Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

When we go to Japan, our favorite treat is the matcha green tea ice cream. Here's my vegan version, which uses coconut milk in place of dairy.

Matcha green tea ice cream recipe

Jack here, bringing you one of the many joys from our Japan travels – matcha ice cream. We had no idea, before going, that green tea ice cream was even a thing. But the minute you walk down the street in any touristy area, you’re guaranteed to see giant fake green soft-serve cones outside of ice cream shops. Seeing something so American and familiar as a giant fake soft-serve ice cream cone, but *green*, was, well, it made me want to eat some. Fast forward through the trip, and Jeanine and I must have eaten 1 cone each every other day. So enough about us, it’s time to share one of our favorites with all of you.

How to make green tea ice cream

Of course, the “cream” in our ice cream continues to be coconut cream, and I have a dirty secret. I love dairy, I love dairy ice cream – but I like coconut ice cream better. There. I said it. Coconut ice cream is better than dairy ice cream. And this is coming from the guy that is sometimes happy his wife is lactose-intolerant so that he can have the cheese from her pizza.

Besides the coconut cream and matcha, the secret of this green tea ice cream recipe is that we add some maple syrup, vanilla, and a squeeze of lemon. All of these help to cut through the natural bitterness that matcha (or any tea) has, and gives you a sweet ice-cream-y dessert.

Matcha Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

If you love this matcha green tea ice cream recipe…

Make matcha smoothies, matcha doughnuts, or matcha-frosted cake next!


4.7 from 16 reviews

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

 
Prep time
Total time
 
You'll love this simple matcha ice cream recipe! Made with a coconut base, it's totally vegan and gluten-free.
Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons matcha* (see note)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vodka (optional - to help texture once it’s frozen)
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker has been in the freezer for at least 12 hours, 24 is best.
  2. Whisk together the matcha, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon, salt and vodka, if using. (If your matcha is lumpy, you can strain the mixture before putting it into your ice cream maker). Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturers directions. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 1-2 hours to firm up a bit.
  3. If your ice cream has frozen over night, let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes to soften again.
Notes
(white chocolate chips pictured are not vegan)

*the flavor of matcha can widely vary in bitterness, I suggest starting with less and adding more to taste (before churning the ice cream). I used AIYA Cooking Grade Matcha which is one of my favorites because the flavor is very nicely balanced.

I used this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, although if you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I recommend getting the Ice Cream Attachment instead. (It works the same, it’s just easier to store).

66 comments

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  1. Josh
    06.25.2016

    I haven’t read all the comments to see if anyone else said this yet, but the instructions don’t mention when to add the coconut milk. I’m assuming it goes with step 2 eh?

  2. Louise
    01.30.2016

    Hi–when do you add the vodka? Thank you! Looks amazing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.31.2016

      Hi Louise – mix it with all of the other ingredients (I just updated the recipe to list that a little more clearly).

  3. Caspar
    11.02.2015

    Hi Jeanine,

    How many ml is 1 can?

  4. Sarah
    06.23.2015

    I made this ice cream today and wow! What a delectable dessert. I got myself two scoops but only had one because it was so intensely amazing. Every little bite was savored and one to be appreciated. I used honey instead of maple syrup and a tablespoon of cane sugar. I like that this is more of a unique ice cream compared to other flavors that are just in your face sweet. Thanks for another awesome recipe! Will definitely be making this ice cream again this summer 🙂

  5. Ash
    06.06.2015

    Thanks for the recipe! Just made a batch and used the 2T of matcha – it was a little too matcha-y for me (and I love matcha… Could have been because I used matcha tea powder not marked specially for cooking) so I added another can of coconut milk. Worked beautifully. Topped our first bowls with toasted sesame seeds and freeze dried coconut and it was delicious!

    • Valerie
      08.13.2015

      A friend returned from Japan and brought me a gift of Macha Green Tea powder. I googled recipes and found yours to be very attractive. I just finished making it and it is now chilling in the refrigerator. I can’t wait to eat it!
      I wondered what is the difference of the “cooking” Matcha green tea powder vs. the “drinking” type that I have.
      I’m hoping it’s not too bitter (as one of your reviewers mentioned it WAS when she used 2 tablespoons of the “drinking type” powder). If it is… do you suggest adding another can as she did? I wonder if she can respond to this message too.

      • jeanine
        08.13.2015

        hi Valerie, every type of matcha will taste different no matter what it’s labeled – ceremonial matcha is supposed to taste less bitter than cooking-grade matcha – but every single brand will be different and everyone’s taste for it will be different too. If you’ve already mixed it and the flavor is too strong, maybe add a few sweet toppings to your ice cream to balance it out :).

        • Valerie
          08.13.2015

          Where do you find “cooking -grade” Matcha? … I never heard of that or seen it.
          I now have my chilled mixture in the ice cream maker now. I tried tasting the liquid mixture and am very excited to eat the finished ice cream product. The watery liquid mixture is delish!!! Not bitter at all! I used about 1 and 3/4th Tablespoons of my Matcha Powder.
          Thank you again for sharing your recipe!!!

  6. Sarah
    06.02.2015

    I was planning on making this this weekend but now I’m a bit confused when I read the instructions. Do I freeze the can of coconut milk before mixing in the other ingredients?

    • jeanine
      06.04.2015

      Hi Sarah – oops, no just the bowl of your ice cream maker needs to be chilled in advance (unless you have a fancier kind of ice cream maker that doesn’t require that). I can see how the way I wrote it looks confusing, I’ll re-word that.

  7. Sittideat Kitporkha
    04.08.2015

    Thank for sharing.
    Looks really yummy

  8. Shirley
    04.02.2015

    Hi there! Your recipe looks amazing!! Definitely will try it! Quick question though, could I ask how many ml or ounces the can of coconut milk is?
    Thanks!

  9. Love!! Do you have to use full fat or do you think you could cut the calories and use light coconut milk? Or would that make it too icy?

    • jeanine
      04.03.2015

      Hi Haley, I find light coconut milk to be too icy – but sometimes I make a bigger batch (double this) and do 1 can of each.

  10. savvy
    03.22.2015

    Time to make room in my freezer my bowl….and start summer early! Everything else already HERE- and knitting group meeting on Tuesday!! Lucky ladies this week!!

  11. Minnah
    03.18.2015

    Holy macaraoni, I cannot wait to test this recipe out when the weather gets warmer. I am curious to know though what brand your ice cream maker is? There are too many on the market that gived the crystallized effect which I would like to avoid.

  12. Oh boy! I bet the coconut in this ice cream makes the matcha stand out even more. I need more matcha asap so I can whip up a batch!

  13. I am obsessed with matcha these days! I have to go to Japan just for all the matcha flavoured things!

    This ice cream looks incredible! Love the coconut-matcha flavour combo.

  14. Love matcha! Never had it with coconut ice cream before but looks really delicious and the colour is gorgeous.

    Can’t wait to make this in the summer time!

  15. I lovelovelove those soft serve green tea ice cream in Japan! And I can imagine how creamy and delicious your coconut milk version is, too! Yum.

  16. Loving the whole matcha movement happening lately!

    I don’t have an ice cream maker, but this is definitely something i’m making when I do get one! In the meantime I’ll use my matcha for frosting and lattes!

    X

  17. Great post, and you’re very convincing about dairy-free ice cream. I need my husband to read this. 😉 I’ll be anxiously waiting for it warm up around here to make this!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.