From the Garden: Fresh Mint Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

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Fresh Mint Homemade Ice Cream

The other day I posted a photo on Instagram of a batch of homemade ice cream made from fresh mint from the garden. It’s our go to summer dessert and there must be other folks out there whose gardens are overflowing with mint because I had several requests to share the recipe. I thought I’d do a how-to post (and because recipe posts are only fun with photos we simply had to make another batch. I’m only thinking of you. The whole ice cream making/eating experience was a selfless act.) So ta da!

Fresh Mint Homemade Ice Cream Ingredients.jpg


Fresh Mint Homemade Ice Cream (Serves 4-6)

(Inspired by a Peppermint Chocolate ice cream recipe in the Cuisinart ICE-21 recipe book)


(It’s not a tricky recipe, so I always let the kids help me gather mint and separate the leaves from the stems, add and stir ingredients, etc. They love it.)

Cut several bunches of fresh mint. (You can buy it at the store if you don’t have any, but it’s super easy to grow and does great in containers if you don’t have space for a garden bed.) Tear off the leaves. You’re going to want about 2 and 1/2 cups of the mint leaves.

Fresh Mint.jpg

Heat 1 cup milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. You want it to BARELY boil. Once it starts to boil, remove from heat and add your mint leaves. Cover and let steep for 30 minutes.

Steep Mint Leaves.jpg

Use an immersion blender (we have this one) to blend the mint leaves with the milk. If you don’t have an immersion blender, I don’t see why you couldn’t use a food processor or a regular blender. You’ll want the pieces of mint to be pretty tiny so that the ice cream doesn’t have a chunky texture.

Add 2/3 cup sugar and whisk until it’s blended well and there’s not a sugar sludge at the bottom of the sauce pan anymore. Then add 2 cups heavy whipping cream (the cartons usually have slightly more than 2 cups, so I save the extra cream for the next day’s coffee, mmmm), 1 TBSP vanilla, and a pinch of salt.

Cover the saucepan and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pour into your preferred ice cream maker* and savor the sweet taste of summer!

*Last summer we ordered a Cuisinart ICE-21 last summer and we love it. It’s so simple and super easy to clean. It only takes 10-15 minutes to make the ice cream and no rock salt or tricky stuff involved.

Another great way to use up fresh mint is to make a cup of fresh mint tea. Just grab a sprig of mint, place it in a mug, and pour your hot water on top. Doesn’t get easier than that.

Do you have a favorite homemade ice cream flavor or recipe? We’ve started making homemade ice cream every Sunday and we’ve got a whole lot of summer ahead to try out new recipes!

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  1. says

    Whaaaat – we were planning to make ice cream today, and I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect mint ice cream recipe for…at least forever and a day. How minty is the taste?? Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to give this a try!!!

    • Haley says

      It’s nice and minty–not too strong for the kids. But if you want it to be milder, you can strain the leaves out after you steep them instead of blending them into the milk! We’re making ice cream today, too! 🙂

  2. says

    You know, I’ve been wondering what should be the first homemade ice cream for the summer of 2014 (always an “end of the school year” tradition around here) and I think we have a winner!

    Thanks, Haley! This looks delicious!

  3. says

    We honeymooned in Florida 5 years ago and fell in love with Publix, especially their store brand labels. Seeing the salt in your photo reminded me of that!
    The ice cream looks very tasty!

    • says

      We got a free freezer bowl with our Breville mixer (like a Kitchen Aid) & I hadn’t had much success until I tried this same recipe Hayley has outlined, without the mint.
      I heat the milk & cream before bed, chill it overnight. Church it in the morning & we have ice cream for dinner.
      I have learned to churn it for about 25mins, rather than the 10-15mins suggested & also mix it one notch faster.
      I still lust after a Cuisnart ice cream machine, but for now we’re getting brilliant ice cream with the freezer bowl.

  4. says

    Going to have to try this.
    We recently stop buying any ice cream & I am making 2 litres each week. I use the exact same recipe for my vanilla ice cream without the mint.
    Although when I read it out, hubby suggested it had to have shaved dark chocolate & the kids all agreed. So mint choc chip.

    • Haley says

      Well, I’m sure you started by freezing the bowl overnight, right? We just store ours in the freezer. And if it’s still liquidy, I would try keeping the ingredients chilled in the fridge overnight instead of just a couple of hours?

  5. Marta says

    Dear Haley,
    we make a nice drink with mint leaves, I had it for the first time at a Moroccan restaurant two years ago and it became one of our favorites. Just put mint leaves, freshly squeezed lemon juice, ice and sugar on a jar, add a bit of water and blend it! It makes a nice green beverage (aka “Hulk’s Blood”), you can add more sugar/mint/ice to your taste. It also works with honey instead of sugar.

    For the mint tea, it’s also nice if you add a bit of green tea to the mint before you add the boiling water.

    Have a great week!
    Love from Amsterdam., M

  6. Heather says

    Question about the mint.

    Could it be finely chopped or even given a quick whirl in the food processor *before* adding it to the milk? It just seems easier to do it that way than to try to tackle that step after it’s already in the milk. Is there a specific reason for putting the whole leaves in in the beginning?

    Thanks! Looks great!

    • Haley says

      That’s a great question, Heather! Hmmm, I think if the leaves were chopped before steeping it might be too strong of a minty flavor? I’m not sure. If you try it, lemme know how it goes!

  7. says

    This looks delicious, and since I have an entire barrel full of chocolate mint, perfect for this weekend! Thanks!

    I will say my mint PSA though–unless you want a yard entirely made of mint, don’t plant it in the ground. Its aggressively invasive. Plant it in pots! (It still tries to escape!)

  8. Miranda Cunningham says

    Going to give this a try! But ill be subbing almond milk so I hope that turns out ok. I use milk products but never liked drinking milk. I use almond milk instead. My dad has had a cusinart ice cram maker in his closet for 9 years. This weekend he gave it to me. 🙂 Another fantasy about to be accomplished!!! I always see awesome looking ice cream recipes. Now I can make them all.

  9. Micah says

    i really want to make mint ice cream but i dont have any mint leaves or peppermint extract, so is it possible to use peppermint tea?

    • Haley says

      Mmmm…..I don’t think so. I don’t think you’d get the same result. You could give it a try, but I definitely recommend using the fresh mint or it just won’t be the same.


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