Thai tea ice cream is the perfect combination of sweet, rich, and creamy, with a hint of tea flavour and a beautiful orange colour. Because of its unique taste, it's a popular street food in Thailand and one of our solid favourite homemade ice cream flavours.
Figuring out how to replicate this delicious cold dessert took us some time. We played around with different types of cream, the ratio of leaves to milk, plant-based alternatives, and the freezing time. But the best part of our recipe is that you can make this Thai tea ice cream recipe without an ice cream maker.
This fantastic Thai milk tea ice cream recipe is no-churn and doesn't use any eggs. You only need a few ingredients to make this cold treat, and you probably already have them in your pantry.
Even better, you can customise our recipe to make it non-dairy or vegan for everyone to enjoy. Here's how to make Thai tea ice cream at home that will remind you of Thailand. Our full recipe is at the end, but we’ll also provide some helpful tips and variations.
What is Thai ice cream made of?
Traditionally Thai tea ice cream is made from Thai tea, cream, sugar, and eggs. However, for our recipe, you only need Thai tea leaves, milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It will give you the same results at home but with less work and tastes equally yummy.
The unique blend flavour of spices is what gives it its characteristic orange colour. If you're worried about your diet, don't be. Thai tea ice cream calories are only about 165kcal per serving.
What does Thai tea ice cream taste like?
Our no-churn Thai tea ice cream tastes like a delicate balance of sweet and rich, with a floral undertone from the tea leaf blend. The mix used in Thai milk tea ice cream is usually a combination of different spices, including cardamom, cloves, and aniseed. These spices all contribute to its unique flavour.
We can also brew the Siamese spiced mix with milk, which adds to the richness of the overall dessert. You can check out our Thai milk tea recipe if you're looking for a sweet drink to go alone your dessert.
All in all, the combination of these ingredients results in a smooth and creamy texture that is simply irresistible.
Thai tea ice cream ingredients
For our no-churn dessert recipe, you'll need 5 ingredients.
- Thai Tea leaves
- Heavy Cream
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
Apart from Thai spiced tea, you can find most of the other Thai iced tea ice cream ingredients in any grocery store.
We use Thai tea leaves from the brand Cha Tra Mue for our recipe. It's the classic brand to make the national brew. However, you can also use a powder mix, Thai tea bags or make the mix from scratch.
Thai tea powder is made from black tea leaves and usually contains other spices like cloves, cardamom, and aniseed. These spices give the drink blend its characteristic flavour.
To make it from scratch, you can use Red Assam Leaves and your own mix of spices. But just be mindful that you might need to add some colouring to get a similar colour.
All three options are great, but we wanted a stronger taste. That's why we went for using the tea leaves to create our Thai iced tea ice cream.
Sweetened Condensed Milk and Evaporated Milk
We use a mix of sweet condensed milk and evaporated milk in our recipe to add sweetness and body to the overall dessert. This means that you don't need to add any more sugar.
From our experience making this at home, we prefer to use a ratio of 1:1 of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. This gave us a lovely balanced sweetness that didn't overpower the taste of the tea.
However, if you're worried that your dessert will come out too sweet, you can use less sweetened condensed milk and more evaporated milk. As long as these add up to 1 cup, our recipe will work.
Heavy cream is one of the most important ingredients in our recipe to add a rich and creamy texture to Thai tea ice cream.
The key here is to use a heavy cream with a high-fat content so you can easily whip it up. As a guide, try to use a heavy cream with more than 40% fat content. Without it, our Thai milk tea ice cream recipe won't come out as smooth and velvety.
An optional ingredient is to add sugar. Sugar can help to prevent icy crystals from forming, which makes for a smoother and more scoopable final product.
However, we opted to not add any as our recipe already uses sweetened condensed milk. We also found that sugar didn't really help improve the texture at the end either.
Of course, you can always adjust the sugar content to suit your taste. Instead of sugar, you can also try using brown sugar syrup, vanilla syrup or corn syrup.
How to Make Thai Tea Ice Cream Vegan
As a lot of you are vegan, we have made a dairy-free or vegan alternative to our recipe.
To make our recipe vegan, you will need to replace the milk and condensed milk.
For the sweetened condensed milk, you can either use vegan condensed milk in most grocery stores or make your own by boiling coconut milk and sugar until it thickens. There are also plenty of substitute plant-based creams in place of the heavy cream in the recipe.
We recommend using coconut milk or coconut cream as they work well in this recipe. They will also still give you the same rich and creamy texture. There are also sugar alternatives like coconut sugar or maple syrup.
The great thing about our recipe is that you can still make a delicious vegan Thai tea ice cream recipe without an ice cream maker. The vegan version might not be as rich and creamy in texture, but it will still taste amazing.
Mixing it thoroughly and frequently is the key to preventing a grainy, soft-serve texture. If you want to save the work, you can use an ice cream machine to churn the mix.
You can also add whole spices like cardamom, cloves, and aniseed to give the cold dessert a more authentic flavour.
Thai Tea Ice Cream Cooking Tips
Before you head down to our recipe below, here are some cooking tips to help you get the best results from this no churn Thai ice cream recipe.
Use less water
When you follow our recipe, it is essential to not add water. From our kitchen experiments, adding water to brew tea made our ice cream icy. We ended up using milk to slowly brew the mix instead and worked a lot better.
If you're using a powder mix, use less water than indicated on the powder mix packet. This is because using more water than necessary will dilute the brew and produce a less flavourful dessert.
If you want a richer and more flavourful cold dessert, use more milk in the mix. This is especially the case if you make the vegan version of this cold treat. Using more milk will make the vegan condensed milk richer and less icy.
While it is not necessary to use food colouring, adding a bit to the Thai tea ice cream will give it a more authentic look. As they say, we eat with our eyes first.
Who doesn't love boba? Adding boba to your milk tea ice cream will take it up a notch. If you want to add boba, cook them according to package instructions and add them to the mix. For sure, you'll find yourself with a decadent treat.
Boba pearls are a great addition as they add a chewy texture to the Asian dessert. They are also a great visual element. Tried and tested, Thai tea boba and boba ice cream are definitely among our favourites.
Thai Tea Ice Cream Recipe (No Churn)
- Warm your milk on a stove and then add Thai Tea leaves. Steep for about 5 minutes.
- Strain the liquid and put it into a separate container to cool. Once it's cooled, add in your chilled sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Put this back in the fridge to cool
- Add your heavy cream to a bowl and whip until peaks form.
- Lightly fold in the brewed tea mix to the whipped cream. Set aside in a loaf pan and let cool in the freezer for about 4 hours to overnight.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimate.
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