon
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Honey Lavender Ice Cream
- 2 cup of whole milk (480 g)
- ½ cup heavy cream (120 g)
- 2 tablespoon dried lavender flower (3 g)
- 4 egg yolks (78 g)
- ¼ cup sugar (45 g)
- 4 oz cream cheese (113 g, room temperature)
- ½ cup honey (171 g)
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1 g)
- A pinch of salt
- Add dried lavender flower to a spice bag and add it to a saucepan with the milk and cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove top over medium heat, turn off the heat and steep for 5 - 10 minutes. Remove the spice bag or if not using a spice bag, strain the mixture to remove the dried lavender.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg yolks and beat on low speed. Slowly add sugar, continue beating until light in color and creamy.
- Bring the milk and cream mixture back to a simmer and temper it into the egg mixture by adding just a little bit of hot liquid, a few tablespoons at a time, to the egg mixture with the mixer on low speed. Allow to incorporate before pouring in more.
- Once all of the hot milk has been added to the egg mixture, pour the entire liquid mixture back into the saucepan and heat on medium low heat until the custard thickens and reaches 175°F - 180°F. This will take approximately 4 - 4:30 minutes. The custard should coat the back of a spoon, and not run off when you swipe your finger across the middle.
- Add softened cream cheese, honey, vanilla extract and salt to the hot custard mixture and stir until completely dissolved.
- Allow to cool to room temperature uncovered and refrigerate overnight or until cold enough to use in an ice cream maker.
- Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. I churn mine for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Transfer churned ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
- You can soften cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds to help it incorporate in the custard mixture easier.
- You don’t necessarily need to refrigerate your ice cream base overnight. As long as you are able to cool your ice cream base to 39°F, the same temperature as a refrigerated base, you are welcome to churn it the same day.
- I usually make the ice cream base at night, refrigerate the base overnight, churn the next morning, freeze throughout the day and the ice cream will be ready after dinner.
- Don’t forget to freeze the ice cream maker bowl per manufacturer’s instructions before making ice cream. My KitchenAid attachment requires 24 hours of freezing.
- Store churned ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer. You can layer a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice forming on the surface.
- This recipe yields about 1.5 quarts.
This post was originally published on 10/20/2014. The recipe has been updated and republished on 5/27/2020 with the latest improvements, extra tips, and process photos to help you in the kitchen