Dippin Dots is an ice cream treat made by flash freezing ice cream mixture using liquid nitrogen. It’s different from regular liquid nitrogen ice cream by the way the recipe is added to the nitrogen. Dripping the mixture into the liquid forms small spheres. You can buy Dippin Dots at their stores, but won’t find it in the grocery store because the spheres melt too easily. However, it’s easy and fun to make homemade Dippin Dots. You can store the frozen treat in the home freezer, if you don’t eat it all at once.
Here are instructions for making Dippin Dots, including a way to make it without using liquid nitrogen.
Homemade Dippin Dots Recipe
- Melted ice cream or frozen yogurt, pudding, or any ice cream recipe
- Liquid nitrogen
- Foam cooler
- Slotted spoon
- Plastic ketchup bottle, syringe, baster, or 2-liter bottle poked full of holes
Basically, all you need is some form of ice cream, liquid nitrogen, and a way to drip the ice cream into the nitrogen. The hardest part is finding the nitrogen. Praxair and Airgas sell it, but you’ll need a styrofoam cooler or dewar to transport it. For safety, never seal liquid nitrogen, wear gloves and long pants to protect against splashes, and work in a well-ventilated area.
For multi-colored dots, melt three colors of sherbet or ice cream. Otherwise, just use whatever flavor you like. If you choose to melt ice cream or sherbet, let it sit for a while before using it so the air bubbles have a chance to escape. If there is too much air in the mixture, the dots will float on the liquid nitrogen and form clumps rather than freezing into spheres.
If you’re making your own ice cream, here’s an easy chocolate recipe:
- 4 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 1-1/2 cups half and half
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour some liquid nitrogen into a foam cooler.
- You have few options to deliver the ice cream drops. One way is to squirt the mixture using a plastic ketchup bottle. You could also use a syringe (small balls) or baster (larger balls). A more efficient method is to poke holes along one side of a plastic 2-liter bottle. Fill the bottle, seal it, rest it on top of the open cooler, and turn it so the drips fall into the liquid nitrogen.
- Use a slotted spoon to collect the Dippin Dots. You can store them in a sealed container in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them. If you want to eat them immediately, let them warm to regular freezer temperature first. Otherwise, the dots will be too cold and will stick to your mouth and tongue.
Make Dippin Dots Without Liquid Nitrogen
You can still make ice cream dots without using liquid nitrogen. Again, start with melting sherbet or ice cream, pudding, yogurt, or any ice cream recipe. It’s a good idea to use a thicker mixture, so the dots hold their shape. For example, here’s a simple recipe:
- 8-oz cup of flavored yogurt
- 4-oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature so it’s easier to work with. Then, mix together the ingredients.
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. This makes the dots easier to remove once they are frozen.
- Fit a zip-top plastic bag with a round icing tip. Pour the ice cream mixture into the bag.
- Pipe ice cream dots onto the waxed paper.
- Freeze the dots at least two hours. Also, freeze a glass or metal bowl.
- Use a spatula to scrape the dots off the waxed paper and into the chilled bowl.
You can eat the homemade Dippin Dots immediately or keep them frozen in a sealed container to enjoy later.