Tiger Tail Ice Cream Recipe (AKA Tiger-Tiger Ice Cream Recipe)

“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. It’s 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. 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. Nope!

Now, while I realize that this 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 whacky to people who haven’t been exposed to it, but seriously – even kids love this stuff back home.


Orange Ice Cream:

8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 cups / 1 pint heavy cream
2-3 tsp orange extract (or blood orange essential oil!)
Orange food coloring

Licorice Ribbon:

1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tsp Anise Extract
black food coloring

First, make the custard for the orange ice cream:

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.

Next, make the 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.

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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18 thoughts on “Tiger Tail Ice Cream Recipe (AKA Tiger-Tiger Ice Cream Recipe)

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.


  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

  8. 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

  9. Marie,

    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.

    Thank you,

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