Black Bean Ice Cream Recipe

Photograph: cookbookman17 on Flickr

Red bean ice cream is a staple of the Asian dessert freezer—the combination of soft, sweet beans with cream, sugar, and sub-zero temperature is delicious, and makes fast converts of even people more accustomed to eating beans in savory rather than sweet form.

In this recipe, I've adapted the red bean model to a Central American context, using black beans instead of red, and flavoring with cinnamon, piloncillo, and a splash of dark rum.

The ice cream is dark and rich, with a delicious bitterness from the piloncillo, an unrefined sugar, and a beautiful dark color from the beans. Another testament to the very happy marriage of beans, sugar, and cream.

Recipe Facts

Active: 40 mins
Total: 5 hrs
Makes: 1 quart

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  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup canned unsalted black beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup piloncillo or panela, or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
  • Splash of dark rum


  1. Heat the half-and-half and beans over a low flame until the beans start to fall apart and the dairy takes on some of their color, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir until dissolved. Chill in the fridge for 4 hours, or until cold.

  2. Add the rum, and spin in the ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.

Special equipment

Ice cream machine