If you love ice cream and enjoy the flavors of a creamsicle, you’re going to love this naturally sweetened Homemade Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream.
THE NOSTALGIC CREAMSICLE
Did you grow up enjoying creamsicles? I did!
The delectable creamsicles have been around for a really long time, 1905 to be exact. They were invented by a 11-year-old boy, Francis William “Frank” Epperson, from Oakland, California.
The story goes that he experimented with pairing fruit juice and vanilla ice cream. He called it an “epsicle” which later became the popsicle known as the creamsicle or dreamsicle.
Epperson sold the “frozen drink on a stick” popsicles commercially in 1922 as the “Popsicle” brand. By 1925 he sold the patent, rights and the brand name. Supposedly, it wasn’t until about 15 years later that Popsicle® began selling the nostalgic Creamsicle®.
The Creamsicle® is still sold in major grocery stores all these years later, however, it’s sold under a different brand name since it was bought out again.
HEALTHY ORANGE CREAMSICLE ICE CREAM
I love taking childhood favorites and making healthier versions of them. I have fond memories enjoying those popsicles with my mom.
That was back in the 80’s. Now that I have my own family and have learned more about health and wellness over the last 15 years, I prefer to make homemade versions of childhood comfort foods.
I absolutely loved the flavor of creamsicles, but I don’t care for the packaged box ingredients. Have you seen them?
Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Cream, Orange Juice (from Concentrate), Whey, Less Than 1% of: Mono and Diglycerides, Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Cellulose Gel, Guar Gum, Polysorbate 80, Locust Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Carrageenan, Annatto Extract (Color), Vitamin A Palmitate"
There’s so much corn syrup, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup in there - and that’s not something I choose to feed to my kids. I’m also not a fan of “natural flavors,” citric acid (it’s almost always grown on and a by-product of black mold) and carrageenan is known for being carcinogenic. No thanks! There is nothing REAL and whole-food based about the mainstream creamsicles.
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE GREAT
- Simple: It’s really so easy to make your own orange creamsicle version and turn it into an orange cream ice cream at home.
- Flavor: Creamy vanilla meets sweet orange – it’s the perfect flavor pair! Your taste buds are going to jump for joy when you take a bite of this delectable treat.
- Memories & Comfort Food: It’s so dang delicious - if that nostalgic creamsicle was a treat that you were fond of, then you’re going to love this honey sweetened orange creamsicle ice cream!
ORANGE ICE CREAM WITH ICE CREAM MAKER
It’s often asked if you need an ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream. In most cases, yes - if you’re looking for a more authentic version of ice cream.
I highly recommend getting your own ice cream maker! It helps produce the best, quality ice cream texture. Plus, you’ll be able to make your own ice cream year-round! I use mine during every season - think homemade vanilla ice cream with pies and cakes during the winter holidays.
I’ve been using the same ice cream maker brand for over 20 years and love it! I even bought my oldest daughter her own ice cream maker and she loves it too.
HOMEMADE ORANGE ICE CREAM INGREDIENT NOTES
- Fresh Orange Juice: Freshly squeezed orange juice is so delicious! You’ll need approximately 3 large, juicy oranges to make enough orange juice for this recipe. Valencia and Navel oranges are good varieties to look for, they tend to have more juice which makes them great for juicing. Navel oranges tend to be a bit sweeter - a plus in my opinion! Cara Cara oranges are sweet and rich in flavor too, however their inner flesh is more red in color and will produce a pink-ish ice cream color.
- Organic Cream: This is absolutely a must for luscious ice cream. The full-fat cream helps give homemade ice cream, or any ice cream, that delectable, creamy texture.
- Vanilla Extract: This is a must! It brings the classic vanilla notes to the creamsicle flavor.
- Arrowroot Powder: Arrowroot powder/starch is great to use in the homemade ice cream base because it helps stop ice crystals from forming. It’s tasteless and odorless and really helps add to that authentic ice cream texture. I do not recommend omitting the arrowroot powder from the recipe because it really helps the texture.
- Raw Honey: Honey is my favorite natural sweetener to use in homemade ice cream. Make sure to use a lighter honey like clover, star thistle or orange blossom - wildflower varieties are too overpowering and strong in flavor.
- Orange Zest: This adds extra flavor, but it’s totally optional. Zesting any citrus enhances the citrusy flavor in the food being prepared because it’s rich in the natural oils of the fruit. I recommend using organic citrus if you’re using the zest. Make sure to only zest the colorful part of the orange peel, not the inner white pith - because the white pith is bitter.
- Mineral-Rich Salt: Salt not only helps enhance the flavor, but it also adds minerals. I only recommend using a mineral-rich salt or sea salt, otherwise, just omit the salt.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE CREAMSICLE ICE CREAM
It’s so easy to make this honey sweetened orange creamsicle ice cream - all you need is 7 ingredients!
Start by picking out large oranges. Organic oranges are important if you’re using the orange zest, however, if you can’t find them, oranges are currently #28 on the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, so as long as you’re removing their outer peel, you’re good to go.
Tips for Which Oranges to Use
The variety is pretty important when it comes to making fresh orange juice. Valencia are the most common oranges used in making orange juice. They’re great for juiciness, however, my preference is Navel oranges since they are known to be sweeter than Valencia oranges.
If you don’t mind the color of the ice cream changing, Cara Cara oranges are also delicious, produce a good amount of juice and are sweet like Navel oranges. Their inner flesh has a red hue, so it will produce a reddish juice and will turn the ice cream a pinkish color.
Prep & Juice the Oranges
You’ll want to wash the oranges first - please don’t skip this step. Even if the oranges are organic, you’ll still want to wash the outside because oil based pesticides and ripening agents are found (and allowed) on organic produce. It helps remove any leftover residue, debris and dirt and makes it much cleaner for zesting.
If you’re using the orange zest to add extra orange flavor, use a microplane zester and zest the dried oranges, making sure to only zest the orange part of the orange peel, not the inner white pith. Then set the orange zest aside.
Next, grab a cutting board and chef’s knife and cut the oranges in half. If you have a citrus juicer, by all means use that to make the orange juice. Otherwise, use a handheld orange squeezer to make the orange juice or just use a glass measuring cup, fine mesh strainer and juice the oranges by hand. Juice the oranges until you have 1 ½ cups of juice.
Prep the Egg-Free Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream Base
In a small bowl, add ½ cup cream and the arrowroot powder, then whisk with a fork to remove any lumps and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add the ¾ cup cream, vanilla, honey and salt and gently heat over low heat just until the honey has dissolved and the mixture is warm, but not hot - stir to fully combine, about 1-2 minutes.
Then add the arrowroot-cream mixture, whisking to combine over low heat, never allowing to boil, for about 1-2 minutes - just until barely warmed through, but not steaming hot (arrowroot does not work well when heated for too long or too high of a temperature). Immediately remove from the heat.
Next, add the fresh orange juice and orange zest to the slightly warm ice cream base mixture, give it a quick stir with a whisk, then place the orange ice cream mixture in the refrigerator to chill until cold, about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a large mason jar and place it in the freezer to do a quick chill, for about 20-25 minutes until chilled through.
Assemble Your Ice Cream Maker
Place the mixing blade inside your frozen ice cream bowl, secure the protective shield covering over the ice cream bowl, then turn the ice cream machine on (I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker). When the machine is running, pour the cold orange cream ice cream mixture into your chilled/frozen ice cream maker bowl and mix according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.
The ice cream will start to have a “soft serve” texture when it’s done - after about 20-25 minutes. Usually at this point, the machine will stop turning because the ice cream has fully formed. My family loves to eat the homemade ice cream immediately, served right from the ice cream bowl.
If you prefer the ice cream to be a little firmer or need to serve it later, use a wooden spoon to transfer the orange creamsicle ice cream to a large airtight ice cream tub with a lid. Make sure to lick the spoon when you’re done!
RECIPE FAQS: TIPS FOR ORANGE CREAMSICLE ICE CREAM SUCCESS
- Do you need an ice cream maker for this recipe? Yes! You do need an ice cream maker for this orange ice cream recipe.
- How much ice cream will this orange creamsicle ice cream recipe make? The finished ice cream yield makes about 1 quart of ice cream, but can slightly vary depending on the ingredients used.
- Can the orange ice cream recipe be doubled? I do not recommend doubling the batch as it can slightly alter the texture.
- How sweet is this orange creamsicle ice cream? This ice cream is mildly sweet, letting the orange flavor shine through. If you prefer ice cream that is very sweet, you can try adding another tablespoon or two of raw honey.
- Can you substitute the honey for another sweetener? Most likely, yes. You can try using another liquid sweetener, however, it will alter the flavor if you use a sweetener like maple syrup, which will take away from the authentic creamsicle flavor.
- Do you have a favorite honey to use in this honey sweetened orange cream ice cream recipe? Yes! I only recommend using a mild, light-colored, quality honey for this recipe. Honey flavors like orange blossom honey, clover honey, thistle honey or alfalfa honey are known to be the most mild in flavor. This is my favorite raw honey - I love their orange blossom and “original” honey. I also love using this raw honey, it’s easy to find online as well as at grocery stores like Sprouts Farmers Market.
- How long does homemade ice cream last? Homemade ice cream is always the best to eat right after it's made or has chilled in the freezer for about 30-60 minutes. The soft serve texture is what sets homemade ice cream apart from store-bought ice cream. If you’d like to store the ice cream for later use, make sure to store it in an airtight freezer-safe container that is made for homemade ice cream. I really like this glide-a-scoop 1.5 quart ice cream tub and this typical-style ice cream container 1 quart ice cream tub. When stored in the proper container, homemade ice cream can be stored for up to 2 weeks.
- Can this orange creamsicle ice cream recipe be made dairy-free? Yes it can, just be aware that coconut milk will change the authentic creamsicle flavor and it will produce more ice crystals than regular cream as well as produce a slightly different texture. I only recommend using full-fat coconut milk instead of cream.
- How should this orange creamsicle ice cream be served? You can enjoy homemade ice cream by the spoonful right out of the ice cream maker (we do! – to test it of course), you can serve it in a bowl, add scoops to a gluten-free ice cream cone or you can serve this ice cream with waffles. Yes, I said waffles! Homemade ice cream is delicious served with breakfast waffles (or pancakes). Think waffle cones, but less sweet and with more texture. This flavor combo is so good, you’ve got to try it! Orange + chocolate flavor combo is also amazing - I highly recommend topping your orange creamsicle ice cream with my chocolate fudge sauce for an extra special treat.
ORANGE SEASON IS TYPICALLY NOVEMBER THROUGH JUNE, HOWEVER - YOU CAN USUALLY GET ORANGES YEAR-ROUND. SO GIVE THIS EASY AND DELICIOUS ORANGE CREAMSICLE ICE CREAM RECIPE A TRY ANYTIME YOU GET A CRAVING FOR A CREAMSICLE!
IF YOU LIKE THIS ORANGE CREAMSICLE ICE CREAM RECIPE, YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE DELICIOUS ICE CREAM AND POPSICLE RECIPES FROM RECIPES TO NOURISH:
- Creamy Watermelon Ice Cream
- Blackberry Honey Ice Cream
- Paleo Brownie Cheesecake Ice Cream
- Paleo Chocolate Banana Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Real Food Strawberry Ice Cream
- Real Food Horchata Ice Cream
- Real Food Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Honey Vanilla Ice Cream
- Healthy Raspberry Swirl Frozen Yogurt
- Cherry Creamsicles
- Blackberry Cheesecake Popsicles
- Simple Secret Ingredient Fudgesicles
- Real Food Watermelon Milkshake (dairy-free option)
- Healthy Frozen Hot Chocolate
Homemade Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream
- Wash, dry and zest all of the oranges (I use a microplane zester to do this). If using, add the orange zest to a small glass measuring cup or bowl.
- Cut the oranges in half and squeeze/juice the oranges through a fine mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add ½ cup cream and arrowroot powder and whisk with a fork to remove any lumps. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add the ¾ cup cream, honey, vanilla and salt and gently heat over low heat just until the honey has dissolved and the mixture is warm, but not hot - stir to fully combine, about 1-2 minutes. Then add the arrowroot-cream mixture, whisking to combine over low heat, never allowing to boil, for about 1-2 minutes - just until barely warmed through, but not steaming hot (arrowroot does not work well when heated for too long or too high of a temperature). Immediately remove from the heat.
- Next, add the fresh orange juice and orange zest to the slightly warm ice cream base mixture, give it a quick stir with a whisk, then place the orange ice cream mixture in the refrigerator to chill until cold, about 2 hours. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into a large mason jar and place it in the freezer to do a quick chill, for about 20-25 minutes until chilled through.
- Place the mixing blade inside your frozen ice cream bowl, secure the protective shield covering over the ice cream bowl, then turn the ice cream machine on (I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker). When the machine is running, pour the cold orange cream ice cream mixture into your chilled/frozen ice cream maker bowl and mix according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. The ice cream will start to have a “soft serve” texture when it’s done - after about 20-25 minutes. Usually at this point, the machine will stop turning because the ice cream has fully formed.
- My family loves to eat the homemade ice cream immediately, served right from the ice cream bowl. If you prefer the ice cream to be a little firmer or need to serve it later, use a wooden spoon to transfer the orange creamsicle ice cream to a large airtight ice cream tub with a lid. Make sure to lick the spoon when you’re done!
- YOU WILL NEED: Citrus Juicer or Manual Orange Squeezer, Fine Mesh Strainer, Microplane Zester, Knife, Cutting Board, Glass Measuring Cup or Medium Size Bowl, Small Bowl, Medium-size Saucepan, Whisk, Ice Cream Maker
- STORAGE: Cover in an airtight freezer safe ice cream tub with a lid and store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Make sure to use a lighter, mild honey like clover, star thistle or orange blossom (wildflower varieties are too strong for this flavor combo). I use this (the original and orange blossom are my favorites) and this honey brand (I can usually find this brand at Sprouts Farmers Market).
- Recipe is made for 1.5 quart ice cream makers. Do not double the recipe.
- Do not omit the arrowroot powder/starch - it helps stop ice crystals from forming.
- Cream Substitution: If you don’t have cream, you can substitute with half and half since it has a higher fat content.
- Dairy-Free Option: Substitute full-fat coconut milk for the cream (see post for more details about making this substitution - it will change the flavor). I use this brand - it's organic, non-GMO and BPA free.
- I haven’t made this ice cream without an ice cream maker. If you freeze the liquid ice cream mixture in a container, it won’t set exactly the same or produce the same soft consistency, but you can try and freeze it in a loaf pan and then put it into a food processor to soften it up a bit. You’ll probably need to set it out at room temperature first for about 15 minutes to let it soften a bit.
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[Updated Recipe August 2022]
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g
This nutritional information was auto-generated based on serving size, number of servings, and typical information for the ingredients listed. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, please calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients and amounts used, using your preferred nutrition calculator. Under no circumstances shall the this website and the author be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the given nutritional information. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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