Peppermint Ice Cream Recipe

This fun and festive treat is perfect for the holiday season. Recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist Kristen Carli notes that this is her "favorite ice cream flavor ever! Not only is it easy to make, but it is the ideal way to kick off the most wonderful time of the year." We happen to agree! What better way to embark on the holiday season than by enjoying ice cream, one of our favorite desserts. Who needs holiday cookies, when you have ice cream?

Most of us are familiar with the classic mint chocolate chip ice cream flavor, which is often available year-round. But what's the deal with peppermint ice cream? When is it available? Stores begin to carry peppermint ice cream in early October to prepare for the holiday season. However, if you save this recipe, you can make peppermint ice cream at home any time the craving strikes.

Gather your ingredients for this peppermint ice cream recipe

To make this delectable scoop, gather your ingredients. You will need whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and crushed candy canes.

To make this super easy, you can buy candy canes already crushed. Alternatively, you can crush them yourself by placing candy canes into a large plastic zip-top bag, sealing it shut, and using a heavy pot or meat pounder to crush the candy. Either way, this comes together in minutes.

Mix the dairy and the sugar

Next up, grab a large bowl and a whisk. You will keep the whisk handy for the next step. Add your whole milk, heavy cream, and sugar to the bowl. This combination makes up the base of most ice cream flavors, including this one.

You'll notice that this base does not contain eggs like some ice cream recipes. We asked Carli about this, and she mentioned that she prefers "to avoid eggs in [her] ice cream base in order to skip the tempering, which is both difficult and can be a food safety risk if not done properly." We appreciate the tip!

Add in the vanilla, peppermint, and candy canes

Now, add in your vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and crushed candy canes. For peppermint-lovers, Carli warns, "Be careful not to get too heavy-handed with the peppermint extract as a little can go a long way." We will follow her advice and stick to the 1 teaspoon laid out in the recipe. Once you've added all of the ingredients to the bowl, use a whisk to stir the ingredients well. You will want to make sure you do this thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.

Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and churn

Once the ingredients have been combined, carefully pour the mixture into your ice cream machine's bowl. Place the bowl into the rest of the machine, secure the lid, and set the ice cream maker to churn. Depending on your ice cream machine, this ice cream will churn for about 15 to 25 minutes depending on the settings. If you are unsure, Carli advises to "read the instruction manual of your ice cream machine."

It's imperative that you have an ice cream machine for this recipe. We asked Carli about this, and she confirmed that "an ice cream machine is essential." We conducted a quick search on Amazon and found that ice cream machines vary widely in pricing from $30 up to over $200. Carli confirmed that you "don't need to invest in a professional ice cream machine for this recipe or for most at-home ice cream recipes." Thank goodness!

Freeze for at least 4 hours then serve

Once the ice cream has churned, remove the bowl from the machine and place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours. You will know the ice cream has been sufficiently churned because its texture will thicken slightly, and it will be cold throughout.

If the ice cream has churned, why do we need to continue to freeze it afterwards? We posed this question to Carli, who stated that this is in order to "allow the ice cream to firm up and harden into a typical ice cream texture." Could it get any easier than this? Only if you choose a no-churn ice cream recipe. To finish it up, sprinkle some additional crushed candy on top of your scoop before digging into this peppermint ice cream. 

Peppermint Ice Cream Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
This peppermint ice cream is the perfect addition to your winter holiday celebrations. Enjoy the refreshing scoop with crushed candy canes as a festive treat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
peppermint ice cream scoop
Total time: 18 minutes
  • 2 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup crushed candy cane
Optional Ingredients
  • crushed candy cane for topping
  1. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Stir the contents well with a whisk until the sugar is incorporated.
  3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn for 15 to 25 minutes.
  4. Store the ice cream in the freezer for at least 4 hours to chill.
  5. Top your scoop with crushed candy cane pieces if desired.
Calories per Serving 462
Total Fat 31.2 g
Saturated Fat 19.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 95.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 45.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 44.1 g
Sodium 50.8 mg
Protein 3.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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