A recipe for Cinnamon Cream Cheese Ice Cream! This rich and decadent cream cheese ice cream is swirled with a sweet brown sugar cinnamon sauce.
Today, I am celebrating Mardi Gras with a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Ice Cream! It is filled with flavors reminiscent of a King Cake.
A sweetened milk and cream base is thickened with eggs, then mixed with cream cheese, vanilla, and cinnamon. After chilling and churning until thickened and creamy, it is layered in a freezer-safe container with a brown sugar cinnamon swirl.
A few tips
After adding the eggs to thicken the cream, take care to not increase the heat to try to speed up the process. Stir constantly and heat just until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Otherwise, you may end up with cooked, curdled cream. If the mixture does curdle, I have been able to save ice cream by blending it until smooth in a stand blender or with an immersion blender as a last resort.
Make sure the cream cheese has completely softened at room temperature and is diced to help blend into the ice cream mixture. If it is still grainy, an immersion blender works well to create a smooth custard before refrigerating.
I usually skip this step, but to help get a creamier texture and chill the mixture faster you can place the bowl of custard over an ice bath for a few minutes right after it is removed from the stove and blended with the cream cheese. Be careful not to get water into the custard. Stir occasionally if you want to speed up the process a bit.
Do not mix the ice cream and cinnamon swirl together. They will end up blending and lose the striking contrast.
After layering the churned ice cream with the brown sugar cinnamon swirl, there may be some leftover. I like to save the extra cinnamon sauce to use as a topping (refrigerate until needed). For a more festive look, top the ice cream with some purple, green, and gold sprinkles or your personal favorite.
Looking for more ice cream recipes?
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Ice Cream Recipe
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Ice Cream
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese softened at room temperature and diced
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (200 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (158 milliliters) water
- 4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Ice Cream:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, and sugar over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
- Once the milk mixture is steaming, but not yet at a boil, slowly pour about 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) into the eggs while constantly whisking.
- Once incorporated, slowly stream in and whisk another 1/2 cup (125 milliliters). Slowly pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium-low heat while whisking. Cook while continuing to stir until just thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 170-180˚F (77˚C-82˚C). Be careful not to overcook or it will curdle.
- Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Whisk in the diced cream cheese until melted and smooth, then stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.
- Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours to overnight.
To make the Cinnamon Swirl:
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, butter, and cinnamon over medium heat. Cook, constantly stirring, until the butter has melted and the sugar has completely dissolved.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the simmering cinnamon sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate the cinnamon mixture in an airtight container until well chilled, about 2-4 hours.
To assemble the ice cream:
- Transfer the chilled cinnamon cream cheese mixture to an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer's instructions until thickened and creamy.
- In a large, freezer safe container, coat the bottom with a small layer of the chilled cinnamon swirl. Add a layer of churned ice cream, more cinnamon sauce, and continue layering as desired, ending with a top layer of ice cream and a drizzle of the sauce. Do not stir or mix. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
- If any of the cinnamon sauce is leftover, refrigerate and save to use as a topping.