Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream

May 27, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Makes 1 quart
Author Notes

We all love Thai iced tea, so why not make it into an ice cream? —Chris W.

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Chris W. has been a member of the Food52 community for the past two—nearly three!—years.
WHAT: A frozen, creamy version of the classic, earthy Southeast Asian drink.
HOW: Steep Thai tea leaves in a simmering mixture of heavy cream, salt, and milk, then remove the tea leaves and add egg yolks to make a custard. Stir in the vanilla and condensed milk and prepare the ice cream according to your maker's instructions.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Not only does this ice cream taste exactly like its Thai namesake, but it introduced us to a whole new way to flavor our favorite dessert—with tea leaves! And the drink's sweetener works just as well here as it does in a glass—the addition of condensed milk rather than granulated sugar creates a slightly sweet ice cream. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 dash salt
  • 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • 1 cup Thai iced tea leaves (can be found at Asian grocery store)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (14-ounce) can condensed milk
  1. In a small saucepan, gently heat heavy cream, salt, and milk mixture with tea until almost simmering, then steep for about 10 to 20 minutes until desired flavor.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leaves then reheat and make custard by bringing the milk mixture to a low simmer over gentle heat, then, while constantly mixing, add in the yolks. Stir in the vanilla and condensed milk.
  3. Let chill, then freeze according to ice cream maker's instructions.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sheryl Gerety
    Sheryl Gerety
  • Becky Levin
    Becky Levin
  • Lindsay Arakelian Grega
    Lindsay Arakelian Grega
  • Sipa

10 Reviews

Sheryl G. June 18, 2023
I’ve made the recipe several times using English breakfast tea with sweetened condensed milk. My German grandmother used to give us cups of tea made in a tea pot dressed like a woman wearing traditional Dutch clothing. One cup of tea leaves is pretty strong. I usually don’t brew for the full 15 min to prevent bitterness. TodayI’m trying organic sencha green tea as we like the matcha green tea flavored ice cream I found on Food52 but rarely want to spring for matcha ($$). I’m using unsweetened coconut milk with 1 cup (205g) sugar in place of sweetened condensed milk. I am trying to recreate the lovely green tea latte flavor I got at a Starbucks once or to match the matcha recipe. I think this recipe and most ice creams are forgiving so long as there is enough fat and some care taken with the custard. I definitely strain my tea leaves rather than fishing them out with a slotted spoon.
Francesca November 20, 2020
Has anyone tried Tazo chai tea flavoring in anything? I bought some and have only added it to coffee/cream mix to make a latte drink. If you've used it for any recipes please let me know what and how. Thanks
Foodie23 October 11, 2020
I tried this recipe with a few adjustments and it turned out great! My family and friends love it and it tastes just like the Thai tea ice cream we usually eat in Thailand :)
From the get go I knocked a 1/2 cup off the Thai tea leaves, added 2 pinches of salt and 1/4 tsp of almond extract. Everything else is just as the recipe says..
Also, it's easier and quicker to use a fine mesh than a slotted spoon.
Becky L. July 26, 2020
way too much thai tea leaves! Regular thai tea only needs 2 tsp per 1 cup hot water. I know it needs to be brewed to be more strong for the flavor to come thru after it's frozen, but 1 cup is way too much. Trying again with a more reasonable amount of tea leaves. Also sad to lose that much tea friends had brought from Bangkok
Lindsay A. July 26, 2020
I used the full cup 😬 😩 I ended up melting it down, mixing it in with more milk and cream
Lindsay A. July 19, 2020
I made it. I agree with the other reviewer it is too sweet. And the texture is very viscous. Is that normal? I will try it again with less condensed milk or more milk.
LULULAND August 1, 2018
I know this recipe calls for Thai tea, but I don't live anywhere near an Asian grocery store. Can I use black tea or any other teas?
Sipa November 4, 2019
No, it will not taste like the tea you get in Thai restaurants.
magpiebaker May 10, 2017
Just tried this recipe for the first time. It had good flavor, but came out a too sweet. I ended up leaving melting it and adding more milk, so 2 3/4 cups total, which was still sweet but not overly so. This also has the bonus of upping the yield.
magpiebaker May 10, 2017
I should also add that I used a very fine mesh strainer, instead of a slotted spoon, because my tea leaves are pretty small.