Creole King Cake Ice Cream Recipe

No matter the time of year, this King Cake Ice Cream is a crowd-pleaser. 

King Cake Ice Cream Recipe

This simple ice cream recipe makes for some big Mardi Gras flavors!

Originating in France, the king cake tradition was brought to New Orleans in the late 1800s. Since then, it’s become a staple in Louisiana cuisine.

What is a King Cake?

There are five seasons in Louisiana — winter, spring, summer, fall and Mardi Gras! And one of the most important traditions of the Mardi Gras season is the king cake.

King cakes are typically crafted with a blend of coffee cake and cinnamon rolls, and are usually topped with yellow, green and purple icing, representing the colors of Mardi Gras. Some bakeries also pack the cakes with fruit fillings and cream cheese for added flavor. But its most important “filling” is the hidden plastic baby, which symbolizes luck and prosperity, that comes in every cake. As tradition states, the person who finds the baby must buy or make a king cake for the next gathering.

In the recipe below, we take two of the best sweet treats — king cake and smooth, cool ice cream — to create a uniquely-Louisiana dessert that’s perfect for a hot summer day!

Ingredients for King Cake Ice Cream:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ cup half-and-half*
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon**
  • 1 large slice of king cake (make your own with this king cake recipe or use store bought)

Method of Preparation:

  1. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup of milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside.
  2. In a 4-quart saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the half-and-half (or cream), sugar, sweetened condensed milk and salt; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry and cinnamon. Return to a boil and cook, stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in ¼ cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth.
  4. Whisk in remaining milk mixture until smooth.
  5. Pour mixture into plastic bag; seal and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled, or if you have extra time pour into container and chill in refrigerator.
  6. Once milk mixture is cooled, pour into ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. While the mixture has started to churn, cut king cake into small bite size pieces, including the icing.
  8. Half-way through the churning process add the bite-sized king cake pieces to the mixture.
  9. Once the mixture is fully churned and mostly frozen, transfer to storage container and freeze until completely set.

* For an extra rich mixture, use heavy cream instead

** This depends on the potency of your cinnamon: If you feel like you have a stronger cinnamon, use 1 teaspoon. If you have a more mellow cinnamon, use 2 teaspoons. 

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