Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

One of the perks of living in the South is Blue Bell ice cream. When we first moved here, I kept seeing it in the store and kept thinking, “Who do they think they are to be asking upwards of $7 for a 1/2 gallon of ice cream?!” Granted, you can almost always find it on sale somewhere, but still. It costs a pretty penny. And then I tried it and yeah, they can pretty much charge whatever they want because it’s the best ice cream ever. Cookies and cream. Pineapples and vanilla. Banana pudding. And the Candy Jar ice cream? Um, yeah, this blog is family-friendly, so I’ll just tell you that as I was just browsing their site and saw that Candy Jar is one of the flavors this month, I clapped my hands like a tricky monkey and my husband was slightly ashamed to be in the same room with me.

A few months ago, one of the flavors I tried was Snickerdoodle. Cookies. Cinnamon ice cream. Girl living 1723 miles away from home at Christmas. It was all I could do not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

While some of their flavors stick around all year, others only pop up every once in awhile. Since I had never seen Snickerdoodle before and haven’t seen it since and don’t know when I’ll see it again, I resorted to making my own snickerdoodle ice cream. And I’ll tell you what–I think it might be just as good. And cheaper (probably…I didn’t actually price it out…) than $7 for a 1/2 gallon.

Really, it couldn’t be easier.  I used Sara’s legendary sugar cookie recipe, rolling them a little thick and leaving them on the soft side so they’ll freeze up nicely and won’t break your teeth. If you’re short on time, I would recommend getting those little, softish shortbread cookies in the cookie aisle. Keebler, maybe? You could also use actual snickerdoodles, but I’m afraid they might not stand up to being churned in ice cream. And…now…don’t shoot me, but I don’t actually love snickerdoodles. I love the IDEA of snickerdoodles, hence the delicious, delicious ice cream, but I have NEVER had a snickerdoodle that doesn’t have a metallic aftertaste. I think it’s the cream of tartar. So maybe I’m the wrong gal to ask about putting snickerdoodles in your ice cream.

Anyway, apparently I’m feeling quite chatty, so I’ll shut up and get on with the recipe.

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 1/2 c. 2% milk
1 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
About 1 1/2-2 c. chopped high-quality sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, or shortbread cookies

Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat.

In a small mixing bowl (or really big cereal bowl), whisk egg yolks thoroughly. Very slowly, add 1/2 of the hot milk mixture, whisking the yolks constantly. Return pan with remaining milk mixture to stove top and then whisk the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. You need to be careful here to not get the eggs too hot too fast, or else they’ll curdle. So just relax and take it slow.

Add whipping cream. Over medium-low heat and stirring constantly, continue heating the custard mixture to 160 degrees. It will start to thicken quickly; remove from heat when your finger leaves a track on a spoon coated in the custard mixture.

Whisk in cinnamon and vanilla. Place the custard in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator several hours.

When ready to make ice cream, pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost done (like maybe the machine’s struggling a little…it looks like really firm soft-serve…), add chopped cookies.

Remove from ice cream freezer and place in another air-tight container and freeze a couple of hours at least to firm up.

Scoop up and enjoy!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. This ice cream sounds fantastic! I love snickerdoodles. Im kind of hesitant on the cookies though. Wouldnt they get soggy sitting in the ice cream?

    I have a good 'no egg'cookie dough recipe for ice cream that I might include instead

  2. We made this for our Memorial Day BBQ and it was absolutely fabulous! Definitely a hit and a keeper! Thanks!

  3. Kate, I bet you guys would like this…..You can make your own vanilla very inexpensively. (Much, much, much cheaper than buying those teensy little bottles at a grocery.)

    All it takes is some cheap vodka, a handful of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans (dirt cheap on EBay), a mason jar, a dark cabinet, and about a month or so of time in the dark cabinet.

    As much as you guys must use for your test cooking, it would be worth your while.

    You can make your own lemon, orange, grapefruit and coconut extracts very easily using the same methods.

    I even made some little bottles of key lime extract for gifts, which isn't something you see every day.
    (I don't recommend doing that though, peeling the limes just about crippled me.)

    Anyway, the cost of the pure homemade extracts is about one eighth the cost of the store bought, and that's just the first time, since you'll want to buy some amber or cobalt bottles to store the extracts in your fridge. After that, refills are roughly the price of the cheap vodka that you use to make them, and the peel scrapings of whatever citrus fruit you just ate. They make fabulous gifts if you slap a pretty label on them.

    Just Google "make your own vanilla extract" for instructions.

    Love the blog! Several of your recipes have become real favorites.

  4. I just made the ginger snaps with added orange rind and dipped them in white chocolate, I was thinking how wonderful that would be to incorporate into ice cream! Cut up the cookies and put in white choco chips? Worth a shot! Love your site and recommend it to everyone I know, all the time! Thanks!!

  5. I love what you wrote in response to the vanilla/foodie comment. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I use the imitation version as well and don’t taste a big enough difference b/w the expensive and cheap kind to warrant paying more.

    I WILL be trying out this recipe. I actually love snickerdoodles.

  6. Manda, I’m so glad you tried it and loved it! I figured this would probably be one of “those” recipes that hardly anyone makes because they either don’t have an ice cream maker or they don’t want to haul it out.

    I’m seriously going to use this as my new ice cream base, just sans the cinnamon. I bet it would be awesome as plain ol’ French vanilla or with strawberris in it.

  7. This was sooooooooo good, but next time I’m going to leave out the cookies and just have the cinnamon ice cream. I am in love with it.

  8. Well, considering real vanilla is hard to come by in my neck of the sticks, I have to settle for imitation unless I’m willing to sell my first-born child. Which, believe me, is an option sometimes, but usually more frowned upon than using imitation vanilla. Besides, we generally try to avoid the “foodie” label and the snobbery that comes along with that. Yeah, we’re not big on casseroles, but we’re not so far detached from the real world that we don’t use imitation vanilla in a pinch. I’m a small-town girl livin’ in a lonely world, what am I gonna do? 🙂

  9. Hmmm. I am enjoying this blog (I’m new here) but I am wondering about the IMITATION VANILLA FLAVORING (eeewwwwww) in the photo for this recipe. Seems unlikely for folks who fancy themselves foodies. What happened?

  10. Ohh…you should see what we pay for ice cream from a local farm. They make their own ice cream there, M&M, Triple Brownie, Candy Cane, man they have a lot of flavours for a local company.
    They charge 10-12 bucks for a 4L bucket…. whew…lol.. But it is yummo!!! :o)

  11. I just got an ice cream maker for my birthday, and I love snickerdoodles. Thanks for making me fatter Kate 🙂

  12. Oh my. I am a huge cinnamon lover and snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie. This is my kind of ice cream!

  13. Oh how I love Blue Bell! I’ve never seen their snickerdoodle ice cream though, so I’ll have to try this.

  14. Becca, that’s true- we do have a great snickerdoodle recipe. That one is from Helen; I haven’t had them in years.

  15. I've never actually had a snickerdoodle cookie but snickerdoodle blondies are a whole different story. They are fabulous and not metallic tasting at all. Don't know that they would work for ice cream but wanted to let you know as I think you're missing out. I've tried Peabody's & Dozen Flours, both good but I liked Dozen's better.

    Now on to the good stuff, ICE CREAM! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!! I had no idea Blue Bell made "flavor of the months" might be because I can't get past homemade vanilla but I'm gonna keep my eye open.

  16. Mmmmm I LOVE snickerdooles and I love ice cream. This is a winner already- I can tell!

    I personally love snickerdoodles, even the taste of the cream of tartar! Sara I think the recipe in our family cookbook is probably the best I have ever tasted.

  17. I’ve been dreaming about this ever since you told me about it a few days ago. It looks just as good as it sounds! I can’t wait to try it.

    By the way, I know what you mean about the metallic taste of snickerdoodles. I hardly ever make them; I’m thinking we need to put our heads together and come up with the perfect recipe!

  18. Kara, we must share a brain because I thought the EXACT same thing about both the pie and the ice cream sandwiches! Next time…if it lasts that long!

  19. Yum! I love cinnamon ice cream and can’t find it here in Oregon. I know I will definitely love Snickerdoodle ice cream too!! We don’t get Blue Bell here so I will definitely be making my own!! Need to get that ice cream maker out!!

    1. They have a snickerdoodle ice cream sold in most grocery stores for a limited time and it is wonderful and I live in bend oregon 🙂

  20. This sounds just fabulous! It would be great with apple pie, or sandwiched between two snickerdoodles. OK, I’ll stop, I’m starting to drool.

  21. Being a Texas girl, I am a lover of Blue Bell. I have never seen Snickerdoodle!! I guess I will have to look harder. I am going to try your recipe.

    My favorite BB is Wedding Cake and I can only find it every once in awhile.

  22. hi kate! this looks so good! you are so good at this. i wouldn’t know where to start in reinventing a recipe. and the time you take to do it all! amazing! make some for us when you come home!