kaimaki ice cream

Fast and easy Kaimaki Ice Cream with Greek spices!

Creamy and soft texture, ice cream with Greek spices. Try this Kaimaki ice cream once, and love it forever!

kaimaki ice cream
kaimaki ice cream
Kaimaki Ice Cream topped with Cherry spoon sweet and cherry syrup
kaimaki ice cream
Kaimaki Ice Cream topped with Cherry spoon sweet and cherry syrup
kaimaki ice cream
Kaimaki Ice Cream topped with Cherry spoon sweet and langue de chat cookie

What are the ingredients for a Greek Kaimaki ice cream?

The Greek Kaimaki ice cream is usually made with Kaimaki Cream, Mastiha spice (Mastic), Salep, and occasionally Mahlep. It has a chewy texture and an amazing aroma. If you are unfamiliar with these spices don’t worry because I explain all about them in the paragraphs below.

What is Κaimaki and what does it taste like?


Kaimaki is the fat and foamy layer that forms on the surface of milk when it boils. It tastes like a full-fat heavy cream after it has been whipped.

What is Mastiha (Mastic) and what does it taste like?

Mastic tears
Mastic tears of Chios

Mastiha is a Greek spice, in resin form, produced on the island of Chios also known as the “Tears of Chios”. Its taste is unique and it is challenging to describe. Something similar would be a combination of pine and rosewater.

Mastiha is being used in Greek cuisine mostly in baking. Commonly used in brioche bread (Tsoureki), ice creams, and desserts.

A little Mastiha goes a long way and for that reason when you add it to your desserts it should be used in moderation. If you add too much it will start to turn bitter instead of releasing its amazing aroma.

What is Salep and what does it taste like?

Salep flavored with cinnamon and clove

Salep is a type of flour and thickening agent produced from wild orchids. It is used for desserts and beverages and it is also known as Sahlep or Sahlab.

In its original form, it’s tasteless but nowadays you can find it flavored with various spices and it’s a popular beverage in the middle east and Turkey. In the old days in the Ottoman empire, they used to serve it flavored in coffee houses as an alternative to coffee or tea.

What is Mahleb (Mahalepi or mahlep) and what does it taste like?

Mahleb or Mahlepi or Mahalepi

Mahleb is a spice that is made from the Cherry seeds that are being ground to powder. In Greece, Mahleb is being used on desserts, pies, cakes, and ice creams.

It is very potent and it should also be used in moderation, like Mastic, because a little amount can flavor big quantities. Mahleb has a unique taste that can be loosely described with the combination of almond powder and cherry.

How to make a fast and easy Kaimaki ice cream?

This is my go-to recipe for a fast and creamy ice cream! For this recipe, I do not use Salep. I buy Salep every now and then if it’s for a special occasion but what I’m sharing with you today is a Kaimaki ice cream recipe that you can make weekly at a reasonable cost.

It has a soft and creamy texture and an amazing taste! You can make this recipe with ingredients available in any Greek Supermarket or store.

Kaimaki ice cream1

What milk should you use for this ice cream recipe?

You can any fresh milk, or any milk available in a supermarket fridge. I do not recommend using milk that is stored on supermarket shelves.

Can you make this recipe with sweetened condensed milk?

Yes, you can, but you will have to change the quantities of a few ingredients. For 1 package of sweetened condensed milk (400g) then we will change the amount of fresh milk to 400ml instead of 700ml and we will not add any additional sugar.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a saucepan with the fresh milk and the rest of the spices, bring it to a boil, and then let it rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Continue with the instructions of the recipe from step 5.

How to make fluffy and soft ice cream without an ice cream machine?

soft ice cream
whisk freeze

If you do not own an ice cream machine there is an easy way to make it fluffy it just needs a little bit of time and a hand mixer.

After you add the ice cream to the freezer take it out every 1,5 hours, whip it with your hand mixer, and put it in your freezer again. Repeat the procedure 3 times and enjoy your fluffy and soft ice cream!

kaimaki ice cream
Kaimaki ice cream with cherry spoon sweet syrup
kaimaki ice cream

Fast and easy Kaimaki Ice Cream with Greek spices!

Prep: 5m | Cook: 30m | Rest: 30m | Total: 1h 5m | Yields: 2.5L


  • 700ml fresh whole milk (about 3 cups)
  • 500ml vegetable base whipping cream (33% or 26% fat)
  • 150g Sugar (½ cup)
  • 3 Mastic tears, crushed into powder*
  • 1 vanilla capsule or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 tsp Mahleb
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar (To ground the mastic with a pestle and mortar)
  • 2 Tbsp Powdered sugar, for the whipping cream


  1. Add the Mastic tears into a mortar together with 1 Tbsp Sugar and ground them to powder.*
  2. Place a saucepan over high heat and add the fresh milk together with 150g plain Sugar, the Mahleb, and the crushed Mastic, and bring it to a boil.
  3. After it boils, lower the heat (2/6), pour in the vanilla capsule or extract, and let it simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. (This step is to evaporate the water from the milk, which results in fluffier ice cream).
  4. Let the milk rest off the heat until it comes to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Beat the whipping cream together with the 2 Tbsp powdered sugar until it forms soft peaks.
  6. Combine the milk, after it has come to room temperature, with the whipped cream and the ice cream is ready for the freezer or your ice cream machine.
  7. When you combine the milk with the whipped cream, it has to be done slowly in small proportions. Pour in a bowl a little milk with a few tablespoons of whipped cream and whisk it until all the milk is incorporated with the whipped cream into a thick mixture. Repeat until all the milk and the whipped cream are incorporated.
  8. To make it velvety and fluffy, if you don’t have an ice cream machine, you should beat it with your hand mixer 3 times every 1.5 hours. The first time leave it in the freezer for 2 hours and then every 1.5 hours you take it out of the freezer and beat it in the mixer to break the crystals that are created during the cooling of the ice cream.
  9. Serve with sour cherry syrup or a cherry spoon sweet and enjoy!


  • If you do not own a pestle and mortar then you can crush the Mastic tears if you wrap them into a small piece of parchment paper and beat them with a can, or something heavy you can find around your kitchen.

Did you make this recipe? Or are you planning to make it? Let me know in the comments below, tag me on Instagram @freshpiato or show me your photos on Pinterest!

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Hi, I'm Christina!

On this website, you will find a pinch of passion for cooking, a bunch of craziness, one liter of inspiration, and only great recipes that I have created with love! Follow me on an adventurous culinary journey  […]

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