Tonka Bean Ice Cream Recipe

Tropical coconut and vanilla, rich almond warmth, and a hint of sour cherry — you'd be forgiven for thinking this tonka bean ice cream recipe has many different ingredients. Yet the numerous flavours are all from a small grating of tonka bean.

In summer, the tonka bean ice cream pairs beautifully with a bright crimson summer pudding or griddled peach. And in winter the tonka bean's almond and hazelnut notes are a great match for the cinnamon warmth of apple pie.

Ingredients Serves: 6


  1. Mix together the ice cream stabilizer and sugar. Add the egg yolks and whisk until pale and fluffy.
  2. Heat the milk together with one grated tonka bean until just boiling. Leave to cool briefly, and then slowly pour over the sugar and egg yolk mixture, with the whisk still running. Pouring slowly is important so the eggs don't overheat and scramble.
  3. Return the egg yolk, sugar, and milk mixture back to the pan, and heat gently whilst stirring until the temperature reaches around 70°C, or the liquid coats the back of spoon. Remove from heat, and gently stir in the cream and a pinch or two of salt. Taste and add a more grated tonka bean if desired.
  4. Leave to cool, and then refrigerate until cold. Churn in an ice-cream maker, or freeze, stirring every hour for until it solidifies - around 4-6 hours.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


  • Hi Langston, great to hear you tried out this recipe! The sweetness is definitely a personal choice – if you fancy something a little less sugary, check out our other favourite ice cream recipes here (the Pomegrnate molasses is a personal favourite!) Thank you! Helena

    Helena @ Sous Chef on

  • This is the first Ice Cream recipe I’ve followed and it turned out great. I’d like to play around with the levels of sugar and tonka bean though. I think for me it was just a bit too sweet and the taste of caster sugar was lasting after I had finished a bowl.

    Langston on

  • Hi Felix, yes you should be able to replace the grated tonka bean with ground cinnamon, but be aware it can be a very strong flavour – so you might need to experiment with quantities to get a balance that you like.

    Holly at Sous Chef on

  • Hey Nicola, i want to make cinnamon ice cream. You think I can just replace tonka for cinnamon in this recipe? Thank you!

    Felix on

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