Vanilla Rose Ice Cream |

This super creamy and rich Vanilla Rose Ice Cream has multiple layers of flavors. It starts off with the essence of the rose water, and finishes with a hint of delicious vanilla. The toasted pistachios add texture and a wonderful contrast.

Pair the ice cream with a St-Germain Cocktail, which is also made from flowers.

The brand of rose water makes a difference

This was my first time ever using rose water as an ingredient and I wasn’t sure where to find it. After calling a few local grocery stores who didn’t carry it; Whole Foods finally said “yes, we have that in our baking section.” I was really excited to find it at Whole Foods since I would be posting the recipe here and I wanted it to be easy for everyone to find. My Whole Foods carries the Nielsen-Massey brand of Rose Water. I found this brand to be very potent, smelling and tasting more like a perfume, as it contains 40% alcohol. I used a little too much when first tried making the ice cream. Not only was it was overpowering and inedible, but it just didn’t taste right. Since Rose Water is such a popular ingredient and, I knew something must be wrong and I suspected that it was the rose water that I was using.

I started asking people who might have used Rose Water to see if they had the same experienced. No one had used the Nielsen-Massey brand and they said the smells and flavors of the rose water they had used were very mild and just smelled like roses, not perfume. I picked up the phone again and called the nearest middle eastern market who said they carried the Cortas brand of rose water. The ingredients are simply “Rose water,” and it makes all the difference.

Cortas Rose Water is the brand you want to use.

Candied Rose Petals |
We garnished the Vanilla Rose Ice Cream with some beautiful Candied Rose Petals, which create a stunning presentation and are surprisingly easy to make. Simply brush organic rose petals with a pasteurized eggwhite wash, then sprinkle granulated sugar on top. Dry them overnight and store for up to a week. These are a a great garnish for many desserts and table settings.

Vanilla Rose Ice Cream |

Vanilla Rose Ice Cream |

Vanilla Rose Ice Cream

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 quart


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Cortas brand rose water
  • natural red food coloring optional
  • 1/4 cup pistachios coarsely chopped and toasted


  • Whisk the cream, milk and 1/2 the sugar in a large saucepan to combine. Bring to a simmer whisking frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
  • In a separate medium bowl; whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until it is light in color and thickened slightly (you can also do this in a KitchenAid stand mixer with the whisk attachment).
  • Temper (cook) the egg yolks by slowly adding about a third of the hot cream mixture to the bowl while continually whisking to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Add back to the saucepan on low heat and continue stirring until the custard mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.
  • Move the custard to a bowl over ice to cool.
  • Once the custard has cooled; strain it through a fine mesh strainer into another container.
  • Mix in the vanilla, rose water and a few drops of food coloring for a pink hue (slowly add the rose water and taste as you go to make sure the flavor is to your preference).
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
  • Spin the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufactures instructions (mine takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get to a soft serve consistency). Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and place it in the freezer for 2 to 6 hours to harden.
  • Sprinkle the toasted pistachios on top and serve.


Prep and cook time does not include the inactive chilling time for the custard and ice cream.

Special Equipment and Ingredients

Cortas Rose Water

Kitchenaid Ice Cream Maker Bowl

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

Tovolo Ice Cream Tub

Vanilla Rose Ice Cream |

Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Daphne Dawn Herbert says:

    I’ve used many kinds of rose water, with no issue. I wouldn’t even call the Nielsen-Massey a true rose water. More of a rose extract. It has propylene glycol,alcohol (40%), rose oil, natural flavors. I don’t really know what it’s good for besides DIY beauty products and cleaning supplies. Damn Whole Foods

  • Katherine says:

    I just made vanilla rose ice cream, but before I found your site. My recipe was very similar except I only used 3 egg yolks and left out the pistachios and added 2 drops of almond extract and that reduced the perfume smell. I plan on sprinkling some toasted sesame seeds on tops for crunch when it finished in an hour. Wish I had thought of pistachios!

    • justin says:

      Hi Katherine,
      Interesting idea to use almond extract to reduce the perfume smell. I will have to try that next time. How did it turn out?

  • Hi Justin! I just found your blog and its absolutely stunning. Your photos are gorgeous and your food even prettier! This vanilla rose ice cream hits close to home as I am Persian and grew up eating this kind of ice cream. I usually find my rose water at local Mediterranean stores, which there are a lot of in Southern California but maybe not so much elsewhere…that’s great Whole Foods carries it! The Persian variation of this ice cream includes saffron too (along with the pistachios and rose water you’ve outlined here). I definitely recommend it – it’s a favorite! I’m excited to try this ice cream from scratch using your recipe – thank you for sharing! XO

    • justin says:

      Hi Beeta,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s so great to hear that you have tried Rose Water Ice Cream before. I will definitely try it with Safron next time. I bet that really adds another amazing element and balance to it.

  • I love the candied rose petals. So pretty!!

  • This looks wonderful! I’ve never used rose water before. Thanks for the tips on what brand to get!

  • This ice-cream looks so pretty and delish! Awesomely crafted! 😀

  • Lily Lau says:

    Looks so beautiful, what an art you made here 🙂

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