If you want the BEST and easiest Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream recipe, you’ve come to the right place! My husband’s grandma (Nana) is famous for this recipe! We serve it with Christmas cookies every year during the holidays, and with Nana’s Fudge Brownies every 4th of July.

peppermint ice cream

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Happy Monday everyone! Back to real life! Does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving break lasted for years? Long, happy years. I feel like I’m in a haze of pie, kind of like those few days in between Christmas and New Years, where you don’t know what day it is for an entire week and you’re living on Christmas cookies and fudge. Holidays are just the best, right?

I think our break felt longer than usual because of all the cancelled school days . Normal places have snow days, California on fire has smoke days. But hallelujah, it rained last week and the fires are 100% contained.

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peppermint ice cream recipe

How was your Thanksgiving?? It is always so fun checking my analytics on holidays so that I can see what you all are making for the big day. Literally the Best Mac and Cheese I’ve Ever Had was the top hit of the day!

christmas ice cream

We had a bit of a turkey fiasco around here. We bought a 25 pound FRESH turkey because it was the biggest one we could find and we had 30 people coming to our house to eat. Eric put it in the way back of our second fridge and turned the temperature down to make sure it would stay nice and fresh…and we woke up the day before Thanksgiving to a completely frozen turkey. It was 27 degrees at the center. How ironic is it that we bought a fresh turkey and ended up accidentally freezing it ourselves??

But we managed to get it thawed and even brined in time for Thanksgiving dinner, thank goodness. Just don’t tell the food safety police how we did it.

homemade ice cream

But now that Thanksgiving is out of the way (sorry Thanksgiving) it’s time for CHRISTMAS RECIPES!!! Homemade peppermint ice cream is one of my all time favorite Christmas dessert recipes.

How to make peppermint ice cream

Eric’s grandmother (Kris’s mom, for you regular readers who know my fabulous mother-in-law) is called Nana in our family. She is a very talented cook and has a LOT of great recipes, like Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies and Nana’s Fall-Off-the-Bone Ribs and “Barb”-ecue Sauce. (Her name is Barbara, get it?)

Christmas dessert recipes

But Nana’s peppermint ice cream might top the list. Eric’s family is downright obsessed with homemade peppermint ice cream, and it is a staple for dessert every Christmas and 4th of July. It might seem odd to eat peppermint ice cream in the middle of summer, but that’s where you’re wrong. Would YOU say no to a tall drippy cone of refreshingly bright minty ice cream on a swelteringly hot July day? I think not.

Christmas dessert recipes

The recipe could not be easier. Unlike many ice cream recipes, we are not cooking anything on the stove, so you don’t have to wait  for anything to cool down. Instead you just stir together a few ingredients, toss it in the ice cream maker, freeze, and devour. The ice cream is made with some half-and-half but mostly cream, which makes it luxuriously thick and rich.

peppermint ice cream

I was just texting with Kris about how many servings I should say this recipe makes. She said technically 1/2 cup ice cream is one serving, and I said 1/2 cup ice cream is a pitiful excuse for a serving. I stand by my claim, but for continuity’s sake I left it at about 1/2 cup per serving. But I dare you to try to eat only 1/2 cup of this stuff.

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for years because I didn’t have an ice cream maker, but finally decided to borrow my mom’s to make this recipe. You don’t need a fancy one, any ice cream maker that churns will do. If I were going to buy one I would get this one.

peppermint ice cream recipe

Nana always used star mints (round peppermint candies) to make her ice cream, but my sister-in-law Britta discovered a few years back that candy canes are way better (sorry Nana). Candy canes break up into thinner pieces than star mints, and are easier to crunch up in your mouth. This photo above is how finely you want to crush the peppermint that is folded into the cream before churning.

peppermint ice cream

It’s not Christmas without Nana’s Famous Peppermint Ice Cream! (Christmas ice cream is way better than regular ice cream, right?) On Wednesday I’m sharing my brother-in-law Spencer’s recipe for Molasses Crinkles, and when you combine these two….OH MAN. Just you wait.

More desserts you are going to love!

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Nana’s Famous Peppermint Ice Cream Recipe

5 from 9 votes
Prep: 45 minutes
Freeze Time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 10
If you want the BEST and easiest Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream recipe, you've come to the right place! My husband's grandma (Nana) is famous for this recipe! We serve it with Christmas cookies every year during the holidays, and with Nana's Fudge Brownies every 4th of July.


  • 6 cups heavy whipping cream*
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla, good quality
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 8 ounces finely crushed peppermint, about 12-14 candy canes**
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup additional coarsely crushed peppermint, about 3-5 candy canes**
  • ice, for churning (if your ice cream maker requires it)
  • rock salt, for churning (if your ice cream maker requires it)


  • In a large bowl or the bowl of your ice cream maker, add heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Stir it together well until sugar is well incorporated. 
  • In a food processor or blender, finely crush about 12-14 full size candy canes. You want about 8 ounces of candy ground up pretty well. How many candy canes you use depends on what size they are.
  • Add 8 ounces of finely crushed candy to the bowl with the cream. Stir well.
  • While you have the food processor out, use it to coarsely crush another 3-5 candy canes. You want to get between 1/3 and 1/2 cup, how much you use is your preference. Crush them into small to medium chunks, the size that you might like to bite into when you’re eating your ice cream later. Set aside. You won’t need these coarsely crushed ones until after your ice cream is churned, I just didn’t want you to clean out your food processor and then curse my name later when I told you to get it out again. 
  • Add the cream mixture to the bowl of your ice cream maker if you didn’t mix it there in the first place. Churn ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Mine takes about 40 minutes. The ice cream should be thick and about the consistency of soft serve. 
  • Use a long spoon to stir in 1/3 or 1/2 cup coarsely crushed candy canes. 
  • Transfer the mixture to a large tupperware or baking dish with a lid. A 9×5 inch bread pan would work. 
  • Cover well and freeze for several hours, at least 3-5, but 8 hours is best, or overnight. 
  • Serve as is or with additional crushed candy canes! This ice cream is AMAZING when paired with Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies!


*I always get questions about what heavy whipping cream is. It’s sold in the dairy section near the milk. Sometimes it’s just called heavy cream. It has a fat content of about 35-38%. 
**If you are making this when it’s not Christmas, use Starlight mints. You can always find them in the candy aisle at the grocery store.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 898kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 236mg | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 2442IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 898
Keyword: homemade, ice cream, peppermint
Did you make this? I’d love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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  1. Is there a way to make this without an ice cream maker? It sounds and looks delicious. The color is beautiful too!

    1. Hi jk! It would be tasty but wouldn’t give you the same crunch or level of pepperminty-ness as starlight mints. Enjoy!

  2. I’ve made this countless times.  I found the candy –even finely ground–tends to congeal.  To stop this, I have combined it with just the sugar for about 10 minutes–and let the whole bowl set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  The ground candy canes dissolve and make a beautiful color.  Then, I make the ice cream.  It is luscious and beautiful.  It is a favorite of ours on gingerbread or brownies.  It does make a lot!!!  I usually halve the recipe which still makes over 2 qts of ice cream.  Thank you!!

    1. Hi Elaine! Thanks for sharing your detailed notes! That is such a good idea to combine the sugar and peppermint.I’m so glad you are enjoying the ice cream, Nana would be so pleased :)

    1. Hi Kelley! I did not. Maybe the brand of candy cane matters? I don’t remember what kind I had for this photo shoot. a few drops of red food coloring would be really pretty though! Good idea.

  3. This is the best Peppermint ice cream I have ever eaten. And Peppermint has always been a favorite! 
    It looks and tastes just like described! I have now made it twice. Always perfect!  
    I was skeptical about a whole tablespoon of vanilla but I used it!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Bill! I love Nana’s ice cream so much. It’s on my list to make this week! A Christmas classic. Thanks so much for your review!

  4. Wondering what consistency this recipe turns out as? I’ve made homemade ice cream a few times, all with recipes similar to this one that call for whipping cream and half and half. My ice cream has always turned out more like whipped cream than ice cream. Any tips for this? 

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Sounds like you need new ice cream maker! Or maybe leave it in longer? If it’s not making it all the way to ice cream consistency, it means it hasn’t been processed in the machine long enough. You should be able to see from the photos on the post that this recipe yields an ice cream consistency, hard when frozen, not a whipped cream consistency. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  5. This recipe is really good! I’m glad I paid attention and halved it so it would fit in my ice cream maker since it makes a lot :)

    Wanted to ask if you have used this base to make other ice creams? Like everything but the mint and candy canes and just added whatever flavor. I am looking to make some lemon blue berry ice cream but most include too much cream or condensed milk and I really liked how this one doesn’t feel waxy after being frozen for a while.

    1. I’m glad you halved it too, there’s nothing worse than missing pivotal info in a recipe like that! I do it all the time still, haha! I haven’t tried making other flavors with this recipe, but it’s on my to-do list. Let me know how the lemon blueberry turns out! I think it will be good!

      1. Sorry, didn’t see your reply until now. I haven’t tried the blueberry lemon yet but, we made chocolate chip mint today using this as a base and the kids loved it. Once I have more fresh mint I will probably try using that next time. 

  6. Peppermint ice cream is my all time favorite. It’s so hard to find really good quality at the store so I am super excited to make this!

  7. Amazing recipe and looks great!!!Thank you for sharing! can’t wait to try it at home and report back with my results!

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