Christmas Ice Cream

Christmas Ice Cream is the perfect homemade ice cream recipe for Christmas. It’s rich and creamy with warm vanilla, holiday sprinkles, and bits of Christmas cookies mixed in.

This ice cream for Christmas is made in the Philadelphia style, meaning that it’s churned in an ice cream maker, but the recipe doesn’t use any eggs, making it a bit more simple than a French style recipe.

This Christmas cookie ice cream can be gluten free and nut free depending on the type of cookies you use.

a wide, short, glass ice cream dish with scoops of christmas ice cream and a green frosted tree cookie topper.

Christmas Cookie Ice Cream is a simple to make recipe that is perfect for the holiday. A vanilla ice cream base is enhanced with Christmas Cookie pieces and decorated with sprinkles. It’s perfect!

We always had ice cream for Christmas when I was a kid. Often someone would bring an ice cream cake, or a Christmas ice cream roll. Sometimes we’d have Peppermint Ice Cream or another festive flavor. My favorite was when we’d put scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream in mugs of hot cocoa!

Readers also like this Eggnog Ice Cream. If you want to stick to a cookie flavored ice cream, try Biscoff Ice Cream next.

So this recipe takes me back, and I love it. You’ll love how easy it is to make this creamy Christmas Ice Cream, and you can start a tradition of your own with it.

Try using this Christmas Ice Cream along with other ice cream flavors to create a winter ice cream sundae bar for any holiday party. Bubblegum ice cream is also fun and festive and you can use Christmas colors.

Funfetti Ice Cream is fun too.

Why You’re Going to Love this Christmas Ice Cream Recipe

Simple to Make: This Philadelphia style ice cream recipe doesn’t require any cooking, nor does it require any fancy ingredients. It’s easy!

Step By Step Instructions: Are you new to making homemade ice cream? No worries, I’m giving you step by step ice cream making instructions and lots of helpful tips along the way. You’ll be a pro in no time.

Christmas Colors: Red and green sprinkles against the white ice cream base are so pretty and festive in this Christmas cookie ice cream.

No Eggs: 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.

No Chemicals: Store bought ice creams are often filled with preservatives. You don’t need any to make this homemade Christmas cookie ice cream recipe. 

Ingredients for christmas ice cream, all in separate bowls on a marble countertop.

Ingredients in Homemade Christmas Ice Cream

Heavy Cream – The basis for all good ice creams is rich heavy cream. 

Whole Milk – A mix of both heavy cream and whole milk creates the perfect ice cream texture. 

Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the perfect choice.

Vanilla Extract – a nice, high quality pure vanilla extract will give tons of warm vanilla flavor to this Christmas cookie ice cream.

Kosher Salt – Salt helps to balance the sweetness of the ice cream.

Christmas Sugar Cookies – Keep reading for recommendations. Any crunchy cookie will work in this recipe. Cut the cookies into small pieces before adding them in.

Holiday Sprinkles – I don’t think this recipe would be quite the same without some festive red and green sprinkles! Go for “jimmy” style sprinkles rather than nonpareils that will bleed and stain the ice cream.

In the images here I’m using a crunchy, store-bought, gluten free sugar cookie. Enjoy Life and Simple Mills both have some good options.

You can truly use any type of vanilla flavored cookie you can buy, just make sure that they are crunchy rather than soft. Vanilla wafers, shortbread cookies, or butter cookies are great.

Want to make this ice cream extra Christmas-y? Try using crispy anise flavored cookies. They used to be called “Jingles”, but now I see them as “Santa’s favorites” and they are only available at Christmas time.

Another classic holiday cookie to try is the vanilla butter cookies that come in the blue tin. Or use gingerbread cookies for a warm, spiced option.

Homemade cut out cookies will be delicious in this ice cream as well. You could also swap out the cookies for Christmas Pretzels.

Photo collage showing six steps needed to make christmas ice cream in an ice cream maker

How to make Christmas Ice Cream from Scratch

  1. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and kosher salt.
  2. 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.
  3. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions, until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  4. In the last two minutes of the churn, add the Christmas sugar cookies and ½ cup of the holiday sprinkles, reserving the remaining sprinkles.
  5. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining holiday sprinkles over the top of the ice cream.
  6. 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.

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.

vanilla ice cream topped with red and green christmas sprinkles being scooped by a large ice cream scoop

How to Store Christmas Ice Cream

Store this Christmas ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container (we really like these reusable ice cream containers) with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month.

Tips for Making this Christmas Ice Cream

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 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.

closeup view of a dish of ice cream with christmas sprinkles and christmas cookies inside.

No churn Christmas 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.

Christmas Ice Cream Add-ins

This is basically a vanilla ice cream recipe with Christmas add-ins already added, but you can make your own spin on Christmas cookies ice cream if you’d like.

I suggesting adding maybe one other mix-in, such as white chocolate shavings or chopped walnuts.

A swirl of buttercream frosting would complement the Christmas cookie theme of this ice cream nicely too.

Add a bit of cinnamon to the ice cream base to add warmth and extra Christmassy flavor.

Other types of Christmas cookies can switch up this Christmas ice cream into different flavors of Christmas cookie ice cream.

Other Ways to Enjoy Christmas Ice Cream

  • Make Christmas Ice Cream Sundaes with hot fudge and more cookie crumbles.
  • Add this ice cream in between two Christmas Cookies to make Christmas ice cream sandwiches.
  • Add softened ice cream to a premade cookie crust to make your own easy Christmas ice cream pie.

What type of sprinkles are best in homemade ice cream?

When adding sprinkles to your ice cream recipes, you want to choose ones that won’t bleed color into your ice cream base.

Jimmy style sprinkles are made of a colored dough, so they are generally safe, while nonpareils are coated in coloring, and they will bleed.

If you love sprinkles in your ice cream as much as we do, Make Sprinkles Ice Cream!

a wide, short, glass ice cream dish with scoops of christmas ice cream and a green frosted tree cookie topper.

Why is homemade ice cream hard to scoop?

You should see in the instructions that I recommend letting the ice cream sit at room temperature before scooping. Directly from the freezer, it will be too hard to scoop, but should be easy after thawing a bit.

Commercial ice creams typically include preservatives which allow them to be softer when frozen. Since our homemade ice cream doesn’t include any chemicals, we need to use time to get it soft enough.

Is it weird to eat ice cream in the winter?

Definitely not, and I would never call anyone weird for eating ice cream whenever they want to! Eating ice cream in winter is different than eating it in the hot summer months, but still very enjoyable and comforting, particularly if you’re warm and cozy on the couch.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes to Make

Here are some of our favorite ice cream making tools:

LET’S GET SOCIAL, you can follow us on Pinterest or leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Did you make this Christmas Ice Cream recipe? Leave a comment below letting us know what you thought and if you added any additional add-ins.

a wide, short, glass ice cream dish with scoops of christmas ice cream and a green frosted tree cookie topper.

Christmas Ice Cream

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

Christmas Ice Cream is the perfect homemade ice cream recipe for Christmas. It's rich and creamy with warm vanilla, holiday sprinkles, and bits of Christmas cookies mixed in.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup Christmas sugar cookies, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup holiday sprinkles, divided

Instructions

    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 the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and kosher salt. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. In the last two minutes of the churn, add the Christmas sugar cookies and ½ cup of the holiday sprinkles, reserving the remaining sprinkles.
    5. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining holiday sprinkles over the top of the ice cream.
    6. 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.

Notes

  • It is important that the granulated sugar dissolves into the milk. This creates a smoother consistency in your final ice cream. When you rub the mixture in between your fingers, you should feel no grit.
  • 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 find that holiday-colored jimmies sprinkles work the best in this recipe. The round nonpareils tend to change the color of the ice cream base very easily and it’s not as pretty once all of those colors combine. It’s also best if you do not overmix the ice cream once you’ve added the sprinkles as the color can start to run into the ice cream base if overmixed.
  • Use your favorite crunchy cristmas cookies in this recipe. Sugar cookies, anise cookies, or gingerbread cookies will all be delicious.
  • Optional add ins could include white chocolate shavings, chopped walnuts, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 694Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 229mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 0gSugar: 56gProtein: 5g

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