Who doesn’t have the temptation for ice cream? Even those with an intolerance to lactose struggle not to eat it! This perfect treat is found in abundance all over the world and comes in a variety of flavors and forms. Here are several unique variations you can make at home. Ice cream just got 100 times cooler.

Dondurma (pronounced doan-duurh-mah): Turkish Ice Cream

Photo by E4024

A doughy, stretchy ice cream, dondurma is a popular street food in Turkey. It is known as “the ice cream that never melts” because of a special ingredient called salep, which is a dried tuber or orchid.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salep powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla powder


  1. Combine salep powder, vanilla powder, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Slightly heat up milk and add dry ingredients gradually. Stir constantly until smooth.
  3. Cook on low for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Transfer to bowl and put in freezer. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Whisk and stretch continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. Put back into freezer.
  6. Repeat 4 to 5 times at 30-minute intervals.
  7. Transfer mixture into airtight container and freeze for 5 hours.

Kulfi (pronounced kool-fee): Indian Ice Cream

Kulfi, or traditional Indian ice cream, is a thicker, creamier version of ice cream that is probably more accurately described as solidified milk. Crushed pistachios are often sprinkled on top to give it an extra nutty crunch.

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (cold)
  • 2 cups whipping cream (cold)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ground pistachios
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch saffron


  1. Put saffron threads in small bowls with 1 Tbsp. of warm water. Infuse and set aside to cool.
  2. Beat heavy cream on medium until stiff peaks form.
  3. Lower speed and pour condensed milk into whipped cream. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Increase speed. Whip until mixture is thick and stiff peaks form.
  5. Add ground pistachios, cardamom, and saffron-infused liquid. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  6. Transfer ice cream into airtight container and freeze at least 6 hours (or overnight) before serving.

I-Tim-Pad (pronounced eye-team-pad): Thailand’s Rolled Ice Cream (Cookies and Cream)

I-Tim-Pad, or fried ice cream, is another fun street food. Unlike other versions of fried ice cream, I-Tim-Pad is fried on a flat surface—just like a pancake.

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3 Oreo cookies
  • whipped cream (optional)


  1. Base: Mix cream and condensed milk on large metal baking tray.
  2. Break up Oreo cookies into small crumbs until evenly spread throughout base.
  3. Freeze for a minimum of 5 hours (or preferably overnight).
  4. Place tray on a flat surface and run spatula under ice cream to form a spiral shape. Repeat 4 times.
  5. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.

Mochi Ice Cream (pronounced moe-chee): Japanese Ice Cream

Mochi is a type of sweet rice cake in Japan; fill it with ice cream and you get a sweet treat you can eat with your hands (or chopsticks!). It is especially popular during Japanese holidays.

  • 1 cup mochiko
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • cornstarch
  • anko
  • 1 tsp. water (if too dry)


  1. Mix mochiko and water in glass or heat-proof bowl.
  2. Steam mochiko dough for 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer steamed mochi into pot with 2/3 cup sugar and cook on medium.
  4. After sugar dissolves, add 1/3 cup of sugar and mix well.
  5. Add remaining sugar and cook until completely dissolved (do not burn).
  6. Take mochi out of pot and put onto pan dusted with cornstarch.
  7. When cool, use sections to cover small scoops of ice cream to form balls with mochi on the outside. Enjoy!

—Marissa Faulkner