Is it ice cream season yet? Time to pull out the ice cream maker! Please welcome Simply Recipes contributor Garrett McCord as he shares his recipe for cinnamon ice cream. We made it the other day and it was simply fabulous. ~Elise
When I was a kid, I assumed that cinnamon was the opposite of mint. I had reasoned that this was a basic and irrefutable rule of the universe.
Cinnamon possessed heat through spice as obviously evidenced via Red Hots candies and the warm sensation and flavor cinnamon imbued when I sprinkled it over applesauce or oatmeal.
It made logical sense that the heat of cinnamon was therefore the opposite of the chill inducing mint. Simply put: cinnamon = hot.
Why Cinnamon Belongs in Ice Cream
Now, as an adult, I find it to be an intriguing trick of the mind to make cinnamon ice cream. A chilly treat with a fragrant, spicy glow that sort of buries itself in your stomach and fans embers through your body.
Hot and cold all wrapped up into one frozen scoop! This ice cream is a wonderful alternative to vanilla when served with pie, cake, or stewed or fresh fruit.
Tips for the Best Cinnamon Flavor
- Use High-Quality Cinnamon. This isn’t the time to use dollar store cinnamon. Buy a good brand! No need to spend tons of money, but use a name brand known for its quality. And check the expiration date. As with all spices, the fresher the cinnamon, the more potent the flavor.
- Heat the Cinnamon First. Briefly heating the cinnamon first helps activate the natural oils and amps up the flavor.
- Ground Cinnamon or Sticks? We recommend two teaspoons here since we’re using finely ground cinnamon. We do not recommend using cinnamon sticks, just for ease.
Want More Flavor?
Add some vanilla extract! About a teaspoon should do. Be sure to add it after Step 5 since the heat can diminish some of the vanilla flavor. You can also substitute the granulated sugar with brown sugar if you’re going for a brown sugar and cinnamon flavor.
Our Favorite Ice Cream Maker
Don’t have an ice cream maker but in the market for one? Check out our favorite model!
No Ice Cream Maker? No Problem!
Follow this handy guide from David Lebovitz.
Suggestions and Substitutions
Experiment with Complementary Spices - Cinnamon and ginger pair wonderfully together. Cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg work well with cinnamon, too. If you love these spices together more than alone, feel free to play around with using them in this recipe. Keep in mind, we haven’t tested the exact amounts you may need here. For reference, however, we do love this five-star rated Chai Ice Cream recipe and this five-star No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream recipe that feature some of these spices. Be sure to leave a comment if you try some of these spices!
Want More Cinnamon Flavor? Add in some cinnamon chips! Feel free to stir in a half a cup of cinnamon chips just before the final churning step. It'll add more flavor and texture.
Craving Chocolate and Cinnamon? You’re in luck! Our favorite Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream recipe features both, so you don’t have to choose between chocolate or cinnamon in your ice cream.
Other Ice Cream Recipes We Love
- Coffee Ice Cream
- Chai Ice Cream
- Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- No-Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
- Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Cinnamon Ice Cream
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 cups of heavy cream, divided
- 6 egg yolks
Heat the cinnamon until fragrant:
Place the cinnamon in a small, dry skillet, over low heat. Keep the skillet moving just until the cinnamon becomes fragrant, just about a minute at the most. Remove from heat (note that too long in the pan will burn the cinnamon).
Warm the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and 1 cup of cream:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, sugar, cinnamon, and 1 cup of cream, whisking to incorporate the cinnamon into the liquid.
Chill remaining cream over bowl of ice, and prepare strainer over bowl:
While the milk mixture warms, set a bowl over another bowl filled with ice. Place the remaining cup of cream into the now-chilled bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
Temper the egg yolks, and add to cinnamon cream mixture:
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly, pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from cooking. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Heat until mixture thickens:
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir. Stir until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon. When you run your finger through the custard across the back of the spoon, the custard should not run.
Pour the custard through the strainer into the chilled cream:
Stir until combined and cooled over the ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly and then process in your ice cream maker:
Process the ice cream mixture according to the manufacturer's instructions.