No-Churn Ube Swirl Ice Cream

published Jul 1, 2023
summer
Ube Swirl Ice Cream Recipe

A no-churn ice cream base rippled with fudgy, vibrant purple swirls made from white chocolate and fragrant ube extract.

Serves6

Prep30 minutes

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closeup overhead shot of silver spoon scooping ube swirl ice cream
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

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As the first-born kid to Filipino immigrants, I was fully immersed in Filipino food culture. I ate everything from slippery pancit to refreshingly icy halo-halo. One of my absolute favorites was ube ice cream, a popular creamy treat that highlights the purple yam’s inherent vanilla-pistachio flavor. 

This recipe for ube swirl ice cream is an easy twist on the Filipino classic. It’s a no-churn ice cream that’s rippled with fudgy, vibrant purple swirls made by infusing a white chocolate ganache with ube extract and layering it into a sweetened ice cream base. 

I love showing off scoops of this eye-catching ice cream in glass bowls and showering it with toasted shredded coconut (a popular ube pairing) to serve to family and friends. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

What Is Ube?

Ube (pronounced “ooh-bae”) is a purple yam that is native to the Philippines. This tuberous root is commonly used in Filipino sweets like ube halaya (purple yam jam). But it’s also gaining popularity in a wide variety of desserts (think: ube crinkle cookies and ube tiramisu). Its deeply purple flesh has a floral, earthy sweetness that tastes like a cross between vanilla and pistachio. 

Although ube is available fresh, it is often difficult to source. You’re more likely to find it powdered, frozen, or as an extract. This recipe calls for ube extract, which adds a concentrated ube flavor. 

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

How to Make Ube Swirl Ice Cream 

  • Make the ube ganache. Add roughly chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips), ube extract, and salt to a bowl. Heat up some heavy cream, pour it over the chocolate, then stir together until smooth. Letting the ube ganache cool for 15 minutes helps it thicken up before swirling it into the ice cream base. 
  • Make the ice cream base. The ice cream base has two major components: sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream. In a large bowl, combine one (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Whip two cups of heavy cream until it reaches stiff peaks, then gently fold the two together. It’s OK if there are still a few lumps — over-mixing can deflate the whipped cream. 
  • Swirl the two together. To create the signature swirls that make it ube swirl ice cream, you’ll start by adding one-third of the ice cream base to a 9×5-inch loaf pan and spreading it evenly. Drizzle one-third of the ganache over the top, and repeat with the remaining ice cream base and ube ganache. Then, use a knife to swirl the two together, either by drawing several figure eights or by dragging the knife back and forth a few times until the surface looks rippled.

Ube Swirl Ice Cream Recipe

A no-churn ice cream base rippled with fudgy, vibrant purple swirls made from white chocolate and fragrant ube extract.

Prep time 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the ube ganache:

  • 4 ounces

    white chocolate, or 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ube extract

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

For the ice cream base:

  • 1 (14-ounce can)

    sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    cold heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Place a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan in the freezer.

Make the ube ganache:

  1. Coarsely chop 4 ounces white chocolate if using and place in a medium bowl (or measure out 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. Add 1/2 teaspoon ube extract and a pinch of kosher salt.

  2. Heat 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbling around the edges, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour over the white chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir until the white chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Make the ice cream base:

  1. Place 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

  2. Pour 2 cups cold heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer or whisking by hand). Beat with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Transfer about 1 cup of the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture and stir to combine with a flexible spatula. (This lightens the condensed milk and makes it easier to fold in the rest of the whipped cream.)

  4. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold together. It will initially look very lumpy, but as you continue to fold, the mixture will smooth out and become soft and silky. Stop when you see just a few small lumps here and there — be careful not to deflate the mixture too much or over-mix.

  5. Using the spatula, transfer about 1/3 of the ice cream base into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Drizzle about 1/3 of the ube ganache over the top. Repeat layering half of the remaining ice cream base and half of the remaining ube ganache. Layer the remaining ice cream base and ube ganache. Use a knife to swirl the ube ganache into the ice cream base.

  6. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours and up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Ube swirl ice cream can be frozen for up to 1 week.