While the internet offers plenty of recipes (ahem, our site included), nothing quite beats the feeling a real, live cookbook in your grasp. That's especially true when you're diving into the wide world of homemade ice cream and in search of serious guidance to get you on your way. Having something tactile in your grasp is like having a floatie to reach for once you've splashed in. Luckily, there are a slew of solid ice cream cookbooks out there just waiting to be added to your collection. Here are eight that we at Kitchn love the most and lean on whenever the craving for ice cream hits.
1. Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream by Dana Cree
One of the newest ice cream cookbooks on the shelves, this one easily joins the list of essentials, thanks to its approachable yet in-depth look at everything ice cream. Cree not only teaches you how to make it, but also about the science behind it. If you like to know the deep "why" behind ice cream recipes, this book has you covered.
2. The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
When I first got an ice cream maker years ago, my smart sister gifted me this cookbook for my birthday. To this day, it's the book I turn to whenever I want to churn something up. There's plenty of sage advice and classic recipes for beginners, but enough spunk (flavors like olive oil!) to keep more advanced ice cream enthusiasts interested.
3. Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Bretton Bauer
If you've ever tasted a pint of Jeni's, you know just how special this ice cream is. This book brings her unique flavors, like goat cheese with roasted cherries, into your own kitchen and also reveals the secrets of her extra-creamy and rich egg-free ice cream base.
4. Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker & Dabney Gough
Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco is known for churning up inventive flavors using farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients. This book celebrates that with recipes for flavors like honey lavender and balsamic strawberry. It's also filled with recipes for the creamery's famous cakes, frostings, pie crusts, and cookies to combine with the ice cream for your own frozen desserts.
4. Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book by Ben Cohen, Jerry Greenfield & Nancy Stevens
Some of Ben & Jerry's most coveted flavors, like New York super fudge chunk, are hidden inside this book, which is reason enough to own it. Published in 1987, this cookbook continues to be a classic for ice cream lovers and might even help you stop filling your grocery cart with Ben & Jerry's pints every time you pass the freezer aisle.
5. Ice Cream Social by Anthony Tassinello, Mary Jo Thoresen
What makes this cookbook special — beyond the 100 recipes for ice cream, sherbet, granita, frozen yogurt, and more — is that it's packed with fun and festive ideas for kid-friendly to adult-only gatherings and everything in between. That means you have all the inspiration you need to churn out a few flavors then bring friends and family together.
6. Ample Hills Creamery by Brian Smith, Jackie Cuscuna
When we used to live in Brooklyn, we'd often take after-dinner strolls in the summer and more often than not we'd map out those strolls to end up at Ample Hills, a charming little ice cream shop that's known for flavors that are packed with mix-ins like pretzels, oatmeal cookies, peppermint patties, and even potato chips. This book takes you right into the shop without having to wait in line.
7. N'ice Cream by Virpi Mikkonen, Tuulia Talvio
This cookbook is unique because all 80 ice cream recipes are vegan, as well as gluten- and refined sugar-free. Some are also nut-free and made using only raw ingredients. That doesn't mean they're no less decadent, though. Even if do eat dairy, these alternative ice cream recipes are definitely worth exploring.