Introduction: Summer Ice Cream Succulents

I'm not much of a gardener, but I love cultivating these edible succulents. Green apples add a perfect and unexpected summer flavor to these sweet treats. So without further ado... here is a snazzy recipe for Green-Apple-Flavored, Cactus-Shaped Ice Cream Scoops! Whew, that's a mouthful!


Ice Cream Base:

    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 6 eggs
    • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Green Apple Flavoring:

      • 5 green apples
      • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
      • 1 1/2 cups sugar
      • 1 pinch of salt


      • Green, red, and yellow food coloring
      • White chocolate bar
      • Cake cones
      • Long white sprinkles


      • Ice cream machine
      • Medium saucepan
      • Large bowls
      • Deep dish/pan for the ice bath
      • Mesh strainer
      • Medium bowls
      • Whisk, spatula, knives, etc.
      • Blender
      • Large saucepan
      • Parchment paper

      Step 1: Supplies

      Gather the supplies listed above!

      Step 2: Making the Ice Cream Base

      Mix the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Warm this mixture over medium heat.

      Next, create an ice bath for a large bowl. Pour the rest of the heavy cream (1 cup) into this large bowl and put a mesh strainer on top.

      In another medium bowl, beat the egg yokes with a whisk. Take the saucepan milk mixture and slowly incorporate it into the egg yokes while stirring. Once fully mixed, pour this egg/milk concoction back into the saucepan.

      On medium heat, cook the saucepan mixture while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly. Once this mixture coats the back of the spatula (forms a custard), remove the saucepan from heat. Pour the custard through the mesh strainer atop the large bowl and into the chilled cream.

      Add the vanilla extract and stir the concoction until fully incorporated and chilled by the ice bath.

      Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put aside in the refrigerator.

      Step 3: Making the Green Apple Flavoring

      Wash then chop apples into medium-sized chunks (do not peel). Place half of the chunks in a blender and add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Puree until smooth then add rest of chunks and puree again.

      Pour apple puree into a large saucepan. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of sugar and the pinch of salt. Cover the saucepan then boil the puree and until thick or for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

      Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Finally, let the mixture cool in the refrigerator until it at least reaches room temperature.

      Step 4: Freezing the Ice Cream

      Remove both the ice cream base and the green apple flavoring from the fridge. Slowly pour the green apple flavoring into the ice cream base and stir until fully incorporated. Stir in drops of green food coloring until the desired color is reached.

      Take your ice cream machine's bowl out of the freezer and attach it to your ice cream machine (this step depends on your type of ice cream machine). Freeze according to manufacturers instructions (about 35 minutes).

      Scoop finished product out of the machine and into containers. Continue the freezing process in the freezer until ice cream reaches a stiff consistency (about 4 hours to be safe).

      Step 5: Crafting the Cacti

      If you cannot find premade edible flowers, you can create cactus flowers by hand. Melt some white chocolate. Put most of it in one bowl and add red food coloring. Add yellow food coloring to the other bowl. Put the red chocolate in a plastic bag and cut a tiny piece of the corner (making a piping bag). On a piece of parchment paper, pipe the flowers and add a dot of yellow at the center. Freeze the beautiful results in the freezer until ice cream decorating time.

      There are two methods to crafting these cacti. The first method is time-consuming and challenging but looks pretty authentic. The second method is fun and easy but does not look quite as sharp.

      First Method: Scoop a ball of ice cream onto the cone. Using white sprinkles, make verticle rows of sprinkles that reach from the bottom of the scoop to the center of the top. Make sure your kitchen is cold and you work fast. Artfully place one of your flowers on the ice cream.

      Second Method: Scoop a ball of ice cream onto the cone. Pour white sprinkles into a bowl and dunk/rub the ice cream in the sprinkles (trying to evenly cover the entire scoop). Pop one of your flowers on top of the ice cream and you are good to go!

      Step 6: Enjoying the Summer Succulents!

      Have some fun making different succulents! Eat these beautiful cacti in your garden on a hot summer day! I have to give credit to Studio DIY for the amazing idea to make a cactus out of ice cream and also give thanks to the book The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz for the vanilla ice cream recipe that I modified slightly to use as an ice cream base (although the green apple flavoring was an original creation).

      Frozen Treats Challenge

      Runner Up in the
      Frozen Treats Challenge