Everyone loves a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but even better? A bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream! This easy-to-make recipe has all the elements of your favorite breakfast cereal including the crunch!
(This recipe for Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream was originally posted in July 2011, but the post has been updated with new photos and content)
If I ever become an Olympic athlete, please don't put my photo on a box of Wheaties. I'd much prefer to show up on a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead. Do you think that's too much to ask?
I don't know... the little Cinnamon Toast Crunch guys that are currently on the box look a little disgruntled already and they probably wouldn't be thrilled to have me there. But I promise I wouldn't steal their spotlight. It's jut my very favorite cereal.
I love buying sugary cereal, but I have to say that I never eat it for breakfast. I save it for dessert, snack-time, and to incorporate it into my baking (thanks to my mom for instilling the importance of a good, low-sugar breakfast into me).
And ice cream is the perfect dessert to utilize Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
When I got the idea to use Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in ice cream, I did a bunch of experimenting. I eventually settled on two truths:
1) Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream is best made with milk that's had cereal soaking in it for hours.
2) You'll want a little bit of crunch in this and the best way to do that is to caramelize some of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Now that I've made this ice cream several times over the years, I can confirm that the cereal is just as delicious in ice cream as it is in your morning milk.
And because of those two truths, I can assure you this is the most delicious Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream recipe ever! If you're a fan of the cereal, you'll love this recipe! If you've ever made homemade ice cream before, this will be the easiest recipe for you.
Honestly, the only thing you won't like about it is that it does require a lot of time to chill. You'll definitely want to plan ahead when making the ice cream and start at least the day before you want to enjoy it!
This is a pretty standard custard-based ice cream with lots of crunchy cereal pieces, cinnamon, and brown sugar mixed in.
Here's everything you need to make it (see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions):
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Large egg yolks
- Heavy cream
- Vanilla extract
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
The only special equipment you need is an ice cream machine (I highly recommend the KitchenAid attachment if you already have a mixer).
🥣 How to caramelize cereal
One of the most important parts of this recipe involves the caramelized cereal. You won't need this until you're ready to process the ice cream, but you can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container if you want.
To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put two cups of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a bag and crush it a little bit.
Heat butter and brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave until it's melted. Whisk together until blended and pour it over the cereal in the bowl.
And then spread the cereal over the prepared cookie sheet in an even layer and bake for about 10 minutes, until it's nice and caramelized.
Remove from oven, let cool, and break into small pieces.
Try not to eat it all right out of the bowl before adding it to the ice cream!
🍦 How to make Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream
For the ice cream, you'll start by making the cereal milk. Just put one cup of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a bowl and pour milk into it.
I recommend letting the bowl sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours (you can do less time if you're in a rush, but for maximum flavor, I recommend 6).
You can certainly do this the night before you're making the ice cream; in fact, I recommend you do!
Now you're ready to make the ice cream base. Strain the milk from the cereal using a fine mesh strainer, reserving a cup of the milk. Put it into a medium saucepan and heat with the salt and sugar over medium heat.
Bring mixture to a simmer and then immediately remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks in a separate heat-proof bowl.
Pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then pour that back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
This is called "tempering" and is a way to heat the egg yolks slowly so they don't scramble.
Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Pour the cream into a separate large bowl place bowl in an ice bath.
Strain the warm milk mixture into the bowl of cream. Mix in vanilla and cinnamon (you want this ice cream to have the BEST cinnamon flavor possible!) and stir over the ice until cool. Put the bowl into the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
When milk/cream solution is done chilling, process according to your ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions.
When the ice cream is almost done processing, mix in the caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch pieces.
Then store the ice cream in a separate container and let freeze for another few hours, or overnight.
I know. It's a lot of waiting for things to marinate, chill, and freeze. But it's all worth it; I promise!
Now, serve yourself a bowl of ice cream and sprinkle a little bit more Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top if desired.
Caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch is so delicious that you'll likely want to have some at the ready at all times for snacking.
If you didn't save any, you can add extra Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal on instead.
It's not like I'm telling you to eat this for breakfast. But I also wouldn't tattle on you if you did. Who am I going to tattle to anyway?? You're an adult. Act like one.
It's mostly just milk and cereal anyway. OK, and some cream and sugar I guess.
But it's heaven. The ice cream really did taste just like the cereal and was exactly what I was hoping for when I first came up with the idea.
And I might not be lying if I told you Chris ate this whole entire bowl after I photographed it.
OK, so I told him he had to eat the whole thing and he claims he didn't realize I was joking. Suuure.
I've made about a million different ice creams in my lifetime and always play around with ratios depending what I'm in the mood for.
Because I used five eggs in the ice cream, it was a perfectly creamy ice cream without any icy-ness, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
I feel like a cereal ice cream needs to be extra creamy.
If you love sipping your cereal milk after the cereal is long gone, this is the ice cream for you. And for all Cinnamon Toast Crunch fans, this is definitely the dessert for you!
Or if you just need an excuse to have a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in your pantry. I'm always looking for one.
💡 More recipes with Cinnamon Toast Crunch
I love baking and creating with cereal and CTC is one of my very favorites! Here are a few more recipes I've made and absolutely love!
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cocktail
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Granola
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Pancakes
- Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Stout Milkshake
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bars (from House of Nash Eats)
Oh and just an FYI: homemade ice cream has no season and this one can be made and enjoyed all year round!
What cereal box would you want your picture on if you were an Olympic athlete?
In case you weren't aware, I've also made a quite delicious Lucky Charms Ice Cream... What should come next??
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream
- 1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, divided
- 1 ⅓ cups whole milk
- ¼ tsp of salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch (recipe below)
Caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- 2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Put Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a bowl and pour milk into it.
- Let cereal sit in fridge for at least 6 hours (you can do less time, but for maximum flavor, I recommend 6).
- Strain the milk from the cereal, reserving a cup of the milk. Put it into a medium saucepan and heat with the salt and sugar over medium heat. Bring mixture just to a simmer and then immediately remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks in a separate heat-proof bowl.
- Pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Then pour that back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
- Pour the cream into a separate large bowl place bowl in an ice bath.
- Strain the warm milk mixture into the bowl of cream. Mix in vanilla and cinnamon and stir over the ice until cool.
- Put the bowl into the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When milk/cream solution is done chilling, process according to your ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions.
- When the ice cream is almost done processing, mix in the caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch pieces (save a little to top ice cream with if desired). Then store the ice cream in a separate container and let freeze for another few hours, or overnight.
- Serve in individual bowls and sprinkle a little bit more caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top if desired.
Caramelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the remaining two cups of cereal in a bag and crush it a little bit.
- Heat butter and brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave until it's melted. Whisk together until blended and pour it over the cereal in the bowl.
- Spread the cereal over a parchment-lined cookie sheet in an even layer and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until it's nice and caramelized.
- Remove from oven, let cool, and break into small pieces.