Cranberry Chai Ice Cream

40 minutes
3 hours + 10 minutes
Recipe developed for BC Egg by Diversivore

This lovely spice-forward ice cream has a tart bite from the addition of fresh cranberries.  There’s a recipe for from-scratch chai, but you can use your favourite chai tea blend for a bit of a short cut.

Have an ice cream maker and a high-speed blender? We’ve got time-saving preparation methods for using these handy tools as well! Skip down to the “Notes” section for the alternate preparation methods.


Cranberry Juice

  • 1 lb cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 4.25 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Masala Chai

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 6 pods green cardamom lightly crushed
  • 1/8 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/8 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 blades mace
  • 1 tbsp black tea preferably Darjeeling

Ice Cream

  • 1 cup masala chai (see above)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup solids from making cranberry juice (see above)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Cranberry Juice & Solids

  1. Combine the cranberries and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Strain the solids and set them aside to use in the ice cream.
  3. Stir the sugar into the warm cranberry juice to dissolve it. Set aside to cool.

Masala Chai

  1. Combine all of the chai ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer (not quite a boil), then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes, and even longer (e.g. 2-3 hours) if you have time.
  2. Strain out and discard the solids. Set the finished chai aside to cool.

Ice Cream

  1. Combine the chai, sugar, salt, and cream in a medium saucepan. Heat until simmering, stirring regularly to avoid scorching.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together thoroughly.
  3. Slowly pour about 1/3 of the hot chai/cream mixture into the eggs while whisking vigorously to temper the eggs.
  4. Pour the yolk mixture back into the original pot. Keep whisking.
  5. Return the pot to the stovetop and heat over a low flame to further set the custard. Mix and stir until the custard is thick and easily able to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Remove the finished custard from heat. Add the cranberry solids and blend the mixture together (a regular blender, food processor, or immersion blender will work here). Set the finished mixture aside to cool, then chill for 1-2 hours, or longer.
  7. Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into a large metal baking dish. Freeze for 45 minutes, then check to see if ice crystals are forming around the edges. Once you start to see ice crystals, mix the ice cream base vigorously with a spoon or hand mixer.
  8. Return the ice cream to the freezer for an additional 30 minutes, then repeat the mixing process. Repeat every 20-30 minutes, as needed, until the ice cream is thick and well-set. Note that the mixing process gets more difficult as the ice cream freezes. A hand mixer can make the process easier. Once well-set, you can freeze for an additional 1-2 hours, or overnight.


  1. Mix the cranberry juice with the remaining chai (you can adjust the ratio to taste if you like). You can add more sugar to the mixture ifyou like  (it’s only mildly sweetened as-is), but do bear in mind that it will be served with the already sweet ice cream.
  2. Immediately before serving, pour a shot of the cranberry-chai mixture over each individual portion of ice cream. Serve with ladyfingers or biscuits, if you like.


If you have a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix), you can take a short-cut, and omit steps 1-6. Instead, do the following:

  1. Combine all of the ice cream ingredients in a high-speed blender(e.g. a Vitamix). Blend at high speed for 7 minutes to create a custard.
  2. Allow the hot mixture to cool somewhat, then refrigerate until well chilled (around 4 hours, or overnight).
  3. Proceed to step 7.


If you have an ice cream maker, you can take a further short-cut! Skip steps 7 and 8, and instead:

  1. Add the chilled ice cream mixture to your ice cream maker, per the manufacturer instructions. The finished ice cream will likely be a little soft, so scoop it into a container and freeze for an additional1-2 hours, or overnight.
  2. Proceed to the Instructions for Serving!


Masala Chai Shortcut

Store bought masala chai (loose or in packets) can be brewed in place of homemade to save time. I would recommend brewing a double-strength batch to concentrate the flavour (you can always cut it with water if it’s too strong). Avoid using pre-sweetened liquid chai mixes or syrups, as these will add too much sweetness to the ice cream.

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