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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 itย doesย 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
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    June 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

    You had me LOLing fo real with your Vanilla Ice references and my husband called it solid! I love this idea and will definitely be trying this. I’m too lazy to make coffee twice in a morning so I usually get whatever is leftover in the pot after my husband leaves. If the kids sleep in a little that means the coffee is lukewarm and has to be reheated – this solves my problem! Might be good in adult beverages like a White Russian as well!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      …and it’s dairy-free too! I’ve seen people make coffee-flavored ice cubes for iced coffee, but these are nice because they add a little creaminess and flavor.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Just because you quoted Vanilla Ice, you are now my favorite blogger in the whole world. I still know all the words to that song and every so often just because I can, I sing it.

    I’m fly like that.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      Me too. I freaking love Vanilla Ice. Have you seen his movie, Cool as Ice? Because you really need to.

      • Reply
        Rachel
        June 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

        I have seen it.

        You cannot call yourself a fan if you haven’t! lol

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          June 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

          We are clearly kindred spirits. I like to quote that movie sometimes and I’m the only one who gets it. Because, like, 10 people have seen it.

          • Rachel
            June 24, 2012 at 11:29 pm

            I understand completely. I quote it and get stared out like I have 3 heads because I am the only one laughing.

  • Reply
    Katie
    June 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    I may or may not have rapped along with you in your intro… this girly’s on standby, waiting just to say hi…

    anyway, I have never thought of making flavored ice cubes, or even heard of them to be honest! I think they are worth giving a try!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Ha! I’m so glad I wrote this post. Finally I know I’m not alone in my Vanilla Ice obsession.

  • Reply
    Cat Davis - Food Family Finds
    June 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I’m making these right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ except no almond milk, just regular bc that’s all I have. Is almond milk lactose-free?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Okay, now you really have to tell me how they turn out–I’m curious how regular milk will work! Yup, almond milk is lactose-free. I’m not vegan, but I don’t like the taste of dairy milk.

      • Reply
        Cat Davis - Food Family Finds
        June 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm

        They just went into the freezer. I did 2% milk with vanilla bean paste since I didn’t have any beans on hand. They’re all in my jars. lol

        • Reply
          Leila
          July 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

          How did these turn out with regular milk? I’m thinking I may use regular milk or cream. I guess that would be cream ice, then instead of ice cream?? ha.

          Curious to know if yours were good!

          • Kiersten
            July 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

            I know you weren’t asking me, but I did see someone mention making them with cream on her blog and they turned out well for her…

  • Reply
    JulieD
    June 25, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Love this!!

  • Reply
    gem
    June 25, 2012 at 2:10 am

    wow – that looks so refreshing AND yummy! need to try this one too…

  • Reply
    Shell Fruscione
    June 25, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Those are SO pretty & sound super yummy! I made some Crystal Light ice cubes the other week & they were good in theory but since they’re mostly water anyway, they still watered down my drink & there wasn’t enough flavor to make it taste good. Definitely trying these!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 25, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Yeah, the great thing about these is that they don’t water down the flavor at all!

  • Reply
    Lolo
    June 25, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Oh my, Vanilla Ice sounds so delicious. Thank you for the amazing recipe!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    June 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

    What a great idea!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Brilliant! This is one of the ideas where you go.. why havent i done this before! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you! Those are my favorite kind of ideas to have. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Janel
    June 26, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I’m on a huge homemade popsicle kick and was just thinking I want to make a less fruity, more sweet pop and this looks perfect! I think I’ll try it with canned coconut milk and may even sneak some dark chocolate chips in before freezing. Love your recipes, as always ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      I think coconut milk would work really well! I have chocolate chips on hand, so I might try that too. I was also going to throw some cinnamon into my next batch…

  • Reply
    Jeannine
    June 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I put these in a nice cold mug of Chocolate Stout last night. All I can say is AWESOME!!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Totally trying this. Glad to hear you liked them!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    June 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    This is awesome! I have to admit though, I’m a little disappointing that these won’t wax a chump like a candle ๐Ÿ™ Great blog!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Well, it might wax chumps like a candle–I haven’t tested it, though.

  • Reply
    Anne - Mommy Has to Work
    June 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

    This looks wonderful for the summer!

  • Reply
    May I Have That Recipe
    June 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    This is brilliant!!! Love the idea!! I am going to go make some now…cant wait to have them in my iced coffee!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 30, 2012 at 8:42 am

      I hope it turned out well!

  • Reply
    Susan Jacobs
    June 30, 2012 at 10:23 am

    If you don’t have vanilla beans can you just use vanilla extract? I am going to try this with splenda to make it sugar free as well. Thanks so much …this sounds awesome!!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Yes, you could definitely just use extract instead. I’d start with a teaspoon, taste it, and add more if necessary. I hope you like them! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Megan
    July 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Ohhh i was so excited when I saw this but had no vanilla beans on hand, so I opted for my unsweetened vanilla almond milk, truvia and vanilla extract! I LOVE iced coffee and have been putting the vanilla splenda packs in it each morning and I think this is going to be perfect to replace those without watering my iced coffee down when the ice melts! it tasted good when I mixed it all up so we’ll see when I try them in the morning ๐Ÿ™‚ I never even thought to make something like this, did coffee iced cubes before though! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      I hope they worked out well in your iced coffee! The coffee ice cubes work too, but I’m a huge fan of vanilla, so I’m partial to these. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Ashley Matecki
    July 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I might sound totally ridiculous by asking this, but I’m gonna ask anyways. Where can you purchase vanilla beans? Somewhere like Walmart? And are they expensive?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Not ridiculous at all! My regular grocery store sells them in the spice/extract section. If yours doesn’t, you might be able to find them at a gourmet shop. There are different kinds grown in different parts of the world, so the price varies. I always buy the cheapo ones. ๐Ÿ™‚ But you can also omit the vanilla bean and just use extract instead. Start with one teaspoon, taste it, and add more if needed.

      • Reply
        Ashley Matecki
        July 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        Great, thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    July 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Ohh this looks so yummy and I have a special love for vanilla!

  • Reply
    Kelli Ushakov
    July 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Ha! LOVE That song…just the other day I played it in the van and the 3 littles (my littlest 3 kids) begged for me to keep repeating it, and we ended up listening to it 4 times in a row! I was the only one singing,though, but it’s all good.l Love it. Now, for the recipe, I’ll definitely try it. I don’t like the taste of dairy milk either, so I’m excited to try this for my iced coffee drinks! Thanks for the laughs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 6, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Ha, I love this! Your kids are awesome. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Jill
    July 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Oooooh, this is perfect for my iced coffee. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Becca C.
    July 6, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Would this recipe possibly work without sugar? =)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 6, 2012 at 7:41 am

      I mentioned this in the post, but maybe I should put it in the recipe itself! Yup, it works without sugar too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I figured in coffee, most people would want to add some sweetness, but if you don’t or if you’re putting it into already sweetened drinks, you can omit the sugar.

  • Reply
    Jennie
    July 6, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Redaing this I got one of those “now why didn’t I think of that” moments…I hate watered down drinks, what a perfect solution!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 6, 2012 at 7:39 am

      Thank you! I can’t stand watered down drinks either–I never put regular ice cubes in anything!

  • Reply
    Vicki
    July 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    You could use vanilla flavored almond milk and not have to add any sugar

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      Vanilla almond milk isn’t strongly flavored enough to work in this. When you freeze the ice cubes, the flavor & sweetness dulls a little bit and then when it melts into the drink, the flavor needs to be more assertive too.

  • Reply
    Maribridgett
    July 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    So I made these yesterday and when I put one in my iced tea today, it didn’t dissolve but instead turned into floaties. It still tasted really good once I got past the idea of voluntarily drinking something with a sea of white specs sloshing around in my glass. lol The only thing I changed about the recipe was I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla since I didn’t have any vanilla beans. Any idea what I did wrong?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      As I mentioned in the post, when the ice starts melting into the drink, you need to give it a stir so the almond milk & vanilla mixture distributes evenly into the drink. Because almond milk is heavier than coffee, iced tea, etc, it doesn’t always mix in on its own like ice cubes made out of water. I’m not sure about the white specks though–it could be the brand of almond milk you used? I’ve used this in iced tea a lot and never had that happen!

      • Reply
        Maribridgett
        July 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        I kept trying to stir it in but it just made it worse. I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze. What brand do you use?

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          July 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

          That is really strange! I used Silk in all the cubes I’ve made so far, but next time I’m going to buy Almond Breeze and see if it turns out differently. We’ve put these in all different kinds of drinks and there hasn’t been any gloppiness at all when they melt. I wonder if maybe Almond Breeze has a little bit more oil in it from the nuts or something? Because that would definitely account for it not mixing…

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