This Green Tea Ice Cream recipe is a simple, no-churn solution to your sweet tooth cravings. I use just 4 ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, matcha powder, and vanilla extract. And that’s it! Keep reading to learn how to make rich, smooth, and authentic Japanese matcha ice cream.
This Japanese dessert is one of my favorites. Typically Japanese desserts aren’t too sweet and avoid additives, preferring to instead celebrate the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables. Most aren’t too heavy and are the perfect way to finish your meal.
Those are all reasons why I love green tea ice cream! Soft, fluffy, and creamy, it’s a bright and refreshing treat that I have a hard time resisting, especially during those hot summer days.
The best part? You don’t need an ice cream machine to enjoy this Japanese treat right at home! Just a handful of ingredients and no churning required, the most difficult part is waiting for it to freeze.
Looking for ways to use that leftover matcha? Try out my Mung Bean Cake recipe. They’re just mildly sweet and another great treat to enjoy all summer long!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is green tea that has been ground into a fine powder. Like the regular tea leaves, matcha is high in antioxidants, speeds up your metabolism, and has pretty high caffeine content. In fact, these characteristics are boosted in the powdered form.
Its taste is similar to its brewed counterpart: bitter and herbal, and both umami and sweet. Its complex flavors have made it rather trendy for lattes and desserts in recent years, but it has been a popular ingredient in Asian desserts for hundreds of years and is used in traditional tea ceremonies.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Heavy Whipping Cream - For a rich, creamy taste and texture. It’s rather fatty, which is what makes this dessert so creamy, but could be swapped out with half-and-half or regular milk if you want a lighter dessert.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - This ingredient acts as our sweetener and is what helps our matcha ice cream firm up with no churning required.
- Matcha Powder - Slightly bitter, but with complex undertones: grassy, earthy, and vegetal in flavor, this ingredient is very versatile and robust. Nowadays, you can find matcha in most grocery stores where the coffee and tea is kept. Opt for a fine-ground powder over granules for smoothies, which may make your dessert a bit gritty.
- Vanilla Extract - A staple of most dessert recipes. Why? It deepens sweetness and flavor. Though we don’t use a lot, it goes a long way and should never be skipped in a recipe.
HOW TO MAKE GREEN TEA ICE CREAM
1. Chill the Bowl. Put your mixing bowl in the fridge 15-30 minutes beforehand.
2. Aerate the Milk. Return the chilled bowl to your stand mixer and pour in the sweetened condensed milk. Mix for one minute with the whisk attachment.
3. Whisk the Milk and Cream. Add the heavy whipping cream to the aerated milk and whisk on High until the mixture stiffens and thickens.
4. Add the Vanilla and Matcha. Pour in the vanilla extract and sprinkle in the matcha powder. Continue mixing until both ingredients are totally combined.
5. Freeze. Pour the mixture into a storage tub or a meatloaf pan lined with parchment paper. If using a pan, cover with both plastic wrap and foil to help the mixture freeze. Freeze for at least 4 hours. The longer the mixture freezes, the firmer it will become.
6. Scoop & Serve. Allow to sit out for at least 15 minutes before serving for easier scooping.
What is green tea ice cream made of?
As the name suggests, it’s made with green tea! However, it isn’t made with brewed tea or leaves. Rather, the leaves are powdered for a stronger, more concentrated flavor.
My matcha ice cream recipe contains condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, matcha powder, and vanilla. It’s perfectly creamy and sweet even without eggs or added sugar!
Does green tea ice cream have caffeine in it?
Yes, it does – and a fair bit of it. The exact amount of caffeine will vary a bit per brand, but there is generally around 70 mg of caffeine per teaspoon of matcha powder.
How long is green tea ice cream good in the freezer?
This recipe will keep in the freezer for up to a week, and become firmer as time passes.
What flavors go well with matcha ice cream?
It’s almost an endless list! You can’t go wrong with a classic chocolate syrup topping, but there are plnenty of flavors that would be great to mix right into your green tea ice cream.
Think about the different ways you enjoy green tea: with mint, lemon, honey, or other fruits. Any one of those ingredients would make a great addition to this dessert!
Green Tea Ice Cream (No Churn)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoon Matcha Green Tea powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a large, chilled mixing bowl add the sweetened condensed milk and using the whisk attachment, whip for a minute to lighten and incorporate air.
- Add the heavy whipping cream and beat on High until stiff peaks form.
- Add the Matcha green tea and vanilla. Whip until fully incorporated.
- Transfer to an insulated ice cream storage tub or lined meatloaf pan (See Note 1). Four hours will make a firm, chilled, mousse-like ice cream. Freezing overnight makes for a firmer ice cream.
- Set out for at least 15 minutes prior to scooping. Will keep in the freezer for up to one week.
- Before getting the insulated ice cream storage tub I would use a meatloaf pan lined with parchment and cover loosely with plastic wrap, then foil to help freeze.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.