With that title, does it even matter what I type here? I mean seriously. Cinnamon Toast Crunch + Ice Cream=Heaven. I have to be honest with you though, until very recently, I didn’t understand what was so special about Cinnamon Toast Crunch. You see, when I was a kid, I didn’t really like cereal. I really have no explanation for this whatsoever. I have always loved milk, but, being the super weird kid that I was, I preferred dry cereal.
The first cereal I remember liking was Pops. You see, even though I drank “white milk” (aka regular milk) at home, I adamantly refused to drink it at school. So, I was on a strict chocolate milk only diet. In hindsight, I can’t say this was a bad choice. So, my school breakfast was one of two things: Pops with no milk, or Coco Crispies with chocolate milk. (At home I preferred Pop Tarts, S’mores flavor or strawberry with no crust. I made sooo many good choices as a child.) Really only the chocolate cereals lend themselves well to chocolate milk.
My next favorite cereal was Raisin Bran. Yes, Raisin Bran. As a KID, I ate Raisin Bran. Willingly. Then I moved on to Kellogg’s Smart Start, because I thought it was healthy (spoiler: it’s not) then a phase with some type of chocolate flavored Special K (seriously how did I think this stuff was healthy?). So, somehow, I think I lived my entire life, up until very recently, without really appreciating Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Then, this year, the taste tester and I gave up ice cream for Lent. This left an very large, ice cream shaped hole in our lives and forced us to seek out alternative desserts (by the way, replacing one vice with another is NOT the point of Lent). So, finally, I was exposed to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And it was A-MAZ-ING!!!! Because I read this recipe, on Food52, I knew cereal milk ice cream was a thing, so I couldn’t wait until Easter arrived so I could try turning this delicious treat into my favorite dessert.
It was soooo worth the wait. So worth it. When the cereal soaks in the milk, some type of magic happens that makes your ice cream extra creamy and just perfectly sweet. The ice cream is truly incredible on its own, but if you really want to make an extra super mind blowing dessert, you can add the frosting bits Ben & Jerry’s style. I know making ice cream takes a little extra effort and planning, but I promise you this is so totally worth it.
A Few Technical Notes:
- The vodka in the recipe is what allows the ice cream to retain its creamy texture when frozen. If you omit it, your ice cream will freeze into a solid rock and lose the creaminess, but it will still taste amazing. If you are planning to serve soft-serve straight out of the maker, the vodka is unnecessary.
- I have a 1.5 quart countertop ice cream maker. This recipe makes about 1.5 quarts. If you want to make a larger/smaller quantity, adjust accordingly.
- 3 c. whole milk
- ½ c. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
- 2 eggs (I highly recommend using your best quality eggs here)
- 6 T. all-purpose flour
- ¾ c. light brown sugar
- 2 T. vodka
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ stick butter, room temperature
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- ⅓ c. Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal powder*
- Mix milk and cereal in large bowl or measuring cup. Let stand in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- When ready to make ice cream base, pour milk and cereal through strainer, reserving the milk. Really smoosh the cereal to get the maximum amount of milk out.
- Mix milk, eggs, flour, and sugar in a bowl or directly into a saucepan. Whisk thoroughly until well combined.
- Heat in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- Because of the flour, there may be some lumps. You basically want to heat/stir until the lumps are gone or nearly gone. This will take awhile. At no point should anything be boiling, you want very low heat and constant stirring.
- Heat/stir for about 10 minutes until custard thickens. The standard for telling when ice cream is done is when it "coats the back of a spoon." (At least that's what my Grandma Jenny says.) I am still not sure I know quite what that means, but basically around 10 minutes, no lumps, stick a spoon in it. If there is enough of a coating that you can not only see it on the spoon but lick the spoon and taste it, you should be good to go.
- After base is cooked, chill thoroughly. You can either refrigerate overnight or put it in the freezer for several hours. Do not let it actually freeze, but if it gets a little frozen, that's ok.
- When ready to churn, add custard to ice cream maker. Add vodka, if using. Churn according to manufacturer's directions.
- If you are adding the frosting bits, add slowly after ice cream is frozen but while it is still churning or stir into ice cream after removing from maker.
- Serve immediately for soft serve or transfer to freezer to harden to desired texture.
- Cream cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cereal powder. Beat until smooth. Store in fridge until ready to use. Roll into small bits and stir into ice cream once it has completed churning.