Make this sweetly spiced Apple Pie Ice Cream recipe, featuring fresh, caramelized apples and chewy yet crunchy snickerdoodle cookies.
This Apple Pie Ice Cream Recipe is naturally nut-free and you can use gluten free cookies, to make it gluten free.
Apple Ice Cream
This ice cream tastes just like a slice of apple pie a la mode. The wonderful textures from soft, cooked cinnamon apples and crispy cookies make it a pleasure to eat, and it's easy to make in your ice cream machine.
You may not find apple ice cream in stores, unless it's a seasonal offering for the fall season. Making this ice cream homemade allows you to use fresh apples and ingredients that you can pronounce to make an apple ice cream recipe better than any supermarket version.
Philadelphia style ice creams like this one don't include eggs, but instead use cream and milk to create a luscious ice cream base. If you like this method try making Mississippi Mud Ice Cream next.
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream is another delicious homemade ice cream recipe using a classic pie as its inspiration. Make both of these to serve after your Thanksgiving dinner for a new spin on a holiday tradition. This peppermint stick ice cream is also fun and delicious.
Why you're going to love this Apple Pie Ice Cream Recipe
Unique Ice Cream Flavor - This apple ice cream is a unique flavor that you may not have had before. Aside from specialty small batch ice cream shops, I've not seen this one in stores.
Fabulous Textures - The textures in this ice cream are unmatched. The diced apples are cooked down to be soft, but not so soft that they melt away. Homemade Snickerdoodle cookies replicate the flavor and texture of a pie crust.
Honeycrisp Apples - These are my favorite apple variety, and their crisp texture and sweet flavor is amazing in this apple ice cream.
No Eggs Needed - Some churned ice creams require egg yolks to create a creamy custard-y base. Not this one. It's creamy and perfect without any eggs at all.
Ingredients in Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream
Butter- A small amount of butter cooks down with brown sugar and apples to create a caramel apple sauce for our ice cream.
Brown Sugar - White sugar will go into the ice cream base, while this brown sugar adds flavor and warmth to the apples.
Honeycrisp Apples - I used honeycrisp apples because they hold up well to being cooked, and keep their shape in the ice cream. Dice the apples so that they are no bigger than ¼ inch cubes.
Ground Cinnamon - All together two teaspoons go into this ice cream. Half is cooked in with the apples, while the other half blends beautifully into the cinnamon ice cream base.
Heavy Cream - The basis for any good ice cream is rich heavy cream.
Whole Milk - A mix of both heavy cream and whole milk creates the perfect ice cream texture.
Granulated Sugar - Any good ice cream will have a good amount of sugar in it, both for sweetness and texture. Ice cream typically has more sugar in it than you'd expect, since our taste buds understand sweetness differently at cold temperatures.
Kosher Salt - A bit of salt balances out the sweetness from the sugar.
Snickerdoodles - Homemade snickerdoodles make this ice cream next-level delicious, but you can also use store bought cookies.
If you have any questions on how to make this Apple Pie ice cream, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
How to Make Apple Pie Ice Cream from Scratch
- Place the brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir on medium heat until the butter is melted and the brown sugar and butter are combined.
- Add diced apples and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir to coat the apples, then cook as directed, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender. Place the apples in a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
- In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, salt, and the remaining cinnamon.
- Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is fully dissolved into the mixture. You should not feel any grit if you rub the mixture between two fingers.
- Churn the ice cream mixture in the frozen bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer's instructions, until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Mine took about 25 minutes.
- In the last two minutes, add the chopped snickerdoodle cookies and churn until evenly distributed.
- Spoon half of the ice cream into a shallow container or loaf pan. Top with half of the apple mixture. Repeat with remaining ice cream and apples. Use a knife to swirl the apple mixture into the ice cream base.
- Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving for easy scooping.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
How to Store Apple Pie Ice Cream
Store this Apple Ice Cream in the freezer in an airtight container (we really like these reusable ice cream containers) with a piece of parchment or waxed paper pressed to the top of the ice cream. It will stay fresh for up to one month.
Tips for Making this Apple Pie Ice Cream Recipe
Use quality ingredients – When making homemade ice cream, you’ll want to make sure you are using high quality ingredients for the best outcome.
Pick the Right Apples - I used honeycrisp apples in this recipe, because I like how they hold their shape when sautéed in butter and sugar. You can also use granny smith apples if you like a little tartness and bite. Gala or pink lady apples are other great options.
Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. It’s very important that your mixture is really cold before going into the ice cream machine to churn. If you find that it is not cold enough, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before churning. If it’s not cold enough, it will not get thick.
Also, your ice cream base and ice cream bowl both need to be very cold in order for it to churn. If your base is not cold, place it in the freezer for an hour or so until it is chilled.
One last thing in this category - make sure that your apple mixture is cold or at room temperature before adding it in, or it will melt the ice cream.
Don’t skimp on the fat – High fat milks and creams are essential when making homemade ice cream. Opting for a low-fat option often leads to icy ice creams and inconsistency in the texture.
Don’t go crazy with the add-ins – If you’re adding in additional ingredients, pick one or two and make sure they are chopped into pieces no larger than a blueberry or pea.
Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to homemade ice creams, it also helps with the texture. Sugar is essential for the creamy texture in ice cream.
No Churn Apple Pie Ice Cream Directions
Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you mix the ice cream ingredients.
Pour the ice cream mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours to help add air. This will help create a creamy, smooth texture.
Add the cookies to this ice cream during the last time you stir so that they don't get soggy.
Apple Pie Ice Cream Add-ins
You have options when it comes to adding cookies to apple pie ice cream. Here we've used a homemade gluten free snickerdoodle recipe to make fresh cookies. You can also use snickerdoodles you get at a bakery, or store bought cookies like cinnamon graham crackers (the ones from Trader Joes would be really amazing), crunchy oatmeal cookies, or shortbread cookies.
More Caramel. A premade caramel sauce can be served over this ice cream when you serve it, or swirled in to the ice cream at the end before the final freezing.
Extra Flavor. A teaspoon of vanilla extract, a small amount of cinnamon extract, or some apple pie spice blend will give a more sophisticated flavor to this cinnamon based ice cream.
A Little Booze. A warm brown liquor such as bourbon or spiced rum can be added, but not more than a tablespoon, or it will keep the ice cream from solidifying. Save this version for the grown ups. You could also try using a bourbon extract.
Nuts. Toasted walnuts or pecans would work well to add richness and some more crunch to this ice cream.
Apple Compote. Top with apple compote for even more apple goodness.
What Kind of Apples Should I put in Ice Cream?
For this recipe, I'm recommending that you choose a sweet and flavorful firm apple variety. This way, the diced apples will keep their shape in the final frozen product. Try one of these options.
Honeycrisp - I like eating honey crisp apples out of hand, and they are fun to bake with as well because they are super sweet and crispy.
Granny Smith - These classic green apples are tart, crunchy, and ideal for pies and other cooked apple dishes, because they keep their shape perfectly. Adding granny smith apples to this ice cream will give you a more tart apple flavor
Gala - Gala apples are produced more than any other apple in the U.S., so they are always easy to find. Like honeycrisp, they are crisp and very sweet, making them a great choice for this apple ice cream recipe.
Why does homemade ice cream go bad?
I always suggest enjoying your homemade ice cream within one month of making it. This is because ice cream made from scratch doesn't contain any artificial preservatives and will lose freshness over time.
Another thing to note is that ice cream can pick up other flavors from inside of your freezer, making it taste bad or off. Keeping your ice cream well-sealed and covered will make a big difference.
More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
Here are some of our favorite tools for making homemade ice creams:
- Cuisinart 2QT Ice Cream Maker - Works with ice cream, sorbets, and frozen yogurt.
- Loaf Pan - You can use any 9 x 13 loaf pan or a shallow pan, but we like this one.
- Ice Cream Scoop - Make sure you have a good ice cream scoop. This is one of our favorites.
- Ice Cream Bowls - You can use any bowl, but we think these are fun.
- Ice Cream Containers - We love keeping a couple of ice cream containers on hand for when we make homemade ice cream.
Note: Each of these links will take you to the exact product on Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I earn a little from each qualifying purchase.
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- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups honeycrisp apples, peeled and diced into ¼ inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups snickerdoodles, chopped
- Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl.
- Place brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir until the butter is melted and the brown sugar and butter are combined.
- Add apples and 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, stir to coat the apples.
- Cook, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender. Place in a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.
- In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, salt and remaining 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved into the mixture. You should not feel any grit if you rub the mixture together between two fingers.
- Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
- In the last two minutes, add the chopped snickerdoodle cookies and churn until evenly distributed.
- Spoon half of the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Top with half of the apple mixture. Repeat with remaining ice cream and apples.
- With a knife, swirl the apple mixture into the ice cream base.
- Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.
- This ice cream was made using Philadelphia style ice cream, which does not contain eggs. Instead, heavy cream, milk, and sugar are mixed together and then churned in the ice cream maker. Since there are no eggs in this recipe, you do not have to cook the base over the stove top or chill it in the refrigerator before churning.
- Your ice cream base and ice cream bowl both need to be very cold in order for it to churn. If your base is not cold, place it in the freezer for an hour or so until it is chilled.
- It is important that the granulated sugar dissolves into the milk. This creates a smoother consistency in your final ice cream.
- It’s very important that your mixture is really cold before going into the ice cream machine to churn. If you find that it is not cold enough, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before churning. If it’s not cold enough, it will not get thick.
- I used honeycrisp apples in this recipe, because I like how they hold their shape when sautéed in butter and sugar. You can also use granny smith apples if you like a little tartness and bite. Gala or pink lady apples are other great options.
- Cut the apples in small cubes about ¼” thick - any larger and you will get big chunks of apple in each bite.
- Make sure you let your apple pie mixture come to room temperature before using. If it’s warm when it goes into the ice cream base, it will melt the ice cream and we want to keep everything very cold.
- You can use store-bought snickerdoodles in this recipe or homemade like we did. Other store-bought cookies like cinnamon graham crackers, crunchy oatmeal cookies, or shortbread will work too.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 735Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 279mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 2gSugar: 61gProtein: 6g