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.
Camels & Chocolate says
This makes me wonder why my Kitchenaid ice cream attachment is currently in storage and not making me Cinnamon Toast Crunch ice cream at this very minute.
And my mom would only let us eat Rice Krispies (plain) and Cheerio's (plain) as children so when I was in high school and college, it was all about the CTC, Lucky Charms and Golden Grahams!
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is says
ah my favorite cereal! i would be all over this!
Lauren at Keep It Sweet says
OMG I am in love with this ice cream!
Simply Life says
wow! you really need to patent this and sell it!
Thats so fun! I loved cinnamon toast crunch as a kid! We were also not really allowed to have the sugary cereals in the house. My most favorite was captain crunch. My grandma always bought it when my sister and I were visiting
Blog is the New Black says
Wow. THat's all. Wow.
Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living says
LOVE this!! My parents definitely never bought us cereal like Cinnamon Toast Crunch when my brother and I were kids, so of course I loaded up at friends' houses ;). Three Sisters (available at Whole Foods) makes a slightly healthier version of the cereal called Cinnamon Sweets, and I'm psyched to try this ice cream using that cereal.
This ice cream looks soo yummy!! I loved fruit loops when I was a kid, but we were never allowed to eat them!
Jenn's Food Journey says
Cereal in ice cream... LOVE IT!!! I wonder how cocoa puffs would taste in ice cream..??!! 🙂
This may have been asked before, but where did you get the container for your ice cream???
how well do you think this would ship? 🙂
Mal @ The Chic Geek says
We never had sugar cereal in our house while growing up, sugar cereals were a special treat when I visited my grandparents!
This looks sooo good, I love homemade ice cream!
Emily @ A Cambridge Story says
What a GREAT idea. Who needs to eat sugary cereal with just milk when you can eat it with cream, butter and more sugar?!
I ate CTC for breakfast ALOT. Lucky Charms, too!
gosh, this is heavenly!! first time i'm seeing cinnamon toast crunch, dont think it's available here but anyway, your ice cream is marvellous and i just read thru your instructions, very clear!
Michelle Collins says
This is GENIUS. I grew up eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch - it's still one of my favorite guilty pleasure cereals/snacks!
[email protected] says
Wow... very clever! Looks like creamy, crunchy yumminess!
sweeter salt says
YOU ARE A GENIUS! want this, right now.
Agree, TOTAL genius. As I am a completel slacker, I will be making a shortcut version using store-bought ice cream, but it's the thought that counts, right?
emily @ the happy home says
you just stopped. my. heart. this is BRILLIANT.
Obviously learning to type should be right up there with learning to make homemade ice cream. 🙂
When I make ice cream in my maker, after storing it in the freezer, it gets super hard. Does that happen to you? I've heard it can help to chill the container I store it in first (I store in glass).
@Catherine- I got my ice cream containers from Zak! Designs on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Zak-Designs-Insulated-Ice-Cream-Freezable/dp/B001R1ZVWI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1299214935&sr=8-1-spell
It looks like they're all sold out now, but I think they should get more in soon (or I'm sure they sell them other places, too).
@Ann- I usually have the opposite problem... But I think it might be worth trying to process it in your ice cream maker a few minutes longer? That will incorporate more air into the ice cream, which will hopefully make for a softer ice cream. Easier said than done, of course! You might just need to let the ice cream sit out a bit before serving it 🙂
Dan from Food in My Beard made the chocolate-coated version, and I have been dying to try it ever since! It sounds great this way too... but I have to admit, I'm a huge fan of chocolate.
Given how hot its going to be in D.C. this week I think I'm going to have to make this!!
MMm looks delicious!!!
Jessi @ Quirky Cookery says
I didn't really get to as a kid. In college I made up for it, though, with prepackaged bowls and poptarts from the local cafeteria, lol.
I love how you infused the milk with the cereal first! Genius. Wish I had a big scoop right now! Fruity pebbles were always my fave and cinnamon Life.
Sarah L says
OMG, literally tonight when I was getting some ice cream for me & my hubby I told him that I thought a great ice cream idea would be to have a line of cereal milk ice creams... raisin bran, frosted flakes, trix, honey nut cheerios... and then 30 minutes later I saw your post. What are the odds?!
This gets like SIX "amens" and a few "hallelujahs" thrown in for good measure. Too amazing even for words.
Oh my goodness... this is quite the creation! It sounds SO FANTASTIC, I'm going to have to try it asap!
Oh! I used to eat tons of cinnamon toast crunch...now that I have own an ice cream maker I will definitely make this ice cream, love the different texture in it. So yummie!
Hope you are having a fantastic week 🙂
I was definitely not allowed to eat sugary cereals growing up and I ate my fill in college (I know, CRAZY, right?). Now, I'm back to boring but healthy cereals. I guess Mom really knew best!
haha, i haven't had cinn toast crunch in ages, but love the thought of this ice cream 🙂
Travel Food Phil says
Bravo! Breakfast and dessert in one! I was always a coco pops fan as a kid so maybe I'll give that a go!
janetha @ meals & moves says
You just combined my two favorite foods! Ack, I must try!
Yum! This is so clever!
Heavenly Housewife says
I think I am in love. Cinnamon toast crunch is my all time favorite cereal, and ice cream is my favorite dessert. I am bookmarking this 😀
Definitely best idea ever - love it!!
Well this is just brilliant!
Parrish Ritchie says
Two of my favorite things!!! I have to make this!!
Samantha Dawn says
Yum! Crunchy cinnamon ice cream sounds perfect!
Eileen Kelly says
My kids are going to flip for this ice cream. They LOVE cinnamon toast crunch so turning into ice cream, Genius!
A little confused about the reserved milk? We are straining the milk and then leaving a cup of it to the side?- so does that mean only a 1/3 cup of the milk will be in the sauce pan?
@Taylor- Hi! You'll put the reserved cup of milk (that you strain out of the cereal) into the saucepan. And you can discard the rest if you have any. You let the cereal sit in 1 1/3 cups milk, but the cereal tends to soak some of it up, so by the time you strain it out, you won't have much more than a cup. Let me know if you have any questions!
Oh my god I just had my first bite after making this and it is so good. Would potentially suggest slightly more of the butter-brown-sugar mixture to cover two cups of crushed cereal, but the end effect is stunning.
i just made this today and it turned out delicious. the only problem that i have is that it doesn't make enough for the amount of time it takes to make (a 2-day ordeal!) but good god is it delicious. ive only made ice cream 2 other times so i think i need to try again - the egg mixture part was the toughest step and i am really glad my neighbors had a sifter for me to borrow because otherwise i would've had scrambled egg soup. in fact, maybe there would be More in the end if i hadn't created so much scrambled egg goop...whoops. it was a great first try though, good recipe!
@Chelsea- Yay! I'm glad you liked it! And yes, the egg mixture can definitely be a bit tricky to get perfect, but the more you make ice cream, the easier it gets!