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an overhead shot of a scoop of hazelnut ice cream in a cone. a piece of hazelnut praline is sticking out of the top and more pieces of hazelnut praline lie on the table below the ice cream.

hazelnut praline ice cream

Rebecca Eisenberg
A toasted hazelnut ice cream base with crunchy chunks of buttery, caramelized homemade hazelnut praline.
Pro-tip: Save some shards of hazelnut praline and stick them in the top of your scoops of ice cream so you can feel real fancy as you lick your fingers clean.
UPDATE 5/24/21 — I've given this recipe a brief post-pastry school recipe just to simplify some of the steps for ya.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Combined Resting Time 16 hrs
Total Time 17 hrs 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 quart


Hazelnut Ice Cream

  • 125 grams hazelnuts (toasted and peeled)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 150 grams sugar (¾ cup)
  • 2 egg yolks (large)
  • 1 egg (large)

Hazelnut Praline Pieces

  • 125 grams hazelnuts (toasted and peeled)
  • 200 grams sugar (1 cup)
  • 50 grams water (3 TBSP)
  • 15 grams unsalted butter (1 TBSP)


  • Prep your ice cream maker according to instructions. Depending on your ice cream maker, you may need to chill the bowl up to 18 hours in advance of when you plan on churning it.

Toast hazelnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the topmost position.
  • Place all 9 ounces of hazelnuts on a sheet pan and toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
    You may need to pull them out after 15 mins if they're looking dark or leave them in another 5-10 minutes if the skins don't come off easily in the next step.
  • If hazelnuts have skins, transfer toasted hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel and shake, rub, and roll them around to remove the skins. It's okay if some of them still have a little skin on them, but try to get most of the skins off.
    Set aside.

Hazelnut Ice Cream Base

  • Place half of your toasted hazelnuts in a mini food processor and pulse a few times until well chopped. Combine with heavy cream and milk in a sauce pot and heat to just below boiling. (When you tilt the pot you should see lots of bubbles on the bottom.) Reduce heat (or turn heat off) and let steep 30 minutes.
  • While hazelnuts steep, whisk together egg yolks, egg, and sugar until pale and well combined, 1-2 minutes.
  • Place the bowl on a folded kitchen towel to anchor in place, then slowly add the heavy cream mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Once about half of it has been added slowly you can add the rest more quickly.
    Whisk well, transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours to chill.
  • The next day, strain the mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer to remove the hazelnut pieces.
  • Churn immediately according to your ice cream maker's instructions. The ice cream will likely still be quite soft once it's done churning.
    Transfer back to the container, press a sheet of plastic wrap flat over the surface of the ice cream to prevent freezer burn, and chill for at least 1 hours before stirring in the hazelnut praline pieces.

Hazelnut Praline Pieces

  • Arrange the remaining half of the toasted and peeled hazelnuts on a silicone mat or parchment paper lined sheet pan. Group them as close together as you can.
  • In a medium skillet or small sauce pot, combine sugar and water over medium heat. Stir to hydrate the sugar, then add the butter.
  • Cook the sugar mixture without stirring until it becomes very bubbly. This is the water boiling away (at 212°). Swirl the pan (don't stir) if needed to keep the bubbles from coming up too high.
    Don't walk away — the sugar can burn quite easily!
  • When the sugar mixture starts to brown, continue swirling until it becomes a rich, golden amber color. Immediately remove from the heat and pour over the hazelnuts on the silicone mat. Have a spatula ready to go because the sugar will cool quickly.
    Push any hazelnuts that weren't coated into the sugar mixture. Scoop any sugar mixture that has pooled away from the hazelnuts onto the hazelnuts. Its ok if they aren't fully or evenly coated, just do your best to get them covered.
  • Once the hazelnut praline has cooled completely, transfer it to a cutting board. Use a very sharp knife to chop into small, bite-sized pieces.
    Place in a container in the freezer for at least 1 hour before stirring into the ice cream.
  • Press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream, then cover and freeze for at least another 2-3 hours before scooping and serving.


  • It is so important that the chopped hazelnut praline pieces get at least an hour in the freezer before you stir it into the ice cream. The pieces are large and quite heavy and if they aren't fully chilled they will melt the softened ice cream and sink to the bottom. By making sure they are chilled completely and that the churned ice cream has had at least 1-2 hours in the freezer to firm up before stirring them in, they'll be evenly suspended in the ice cream and won't sink to the bottom. 
  • prep time = making the ice cream base including toasting hazelnuts, cook time = making the praline, resting time = overnight rest and post-churn chill before adding mix-ins


Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me how it was!