Cinnamon Ice Cream

DessertCinnamonIce Cream

Homemade cinnamon ice cream with a custard base, cream, milk, sugar, and cinnamon.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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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.

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.

Cinnamon Ice Cream Recipe

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart


  • 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
  • 6 egg yolks


1 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. Take off heat (note that too long in the pan will burn the cinnamon).


2 Warm the milk, sugar, salt and cinnamon and 1 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat whisking to incorporate the cinnamon into the liquid.

3 Prepare strainer over bowl with remaining cream over bowl of ice: While the milk mixture warms, set a bowl over another bowl filled with ice. Place the remaining cup of cream into the now chilling bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.


4 Temper the eggs, 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 avoid the eggs scrambling. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

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5 Heat until coats a spoon: Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir. When the custard becomes thick until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run.


6 Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. Stir until cool over the ice bath.


8 Chill the mixture thoroughly and then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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How to make ice cream without a machine tips from David Lebovitz, king of all things ice cream

Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

25 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. [email protected]

    Amazing! It took 2 days to set up but so worth it!


  2. Cassie

    Have you ever made ice cream with dry ice rice pellets? I am curious if the texture changes for better or is just a fun experiment.

  3. Ruth

    Amazing!!! I made this to go with an apple pie. It was a perfect combination. Gorgeous ice cream. Thanks for the recipe.


  4. Mark

    If you’re really into ice cream consider buying an ice cream machine that has a built-in compressor. Making ice cream becomes so much easier. They are really miniature freezers.

    I have one that can do 2 quart batches but it works better with 1 to 1 1/2 quarts.

    One thing you have to be careful about with ice cream machines with compressors. You can’t just flip the compressor switch on and off. You have to wait about 5 minutes before turning the compressor back on or you could damage the machine.

    The hardest part becomes heating and straining the custard mixture. Once you pour the mix into the machine you just flip the switches on and sit back.

    Things like Oreo bits you have to add at the very end. Only enough churns to mix in the cookie chunks…a few seconds. Go too long and the cookies start to dissolve into the ice cream.
    Fruits or berries would not be as much of an issue.

    To be honest though, while making ice cream is fun, store bought is actually much cheaper. The manufacturers have an economy of scale that you just can’t touch.
    Store bought is more likely to have thickeners and emulsifiers. Home made…won’t have those extras unless you add them.

    Heavy cream and vanilla can get expensive.

  5. Kathy

    This was my first attempt at making homemade ice cream. I was fearful of “tempering” the eggs. However, the directions were so well written that I need not be frightened. The recipe was the reason I bought an Ice Cream maker. I chilled the ingredients for 6 hours after cooking. I also chilled the ice cream container along with the bowl in the freezer overnight. I added mini chocolate chips. This ice cream is absolutely delicious.


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