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This Graham Canyon Ice Cream has a luscious graham cracker base with chunks of chocolate covered honeycomb candy, pieces of graham crackers, and mini chocolate chips for good measure. It’s my take on one of the most popular flavors served at the Creamery on Ninth at my alma mater, BYU.
It’s so fun coming up with homemade ice cream recipes to recreate some of my favorite ice cream flavors that I can’t always get at the store! Some of my other favorites are Toasted Almond Ice Cream, Old-Fashioned Fresh Peach Ice Cream, Rainbow Sherbet, Nutella Swirl, and Caramel Oreo Fudge Ripple.
Graham Canyon Ice Cream
If you ever find yourself in Utah, make an extra trip down to Provo and go to the BYU Creamery on Ninth. It’s an institution with it’s legendary ice cream flavors that are served in generous portions. Not only did I do my undergraduate education at BYU, but I stayed for three more years of law school and loved every minute of it.
The BYU Creamery on Ninth just happened to be right across from the law building, so we made plenty of visits to grab a treat when studying got to be too much.
Their Graham Canyon Ice Cream is my (and many other Cougars’) favorite flavor there, hands down. When we took the girls to visit in January, I decided while eating my scoop of graham cracker and honeycomb ice cream that I was going to go home and recreate it so I could have it whenever I wanted.
To start, I had to figure out how to get my hands on some honeycomb candy. Also known as sponge candy or cinder toffee, you can order Crunchie bars on Amazon to make things easier. Honeycomb candy is really popular in England, Canada, and New Zealand, but not so much in the U.S. It’s got a really unique texture and flavor that is really unlike anything else. You could make this ice cream with Heath bars or other toffee candy in place of the honeycomb candy, but it wouldn’t be quite the same.
Instead of waiting for a bunch of Crunchie bars to ship, I decided to take things into my own hands and make a batch of homemade honeycomb candy, which was actually super easy and delicious!
After that, it’s easy to make a graham cracker ice cream base. Just crush a bunch of graham crackers and mix it into your favorite vanilla ice cream base. I’ve been playing working with a wonderfully creamy version based off of Jeni’s Ice Cream recipe after trying it a year ago in Atlanta while visiting friends. It uses a little bit of cream cheese and cornstarch to create the smooth, creamy mouthfeel you typically only get in homemade ice cream by tempering egg yolks. You don’t actually taste the cream cheese, but it makes the ice cream perfectly scoopable.
Once the ice cream is churned in an ice cream maker, you will mix in some extra chunks of graham crackers, your crushed honeycomb candy, and mini chocolate chips (not part of the original BYU version, but I couldn’t resist).
Ingredients in Graham Cracker Ice Cream
- Heavy cream: It really takes heavy whipping cream to get the creamiest scoops of homemade ice cream. Totally worth it.
- Milk: Any kind of milk will work, although when making ice cream I tend to stick with whole milk. But I’ve made it with skim before and it still turns out great.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is added for sweetness, but I’ll bet brown sugar would work well in this recipe too.
- Corn syrup: A little corn syrup helps with the texture once this ice cream is frozen.
- Cornstarch: Egg yolks typically do the job of helping to thicken an ice cream base, but in this case we are using a little cornstarch to do the trick.
- Cream cheese: It’s a small amount and you won’t taste it in this particular ice cream with all the other flavors going on, but it makes the ice cream scoopable, especially the next day after it has had time to really harden overnight in the freezer.
- Vanilla extract: Jeni’s splendid vanilla ice cream, which I based my base off of, calls for a vanilla bean, but vanilla extract works just fine here where vanilla isn’t the predominant flavor.
- Salt: Ice cream always needs a little salt to balance out the sweet.
- Graham crackers: We go all out with the classic graham flavor here using both crushed graham crackers and chunks of broken up graham cracker as well. The crushed graham crackers soak up liquid and are absorbed into the ice cream while the chunks of graham cracker soften up to create a sort of graham swirl to the ice cream that scoops out really well!
- Honeycomb candy: You can make it yourself (it’s like 10 minutes of actual work), order it online, or maybe you are lucky enough to know a place nearby where you can buy it!
- Mini chocolate chips: The little chocolate chunks of mini chocolate chips aren’t in the original version, but I felt like with my homemade honeycomb the ice cream could use a little extra chocolate so I added just a few chips. I thought it was wonderful, but you could easily leave these out, especially if your honeycomb candy is the real deal and you are trying to perfectly replicate BYU’s graham canyon ice cream to a “T”.
How to make Graham Canyon Ice Cream
- Gather supplies. Make the honeycomb or track some down before you start to make this recipe. Be sure your ice cream maker bowl is frozen and ready to go. Make an ice bath in a very large bowl filled with water and ice.
- Prep ingredients. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of milk and cornstarch to create a slurry. Set this aside for now. Place cream cheese in a large bowl that will fit inside your ice bath and set aside.
- Heat milk and cream mixture. Whisk the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt together in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then cook for 4 minutes.
- Thicken. Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the cream mixture, then bring it back to a boil, stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Pour about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid over the cream cheese and whisk until smooth and there are no lumps of cream cheese remaining. Pour remaining hot milk and cream mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese , whisking until combined.
- Graham cracker time! Add the graham crackers that have been crushed in a food processor or with a rolling pin . Settle the bowl into the ice water bath until chilled (this just speeds up the process – you could also cover and stick in the fridge for 4 hours until cold).
- Churn. Pour the ice cream base into the bowl of the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine usually takes around 20 minutes). It should be the consistency of soft serve.
- Mix-ins & “cure”. During the last minute, add the graham cracker pieces, honeycomb candy, and mini chocolate chips, then pour into a freezer-safe container. I like to sprinkle some extra graham cracker pieces and chopped honeycomb candy over the top, but that’s purely for aesthetics. Stick the ice cream in the freezer for 4 hours to harden (also known as letting the ice cream “‘cure”).
More ice cream recipes you’ll love!
- Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream
- Coconut Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
- Nutella Swirl Ice Cream
- Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
- Burnt Almond Fudge Ice Cream
- Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
- White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Ice Cream
Graham Canyon Ice Cream
- 2 cups whole milk divided
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened 1 1/2 ounces
- 1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs about 8 crackers
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 graham crackers broken up into chunks
- 2/3 cup crushed chocolate [honeycomb candy]
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl with water and ice. Stir 1/4 cup of milk and the cornstarch in a bowl to create a slurry and set aside.
- In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt together. Bring to a boil, then cook for 4 minutes.
- Whisk in the cornstarch and milk slurry, then bring to a boil again, cooking and stirring for 2 minutes until thickened.
- Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the hot liquid and whisk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk mixture. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and vanilla. Pour into plastic bag and submerge in ice water until chilled.
- Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Stir in graham cracker pieces, honeycomb candy, and mini chocolate chips, then pour into containers and freeze 4 hours to cure.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Montana • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin