Cinnamon Crunch Ice Cream

by Amy Bradley

It’s getting warm here in the ‘burgh, so what better way to cool down than some homemade ice cream. I got the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer a few months ago and it’s been fun figuring out how to make our own, unique ice cream flavors. This time, I went with Mike’s favorite – cinnamon!

This ice cream is extra creamy, thanks to a custard-style base. It requires egg yolks and stove-top heat to achieve the right consistency. I always have some trouble with separating eggs. One thing you can try if you struggle with the same is to gently crack the eggs into a bowl, then use a large tablespoon to extract the whole yolks.

To take this ice cream to a new level I decided to add some crunch. I was inspired by the delicious Cinnamon Crunch Bagels from Panera. Adding the crunchy cinnamon-sugar bits does require you to turn on the oven briefly. If you’re looking to avoid that and truly have a no-bake dessert, you can omit them and add a little extra cinnamon to the ice cream mixture instead.

I know my hubby loved this, so I hope you do, too!

Cinnamon Crunch Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: about 2 quarts


Ice cream base

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Crunch

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted


  1. Heat whole milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until hot – but do not boil it. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the egg yolks and 1 cup sugar on low speed until combined.
  3. While the mixer is on low speed, slowly pour in the warmed milk. You might need a pouring spout or funnel to help with this step. Continue whisking until thickened, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and put over medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbles begin to form along the edges – for me, this took 3 to 5 minutes or so.
  5. Pour this into a large mixing bowl or plastic storage bowl, then add the cream, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together for about a minute or so, until the cinnamon looks well dispersed.
  6. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours (or until it is completely cold).
  7. At least an hour before you want to start churning the ice cream, make the crunch mixture. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat.
  8. Combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter in a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture on the silicon mat. It should be pretty thin.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, on a wire rack. There may be a little butter pooled – if so, just soak it up gently with a paper towel. Once it is fully cooled down, use a spoon to break it up into small pieces.
  10. Make the ice cream using your chilled batter, following the instructions for your ice cream maker. Churn until it is about at the soft serve ice cream consistency.
  11. Spoon a layer of ice cream into a freezer-safe bowl (I used the same bowl from chilling the batter), then sprinkle a layer of cinnamon crunch pieces on top. Repeat until all ice cream is stored. Use a spatula to gently swirl through the ice cream to mix up the crunch pieces.
  12. Cover tightly and freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours before serving. You can store extra cinnamon-sugar crunch pieces in a freezer bag for later use, if you wish.

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