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!
Sugary cereal. The best, right? Growing up, sugar cereal was always a dessert for me since I definitely wasn’t allowed to eat it for breakfast. We ate things like Cheerios and oatmeal for breakfast. Or toast with peanut butter. And fruit; lots of fruit. We mostly never even had sugar cereal in the house, but very occasionally my mom would let us pick one out for dessert purposes. It was almost always Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Lucky Charms. And I almost always ate it dry out of the box for an afternoon snack or dessert.
I knew I had to make ice cream in the week before my vacation since I had a quart of heavy cream in the fridge and couldn’t let it go to waste. I know. Life is super tough. I started thinking that Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream might be the best idea ever. And now that I’m an adult, I wouldn’t even have to wait until dessert to eat it. Cinnamon Toast Crunch ICE CREAM for breakfast? I’m such a rebel.
At first I was just going to jump into the kitchen and start whipping it up. But then I did a little bit of research and thank goodness I did. Because I learned that simply adding Cinnamon Toast Crunch into the homemade ice cream would just end up making a big soggy ice cream mess. There were several solutions to this. Like coating the cereal in chocolate. Meh, that would take away from the CTC flavor, I thought. So, I decided to do something similar to what a few other recipes did and coat the cereal in brown sugar and butter before adding it into the ice cream. Staying true to the flavors, while preserving the crunch of the cereal. And Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream was born. Amen.
Start by making yourself a bowl of cereal. Not really. But pour the milk in a bowl and put one cup of the cereal in it. You really only need one cup of milk, but some of the milk is going to get absorbed into the cereal, so it’s best to use 1 1/4 cups.
Let the cereal sit in the fridge for as long as you can. Six hours is probably best, but if you have to do less, it’s really not the end of the world. When you take it out of the fridge, it will be all soggy-like. But the milk will be that incredible sugary cereal-infused milk. You know, the kind you want to slurp right out of the bowl.
Strain the milk from the cereal, making sure you have a cup of milk (if you need more, just pour more plain milk). Put milk in a medium saucepan.
Heat the milk with the salt and sugar in the saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer and then remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks in a separate 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 bowl placed in an ice bath. I just put ice packs into a big bowl. Now, strain the warm milk mixture into the bowl of cream. Mix in vanilla. Stir over the ice until cool. Then put the bowl into the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
In the meantime, you can prepare the cereal, so it’s nice and crunchy when you add it into the ice cream. First, put the two cups of cereal in a bag and crush it a little bit. But not too much!
Now, heat the butter and brown sugar in a bowl in the microwave until it’s melted. Whisk it all together.
And pour it over the cereal.
Spread the cereal over a parchment-lined cookie sheet, so it’s in a nice even layer.
Bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until it’s nice and caramelized.
Let it cool and then break it into little pieces. This is what I like to call Cinnamon Toast Crunch taken to the next level.
When your milk/cream solution is niiiice and cold, you’re ready to process your ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. I churned mine for about 40 minutes.
Oh, and while it was churning, I realized that it might be nice to have a little extra cinnamon in the ice cream. So, I tossed in 1 teaspoon of Penzeys’ cinnamon.
See how the ice cream is thickening up?
When the ice cream is almost done, mix in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch pieces. Then store the ice cream in a separate container and let freeze for another few hours, or overnight.
Serve Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream and sprinkle a little bit more Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top if you so desire. And why wouldn’t you. I you’re going to go for it, you may as well go all out.
And. Heaven. The ice cream really did taste just like the cereal. 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 was also really happy with the consistency of this ice cream. It was perfectly creamy, without any of that icy-ness. Must be those 5 egg yolks.
I didn’t really eat this for breakfast. Because all those habits my mom taught me, like eating a good healthy breakfast in the morning have stuck with me through the years. And I still would never even eat a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch before 11 a.m. (unless it was my birthday). Much less Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream! But it just felt good knowing that I could eat this for breakfast if I wanted.
Also, yesterday was National Ice Cream Day. Since it was a Sunday, I hereby proclaim today a continuation of the major holiday and give you full permission to celebrate today as well. I’m still on vacation, so I’ll definitely be partaking. Today I’ll also be playing golf and doing lots of lounging by the pool. Mondays never looked so good 🙂 If yours doesn’t sound so hot, trust me, ice cream will make it better. So will sugary cereal. Lots better.
Were you allowed to eat sugary cereal as a kid? What was your favorite kind?
Next, I think I’ll have to tackle Lucky Charms Ice Cream…
- 3 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, divided
- 1¼ cup whole milk
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Put one cup of the cereal in a bowl and pour milk into it.
- Let cereal sit in fridge for as long as you can for about 6 hours (you can do less time, but for maximum flavor, I recommend 6). When you take it out of the fridge, it will be all soggy-like. But the milk will be sugary cereal-infused milk.
- Strain the milk from the cereal, making sure you have a cup of milk (if you need more, just pour more plain milk) and put milk into a medium saucepan.
- Heat the milk with the salt and sugar in the saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer and then remove from heat.
- Whisk egg yolks in a separate 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 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 8 hours or overnight.
- In the meantime, pre-heat 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 into 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.
- 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 Cinnamon Toast Crunch pieces. Then store the ice cream in a separate container and let freeze for another few hours, or overnight.
- Serve ice cream in individual bowls and sprinkle a little bit more Cinnamon Toast Crunch on top if desired.