Peppermint Ice Cream

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Cool, creamy, and with just the right amount of mint flavor, this easy peppermint ice cream is perfect for winter — or any time you get a craving!

Y’all know my family is obsessed with ice cream, no matter the time of year.

That means I am constantly making it, whether it is rocky road ice cream, classic chocolate ice cream, or tart cranberry ice cream.

Two bowls of peppermint ice cream.

In December there’s not much more festive than a candy cane, so it’s only natural peppermint ice cream comes into play at my house.

My peppermint ice cream uses the perfect amount of peppermint extract and crushed candies to make a cooling treat that doesn’t overwhelm the palate.

Plus, this recipe doesn’t require eggs, so it’s easy to make with no worries about curdled egg bits.

Enjoy on its own, in a cone, or on top of pie!

Ingredients for peppermint ice cream

You’ll need:

Ingredients for a candy cane ice cream.

Heavy cream – Also known as heavy whipping cream, this makes a rich and creamy frozen treat.

Granulated sugar – You’ll need ¾ cups of sugar.

Salt – Just a pinch! Salt livens up the ingredients in any dish, even sweet.

Milk – Use 2% milk for this recipe. 

If you use whole milk, your ice cream will be richer and thicker. Skim or lowfat milk will make a less thick ice cream.

Vanilla – I normally recommend pure vanilla extract, but if you don’t want the slight coloring from the extract, you can use a clear extract, which is imitation.

Peppermint extract – I use an equal amount of vanilla and peppermint extracts in this recipe.

Note that peppermint extract can be very strong in flavor, so don’t increase it too much. You’ll get extra peppermint flavor from the candy.

Crushed candy canes – Who doesn’t love a classic candy cane? Use extra candy canes for this ice cream.

If you don’t have candy canes on hand or want to make this recipe in the summertime, you can use any hard peppermint candy, such as starlight mints.

Two bowls of ice cream with candy canes and spoons.

How to make this recipe

First, you’ll want to make sure the insert for your ice cream maker is completely frozen. Don’t remove it from the freezer until you’re ready to churn the ice cream.

I recommend putting it in the freezer the night before you plan to make the ice cream. I keep my insert stored in the freezer just in case I get an ice cream craving!

Crush the candy canes in a food processor or using a mallet. You’ll get both fine “dust” pieces as well as larger chunks, but make sure no pieces are bigger than a pea.

Note that if it is humid in your house, the candy cane pieces will stick together as they sit in the bowl. You can either sprinkle on a very small amount of cornstarch to coat the candies, or simply break them apart again using a fork.

In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and salt.

Heat over medium and whisk ingredients together, warming just enough to dissolve the sugar and salt in the cream.

Once dissolved, transfer the mixture to a bowl or a large liquid measuring cup. I use a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.

Whisk in the milk, vanilla, and peppermint extracts until blended.

Add in 2 tablespoons of the crushed candy canes and stir well. We’re infusing the mixture here with the candy cane flavor and color.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to churn the ice cream, set up your ice cream machine and put in the frozen insert.

Remove the ice cream base from the fridge and give it another whisk; the candy cane pieces might have stuck to the bottom of the bowl.

Turn on the machine and pour in the ice cream mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed to get all the candy cane pieces.

Churn the ice cream until it is thick and looks like soft serve.

The amount of time it takes to churn the ice cream will depend on your ice cream machine. Mine takes about 30 minutes.

At the end of churning, pour in the remaining candy cane pieces. Let it churn a couple of minutes more just to disperse the candy.

Turn off the machine and scoop the ice cream into containers.

Place in the freezer and chill until solid.

This peppermint ice cream is slightly softer thanks to the additional extracts, which makes it easy to scoop. I recommend enjoying immediately after scooping!

This recipe makes about 1 ½ quarts.

Two bowls of ice cream with candy canes.

Storage tips

To store your ice cream, I recommend lined paper containers, or an insulated ice cream container.

Loaf pans do not work well to store ice cream. They are not well-insulated, and because they have no lid, it is easy for freezer burn to form under the layer of plastic wrap or foil used to cover the ice cream.

However, if you plan to eat the ice cream immediately, a loaf pan will work for freezer chilling.

Homemade peppermint ice cream will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.

Candy cane ice cream in a bowl with a spoon.


How many candy canes do I need for this recipe?

I used 5 standard size candy canes to yield 1/3 cup of crushed candy canes.

What’s the best way to crush candy canes?

To make the candy pieces nice and small, I recommend using a food processor on the Chop setting. A smaller processor will work great for this.

You can also crush the candy by placing it in a plastic bag, sealing the bag, and hitting the candy with a rolling pin or meat mallet. 

However, keep in mind that this method can be a bit messy, as the plastic tends to tear the more you hit it.

Candy canes on a white table.

What else can I do with leftover candy canes?

Crushed candy canes or mints are a great ingredient to add to so many delicious recipes!

Use them to make your own Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s or peppermint bark — both perfect for gift giving.

You can also use them to make your own peppermint vodka, which you can then use to make a peppermint white Russian cocktail. Talk about festive!

Can I add food coloring to this recipe?

Some peppermint ice cream recipes call for a bit of red food coloring to make a bright pink color. 

If you want to add food coloring, mix in a little at a time until you get the color you desire. You will need just a few drops!

Can I make this recipe without an ice cream maker?

You do need an ice cream maker for this recipe, as it takes care of the chilling and churning for you.

However, you can adapt my no-churn ice cream recipe to be peppermint flavor. Simply mix in the peppermint extract and candy canes to the base recipe!

A bowl of ice cream with candy canes in it.

Try this peppermint ice cream in a cone or bowl drizzled with chocolate sauce. Yum!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star review below!
It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.

Two bowls of peppermint ice cream.

Peppermint Ice Cream

This egg-free peppermint ice cream has just the right amount of peppermint flavor for the perfect cooling taste. Use crushed candy canes or striped mints.
Author : Megan Myers
5 from 33 votes
Print Pin Recipe Review
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Servings 8
Calories 321 kcal


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, about 5 candy canes, divided use


  • Make sure to freeze the container of your ice cream maker at least a day in advance. Keep in the freezer until ready to churn.
  • Add heavy cream, sugar, and salt to a saucepan and heat over medium. Whisk to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
  • Whisk in the milk, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Add 2 tablespoons of the crushed candy canes and stir well. Cover and chill mixture in the refrigerator 2 hours or longer.
  • When ready to churn, set up your ice cream maker, placing the chilled core. Whisk liquid to reincorporate ingredients, then pour into ice cream machine. Churn according to manufacturer's instructions, until you have a soft serve consistency. Just before the end of churning, add the remaining crushed candy canes and let mix.
  • Scoop ice cream into containers and freeze until solid.


  • Makes about 1.5 quarts.
  • Ice cream will remain soft and easy to scoop; enjoy directly after scooping.
  • Candy canes can be crushed in a food processor, or placed into a plastic bag and smashed with a mallet.


Serving: 0.5 cupCalories: 321 kcalCarbohydrates: 29 gProtein: 3 gFat: 22 gSaturated Fat: 14 gCholesterol: 70 mgSodium: 30 mgPotassium: 100 mgSugar: 27 gIron: 0.1 mg

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.

Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below!

About Megan

I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…

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