This easy no churn cranberry ice cream recipe makes a wonderful alternative dessert for Christmas or Thanksgiving. With no churning or cooking, it’s an effortless way to impress family and friends this holiday season and beyond.
No churn cranberry ice cream
Our festive dinners can be so rich and heavy that I always like to offer a lighter alternative when it comes to dessert. Ice cream is always a winner, and I really believe this is the best ice cream to serve at Christmas or Thanksgiving.
I make soft, sweet, creamy vanilla ice cream and swirl it with cranberry syrup and tart whole cranberries, bursting with flavour. This fresh contrast is perfect for refreshing an overloaded palate.
The key to this easy cranberry ice cream recipe is a good homemade easy cranberry sauce (I like a little orange in mine). Store bought just isn’t the same, so get some fresh cranberries and make some for the turkey and some for the ice cream. Or use the leftovers to make ice cream the next day.
If you are feeling lazy and don’t want to make ice cream from scratch, then buy some decent quality vanilla ice cream. Allow it to soften so that you can stir the cranberry sauce through to make a ripple effect, and then refreeze. No one will ever know!
Having said that, this ice cream is really very easy to make and all you need is a couple of bowls and an electric whisk. Why not try it?
Why make this easy cranberry ice cream recipe?
- It’s fresh, light and delicious.
- It makes an impressive seasonal dessert.
- There’s no churning, no cooking and very little hands-on time.
- The texture of this ice cream is fabulous.
Cranberry ice cream ingredients
- Double cream – Also known as heavy cream. You don’t need extra thick or anything fancy.
- Egg – A large or standard hen’s egg.
- Caster sugar – I prefer to use golden caster sugar, which has a little more flavour and gives a warmer colour. White works too, however, if that’s what you have in the cupboard.
- Cranberry sauce – A homemade sauce with whole berries, rather than the jammy pink condiments from the store.
- Vanilla extract – Or vanilla bean paste. Avoid artificial vanilla essence.
How to make easy cranberry ice cream – Step by Step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips, so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – Separate the egg. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg white until it forms peaks. Then set it aside.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
Whisk the egg white first, cream second. If you whisk the egg white first, you can then use the same blades to whisk the cream with no need to wash them first. You can’t do this the other way around!
Step Two – Whip the cream until it is thick and holds peaks.
Step Three – Add the egg yolk, vanilla and caster sugar to the cream. Beat together until well combined. The cream will still hold softer peaks.
Step Four – Now gently scoop the egg white into the bowl with the cream. Fold in very gently, in order to keep the air in the mixture. This is important to create a light texture in the finished ice cream.
Step Five – Transfer the ice cream mix to a freezer container. Add the cranberry sauce, reserving a spoonful for the next stage. Fold in the sauce, creating a ripple effect through the ice cream.
Step Six – Finish your ice cream by pouring the last of the cranberry sauce over the top. Now seal the lid and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for at least six hours before serving.
Top with some more cranberry sauce to serve. My lemon fork biscuits are perfect with this, with or without the filling.
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
This ice cream is soft and can be easily scooped straight from the tub. If you are making this for a crowd, for speedy serving and portioning I recommend pre scooping it and refreezing. The balls of ice cream will hold their shape a bit better after an hour uncovered in the freezer.
Cover a chopping board with baking/parchment paper and scoop the ice cream onto it, leaving a gap between each scoop. Return uncovered to the freezer to firm up. Ideally, chill the serving bowls too.
Just before serving remove from the freezer and use a spoon and a spatula / fish slice to transfer to individual serving bowls.
This is also a great technique with firmer ice creams that need to soften before serving, and for when you make affogato!
- Make a dessert table with the addition of lemon posset, and some Christmas blondies as well as Christmas fudge.
This no churn cranberry ice cream keeps for a month in the freezer in an airtight container. Scoopable straight from the freezer, it needs no tempering.
Hints and Tips
- Use homemade sauce! Mine contains juicy whole cranberries and a rich sweet syrup, with a hint of orange.
- It is important to whip the cream properly before adding the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. You need to get as much air as possible into the ice cream.
- If you find that your cranberry sauce is sinking, freeze for two hours and then give it a good stir before returning to the freezer.
Current NHS guidelines state that raw eggs with the lion mark are now safe even for the very young and very old. If you are outside the UK, check local safety standards.
Homemade ice cream does not retain its texture as long as commercial ice creams, but it will keep very well for at least a month with no deterioration.
Of course! It’s easy to double the recipe. If you need to make more than that, you might want to make batches, or use a stand mixer.
More Easy No Churn Ice Cream Recipes
- Easy No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream – this is my favourite no churn ice cream made without condensed milk – try my full tutorial and never but ice cream again!
- No Churn Biscoff Ice Cream – All the Biscoff, ripples, topping and crunchy chunks of cookie.
- No Churn Lemon Curd Ice Cream – Quick, easy and intensely lemony.
- Toblerone Ice Cream – All the flavour of Toblerone in this easy no churn ice cream
- Creme Egg Ice Cream – Delicious for filling the freezer at Easter
- Mini Egg Ice Cream – another great Easter no churn ice cream
- More Easy Ice Cream Recipes – you will never need to buy ice cream again with these no churn recipes. Also lots of your favourite ice cream toppings!
Easy Cranberry Ice Cream (No Churn)
- 1 egg
- 150 ml double cream
- 50 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g homemade cranberry sauce
- Crack and separate the egg. Put the white into a clean bowl and whisk using an electric whisk until it holds peaks. Whisk in a teaspoon of the sugar to stabilise it.1 egg
- Whip the cream to firm peaks. Do this after whisking the egg whites, so that there is no need to wash the whisk between the two tasks. You must whisk to firm peaks or the cream will collapse when you add the rest of the ingredients.150 ml double cream
- Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolk to the cream. Whisk again to soft peaks.50 g caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the whisked egg whites to the cream. Use a spatula to fold in very gently, preserving the air in the egg.
- Transfer the mixture to an air-tight tub and add most of the cranberry sauce, reserving some to decorate. Gently fold to create a ripple effect through the ice cream.150 g homemade cranberry sauce
- Top the ice cream with the reserved cranberry sauce. Seal the tub and freeze for at least six hours before serving.