Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

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So, remember when I was having a dilemma about whether or not to keep adding text to my lead photo? Well, I’ve decided, with your feedback, to just do whatever the heck I wanna do. I think it will work out nicely and now I don’t have any more imaginary stress about it. So, THANKS. You are all the best…so, I made you ice cream!


This ice cream is so dang good, you guys. I mean, it has all the flavors of a pumpkin cinnamon roll, including a gooey cinnamon caramel swirl AND a cream cheese icing swirl. I mean, we all know cream cheese icing never hurt a cinnamon bun, amiright? The ice cream is laced with pumpkin puree and a punch of spices making it taste like all the things we love about autumn, plus those swirls. The swirls aren’t totally necessary, but they really make this ice cream something else…plus they make for pretty scoops and I’m all about cute food.

And, can we talk about how it’s October and I’ve been wearing witchy colors on my nails EVERYDAY, that have apparently transferred into the styling here. I love that black flatware and have had it almost since the beginning of this blog–meaning it’s older than my 3-year-old niece.  I can’t always make it work the rest of the year…so just another reason to L-O-V-E fall. Okay, I’m done. Happy Friday, get yo’ pumpkin ice cream on!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

Adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

It is best to make the cinnamon caramel in advance so it can cool to room temperature before layering with the ice cream. You will probably have a little extra caramel, so just store it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for 1 week…and pour it over this ice cream OR use it to dip apples into.

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup plain pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl whisk the softened cream cheese until creamy, stir in the maple and pumpkin. In another small bowl whisk together the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the milk. Set both aside.  Prepare an ice bath in a clean sink or large bowl.

In a saucepan heat the remaining milk, sea salt, cream, sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and quickly whisk in the cornstarch mixture until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into the bowl containing the cream cheese and pumpkin mixture. Whisk to combine completely. Pour the mixture into a gallon size freezer bag, seal, and dunk into the ice bath. Let it sit in the ice bath until cool.  Process the ice cream base in a ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Layer the ice cream into a container with the cooled cinnamon caramel and cream cheese—try to get at least three layers for maximum swirled goodness.

For the Cinnamon Caramel Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a saucepan heat the sugar, water, butter, and corn syrup together until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture becomes deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the salt and heavy cream until smooth and glossy. The caramel will bubble furiously at this point, so be careful! Stir in the cinnamon and pour into a heatproof container to cool.

For the Cream Cheese Swirl:

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until combined and smooth.





Irish Coffee Milkshake with Whiskey Caramel

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Yes, it’s another ice-cream-drink…and yeah, maybe it was lunch yesterday. I hope you don’t mind, I’m just in the mood for stripey straws and swift-sweet-tooth-satisfaction…plus, this one is different because of the BOOZE factor.

It’s no secret that this weekend is a BFD for lovers of all things green, and pinching, and Ireland, and Guinness,  and corned beef, and whiskey, and drunk-stumbling camaraderie. As a certifiable hermit, I’m not one for crazy, raucous partying, but I do like to get down with a festive, boozey, treat to share with my favorites (you all included!). Enter this milkshake. It’s dead-simple, I mean…I know we can all handle making a milkshake, so think of this as more of a suggestive guide, rather than a recipe.

We’re blending together store-bought coffee ice cream, a little milk mixed with a little espresso powder, some whiskey (if I had any shame, I’d be real and use certifiable Irish whiskey…but I didn’t), and a boozed-up homemade caramel sauce. This shake has some of my favorite flavors ever–I mean, whiskey and caramel should just be BFF’s, right? plus, coffee? Get out. This shake is a quick indulgence for one, but can be easily adapted to make a batch of impressive, crowd-pleasing treats. Pop in a straw and knock one back!

Irish Coffee Milkshake

Makes 1 milkshake. 

I’m sure you guys know what a milkshake is all about and exactly how you like them, so ratios below are just a suggestion. Shake it up, add mix-ins, do yo’ thing. 

2 hefty scoops of your favorite coffee ice cream

2-4 tablespoons of milk

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 ounce (or as much as you want) whiskey

whiskey caramel sauce (recipe below)

whipped cream to garnish

Begin by dissolving the espresso powder in the milk, add to a blender canister along with the ice cream, whiskey, and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce. Blend it up! Drizzle the inside of your glass with more caramel, pour in the shake, top with whipped cream and more caramel if desired. Cheers!

Whiskey Caramel Sauce:

adapted from THIS recipe.

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 Tablespoon golden syrup (or corn syrup)

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 ounce whiskey

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, water, and golden syrup, gently combine. Heat over medium-high until the mixture becomes a syrup and comes to a boil. Continue to boil until the syrup becomes a deep golden, brown caramel color–as dark as you dare before it burns. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in the butter, cream, and salt, until smooth. Return to heat if needed to create a smooth sauce. Whisk in the whiskey to combine. Pour into a heatproof jar and cool. Can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for a week.


Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream with Cashews

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When I was a smallish child we lived in California, just a few towns over from The Jelly Belly factory. We did the tour a few times  with out-of-town family–that place smells insane like sugar. I always loved mixing the flavors to make other flavors–root beer float and the like. My mom would pretty much only eat those strange buttered popcorn dudes. This ice cream is a nod to that candy bean, though the flavor is less weirdo-artificial-movie-theater-bucket and more delicious popcorn nuttiness.

Even though I’m not a fan of the popcorn jelly bean, I am a fan of popcorn…and caramel and nuts. I mean, it’s just so perfect–salty, sweet, nutty crunchy. It’s like a salty-sweet-crunchy dream. This ice cream starts with a smooth and creamy popcorn base–there are 8 whole cups of popcorn in it! It wilts down to nothing, but leaves behind a cream that’s reminiscent of buttered popcorn, sans the butter plus the popcorn. I added a caramel ripple for good measure and sweet cashews for crunch.

This ice cream is crazy-weird-good. Even though it’s only January, it has me dreaming of late sunsets, ball parks and hot dogs, and summertime goodness.

Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream with Cashews

Salted Caramel Sauce // adapted from The Perfect Scoop

Prepare the caramel sauce ahead of time so it can cool to room temperature. Can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated in a lidded container. You will have leftover sauce, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to use it up :)

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon golden (or corn) syrup

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt

In a measuring cup measure out cream and add vanilla, set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat sugar, syrup, and water over medium-high until sugar is melted and turns dark golden brown in color (the darkest you can get it before burning is best–think whiskey/bourbon color). Remove from heat and quickly whisk in butter and half of cream until combined and smooth. The mixture will steam and bubble furiously, use a oven mitt or towel to wrap your stirring hand. If there are still lumps, heat gently until smooth. Add remaining cream and salt and stir until smooth.


1/2 cup popping corn

paper lunch bag

place the popcorn kernels in the bag, fold the bag top 2-3 times, microwave on high until the corn is popping like crazy, followed by 1-2 second pauses between pops–about 3 1/2 minutes. This may take some trial and error, just be watchful–you may have to pop it in 2 batches. This made me about 9 cups of popcorn–I used 8 and snacked on the remaining cup.

Popcorn Ice Cream // adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

2 cups heavy whipping cream

8 cups plain popped corn

2 cup milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons golden syrup (or corn)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped cashews

caramel sauce

In a medium saucepan heat the heavy cream with the popcorn (the popcorn will basically wilt away, so if it seems like a lot, it won’t be), bring to a low boil, cover, remove from heat and steep for 1 hour. Sieve the popcorn cream through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much cream as possible. Discard solids, you should have about 1 cup of cream remaining, if less add cream to make 1 cup.

Mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch to create a slurry. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan mix together the popcorn cream with the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk, add the sugar, golden syrup, and salt. Heat the mixture and bring to a low boil, quickly whisk in the slurry mixture and return to a boil, whisking until thickened–about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl or clean sink basin. Pour the ice cream base into a gallon zip-bag and seal. Chill the base in the ice bath until cooled completely. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions. Spoon 1/3 of the churned ice cream into a freezer container, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with nuts–repeat 2 more times. Cover and freeze until firm–3 hours or more.