Easy Candy Cane Ice Cream Recipe

This easy homemade Candy Cane Ice Cream Recipe is the perfect indulgent holiday treat! This is a Philadelphia-style ice cream recipe, which means that it’s made without eggs. Instead, heavy cream, milk, and sugar are churned together to create this peppermint ice cream delight.

a bowl of pink candy cane ice cream topped with crushed candy cane pieces

Candy Cane Ice Cream is a wonderful winter treat, perfect as a Christmas dessert or enjoyed on a cozy night, cuddled up on the couch. There are plenty of other homemade ice cream flavors that are perfectly suited for cooler weather as well!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream is a favorite in the fall, when everyone is craving the iconic pumpkin spice flavors.

As it gets closer to December, try our rich and creamy Eggnog Ice Cream, or Christmas Ice Cream which is packed with red and green sprinkles and Christmas cookie pieces.

Why You’re Going to Love This Candy Cane Ice Cream Recipe

  • It’s a Holiday Favorite! Candy Cane ice cream is just so Christmassy. This pretty pink vanilla mint ice cream with crunchy bits of candy canes mixed in is wonderfully festive. Enjoy it with your favorite cookies and plenty of holiday music for the best results.
  • An Easy Ice Cream Recipe – Because this recipe only has 7 ingredients and none of them are egg yolks, you don’t need to cook the candy cane ice cream base. This means that your ice cream will be ready even sooner since you won’t need to chill the base before churning it.
  • A Versatile Dessert – Serve your homemade peppermint ice cream in classic cones, scooped into bowls, in homemade ice cream sandwiches, or made into fun and creative holiday ice cream sundaes!
The ingredients needed to make candy cane ice cream, all in separate bowls on a marble countertop

Ingredients in Homemade Candy Cane Ice Cream

  • Whole Milk and Heavy Cream – A combination of both provides the best rich and rich and creamy base for our candy cane ice cream.
  • Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the perfect choice.
  • Candy Canes – Crush the candy canes (or peppermint sticks) into small pieces, but don’t crush them too finely. You want to have some larger pieces and some candy “dust” as well. The candy canes give this ice cream its pretty pink color as well as extra minty flavor.
  • Peppermint Extract – It’s very important that you use the right kind of extract for this recipe. Make sure to use peppermint, rather than plain mint or wintergreen. Using either of those will make your ice cream taste like toothpaste rather than delicious candy canes!
  • Vanilla Extract – A good quality vanilla extract adds wonderful flavor and balance to the peppermint ice cream.
  • Salt – A little bit of salt is a must in any sweet recipe. Here, it also makes the peppermint flavor really “pop”!

For the complete list of ingredients and instructions for how to make ice cream with candy canes, please see the recipe below.

Homemade candy cane ice cream in a white bread loaf pan. Next to the pan is a red ice cream scoop, whole candy canes, and sugar cones.

How to Store Candy Cane Ice Cream

Store this homemade Candy Cane Ice Cream in the freezer in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month.

Tips for Making This Candy Cane 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.
  • Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes.
  • Don’t skimp on the fat – High-fat milk and cream 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 of ice cream.
  • To make this recipe dye-free, choose all-natural and dye-free candy canes!
  • Make a milkshake – Use this Candy Cane Ice Cream to make a delicious Peppermint Milkshake. Top it with whipped cream and holiday sprinkles to make it extra festive.

How Do You Crush Candy Canes?

Place the candy canes into a gallon sized freezer bag. Seal the bag, and use a kitchen mallet, a small hammer, or a heavy rolling pin to smash the candy into small pieces. Once crushed, the candy cane pieces can be a bit sharp, so just take care not to let them poke big holes in your bag.

How Many Candy Canes Make ¾ Cup of Crushed Candy?

You’ll need about 9 regular sized candy canes to get enough crushed peppermint candy for this ice cream recipe. I usually use a few extra so that I have some bits leftover to sprinkle on my ice cream as a garnish.

A metal ice cream scoop pulling a scoop of homemade candy cane ice cream, viewed close-up

No Churn Candy Cane Ice Cream Directions

Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you mix the ice cream ingredients. Wait to add the second addition of candy canes until the end.

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.

Candy Cane Ice Cream Add-Ins

  • Try white chocolate shavings or crushed vanilla cookies to add extra sweetness or crunch.
  • Chocolate cookies like Oreos, or pieces of fudgy brownies are also delicious with candy cane ice cream.
  • Red and White Holiday Sprinkles can be added to make your ice cream extra festive and special too!

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes To Try

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Did you make this Homemade Candy Cane Ice Cream Recipe? Leave a Comment Below letting us know what you thought and if you added any additional add-ins.

a bowl of pink candy cane ice cream topped with crushed candy cane pieces

Candy Cane Ice Cream

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling/Freezing Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

This easy homemade Candy Cane Ice Cream Recipe is the perfect indulgent holiday treat! Made with just 7 ingredients, it's packed with sweet peppermint flavor.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup candy canes, finely crushed, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. 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. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine whole milk, granulated sugar and ½ cup of the crushed candy canes. Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved into the milk and some of the candy canes have dissolved to turn the milk pink. 
  3. Then, add the heavy cream, salt, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. 
  4. 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. 
  5. In the last two minutes of the churn, add the remaining ¼ cup of candy canes. 
  6. Spoon the candy cane ice cream mixture into a shallow container or a loaf pan. 
  7. 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. 


  • It's very important that you use the right kind of extract for this recipe. Make sure to use peppermint, rather than plain mint or wintergreen. Using either of those will make your ice cream taste like toothpaste rather than delicious candy canes!
  • The ice cream base needs to be cold before adding it to the machine. If yours isn't very cold, place it into the refrigerator for an hour first.
  • It is important that the granulated sugar dissolves into the milk. This creates a smoother consistency in your final ice cream. 
  • I like to crush my candy canes by placing them in a ziplock bag and pounding them with a rolling pin. I like some bits to be about the size of peas at most and others to be very fine and powder-like. The powdered candy canes will mix into the milk creating a pink peppermint milk. The larger pieces will be crunchy bits in the ice cream.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 507Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 0gSugar: 47gProtein: 4g

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