Easy Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Easy Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Looking for a naturally-sweet treat for an upcoming holiday gathering? With the success of our “natural” hot chocolate, we’ve been playing around with other naturally sweetened holiday treats. We were excited to find that honey works just as well as a sweetener for ice cream as it does in hot chocolate!

(Admittedly, there is a bit of sugar in the candy cane bits, but we couldn’t resist them for their festive look! Maybe some readers know of a source of natural candy canes?)

Surprisingly, honey does a great job sweetening this ice cream, without adding that distinctive honey taste.

Another good thing? Since this recipe is made only with coconut milk, it’s a breeze to throw together. Instead of having to cook a custard over the stove like a typical ice cream, you only need to mix up the coconut milk with the honey, and freeze.

While the coconut milk base tastes slightly different than a cream-based ice cream, it turned out surprisingly creamy, with a texture very similar to traditional ice cream. And it was just as satisfying – with less work (and a dairy-free dessert option, for those of you looking for one!).

It’s so easy, we’re already dreaming up new flavors to throw together. Give it a try for a holiday gathering – or use it as a base for your favorite flavor!


Easy Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

1 Star (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 2 14-ounce cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • Candy canes or peppermint sticks – enough to make 1/2 cup crushed


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cans coconut milk, 1/3 to 1/2 cup honey (depending on how sweet you’d like your ice cream), 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract.
  2. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker. Or, make it without the machine.
  3. Meanwhile, crush the candy canes to yield 1/2 cups crushed (we crushed them with a rolling pin in cheesecloth). Add to the ice cream maker in the last 30 seconds or so. You can eat the ice cream right away, or freeze it for a few hours for a harder texture. Enjoy!


Inspired by The Nourishing Gourmet


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    December 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Whole foods sometimes carries more natural candy canes- its still a sugar candy, so they aren’t too wholesome (they’re isn’t a whole lot you can do about that with hard sugar candies), but they don’t have artificial dyes.

  • Reply
    December 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    That looks so pretty in your green sherbet dish! I just about taste the peppermint ~ yum!
    Merry Christmas to you both. Lisa in Indy

  • Reply
    December 22, 2011 at 9:17 am

    The ice cream looks wonderful and is perfect for the season. This is my first visit to your blog, so I decided to take some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic}
    December 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    It sounds great. How different is the taste than regular ice cream? I can understand the texture being different (as you mentioned) but I cannot think of what the taste would be like… (other than delicious).

  • Reply
    Nicole Krajewski
    December 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I’m trying this for Christmas day! We ‘won’ an ancient ice cream-maker at a white elephant party!… perfect timing. ( Do I need rock salt for the ice-cream maker, or do I not need to churn it?) Nicole K. in SoBro

    • Reply
      December 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Fun! Our ice cream maker doesn’t use rock salt, but if yours is old then it might need it. You do need to churn it. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    This looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    nicole krajewski
    December 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

    The peppermint ice cream was a big hit at my Christmas gathering! I made another batch the next night because we had another dinner party. I left out the peppermint oil and peppermints. Instead, I added an additional 1/2 tsp of vanilla and about 3 cups of sliced strawberries….. delicious! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Question: when making sans ice-cream maker, when do you put the peppermint sticks in? Thinking of serving with chocolate fondue (with peeps for dipping) tomorrow night!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Sounds wonderful! We’ve never tried to make ice cream without a maker. I would think you could use them as a topping or mix in at the end, or leave them out altogether (the extract has a lot of flavor!)

  • Reply
    Bernadette @ B3HD
    September 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Just about the season for me to try this out. Pinned it and will give it a try.

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