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Ice Cream vs. Kulfi: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 23, 2024
Ice cream is a creamy, sweet frozen dessert made with milk and cream, often flavored, while kulfi is a denser, Indian-origin frozen dessert with a base of sweetened, evaporated milk.

Key Differences

Ice cream, a widely loved dessert, originated in Europe and evolved over centuries with various flavors and techniques. Kulfi, on the other hand, has its roots in the Indian subcontinent, with a rich history tied to royal kitchens and traditional recipes.
Ice cream is typically made from milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings, churned to incorporate air and create a light, fluffy texture. Kulfi, in contrast, is made by slowly reducing milk to a thick consistency and flavored with ingredients like cardamom and saffron, resulting in a denser, creamier texture.
Ice cream offers a diverse range of flavors from classic vanilla to exotic combinations, catering to global tastes. Kulfi’s flavors are deeply rooted in Indian cuisine, often featuring pistachios, rose, and mango, reflecting its cultural heritage.
Ice cream is typically served scooped in bowls or cones, sometimes with toppings. Kulfi, however, is often molded into traditional shapes like cones or cylinders and served without additional toppings, emphasizing its rich flavor.
Ice cream is a versatile dessert enjoyed worldwide, with variations in every culture. Kulfi holds a special place in Indian festivities and celebrations, symbolizing tradition and nostalgia.

Comparison Chart



Base Ingredients

Milk, Cream
Evaporated Milk


Light and Airy
Dense and Creamy

Flavor Variety

Wide Range
Traditional Indian Flavors

Serving Style

Molded Shapes

Ice Cream and Kulfi Definitions

Ice Cream

A frozen dairy dessert made with cream or milk, sweeteners, and flavorings.
The chocolate ice cream melted under the hot sun.


A dense, creamy Indian ice cream often containing nuts and spices.
The pistachio kulfi was her favorite summer treat.

Ice Cream

A popular frozen dessert made by churning and chilling a sweetened dairy mixture.
He added sprinkles to his ice cream for extra fun.


A popular frozen dairy dessert in India, known for its unique flavors and dense consistency.
She enjoyed making saffron kulfi for her family.

Ice Cream

A creamy, frozen concoction enjoyed as a snack or dessert.
The ice cream truck’s melody attracted children from the neighborhood.


A traditional Indian frozen dessert made with condensed milk and flavored with cardamom.
They served mango kulfi at the end of the meal.

Ice Cream

A dessert of frozen, whipped cream or milk, available in various flavors.
They shared a tub of vanilla ice cream during the movie.


A sweet, frozen treat originating from India, characterized by its rich texture.
On hot days, kulfi provided a delightful respite.

Ice Cream

A sweet, cold treat often served in a cone or cup.
She enjoyed her strawberry ice cream at the park.


An Indian dessert similar to ice cream, but denser and not churned.
The rose-flavored kulfi reminded him of his travels in India.

Ice Cream

A sweet, smooth, frozen dessert made from dairy products such as cream or milk, sugar or other sweeteners, and flavorings.


A dense ice cream of South Asian origin, typically made with boiled milk, sugar, cardamom, pistachios, and other ingredients.

Ice Cream

A serving of this dessert
At the ball game, I bought an ice cream.


A flavoured frozen dessert of South Asia, made from milk and resembling ice cream.

Ice Cream

Alternative spelling of ice cream


What are common flavors of ice cream?

Common flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip.

How is kulfi made?

Kulfi is made by slowly reducing milk and sugar until thick, then flavored with ingredients like cardamom or saffron.

What is ice cream?

Ice cream is a sweetened frozen food typically eaten as a snack or dessert, made from dairy products like milk and cream.

How is ice cream made?

Ice cream is made by churning a mixture of cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings to create a light, airy texture.

Is ice cream served in specific ways?

Typically in cones, bowls, or as part of desserts like sundaes.

Can kulfi be made at home?

Yes, it can be made by simmering milk and adding flavors, then freezing.

What is kulfi?

Kulfi is a type of frozen dairy dessert originating from the Indian subcontinent, known for its dense, creamy texture.

Is kulfi eaten outside of India?

Yes, kulfi has gained popularity worldwide, especially in regions with South Asian communities.

Can ice cream be homemade?

Yes, it can be made at home using an ice cream maker or simple freezing techniques.

Is ice cream the same worldwide?

While the basic concept is similar, ice cream varies in texture and flavor across different cultures.

Is kulfi healthy?

Like ice cream, it can be high in sugar, but also provides some nutrients.

What are typical kulfi flavors?

Typical flavors are pistachio, mango, rose, and cardamom.

Can ice cream be allergenic?

Yes, for those allergic to dairy or specific additives and nuts.

Can ice cream be dairy-free?

Yes, there are dairy-free versions using alternatives like almond or coconut milk.

How is kulfi traditionally served?

Often unmolded from cylindrical containers and served as is.

Is ice cream suitable for all seasons?

While often associated with summer, it's enjoyed year-round.

Is kulfi eaten year-round?

Primarily in warmer months, but it's also enjoyed in cooler weather.

Does ice cream have health benefits?

In moderation, it provides calcium and protein but is high in sugar.

Can kulfi cause allergies?

Yes, primarily due to dairy and nuts, similar to ice cream.

Does kulfi have dairy-free versions?

Traditionally, no, but modern recipes may use dairy alternatives.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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