Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Steeping dried lavender buds in a wildflower honey syrup infuses it with a remarkable flavor that perfectly complements the rich ice cream base. A touch of natural food coloring is totally optional, but highly recommended. Be sure to use culinary lavender, or organically grown lavender, to be sure the lavender is food-safe.

Bowl of Honey Lavender Ice Cream
Photo: Photo by Adam Friedlander / Food Styling by Pearl Jones
Active Time:
20 mins
Freeze Time:
10 hrs
Total Time:
10 hrs 20 mins
1 1/2 pints


For the ice cream base

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder

  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

  • 2 tablespoon tapioca syrup or light corn syrup

  • 1 ⅓ cups whole milk

  • 1 ⅓ cups heavy cream

For the lavender syrup

  • ¾ cup water

  • ¼ cup wildflower honey

  • ½ cup dried lavender buds

  • Ice Cream Base

  • 10 drops natural purple food coloring, preferably India Tree brand (optional)


Make the ice cream base

  1. Combine the sugar, dry milk, and xanthan gum in a small bowl and stir well. Pour the corn syrup into a medium pot and stir in the milk. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  2. Add the cream and whisk until fully combined. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours, or for even better texture and flavor, 24 hours. It can be further stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 3 months.

While the ice-cream base is chilling, make the lavender syrup

  1. Combine the water and honey in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat. Stir in the lavender, cover the saucepan, and let steep at room temperature for at least 4 hours (or overnight). Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a container and press or squeeze the flowers to get as much liquid as possible. Use it right away or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine 3 cups of the ice cream base, the lavender syrup, and the food coloring (if you're using it). Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn just until it has the texture of soft serve, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the machine.

  3. Transfer the ice cream, scraping every last delicious drop from the machine, into freezer-friendly containers. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, then cover with a lid. It's ok if the parchment hangs over the rim. Store it in the coldest part of your freezer (farthest from the door) until firm, 6 to 8 hours. It keeps for up to 6 months.

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