Peppermint Ice Cream

This festive Peppermint Ice cream is packed with crushed candy canes and is perfect for the Holidays.

It’s a Philadelphia style ice cream recipe, which is churned in an ice cream maker using fresh milk and cream to create a wonderful creamy texture.

This Peppermint Stick Ice Cream recipe is egg free. It’s also gluten free and nut free.

a glass bowl filled with scoops of pink ice cream. Crushed candy canes top the ice cream.

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream is a seasonal favorite, but with this homemade ice cream recipe you can make Peppermint Ice Cream any time of year.

Enjoy this minty treat with your Christmas desserts, or on a cozy night in, wrapped up in front of the TV.

I am particularly thrilled with the way this recipe turned out, because peppermint stick ice cream is one of my all-time favorites. I go out of my way to find it at stores throughout the winter.

The flavors of this homemade peppermint ice cream are spot-on, with lots of vanilla and just the right amount of peppermint flavor. The candy cane pieces add the perfect amount of crunch.

If you like this holiday ice cream recipe, you also need to try making Christmas Ice Cream, which is full of Christmas cookie pieces and red and green sprinkles.

Readers also like this Eggnog Ice Cream. Another seasonal favorite is Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, which is great for October, November, and any other time of year that you’re craving some pumpkin spice.

There are so many delicious ice cream flavors to make.

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

  • It’s So Christmassy! The colors and flavors of Peppermint Ice cream are so festive. Pink, vanilla mint ice cream with pretty pieces of candy canes just screams “Christmas”. This ice cream is best enjoyed with Holiday music and a mug of hot cocoa.
  • Easy to Make: Philadelphia style ice cream recipes are easier than traditional custard based recipes, but still have a wonderful creamy texture. There’s no cooking involved in this Peppermint Ice Cream recipe.
  • No Eggs Needed: Some churned ice creams require egg yolks to create a creamy custard base. Not this one. It’s creamy and perfect without any eggs to worry about.
  • No Chemicals: Store bought ice creams are often filled with preservatives. You don’t need any to make this homemade ice cream recipe. Peppermint ice creams will also typically have food dyes in them, particularly red #40. If you choose dye free candy canes, this recipe will be dye free.
Ingredients for peppermint stick ice cream are laid on a marble countertop in separate bowls. Just 6 ingredients, including crushed candy canes, sugar, and cream.

Ingredients in Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream

  • Whole Milk – The first of our dairy items adds bulk and aids in getting the perfect creamy texture. In this recipe milk dissolves the sugar and some of the candy cane powder.
  • Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the perfect choice.
  • Candy Canes – Crush the candy canes into small pieces. You should end up with some chunks, but a good amount of candy cane “dust” as well. Choose dye-free candy canes if you want an all-natural ice cream.
  • Heavy Cream – The basis for all good ice creams is rich heavy cream. 
  • Salt – A bit of salt makes the peppermint flavor really pop. Salt also balances the sweetness of this recipe.
  • Peppermint Extract – Peppermint extract, along with the candy canes, is the flavor star in this minty dessert. Make sure you use peppermint, rather than plain mint or wintergreen. Using one of those will make your ice cream taste like toothpaste rather than peppermint candy.
  • Vanilla Extract – A good quality pure vanilla extract adds flavor and balance to peppermint ice cream.

If you have any questions about how to make Peppermint Ice Cream, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you soon.

Photo collage showing 6 steps needed to make peppermint ice cream.

How to Make Peppermint Stick Ice Cream from Scratch

  1. In a large bowl, combine whole milk, granulated sugar and ½ cup of the crushed candy canes.
  2. 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 mixture in the frozen bowl of your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  5. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream.
  6. Allow the ice cream to 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 for Peppermint Stick Ice Cream please see the recipe below.

closeup view of a glass ice cream dish filled with scoops of pink peppermint ice cream with crushed candy canes on top

How to Store Peppermint Ice Cream

Store this Peppermint Stick 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 Peppermint 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.
  • Make this recipe any time – If you want to make peppermint ice cream, but it’s March or July and you can’t find candy canes, just use red and white starlight mints instead. Peppermint sticks can sometimes be found year round as well.
  • For Less Mess – Buy pre-crushed candy canes and avoid doing it yourself.

Try our hot chocolate ice cream recipe next!

a metal ice cream scoop making a scoop of peppermint stick ice cream.

No churn Peppermint Ice Cream Directions

Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you mix the ice cream ingredients. Add in the crushed candy canes last.

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.

Peppermint Ice Cream Add-ins

  • Peppermint is a tough flavor. Or maybe it’s just a really good flavor, because there aren’t many flavors that will go with it, and it doesn’t really need any other flavors to enhance it.
  • Chocolate. If you want to add more texture or flavor, I suggest trying chopped white or dark chocolate.
  • Crushed Cookies. A chocolatey cookie like a Milano, or the Milano cookies with peppermint that are available seasonally could be really good crushed into this ice cream.
  • Holiday Sprinkles. You can always add sprinkles to this ice cream (or any ice cream, really). I suggest Red and White jimmies.

What’s the best way to crush candy canes?

Crushing candy canes or peppermint sticks is easy, and a great way to burn off some steam! Just place your candy canes into a gallon size freezer bag. Seal the bag, and use a kitchen mallet, heavy rolling pin, or a small hammer to smash them into small pieces.

Move the bag around a few times to make sure you get to every piece. Crushed candy canes are a bit sharp, and may poke through the bag, so just be careful not to create any large holes or get plastic in your recipe.

Can I make peppermint ice cream with dye free candy canes?

Yes you can. This recipe works perfectly with naturally colored peppermint candy.

Do I add food coloring to make peppermint ice cream pink?

No need! the coloring from the candy canes will give your ice cream this beautiful pastel pink color.

a glass bowl filled with scoops of pink ice cream. Crushed candy canes top the ice cream. text at bottom of image states Peppermint ice cream recipe

How many candy canes make 3/4 cup of crushed candy canes?

You’ll need approximately 9 regular sized candy canes to get 3/4 cup of crushed candy for peppermint ice cream.

Is Peppermint extract the same as Mint extract?

The two are actually very different. For this recipe, or any that call for peppermint extract, you should be sure not to use mint extract. The flavor of mint extract is too minty and strong for peppermint ice cream.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes and Treats

We also have a fantastic resource on Gelato vs. Ice Cream, if you’re interested in learning more about ice cream making.

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

Did you make this Peppermint Ice Cream? Leave a comment below letting us know what you thought! Let us know if you added any additional add-ins too.

a glass bowl filled with scoops of pink ice cream. Crushed candy canes top the ice cream.

Peppermint Ice Cream

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

This festive Peppermint Ice cream is packed with crushed candy canes and is perfect for the Holidays. The sweet vanilla and peppermint flavor is amazing.

Ingredients

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

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 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 ice cream 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.

Notes

    • 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 refrigerator for an hour or so until it is chilled. Your ice cream bowl should be frozen solid and you should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake it.
    • 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.
    • Do not use wintergreen or mint flavored extract. Be sure it is peppermint. You’ll get a toothpaste-like flavor if you use something other than peppermint extract. Use the peppermint extract sparingly. I don’t recommend going over the 1 teaspoon written in the recipe as the ice cream flavor will be overpowering.
    • To make this recipe all-natural, choose dye free candy canes.

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

Did you make this recipe?

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Peppermint Ice Cream Recipe

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8 Comments

    1. Hi Amanda,
      I think you can use a combination of cashew milk (in place of the whole milk) and full fat coconut cream (in place of the heavy cream), and get a similar “ice cream” consistency. The peppermint should cover up most of the coconut flavor.

      If you make it, please stop back by and let us know how it turned out!

      Best,
      Ice Cream From Scratch Team

  1. We love making homemade ice cream in a 5 quart ice cream churn with a dasher. Can I use this churn if I adjust ingredients to make 5 quarts?

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