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Chai Ice Cream Recipe


This Chai Ice Cream Recipe comes as a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Kresha of Nourishing Joy. Thanks, Kresha!

Autumn came with a vengeance where I live this weekend – while I write this I’m wrapped up in wool blankets and sipping honey caramel apple cider – so perhaps it’s odd that I’m writing an ice cream recipe to share.

However, this recipe, with rich, warm Chai spices and the nourishment of raw egg yolks from pastured hens, raw cream, and raw milk, IS most definitely a treat for every time of year — winter and summer alike. Decadence from simple, down home ingredients — now that’s worth celebrating!

(Plus, it gives you an excuse to bake Cinnamon and Molasses Cookies, which accompany this ice cream superbly, and fill your home with warmth.)

Now, I can see a few of you pausing – raw egg yolks? you say. I thought ice cream was made with a cooked custard.

You are absolutely correct. Usually ice cream is made with a cooked egg and cream custard base, but one afternoon  earlier this year while I was in a hurry to make strawberry ice cream to share with guests, I discovered that using the egg yolks raw made an über-delightful base, and I came to prefer using raw egg yolks for three reasons:

1. Using raw egg yolks is quicker – MUCH quicker. Making a cooked custard base takes a bit of time. It always made making ice cream feel like a chore, so once I added the raw egg yolks straight into the cream mixture and LOVED it, I tossed out cooked custard ice cream bases for good.

2. Egg yolks are extremely nutritious and eating them raw maximizes the nutritional benefits. Egg yolks contain caretenoids, essential fatty acids, Vitamins A, D, E, and K, calcium, iron, zinc, Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and ALL of the B-vitamins: vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, choline, biotin, and folic acid! They are also a rich source of certain minerals that can sometimes be difficult to obtain from other foods – namely selenium and iodine, so they’re an excellent way to provide what our bodies need with real, whole food. (source and source)

However, the heat-sensitive enzymes and vitamins can be minimized or negated when cooked, so I look for as many opportunities as possible to eat egg yolks raw, and ice cream is a brilliant foil for this purpose.

3. It’s lighter in texture, yet still full-flavored. While I ADORE custards in most forms (Have you tried this Pumpkin Custard or this Easy Vanilla Bean Custard? Oh, goodness! I absolutely swoon…), cooked custard bases for ice cream always felt too rich and heavy to me. By using the egg yolks raw, the flavor of custard is still very present, yet lighter, while still being thick and creamy. Just right, I’d say.

And need I convince you of the gorgeous flavors in Chai? I make homemade Chai tea concentrate regularly, even making Chai kombucha – so adding the spices to ice cream was a no-brainer for this chai lovin’ mama!


Chai Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart; serves 6

The Players:


Click here to find bulk, organic spices online.


The How-To

Combine the cream, milk, honey, molasses, salt, egg yolks, and spices in a blender or large mixing bowl. Whisk or blend until the mixture is very smooth.

Place in the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, 1-2 hours.

Pour chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions, usually about 25-35 minutes.

Serve immediately for soft-serve style or place the soft ice cream in the freezer and allow it to harden for 3-6 hours for a firmer ice cream.

Store in the freezer for up to one week.

And most importantly – ENJOY!


Love ice cream? Want to ditch all the processed cans, boxes, and convenient packaged freezer foods for good?

See more ice cream flavors and 167 other real food convenience foods in Kresha’s newest book, The DIY Pantry, which will be available in bookstores everywhere on January 18 and is available for pre-order now! (Hint: They make great gifts!)

Kresha blogs about real food, natural living, and joyful parenting at

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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9 Responses to Chai Ice Cream Recipe
  1. Ashley
    October 15, 2013 | 10:12 am

    This looks delicious. It’s posted just in time, I am making ice cream for a party this weekend!

    Do you think this would turn out okay using homemade raw milk yogurt & cream?

  2. Jean
    October 15, 2013 | 10:58 am

    This recipe looks delicious! Any chance of a milk substitute being used in place of the cream/milk called for? Allergic issues in our home.

    • Kresha @ Nourishing Joy
      October 15, 2013 | 1:52 pm

      Sure! In fact, coconut milk might be absolutely divine with the chai spices. :-) I haven’t made this specific recipe with milk substitutes, but I’ve made very similar recipes without issue. I would stick with nut milks though, if possible, as they offer a better fat content. Rice milk and other lowfat milks tends to fall flat in this application.


  3. Mary Maldonado
    October 15, 2013 | 11:41 am

    I also love raw egg ice cream without the custard process. I make whatever I have a lot of(berries, cantaloupes, organic cocoa). I also have chickens and goats so in using the organic eggs from sprout fed chickens and sprout fed goats we are vey blessed with a highly nutritious and extra delicious result. I’d like to share a step that I felt to try. I make a 6 quart batch and use 4-6 eggs. Taking the egg yolk with the goat milk and honey or organic sugar or agave- fruit and etc.,and blending in blender while putting the egg whites in the Kitchen Aid and whipping them into a meringue. Then adding the mix to the whites gently and pouring carefully all into the ice cream maker. This makes a wonderful texture and richness.

    • Lisa
      October 16, 2013 | 3:44 pm

      I like the idea of adding the eggwhites since I hate throwing anything away. Does it change the life of the ice cream at all or should it still be good for the 1 week?

      Does adding the whipped egg whites make the ice cream lighter, denser or some other difference from just with egg yolks?

      • Kresha @ Nourishing Joy
        October 18, 2013 | 11:54 am

        Since the original commenter hasn’t responded, I’ll jump in with my two bits. :-)

        Typically by using a meringue, the texture is lighter and has a gorgeous creamy feel in the mouth because of the tiny little bubbles in the whites.

        I would shorten the life of the ice cream by a day or two though, as whites do tend to go “off” slightly more quickly than yolks.

        There’s my take on it. :-)

  4. John Miller
    October 15, 2013 | 1:35 pm

    Hi All,,,
    Don’t know why you would go to so much work.. I make my Ice Cream,, with 8 egg yokes and 2 So delicious coconut creamer , lately I been adding some Allspice.(probably quite a bit ) and then do the rest of what she said..
    Delicious Jon
    P.S. Even better in the hot tub.. !!!!!

  5. SJ
    November 16, 2013 | 5:15 pm

    This looks delicious, but how is it chai ice cream when there’s no tea in it?

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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