Kulfi Recipe


The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Freeze: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 popsicles
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
453 Calories
30g Fat
41g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 453
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 18g 88%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 40g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 236mg 18%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 363mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kulfi is a popular North Indian dessert recipe. This creamy and flavorful frozen treat is the perfect ending to a meal on a hot summer day.

Saffron is infused into heavy cream and then whipped to soft peaks. Sweetened condensed milk is added before the kulfi is flavored in a variety of ways. This version uses fragrant ground cardamom and elegant rose water. Finally, chopped pistachios are folded in for texture and flavor. Other versions of kulfi use ground almonds or even mango puree.

The dessert can be frozen in silicone popsicle molds or paper cups with wooden popsicle sticks. Either way, be careful unmolding the kulfi before serving since they have a delicate texture.

"Kulfi has a very similar flavor to Iranian saffron ice cream but with slightly different ingredients. Combination of saffron, cardamom and pistachio are very bright and tasty. Texture is a bit softer than regular ice cream so be careful when unmolding. I used silicon mold and it worked perfectly." —Tara Omidvar

Kulfi/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water, optional

  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped raw pistachios, divided

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make kulfi

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream and the saffron threads. Heat over low heat until it reaches a gentle boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

    A pot of heavy cream and saffron threads

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until chilled.

    A bowl of chilled saffron-infused heavy cream

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the chilled cream-saffron mixture with the remaining 1 cup of cream. Beat until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually whisk in the sugar.

    A stand mixer with whipped saffron-infused cream mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Add the sweetened condensed milk, cardamom, rose water, if using, and 3 tablespoons of pistachios. Whisk to combine.

    A stand mixture with added sweetened condensed milk, cardamom, rose water, and pistachios

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Transfer the mixture into flexible silicone popsicle molds or paper cups. (Because of the delicate texture of kulfi, they can be difficult to remove from firm plastic popsicle molds.)

    Paper cups filled with kulfi mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Sprinkle the remaining pistachios on top. Insert the popsicle sticks into the molds and freeze until firm, 6 to 12 hours.

    Paper cups of kulfi mixture topped with pistachios

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  8. If you are using paper cups, wrap the top of the cup in aluminum foil and then insert the popsicle sticks. This allows the popsicle sticks to remain upright and straight while in the freezer.

    Paper cups of kulfi with popsicle sticks covered with foil

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  9. When ready to eat, gently unmold the kulfi from the silicone popsicle molds or peel away the paper cups and serve.

    A tray of frozen kulfi

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • If you're having trouble removing the frozen kulfi from their molds, run the mold under warm water for a moment and gently pull. Kulfi pops are more delicate than most popsicles so be gentle.

What Is Rose Water?

Sophisticated and fragrant rose water is a steam distillate of pure rose petals. The floral notes are strong and only a small amount is needed to add luxurious flavor to recipes. It pairs perfectly with fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, lychee, and mango. It also has an affinity for vanilla, dark chocolate, and white chocolate. The combination used here of pistachio, cardamom, and rose water is particularly elegant.

If the floral notes of rose water are too strong for your palate, it is certainly an optional ingredient in this recipe. The cardamom and pistachio along with the saffron-infused cream are absolutely wonderful alone as well.