Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

I’ll be completely honest with you. I was both excited and nervous about making this ice cream. Excited, obviously, because it’s cinnamon ice cream and it’s now September and I had all kinds of delicious visions of apple pie with cinnamon ice cream dancing in my head. A little nervous because, well, I was afraid that the ice cream might taste like a giant piece of Big Red gum. Not that there’s anything wrong with Big Red, but it’s just so, well, cinnamon-y in an obnoxious-drunk-person-at-the-bar kind of way. I was so elated when I took my first freshly-churned spoonful and the clean, light cinnamon flavor danced around my mouth in a graceful-ballerina kind of way.

Apple & Cinnamon Ice Cream Sundae

Now aside from the obvious pairings of pies and crisps, I thought that this ice cream would make a fabulous base for a sundae with sauteed apples and a drizzle of caramel. My suspicions were correct – this is a fantastic combination of warm and cold, sweet and tart. A fabulous way to enjoy an ice cream sundae once the fall season settles in. Love. Love, love, love.

Cinnamon Ice Cream with Sauteed Apples and Caramel

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Yield: About 1 quart

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes (active), 8 hours (inactive)

Cook Time: 20 minutes (churn time)

Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes


1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Ten 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken up
2 cups heavy cream, divided
5 egg yolks


1. Warm the milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon sticks and 1 cup of the heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Once warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Rewarm the cinnamon-infused milk mixture. Remove the cinnamon sticks with a slotted spoon and discard them. Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (should reach 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and into the cream. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

(Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)


56 Responses to “Cinnamon Ice Cream”

  1. Chef Bee on September 3, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Looks like a bowlfull of Heaven.

    Plan B


  2. DessertForTwo on September 3, 2010 at 1:16 am

    In my hometown, the local ice cream shop made cinnamon ice cream and it was always the first to sell out! And that says a lot in a world of chocolate ice creams!
    I’m so glad to have your recipe! 🙂


  3. Lizab on September 3, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Well I LOVE Big Red gum – not that we get it very often over here in NZ!! I’m lucky enough to live on a sheep and beef farm and we have our own farm milk/cream from the house-cow and eggs from our chooks. I love making ice-cream and I love cinnamon, so I will definitely be trying your recipe very soon! Thx so much :)-


  4. notyet100 on September 3, 2010 at 5:47 am

    i can smell this from here,..looks so perfect


  5. Lauren at KeepItSweet on September 3, 2010 at 6:27 am

    yum, now i just need an ice cream maker:-)


  6. Katie on September 3, 2010 at 7:11 am

    This is one of my all time favourite ice cream flavours! I adore cinnamon but its so hard to find here. I’ve never seen it sold in the shops – only from specialist ice cream places. How I wish I had an ice cream machine to make my own. Yours looks divine and so creamy and smooth


  7. Katrina on September 3, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I love cinnamon, although I’m glad to hear this ice cream isn’t too over powering. It sounds and looks great!


  8. Keeley on September 3, 2010 at 8:40 am

    This would be sooo good on top of a fruit cobbler!


  9. heather on September 3, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’m glad you got past the initial fears and made it… and that was wonderful. This is the first Perfect Scoop recipe I declared was “a must,” yet here I am one year later and still haven’t made it. We’d get cinnamon ice cream as a treat once a year when it was available from Schwann’s. My grandma would buy a tub and we’d go to town. It was incredible. Nothing at all like Big Red gum, thankfully. Now we know we can make it all year long without worry. And I hope to do just that!




  10. foodlvr on September 3, 2010 at 9:05 am

    This sounds so good. It will be excellent with apple pie at Thanksgiving.


  11. Jenny Flake on September 3, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Seriously just gorgeous! I need a bowl at this instant for breakfast 🙂


  12. Heather @ The Single Dish on September 3, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Yum, this flavor sounds delicious! Great with any sort of pie, maybe pumpkin pie. Or with a berry crisp- I am drooling!


  13. Paula on September 3, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I can almost smell the cool cinnamon ice cream and those warmed apple slices!


  14. Theresa on September 3, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Glad to hear that it wasn’t over powering and looks so good with those apples. Yum!


  15. Kristin on September 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Yummy! I think it would be awesome to add some brown sugar in place of some white sugar to make this even more caramelly and fall-like. We have an ice cream place here in the south that has a cinnamon ice cream and a pumpkin ice cream in the fall. I love having a scoop of each!


  16. Tracy on September 3, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Love it! I made cinnamon spice ice cream last year, and now it’s one of my favorite ice cream flavors!!


  17. elly on September 3, 2010 at 11:17 am

    This could actually be my favorite ice cream recipe I’ve made to date. I loved it so much. I made it for Thanksgiving last year and everyone is requesting it again. The sundae looks fabulous.


  18. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle on September 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I’m an avowed cinnamonaholic; but not sure I can recall having cinnamon ice cream. I would love it topped with some melted Mexican chocolate…which is tinged with a bit of cinnamon. Have a feeling my not recalling status to change very soon. Appreciate the recipe!


  19. Jen @ How To: Simplify on September 3, 2010 at 11:45 am

    This ice cream is perfect for the fall weather! I would love a massive bowl of this right now!


  20. penandra on September 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

    It looks delicious and I’m going to have to try it . . . as I was reading your post my eyes kept going back to the picture looking for little brown specs, but then I read through the recipe and I love that the flavor comes from steeping the cinnamon sticks in the warm milk. My current fave homemade ice cream is chai latte, and this past weekend I experimented with chai latte popsicles . . . so I’m thinking that the cinnamon would be bringing the spices down a notch and have a more subtle flavor . . . this is on the list to try . . . but I also appreciate the tip from Heather about Schwann’s!


  21. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on September 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Oh my gosh, this looks incredible and I bet it tastes even better! My mother-in-law’s favorite is peppermint, but I know she would love this even more… Got to find an excuse to make it for her one of these days!


  22. Tiffany on September 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I LOVE this ice cream and it does go perfectly with apple pie in case you were wondering. 🙂 I’m obligated to make FOUR batches around Thanksgiving every year to go with dessert!


  23. Joanne on September 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I totally understand your concern! I bought a box of this cinnamon tea once and it was so spicy I couldn’t even drink it! And that’s saying a lot because I LOVE cinnamon.

    This sounds dreamy though. because, well. I LOVE cinnamon!


  24. Karla on September 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    I love how you described your fear of the flavor and then how you described how it actually tasted! I made this ice cream this summer, and we loved it! We drizzled D. Lebovitz’s caramel sauce over the top of it and ate it sundae-style. Now that apple season is here, I will definitely be making this again to go with a fresh homemade apple pie (I don’t put very much cinnamon in my pie, so it will be the perfect balance of flavors!).


  25. stephchows on September 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Cinnamon ice cream is my all time favorite! Bring on the fall flavors of ice cream! YUM!


  26. joudie's Mood Food on September 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Now that autumn is here this sounds like something that will be very welcome. Lovley!


  27. Brilynn on September 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I liked the look of that ice cream on its own, but then when I saw it with the sauteed apples, it put it over the top! Looks great!


  28. Sues on September 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    This looks so beautiful. And I LOVE the apple topping 🙂


  29. Michelle on September 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    You are so right! A perfect ice cream for fall!


  30. Cookin' Canuck on September 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    What a comforting ice cream! I would love to put a scoop of this in a mug of hot apple cider.


  31. SugarRush on September 5, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I wish I had that bowl of heaven right now! Thanks for sharing:)


  32. Tanya on September 6, 2010 at 8:46 am


    Back home there’s a place that makes “apple spice” ice cream and I’ve been searching for a recipe since I don’t live there anymore. Do you think the apples could be incorporated into this recipe during the freezing process? Or maybe use applesauce?


    • Michelle on September 14th, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Tanya, Apple spice ice cream sounds awesome! I would probably use about 3 apples, then peel/core/dice and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft and cooked through. Let them cool, then run through a food processor or blender and stir into the cream mixture after the custard has been pressed through a sieve. Then just proceed with the rest of the recipe. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!


  33. srithasan on September 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Hot & Sweet Tasty Cinnamon Ice Cream


  34. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on September 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Yum! I want this ice cream on something made with pumpkin. Really anything pumpkin would do… 🙂 I am sooo ready for fall!


  35. RavieNomNoms on September 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

    How delicious! I love this


  36. Wendy on September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Putting this on my “must try list”. I made cinnamon gelato this weekend, and loved it!


  37. Sprinkled with Flour on September 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I love cinnamon ice cream, and this one looks delcious! Beautiful photos too:)


  38. Nicole @ The Dirty Oven on September 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    This looks great. I think it would perfect for my scratchy throat. Thanks for sharing.


  39. Wow…the pairings for that are endless. I was thinking about how amazing it would be as the middle of an ice cream sandwich. Any kind of cookie would work. It sounds so refreshing and looks wonderful.


  40. Karen @ Planet Books on October 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I have the ice cream mixture in the ice cream maker right now and OMG!! I am sooo excited because I just took a taste and it is AMAZING! So easy too!


    • Michelle on October 10th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

      Yay! I love how subtle yet clean and fresh tasting the flavor is. I’m glad you like it!


  41. Carla on June 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I dont know if you know this desert but it’s very typical here in portugal… it’s the so called cream milk, or crema catalana (the spanish version of it).. in portugal it’s also usually made with cinammon on top, instead of the caramelized sugar, and it’s the way i love it the most. It’s a winter desert… and today i’ve made this one… this is the summer version of cream milk, tastes exactly like it! love it, thanks for this lovely ice cream 😀


  42. Heather on November 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I made this a few weeks ago and it is insanely good! I paired it with an Apple Caramel Crumb pie that I make every year and it was amazing. Every recipe from A Perfect Scoop is just that, PERFECT!


  43. Jess @ Floptimism on December 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I just tried to make this yesterday to pair with a baked apple dessert, but it didn’t come together! It refused to solidify even a smidge in my ice cream machine, and I (foolishly) tried to make it close to serving so that it wouldn’t develop any iciness…so of course didn’t have time to put it in the freezer to see if that would help. Did you need to freeze yours after it went in the machine or did it churn up well on its own? The only change I made was to add 2T white chocolate liqueur, and while that could have messed with the freezing a little (since that’s the whole point of adding it), I can’t imagine that it would’ve ruined it completely as I’ve used that amount in ice creams before.

    The flavor was out of this world and I’m excited to try the portion that I reserved for the freezer to see if it solidified, but I was just wondering if you had any ideas as to what I may have done wrong (or if you just think it was the liqueur and/or my thinking it’d be ready right out of the machine). Thanks!


    • Michelle on December 22nd, 2011 at 12:39 am

      Hi Jess, I have found that adding alcohol can keep ice cream from really firming up, but I’ve never had it actually remain in a completely liquid state during and after churning. I’m not sure what could have happened! Ice cream maker on the fritz, perhaps?


      • Jess @ Floptimism on December 22nd, 2011 at 12:38 pm

        I sure hope not! I did get in touch with Cuisinart though, so fingers crossed. Thanks for the reply!


        • Noreen on October 14th, 2012 at 1:44 am

          Jess, one time mine didn’t solidify and I figured it wasn’t cold enough so I removed it from the machine and put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. That solved the problem. I was probably in such a hurry to make it that I didn’t let it get cold enough in the fridge first…lol!


  44. Kathryn Baldwin on February 5, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I found this recipe searching for something unique enough to liven the monotony of my vanilla bean ice cream i was serving next to my apple cobbler (which i was planning on making for my brother’s engagement party). I made the cinnamon custard at 11pm, then froze the ice cream the morning of the party (yesterday). Oh My God! You are a genius!!! I would like to bow down to you for totally making my culinary weekend. All hail this cinnamon ice cream.


  45. Noreen on October 14, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Michelle, you’re spot on! Light cinnamon flavor, so refreshing! I made this twice and second time came out with better flavor. The first time I broke the sticks in half and flavor was too subtle. Your recipe says to break in pieces so this time I put the sticks in ziplock bag and smashed them in little pieces releasing much more flavor. I’m hooked! Thank you!!


  46. Nola on October 24, 2013 at 3:31 am

    In the 70’s I worked at a restaurant called Country Kitchen. On the dessert menu was an apple cinnamon treat, don’t recall the name but it was like an apple popover that we poured a hot(like red hots) cinnamon syrup over and topped it with cinnamon ice cream! I was never a big fan of red hots, too much hot!, but my birthday is in the fall and every year I had pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream at work, my favorite birthday treat!(That and a chocolate bundt cake with a coconut filling that they quit making) Haven’t been able to find cinnamon ice cream all these years, just discovered your blog, noticing several ice cream recipes, never expected this but am delighted and can’t wait to give it a try!!! Now I need to dust off my ice cream maker!


  47. Renee on November 11, 2013 at 5:48 am

    For the cinnamon ice cream… Could you substitute powered cinnamon for the cinnamon sticks? I just bought a bag of fresh cinnamon and am looking for ways to use it


    • Michelle on November 11th, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Hi Renee, Unfortunately not, the powder would be way too overpowering.


  48. Lynne on November 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I made a batch of this as a trial to see if I wanted to make it for TG to have with pie, and I will be making it again. The only downside is how little it makes 🙂 But, as a side with the pie, it will be perfect. I did follow some of the other comments and really broke up the cinnamon sticks. BTW, I was able to buy the cinnamon sticks at Trader Joe’s for $1.99 for a bottle of 10.

    I have a question about the process that I have not seen answered anywhere. I made 3 different batches of ice cream this past weekend, and I am wondering what the purpose of the ice bath is? If you are going to put the mixture in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, why do you need to put it in an ice bath?


    • Michelle on November 25th, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Hi Lynne, The purpose of the ice bath is to cool the mixture to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator.


  49. Jennifer Marshall on November 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Michelle-
    First of all, I adore this website and make recipes from it all the time. They always turn out amazing! Now onto this ice cream. All of your ice cream recipes I’ve tried are delicious-the texture is always perfectly creamy and rich. I hosted a football party a few weeks ago and decided to try this over some apple cobbler and it was a hit. My boyfriend happily finished off what was leftover (I made a double batch) and has been begging me to make it again, and said it was the best ice cream he’s ever had. I was planning this year’s thanksgiving and asked him what he wanted, and the first and only thing he said was a big apple pie with this ice cream. So the base is cooling down now, and he said no one else is going to get any because he’s going to eat it all. So thank you for making one man VERY happy!


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