Vanilla Clove Ice Cream

vanilla clove ice cream

Have you been looking for a perfect ice cream to top summer fruit crisps, pies, and other desserts?  Are you tired of plain old vanilla?  Then look no further!  Vanilla Clove ice cream is here to solve your dessert conundrum.

I first thought about adding clove to my vanilla ice cream base when I, too, wanted an ice cream that was a little different than vanilla.  True vanilla bean ice cream is great, but why not step it up a notch?  Vanilla and clove are both earthy, floral flavors and they pair really well together.  The clove stands up to many fruits so it adds an extra spice element to any dessert.  Perfect! Enjoy!

Vanilla Clove Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart

1 ½ cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
2/3 cups sugar
½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I prefer Madagascar vanilla)
4 cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch.  Set aside.

Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean & seeds and clove in a large saucepan.  Bring milk mixture to a boil.  Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened (draw a line on a spoon), about 1 minute.  Carefully remove the vanilla bean. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into a medium bowl.  Whisk in salt.  Set the bowl in the ice water bath, and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.  Chill overnight.

Once chilled, remove cloves and pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.


  1. Michael Okusa says

    Hi Lindsay! My name is Michael. I've been silently following your blog for about a year or so and am just slightly in love with your creative works. I'm a fellow scoop adventurer. Most recent creation is rye bread ice cream – jeni's base w/ caraway, orange zest, and rye whiskey :) you must try; it's phenomenal.

    Question: if you have a minute could you talk about the changes you made to jeni's base? The milk to cream ratio, less cornstarch, half vanilla bean and no cream cheese. Just curious to learn why you felt the changes were important.

    Thanks for inspiring me all the time! I'm very much looking forward to seeing your book on the shelves :)

    • says

      Thank you for your comment on my blog! I am always happy to hear from followers and fellow scoop adventurers. First of all, your rye flavor sounds phenomenal. I find that there are many spices that really do well in ice cream. My favorite is fennel, but I had never thought of using caraway. I will definitely have to give it a try.

      I have primarily changed up the Jeni’s base for my cookbook. I love Jeni’s base and feel like it works really well, however I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to use the base in my own cookbook. So I fiddled around with her base a bit and came up with my own.

      If you have read Jeni’s book, then you know that the cornstarch is added to suck up some water, and corn syrup and cream cheese are added to improve viscosity or scoopability. I decided that the cornstarch was the most important part. Scoopability can be improved with a good fat to sugar ratio, so I went with a little heavier of a base and added more cream. I used half of a vanilla bean in the recipe I just posted because I was adding clove.

      Hope this answers your questions. Keep experimenting!

  2. Amber says


    Great recipe! I’m curious about what purpose the ice bath serves other than to cool the mixture down quickly. I only ask because I only see this method with the cornstarch recipes rather than the egg custards.


    • says

      Yes, you are correct, the ice bath serves to cool the mixture quickly. Cooling the mixture quickly is good for two reasons 1) if there are eggs the recipe it stops the cooking process, 2) cooling fast means shorter time to churning since the mixture must be completely chilled before putting in the ice cream maker.

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