Hokey Pokey and Butterscotch Ice Cream

Hokey Pokey and Butterscotch Ice Cream

There were two subjects in school that I seriously hated: maths and science. As I fumbled my way through using a compass, learning pi and the periodic tables I was convinced that I would never ever use these lessons again in my life. No one was more surprised than me to find I was out buying a protractor the other week to make hexagons and pentagons for a sugar/fondant football as part of the football player cake I made here. This week I recreated the only science lesson I ever enjoyed which involved the chemical reaction between heat, baking soda and sugar or for the scientifically minded among you: NaHCO3 and C12H22O11.

Hokey pokey is made up of three simple ingredients: golden syrup, sugar and baking soda. By adding heat the baking soda releases carbon dioxide gas which causes the golden syrup and sugar to froth up and form a lovely airy honeycomb or ‘hokey pokey’ as it is called in New Zealand.

One of the staple desserts in our household growing up was hokey pokey ice cream and it’s been on my list of desserts to make for ages . Of course I couldn’t just leave it at plain hokey pokey ice cream I had to add a decadent swirl of butterscotch sauce in to the ice cream. And as if that wasn’t enough I dipped the left over pieces of hokey pokey in chocolate and added that into the finished dessert.

I named this creation simply hokey pokey and butterscotch ice cream, Mr LG named it “leave some for me you greedy guts” – you have to be quick in my house.

Hokey Pokey and Butterscotch Ice Cream


Hokey Pokey and Butterscotch Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream

1 portion of vanilla ice cream.

Hokey Pokey

  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring continuously to avoid burning.

Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add baking soda and quickly stir as the mixture froths up.

Pour onto a prepared tray and leave to harden.

Store in an airtight container.

If desired break up pieces of hokey pokey and dip in chocolate. I melted some dark eating chocolate, but I had to put the finished hokey pokey in the fridge for the chocolate to harden. This method works, but you have to serve the hokey pokey as soon as you remove it from the fridge – if you leave it longer the hokey pokey starts to sweat and melt so you start losing the airy texture.

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 55gm unsalted butter
  • 120gm brown sugar
  • 120ml pure cream
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and beans scraped out.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.

Add the brown sugar, cream, salt and vanilla beans and pod.

Stir to combine, ensure the sugar is fully combined.

Bring to a gentle boil and cook for approx. 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.


Break up some of the hokey pokey (without chocolate) into small pieces. Stir through the vanilla ice cream.

Pour dollops of butterscotch sauce on top of the vanilla and hokey pokey ice cream then swirl the butterscotch into the ice cream with a knife.

Put back in the freezer to harden.

Break up pieces of the chocolate covered hokey pokey leaving one large piece for the top.

In a parfait glass alternate layers of hokey pokey pieces and ice cream. Place a large piece of chocolate hokey pokey on the top.

Hokey Pokey and Butterscotch Ice Cream


21 thoughts on “Hokey Pokey and Butterscotch Ice Cream

  1. anna @ annamayeveryday

    My cinder toffee (hokey pokey) used to work a dream and then suddenly I lost the knack and the last two attempts have been thin and chewy rather than fat and dry. I will follow your recipe to the letter and then make your magnificent looking sundae!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      Hi Anna, The first lot I made was thin and chewy as well, the second batch turned out perfectly. The difference between the two was the amount of time I left the sugar on the heat. The first batch I took straight off once it came to the boil the second batch I left on for a few minutes at a rolling boil. I just looked up our Edmonds cook book which is the fountain of all knowledge when it comes to NZ baking and according to them once it has boiled, simmer on a very low heat for 4 minutes. Hope this helps. Regards Karen

  2. David

    Wow – Karen! I have never heard of Hokey Pokey before (other than the silly wedding dance…). This is exactly the kind of science I love, too. I can’t wait to try this! What fun!!!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      I agree completely, especially when I had to ask Mr LG to make me the templates for the hexagons and pentagons – I had no idea how to use a protractor – my maths teachers would despair if they ever read this 🙂

  3. TheKitchenLioness

    Dear Karen, thank you so much for posting this recipe – I never knew how to make honeycomb but now I do and I will try to make some for the kids – I love the texture that this sweet treat has and you make it sound so easy. What an elegant presentation in these tall glasses with the ice cream and butterscotch sauce – dessert heaven is all I can say!

  4. Gather and Graze

    Ohhhh, you know how I feel about Hokey Pokey! I’ve only tried making honeycomb once (many years ago) and failed miserably, with no airy lightness… just sticky toffee! So, with the recipe you’ve just shared Karen, I’m going to give it another crack! Love that you’ve dipped some chunks into chocolate – home-made Violet Crumble?! Yum!

    1. lemongrovecakediaries Post author

      I thought of you as I ate it 🙂 I did have a problem with my first batch coming out sticky. The second batch I left on at a boil for longer and that turned out fine although I did have to pack it away in an airtight container as soon as it cooled as humidity is killing anything I make in sugar at the moment!

  5. lonaj68

    I’m a big honeycomb fan. Mixing it with ice cream and butterscotch sauce….YUM!!!
    Think I’ll include a layer of this in my Icecream cake this year for Christmas dessert.
    Did I say YUM????


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