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White bowl with cinnamon ice cream balls. Silver spoon.

Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream

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This old-fashioned homemade cinnamon ice cream is creamy and has a deep flavor (roasted cinnamon!). You can make popsicles (paletas) or churn and freeze the cream in a container and scoop it into bowls. Either way, it's terrific on its own, sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs for crunch, or served on top of apple desserts.

  • Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups cream, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup ground graham crackers + additional to sprinkle


  1. In a small skillet, toast the stick and ground cinnamon on low heat for about 2 minutes, until you smell the toasted aroma, tossing it around so you don’t burn it. 
  2. Heat the milk, 1 cup of cream, and the cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan.
  3. Bring just to a boil, remove from heat and let infuse for 5 minutes. This will flavor the milk and cream. 
  4. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and gradually add the sugar, beating until beginning to thicken. I do this with a hand whisk, but you can use an electric mixer. 
  5. Remove the cinnamon stick from the infused milk, and add the warm milk and cream to the yolk mixture gradually, whisking constantly.
  6. Transfer this mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until it thickens, from 3 to 5 minutes. Don't let it boil. When you draw your finger across the back of the spoon (a wooden or silicon spoon), there should be a clear path that doesn't expand quickly.
  7. Strain this mixture into a medium bowl, add the ground toasted cinnamon and the remaining 1 cup of cream.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  9. Pour the cold cinnamon mixture into the popsicle molds, attach the stick and freeze for 4 hours or more, until completely solid.
  10. To remove the ice cream, place the bottom and sides of the molds through hot water for 10 seconds and carefully unmold. If you still can't take the paletas out, repeat for 5 more seconds until you can.
  11. Coat with graham crackers crumbs, serve on a bed of more crumbs and eat.


Freezing: make sure there's space in the freezer before you start this recipe, and use freezer-safe containers. 

If you don't want to use the cinnamon stick or want to skip the roasting step, use roasted ground cinnamon (I haven't tried this brand but the reviews are excellent) instead of the regular one. It was not available when I first posted this recipe, some 12 years ago, but now you have options.

Variation: Use another type of cookie crumbs (like chocolate) to coat the paletas. Add mini chocolate chips to the custard right before freezing it. 

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Freezing time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Cooking + Freezing
  • Cuisine: International