I know that ice cream doesn’t typically seem like a winter-ish dessert, but who refuses ice cream any time of year? I have a distinct memory in high school of standing outside in the rain waiting for an ice cream snowstorm (like a DQ blizzard) treat from my favorite hometown ice cream shop on opening day. In mind my, it totally wasn’t crazy to be standing in the freezing cold rain to just get colder and eat ice cream, right? While I am usually all for the usual ice cream flavors, I wanted to put a holiday twist on this frozen treat, something that screams ‘Christmas!’ and makes you want to curl up with a bowl of ice cream, even if it is snowing outside. Enter: this gingerbread and roasted cranberry ice cream.
Cranberries are usually reserved for sauces and cakes, but when you roast them they get all juicy and sweet, eschewing their tartness for a sweet, but still tart note. Perfect for mixing into ice cream! I wanted to add the usual molasses into this ice cream, adding the gingerbread component into the mix, but I found out too late that I was out of molasses and, considering I was mixing this together at 10pm on a Saturday night, I wasn’t about to wait or run out for a jar.
Instead, I whipped up a batch of my favorite date caramel and mixed it in, which ended up being a perfect swap for the usual molasses notes. The churn time for this ice cream was increased a bit because I chose to go with light coconut milk rather than full-fat coconut cream. Between cookies, cakes, and all things Christmas, a little lightening up can’t hurt, right?
Tips for making vegan ice cream
Vegan ice cream is extremely easy to make, and the whole process is similar to how regular ice cream is made. All you need to do is mix the ingredients together (make sure the cranberries have cooled before adding them to the coconut milk), and pop all the ingredients into an ice cream maker. Coconut milk results in an icier dessert, while coconut cream makes a thicker, creamier treat.
Personally, I think vegan ice cream is best eaten right away, but you can of course freeze it for later. Just make sure to let the coconut milk ice cream rest on the counter for a few minutes before scooping it (it turns rock hard in the freezer and needs some time to warm up and become perfectly creamy again!).
Previous vegan ice cream recipes on Heart of a BakerPrint
This gingerbread and roasted cranberry ice cream is the ultimate holiday dessert! Plus, it’s vegan and features a creamy coconut milk base.
- To roast the cranberries: Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spread cranberries onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and spices. Stir in the roasted cranberries. Set aside.
- To make the date caramel: In the bowl of a food processor, blend together the dates and water until smooth. You may need to add a bit more water to keep the mixture going.
- To make the ice cream: Pour the coconut milk mixture into a bowl of an ice cream maker and prepare according the machine directions. I let mine process for about 10 minutes before adding the date caramel. Continue to process for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until mixture is fairly solid. Transfer ice cream to a pan and freeze to solidify.
Keywords: cranberry ice cream, vegan ice cream