Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Originally published July 30, 2012. Updated on 4/29/2021
"Favorite ice cream flavors" was recently the topic of discussion among a group of friends.
Once again, I had to lament the lack of "Tiger Tail" availability in the USA. It was my favorite flavor as a kid, and one of the uniquely Canadian food stuffs that I miss.
Tiger Tail - or “Tiger Tiger”, depending on what area you’re from - is an orange-flavored ice cream with a black licorice ribbon running throughout.
You might recognize the flavor from the Tiger Tail Cake recipe I created, inspired by it.
Well, not being one to just whine about what I can't have, I created a recipe for a homemade version.
Homemade Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Much like the Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce Recipe I created for the same reason... this really hit the spot.
The appearance AND flavors were just right, and the licorice ribbon was just perfect.
As a kid, I used to eat the ice cream from around the thickest parts of ribbon, leaving the best for last... and this homemade version did NOT disappoint, on that front.
Truth be told, I kind of shocked myself!
I know I can create recipes for pretty much anything, but I thought for sure that the sweet, sort of sticky, kind of crystalline texture of the ribbon would take some serious trial and error to perfect.
Now, while I realize that this tiger tail ice cream recipe will be heartily welcomed by many of my Canadian readers, I also realize that it will sound weird - or outright disgusting - to most of my American readers.
If you don't have anything against black licorice, I encourage you to give it a try!
It may sound a little wacky to people who haven't been exposed to it, but seriously - even kids love this stuff back home.
A Note on the Licorice Caramel
Due to the way caramel is made, this recipe makes a bit more of the licorice ribbon than you'll actually need.
Save some for a future batch, or heat it up slightly as an ice cream topping. It's good stuff!
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”. "More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! Order your copy here on this site, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller!
More Canadian Comfort Food!
Whether you’re a Canadian in the US or not, we could all use some comfort food these days. Here are some Canadian Favourites!
Back Bacon / Canadian Bacon
Canadian Popcorn Seasoning Recipes
Dill Pickle Dip
French Canadian Pea Soup
Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls
Homemade Deep N Delicious Cake
Homemade Doughnut Holes - Timbits!
How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Maple Butter Tarts
Poutine, My Way!
Puffed Wheat Squares
Replica Swiss Chalet Sauce
Looking for even more Canadian recipes? Check out our full Canadian Recipes list!
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Tiger Tail Ice Cream Recipe (AKA Tiger-Tiger Ice Cream Recipe)
Orange Ice Cream
- 8 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Cups Milk
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 2-3 teaspoon Blood Orange Extract
- Orange Food Colouring
- ⅓ Cup Water
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup Butter
- ½ Cup Milk
- 3 teaspoon Anise Extract
- Black Food Colouring
Orange Ice Cream Base
- In a large pot, beat egg yolks together with sugar and salt until fluffy. When thoroughly combined, add a little of the milk at a time, whisking until fully incorporated and smooth – you don’t want any unblended chunks of egg mixture. Add remaining milk and heavy cream, whisk until well combined.
- Heat just to the boiling point, whisking constantly. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat. Add orange extract, stir to combine. Color to desired tint with food coloring, and allow to cool.
Licorice Ribbon Sauce
- Combine water and sugar in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer just until it starts to take on a golden color.
- Remove from heat, add butter carefully – it will steam and may boil up. Stir until completely melted and well combined. Add milk and anise extract, stir to combine. Tint to deep black with food coloring, allow to cool.
To Make The Ice Cream
- Once both the ice cream mixture and the ribbon mixture are cooled to room temperature, move them to the fridge to chill overnight.
- Prepare orange ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Once ice cream is finished processing, it’s time to create the striping effect:
- Place a few scoops of ice cream randomly in whatever container you’ll be storing it in. Drizzle a scoop of licorice ribbon mixture over it, alloing it to pool in a few areas. Add a few more scoops of ice cream, pressing down lightly in a few areas to remove air pockets. Drizzle some more licorice ribbon, add more ice cream, etc. Continue to use up the rest of the ice cream – you’ll likely have some licorice ribbon left over.
- Cover and freeze your ice cream container for at least a few hours, to firm up.
- Store any leftover licorice ribbon in the fridge – pour it over ice cream, or save it or your next batch.
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Can you believe I'm born and raised in Canada but have never eaten Tiger Tail ice cream? I do remember seeing it in stores, but as a kid my favourites were butter pecan and maple walnut.
My brother and I always wanted to enjoy this flavour because of the fun name, but we didn't like the licorice taste! However, I'd probably like it as an adult. I might wander over to the ice cream shop and have some after lunch. Yum! Yum! Another great post, Marie! ~Colleen
I made this yesterday/today and just savored (savoured) my first bowl! Thanks for the recipe! I loved Tiger-Tiger as a child (and still do!) and cannot find it anywhere in California so far and when I travel back to Canada, I am having a tough time finding it there, too. I don't know how often I'll make this as it is a bit time-consuming. Now I have a whole bunch of leftover licorice syrup so I will try to find some pre-made orange ice cream and drizzle it over that, once I've finished my homemade Tiger-Tiger!
I miss this so much from Canada. Tiger Tail milkshakes looked disgusting, but were so good!
I grew up in a small town in Wyoming and we bought this all the time. Have been wishing I could find some again. Glad to see your recipe. Will definetly give this a try. Thanks for sharing.
OMG!!! A big deal of my annual family vacation trips to Ontairo is having at least 2 cones of tiger tail! I have long lamented it not being available here in the mid Atlantic US - but now I can whip some up in my own kitchen! So excited to try making this - thanks so much!
I can not believe that I am seeing this recipe. Not only am I totally excited about trying the recipe but I loved the anecdotal stuff about growing up in Canada and savoring the licorice ribbon part until last...I too have scoops of tiger tail whenever I go home...
My kids (raised in the US) think Tiger tail ice cream is "gross' but it doesn't bother me...more for me to eat....
Thanks for sharing!
Excellent recipe! Definitely brought back memories for my husband and I. Thank you for perfecting it!
isn't this bewitched tv ice cream ?
I'm not sure what bewitched tv ice cream is?
Having grown up in Vancouve I now live in Atlanta and have been trying to find a Canadian ice cream shop willing to ship tiger tail ice cream. I've had no success. Outside of making my own from the recipe does any one have any ideas how I can buy this Canadian delicacy and have it shipped to Atlanta?
I belong to a kitsch/nostaliga page on Facebook and recently posted a picture of an old ice cream package for Tiger Tail flavored ice cream. I'd never heard it before but thought it looked so cool! Orange with black stripes! What kid wouldn't want to try that? Plus I love licorice. Other members chimed in and I learned that it was still a 'thing' in Canada. I've never seen it here in the states. After googling a bit I found your wonderful recipe and I can't WAIT to try it. YUM
I have tried to make the licorice ribbon several times with no luck. It does not get thick even after refrigeration, Any help as what I might be doing wrong?
I was so happy to find your recipe. We were in Canada last month and tried the tiger tail ice cream and it was delightful! Now I want to make it because we do not have it in the states.
Is your thermometer maybe not calibrated right? If it's not thickening up, it's not being cooked to a hot enough temperature!
I don’t see a temperature listed in the licorice caramel part of the recipe, just to cook it till it starts to turn golden… did I miss something?
Nope - This one can just go by colour, as it doesn't need to set up, you're just making a sauce.
I use the base recipe as guidlines, but then split the custard into 2 batches. Half, I flavour (and colour) orange; the other half, I flavour with anise and colour black. When the 2 batches of ice cream are made (but not firm) I swirl them together. I don't actually have a caramel ribbon, but the two colours and flavours of ice cream folded together.
Have you been able to make a gluten free?Keto version of Tiger Tiger ice cream?
Thrilled to find this recipe!
Is this the best orange extract you've worked with?
Personally, I just prefer blood orange extract to normal orange extract. The orange extract you can buy in grocery stores is more "authentic" tasting, though.
Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try it. I’m from California and I don’t know too many people who like black licorice (lucky for me, I get all the black jelly beans at Easter). I remember being about 14 or 15 and driving my great aunts car (my mother drove of course) from Illinois up through Canada and back down to CA. I discovered Tiger ice cream and got it every chance I got. I’ve never seen it since, and 34 years later, I actually still think about it from time to time. Like I said, I’m very eager to try your recipe. Thanks again!
I still get a scoop of licorice ice cream every time I get home to Nanaimo, just a little way up the road at the Coombs market. I was never a fan of the tiger tail ice cream, but I’m wondering if this licorice ribbon could be mixed with vanilla ice cream to get the same flavor of the licorice ice cream.
I am Canadian, living in Alberta. The orange and liquorice/ licorice ; ) flavoured ice cream that I am familiar with is produced by Lucerne Dairy and is called "Tiger, Tiger" Ice Cream. Even better than Tiger, a few years ago, Lucerne dairy made Black Liquorice Ice Cream, yummmm! 🐯
Fun Fact, Tiger Tiger is soo famous and IMO delicious, it made it on to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_tail_ice_cream🐯
Hello Marie! I’ve made this ice cream a couple times now for my tiger tail loving boyfriend, (and he looooves it), but I keep having trouble with the licorice part - it never gets very thick; it turns out quite thin and runny. Any tips? How long, on average, do you simmer before it starts to turn golden? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
It's not supposed to be a super thick caramel - it's not going to resemble even caramel ice cream topping.
When you pour it over the ice cream and freeze it, does it end up with a good texture?
I was intrigued when I read about this flavor of ice cream because I love black licorice. I happened to find orange cream ice cream at the grocery today, and just ordered the ingredients to make the licorice ribbon. This week in one of my classes we're having a special ice cream day, so I'm going to add it to the table! Thank you! This recipe seems super easy!