Black Walnut Ice Cream

Black Walnut Ice Cream

Homemade black walnut ice cream. There is nothing like it. 

This recipe has a rich and creamy vanilla ice cream base with flavorful chopped black walnuts inside. This from-scratch 7 ingredient recipe uses only organic and whole ingredients and is an easy and delicious treat to make!

My older sister and I took a poll. Older black men love black walnut ice cream. My father, both of my grandfathers, and many others, all love black walnut ice cream. I don’t know if it’s a southern thing or what, but it is a popular favorite. My mother, grandmothers, older sister, and I all love butter pecan the best. Lol. 

They both taste amazing, which ice cream is your favorite? Black walnut or Butter pecan?

One of my favorite things about this recipe is how easy it is to make. This recipe is actually based on my Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe. I just use vanilla extract instead and add in the chopped black walnuts. It makes for a delicious and fun treat. 

Key  Ingredients, Tools, and, Tips for Black Walnut Ice Cream

black walnut ice cream

Black Walnuts

Black walnuts have a very rich flavor that is completely different from regular walnuts. For this recipe, instead of infusing the walnuts inside of the cream, which can cause the nuts to be soft, we add the walnuts at the end during the churning process. We do this because we want the nuts to still be crunchy in the finished ice cream. We then end up with very flavorful ice cream with crunchy chopped black walnuts. 

You can use regular walnuts but the taste will not be the same. You can buy chopped black walnuts online or at a local health food store.

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Tools and Ingredients You May Need:

Black walnuts

Vanilla extract


Large mixing bowl

Kitchen thermometer

Fine mesh sieve or strainer

Ice cream machine

Ice cream machine freezer bowl

Freezer-safe ice cream storage containers

black walnut ice cream


  • Dairy Cream and Milk: I have only used dairy heavy cream and whole milk for this recipe. I wouldn’t recommend substituting anything else, because your ice cream might not be as rich and creamy. 
  • Completely Chill Ice Cream Base: Make sure you completely chill the ice cream base before churning. Otherwise, the ice cream may not churn properly causing your ice to be less creamy.
  • Cook Ice Cream Base Low and Slow Until it Reaches the Right Temperature: Don’t strain and chill your ice cream base until it reaches 170 – 175F degrees and has thickened. Otherwise, your ice cream may not churn properly or be as creamy. 
  • Completely Chill the Ice Cream Bowl: Make sure the ice cream bowl is completely chilled (12 – 24 hours) before churning – a warm bowl can impact the churning process. 
  • Hot Environment Can Impact Churning: If you are churning in a hot room it can cause the ice cream to not churn properly.
  • Whisk Eggs and Sugar until Smooth: When whisking the egg yolks with the sugar, it will be chunky at first, but keep whisking until it turns very smooth and pale yellow.
  • Ice Cream Base will Thicken as it Chills in the Refrigerator: Ice cream base might be thick when you pour it into the ice cream machine, this is normal.
black walnut ice cream

Looking for More Desserts?

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with vanilla bean

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Apple Crisp with Brown Sugar Oat Crumble

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

3 – Ingredient Hot Chocolate mix

Easy Homemade Hot Chocolate 3 ways

Easy Peach Cobbler Recipe

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black walnut ice cream

Black Walnut Ice Cream

  • Author: Tonya | The Midwest Kitchen Blog
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 8 – 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: Southern



This recipe has a rich and creamy vanilla ice cream base with flavorful chopped black walnuts inside. This from-scratch 7 ingredient recipe uses only organic and whole ingredients and is an easy and delicious treat to make!


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 4 oz or ¾ cup chopped black walnuts



How to Make the Ice Cream Base:

  1. In a medium-sized pot add in the heavy cream, whole milk, salt, and vanilla extract. Mix together. Heat the milk/cream mixture until it starts to steam, but not boil or simmer. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. While you are waiting for the milk/ cream mixture to warm up, start separating your eggs. The easiest way to separate the egg yolks from the whites is to crack the whole egg into one bowl. Using your hands, gently scoop out the yolk. Allow the egg whites to fall down into the bowl through your fingers. Then add the egg yolk into a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the other 4 eggs.
  3. Next, add the sugar and whisk the eggs and sugar until it becomes pale yellow in color, light and fluffy, and has a silky ribbon consistency, 2 – 3 minutes. It will be chunky at first but keep whisking.


Temper the Eggs:

  1. Pour 2 cups of your warm milk/ cream mixture into a measuring cup. Add a few tablespoons of the milk/ cream to the egg mixture, then whisk to combine. Add a few more tablespoons, whisk. Then add ¼ cup and whisk. Repeat until all the milk is gone from the measuring cup.
  2. Next, pour your egg/ milk/ cream mixture back into the pot, whisking in the remaining milk in the pot. Cook this mixture on low heat until the ice cream base has thickened a little and has reached a temperature between 170F and 175F degrees, mixing occasionally. You don’t want this mixture to boil. The ice cream base will look creamy and will start to steam. This will take about 20 minutes.
  3. Once your mixture is up to temperature, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into a large mixing bowl, to remove any egg chunks.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the ice cream mixture to cool on the counter for 2 hours, then transfer it to the refrigerator to cool completely for another 2 – 4 hours.


Churning the Ice Cream Base:

  1. Churn your ice cream base according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. Your ice cream should look soft, fluffy, and incredibly creamy, like soft-serve ice cream. This usually takes about 20 minutes. Add in the chopped black walnuts. Allow the machine to mix everything together for 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer your homemade black walnut ice cream into freezer-safe containers to completely freeze, about 6 – 8 hours. Enjoy!



Homemade black walnut ice cream can last for several weeks in the freezer.

Keywords: black walnut ice cream, homemade ice cream, homemade ice cream recipe

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