How to Make Homemade Tiger Tail Ice Cream

What is tiger tail ice cream?

Tiger tail ice cream is a popular flavour of ice cream that typically consists of a combination of orange-flavoured sherbet or sorbet swirled with black licorice-flavoured ice cream. The contrasting flavours and colours create a unique and visually striking appearance, resembling the stripes of a tiger’s tail, hence the name.

Tiger Tail Origins

The distinct flavour of Tiger tail ice cream is a blend of tangy citrus and licorice flavours. It is associated with Canadian ice cream parlours and believed to have originated in Canada. This combination creates a unique sweet and tangy taste profile with a slightly savoury twist.

The classic tiger tail ice cream is made by combining an ice cream base flavoured with orange juice, orange zest, and sugar for the sorbet or sherbet, and licorice extract or black licorice candies for the black licorice flavour. During the freezing process, the two flavours are swirled together to create the distinct tiger tail pattern.

To make homemade tiger tail ice cream, you can use an ice cream maker or KitchenAid stand mixer ice cream attachment. First, churn the ice cream base and sherbet/sorbet separately, and then swirl them together before freezing. This flavour is special and will impress ice cream enthusiasts with its distinct look and taste.

tiger tail ice cream by Burnt Honey in Nanaimo

Photo Credit: Burnt Honey Dessert Company

How to Make Tiger Tail Ice Cream


For the Orange Sherbet:

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • Orange food colouring (optional)

For the Vanilla Ice Cream Base:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Black Licorice Swirl:

  • 1/2 cup black licorice candies, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Prepare the Orange Sherbet: In a medium saucepan, combine the fresh orange juice, orange zest, sugar, milk, and orange extract. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. If desired, add a few drops of orange food colouring to achieve the desired “tiger tail” effect.
  3. Once the orange sherbet mixture has cooled, cover and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight, to chill completely.
  4. Prepare the Vanilla Ice Cream Base: In a separate medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and milk. Heat over medium heat until it reaches a scalding temperature (do not boil). Remove from the heat.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and vanilla extract until they are well combined. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the saucepan with the milk mixture, whisking constantly until it is fully incorporated.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stove and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches a temperature of 170°F. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  7. Once the vanilla ice cream base has cooled, cover it and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours or overnight, to chill completely.
  8. Prepare the Black Licorice Swirl: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chopped black licorice candy and heavy cream. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the candy is fully melted and smooth. Let it cool to room temperature.
  9. Once the orange sherbet, vanilla ice-cream base, and black licorice swirl have been chilled, assemble your KitchenAid stand mixer with the ice-cream attachment.
  10. Turn on the stand mixer to the lowest speed, and slowly pour the chilled vanilla ice cream base into the attachment. Mix for about 10-15 minutes, or until the ice cream has thickened to a soft-serve consistency.
  11. Add spoonfuls of the chilled orange sherbet mixture into the ice cream, allowing it to swirl and mix as it is churned in the attachment. Drizzle spoonfuls of the cooled black licorice swirl on top of the ice cream mixture, and use a knife or skewer to create a marbled effect.
  12. Transfer the tiger tail ice cream into a lidded container, alternating layers of ice cream and black licorice swirls to create a tiger tail pattern. Cover and freeze for at least four hours or until firm.

Note: Chilling times and freezing times may vary depending on your specific ice cream attachment and freezer. Adjust accordingly for best results. If you prefer a stronger licorice flavour, you can add more black licorice candies to the swirl mixture.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to make tiger tail ice cream, you can treat your family and friends to this unique flavour. It’s a fun take on the classic ice cream flavours that everyone loves. Plus, it’s sure to be a hit with the kid in all of us! Enjoy!

Get our best recipes & expert tips right into your inbox!

Never miss a recipe!

By submitting above, you agree to our privacy policy.
Share this post:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.