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Recipe | Vanilla Ice (for Delicious Summer Drinks!)

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice Cubes for Iced Coffee & Other Summer Drinks
There are a few things you need to know about this Vanilla Ice recipe:

  • It won’t rock a mic like a vandal.
  • It won’t wax a chump like a candle.
  • It won’t cook MC’s like a pound of bacon.

But if you have a problem (with drinks getting watery and tasteless after your ice melts), yo, this recipe will solve it.

Okay, I’m done, I promise. This post isn’t just a gimmick and itΒ doesΒ solve a problem. I’m not a fan of ice cubes because of the way they water down everything you add them to. But flavored ice cubes, well, those are different! As they melt, they add flavor to your drinks instead of taking it away.

Vanilla Ice in Iced Tea
These Vanilla Ice cubes are made with almond milk, sugar, and vanilla. So not only do they add the flavor of vanilla to your drink, they also add some creaminess and a touch of sweetness. They’re perfect for iced coffee, tea, chai, or even lemonade. Alternately, you can add less sugar to the recipe (or omit it altogether) and use these cubes to chill root beer, cola, and other sodas. And if you’re too impatient to wait for them to melt in your drink, you can eat them like popsicles too. (I know this because I’m very impatient and I’ve had a few of these ice cubes straight from the freezer.)

Vanilla Ice Cubes
So here are some additional things you should know about Vanilla Ice cubes. First, they don’t always melt all pretty, particularly if your drink is a little bit warm. The vanilla almond milk mixture has a tendency to settle at the bottom of the glass, so give it a little stir. And let the ice melt a little (or a lot!) before you drink–I mean, that’s the whole point of these, right?

Edited to Add: I’ve heard from a few people saying that their vanilla ice cubes curdled in their coffee. I couldn’t figure out why since that never happened to me or for the majority of people who made these. After doing some research, I found that occasionally curdling will occur in especially acidic coffees or teas, in drinks made with hard water, or drinks that are very hot. Some brands of non-dairy milk are more prone to curdling than others; I use Silk. Please also note that if you alter the recipe, you may have different results.

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Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice in Drink

This Vanilla Ice won’t wax a chump like a candle, but it will keep your iced coffee cold (and delicious).

  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: About 12 ice cubes

Ingredients

  • 2 c. almond or refrigerated coconut milk
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (optional–add for more intense vanilla flavor)

Instructions

  1. Combine almond milk and sugar in a large saucepan. Slice open vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape insides into saucepan, then place empty vanilla bean into mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking to break up clumps of vanilla. Once mixture has come to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes more, whisking occasionally.
  2. Allow vanilla mixture to come to room temperature. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl with a spout, then pour mixture into ice cube trays. Freeze until completely solid, 3-4 hours (depending on the temperature of your freezer and size of the cubes). Serve with iced coffee, tea, or other beverages.

Notes

I’ve tested this recipe with almond milk and refrigerated Silk coconut milk with good results. Other people have reported using dairy milk and cream and have said that the cubes turn out well. Be aware that if you use soy milk, it’s more likely to curdle when added to tea or coffee.

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194 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Ann
    January 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I’m in the middle of making this now and can I say that the opening few lines of text on your recipe is the best thing I’ve read in a while, hahah!! πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Samantha {Weirding with Wisdom}
      July 21, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      I agree! I laughed out loud reading it and confused my roommate!

      I LOVE this idea. I’ve been making frozen coffee “ice-cubes”, but this might just be an even better idea!! Pinning this one for sure!

      • Reply
        Kiersten
        July 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        Thanks for the pin! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Gail
    January 13, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I could just pour my espresso shots over the top of these, and have my cold summer breakfast drink!! Another reason I can’t wait for summer!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 14, 2013 at 10:31 am

      That is a great idea! πŸ™‚ I’m totally counting down the days to summer too…

  • Reply
    Kelly
    January 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Can you use Splenda or another sugar substitute?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      I haven’t done it myself, but I think it would work.

  • Reply
    neelieC
    February 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I love this site! These recipes for ice cubes, or “limbels” as we called them when growing up, take me back to my childhood in Puerto Rico. It excites me to think I can still use them in a grown up fancy way. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

      I’ve never heard of limbels before! Well, I hope this recipe is as good as the ones you had when you were a kid. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Joy
    March 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I just discovered your blog and LOVE IT! I also love the idea of vanilla ice! I’ll definitely be trying this.

  • Reply
    Robert
    April 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Could you put vanilla bean ice cream into a blender and then pour back into ice cube trays?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      April 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I did have someone else comment and say he made them that way and they turned out well.

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    These were quite tasty! Though I will note that when tested in iced tea, mine only stayed afloat for a few seconds, before sinking to the bottom. Much like Vanilla Ice’s career.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      April 22, 2013 at 10:58 am

      HA HA! Yeah, they do have a tendency to sink. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Rachael
    May 10, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I really want to try these! One question bough. If I don’t have vanilla bean, can I just add more vanilla extract?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Yes! Vanilla extract definitely works too. πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Samantha {Weirding with Wisdom}
        July 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        When you say “vanilla” in the recipe, are you talking about vanilla extract? Also, how much should I use, if I were to use only vanilla extract and no vanilla bean (I wish I could afford to splurge on whole beans. I might just now that I know about the website Chris mentioned!)

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          July 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

          I haven’t made this with vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans, so I can’t say. I’d do it by taste–start with a teaspoon and add more vanilla extract a half teaspoon at a time until it tastes right.

          • Samantha {Weirding with Wisdom}
            July 22, 2013 at 10:28 am

            OK so I made some of these last night with almond milk. I used probably about 2.5 tsp of vanilla extract and it was pretty vanilla-y. Honestly probably could have used a little less.
            I had a bit of a problem though. I used a few cubes in my coffee this morning, but found that as the cubes melted, the Almond milk seperated. There were a bunch of little “floaties” in my coffee. After some research, I discovered that this is pretty normal after freezing almond milk, and it’s not curdling, it’s just the almond powder separating out of the water, basically. It doesn’t change the nutrition or anything, just looks a little funky and might alter the taste a bit.

            I was wondering, have you had this problem at all? If not, I wonder what you’re doing differently. Maybe the particular brand of almond milk you’re using?

          • Kiersten
            July 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

            The last few times I’ve made these, I’ve used refrigerated coconut milk, but even when I used almond milk, I didn’t have problems with separation. As I mentioned in the post, the ice cubes don’t melt completely smooth, but after stirring, things distribute evenly for me. I’ve heard from people who have no problems with this recipe and I’ve heard from others who have that curdling/separation, and I really can’t say why it works for some people and not others.

  • Reply
    Chris
    May 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I love using vanilla beans…they add so much more flavor than vanilla extract….but they are so expensive. But I found a wonderful website that sales them for super cheap and they are AMAZING!!!! http://www.indrivanilla.com I used to feel guilty using vanilla beans and would save them only for the most special times, but now I don’t feel like I am breaking the bank to treat myself to something nice.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion! I feel the same way about using vanilla beans. πŸ™‚ But they are worth it!

  • Reply
    Dhara
    June 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Would regular 2% dairy milk alter the end product?

    -thanks.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure, but I know other people have used dairy milk and the recipe turned out for them.

  • Reply
    Rachel Cooks
    June 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I’m obsessed with vanilla beans so naturally, I LOVE this.

  • Reply
    Nichole
    September 10, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Now all I can think about are layered flavor cubes … coffee on the bottom w/ this vanilla deliciousness on top! I have been hoarding my last few vanilla beans but now I know exactly what I’m going to do with them.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      September 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Ooh, that is a good idea! You just eat those straight like popsicles, really. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Dawn
    September 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    These would be yummy in oj give it that cream siècle flavor

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      September 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      That is a great idea!

  • Reply
    Jones
    September 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    This sounds good except you’re not supposed to freeze almond milk.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      September 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      It’s perfectly safe to freeze almond milk and it doesn’t alter the taste either. Sometimes almond milk separates after thawing, but stirring remedies that.

  • Reply
    aislinn
    May 2, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Could these be made with cow’s milk?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      May 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      I haven’t tried it myself, but other readers have and I’ve heard it works well.

  • Reply
    Christina
    August 10, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Thanks for posting this Kiersten! I will be making, and sharing these today πŸ™‚

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