Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

A quart of peppermint stick ice cream.

If you love peppermint as much as my daughter does, this peppermint stick ice cream will definitely “wow” your tastebuds. It has a lightly minted custard base, crushed peppermint sticks and a peppermint white chocolate swirl that’ll send you over the edge. This brain-freeze inducing treat also makes a festive Christmas ice cream project with the kids.

mixing egg, cornstarch and sugar for Christmas ice cream.

Everyone looks forward to a taste of peppermint over the holidays.  From candy canes to mint-spiked cocoa, that minty flavor is synonymous with the month of December. I say, embrace it… and get out your spoon, ’cause when this peppermint stick ice cream hits the counter, it’s GAME ON.


  • Sugar – use granulated sugar – any brand.
  • Eggs – for the custard base.
  • Cornstarch – to thicken the custard.
  • Half and Half – for the peppermint stick ice cream custard.
  • Whipping Cream -the high fat content helps stabilize the custard along with the cornstarch so it doesn’t curdle.
  • Peppermint Extract – for that minty flavor.
  • Peppermint Magic Shell – to layer and swirl into the ice cream and give an extra layer of crunch and flavor.
  • Peppermint Candy Canes – for added minty crunch.
scalding cream and blending with egg mixture for Christmas ice cream.

This isn’t a low-cal “nice cream” or a short-cut “no-churn,” sweetened condensed milk aberration. This is legit. Made from an egg custard, churned-in-an-ice-cream-maker — real ice cream. No short cuts. No ready-made ingredients (except for the peppermint candies). I say that because when I sit down to a bowl of ice cream, I want the real thing… I’m betting you do too.

Making custard, straining it, adding peppermint and covering with plastic wrap.

How To Make Ice Cream Custard

  1. Beat the eggs, cornstarch and sugar together until pale yellow and thick.
  2. In a saucepan, scald the half and half and cream.
  3. In a slow, steady stream, beat it into the egg mixture.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan and heat, stirring constantly until it thickens to a custard consistency.
  5. Stir in the peppermint extract.
  6. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap — making sure that the plastic is resting on the custard (to prevent a skin from forming).
  7. Chill for several hours or overnight.
churning peppermint stick ice cream.

Candy Canes Add Crunch To Christmas Ice Cream 

Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions and just before it’s done churning, add the crushed peppermint stick candies (you can use candy canes or starlight mints). Mix for a few more minutes and get ready for the next step… white chocolate peppermint magic shell — oh-ma-gawd, YES!

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The churned ice cream.

The Wonders of Magic Shell:

People of a certain age know that Magic Shell is the spectacular candy coating that goes from a liquid form to a solid in seconds flat when spooned over ice cream (thanks to the secret ingredient, coconut oil). You’ve probably had chocolate magic shell before or perhaps this peanut butter version (my personal favorite), but at my daughter’s request, I came up with this White Chocolate Peppermint Magic Shell that’s awesome over a scoop of plain vanilla or chocolate, but also works wonders when layered into homemade ice cream.

Layering peppermint magic shell in the ice cream container.

After layering the peppermint stick ice cream with the magic shell in a storage container, the mix is still rather soft, so it needs a bit more freezer-time before serving.  Wrap it with plastic wrap or secure it with a lid and freeze it for at least two hours.

A quart of peppermint ice cream with candy canes on top.

The magic shell creates a candy vein that will have you hunting with your spoon for swirls and chunks throughout the peppermint stick ice cream.

This particular batch didn’t last one day in our house.  Scott and I each had one bowl — and my daughter plowed through the rest.  She hadn’t even taken the last bite before she was asking me to “make more, please…” If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.  Surprise the family with your own peppermint stick ice cream for the holidays and make everyone smile!

Serving a dish of peppermint ice cream.

Hungry For More Peppermint Delights? 

My friends and fellopeppermw food bloggers were happy to share their very best!

Three scoops of peppermint stick ice cream with a candy cane.
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5 from 4 votes

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Peppermint Ice Cream with crushed peppermint candies and white chocolate peppermint swirl. It’s mint on mint on mint!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword candy cane, ice cream, peppermint
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • ¾ cup White Chocolate Peppermint Magic Shell
  • cup crushed peppermint sticks or candy canes


  • If you’re using a type of ice cream maker that requires a frozen container, place it in the coldest part of your freezer and freeze for 12-24 hours. 
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half and cream over medium heat until just scalded.  Remove from heat.
  • Add the sugar and eggs into a large bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat the egg mixture together until pale yellow and thick, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cornstarch and mix to combine.
  • In a slow, steady stream, add the scalded cream to the egg mixture, beating constantly.
  • Pour the cream mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium to medium high heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly, until custard thickens. Remove from heat.
  • Set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pour the custard through the sieve to collect any egg pieces. 
  • Stir in the peppermint extract. Cover the custard with a piece of plastic wrap and press the plastic directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a “skin” from forming.  Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Custard must be very cold before starting the ice cream.
  • Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Toward the end of the churning, add crushed peppermint candies and continue to churn until it’s at the stage of firm soft-serve.
  • Layer the peppermint stick ice cream and peppermint magic shell in a container, alternating between the ice cream and magic shell. Finish with a drizzle of magic shell and a sprinkle of crushed peppermint sticks.
  • Cover and freeze until firm, at least 2-4 hours.


Calories: 376.91kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.18g | Protein: 5.63g | Fat: 21.48g | Saturated Fat: 12.62g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.27g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 101.58mg | Sodium: 161.67mg | Potassium: 208.2mg | Fiber: 0.81g | Sugar: 32.17g | Vitamin A: 719.56IU | Vitamin C: 0.78mg | Calcium: 105.65mg | Iron: 0.67mg

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  1. 5 stars
    The absolute best peppermint ice cream I’ve ever tried. Love the bits of candy canes. My kids want me to make it again now.

  2. Cookilicious says:

    Feel like reaching out and digging a spoon into this delicious looking ice cream.

  3. 5 stars
    That’s such a perfect color on that ice cream! And I bet it’s absolutely delicious as well.

  4. 5 stars
    Love this interesting flavor of this Ice Cream. It looks so delicious and creamy. My family to relish this for sure.

    1. Mint is my daughter’s favorite — so this one is on her top 10 list. Hope your family enjoys it!