Cranberry Swirl Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Cape Cod Select

Written by Cape Cod Select

February 6, 2023


A plant-based recipe once-tried, you’ll soon often crave- you’re going to rave about this delicious way to incorporate an often overlooked superfood: cranberries.  As an Eco Farm Finder farm, Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries is pleased to connect you with a fresh, direct source all year round.  Be sure to explore more recipes to discover how you can incorporate this nutritional powerhouse into your diet.  While home made ice creams and sorbets often use an ice cream maker, if you don’t have one and can’t wait to dive in- don’t fret!  This recipe is possible to make without an ice cream machine, is full of tantalizing flavor, and comes with easy options for vegan and sugar free diets (keto friendly). 

It may be plant-based, but it tastes like the real thing.  As a coconut milk based ice cream it can turn out slightly more “icy” in texture than one that is made with heavy cream, but flavor-wise this ice cream is perfect. 


Cranberry Sauce:

2 cups Cape Cod Select whole frozen cranberries

3/4 cups water

1/2 cup maple syrup (great substitutes are 1/2 cup brown rice syrup; or 1 tsp stevia)

1 whole lemon, juice and zest

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (this is optional and creates a somewhat thicker sauce)

Cape Cod Select cranberries
coconut milk
Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ice Cream Mixture:

2 cans full-fat coconut milk (Tip: Don’t use “lite.”)

1 cup maple syrup (alternatives: 3/4 cup brown rice syrup or 2 tsp stevia)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 whole vanilla bean pods (optional for added flecks of vanilla flavor)

1-2 tablespoons vodka (this is optional, and helps prevent the ice from freezing solid)

Cape Cod Select frozen Cranberries
cooking cranberries
Ice cream maker


Making the Cranberry Sauce:

Combine cranberries, 1/2 cup of water and sweetener of choice in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Stirring frequently and squishing with the back of a spoon and simmer until most cranberries pop, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and zest and the remaining water can be added to thin the sauce to your liking.  If you choose to add xanthan gum for a slightly thicker sauce, add it in next and stir thoroughly with a whisk. 

Add in the remaining water to thin if desired, followed by lemon zest and juice, followed by the xanthan gum. Whisk constantly to incorporate the xanthan gum completely.

After the sauce has simmered and thickened for another 5-10 minutes, puree some of it if desired. Allow the sauce to thicken for another 5-10 minutes, and when cool to the touch, puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.  You may choose to set some of the mixture aside, only pureeing a portion and combining all of the mixture to keep some whole berries for extra pops of flavor (plus, it’s fun to see them in your ice cream). 

Pour cranberry puree into an airtight container and refrigerate to chill until ready to use, adding it to the ice cream mixture later. 

Make the Ice Cream Base:

Add coconut milk, sweetener of choice, vanilla, vodka and salt into a blender.  Blend until smooth.

Note that the fat from the coconut milk is what provides the creaminess here, so using lower-fat coconut milk will result in a more-icy texture. Plus, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the benefits of those healthy fats!

No Ice Cream Maker?  You can simply pour this mixture into an airtight container and freeze until firm, stirring about every hour or so, to help incorporate air, the way an ice cream maker does.  But first… 

Fold in Cranberry Sauce:

Fold in some of the cranberry mixture, keeping in mind that you’ll be stirring occasionally if making this recipe without an ice cream maker.  You can also save some on the side to add as topping when you’re ready to serve and eat! 

Enjoy! Serve this ice cream right away for the creamiest texture if using an ice cream maker, or transfer to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for a more firm ice cream.



This vegan ice cream is the most “scoop-able” within 2 to 4 hours of freezing. After that, it will develop a harder, icier texture. It’s still delicious, just a little more crumbly to scoop. Let it thaw on your counter for 10 to 15 minutes if you freeze it overnight, to help it soften up a bit.  You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cape Cod Select Cranberries