Who doesn’t want ice cream? It’s a great way to cool down especially on a hot day, and one can have so much pleasure savoring all the fruity flavors that most commercial brands carry. But if there is one thing that’s even better, it’s artisanal ice cream.
Artisanal ice cream refers to ice cream that’s made in small batches and with higher quality ingredients that come from local farms. This means that the ice cream is fresh and natural and contains real fruit or herbs to provide flavor. You can even find some of it in ice cream of the month clubs.
Of course, the various features make artisanal ice cream more expensive than commercial ice cream. Fortunately, there are now lots of ice cream cookbooks that teach anyone how to make homemade artisanal ice cream. Not only is doing so cheaper, but it also gives anyone the chance to experiment with lots of ingredients.
The best ice cream cookbooks are those that arm you with the basic essentials and then let you run wild and be creative with making flavors. It also helps that most of these cookbooks have mouthwatering photographs to go with their equally delicious recipes. Nothing like food porn to keep you inspired in churning unique flavors to go with that custard or Philadelphia-style ice cream base.
From gourmet frozen dessert cookbooks written by top artisanal ice cream brands to practical recipe collections on how to make ice cream and gelato, here are my top ten ice cream cookbooks on Amazon. Some of them rely on ice cream makers, while others teach you to make ice cream by hand.
Best Ice Cream Cookbooks
- Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Perfect Scoop, Revised and Updated: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments Hardcover – Illustrated
- Rose's Ice Cream Bliss Hardcover – Illustrated
- N'ice Cream: 80+ Recipes for Healthy Homemade Vegan Ice Creams Paperback – Illustrated
- Food52 Ice Cream and Friends: 60 Recipes and Riffs Hardcover – Illustrated
- Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home Hardcover – Illustrated
- Ice Cream Cookbook: Homemade Ice Cream, Gelato, Sherbet, and Frozen Yogurt Recipes with and without an Ice Cream Maker Illustrated Edition Paperback
- Ice Cream Social: 100 Artisanal Recipes for Ice Cream, Sherbet, Granita, and Other Frozen Favorites Paperback – Illustrated
- The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home Hardcover – Illustrated
- Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients Hardcover
1. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery Hardcover – Illustrated
Bi-Rite Creamery is one of America’s top artisanal cream shops and this cookbook collects some of their popular ice cream recipes like the Salted Caramel and Balsamic Strawberry, and Malted Vanilla with Peanut Brittle and Milk Chocolate. It also includes their recipes for ice cream cakes, sandwiches, frostings, pie crusts, sorbets, and sauces, which can be used for a variety of frozen desserts.
Recipes are organized by type: Vanilla, Caramel, Chocolate, Coffee and Tea, Nuts, Berries, Citrus, Herbs and Spices, and Tropical Fruits. There is a master recipe that teaches you how to make a delicious and smooth-textured ice cream. In general, the instructions are very specific and the explanations are detailed. There are also how-to photos to help illustrate the basic techniques in making ice cream.
Readers liked the book for its easy-to-follow recipes. One found its techniques very useful for improving the flavor of ice cream recipes from other cookbooks.
Recommended for the first-time artisan ice cream maker and for fans of Bi-Rite Creamery’s frozen desserts.
2. The Perfect Scoop, Revised and Updated: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments Hardcover – Illustrated
This latest edition features a new book design, new photos, and a dozen new recipes to add to its recipe collection of homemade ice cream and frozen desserts. There is also a new selection of frozen cocktails like the Negroni Slush and Spritz Sorbet, along with some sub-recipes for sauces, toppings, and mix-ins to elevate your usual dessert.
The recipes are well-researched and well-written. There are a lot of interesting flavor combinations enough to keep the reader interested in making ice cream. The techniques are explained well and the book even includes some discussions on how to freeze ice cream properly with various types of appliances. It also provides solutions for problems that a beginner might encounter when following the recipes.
Readers liked how easy the directions are. One found its section on ice cream cones very useful. Another liked that the book stays nicely focused on its subject.
Recommended for beginners and casual home cooks.
3. Rose's Ice Cream Bliss Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook presents dessert diva Rose Levy Beranbaum’s foolproof base method of making ice cream along with her selection of kitchen-tested recipes for ice cream social desserts. The featured flavors include Lemon Ginger, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge, Back Road Mint Chocolate Chip, Brown Sugar with Black Pepper, Roasted Corn, and Red Wine.
Recipes are easy to follow but tend towards being fussy. They also use a high cream-to-milk ratio and 6 to 9 eggs per batch. But, those who’ve tried the recipes said that they’ve never had one fail. There are a lot of useful tips in this book that are based on the author's extensive experience; for instance, she has an easy method of mixing custard bases without tempering them.
Recommended for experienced home cooks and fans of Berenbaum.
4. N'ice Cream: 80+ Recipes for Healthy Homemade Vegan Ice Creams Paperback – Illustrated
This cookbook features vegan recipes for ice creams, soft serves, milkshakes, fresh sorbets, popsicles, and other frozen desserts like ice cream cakes and sauces. Samples of the recipes include Coconut Water Coolers, Apple Avocado Mint Popsicles, Dreamy Chocolate Sundae, and Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Recipes tend to be simple and use ingredients that are not hard to find. They can be made with or without an ice cream maker and can easily be modified for dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free diets. Each recipe has a gorgeous photograph of the final product. Readers found the flavor combinations interesting and unique. Another liked that the ingredients can easily be substituted.
Recommended for anyone looking for vegan ice cream recipes.
5. Food52 Ice Cream and Friends: 60 Recipes and Riffs Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a collection of Food52’s well-tested recipes for frozen desserts, toppings, and add-ons. The flavors range from the familiar to the creative, like Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream, Coffee Frozen Custard, and Grilled Watermelon Cremolada. It also includes instructions for making ice cream without an ice cream maker or spiffing up store-bought ice cream, as well as troubleshooting tips for beginners.
Recipes are accessible and are explained well. Those who’ve tried them found that the quantities work and that they all taste great. Another liked its Ingredient 101 section for its useful information on how ingredients are prepped for each recipe.
Recommended for anyone looking for ice cream recipes that have creative and unusual flavor combinations.
6. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a cookbook that features 100 signature ice cream recipes from one of Ohio’s popular artisanal scooperies, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. It includes crowd favorites like the Goat Cheese with Roasted Cherries, the Queen City Cayenne, and the Bourbon with Toasted Buttered Pecans.
This book is often cited by home cooks for its milk-based American-style ice cream recipe that contains no eggs. Those who’ve tried the rest of her recipes said that flavor combinations really work and taste delicious. The recipes are also easy to follow and come with beautiful photos.
Recommended for anyone looking for a great ice cream recipe collection.
7. Ice Cream Cookbook: Homemade Ice Cream, Gelato, Sherbet, and Frozen Yogurt Recipes with and without an Ice Cream Maker Illustrated Edition Paperback
This cookbook features a selection of easy recipes for making the best ice cream, sherbet, gelato, and frozen yogurt. A noteworthy feature of this book is that all the recipes come with two sets of directions: one for use with an ice cream maker, and another to prepare without one.
Samples of the recipes include Pecan and Maple Syrup Ice Cream, Classic Vanilla Ice Cream, Blueberry Ice Cream, Creamy Pistachio Gelato, Nutella Gelato, Biscotti Gelato, Chocolate Sherbet, Pineapple and Coconut Sherbet Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, and Strawberry Frozen Yogurt.
Recipes come with step-by-step directions, cooking and prep times, number of servings, and nutrition facts per serving. Each one also has a color photo of the dessert.
Recommended for anyone looking for a no-fuss guide to ice cream making.
8. Ice Cream Social: 100 Artisanal Recipes for Ice Cream, Sherbet, Granita, and Other Frozen Favorites Paperback – Illustrated
The authors are Chez Panisse veterans so naturally this cookbook features ice cream recipes that showcase fresh, organic, and seasonal ingredients. The selection has a wide variety of recipes ranging from basic to boozy and also includes topping and mix-in recipes, such as whipped cream, fudge sauce, etc. Samples include London Fog Ice Cream, Creamy Lime Sherbet, and Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream.
Recipes are easy to follow and use lots of eggs and heavy cream. Its section on techniques is straight forward and includes troubleshooting tips for the beginner.
Readers loved the flavor combinations. One said that this has a fine collection of chocolate ice cream recipes.
Recommended for anyone looking for artisanal recipes on frozen treats based on fruits, juices, and creams.
9. The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home Hardcover – Illustrated
America’s premier gelato and sorbetto maker presents its collection of recipes, which include their award-winning Key Lime with Graham Cracker Gelato and Hazelnut Biscotti Gelato. This cookbook will teach you how to make an easy custard or simple syrup base so that you can give in to your creative impulse of making your own flavor combinations.
The recipe selection is comprehensive. Its plain base flavors include classics like Pistachio, to favorites like Apple Caramel Crisp. The chocolate base features global flavors like Chocolate Chai and Mexican Coffee.
Readers found this a great book to use for either an expensive frozen dessert machine or a home ice cream maker. Another said that the book has the easiest recipes for gelato and sorbetto.
Recommended for fans of Ciao Bella and anyone looking for American style gelato recipes.
10. Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients Hardcover
This cookbook features ice gourmet quality ice cream recipes from the Molly Moon’s Ice Cream Shop in Seattle. The flavor selection includes classic favorites like Vanilla Bean to surprising combinations like Balsamic Strawberry and Maple Bacon.
Recipes have simple directions and include useful tips on sourcing local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Each one is accompanied by a beautiful photo of the dessert.
Recommended for anyone looking for great Philadelphia-style ice cream (all milk and cream) recipes.
THE PERFECT SCOOP, REVISED AND UPDATED: 200 RECIPES FOR ICE CREAMS, SORBETS, GELATOS, GRANITAS, AND SWEET ACCOMPANIMENTS [A COOKBOOK] by David Lebovitz
This is a great guidebook to making artisanal ice cream because it includes the basics and all of the accompaniments, from mix-ins to sauces.
The explanations and directions are geared for the beginner and in this revised edition, there are now step-by-step photos and new headnotes for the recipes to further help the reader as he or she goes through the recipes.
The recipe selection is comprehensive with both custard-based and Philadelphia-style ice cream recipes equally represented. And as an added bonus, there’s a section for cone and meringue recipes to ensure that you won’t waste the egg whites when making your custard-based ice cream.
Overall, a useful and entertaining reference book for ice cream lovers.