Cereal milk ice cream. It started with Christina Tosi and Momofuko in NYC. Since then, Tosi has opened Milk Bar and you can get it and various other amazing things there. I ate it when in NYC and was immediately thinking of how exactly to recreate this at home. This homemade cereal milk ice cream recipe is the perfect at-home copycat version, and dare I say, with a little caramel swirl, maybe even a bit better.
What is cereal milk ice cream?
Honestly it is exactly what it says. It is ice cream made with milk that has been steeped with cereal. You know when you eat a bowl of cereal, and all the cereal is gone and you slurp up that sugary milk mixture left in the bowl? Take that and add it to an ice cream base.
Trust me, it is as good as it sounds.
Is this a copycat Milk Bar cereal milk ice cream recipe?
No, not really. But I think it is as close as you'll ever get to Christina Tosi's Milk Bar recipe...
- Tosi's is soft serve, mine is not.
- Tosi uses corn flakes, I use Kix (because it is what I had).
- Tosi's soft serve is a little icy and I think, an eggless ice cream base. My recipe uses a Philadelphia-style ice cream recipe that is also eggless giving it the most similar consistency to the original.
- Tosi's does not swirl caramel into the ice cream. I swirl the shit out of caramel into the ice cream because I just think it makes it more awesome.
- Tosi's is not overly sweet and f'ing delicious, and so is mine.
Do I have to have an ice cream maker?
Long answer: yes, for every ice cream recipe that is NOT no-churn, you will need an ice cream maker. But good news is that you don't have to get one that costs a fortune. This is the one I have and it is expensive, I got it as a wedding present. I adore this machine, it is so simple, does a great job and in my opinion, the ice cream isn't so icy - like no ice crystals.
But this one also made by Cuisinart and is way less expensive AND I know two people who have this one and love it as much as I love mine. And you can get even less expensive here, still electric and it has great reviews. Mine stores easily on a shelf in my basement and I keep the freezer bowl in my deep freezer - or I run to my mom's and use hers lol. So this is my official recommendation to you to get an ice cream maker...you won't be sorry, especially when you taste the difference home made makes.
Short answer: no, you can borrow from a friend. If not that, then you won't be able to make this and all the other wonderful ice creams I am going to share with you.
Is all ice cream made with egg yolks?
Nope! This cereal milk ice cream recipe is a Philadelphia-style ice cream (eggless) and it couldn't be simpler. The first time I ever tried this kind of ice cream base was my sour cherry ice cream, it was outstanding. Philadelphia-style ice cream is simply heated cream, milk and sugar with flavoring.
While I find this style of ice cream easy and delicious, it does lack the richness you'd get from a traditional French-style base made with egg yolks, like my butterscotch ice cream with chocolate cake.
Is there really a difference in taste between home made ice cream and store bought?
Omfg is there ever. You will never get over that you have lived however long you have lived and not made your own ice cream. And if you're already making your own ice cream, you are reading this and saying HELL YES right now. It is creamier, richer and more genuine in flavor than anything store bought. Cherry ice cream? Tastes like fresh cherries. Strawberry ice cream? Legit strawberry - NOT overly sweetened and processed tasting. Andddd you can make all kinds of flavor combinations - fresh fruit or otherwise. This is a journey you will start and never be sorry you got on.
- Heavy cream for richness
- Whole milk. While the idea of making this richer by only using cream sounds appealing, it actually doesn't work that way...it becomes grainy, so a little bit of milk is necessary. But not in equal measure, you don't want too much water in the base, or you'll end up with heavily crystallized ice cream.
- Sugar. Regardless of the kind of cereal you use, you will need some additional sugar. When using a heavily sweetened cereal like Fruity Pebbles or Cinnamon Toast crunch, I recommend cutting the amount of sugar this recipe calls for by about four tablespoons.
- Cereal. I use Kix cereal (a sweet corn -based cereal), because it is something I always have on hand, but you can easily sub out cornflakes. And I will tell you Cocoa make an amazing cereal milk ice cream.
- Vanilla extract
- A bit of salt
- Caramel sauce for swirling. You can use store bought or homemade (I do give a recipe below).
Tips for success
- I think my best trick in making this so damn good is double steeping. I steep the Kix in the heavy cream prior to cooking and again after it has cooked with the sugar. This intensifies the cereal flavor (which is like a creamy sweet corn flavor).
- Since this is an eggless ice cream recipe, you will want to make sure to use heavy cream not half and half, for richness.
- The caramel was so unnecessary, and you certainly can bypass it entirely and make this without. But I had caramel sitting around so, again, why the hell not?
- Ice cream maker
For the ice cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups Kix cereal
For caramel swirl
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- 7 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the ice cream
- Begin by putting one cup of cereal in a bowl with the heavy cream and milk and steep for 45 minutes, not in the fridge. Strain out the cereal and put the milk mixture in a sauce pan.
- Add sugar to the milk mixture and heat over medium heat until it almost simmers - don't full on boil - and the sugar is dissolved completely. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Add the vanilla extract, pinch of salt and stir. Add the remaining two cups of cereal and cover and chill overnight.
- When fully chilled, pour the cream through a strainer into the ice cream maker and churn following your machines instructions. This takes about 20 minutes or so of churning. When finished, transfer ⅓ of the ice cream into a container and drizzle ⅓ of the caramel over. Repeat with another third and another. Cover and freeze a minimum of eight hours before scooping.
To make homemade caramel sauce
- To make the caramel, in heavy saucepan boil sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt over medium heat, stirring ONLY until the sugar is dissolved. Boil mixture, without stirring, gently swirling pan, until a deep golden caramel, this takes about 12 minutes or so, as soon as you smell caramel get ready to take it off. Remove pan from heat and carefully pour cream and vanilla down side of pan (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and cool caramel to room temperature.