How to make your own Matcha green tea ice cream [full recipe & buying guide]

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 6, 2022

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If you visit Japan, you’ll see tons of matcha-flavored treats like matcha ice cream, matcha lattes, and matcha cookies.

At first, it would seem like making matcha ice cream at home would be a daunting and difficult task.

However, you only need a few basic ingredients, a high-quality matcha powder, and a few hours of waiting, and you can make the most delicious green tea ice cream at home!

Favorite Asian Recipes
Favorite Asian Recipes

This green-colored ice cream has a unique and distinct flavor that is different from other types of ice cream.

The key to making a good matcha green tea ice cream is to use a high-quality matcha powder that has a slightly sweet, earthy, grassy flavor with a hint of bitterness – that’s the distinctive matcha flavor!

I’m sharing my simple yet tasty homemade matcha ice cream recipe with you so that you can enjoy this amazing treat any time you want!

How to make matcha green tea ice cream at home

As far as ice cream recipes go, this one is about as simple as it gets because you can use an ice cream machine.

So it’s time to learn how to make your own delicious Matcha green tea ice cream.

make your own matcha green tea ice cream

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe

Joost Nusselder
One way to get a better understanding of matcha ice cream is to find out how to make it. Here is a simple recipe that is guaranteed to get you great results. This recipe for homemade ice cream highlights the rich texture and intense matcha flavor.
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Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Freeze 6 hrs
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Ice-cream maker

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3 tbsp. matcha green tea powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher or sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Freeze ice cream bowl for 24 hours.
  • Whisk together half and half, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan.
  • Start cooking over medium heat, then add green tea powder. Stir often allowing mixture to heat until it’s very hot but not boiling.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to the iced bowl. When it is cool, cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  • Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, transfer to a pre-chilled ice cream maker. Process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer. Allow it to chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
Keyword ice cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking tips for match green tea ice cream

Be sure to mix your milk mixture very well with the sugar and salt so that it doesn’t get lumpy.

If you find that your matcha ice cream is lumpy, you might need to adjust your cooking method.

Due to the fine powder’s tendency to form lumps as soon as it comes into contact with moisture, matcha cannot be added to a considerable amount of liquid.

As a result, before adding matcha to a substantial amount of liquid, make the matcha into a paste with a small quantity of milk.

Whisk the milk and fine powder, then add it to the saucepan. Stir and mix until you achieve the desired consistency.

For the tastiest homemade ice cream recipe, I would recommend getting a good organic Matcha powder like this one since it is the base of your recipe:

Organic matcha powder

(view more images)

Culinary-grade matcha is also available in stores, and it’s used to make matcha ice cream.

Japanese green tea ice cream shouldn’t be too milky or creamy, as you may anticipate from some commercial ice cream brands, as this would minimize the distinctive matcha flavor.

Simply put, Japanese ice cream made with real matcha should be strong. The matcha taste is strong and robust!

Make sure you freeze your ice cream bowl for about 24 hours before starting to make the ice cream.

If it’s not cool enough, even after 30 minutes of churning, you can still get liquidy melty ice cream, and it will be harder to make.

When it comes to making ice cream at home, you can use any type of ice cream maker, but I recommend something like the Whynter ICM-128BPS Upright Automatic Ice Cream Maker.

This ice cream maker doesn’t require pre-freezing, so you just add your ice cream mixture and let it do the work.

Substitutions & variations

This recipe calls for 2 cups of half and half cream. However, if you don’t have half and half cream, you can use 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of light cream.

Also, you can try whole milk combined with a bit of heavy whipping cream. This gives the same texture as half and half, so your ice cream will have a great texture.

If you want to make a vegan matcha ice cream, you can use coconut milk or any other plant-based milk.

I would recommend using full-fat coconut milk because it will make a richer and creamier ice cream.

If you want to add a bit of sweetness to your matcha ice cream, you can add some honey or agave nectar.

Start with 1 tablespoon and then taste the mixture before adding more.

You can also use other sweeteners like maple syrup or brown sugar.

The good thing about green tea ice cream is that it’s not too sweet, so you can adjust the sweetness to your liking.

If you want to add some crunch to your ice cream, you can add some chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios.

You can also add chocolate chips, raisins, or other dried fruits.

If you want to add some fruit to your matcha ice cream, you can add fresh or frozen berries. This gives the ice cream a lovely fruity flavor and a beautiful color.

Another great idea is to add some matcha powder to your favorite chocolate ice cream recipe. This gives the chocolate ice cream a lovely green tea flavor.

What is green tea matcha ice cream?

Japanese dessert cuisine uses a lot of matcha powder. So it’s no surprise that matcha ice cream is one of the most popular flavors.

It is an ice cream made with culinary grade matcha powder, a green-colored finely ground powder made from green tea leaves.

Matcha powder is rich in antioxidants and has a unique umami flavor.

The combination of matcha and cream makes for a rich and creamy ice cream with a strong green tea flavor.

Matcha ice cream is not too sweet, so it’s a refreshing and light dessert, and the grassy taste makes it unique compared to other ice creams.

It’s a refreshing treat served all year round in Japan, and it’s becoming more popular in the West as people become more familiar with matcha.

Origin

While the exact date of origin of matcha green tea ice cream is unknown, it’s thought to have originated in Japan.

In the Meiji period, matcha green tea ice cream was served to nobles and dignitaries as a symbol of luxury.

During that time, ceremonial grade matcha was served in tea ceremonies, and culinary grade matcha was used in desserts.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that matcha green tea ice cream started to become a real trend.

The Haagen-Dazs brand introduced matcha green tea ice cream in 1984, and it quickly became one of its most popular flavors.

In the West, matcha ice cream really took off in the 2000s.

How to serve and eat

Matcha green tea ice cream is best served cold. You can scoop it into a bowl or cone and enjoy it as is.

If you want to get fancy, you can garnish with some whipped cream, a cherry, or some chopped nuts.

In a Japanese restaurant, the matcha green tea ice cream is served with a small scoop of red bean paste.

This is a classic combination that contrasts the bitterness of the matcha with the sweetness of the red beans.

How to store

Just like other ice cream types, Matcha green tea ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To prevent ice crystals from forming, wrap the ice cream tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.

When you’re ready to eat, let the ice cream thaw for 10-15 minutes, so it’s easy to scoop.

Similar dishes

Other popular Japanese ice cream flavors include yuzu, red bean, and black sesame.

If you want a matcha-flavored dessert but don’t want ice cream, you can try matcha mochi, which is a rice cake filled with sweetened red bean paste and coated in matcha powder.

Green tea or matcha-flavored mochi ice cream is another popular Japanese dessert. Mochi ice cream is sweet, but the matcha powdered variety has that similar slightly bitter taste.

You can also find matcha-flavored cakes, cookies, and other desserts in Japanese bakeries. And have you ever tried the green matcha KitKat chocolate bar?

FAQs

Is matcha ice cream healthy?

Matcha ice cream contains green tea, which is rich in antioxidants. It’s also lower in sugar than other ice cream flavors, so it’s a healthier option.

This flavor is not as full of saturated fat as other ice cream recipes that are full of sugary ingredients.

How does matcha powder give ice cream its color?

Matcha powder is a green-colored powder made from green tea leaves.

The color is very concentrated, so even a small amount of matcha powder can give the ice cream a beautiful green color.

Does matcha taste like green tea ice cream?

Yes, these flavors are basically the same thing. Some specialty ice cream parlors use very high-quality matcha powder, so it’s a true “matcha ice cream.”

But green tea ice cream is so similar you might not be able to tell the difference. In most cases, the ice cream is labeled as either “matcha” or “green tea.”

Does Matcha green tea ice cream have dairy?

Yes, most matcha green tea ice cream recipes call for milk and cream. This gives the ice cream a rich and creamy texture.

If you’re looking for a dairy-free option, there are some vegan recipes that use coconut milk instead.

Conclusion

Matcha green tea ice cream is a refreshing and light dessert with a strong green tea flavor.

It’s perfect for people who want a sweet treat that’s not too heavy. And it’s a healthy option compared to other ice cream flavors.

This flavor is low in sugar the matcha mixture gives it a refreshing herbal taste that you’ll enjoy.

The homemade matcha ice cream recipe is easy to follow and make.

Therefore, there’s no reason not to give it a try. Who knows, it might become your family’s new favorite flavor!

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.