Black liquorice ice cream title
Ice creams & sorbets,  Yum

Black liquorice ice cream

I first tried black liquorice ice cream when I was studying in Germany and went to visit a friend in Denmark. It was delicious and I was immediately hooked. I think I ate it three more times on that trip but I have rarely found it in other countries.

Of course, it helps that I love liquorice. Mum loved liqorice too, so I can imagine this ice cream would have been a favourite.

Black liquorice ice cream is relatively sweet and creamy, with a mild liquorice or aniseed aftertaste. As the licorice taste is not strong, there is a good chance you will like it even if you don’t normally like licorice.


Cut the liquorice into small pieces. Smaller pieces will melt easier (and quicker). If the melting liquorice is still chunky and it starts to stick to the saucepan, add more water and stir well.

Make sure you don’t use salmiak liquorice. Salmiac licorice is flavoured with ammoniac chloride, making it very salty. It is very popular in Scandinavia, the Benelux and the north of Germany.

Salmiak liquorice would overpower this recipe. Think salted caramel that is way too salty and has an aniseed aftertaste. Hard salmiak liqorice would also be very difficult to melt.

I would definitely recommend using food colouring, though this is only for optics. Without it, the ice cream will be grey-brown, and look like dirty dishwater.

Nothing in this recipe is difficult. However, it does require some time simply so that melted liquorice and mixed liqorice, egg and milk mixtures can cool before performing the next step.

Great for celebrations

This black liquorice ice cream can be so dark, it is perfect for Halloween. It would also look great at a black and white themed 18th or 21st party, for example. If you plan to share it, make at least two batches at it does not make much.

Try the black liquorice ice cream with raspberry tea sorbet and mango for a colour explosion in your bowl.

Black liquorice ice cream (licorice) banner.

Black liquorice ice cream

Makes approx. 1 litre


  • 100g black liquorice, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 3 egg yolks (size L)
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
  • A good pinch of salt
  • A few drops of black food colouring


  1. Place the liquorice and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, until the liquorice has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Pour the milk and cream into another saucepan and heat on low until it starts to steam. Do not bring to the boil! Remove from heat and allow to cool while you do the next step.
  3. Place the eggs in a heatproof bowl (I just used my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment) and whisk. Add the sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until pale and fluffy.
  4. While whisking, add the milk and cream mixture a little at a time (I added about 1/3 of a ladle at a time). Wait until this amount is combined before adding any more. The aim is not to let the eggs scramble.
  5. Once all the milk and cream mixture is added, whisk for about 1 minute to combine well.
  6. Pour the egg and milk mixture into a saucepan and place over low heat. Add the liquorice and stir well. Add the black food dye.
  7. Warm, stirring the mixture until it thickens a little so that it coats the back of a spoon. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  8. Pour into your ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer container and place in the freezer. Remove after an hour and then every 30 minutes thereafter (approximately) to mix well to remove lumps. Continue to do this until the right consistency is reached.
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Black liquorice ice cream

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