Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream

pink peppermint ice cream

I love pink peppermint ice cream. I buy it throughout the year when I can find it, but it’s more prominent in stores at Christmastime. I didn’t want to wait for Christmas to have it, so I made my own. It’s fabulous, if I do say so myself. I’ve made it three times, and each time it’s been polished off by the family. Don’t worry, I got my fair share too. ;-)

I found a couple of recipes on the net, but ended up developing my own using the sweetened condensed milk, cream and milk formula I’ve used in a couple other recipes. Pink peppermint ice cream isn’t much different than mint chocolate chip ice cream. There are basically 2 major differences. The mix-ins (peppermint candies as opposed to chocolate) and the amount of vanilla that’s added to the mix. The amount of vanilla makes a huge difference in the flavor.

pink peppermint ice creamThe only thing I did differently the second time around was the crush the peppermint up a little more. I had some pretty big chunks in the first batch (as pictured below), it was better with smaller pieces in my opinion. This is now a permanent recipe in my collection!


You can use candy canes or those little round peppermint candies, commonly known as Starlight Mints. Put them in a plastic zipper gallon bag and squeeze out the air. Zip it shut and crush the candy with a meat mallet or hammer.

Sorry, I didn’t count how many candies, but you’ll need around 15 or so candy canes or a couple handfuls of the round candies. Just crush until you have a cup’s worth. If you happen to remember, leave me a comment with how many it took to get to a cup. I’ll update this next time I make it.

You’ll add the crushed candies a few minutes before turning off your ice cream maker. Then freeze!


4.7 from 10 reviews
Pink Peppermint Ice Cream
(Makes 2 quarts)
Category: dessert
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 drops red food coloring
  • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes
  1. Combine all ingredients except for the crushed peppermint candies in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. minutes before churning is complete, add the crushed candies to the ice cream maker.
  3. Turn the ice cream out into a freezer container and freeze until hard, usually a few hours or so, but overnight is best.



  1. Maria G. says

    You probably mention it in a past post, but what ice cream maker do you use? I’ve never bought one because I’m not really familiar with the different brands.

  2. says

    Ok, so I didn’t make the mint chocolate chip one the other day like I said I was going to, and started to make it today, but I don’t have mint extract, just peppermint. I this is churning right now, but I also don’t have the little mint candies, so I’m trying to decide if I should leave it as is or drizzle in some melted chocolate, because I think chocolate goes with peppermint as well, but hmmm. I’ll decide by the time it’s done churning.
    Only difference I made was I’m using fat free cond. milk and 2% milk. Smells good!

    • Amanda Formaro says

      They are pretty much the same recipe. The pink peppermint has more vanilla, which gives it a much different flavor, which makes it go well with the peppermint candy. Using the peppermint in place of the mint extract should be totally fine. Looking forward to hearing what you think! I made Apple Cider Ice Cream today! YUM

  3. says

    I think I’ll home made some Magic Shell for people to drizzle on this if they want. I’ve been wanting to try that homemade kind anyway. I have one kid who does NOT like chocolate, so I think I’ll leave it out. (I know–CRAZY kid.) ;) Yes, from the time I hit send on the last comment, I decided what to do within seconds.

  4. Meaghan says

    I have never used or even thought of using sweetened condensed milk in homemade icecream. I made this last night and let me tell you I will be using sweetened condensed milk whenever I can making ice cream! This is amazing. Definitely will be making it often in our household!

  5. lisa says

    I just made a batch (is it a batch of Ice Cream???) of this and I am sold!!! No more store bought Peppermint for me. I had some of last years candy canes left over but chose not to use them as they seemed rather chewy and not too fresh and I didn’t want to ruin my ice cream. I used just under a cup of chopped peppermint candies and I would definately suggest using the full cup. Thanks for the great recipe….:-)

  6. Heidi says

    I just made this and it turned out delicious! It was sooo fast and easy too! I did add a little more peppermint extract because I like mine a little more pepperminty :) Thanks for the recipe!

      • Susan says

        Just wondering…my Cuisinart ice cream maker is only 1 1/2 qts. so I assume this would be too much mixture for my machine? I love peppermint and this looks absolutely the best!

        • says

          You can always pour the leftover (if there is any) into a smaller container and just freeze it. :) Alternatively, Make a double batch, pour the max into your machine, then store the rest in the refrigerator until you can run it through the ice cream maker :)

  7. Shelly says

    How many quarts does this recipe make? We have a 4 quart and 6 quart machine and I’m not sure which one to use :) Sounds delicious!!!

  8. Megan says

    I made this and loved it!! I was just curious if you could switch out the peppermint extract for other extracts to make other flavors? Would it work as a straight vanilla ice cream? I keep trying to find a vanilla ice cream recipe that doesn’t use eggs!!

  9. Emily says

    I have an old style Rival ice cream freezer…where you put the rock salt and ice in and this isn’t setting? I tried putting it in the freezer for a couple hours to get it really cold but no matter what it’s just turning back to liquid each time I start to churn it. The only thing I’m doing differently this time is I’m using coarse sea salt instead of rock salt…would that matter?

    • says

      Hi Emily. I have never had a problem with this recipe and have made it numerous times. It sounds like the issue may be coming from your ice cream maker. You may want to call the manufacturer and see if they can help troubleshoot it with you. Sorry!

    • Judy says

      You’ve probably already solved your problem but if not: you probably need more salt in your ice cream maker. Salt is used to lower the freezing point of the ice, causing it to melt so that as it melts it can draw heat from the custard, helping it to freeze more quickly. Too much salt and the ice cream can freeze too fast, becoming hard and crusty; too little salt and it won’t firm up at all. You should always start with a modest amount of salt and check the results after 10 minutes, at which point the ice cream should be beginning to firm up. If it hasn’t then add more salt; if it’s hard you’ve added too much to start with and are pretty much out of luck. If you make a lot of ice cream then you should invest in an ice cream maker like the Cuisinart ICE-21. It’s a bit of a pain to wait until the bucket is fully frozen before churning but it takes the guesswork out of the salt/ice mixture (and the physical labor out of the churning thought that isn’t necessarily a good thing!).

  10. Shannon says

    Just made it with the same ice-cream maker that you have! Absolutely delicious, but I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon extract, it was very vanilla-y. I used a cup of medium sized crushed peppermint pieces, and crushed some into a powder that I added about halfway through the churning process. Also used less food coloring for a less bright color.

  11. Cynthia says

    I made this as an after-dinner surprise for the family and they really liked it. Easy to make, and this is coming from someone who’s not a good cook. I didn’t add the food coloring (I avoid additives like these whenever possible) and the ice cream looked good studded with the small pieces of peppermint candy. Thanks for sharing your recipe! I’ll be making it again.

  12. Elise says

    This made our Thanksgiving dessert! Complemented our “Death By Chocolate” perfectly! Thank you! I will never buy store bought ice cream again!

  13. Colleen says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just got through making this and I keep dipping my finger in the mix! I did not do the peppermint candies but used Andes Mints chopped up! Delish! I am not looking anymore for peppermint ice cream recipes. Happy Holidays

  14. Lauren says

    Hey, I love your recipe. I was just wondering what ice cream maker you use? I have the Cuisinart ice cream marker and is have a bowl you freeze in the center. Does it matter what machine you use with the ingredients you included?

    • says

      I also have the Cuisinart with removable bowl that you freeze :) It shouldn’t matter what machine you use for the recipe, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions for processing the cream :)

  15. Bess says

    Merry Christmas everyone! So, I have to say, I made this recipe yesterday and ended up eating it as my pre-Christmas breakfast breakfast it was soooooooo good!
    It has made my list of favorites for sure!

  16. Rhonda says

    My son had such fun crushing the candy canes! It took 7 candy canes and 3 Starlight Mints to give us 3/4 Cup of candy bits. Yes, we STILL have both Halloween and Christmas candy hanging around this house! Looking forward to watching this freeze soon – our maiden voyage in our new Cuisinart. Mahalo for the Recipe


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