Fragrant cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves are steeped with black tea leaves to infuse each scoop of Chai Ice Cream with the classic flavor of chai tea.
Chai Ice Cream
This chai ice cream recipe creates a memorable dessert that is richly fragrant with all of the spices we love in chai, whether it’s ordered from your favorite coffee shop or made at home.
It is a cold, creamy treat that blends all the warmth of a traditional spiced tea into a surprisingly refreshing dessert. You’ll love this ice cream on its own or scooped over a peach cobbler or an apple crisp.
Like many other recipes I’ve shared over the years, this recipe was inspired by a conversation with my sister Jenny. Her husband Jason can be thanked for the chai recipe that forms the base of flavors in this new ice cream.
Milk Tea Ice Cream
I don’t typically prepare my morning or evening tea with milk, but I’ve seen my mom do it for years. And, when making chai tea, I always use half and half. Turns out, a lot of cultures have their own version of tea with milk.
I don’t know why I never tried to make an ice cream with this flavor before. In retrospect, it seems a no-brainer that milk tea ice cream could work. I’m glad I finally gave it a try, because chai tea ice cream is fabulous!
These are my favorite inexpensive containers for storing ice cream. They’re perfect for gifting (who doesn’t love homemade ice cream?) storage, re-using, etc. I write the flavors on the lids with a sharpie and it washes off with dish soap.
I have more ice cream scoops than I can keep track of at this point and I definitely play favorites. This ice cream scoop does the best job ever of cutting through firm ice cream and still delivers a pretty scoop. It gets bonus points for being one of the least expensive scoops I own as well.
Don’t miss our Ice Cream Maker Review for all the information you need to find the BEST Ice Cream Maker for your needs! Spoiler alert – our top-rated machine under $50 just might surprise you. It sure surprised me!
Chai Ice Cream Recipe
- cardamom pods
- whole cloves
- cinnamon sticks
- fresh ginger
- black peppercorns
- bay leaves
- heavy cream and milk
- black tea leaves
- sugar and salt
The most popular question I get is whether it’s possible to make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine. Find the full directions here!
To begin this recipe, place the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a medium-size saucepan. Then, add the milk and cream and bring to a low simmer.
Be careful with the heat, at this step. Do not let the milk boil. As soon as you get a low simmer, immediately remove the pot from the heat. Then, cover it and let the spices steep for an hour.
After an hour, add the tea leaves and return to a low simmer. Again, do not boil. Once it simmers, remove from the heat and steep again for 15 minutes. This might seem like a lot of steeping, but the flavor is so worth it!
Once the timer is up, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the bits of tea leaves and spices. Rinse the pot or wipe away any lingering tea leaves. Then, return the strained cream mixture to it.
Bring back to a simmer for the third time (not a boil), and add the sugar and salt. Stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Then, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Transfer the mixture to a jar or glass bowl and refrigerate until chilled. This should take at least a couple of hours to be sure the contents are cold enough.
Whisk the contents when ready to churn to make sure everything is combined, then pour into the ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place it in the freezer until ready to serve. This recipe makes a perfect soft serve straight out of the machine, but will firm up to perfectly scoopable after a few hours in the freezer.
Chai Tea Ice Cream
If you enjoy this smooth and velvety chai ice cream, then I’ve got some other recipes to recommend. Pumpkin ice cream is excellent year-round. And, it will make the pumpkin spice lover in your life so, so happy.
For those who are fans of eggnog, give eggnog ice cream a go. It has all the creamy texture you adore in freshly churned ice cream, and it’s loaded with the flavors you crave in this holiday favorite.
A lot of people seem to associate peppermint ice cream with the holidays, but it’s fabulous any time of year. I like it drizzled with homemade hot fudge sauce. (That sauce only takes two ingredients and it’s worth the five minutes of effort.)
Lemon ice cream is bright and refreshing, both sweet and tart. Made with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest, this dessert was a big hit at my table.
Chai Ice Cream
- 6 cardamom pods lightly cracked open with the back of a spoon
- 12 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½-inch slice of fresh ginger
- 10 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1¾ cups heavy cream
- 1¼ cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons loose black tea leaves (English Breakfast tea works well, as does decaf tea)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Place the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a medium-size saucepan. Add the milk and cream and bring to a low simmer. (DO NOT boil.) Remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 60 minutes.
- Add the tea leaves and return to a low simmer. (DO NOT boil.) Remove from the heat and steep for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the tea leaves and spices.
- Rinse or wipe any lingering tea leaves out of the pan and pour the strained cream mixture back into the saucepan. Return to a low simmer. (DO NOT boil.) and add the sugar and salt. Heat, while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit before transferring to a jar or glass bowl and refrigerating until chilled – at least a couple of hours.
- When ready to churn, whisk the mixture to combine again and pour into ice cream maker. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place it in the freezer until ready to serve.