Cranberry Ice Cream Pie

I’ll be the first to admit that when I start making my Thanksgiving menu, without thinking, I always pencil in pumpkin pie and pecan pie for dessert. Sometimes I’ll throw in a third pie (Dutch apple is usually my 3rd go-to) or another non-pie dessert like carrot cake, for good measure. However, I tend to go completely traditional when it comes to pies, without giving it a second thought. A few weeks ago, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I were talking about Thanksgiving desserts when he started looking for some different ideas, and happened upon a cranberry ice cream pie. He had just enjoyed an amazing cranberry sherbet cone a few days earlier, and asked if I’d give the pie a go. Of course I said yes!

The wonderful thing about this pie is that you can make it as involved or simple as you’d like. The recipe is written using all homemade components; however, if you’re crunched for time this week and need to throw together a quick, yet impressive dessert, you can easily adapt this to fit your needs. You can use a ready-made graham cracker pie shell, your favorite vanilla ice cream, canned whole-berry cranberry sauce, and an 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip. As much as I love baking the old-fashioned way, sometimes life gets hectic and it’s not always possible. For those times, it’s great to have a quick alternative as a backup plan! Whichever way you decide to make this pie, I guarantee it will garner the same results – impressed ooh’s and aah’s, and full, happy bellies!

If you’re looking for a non-traditional pie to break up the parade of pumpkin, pecan and apple, look no further!

One year ago: Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Mustard Dressing and Maple-Glazed Pecans
Two years ago: Cranberry-Walnut Rolls
Three years ago: Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti

Cranberry Ice Cream Pie

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

A festive cranberry ice cream pie; a great alternative to all of the pumpkin on Thanksgiving!


For the Crust:
42 gingersnap cookies (about 9 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Ice Cream Filling:
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup cranberry sauce (or canned whole-berry sauce)
1 tablespoon orange juice

For the Whipped Cream:
1½ cups heavy cream
4½ teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Sliced almonds, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Make the Crust: In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnaps and sugar until they become fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Press the crumbs evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

3. Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the ice cream, cranberry sauce and orange juice until completely combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust and smooth the top into an even layer. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

4. Make the Whipped Cream Topping: When ready to serve, beat the cream and sugar in a chilled bowl at medium speed to soft peaks; add the vanilla. Continue to beat to barely stiff peaks. Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled filling and garnish with sliced almonds, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: You can make this ahead of time, just cover the pie with plastic wrap if you are going to leave it in the freezer for a few days. I would make the whipped cream the same day you plan to serve, but you can whip it in the morning, refrigerate it, and then top the pie just before serving.

(Recipe adapted from Spoonful)


25 Responses to “Cranberry Ice Cream Pie”

  1. Jessica on November 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I love frozen pies! This one looks amazing!


  2. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious on November 20, 2012 at 2:44 am

    What a wonderful way to use up leftover cranberry sauce!


  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on November 20, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Love all the layers in this pie AND that they are all so NEAT and orderly. You have very steady hands and lots of patience 🙂


  4. Radhika on November 20, 2012 at 5:15 am

    That looks fabulous! Am bookmarking immediately.


  5. Tracey on November 20, 2012 at 7:23 am

    This is such a fun idea, I love it! It’s too late to change my plan for this year, but I am so trying this next Thanksgiving.


    • John Doe on November 24th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      I don’t understand when people “plan” for thanksgiving. Isn’t planning just deciding what you’re going to make? Why is it so hard to add one dish?


  6. little kitchie on November 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

    what a great, unique holiday dessert! and it looks GORGEOUS!


  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on November 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

    What a fabulous dessert! I love it! It’s so different and it’s so pretty! Love the pink color of it! 🙂


  8. bridget {bake at 350} on November 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Oh, I love this! And I think it would be *perfect* after Thanksgiving dinner!


  9. Mandie @ Oh So Decadent on November 20, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I’ve never heard of cranberry ice cream, but now I am completely intrigued and I must have this immediately. The combination of vanilla and cranberries must be amazing!


  10. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on November 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve never thought of a cranberry dessert! This sounds (and looks) so good!


  11. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on November 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I made an ice cream pie with gingersnap crust a few weeks ago, too! These flavors are perfect for the holidays – can’t wait to try this one out!


  12. Janine - on November 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Hhhmmm…. never seen this flavor combo for a pie. I’m intrigued! And it looks so pretty too!


  13. Lola on November 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I made my cranberry sauce with little pieces of orange in it..what do you think?


    • Michelle on November 20th, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Yes, that would be delicious!


  14. Sally - only gluten free baking on November 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Great idea, I’ve never thought of an ice ceam pie before.


  15. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen on November 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I want it. I want it bad. I love frozen pies!


  16. Laura Dembowski on November 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I will trade pumpkin pie for that any day. It is so unique!


  17. Colleen on November 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I made this bautiful tonight. My ice cream got a soupy (mostly melted) while i was moving the crusts around. Will this be a problem and affect flavor and texture? I don’t want to serve guests anything bad.


    • Michelle on November 20th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Colleen, Yes, the ice cream will get very soft when mixing everything together, but the re-freezes hard, as you can see from the photos above. I’m not sure what you are referring to when you say “moving the crusts around”, but the fact that the ice cream mixture is very fluid right now will not affect the flavor or texture – it will refreeze just fine.


  18. Jayne on November 22, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Whoa! This looks incredible gorgeous! And it isn’t even hard to make. I’ll be making some ginger, pear cranberry sauce. I imagine that would be totally great in this. Thanks for the inspiration! I might switch up the ice cream for cream cheese since the weather here is so hot that 2 minutes out of the freezer and I’ll be serving up soup. 😀


  19. Mandy on November 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I’ve made a similar recipe for years by combining cranberry sauce, cream cheese and Cool Whip, pouring into individual muffin tins and refereeing. I found this while looking for something for a little different and made it. It was delicious!


  20. Ari on November 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Made it. Delicious. I accidentally put in the melted butter before I mixed it, so it was a little inconsistent. No worries, still so goood!!!! I also put the ice cream in while the crust was hot, so my freezer had to work a little harder (whoops). So yummy though, the crust was awesome with all the flavors. A little sweet for my taste, but everyone loved it.


  21. Dina on November 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    now that’s a new use for cranberries. sounds good!


  22. Gill on December 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Surrounding them with ice cream is a much better way to eat cranberries that as cranberry sauce. Just a personal opinion.


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