Black Sesame Ice Cream
You will fall in love with my Black sesame ice cream fast! This Japanese-inspired homemade ice cream is super creamy and milky. Made with 2-ingredient black sesame paste, I’ll show you how to make it with or without an ice cream maker.
Imagine the deeply rich, nutty aroma with a touch of maple! Did I mention it’s also vegan and low carb, plus it only takes 10 minutes to blend?
Black sesame paste
The star of this ice cream is the Japanese-style black sesame paste! If you’ve never tried it, you are missing out!
The Japanese version of black sesame paste is made from toasted black sesame seeds, also known as kurogoma. It has a nutty, creamy, and slightly sweet taste. The texture is thick, almost similar to the consistency of peanut butter or the filling of black sesame mochi ice cream.
It’s different from the black tahini jars we see in U.S. supermarkets. Luckily, you can purchase it on Amazon or make my homemade Japanese sesame paste with only 2 simple ingredients – blend black sesame seeds with honey or maple syrup in a food processor or mini grinder until they become a thick paste.
You’ll be surprised to know that this black sesame ice cream recipe has no eggs and no condensed milk! So what do you need to make the best dairy-free ice cream?
- A whole can of full-fat coconut cream (14 oz.): Full-fat coconut cream is different from coconut milk, so make sure you buy the right one.
- Vanilla extract, coarse sea salt
- Black sesame paste: You can either use a store-bought Japanese-style paste or use our homemade Japanese black tahini.
- Dairy-free half and half: For this recipe, I use Nutpots vanilla flavor.
- Maple syrup
Substitutions and variations
- You can use vanilla powder instead of vanilla extract for the same result. You can also use it to make these chocolatey dairy-free fudge popsicles.
- If you’re short on time, store-bought Japanese-style black sesame paste (link in my recipe card) works just as well as my homemade black sesame paste.
- Honey or brown sugar are also good sweeteners if you’re not vegan.
- If you love toppings on your desserts, garnish the ice cream with toasted sesame seeds or finely chopped nuts.
Black tahini sold in U.S. grocery stores is not the same as the Japanese version. Black tahini has a thinner and runnier consistency and an astringent taste. The Japanese style is thicker and tastes smooth, sweet, and nutty.
How to make it
This delicious ice cream only takes 10 minutes to prepare. So, how do you make the best sesame ice cream with or without an ice cream maker?
- To prepare: Chill the coconut cream in the fridge, and the freezer bowl in the freezer overnight. To start, blend all the ingredients until smooth. This will be your ice cream base.
- Ice cream method: Using a spatula, pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it’s done churning, you can enjoy it straight away as a black sesame soft serve. If you want a firmer texture, freeze it for 2 hours before serving.
- No-churn method: Transfer the ice cream mixture into an airtight, freezer-friendly container and freeze for 4 to 6 hours. Stirring it every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours of freezing will create a creamier texture.
- To serve: Thaw the black sesame icecream for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Serve them in small bowls with your favorite toppings.
Note: You can also use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients until smooth, the same way I make my lavender honey ice cream.
How to make ahead, store, and serve
- Make-ahead: Prepare the black sesame paste in advance as you can keep them for longer (up to 1 month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer).
- Storage: To preserve the creamy texture and nutty flavor, keep the black sesame seed ice cream in a freezer-safe, airtight container, for up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
- Serving: To serve, allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Note: As this recipe is dairy-free and uses no eggs, the texture will be a little hard after freezing it for several days, especially if it’s no churn. To make it creamy again, simply pop it into a blender to smoothen the texture.
What to serve it with
The nutty flavor of black sesame and creamy texture of the ice cream goes really well with slightly tart toppings and fresh summery drinks.
- Fruity toppings: I love serving mine with a teaspoon of instant pot strawberry compote, but you can also top it off with chopped nuts or other toppings of your choice.
- Refreshing drinks: Cool off during the summer with a tall glass of mango matcha ice tea, or this easy vegan Vietnamese iced coffee for a refreshing caffeine fix. Alternatively, this sake cocktail with grapefruit makes a chic pairing.
Tips for success
Here are some tips on making the best, creamy, rich ice cream with no condensed milk:
- Choose the Right Dairy Substitute: Canned full-fat coconut milk is an excellent substitute for dairy. It has a creamy and rich texture. Be careful not to confuse it with coconut milk as they’re not the same. Some recipes also use soaked and blended cashews, which gives a similar consistency.
- Chill the Coconut Cream: Remember to chill the can in the fridge overnight before making the ice cream!
- Japanese black sesame paste: Japanese-style sesame paste has a thick and smooth consistency. The toasted black sesame seeds have a sweeter taste. Black tahini sold in the U.S. has a thinner consistency and a more bitter flavor.
- Homemade black sesame paste: You’ll only need 2 ingredients to make your homemade paste – black sesame seeds and honey. Pan-roast the sesame seeds and blend them with honey in a spice grinder until they turn into a thick paste.
- Use a High-Powered Blender: A high-powered blender can help to create a smoother and creamier texture when blending the roasted sesame seed paste mixture.
- Chill the Mixture Thoroughly: Chill your ice cream mixture in the freezer for at least 2 hours for a soft serve texture. For a firmer texture, freeze it overnight.
- No-Churn Version: Use a metal spoon to stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours of freezing.
The main difference between the two is that black sesame PASTE is made by toasting black sesame seeds and grinding them with honey (or maple syrup) into a thick, glossy spread, whereas black TAHINI is made with raw sesame seeds, is typically unsweetened, and has a thinner and runnier consistency.
It has a rich black sesame flavor with a deeply rich nutty aroma, a hint of earthy undertone, and a touch of sweetness from the maple syrup.
It’s typically made by mixing heavy cream, egg yolk, whole milk, black sesame seeds, and honey with a whisk, which is then churned in an ice cream maker. Some recipes also use whipping cream, condensed milk, and/or cornstarch. This dairy-free recipe, however, has no eggs and no condensed milk.
Black sesame ice cream recipe
- Chill the coconut cream in the fridge and put the freezer bowl in the freezer overnight.
- In a blender, add the ingredients from coconut cream to maple syrup. Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute until smooth.
Ice cream method:
- Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn following the manufacture’s instructions. The ice cream should firm up and turn it into a ball after about 20 minutes. You can enjoy it right away for a soft serve texture.
- For a more firm texture, transfer it into an airtight and freezer friendly container. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.
No churn method:
- Transfer it into an airtight and freezer friendly container. Freeze for 4-6 hours until firm.
- Optional step: for a creamier texture: use a metal spoon to stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours of freezing.
- To serve, allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Because this recipe is dairy-free and with no eggs, after freezing it for several days, the texture will be a little hard. To make it creamy again, simply pop it back into a blender to blend again.
- Can I use black tahini instead?
The short answer is no. In the U.S. black TAHINIi is not the same as black sesame PASTE. Although the terms are loosely used interchangeably, the paste has a thicker consistency than tahini.
- What’s the difference between black sesame PASTE and black TAHINI in U.S. grocery stores?
The main difference between the two is that black sesame PASTE is made by toasting black sesame seeds and grinding them with honey (or maple syrup) into a thick, glossy spread whereas black TAHINI is made with raw sesame seeds blend with oil and is typically not sweetened and with a thinner and runnier consistency. The flavor is also more bitter.
- The nutritional label is estimated at 1/2 cup per serving.
Made a dish and love it? Please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment in the comment section below! It helps my blog grow organically so I can continue sharing free and awesome content with you. Thank you!