Peppermint Candy Cane Ice Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 quart
Don't throw out those leftover candy canes after the holidays! Reinvent those candy canes into a fun frozen treat that the whole family will love!
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1½ ounces cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1¼ cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 4 crushed candy canes (pulse in a food processor)
  1. IMPORTANT NOTE: 24 hours (or more) BEFORE you want to make the ice cream, make sure to wash the canister, dry it well, and place it in the coldest part of the freezer. Do not remove it until you are ready to pour the chilled ice cream mixture into it.
  2. In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry.
  3. In a large bowl, add the salt and room-temperature cream cheese and whip until smooth.
  4. Make an ice bath (heavy on the ice) and set aside.
  5. Pour the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and remaining milk into a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, set a timer for precisely 4 minutes and boil for exactly 4 minutes—the timing is critical. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  6. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Do this a little bit at a time so that you can whip out any lumps of cream cheese. Mix in the peppermint extract.
  7. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag, seal, and submerge the bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until very cold, about 30 minutes.
  8. Set up your ice cream maker and pour the chilled base into the frozen canister. About 10 to 15 minutes into the churning process, sprinkle in half of the crushed candy canes. They will mostly dissolve, turning your ice cream a pretty pink color. The ice cream is finished when the machine isn’t freezing the ice cream anymore; the ice cream will begin to pull away cleanly from the sides (about 25 minutes).
  9. Eat right away, sprinkling the remaining candy cane bits on top of your scoop – there are few things better than freshly churned ice cream – or if you’re storing for later, press a piece of parchment paper directly against the surface and seal in an airtight, freezer-safe container. When you remove the ice cream from the freezer, let it sit and relax until it is scoopable. Once you’ve scooped it, be sure to return any remaining ice cream to the freezer. If the ice cream has melted too much at room temperature, refreezing it will result in an ice cream that is too icy.
Recipe by MomAdvice at