Traditional recipes

Best Gelato Recipes

Best Gelato Recipes

Top Rated Gelato Recipes

Low-proof cocktails made with Cynar, root beer, and vanilla ice cream will have you smiling all summer long.This recipe is courtesy of Pam Wiznitzer of Seamstress, New York.

If you like a Black Forest gâteau, you’ll love this sweet and bitter cocktail.This recipe is courtesy of Pam Wiznitzer at Seamstress, New York.

Who says hot cocoa is just for the kids? Try this adult hot chocolate for your next hot chocolate social.

A beautiful pink mousse enrobes layers of cocoa pistachio biscuit in this dessert from Ryan Tateishi, pastry chef at Café Juanita in Kirkland, Wash. Served with a pistachio gelato and sweet poached cherries, it is a fitting end to a romantic Valentine’s Day meal.Invert sugar is commonly used in making pastries and confections. It helps keep products more moist and tender, and extends their shelf life, in addition to resulting in a smoother mouthfeel, as compared to pastries made with ordinary sugar. If you can’t find or don’t want to buy invert sugar, you can substitute in honey, or try making your own at home.

This drink name speaks true to it's flavor. The hot chocolate is jazzed up with flavor from the coffee and hazelnut liqueur!

Made with real pumpkin purée, a hint of cinnamon, and thick swirls of sea salt caramel, this delicious and decadent gelato is perfect for reinventing the forever-loved eggnog.

Eating ice cream right out the tub is great, but sometimes you want to get a little creative with your ice cream creations. The next time you’re in the mood for vanilla ice cream or gelato, turn it into a delicious banana split. Add bananas, chunks of brownie, and chocolate syrup for a heavenly combination.

Made with real pumpkin puree, a hint of cinnamon, and thick swirls of sea salt caramel, this delicious gelato option is perfect for your Pumpkin-Nog recipe!

Made with real pumpkin puree, a hint of cinnamon, and thick swirls of sea salt caramel, this gelato variety is a great base to a delicious Frozen Pumpkin Pie!

I love alcohol-flavored gelato because the alcohol cuts the richness of the dairy and also allows the gelato to get super-cold. But because alcohol doesn’t freeze, if you add too much to the gelato it won’t freeze at all. After making many versions with varying amounts of booze, we determined that the recipe below contains the maximum amount of alcohol that will freeze in a home ice cream maker. If it’s still not boozy enough for you, do as I do: Drizzle a few drops of bourbon over the top.Click here to see the Pumpkin and Date Tart recipe.

The Italian Cook Book (1919)

Enjoy the Traditional Italian Gelato Recipes
(Source: ©aluha123/

Gelato di pistacchi — Pistachio

If you love pistachio nuts, you'll love this creamy, rich-tasting Italian ice cream recipe. It should work well with other nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts too.

Milk, one quart sugar, six ounces pistachios, two ounces. Skin the pistachios in warm water and grind them very fine with a tablespoonful of the sugar, then put in a saucepan with 3 or 4 yolks, and the sugar, mixing everything together.

Add the milk and put the mixture on the fire stirring with the ladle, and when it is condensed like cream, let it cool and put in the freezer.

Gelato di Fragola — Strawberry Ice

Ripe strawberries, 3/4 pound granulated sugar, 3/4 pound water, one pint a big lemon an orange. Boil the sugar in the water for ten minutes in an uncovered kettle.

Rub thorough a sieve the strawberries and the juice of the lemon and the orange: add the syrup after straining, mix everything and pour the mixture in the freezer.

Pezzo in gelo — Biscuit

Make a cream with water, five ounces sugar, two ounces the yolks of four eggs a taste of vanilla. Put it on the fire stirring continually and when it begins to stick to the ladle remove from the fire and whip to a stiff froth.

Then mix about five ounces of ordinary whipped cream, put in a mold, and pack in salt and ice. Keep in ice for about three hours. This dish will be sufficient for seven or eight persons.

Make a Traditional Gelato Italiano

Second Edition of the Neighborhood Cook Book (1914)

Vintage Italian Gelato Sandwich

Biscuit Tortoni

Biscuit Tortoni is a quick and easy frozen dessert recipe you can whip up in a few minutes, but your guests will rave about it for hours.

Serve this frozen treat well chilled and be sure to make enough for seconds. Everyone will beg you for more!

One pint whipped cream, sweeten and flavor one-half pound macaroons, pounded and mixed with the yolk of one egg mix lightly together. Pour into mold and pack in ice.

Homemade Italian Ice Recipe

Watch the short YouTube video below as 94-year-old Clara demonstrates how to make an authentic Italian Ice in your refrigerator freezer. The homemade ice dessert takes a while to freeze, but it's low-cost and so easy to make. Enjoy!

Isn't Clara amazing? The ingredients are mentioned in the video, but I will list them below in case you didn't get to write them down.

Clara's Italian Ice

2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
Flavoring of Choice

  • Vanilla to taste
  • Lemon Lime - juice of 1/4 lemon and 1/4 lime per serving
  • Lemon - juice of 1/2 lemon per serving
  • Fruit of choice

Just bring water and sugar to boil, then cool for 15 minutes. Place in freezer for 1 hour, stir, return to freezer and repeat stirring and freezing until mixture is semi-frozen.

Stir in flavoring and top with mint leaves (optional). Enjoy a cool and refreshing treat.

Clara's Other Recipes

Get your copy of Clara's Kitchen, a cookbook featuring wisdom, warm memories, and simple Italian recipes from the Great Depression.

Also get the Great Depression Cooking with Clara DVD for more of Clara's wisdom, memories, and great Italian recipes. Believe me, you'll love it.

About the Italian Gelato Recipes

Gelateria Ice Cream Flavors
(Source: ©funlovingvolvo/

Don't accept a modern imitation. If you want to make real gelato with the unique taste of Old Italy, then these traditional Italian gelato recipes from Grandma's collection are what you have been waiting for. They're the real thing!

Gelato di Crema the way it's meant to be!

Learn how to make ice cream in your home freezer. Enjoy your homemade gelato while listening to Perry Como, and you'll think you're at a cafe in sunny Naples.

Make a tub of frozen gelato tonight. And remember, nothing goes better with it than a plateful of homemade amaretti or biscotti biscuits.

For the best Gelato Recipe

First off, you’ll need to know what good Gelato recipes can produce, so head on down to your local Gelato shop (many cities have one, you’d be surprised! Ours is combined with an authentic Italian restaurant).

Taste a sampling of the different Gelati so you know what to look for when you create your own.

Take note of the texture, thickness, temperature, smoothness, flavor, and combinations.

Everyone’s tastes are a little different so you may prefer your Gelato one way compared to someone else. Some recipes call for eggs while others don’t, so discover what you like and suits your tastes.

You may to need experiment with your recipes to come to a Gelato that suits you best.

How to Make Gelato at Home

First things first: you need the right recipe, of course. There is no single recipe for gelato, and like many culinary specialties in Italy, each region makes it slightly differently. Over the years, I&rsquove adopted two recipes for basic vanilla-bean gelato.

The first is a classic recipe. Its base is an egg yolk-rich custard that gives it a creamy texture, which I find closer to that of classic ice cream, and a pale yellow tinge.

The second is a Sicilian variation that uses cornstarch, a thickening agent that allows you to use fewer egg yolks, making a bright white gelato and a delightfully silky, mouth-coating texture. I discovered the Sicilian cornstarch trick fairly recently, and it has quickly become my favorite way of making gelato. Click here for the recipe to make Sicilian-Style Vanilla Bean Gelato.

To discover which is your favorite recipe for vanilla bean gelato, you&rsquoll need to try both methods.

Pictured below, at the top: Classic Vanilla Bean Gelato
Bottom: Sicilian-Style Vanilla Bean Gelato

Taste Test: The Best Gelato

What exactly is gelato? This Italian specialty contains less butterfat and isn&apost churned as much as its American cousin, ice cream. So it&aposs denser, creamier and -- bonus! -- packs fewer grams of fat per bite. Check out our favorites!

Most Authentic

Talenti Sicilian Pistachio: The secret behind this intensely nutty rendition of the Italian classic: roasted pistachios pureed into the base. "The pistachio flavor goes on and on," one tester noted. This gelato feels dense on your spoon, but soft and creamy on your tongue, and the mixed-in chopped nuts add crunch to every bite. ($4.99 per pint)

No Spoon Required

Ciao Bella Key Lime Gelato Squares: Handheld gelato? Yes, please! In this on-the-go version, soft graham cracker cookies sandwich key lime gelato. "The tart lime flavor keeps them from being over-the-top sweet," said a panelist. ($4.99 for a box of 4)

Flavor of the Moment

G.S. Gelato Caramel Sea Salt: The sweet-meets-salty trend is everywhere right now, and this is one of the most decadent examples we&aposve tasted. Sugary, buttery caramel is offset by bright sea salt: "It&aposs like butterscotch candy taken up a salty notch," said one tester. ($4.29 per pint)

Party Pleaser

Archer Farms Tiramisu: Taking a cue from its namesake dessert, this oversize tub contains gelato swirled with mascarpone, coffee and marsala wine and dusted on top with cocoa powder. "I love how the silky gelato contrasts with earthy cocoa," said one panelist. Elegant, and a bargain for its size, it would be the ideal cap to an Italian-themed dinner party. ($4.99 for 30 oz., at Target)

Best Chocolate Fix

Talenti Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup: Talenti wowed us across the board with concentrated flavors and voluptuous textures. Here, a milk-chocolate base is laced with gooey peanut butter and teeny peanut butter cups. It carried our tasting by a landslide! ($4.99 per pint)

Dairy-Free and Delicious

Organic Nectars Cashewtopia: File this under "gelato genius": a new line of six great-tasting, agave-sweetened vegan gelato flavors made with mild-tasting frozen cashew cream! The chocolate varieties of this low-cal line (just 150 calories or less per serving!) were our faves: Cherry Chocolate Swirl, Chocolate Hazelnut and Mint Chocolate Swirl. ($7.99 for a pint)

Gelato: The Basic Recipe

Today we’ll take a look at the basic recipe for everyone’s favorite summer dessert: ice cream! The Italian version of ice cream, called gelato, meaning simply ‘frozen’, is typified by the density of its texture and intensity of flavor. It achieves these qualities by avoiding any fillers or fluffers like whipped cream or egg whites. The basic batter for gelato is simply milk and/or cream, thickened with sugar and egg yolks.

Here’s how you make the most basic of gelati, variously called gelato di crema, gelato fior di latte or, if you flavor the batter with vanilla, gelato di crema alla vaniglia. Practically all other gelati begin with this basic recipe and add additional flavors, whether chocolate, pistachio or other nuts, or some sort of fruit purée.

In Italy, gelato is more often something to eat out, as a kind of snack, than a dessert to have at home. For this reason, and with a gelateria available literally around the corner from most homes, Italians don’t generally make their own gelato. But those of us not lucky enough to live there, this recipe is guaranteed to transport you to the Old Country, if only for a few blissful moments…

Gelato di crema

  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk or equal parts milk and cream
  • 150g sugar (3/4 cup)*
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod, split open down the side, or a piece of lemon zest (optional)

* NB: Superfine sugar is best, but regular granulated will do.

Step 1

Pour the milk, or milk and cream, half of the sugar and, if using, the vanilla pod or lemon zest, into a saucepan and bring the milk nearly to a boil. When the very first bubbles begin to appear, take it immediately off the heat and let it cool. (If using the optional vanilla or lemon zest, you can cover the saucepan, which will slow down the cooling process and prolong the steeping process, thus drawing out more of their flavor.)

Step 2

When the milk has cooled, put the egg yolks into an electric mixer together with the other half of the sugar. The milk need not be perfectly room temperature, but it should not be hot, or it will cook the egg. Beat at a high setting until the egg yolks and sugar have been totally combined and developed a creamy quality. You will be able to see ripples as the mixer turns:

Step 3

Lower the setting and slowly add your cooled milk (from which you will have removed the vanilla or lemon zest if using) in a steady stream. Mix until everything is well amalgamated.

Step 4

Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan. Now begins the one slightly tricky part of the process. You want to heat the mixture gently until the eggs thicken it into a thin custard—thick enough to coat a spoon lightly—but not so much that the egg curdles. Many recipes tell you to use a bagnomaria or bain-marie technique, which is to say that you place the saucepan with the mixture over a saucepan of simmering water, which ‘softens’ the heat.

Personally, I find this precaution is not really needed. If you are attentive, increasing the heat very gradually from low to medium or medium-high. Stir constantly until you begin to ‘feel’ the mixture beginning to thicken—you will notice slightly more resistance to the movement of your spoon or whisk—and then lower the heat immediately to low. Above all, never let the mixture reach the boiling point. As an extra precaution, you can keep a bit of cold milk or cream at the ready, and add just a bit to the saucepan if you feel that the mixture has gotten too hot. The truth is, it just takes a little practice and attention. After a few tries, the procedure will become second-nature.

Step 5

Once the mixture has thickened nicely, remove it from the heat, pour it into a bowl. (I just use the mixer bowl.) Chill the mixture in the fridge. Some recipes will tell you to pass the mixture throw a sieve before chilling, to remove the vanilla seeds and any possible bits of coagulated egg. I usually skip this step too. I don’t mind the seeds—in fact, I rather like them—and if you are careful about the previous step, you should not have any coagulated egg to worry about. This will take at about an hour. Stir from time to time to prevent a film from forming on the surface of the mixture. When chilled, you will notice that the batter will have thickened even more.

Step 6

Pour the batter into an ice cream maker and proceed to churn per the instructions that came with the machine. Typically, you will churn the batter for 20-30 minutes, which results in a ‘soft serve’ texture. If you want a firmer gelato, freeze it for an hour or two before serving. If you are keeping it in the freezer for a longer time, remove it from the freezer about 15 minutes or so before serving. The texture of gelato can be firm but never hard.

Notes on Gelato

So this is your basic recipe for gelato. It is perfectly delicious as it is. You can also serve gelato with berries on top as pictured at the top of the post. Other nice toppings include powdered cocoa, melted dark chocolate or even a bit of best-quality balsamic vinegar. Only use the very best balsamic, well-aged (and very expensive) kind, which has a wonderfully mellow flavor, almost like a fine port.

One of the most exquisite ways to serve gelato di crema is called affogato al caffè, literally ‘drowning’ in strong espresso coffee, which has been allowed to cool down a bit and, if you like, laced with rum, cognac, Cointreau or other liqueur of your choice:

An affogato is sometimes served with some savoiardi (‘lady fingers’) crumbled and moistened with the same liqueur, at the bottom of your ice cream bowl or cup. You can also top it with some slivered almonds, crumbled walnuts, cinnamon or grated dark chocolate.


From this mother recipe, you can also make all sorts of other kinds of gelato by adding flavorings. In the case of fruit flavors, a purée is usually folded into the chilled batter just before churning. Nut flavorings (pistachio, hazelnut and coconut being the most common) are ground finely and allowed to steep with the hot milk.

If you don’t like using egg yolks, there are eggless variations.Many gelato recipes call for some stabilizer like cornstarch, agar or gelatin to thicken the batter. Add all the sugar to the saucepan together with the milk in Step 1, then add 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch or one of the other thickeners as a slurry. Simmer until the milk and cream have thickened. You can skip steps 2-4 just allow the mixture to cool, and proceed with Steps 5 and 6. You can also avoid the egg yolk if you use fruit purée, which provides enough thickness and stability on its own. In either case, the result will no doubt be very good, even it it may lack the richness that the egg yolks provide.

Don’t have an ice cream maker? You can make gelato without an ice cream maker by simply putting the batter in a large, covered container into the freezer. After about an hour, take the container out and mix it vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. Repeat the process every so often (some recipes say every 15 minutes) thereafter. By the two hour mark, your gelato should be ready to eat.


650ml whole milk
120ml double cream
180g unrefined sugar
45g skimmed milk powder
1 teaspoon cornflour

  1. Place the milk and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. While it’s warming, place the sugar, skimmed milk powder and cornflour in a measuring jug and mix well.
  2. Using a probe thermometer, measure the temperature of the milk and cream. When it reaches 40ºC, add the dry ingredients. Whisk together and stir continuously with a spatula until it reaches 85ºC.
  3. Fill the sink with ice and cold water to create an ice bath. Plunge the saucepan into the ice bath and stir occasionally. You need to bring the temperature down to 10ºC within 30 minutes.
  4. When the mix is cooled, place in a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  5. You’re now ready to churn it into gelato. Start by passing it through a fine sieve.
  6. Blitz with a hand blender.
  7. Pour into your ice cream machine and churn until frozen.
  8. Scoop your freshly churned gelato into a container and cover with greaseproof paper and a tight fitting lid. Place in the freezer and consume within one month.

The great thing about Fior di Latte is that it serves as the base for many other flavours. For example, to make a classic vanilla, simply infuse a vanilla pod in your mix while pasteurising on the hob, and sieve it out at stage six.

The same can be done with mint leaves, then just throw some chocolate chips in towards the end of the churn and you’ve got yourself a refreshing mint, choc chip gelato!

You could add a ripple to your batch too – Jamie’s recipe for dulce de leche would work perfectly, or incorporate your gelato into a classic pudding like Eton mess .

About the author

Sophia Brothers runs Nonna's Gelato in East London. She started the business a year ago and makes all her gelato by hand from her home-turned-professional kitchen. Inspired by her Nonna her gelato is made in the traditional Italian way using the best local and seasonal ingredients. You can find Nonna's Gelato at Broadway Market, Hackney on a Saturday and many other locations across London.

Gelato Recipes For When You're Feeling Extra Decadent

Gelato, ice cream's Italian sister, is one of our favorite summer treats. It's rich, creamy, smooth and wonderful. If you've ever wondered what the difference is between gelato and ice cream, don't worry -- you're not alone.

Gelato is made with more milk and less cream than ice cream, which means it has a lower fat content. (American labeling law requires ice cream's fat content to be at least 10 percent.) It often contains fewer egg yolks as well, which also decreases its fat content. While ice cream is churned at a fast speed and incorporates a lot of air, gelato is churned at a slower speed and acquires less air, which accounts for its comparative density. With less fat and air, gelato can be served at a warmer temperature than ice cream.

While we love both ice cream and gelato, right now we're crushing on gelato. Its silky goodness makes us want to pick up and move to Italy, where we'd eat cones of gelato every night on picturesque cobblestone streets. Since we're not actually moving to Italy any time soon, however, we found some of our favorite gelato recipes to make at home instead.

Chocolate Gelato

Sometimes a food will haunt me, and I can do nothing except think about it, talk about it, and dream about it until I have uncovered it’s secrets.

It all began with a few innocent ingredients chocolate, milk and sugar. I was longing for chocolate gelato intense, luscious and rich. The thought of a melting spoonful on my tongue, and I was a lost cause, enough so to send me into mad quest to capture the beguiling qualities of this dense and creamy Italian favorite.

The Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream:

Gelato is generally differentiated from ice cream by its creamy, supple texture and it’s intense flavor like smooth cold fudge that slowly dissolves in the mouth. And despite its richness, it doesn’t coat your tongue the way premium ice creams do.

Both ice cream and gelato are emulsions of air, fat, sugar and water. What makes one different from the other is often the proportion of these ingredients.

Homemade ice cream is often made with heavy cream and a large quantity of egg yolks to improve body and texture by inhibiting the formation of ice crystals as it’s churned, resulting in a creamy texture. The high percentage of fat from the dairy however can coat the taste buds and dull perceptions of flavor, while the large amount of egg yolks can give an unwanted underlying eggy flavor to the custard.

Sicilian style gelato recipes on the other hand, contain neither cream nor egg and are made from a base of milk, sugar and cornstarch, resulting in a gelato that is lighter and more intensely flavored but that can sometimes be gummy and chalky from using cornstarch as a primary thickener.

I wanted to create a homemade gelato that would be smooth and velvety with clean chocolate flavor.

I started with the chocolate: I used a combination of both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate to insure an intense and complex chocolate flavor. The combination of bittersweet chocolate with it’s high percentage of cocoa butter helped with the denseness of the gelato, and the cocoa powder with the depth and intensity of flavor.

Next was dairy: I chose to use whole milk instead of heavy cream or a combination of heavy cream and milk to keep the percentage of fat down so as not to dull the flavor of the chocolate.

Lastly as a thickener, I used egg yolks in conjunction with cornstarch to mimic the luxurious mouth-feel of ice creams (without the coating that dulls your palate) and the dense texture of gelato.

The result: gelato success, fudgy, velvety and bright with chocolate flavor like bliss in spoonable form.

Basic Vanilla Gelato

Drizzle in melted chocolate for a decadent stracciatela gelato.



3 cups whole milk, divided

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon liquid pectin

Nutritional information

Nutritional information per serving (based on ½ cup):
Calories 211 (46% from fat) &bull carb. 26g &bull pro. 3g &bull fat 11g &bull sat. fat 7g
&bull chol. 43mg &bull sod. 61mg &bull calc. 106mg &bull fiber 0g


1. In a medium saucepan, combine cream and 2 cups of the milk.Set over medium/medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.

2. While cream/milk mixture is heating, put the remaining milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla into a small-medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

3. Once milk/cream mixture comes to a simmer, add the milk/sugar mixture and stir until fully combined. While still set over medium/medium-low heat, continuously stir until mixture boils and thickens to where it can coat the back of a spoon (this will take about 15 minutes, depending on the stove being used).

4. Remove pan from heat, stir in pectin, strain and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of at least 2 hours, or overnight. Whisk mixture together again before pouring into the ice cream maker.

5. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl of the Cuisinart® Ice Cream and Gelato Maker fitted with the gelato paddle. Turn unit on, set Timer and press Start. Let mix until thickened, about 40 minutes. The gelato will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

*This can also be frozen in a regular ice cream maker, according to the model's instructions. It will not have the exact texture and density as if made in the gelato maker, but it will still be delicious.