Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream

Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe - Pinch My Salt

This is an older post from deep in the Pinch My Salt archives that I decided to dust off and pull forward to share again.  It was originally published in September 2006.  Enjoy!

I purchased my ice cream maker late in the summer and therefore this second frozen concoction to emerge from it is a dense, creamy ice cream that manages to straddle the seasons – cooling me off during the still-too-warm days of late summer but welcoming fall with the warm flavors cinnamon and vanilla.

How it is I’ve been on this earth for 31 years without ever tasting a cinnamon-flavored ice cream is a complete mystery to me. Because even though I have tasted so many wonderful gelatos in Italy, (each time exclaiming, “THIS is my new favorite flavor!”), I can now say that this cinnamon vanilla ice cream is the best I’ve ever tasted.

I started with this recipe found on and the main change I made was to use a vanilla bean to replace the vanilla extract in the recipe.  Doing this intensified the vanilla flavor and the little specks of vanilla seed add an interesting texture.  Amazingly, the vanilla was not overpowered by the cinnamon – the two flavors stand up side by side and complement each other perfectly.

If you are excited about the first day of autumn but not ready to let go of the frozen delights of summer, this ice cream is what you need!  The recipe is scaled for a 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker and I used my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.  If you’ve been thinking about buying an ice cream maker, just take the plunge and do it.  This ice cream recipe alone will make it worth your while.  Just imagine your Thanksgiving apple and pumpkin pies topped with homemade cinnamon vanilla ice cream… need I say more?

Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream
adapted from

1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 C. half and half (can also use light cream or half milk/half heavy cream)
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
2 t. ground cinnamon

1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and half-and-half. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat.

2. Whisk half of the cream mixture into the eggs (whisk quickly so as not to scramble the eggs). Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream.

3. With a sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise then scrape out the tiny seeds on the inside. Add the vanilla bean and the seeds to the cream mixture.

4. Return the cream mixture to the stove and continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.

5. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Whisk in the cinnamon then set aside to cool. When mixture has cooled a bit, cover and refrigerate overnight or several hours until well chilled (I press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming).

6. Pour cold mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Related Recipes:

Around the Web:

My two favorite Ice Cream Makers:

My favorite Ice Cream Book:  The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

  1. peabody

    Oh ice cream is a year round food, not just Summer 🙂

    9:41 pm  Sep 22nd, 2006
  2. Nicole

    mac, as soon as i find myself some cinnamon gelato, i’ll take back that statement 😉

    10:08 pm  Sep 22nd, 2006
  3. Jennifer

    Oh, wow! I bet this is divine. You could go all-American and put it on some apple pie.

    11:04 pm  Sep 22nd, 2006
  4. Brilynn

    That sounds delicious. I’d encourage you to make cinnamon banana ice cream too, it’s a good combination.

    11:16 pm  Sep 22nd, 2006
  5. rachel

    Wow, this looks so good!

    12:05 am  Sep 23rd, 2006
  6. Helene

    That combination has been something on my “to try” list for a long time now. SInce it is wtill quite hot here, I maight give it a go this weekend. Great lucious picture.

    6:27 am  Sep 23rd, 2006
  7. mac

    Ice cream over gelato? You really are an American. 😉

    9:51 pm  Sep 22nd, 2006
  8. Orchidea

    Really nice… I love icecream! But it is getting cold here… so I will wait next summer for trying this one.
    I surfe a bit in your blog and like it a lot.

    11:45 am  Sep 25th, 2006
  9. Mae

    Wow. What flavour combination! I will try this Nicole. Sounds an absolute delight! Thanks for the recipe.

    Photo’s gorgeous as usual.

    4:56 pm  Sep 25th, 2006
  10. Pearl

    It’s great to uncover a new way to make cinnamon shine.

    2:05 am  Sep 29th, 2006
  11. jeannette

    wow, that right there is my dream ice cream! mmm, cinnamon…

    2:01 am  Oct 2nd, 2006
  12. Emily

    Is there any way to make this without vanilla beans (say, with extract)? Vanilla beans are so expensive. How much extract would suffice, do you think?

    2:56 am  Nov 10th, 2006
  13. Nicole

    Hi Emily, vanilla extract would be perfectly fine in this recipe. I would add a teaspoon of extract at the end when you add the cinnamon. Then just taste it and see if you like the flavor. You could always add a little bit more if you think it needs it. Hope you try it!

    5:32 pm  Nov 10th, 2006
  14. Steve

    I am making this ice cream tonight. It sounds delicious!

    A good rull of thumb is to use 3 inches of good A-Grade vanilla per TBS of extract in a recipe.

    I use 4 inches (10cm) per TBS, but I love vanilla.

    Boston Vanilla Bean Company stocks some of the finest vanilla available at


    8:50 pm  Jan 5th, 2007
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  16. Lisa

    This looks and sounds divine. I’ve forwarded it to friends who got an ice-cream maker this year. Thanks!

    10:20 am  Jul 3rd, 2007
  17. Kal

    Nicole, I live in Australia and we don’t get half-and-half down here. Is there an alternative?

    7:09 am  Nov 2nd, 2007
  18. Nicole

    Kal: half and half is basically half milk and half cream. You should easily be able to substitute 3/4 C. milk plus 3/4 C. heavy cream for the 1 1/2 C. half and half. I’ve edited the recipe with a note to avoid confusion in the future! I often forget that American ingredients are not found all over the world 😉

    7:28 am  Nov 2nd, 2007
  19. Kal

    thanks heaps nicole!

    12:09 am  Nov 4th, 2007
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  21. Cindy

    I’m wondering why whole eggs instead of egg yolks, please? I’m a newbie to making ice cream and want to try this recipe, but all the others I’ve used only called for yolks. Could you elaborate on what the difference would be in the recipe using whole eggs versus yolks?

    I’m also thinking this would be a good one to try with some expresso powder stirred in (Cappucino!), melt in some good chocolate while heating the cream (Mexican Chocolate, anyone?), or do all of the above and call it Jamaican Mocha Ice Cream!

    8:32 pm  Feb 7th, 2011
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  24. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    I’ve never had cinnamon ice cream either… I have got to try this!

    4:46 pm  Jun 24th, 2013
  25. bellini

    I have been on the earth longer and have never had the opportunity to try cinnamon ice cream either. Obviously that needs to change:D

    5:43 pm  Jun 24th, 2013
  26. Rebecca

    Oh, I love cinnamon ice cream! And it’s so good when you have a scoop of it plus a scoop of, say, roasted strawberry ice cream, or apple cider ice cream. The combinations are glorious. Looking forward to trying this recipe!

    5:45 am  Jun 25th, 2013
  27. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction

    Cinnamon ice cream is one of my favorites! This needs to get added to the “must make” list!

    8:26 am  Jun 25th, 2013
  28. Cindy

    I have made this several times now, both with whole eggs and with just yolks. It is one of our favorites. I had comments that it was a bit too much cinnamon, so my recipe halves it to 1 teaspoon. In lieu of the vanilla bean, I used vanilla paste, which gives the same flavor and bean specks, but without the hassle. This is delicious served with fresh berries prepared with balsamic vinegar and sugar, then with whipped cream and chocolate syrup drizzled over the top. I served fresh churros on the side with it.

    5:14 pm  Jun 25th, 2013
  29. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    A great post to update for the summer. This would be so good with apple pie or crisp.

    6:43 pm  Jun 25th, 2013
  30. Louise Bloom @ Restaurant in Aruba

    I tried making ice cream using my Vitamix and it was awesome. I might as well get an ice cream maker to have a perfect result like yours. Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

    6:37 am  Jun 26th, 2013
  31. Najlepsze Rankingi

    Cinnamon flavor makes me think of Xmas and winter…I personally don’t think it’s a proper flavor for summer time…

    1:57 pm  Jul 12th, 2013
  32. Faith

    This looks yummy… can’t wait to try it! Have you attempted the recipe using any other form of sweetener, like honey?

    8:41 am  Jul 13th, 2013
  33. Alex

    This is a delicious ice cream that you will not be able to keep around! I also used Splenda, and it works well with the recipe. Definitely a keeper!

    4:51 am  Jul 18th, 2013
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  35. Jennifer Wickman

    I had the best cinnamon ice cream in Colonial Williamsburg last summer and have been looking for a recipe since then. I can’t wait to try this!

    11:53 am  Apr 22nd, 2014
  36. carribean

    Great recipe for ice cream lovers, tried it and i love it.

    1:36 am  Jul 2nd, 2014
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