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‘Tis the season for all things gingerbread!
We say, why stop at cookies and loaves? This gingerbread ice cream is everything we love—cold and creamy, holiday spices, and macro-friendly!
The entire pint has under 400 calories. So when (not if) you finish the whole thing, you can still stay on track with your health.
Our motto for the holiday season is to indulge in yummy dishes you love. One dish will not make or break your health goals.
Eat, drink, and be merry—starting with this gingerbread ice cream recipe!
What Is the Main Flavor in Gingerbread?
As the name suggests, the main flavor in gingerbread is ginger!
For the full gingerbread effect, ginger is typically combined with other warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
The aroma and warm flavors of these spices are spot on and will transport you to a cold holiday morning at first whiff.
What Flavors Go Well With Gingerbread?
We love pairing the warm gingerbread flavor with black coffee or chai tea.
If you want to do a salty and sweet thing, you could sprinkle your gingerbread ice cream with flaky salt or crumble pretzels on top instead of using the ginger snap cookies that this recipe calls for.
If you’re making gingerbread cookies or a gingerbread loaf, try pairing these baked goods with vanilla ice cream.
Other holiday flavors that go well with gingerbread are pumpkin, brown sugar, and maple syrup, so adding a scoop of gingerbread ice cream with pumpkin pie could be a delicious combination!
With a gingerbread latte, try topping it with a dollop of maple-infused whipped cream or mix in a teaspoon of light brown sugar.
Lastly, peppermint can surprisingly go well with gingerbread—try a peppermint ice cream recipe and do an ice cream taste test!
Is Gingerbread Healthy?
In short, yes. Though, it depends on the recipe you’re making.
The delicious flavor of gingerbread comes mainly from the warming spices, which have very few calories on their own.
However, gingerbread cookies or loaves can be high in sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.
This gingerbread ice cream is certainly lower in calories and sugar and is more nutrient-dense than your average gingerbread cookie.
Holiday ice cream recipes do not necessarily have the same macros as, say, a kale salad but can be made to suit your lifestyle needs with a few tweaks and creative substitutes like we’ve done here.
This ice cream recipe is intended to be a dessert and should be enjoyed as such!
Gingerbread Ice Cream Ingredients
Vanilla Protein Shake
We love to add protein where we can. We use Core Power Elite in the flavor Vanilla. This helps elevate the macros of this recipe (making it more protein-dense) and gives it some substance.
Talk about creaminess! Cream cheese is a versatile ingredient—who else can go from breakfast to dessert without a blink?
A little goes a long way. We don’t want our gingerbread ice cream to taste cheesy, but you gain a lot of creaminess with just one tablespoon.
Heavy Whipping Cream
Heavy whipping cream makes this recipe taste like ice cream—but at just two tablespoons, you won’t be overdoing it on calories or fat. Some people also add sweetened condensed milk or egg yolks to their ice cream base to add a touch of sweetness and a creamier texture.
Don’t worry about having leftover heavy cream. You can whip it up with vanilla extract in an electric mixer (or speedy hands and a whisk) for a fresh and light whipped cream to top your ice cream.
Everyone will be impressed you made it from scratch, and it will clear up some space in your fridge. Win-win!
Cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves take this from bland ice cream to gingerbread.
You absolutely cannot skip out on these spices, although you can probably get away with just ginger and cinnamon in a pinch.
Most sweet treats can benefit from a splash of this stuff. It offers balance to the strong spices in the ice cream.
Crushed-up ginger snap cookies are delicious in this ice cream. Crunch, texture, and more ginger! If you prefer to skip this step or want a different topping or add-in, have at it. Don’t forget to tag us in your creations so we can get inspired, too.
Although it’s not a typical combination, chocolate and gingerbread can actually go well together—try mixing chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips into this homemade gingerbread ice cream.
How To Make Gingerbread Ice Cream
We use a Ninja Creami ice cream maker to make this recipe.
This appliance takes frozen solids and turns them into creamy ice cream!
If you don’t have one, you can try any other ice cream maker appliance or attachment. We haven’t tried this in a blender (for a no-churn ice cream), but we think it may work, providing a runnier, slightly icier consistency.
While the holiday seasons are generally associated with warm, straight-from-the-oven, homemade recipes in a toasty kitchen, we know not everyone lives in cold climates (we’re looking at you, California readers).
Who doesn’t love an ice cream recipe for the holidays? As it turns out, gingerbread flavors are just as good cold as they are warm.
If you want the best of both worlds, try sandwiching this ice cream between gingerbread cookies. Now that’s the Christmas spirit! Enjoy this delicious low-calorie ice cream all by yourself, or share it with your loved ones all winter long.
Gingerbread Ice Cream
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- top with crushed ginger snap cookies optional
Microwave cream cheese for 10 seconds, then mix until smooth.
Add cream cheese, Core Power Elite Vanilla, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and spices in a bowl, and then whisk together.
Chill overnight in the freezer for 24 hours (a few hours will likely not be long enough).
Once frozen, place in Ninja Creami ice cream maker and choose “Lite Ice Cream.” You may have to repeat this step 1-2 times until you reach your desired texture.
Remove a spoonful of ice cream (to make room) and add in crushed ginger snaps or another desired topping. Choose the “Mix-Ins” option and mix in the toppings.
Remove and enjoy your Christmas treat! If you don’t eat it all in one go, store it in an airtight container and freeze it for next time.
Gingerbread Ice Cream FAQs
Is Gingerbread Healthy?
Gingerbread cookies or loaves can be healthy, but it depends heavily on the recipe you use. Many gingerbread recipes are loaded with excess sugar, making them not as nutritious. Our gingerbread ice cream and gingerbread loaf recipes are considered healthy in our book!
What Pairs Well With Gingerbread?
The basis of gingerbread is the warming spices—ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. These flavors pair well with coffee, tea, salty snacks (like pretzels), maple syrup, dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream, and peppermint.
How Do You Make Homemade Ice Cream?
For this recipe, we used a Ninja Creami ice cream maker, which could not be easier to use. However, if you don’t have one, you can use a regular ice cream maker or blend and freeze the ingredients in a sheet pan. You can also try the “whipped cream” method, which involves whipping heavy cream into whipped cream with a stand mixer or hand mixer. Then, you fold the whipped cream into the other ingredients for flavoring and pour the mixture into a chilled metal loaf pan. Press plastic wrap onto the surface and freeze it until the ice cream resembles soft serve—about two to four hours.