This peppermint ice cream is rich and creamy, flavored like a peppermint stick! It’s the perfect minty treat.

Peppermint Ice Cream

Love homemade ice cream? Then we’ve got a treat for you: this Peppermint Ice Cream recipe! It tastes just like a peppermint stick, flavored with both extract and crushed candies. The texture is lusciously creamy, and the candy shards of red and white give it the perfect festive look. It’s fun to whip up at home and will wow everyone! This one got a hearty two thumbs up from everyone over here, and it’s now solidified as a holiday tradition.

Ingredients in peppermint ice cream

This peppermint stick ice cream tastes just like the signature candy, but with a lusciously creamy texture. It’s a spin on our popular mint chocolate chip ice cream, with peppermint candy standing in for chocolate. The base is a classic vanilla homemade ice cream, and we use our signature trick of cornstarch to keep the texture creamy over time. Here’s what you’ll need for this ice cream recipe:

  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Peppermint sticks or candies
Peppermint Ice Cream

How to crush peppermint candy

You can use pre-crushed peppermint candies for this peppermint ice cream, which we actually found in stock at our local grocery store. But otherwise, you can simply crush candy canes! Place them in a small ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to gently crush them into small pieces.

Required equipment: ice cream maker

This peppermint ice cream recipe requires an ice cream maker. You’ll find this piece of equipment a great investment you can use to make sorbetssherbet and ice cream year round! There are two main types of ice cream makers to try:

  • Freezer bowl ice cream maker (inexpensive). Any sort of freezer bowl ice cream maker is the most economical choice. Here’s the 2 quart freezer bowl ice cream maker we use; it’s a little pricier than some but it’s held up well over the years. For this type of maker, be sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.
  • Automatic ice cream maker (expensive but easy to use!). Do you make ice cream often? You might want to consider this automatic ice cream maker, which is larger and more expensive. It requires no pre-freezing of the base, so you can make ice cream any time you please! You can also make multiple batches back to back without needing to freeze the base again.
Peppermint Ice Cream

How to make peppermint ice cream (basic steps)

This peppermint ice cream recipe uses the classic method for making ice cream: make a custard on the stovetop, chill it, churn it in an ice cream maker, then freeze to “ripen” the texture. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Make the custard (5 minutes): Simmer the cornstarch, whole milk and sugar for 4 to 5 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Then add in the heavy cream, more milk, vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt.
  • Cool the custard (1 hour): Cool down the custard before churning it. You can do this in a few ways. The quickest is to transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl and place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour.
  • Churn (25 minutes): Churn the ice cream in the ice cream maker. In the last 1 minute of churning, add the peppermint candies.
  • Freeze or “ripen” for hard ice cream texture (at least 2 hours or overnight): Freeze the ice cream for 2 hours or overnight for a scoop-able, hard ice cream texture.
Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Variations and mix-ins

This peppermint ice cream recipe is tasty straight up. with a bit of additional crushed candies sprinkled over the top. Or, add more mix-ins to make an even more decadent treat! Here are a few ideas:

  • Chocolate chunks (chopped, or poured like in this mint chocolate chip)
  • Crumbled cookies, like gingersnaps, Oreos, chocolate cookies, etc
  • Other types of mint candies, like Andes mints or white peppermint chips

What else would you add to your peppermint ice cream? Let us know in the comments below.

More ice cream flavors

Love a good homemade ice cream? Here are all our top ice cream flavors:

This peppermint ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Peppermint ice cream

Peppermint Ice Cream

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


This peppermint ice cream is rich and creamy, flavored like a peppermint stick! It’s the perfect minty treat.


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candy


Note: Make sure to freeze the base of your ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.

  1. In a medium saucepan, slowly whisk the cornstarch into 1 cup cold whole milk, then whisk in the sugar. Apply medium heat and heat for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking frequently, until nearly simmering and the mixture thickens.
  2. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ½ cup whole milk, heavy cream, salt, peppermint extract and vanilla extract. 
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour, making sure not to splash any water into the ice cream. Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 to 4 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Churn according to your ice cream maker instructions, about 25 minutes for soft serve consistency. In the last minute, add the crushed peppermint candy. 
  5. Transfer the churned ice cream into a loaf pan or storage container, adding some additional crushed candies over the top if desired. Place the container in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours (or overnight, covered with foil or parchment), which “ripens” the ice cream and creates the hard ice cream texture. Store in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top or a sealed container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Frozen
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Peppermint ice cream, peppermint stick ice cream, peppermint ice cream recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. what a fun ice cream to make for this time of year, looks great too and love the peppermint bits incorporated in all of it, thank you!