Our boba ice cream recipe is exactly what you need if you'd rather eat boba than drink it. Boba milk tea is the perfect cold drink on a hot day and is even more perfect as a frozen dessert.
After taste-testing store-bought frozen treats, making them ourselves and lots of tweaking, we finally nailed it. Our recipe is delicious, simple, and has few ingredients.
So instead of spending a fortune at the grocery store, make boba bars in your home with this easy recipe.
What is boba ice cream made of?
Our boba ice cream recipe is made of milk tea, tapioca pearls, corn flour, double cream, sugar, and eggs. The beauty of our recipe is that many of the ingredients are likely already in your kitchen cupboard.
The craze for this frozen boba treat started on TikTok. So, lots of people have filmed themselves trying it, and some have even filmed themselves making it.
If you don't want to make a homemade boba ice cream recipe, you can also buy it online. Big brands such as Walls and Nestle have started making their own versions of this delicious frozen dessert.
However, unless you’re in the Asian region, please note that you may have to order it from an international store. The cold treat is now available in many Asian countries, but it has yet to hit the major retail stores in other parts of the world.
Hopefully, the trend will reach your local area soon, and you’ll get to buy it from a nearby store! However, if you cannot wait for it anymore, then read on and try out our easy home recipe!
What does boba ice cream taste like?
Our boba ice cream tastes sweet, smooth, and rich. It has the typical texture of an ice cream bar with a bit of chew from the tapioca pearls.
Boba ice cream types
There are many different types of this cult favourite boba bar, and with our homemade recipe, there is potential for nearly any flavour you can think of.
Here are some of the most popular types.
Bubble tea ice cream
This version is the standard for a boba ice cream recipe. It's a plain, simple milk tea with tapioca pearls but frozen. People love its cold, soft serve texture and classic call-back to bubble tea.
Brown sugar boba ice cream
This version of the sweet dessert is essentially the same thing, but includes brown sugar. Brown sugar is mixed with the tapioca pearls to give a new and exciting flavour. It makes the bars even sweeter and is luscious with the boba.
If you’re wondering where to buy brown sugar boba ice cream, you may need to pay your Asia grocery store a visit and get it from there.
We found that countries such as Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore are already selling them in local grocery stores and ice cream parlours. If you’re in other parts of the globe, for the time being, you may have to order it to be internationally shipped to your local country.
Coffee boba ice cream
Boba coffee ice cream is exactly what it sounds like, the sweet treat with coffee. The coffee adds zip to your day and makes the bars even richer.
Our recipe will show you how to make a standard boba ice cream recipe, but you can easily adapt it to make any of the varieties mentioned above and experiment with other flavours.
Boba ice cream filling
This boba ice cream recipe can be filled with anything you like. These are some of our favourites.
Most recipes for this treat will have tapioca balls, and for a good reason. It's a delicious filling, and it's relatively simple.
Note that it's best to make your own tapioca balls, as homemade ones are better when frozen. Also, you want your tapioca pearls to be chewy when frozen, not rock hard.
Before you turn your nose up at red bean filling, hear us out. It is actually delightful and tasty. Just as its name suggests, it is made from red beans, which are very common in Japanese desserts.
The addition of sugar makes it so tasty, and the process of making it includes boiling it and mixing water, making for a smooth, paste-like texture.
Fresh fruit is also divine in boba ice cream bars. And just about any fresh fruit will do. So if you've heard of it in a frozen treat, you can include it in this one. Strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and even bananas are sweet and delectable in these bars.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will love the cookies and cream version of this boba ice cream recipe. Crush up some Oreos or any dark cookie, and put them inside.
For super fine cookie crumbs, mash them with a rolling pin inside a plastic baggie. For bigger chunks, crushing the cookies with your hands will be enough. If you want to try the oreo filling, go ahead, but note that this will create a super thick and rich texture.
Caramel and nuts
Try a filling of caramel and nuts in this boba ice cream recipe. It's a tasty twist that leaves room for lots of versatility. You can use any nuts you like, but we are partial to pecans, walnuts, and pistachios.
Look for slivers or crushed pieces for the best texture and a more dental-friendly filling. Use any caramel sauce you like.
If none of the fillings sounds good to you, get creative in the kitchen and come up with a filling that suits your preference. There are endless amounts of foods you can put in this bar. However, the only foods to avoid are the ones that don't freeze well. Otherwise, anything will work.
A typical boba ice cream recipe does not call for toppings, but if you like to have toppings on your bars, you can have them. Here are some options.
- Syrups: Any sweet ice dessert always tastes better with syrup, and just because you have it in a bar form doesn't mean you need to miss out on the fun. Drizzle your favourite syrup over the boba ice cream bar before serving it. Brown sugar syrup or honey are delicious options
- Hard shell: You can also create a hard shell by dipping your bar in something melted like dark, milk, white chocolate, or matcha. The dip will freeze and create a super tasty shell. Additionally, dipping it in crushed almonds beforehand will add some extra crunch.
This boba ice cream recipe will show you how to make boba tea ice cream with dark chocolate and crushed almonds. However, the last step is optional. You can skip it if you like.
Boba ice cream calories
There are around 150 calories in one boba ice cream bar. Therefore, there is no reason to feel bad about indulging in this tasty snack!
However, it will also depend on how much sugar and double cream you use. For example, we wanted a creamier texture for our recipe, so the calories were slightly higher.
Bubble tea ice cream ingredients
The ingredient you will need to make boba ice cream is milk tea, tapioca pearls, corn flour, double cream, sugar, and eggs. While the ingredients are simple and not too long, there are a few things you should watch out for.
You'll need milk tea for these sweet frozen bars, and you can use store-bought, make your own from scratch, or use a premade mix.
However, if you use store-bought milk tea, note that you will get a popsicle-like texture because of the high water content.
While it might be easier to use store-bought, it'll definitely affect the texture. If you use a premade bubble tea mix or make your own, you have a little more control.
When you make your own milk tea mixture, we recommend you forgo the water to make a sweeter taste and thicker texture. The same goes for using a bubble tea powder mix.
If you choose to make your own, check out our simple and delicious boba milk tea recipe.
Given the name, you'll need tapioca pearls for your boba ice cream recipe. Feel free to use a premade bubble tea mix, but you can also make your own.
Using store-bought tapioca pearls is definitely easier, but you won't be able to control the texture or sweetness. In addition, they become very hard when frozen. We recommend you make homemade tapioca balls that will be a bit chewier.
We like corn flour for this recipe, but you can use rice flour if you don't have it. You should be able to find any of these flours at your local grocery store or online.
You can use heavy whipping cream if you don't have double. We like double cream for its thick consistency but feel free to substitute it if you need to.
Vegan milk tea ice cream recipe
If you are vegan, you cannot eat this recipe as is. Although finding vegan substitutes can be difficult, we've got you covered.
Instead of the regular dairy version, you can use coconut at a one-to-one ratio. You can buy coconut cream at any grocery store, or you can even make it at home.
There are other homemade vegan options, too, like cashew or tofu and soy milk mixture, but that does require a bit more work.
Note that the flavour will change a bit whenever you substitute for a vegan ingredient. For example, the creamy base will take on a coconut flavour if you use coconut. On the other hand, using cashew could give it a nutty flavour.
Depending on their water content, these substitutions will also change the texture. For example, cashew cream is made with water.
Therefore it could become popsicle-like, similar to when you use store-bought milk tea. However, you don't have to change your cooking method by using a double cream substitute. Using coconut cream, as we suggested, will give you the closest texture.
In this boba ice cream recipe, egg yolks are binding agents. This is because they work to mix with the sugar. Because of this, we need to use something that acts as a binding agent.
There are several options, but one quick and easy option is mashed banana. You won't need much, just about a quarter of a banana in place of one egg yolk. Make sure that you mash it well, and it will work perfectly.
It'll give a bit of a banana flavour, but since it will cook down with the milk tea, it wouldn't affect the texture too much. Make sure you use ripe bananas and remove any strings before mashing.
How to make boba ice cream
Here are the basic steps to make boba ice cream at home. For exact measurements and a step-by-step video, you can check out our full recipe below.
- Mix egg yolks and sugar.
- Make your milk tea. Add sugar if you want it to be sweeter.
- Combine the sugar mixture with the milk tea.
- Stir over low heat until it thickens and set aside to cool.
- Add double cream and tapioca pearls.
- Fill your ice cream mould with the mixture. Freeze overnight.
- (Optional step) Dip the bars in melted chocolate and crushed almonds. Let set to create a hard shell.
Boba Ice Cream Bar Cooking Tips
Our boba ice cream recipe can be intimidating if you've never made it before, but we promise it's simple. Use our cooking tips below for the best results!
Adjust the sweetness
If you want to adjust the sweetness of your bars, you can do a couple of things. One option is to add or take away sugar. Alternatively, you can also use brown sugar boba instead of regular milk tea. Furthermore, you can also add a dash of salt to balance the flavour.
Make sure it properly sets
To ensure your bars are properly set in the freezer, tap the mould once it is filled to release any air bubbles. Set the mould on a flat surface to avoid any spills. Use a sheet pan if you don't have any flat space available.
Cook the tapioca pearls
Be sure to cook the tapioca pearls until they are very soft. They will freeze later, and if they are not soft enough, they'll become too hard when frozen.
You can store these frozen bars to enjoy again. However, removing them from their moulds is best and storing them in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Although the moulds are freezer safe, they are often not airtight and are only suitable for the initial freeze, not for storage.
The bars will last for a few months, but they won't taste as good. So it's best to eat them within six weeks.
Boba Ice Cream Recipe | Bubble Tea Bars
- 30 g sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 30 g cornflour
- 400 ml boba
- 1 scoop Tapioca pearls
- 400 ml double cream
- Mix together the egg yolks and sugar.
- Prepare 400ml milk tea. Add sugar to add sweetness. If you’re using a milk tea powder, add milk instead of water to the boba ice cream mix for a smoother texture.
- Add the yolk mixture and cornstarch with milk tea and stir over low heat until it thickens. Set this aside to cool for 30 minutes.
- Add 400ml of double cream and tapioca pearls to the mixture.
- Fill your moulds with the mixture. Leave your boba ice cream to set overnight.
- (Optional step) Dip your bubble tea ice cream bar into a melted mixture of dark chocolate and crushed almonds. Set this on parchment paper in the fridge to create a hard shell.
- You can use a premade milk tea instead of making your own. Store-bought milk tea and premade mixtures found online are both suitable substitutes.
- Because of the water content, the texture will be more popsicle-like if you use store-bought boba. Be sure to separate the pearls before combining them with the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
- Feel free to go the extra step and add a hard chocolate shell, just as we do in our video. You can use other toppings, as well, in this boba ice cream recipe.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.
Similar frozen treats
If you like this boba treat, you are in luck. There are lots of other Asian frozen desserts to test out. Here are some of our favourites.
Mochi ice cream
When you think of Japanese frozen treats, your mind will likely go to the classic mochi. This dessert is made of sticky rice with an ice cream filling. You can make it at home, but it is so easy to find at the store and tastes delicious.
Taro ice cream
This frozen treat blends the root vegetable's natural sweetness with coconut milk to make a deliciously creamy dessert.
Azuki ice cream
For those who want to try a red bean filling in your boba ice cream recipe, check out azuki red bean. Made from red beans, it's a popular Japanese dessert that you will also love.
Other recipes to check out
We've got lots of recipes over at Honest Food Talks. So, we've got you covered whether you want drinks and desserts or full meals. Check out our Easy Chicken Katsu Ramen, Salt and Pepper Tofu, and Hokkaido Milk Tea recipes for even more deliciousness.
Be sure to follow Honest Food Talks on Instagram: @honestfoodtalks. You’ll find recipes, tips, tricks, and mouth-watering photos to satisfy your foodie cravings!