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HomeVegan BakingGreen Ice Cream Recipe - Texanerin Baking

Green Ice Cream Recipe – Texanerin Baking

This green ice cream recipe uses matcha for its natural green color, but you can omit that and use food coloring if you wish for a fun St. Patrick’s Day ice cream. It’s easy to make and is nice and rich.

Before I get into the specifics of this recipe, I want to first quickly talk about eggless vs. custard-style ice cream.

Philadelphia-style ice cream is made without eggs, while custard ice cream, also known as French-style ice cream, contains egg yolks. This difference in ingredients results in a difference in texture and flavor.

Philadelphia-style ice cream tends to be lighter and less rich, while custard ice cream is typically creamier and has a more pronounced egg flavor.

My first attempts at this recipe were Philadelphia-style because it would have been easy (or easier) to offer a vegan option. After perfecting the recipe, my plan was to then use canned coconut milk instead of cream for the vegan version.

But it just wasn’t that great. It wasn’t rich enough and was clearly missing something. So I ditched that idea and decided to make it with egg yolks.

I have a few ice cream recipes, but none of them with egg yolks. I was thinking about where to start, and my mind immediately went to the vanilla ice cream in David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop.

I bought that book in 2008 after checking it out at the library, and all of the recipes have been incredible. If you like rich ice cream, this is the book for you!

I adapted this green ice cream from his vanilla ice cream recipe.

I only used 4 egg yolks instead of 5, didn’t use a vanilla bean, and added matcha.

The result was absolutely perfect.


Here’s an overview of what you’ll need. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.

How to make it

Here’s how to make this green ice cream recipe.

It’s pretty much like any other custard-style ice cream. And if you’re wondering if the straining step is necessary – it is!

Even if you don’t overcook the custard, it’s normal for there to be little eggy bits. You definitely don’t want those in your ice cream.

Can I add more or less matcha?

Yes! You can add it to taste. Some matcha ice cream recipes use a LOT more matcha.

I originally tried using double the amount of matcha because I wanted my ice cream to come out a very vivid green. I much preferred it with the amount listed in the recipe.

The matcha isn’t subtle, but it’s also not overwhelming.

Can I omit the egg yolks?

Surprisingly you can! There’s also a Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream in The Perfect Scoop. The ingredients and amounts are the same as the custard-style ice cream, but without the egg yolks.

Here’s how to make an eggless version: follow the directions below but omit the egg yolks. You only have to heat the milk enough that the sugar dissolves. Continue with the rest of the recipe as written.

What type of matcha to use

For the best taste and color, you’ll want to use ceremonial matcha. You can read all about it in my Matcha Cookies post.

Here’s an experiment I did with 6 brands of matcha. You can see the color is much better with every brand of ceremonial.

Using culinary matcha make also make the ice cream a tiny bit bitter.

I don’t mess with culinary unless I’m making a Matcha Protein Shake or something where the color really doesn’t matter.

I used Rishi Ceremonial Matcha in this ice cream with great results. My photographer used Midori Spring Ceremonial, which she opened a year ago.

I was surprised that she could still get a nice green color from it. My videographer made some cookies with the same brand about a year after opening, and the cookies came out brown.

What is oxidation?

Matcha can oxidize relatively quickly once it’s exposed to air and light. The process of oxidation begins as soon as the powder is exposed to these elements.

While it won’t spoil immediately, prolonged exposure to air and light can degrade its flavor and quality over time. To preserve the freshness and potency of matcha, it’s best to store it in an airtight container away from light and heat.

This will help slow down the oxidation process and maintain its vibrant color and flavor for as long as possible.

We all stored the matcha the same way, which was in the bag and metal tin it was sold in, and one of us had it oxidize after a year, and two of us didn’t.

Some sites say that the quality degrades quickly and that it’ll have surely oxidized after a month. Some sites say a few months.

Or perhaps it oxidized for all of us, but the results aren’t that noticeable in no-bake recipes. But it did smell, taste, and look fine. 🤷‍♀️

The point is – if you make this green ice cream with ceremonial matcha that’s been open for a while and something isn’t right, it’s because the matcha oxidized.

Can I omit the matcha and add green food coloring?

Yes! This recipe works great without the matcha. You don’t need to reduce the sugar or anything.

How much food coloring you’d need to use, I don’t know. Just add a tiny bit at a time.

Can I use all milk/cream/half-and-half?

Yes to using all half-and-half or all cream, no to using all milk. You can also do a combination of half-and-half and cream.

But no to a combination of milk and half-and-half unless you’re wanting to do something like 2 1/2 cups of half-and-half and 1/2 cup milk.

Can I use low-fat or fat-free milk?

If that’s all you have, you can use it, but then use less milk and more cream. I’m thinking 3/4 cup of your low-fat/fat-free milk and 1 1/4 cups of cream.

Can I use canned coconut milk?

I only thought of this question just now. So I got up and made it.

I didn’t love the flavor. Coconut and matcha isn’t a bad combination, but the dairy version was much tastier.

So I’m going to go with no here.

If you decide to do it, anyway, here’s a tip: using full-fat canned coconut milk in place of both the cream and milk in this recipe comes out to 142 grams of fat for the whole recipe.

If using heavy cream and whole milk, it comes out to 178 grams. So if you absolutely want to try with canned coconut milk, you can – but please don’t use a mix of coconut milk and a thinner milk like almond, cashew, etc. milk.

You already have less fat than needed for optimal results.

Do I have to use an ice cream maker?

Yes, just placing the ice cream mixture in the freezer will not produce ice cream. That works with some types of recipes, like Vegan Gelato and Paleo Ice Cream, which both use dates to thicken the ice cream, making churning unnecessary.

There are also no-churn ice creams, like this Black Forest Ice Cream, which involve whipping heavy cream, adding the other ingredients and then freezing. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use the base of that recipe and add 1-2 tablespoons of matcha.

I figured just freezing matcha cream mixture wouldn’t work in today’s recipe, but I tried it, anyway. The result was frozen matcha-flavored cream. Yuck.

The Cuisinart 1.5 quart ice cream maker, which is *the* affordable and super quality ice cream maker, at least in my opinion, is often $49.99 on Amazon. I know this thanks to a nifty browser extension called Keepa that shows me historical prices on Amazon.

If that’s out of your budget, you can put in a price alert to get emailed whenever it reaches whatever’s your budget.

Can I reduce the sugar?

I haven’t tried it but believe you could reduce it to 2/3 cup down from 3/4 cup. You can always add more, if needed.

Can I use a different sweetener?

I always use maple syrup when I can, but adding 3/4 cup of maple syrup, or any liquid sweetener, would make this ice cream too runny.

I’m pretty confident coconut sugar would make this ice cream taste awful, so I highly advise against that.

Can I make it keto?

I haven’t tried keto sweeteners in this recipe, but a Gentle Sweet copycat worked amazingly well in my Black Ice Cream.

If you feel like experimenting, I recommend using 1/2 cup of Gentle Sweet or the copycat I have listed in the black ice cream. Then add more to taste.

Keto sweeteners don’t agree with me, and I’m really trying to avoid them for now, or else I’d experiment for you.

I hope you’ll enjoy this green ice cream! If you try it out, I’d love to hear your thoughts below. Thank you. 🙂

Green Ice Cream Recipe
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 4 cups (1 liter)



  1. Prepare your ice cream bowl according to the manufacturer’s instructions by chilling it for 24 hours beforehand or however long is recommended. If you have the option to change the freezer’s temperature, it should be at least -18 C or -.4 F. If you can get it even colder, that’s even better.
  2. To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the milk, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of the spoon and registers about 170 °F (77 °C) on an instant-read thermometer. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to boil the mixture. The coagulation temperature is about 180 °C, so keep an eye on it. My mixture had some tiny eggy bits, but they were removed when straining later on.)
  3. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the matcha to a small bowl and gradually stir in a bit of the hot milk mixture – you’ll only need a few tablespoons total – to create a paste. There shouldn’t be any lumps. Use a silicone spatula to smooth it out if needed.
  5. Stir the matcha paste into the hot milk mixture.
  6. Pour the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl. Set a fine-mesh sieve over the mixing bowl.
  7. Strain the ice cream using the sieve. This will do away with any eggy bits or blobs of matcha that you possibly missed.
  8. Refrigerate the mixture for 8 hours or overnight so that it’s thoroughly chilled.
  9. Pour into the totally frozen ice cream bowl and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will like soft serve straight from the machine.
  10. Scoop into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 4 hours to help it firm up. Overnight, it gets quite firm but was soft enough to scoop about sitting at room temp for about 5 minutes.


  1. I usually make this with unsweetened cashew milk in place of the milk. It comes out just as tasty.
  2. You don’t have to use ceremonial matcha, but for the best color and taste, it’s recommended over the other type – culinary.
  3. If you’d like to omit the matcha, add another teaspoon of vanilla extract and add a little bit of green food coloring to the finished ice cream mixture, after straining and before chilling, a little at a time until it’s however green you’d like it.

Adapted from vanilla ice cream in The Perfect Scoop

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