Creamy Matcha Lychee Ice Cream

Creamy matcha lychee ice cream is a cool, creamy, and exotic ice cream recipe that incorporates the sweet lychee fruit and matcha tea powder into a tropical tasting, yet surprisingly easy to make dessert.

Bowl with three scoops of creamy matcha lychee ice cream.

For me, a meal doesn’t feel complete without a sweet ending to it.  After a dinner that is heavy, rich, or spicy, I crave something light, cool, and sweet.  This creamy matcha lychee ice cream recipe offers all of those elements and can be made with or without an ice cream machine.

I must admit that I’m an addict when it comes to kitchen gadgets.  If there’s something new, I gotta have it.  So for me, an electric ice cream maker is a welcomed addition to my kitchen.  

But if you have more restraint or just don’t want yet another small appliance on your kitchen counter, this easy recipe can also be made using things you already have in your cabinets.

Loaf pan with homemade creamy matcha lychee ice cream being scooped out.

What Are Lychees?

Lychees are Asian stone fruit with a soft, sweet flesh that tastes like a mashup of strawberries, pear, and grapes.

It is native to China but is also grown in warm climates like Florida or Hawaii.

The fruit is small, only about 1-2 inches in diameter, with a fleshy, white interior that looks like the inside of a grape.  It’s covered with a red, leathery outer skin that’s covered with fine bumps.  It’s this appearance that gives lychee the nickname, ‘alligator strawberry’.  But the skin only looks tough.  You can easily peel the lychee using only your fingers. There’s also a brown seed or pit on the inside that is inedible.

Tell Me About Matcha Tea.

Matcha green tea is a type of Japanese green tea that’s crushed into a fine powder. The powder is then whisked with hot water, not brewed as we do with traditional teas.

Because it is eaten and not brewed, matcha has about 10 times the amount of nutrients, antioxidants, and amino acids than traditional green tea.

Matcha tea bushes are grown under shade to increase the amount of chlorophyll in the leaves.  The leaves are then picked by hand, stripped of their stems, and then ground into a fine powder with a granite mortar and pestle.  The grinding is done in the dark to protect the nutrients in the tea.

Buddist monks drank matcha tea before meditation ceremonies.  The combination of L-theanine, an amino acid that is mood-boosting, and caffeine, enhanced their meditative state.

Ingredients Needed

  • Canned lychees in heavy syrup.  You want the sweetness from the lychees soaking in the syrup.  Don’t throw the syrup away.  It is delicious in smoothies or cocktails.
  • Canned coconut milk – you want the thick, rich milk in the can, not the watery stuff in the carton.  It will enhance the exotic flavor of the lychee.
  • Heavy cream
  • Sugar
  • Matcha green tea powder
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate as a garnish

Bowl of three scoops of creamy matcha lychee ice cream beside a green tea whisk and a small bowl of matcha tea powder.


  • This recipe can be made vegan by using full-fat canned coconut milk.
  • For a richer flavor, use vanilla bean paste or scrape the beans from a fresh vanilla bean pod.
  • Switch up the flavor a bit by substituting orange extract for the vanilla.
  • Not a coconut fan? You can use 1 cup of whole milk, half & half, or heavy cream in place of the coconut milk.

How To Make This Recipe Without An Ice Cream Maker

  • You will need a large metal bowl, a larger bowl, and a whisk.
  • Place the smaller bowl and whisk it into your freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Chill all liquid ingredients and the chopped lychee fruit until very cold.
  • Nestle the smaller metal bowl down into the larger bowl that is half-filled with ice cubes.
  • Stir all ingredients, except lychees, in the metal bowl until fully dissolved and the mixture is ice cold.
  • Put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes take it out and whisk the mixture briskly, then return the bowl to the freezer.
  • Continue to whisk and freeze until the mixture reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.  At this time, stir in the lychee fruit. Return the bowl to the freezer and continue to whisk every 30 minutes until frozen.

Recipes For An Amazing Vegetarian Asian Meal


Creamy Matcha Lychee Ice Cream

This creamy matcha lychee ice cream is an easy, exotic dessert with the tropical flavors of matcha green tea and lychees.  The best part is it can be made with or without an ice cream maker.

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Freeze
  • Cuisine: Asian



1 can lychees in a heavy syrup, drained (save syrup and use in a lychee martini. Try this one – delicious!)

1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk, chilled

2 cups heavy cream, very cold

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Shaved or grated chocolate, as a garnish


  1. Drain the canned lychees. Save the lychee syrup for use in another recipe. Chop the fruit into small pieces and set them aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, heavy cream, and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in the matcha green tea powder and vanilla. Stir in the lychees. Chill this mixture for at least an hour.
  3. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker, and process it according to the ice cream maker’s directions until frozen.
  4. Scrape the ice cream into a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze until ready to use.
  5. For serving, use ice cream scoop and scoop into a dish. Sprinkle grated chocolate on top. Enjoy.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 462
  • Sugar: 26.8 g
  • Sodium: 19.5 mg
  • Fat: 26.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.9 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 70.2 mg

Keywords: creamy matcha green tea lychee ice cream, ice cream recipes, easy desserts, Asian desserts