Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

The Best Gorse Flower Ice Cream Recipe

A bowl of freshly-made wild gorse ice cream

This melt-in-the-mouth ice cream really captures the coconut-scent that fills the air around wild gorse bushes on a warm, sunny day. That's why this recipe is so good! Oooh, I can almost taste it as I write this.

I've experimented a lot with gorse (Ulex galli and Ulex europeaus) over the years and here I share with you my best recipe yet. Here I also share my top tips on how to bring out that gorse-scent in foods and drinks - which is not as easy as it sounds!

Drying gorse flowers

Plus, a few ideas for using any left-over flowers, including how to make gorse sugar and what to use it with.

Gorse is one of my favourite flowers to use as it is so abundant and in many areas is considered an invasive. And that bright yellow colour is great too!

The Best Gorse Flower Ice Cream Recipe

A pale-yellow, creamy gorse flower ice cream that will have you dreaming of yellow-dotted landscapes...

Gorse in flower across moorland


  • To best capture the scent of gorse pick the flowers on a sunny, dry day. Then use the flowers immediately.
  • Over the years I've discovered that fat and alcohol are the best carriers for gorse, otherwise you'll be left with a subtle, moorland scent. Don't get me wrong - I love subtle moorland aromas, but here we're aiming to capture that divine coconuty elixir. Infusing gorse flowers in cream and full-fat milk is perfect for this!

Serves 4


150 ml full-fat milk
200 ml double cream
2 medium egg yolks
120 g unrefined caster sugar
100 g fresh gorse flowers

Place the flowers, milk and cream in a medium saucepan over a low to medium heat and bring just to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to steep for at least 10 minutes. You can also leave the flowers in over-night, and just re-heat a little to liquefy the cream enough to be able to strain.

Gorse flowers infusing in cream

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, then using a jelly bag or fine sieve, strain in the steeped cream mixture, making sure you extract as much of the infused cream as possible. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Blending the gorse-infused cream with egg yolk and sugar

Leave to cool before placing in an ice cream maker or in a lidded container in the freezer. If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If not, check every 2 hours and mash until the texture is creamy and frozen. 

A white bowl of gorse ice cream with fresh flowers sprinkled on top

What to Do with Left-Over Gorse Flowers

I often pick a few too many gorse flowers (better too many than too few). Of course the leftover fresh petals can simply be sprinkled over salads, savoury dishes such as coconut curries or desserts, like this ice cream.

But you could also dry them.

Drying gorse flowers

How to Dry Gorse Flowers

I normally just scatter the flowers over a clean, dry surface top or tea towel and allow them to dry naturally in a warm room. Make sure there is enough space around the flowers for them to dry fully. You could also use a dehydrator or airing-cupboard or the very lowest heat in the oven.

What to Do with Dried Flowers

I normally have a small bag of dried gorse flowers at home. They hold onto the flavour well and can be used to make a powdered gorse sugar or gorse syrup. Somehow dried flowers make a better gorse syrup - as the flavour of dried flowers is more intense. I have a gorse syrup recipe in my little foraging book which I use to drizzle over gorse flower rice pudding (also in my book).

Powdered gorse flower sugar

Powdered Gorse Flower Sugar

Powdered gorse sugar is easy to make and can be used as a flavoured icing sugar to dust over cakes, or blended with a little water to make a rustic icing. Use about 25 g of unrefined sugar to 2 tablespoons of dried gorse flowers and powder in a spice/nut/coffee grinder. The sugar will keep well for 6 months.

Like this? What's next...

I run monthly foraging courses in Cornwall, where I teach people about abundant edible plants and how to use them. I can also offer tailor-made foraging experiences - there really is nothing like hands-on learning! Feel free to also browse my blog or the members page for more information.

4 comments on “The Best Gorse Flower Ice Cream Recipe”

  1. I have never made ice cream, but the gorse recipe looks very interesting. I can’t think where in Bristol l could find gorse flowers? Gorse sugar- unusual and intriguing. I’m sure l could add it to porridge.

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