Green Tea Ice Cream

In the eminently reliable The Perfect Scoop, blogger and cookbook author David Lebovitz divulges that he’s always looking for an excuse to visit tea shops and stores that carry Japanese items. “They’re great for poking around,” says Lebovitz. Fortunately for us, it seems as though he has a hard time passing up the green tea powder, known as matcha. The namesake for this ice cream, matcha has “a slightly pungent yet powerful taste,” explains Lebovitz, its robust teaness smoothed by cream and sugar, it’s deep color turned a stunning sea-green color from the churning.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC And a Sprinkling of...What, Exactly? Note

Gilding that stunning scoop of ice cream is a powdery dusting of … what, exactly? It’s kinako powder, or toasted soybean flour. The pulverized powder offsets the pale ice cream nicely, though an embellishment is hardly essential on something this smooth, this nutty, this lovely. Although should you seek an alternate sprinkle of something, we’ve found that finely ground peanuts or pulverized toasted coconut are also quite fetching.

Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Makes 1 quart


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons matcha (green tea powder)
  • 6 large egg yolks


  • 1. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat but take care that it doesn’t come to a boil.
  • 2. Meanwhile, pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk in the matcha. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
  • 3. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then scrape the warmed egg yolk mixture into the saucepan. Return the pan to medium heat and stir constantly with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
  • 4. Place a strainer over the bowl of matcha cream. Pour the warm custard through the strainer into the cream, discarding the solids. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is frothy and the matcha is dissolved. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water. Place the bowl of matcha custard in the ice bath and stir until cool.
  • 5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

  1. What is the green tea ice cream dusted with, please? (as shown in the photo).

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Hi, Luisa, and good question! The book didn’t mention, although we’ve put out a query to the author. In the meantime, allow us to toss out a few potential solutions or just plain out suggestions…we think a sprinkling of matcha powder, finely ground peanuts, even pulverized dried coconut could each be the (quite nice) culprit. Anyone else?

      • Dan Kraan, LC Community Moderator says:

        Since I saw “pistachio” green and was thinking crushed nuts, my first guess was finely ground pistachios. However, one of our local Asian stores sells rock sugar and if that was coarsley gound, it would look similar to what is seen in the picture.

        • Momo says:

          The book DOES mention what is dusted on the ice cream. It’s “kinako” powder, which is basically just toasted soybean flour. Quite nice, especially if it’s served with homemade red bean paste on the side!

      • David Leite says:

        It’s kinako powder, which is toasted soy bean powder.

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