Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Anise Ice Cream

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Anise Ice Cream, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

This is it guys, my first time making ice cream! I’ve always wanted to try, but don’t have an ice cream maker and can’t really justify owning one given the amount of ice cream it would lead me to consume. Plus, that’s what friends are for, right? My good friend and the biggest ice cream head I know, Corey, recently got an ice cream maker and invited me over to take it for a spin.

ice cream scooper honestfare.com

So it’s my first time making ice cream and of all the flavors in the world I choose to start with anise? Yeah, well I can only respond by saying that we wanted to try something different and we both LOVE black licorice enough to eat it by the spoonful.


Anise bears a strong resemblance to the carrot family, which also includes dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and caraway. Many of these have been described as having a licorice flavor, but it is actually anise (not licorice herb, which has a different taste) that is distilled into the flavoring for licorice candy. Anise is also used in many other international confectioneries and liquors like the Greek Ouzo and the French Pastis. It’s also used in teas as a digestive aide.

Black licorice is a funny thing in that you either really like it or you don’t care for it at all. I could eat it all day. As far as this ice cream goes though, you don’t have to be a huge licorice fan to enjoy it….but if you happen to be one, you’re going to flip out over this.


The sweet creaminess and the vanilla bean really smooth the edges off of any sharp licorice flavor. What you’re left with is a somewhat invigorating and very balanced flavor. And the texture of the finely ground anise seeds is SO incredible. Sort of like graham cracker powder dissolving in your mouth.


Opt for fresh anise seeds over extract if you can. They only take a minute to grind up in a coffee grinder and they make all the difference. But if you really just want the flavor, I think it would also probably work to steep the whole seeds in the milk and cream and then strain them out before putting in the ice cream maker.


As an aside, isn’t anise such a pretty word? I love the sound of it. Love it to the point that I smile with my eyes every time I hear it and immediately my head fills with its sweet and herbaceous aroma. It’s definitely a tricky word to say though and a lot of people screw it up. Pronounced correctly , the stress should be on the second syllable so that it basically sounds like you’re saying “a-niece” in English. A lot of people say it incorrectly though, with stress on the first syllable so that it basically sounds like your saying “anus” with an “e” instead of a “u.” Huge difference.


Trust me, you’re going to want to keep scraping away at your bowl until you get every last speckle of vanilla and ground anise.


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You need an ice cream maker to make this. If for some reason you don’t want the texture of the ground anise in your ice cream, steep the seeds whole instead and then strain them out before freezing. Or you can use anise extract (1 teaspoon anise extract = 2 teaspoons anise seed).

You need:

  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground anise seed
  • 1 vanilla bean


  1. Split open vanilla bean and remove seeds by running a knife across it. Set aside.
  2. Place anise seed in a coffee grinder and grind to the consistency of sand. Set aside.
  3. Heat milk and cream in a pot. Add sugar, vanilla bean and ground anise. Continue cooking on medium heat and stirring for about 10 minutes. Do not let milk boil.
  4. Remove pot from heat. Allow contents to reach room temperature before transferring to another container and placing in fridge until cold. Once cold, transfer to ice cream maker and follow directions per your machine.



  1. Posted June 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    I fall into the “dont like licorice” camp; however I love baking with anise. I’ve put it in chai ice cream before but Ive never made it on its own. Yours looks beautiful and delicious and now that summer is here you will be making a lot more cool treats :)

  2. gabi
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for saying that. I needed some support for this not just being for licorice lovers ;)
    And yep, cool treats are exactly where my mind is these days. Fun popsicles up next!

  3. Posted June 28, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    I do like the idea of a white ice cream that tastes like black licorice. And yours is beautiful to look at. However, I, personally, HATE black licorice. I also hate caraway seeds. MAN can they ruin a good loaf of bread or piece of sausage! So I won’t be running out to buy and ice cream maker any time soon. I am curious to see what popsicles you come up with though! :o)

  4. coreyhickey
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Anise can be used to relieve menstrual cramps.

  5. gabi
    Posted June 28, 2010 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Thank you, Corey.

  6. Posted June 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    I’m a believer!

    (and thanks for that info, Corey..)

  7. Posted June 29, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    I love the flavor of anise — this sounds delicious. I love how pretty the the little specks of vanilla bean and anise are too. Lovely.

  8. Posted June 30, 2010 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    Your photos are breathtaking. You did a fantastic job on your first attempt at homemade ice cream. Awesome.

  9. Shadia
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    This was absolutely delectable. So, so good. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for this lovelt post…
    Coffee has a time….

  11. Sejal
    Posted December 25, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    I can’t get enough of black licorice. Thanks for the recipe! Looks divine. Excited to make some for guests this week. Merry Xmas!

  12. Debbie
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Nice recipe. I made this last night. Anise is a strong flavour, and I felt that the quantity called for was a bit over powering, so I halved it. It has a really grown-up taste

    It left a nice anise flavour. I used a 18% cream, which makes a nice light ice cream.

    I would make it again and serve it at fancy dinner party.


  13. Melissa
    Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    I’m a licorice lover in a family of licorice haters. Sigh. However this looks divine. Working on it now. Thanks for telling us how to pronounce Anise:)

  14. Frank Miscione
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    Awesome, I have only had black licorice ice cream 3x in my life, and love it. I tried this recipe with a few twists, wanted to cut down on the sugar, made a big batch 4 cups of cream , 4 cups of whole milk, (so a little less fat too) added 2 TBSP of Arrowroot powder, 2 TBSP of Organic Black Strap Molasses, 1/2 cup of Honey, and 50drops of Organic Stevia. I noticed when I put stevia in my coffee it has a slight licorice aftertaste, also added 4 eggs and 2 TBSP of Vodka. The Vodka and Arrowroot helped it to stay soft and scoopable. Came out very good, highly recommend to licorice lovers, Thank You for the inspiration!

  15. gabi
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    You sure did get creative with it! That’s awesome :)

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