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Sweet, cool, rich, and refreshing, this Peppermint Ice Cream is just the dessert you need during the holiday season! But really this easy homemade ice cream recipe can be enjoyed year-round, not just at Christmas! It’s bursting with peppermint and vanilla flavors, and goes perfectly with a warmed up fudgy brownie!
Peppermint Ice Cream
We are ice cream obsessed at our house and just because the weather turns colder doesn’t mean we stop eating it! Like pumpkin ice cream, peppermint ice cream is a seasonal flavor that you usually only see around the holidays. But it’s delicious year-round!
Christmas brings the joy of family time and, of course, seasonal food! Our house tends to have a gingerbread-snickerdoodle aroma at all times during the month of December and I love it! It’s just so cozy.
One of my favorite flavors during the holidays is peppermint. Sipping on peppermint hot chocolate is so comforting and it really gets me in the Christmas spirit!
This Peppermint Ice Cream really hits the spot. It’s creamy, sweet, rich, and decadent, as well as being cool and refreshing. I used my own Homemade Vanilla Extract to add a touch of vanilla. I don’t know what it is about vanilla and peppermint together, but I can’t resist that almost-butter-mint flavor!
My kids are great at helping me make this peppermint ice cream recipe! They love the measuring, pouring, and crushing. And, of course, they snack on a candy cane (or two) as they go!
Our favorite ways to eat this Peppermint Ice Cream are on it’s own, in a sugar cone, with a warmed up brownie (yes!!), or adding a dollop of it to hot chocolate for a peppermint hot chocolate float. Perfect for the holidays!
Peppermint Ice Cream Ingredients
- Cream & milk: For the creamiest, rich ice cream I used heavy cream along with whole milk. It is extremely decadent!
- Sugar: Ice cream needs sweetness! I used regular white sugar this time, just to keep the flavor neutral, and to let the peppermint and vanilla take the spotlight.
- Vanilla extract: Peppermint and vanilla complement each other so well!
- Peppermint extract: This gives an even peppermint flavor throughout the ice cream, along with the crushed candy. If you prefer a really mild peppermint flavor, you could leave this out and just get the peppermint from the candy canes.
- Crushed peppermint candy: I added finely crushed peppermint candy to the ice cream base, as well as coarsely crushed candy to add some bigger crunchy chunks on top at the end. Can’t beat that peppermint crunch!
- Salt: Sprinkling just a little salt into sweet desserts like this peppermint ice cream recipe really makes all the flavors pop! It’s so good!
How to Make Peppermint Ice Cream
- Crush the candy. Firstly, in a food processor , crush the candy until it mostly pretty fine but not a powder. You could use a rolling pin or mallet instead and give your arm a workout, but I find it’s much easier this way.
2. Mix it up! Secondly, whisk cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and crushed candy canes together in a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons of coarsely crushed candy canes for later. The crushed candy canes will turn the ice cream a beautiful shade of pink without adding any additional food coloring !
3. Churn. Next, pour into ice cream maker and then churn until it is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, about 20-30 minutes. Add reserved crushed peppermint candy during the last minute of churning.
4. Freeze! Finally, transfer the peppermint ice cream to a freezer-safe container like a bread pan and sprinkle the top with additional peppermint candy. Freeze for 4-6 hours until hardened.
What is peppermint stick ice cream?
Peppermint stick ice cream is peppermint ice cream with candy canes (or peppermint sticks) crushed into it. It is perfect for the holidays or even year round, and this Peppermint Stick Ice Cream recipe is so easy to make!
Can I add different kinds of peppermint candy to this ice cream?
Sure! I really prefer the candy canes because of their festive colors and because they crush so easily, but if you’ve run out, or if you’re making this in the summer (Christmas in July? Why not!) here are some substitutes that will work:
- Sweet Stripes Peppermint Candy
- Werther’s Original Butter Mints (I haven’t tried this, but I think they would work)
- Starlight Mints/Pinwheel Mints (closest to candy canes and can be found year round in the candy aisle of the grocery store)
- Humbugs (for my friends in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand)
- Homemade hard mint candy
How do you crush peppermint?
There are a couple of ways to do it! I used my food processor this time, but if you don’t have one, pop the peppermint candies into a heavy duty ziploc bag, seal the bag, and crush them with a rolling pin or meat mallet.
Why is peppermint popular at Christmas?
Good question! Christmas and the holiday season is full of rich, decadent foods – it’s one of the best things during the holidays! Because of peppermint’s refreshing flavor, it cuts through the other seasonal rich foods, as a kind of palette cleanser. This Peppermint Ice Cream recipe is perfect after Christmas Dinner!
Plus, the coolness of the mint also kind of reflects the cool winter weather and snow. And then there are the colors which are generally associated with mint: white, red and green. All traditional Christmas colors!
More Christmas Dessert Recipes to get you in the Christmas spirit:
- Oreo Balls (aka Oreo Truffles)
- Chocolate Walnut Fudge
- Hazelnut Lingonberry Linzer Cookies
- Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream
- Peppermint Macarons
- Easy Christmas Pretzel Hugs
- Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies
- Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy + 2 additional tablespoons coarsely crushed peppermint candy
- Pinch of salt
- Whisk cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and crushed candy canes together in a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons of coarsely crushed candy canes for later.
- Pour into ice cream maker and churn until it is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, about 20-30 minutes. Add reserved crushed peppermint candy during last minute of churning.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe container like a bread pan and sprinkle the top with additional peppermint candy. Freeze for 4-6 hours until hardened.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.