a scoop of cranberry ice cream


Don’t know what to do with leftover cranberries or cranberry sauce? Make ice cream! This easy recipe. combines a luscious sweet vanilla cream cheese base with a tart swirl of cranberries – either make your own swirl or use leftover cranberry sauce. A sprinkling of Chocolate Chunks would be a welcome addition to this party. Delicious, gorgeous, and full of holiday cheer!



Cranberries take the center stage in this bright and tangy holiday ice cream!   Use leftover cranberry sauce or make the swirl from scratch – you choose.   Tart berries are swirled into a sweet cream cheese base that takes no time to whip up!   Perfect for celebrating the holidays. 

  • Author: MJ


cranberry swirl*

  • 340g (12 oz) cranberries 
  • 335g (1 cup)  maple syrup 
  • 126g  (½ cup) cranberry juice
  •   1 TBS.orange zest (or to taste)


  • 1 ½ cups-ish of leftover cranberry sauce

ice cream

  • 450g ( 2 cups) whole milk
  • 200g ( 1 cup) heavy cream
  • 150g  (¾ cup) sugar
  •  50g  ( 2 TBS) organic light corn syrup
  •    6g  (2 tsp) tapioca starch 
  •    1 tsp   vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 150g (¾ cup) cream cheese (room temp)*


cranberry swirl

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Simmer until the berries pop and the mixture is thick, soft, and jam-like. 
  2. Let the berries cool off and refigerate.  For a less chunky swirl, blitz the cooled berries in a blender until smooth.  
  • If using leftover cranberry sauce: take a test spoonful of sauce and freeze it for an hour.  Taste.  It should be somewhat jammy and chewable (remember: this is the texture it will be in your ice cream)  If it’s super icy and hard as a rock, it needs a bit more sugar.  Over low heat add about  2 TBS of sugar and 1 TBS of corn syrup per cup of cranberry sauce.  Gently heat the cranberry sauce with the sugars until well combined.  Cool and repeat the freezer test
  • You can adjust the ratio of sugar and corn syrup.  If need to add sugar but don’t want to make your leftover cranberry sauce any sweeter, reduce the amount of sugar and replace it with an equal amount of corn syrup (for exampe: 1 TBS sugar + 2 TBS corn syrup). Corn syrup is not as intensely sweet as sugar. 

ice cream

  1. Make an ice bath and set aside. Have a clean bowl and a fine mesh strainer standing by.
  2. Combine milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and tapioca starch in a saucepan.  Whisk to remove any lumps. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until bubbles start forming around the edges but do not let it come to a full rolling boil.  Keep stirring the mixture while it cooks.
  3. Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, pour through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl that is standing by.   
  4. Once the mixture is cooled to room temperature, add vanilla paste and cream cheese.   Blend with an immersion blender or in a standard blender until there are no lumps. 
  5. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or ideally overnight. 


  1. Process in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  The ice cream is finished when it reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes on most machines) 
  2. Put a couple of large spoonfuls of the cranberry into the bottom of a container, followed by a layer of ice cream.  Alternate spoonfuls of cranberry and ice cream.   For a thick ripple effect, don’t swirl the sauce (the ice cream is too soft at melty at this point)  leave it layers, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (3-4 hours depending on your freezer). 


  • this makes more cranberry swirl than you’ll need for the ice cream.  It’s a basic cranberry sauce recipe – the extra would be right at home next to a roast. 
  • the cream cheese should be regular (not whipped) at room temperature – very very soft. 

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