Peppermint Ice Cream

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This peppermint ice cream is such an easy and festive recipe perfect for the holiday season, but why not make it year-round?!  Don’t worry if you don’t have an ice cream machine, I’ve included alternate instructions as well. I find it hard to find peppermint ice cream during the year in grocery stores, unless it’s mint chocolate chip ice cream. (This post was originally published on December 10, 2013)

Peppermint ice cream in glass dish.

It’s not a completely authentic “ice cream recipe”, as it does not contain egg yolks. But if you’re looking for an egg-free ice cream recipe, this is for you. This is a fast-ish recipe if you have an ice cream maker. If you don’t, you’ll need to plan ahead and allow the ice cream to freeze over-night. It’s delicious on its own, but I usually make it into candy cane ice cream pie because it’s a holiday favorite. Even if you do have an ice cream maker, ice cream is better when it’s had a chance to “cure” overnight. If you want to eat it right away, it will have the consistency of soft serve.

Ingredients for homemade peppermint ice cream

peppermint ice cream ingredients.

This recipe is adapted from All Recipes. In place of tempered egg yolks, this recipe uses a can of sweetened condensed milk. No need to cook an egg and milk mixture over a double boiler! 

  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk.
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Pure peppermint extract in place of vanilla extract
  • Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies. It’s hard to find candy canes or peppermint sticks any time other than the holidays, but you can find those “restaurant” or starlight mints in the candy section of many drug stores. 

How to make homemade peppermint stick ice cream

If you’re using an ice cream maker:

Make sure your ice cream container has been in the freezer for at least 24 hours (or what the manufacturer’s instructions say). It’s important to have a frozen bowl. I use this ice cream maker, which is reasonably priced. My dream ice cream maker is similar to the one we used in pastry class; just pour all the ingredients in and press start!

  • Crush the peppermint candy with a rolling pin or in a food processor until the candy cane pieces are in small pieces. 
  • Mix the whole milk, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk and peppermint extract together in a large bowl until the mixture is blended. Check flavor and add more peppermint depending on your taste. Remember that the crushed peppermint candies will add more peppermint flavor too.
  • Pour ice cream mixture into the freezer container of ice cream maker. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and churn ice cream until nearly set. Fold in crusted peppermint candies or candy canes and and finish churning. 
  • Place ice cream in an airtight container. I like these cute quart ice cream containers

If you don’t have an ice cream mixer:

If you don’t have an ice cream mixer, you’ll want to replicate the creamy texture of churned ice cream. Pouring the ice cream directly into a loaf pan and freezing the mixture will result in ice crystals forming and you’ll end up with rock hard ice cream. Whipping the heavy cream, and then blending the remaining ingredients will help lighten up the mixture. 

  • Crush the peppermint candies.
  • Mix the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and peppermint extract together. 
  • In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
  • Fold the milk mixture into the whipped cream, then pour into a freezer-safe container or metal bowl. Let ice cream base freeze for a couple of hours. Remove from freezer and beat the mixture with a whip or hand mixer. 
  • Return ice cream to the freezer and continue freezing for several more hours for soft-serve or overnight for firmer ice cream. 
Serving ice cream.

Why is my peppermint ice cream pink?

The red food coloring in the crushed candies will give the peppermint ice cream a pink color. 

closeup of peppermint ice cream.

How else can I serve peppermint ice cream?

  • Our favorite way to use peppermint ice cream is to pile it into cookie crust pie shell and top it with hot fudge for candy cane ice cream pie!
  • Fold in crushed chocolate mint sandwich cookies, chocolate chips or swirl in fudge sauce.
  • Make a peppermint milk shake.
  • Add a splash of peppermint liqueur for an adult twist.
  • I like this ice cream scoop!

Ice cream container.

How to make Candy Cane Ice Cream Pie


  • 1 quart peppermint ice cream
  • 20 peppermint sandwich cookies or Candy Cane Joe Joes from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounce jar hot fudge sauce or homemade.
  • 8 small candy canes for decoration.
Candy cane ice cream pie is a festive holiday dessert that is so easy to make! A chocolate cookie crust holds creamy candy cane ice cream, hot fudge, and crushed candy canes.

Pulse the cookies and butter in a food processor until all the cookies chopped fine and mixture resembles sandy crumbs. Press cookie crumbs into an 8 inch pie plate, pressing down the bottom and sides. Freeze until ready to use.

Chocolate cookie crust for a candy cane ice cream pie

Pile peppermint ice cream into pie dish, smoothing top. Spread cooled hot fudge over top of pie and freeze until firm. Decorate with crushed peppermint or mini candy canes.

Looking for more holiday desserts?

English Trifle is a classic Christmas dessert.

top shot of trifle.

Lemon Posset is a quick and easy dessert that takes 10 minutes to make. It’s ready to serve after 2 hours of chilling.

posset on black tray.

Tiramisu is another super easy dessert to make. 20 minutes to make and a few hours to chill.

tiramisu close up

Cranberry Pie

Nantucket Cranberry Pie Recipe | @whatagirleats
Nantucket Cranberry Pie.

3 Nut Tart

close up nut tart.
peppermint ice cream feature.

Peppermint Ice Cream

Easy peppermint ice cream using sweetened condensed milk.
5 from 39 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Freeze 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 391 kcal



  • Combine the sweetened condensed milk, cream, whole milk and peppermint extract in a bowl and mix until blended.
  • Pour mixture into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker.
  • Follow instructions and churn until ice cream is soft set. Fold in crushed peppermint candies.
  • Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze for several hours or overnight for firm ice cream.


  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, follow these directions:
  • Whip cream until soft peaks form. 
  • Blend whole milk and peppermint extract together. 
  • Fold milk mixture into whipped cream.
  • Pour into a metal loaf pan and freeze for several hours.
  • Remove and fold in crushed peppermint candies.
  • Return to freezer until ice cream is firm.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 391kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 6gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 82mgPotassium: 267mgSugar: 37gVitamin A: 885IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 204mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Cynthia this sounds so easy and looks delicious. I’m an ice cream lover, cookie lover and defintely like my desserts so now I’ll have to give this recipe a try. I’m still in the peppermint state of mind too, perfect for a weekend dessert.

    Pinning and sharing. Thanks for sharing this with Foodie Friends Friday Best of 2013 party this week.

    We look forward to seeing you again soon,

  2. 5 stars
    YUMMMM!! Made this for Christmas Eve family get-together and everyone praised it. I don’t have an ice cream maker either, so thanks for the method without it! One less kitchen gadget to have to buy. I used to get peppermint ice cream in my area (Philly) but haven’t seen it recently (sigh), but now I don’t care! Just make sure you beat the heavy cream to soft peaks – it sets up better. My stand mixer made easy work of it. Freezing the bowl and beater really help it reach that point quicker, although it’s still delicious as soft serve I think! Thanks for the recipe!

5 from 39 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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