New Zealand Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Recipe

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A rich and creamy hokey pokey ice cream recipe with chunks of homemade honeycomb. We use one of our favorite ice cream bases and then stir in a delicious homemade honeycomb!

hokey pokey ice cream

Known for its kind hospitality, very friendly people, crystal clear blue waters, and lush green mountains, New Zealand has been on my travel list for a while.

It’s been on my husband’s because they shot the breathtaking Lord of the Rings Trilogy there! After watching this absolutely gorgeous video, I know I need to see it in person one day soon.

I would love to spend a few days eating, shopping, and exploring the metro areas of Auckland and Wellington and then off to the countryside to take it ALL in.

What a beautiful world we live in, right? And not to take away from the vast scenery of New Zealand (because really what compares?!), but I heard of a very popular flavor of ice cream in New Zealand called Hokey Pokey.

hokey pokey ice cream

Pretty much everything I’ve read and what people have said is that it’s a staple flavor at every ice cream shop in New Zealand and it’s something you MUST try when you’re there.

I am one of those people who search for the local faves when traveling, especially sweets! So in honor of New Zealand and my future vacation there (not booked, but fingers crossed!), I decided to make a homemade Hokey Pokey ice cream recipe and OH MY GOODNESS is it AMAZING! It makes you want to do the Hokey Pokey, turn yourself around, and eat more!

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

The photos don’t even do it justice. It’s a super creamy vanilla-based ice cream that I used from Jeni’s recipe and it’s mixed in with a homemade honeycomb. The honeycomb creates a delicious, rich caramel taste with a light crunchy texture.

When the honeycomb is mixed into the ice cream, some of it melts and creates the most delicious swirl throughout the ice cream. I really can’t tell you all enough how much you need to make this recipe!

I promise you won’t be disappointed! New Zealand, I’m coming for you and your Hokey Pokey.

ingredients to make hokey pokey ice cream topping


To make the honeycomb you’ll need the following ingredients:

When to Serve This Dessert

Ice cream is a fun dessert to serve all year! Here are some of our favorite occasions to serve it:

Ice Cream Bar

Pool Party 

Birthday Party it’s also perfect for a last-minute birthday party!

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Tropical Party

After Dinner Treat

hokey pokey ice cream topping

Frequently Asked Questions

Where did hokey pokey ice cream originate?

Hokey pokey ice cream first originated in New Zealand in the late 19th century. Ice cream factory owner Brian Simon combined classic vanilla with small pieces of honeycomb toffee. Upon its distribution, the flavor quickly rose to peak popularity within the country. Now, it’s distributed all around the world for people to enjoy, and remains a staple of New Zealand cuisine. 

What kind of ice cream is hokey pokey?

Hokey pokey ice cream begins with a base of classic vanilla. Small, bite-sized pieces of honeycomb toffee are added to the ice cream as it churns for a sweet, caramel-like crunch. While packed with flavor, the honeycomb toffee is made using only caster sugar, golden syrup, and baking soda. With just a few ingredients, anyone can enjoy this fun, innovative ice cream flavor.

Why is it called hokey pokey ice cream?

The name derives from several sources. Since the late 19th century, New Zealand’s classic honeycomb toffee has been known as hokey pokey, although the origins of this name are currently unknown. Additionally, “hokey pokey” was also a slang term used to reference ice cream during this time, with ice cream vendors often known as “hokey pokey men.” Etymologists have concluded that this term likely originated from an old Italian phrase, as many of these vendors were of Italian descent.

What countries have hokey pokey ice cream?

While hokey pokey ice cream is most popular in its native New Zealand, the treat has fans all around the world. It’s imported in large quantities to neighboring Australia, as well as to the faraway United States and United Kingdom. The flavor is also imported to Asia—particularly Japan—where it sees much popularity.

What is hokey pokey ice cream in Australia?

Though this dessert has seen popularity in many countries outside of New Zealand, it often goes by an entirely different name. For instance, in Australia, the ice cream is generally known as “honeycomb ice cream” in reference to the toffee inside. While these names are slightly different, the ice cream remains the same indulgent treat that is loved by dessert fans internationally.

What is the flavor of hokey pokey ice cream?

The signature honeycomb toffee makes hokey pokey ice cream an indulgent treat. Made mainly from sugar, the honeycomb toffee is seriously sweet and offers a satisfying crunch. This sweetness is tempered by the mellow creaminess of the vanilla ice cream as it cuts through the bold honeycomb and rich golden syrup. The result is a caramel-like flavor that perfectly balances texture and sweetness for a memorable treat.Ask about order

bowl of hokey pokey ice cream

More Desserts You’ll Love!

Boozy Ice Cream Floats

Cereal Ice Cream with Lucky Charms

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice Cream Sundae Sheet Cake

Boozy Coffee Milkshakes

homemade hokey pokey ice cream

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Hokey Pokey Honeycomb Recipe

Honeycomb gives a delicious texture to creamy ice cream!
4.65 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: new zealand
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 219kcal
Author: Eden


Homemade Honeycomb

  • 1 cup caster sugar, super fine sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup, find this at Whole Foods or online
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda


  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set closely to the range where you’ll be melting the sugar and syrup.
  • Place the sugar and the syrup in a medium sauce pan and stir until the mixture melts. It will become thick first, but as it heats it will melt into a gooey syrup. It takes about 5 minutes.
  • Once the mixture is bubbling and richer in color, like a dark golden brown add in the baking powder and whisk quickly. Immediately pour the mixture on to the parchment paper while it’s still fluffy.
    hokey pokey ice cream
  • Let it sit for about 15 minutes then bash it to pieces! The inside will resemble a honeycomb.
    break up the honeycomb
  • Make the vanilla ice cream and add the homemade honeycomb to the base about 5 minutes before the ice cream is done in the ice cream maker.
    hokey pokey ice cream
  • Leave some thicker ones for an extra crunchy ice cream texture! AND a few to sprinkle over the top.


Here is the recipe for Jeni’s homemade vanilla ice cream. We love it! 
This honeycomb recipe works with any vanilla ice cream base, so use your favorite! 
To make it easier, hand mix the honeycomb into a store-bought ice cream. Leave some to sprinkle over the top.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1641mg | Sugar: 55g
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11 thoughts on “New Zealand Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Recipe”

  1. The ingredients for honeycomb toffee say Baking Soda but the instructions say Baking Powder. These are two different things. Which is the right ingredient?

  2. Just to let you know, hokey pokey ice cream is a New Zealand invention, we’re very proud of it. It’s not an American cuisine.

  3. I made this recipe twice—once with 3Tablespoons of baking soda and once with only one Tablespoon. The ONE Tablespoon is the way to go! With three, the honeycomb wouldn’t harden so I could break it up, and it didn’t taste the best!

    • Hi Ally! Sorry about that, the link must have been removed when we migrated the site! I re-attached it in the recipe card and post. It’s really a good vanilla ice cream base!

  4. Is the second ingredient on the ice cream recipe sugar? It says ” 1 tablespoon plus.” I’m buying ingredients to make this (and an ice cream maker. haha). Can’t stop thinking about it. Looks so good!

  5. Hi there
    yes New Zealand is the place to be.
    Let me know when you do come here, we would love to host you and show you the sights of Wellington.

  6. Your photos just keep getting better. Never thought to make honeycomb myself. Ryan loves it! I think I will order ingredients today to make this. Do you have an ice cream maker recommendation?

  7. Yummy! I was so excited when New Zealand Natural ice cream came to Los Angeles several years ago, only to discover that they decided to leave out the chunks of hokey pokey in the American recipe. I don’t know if that’s still true as the downtown location has since closed, but I am happy you posted this recipe!


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