Cardamom-Cinnamon ice cream

Cardamom and cinnamon are two of my absolute favourite aromatic spices, with warm, rich and inviting flavours. In ice creams, each of them work nicely on their own. Adding them together, however, gives a subtle extra dimension to the overall taste, making for an even more complex and enjoyable experience. Since both spices traditionally are supposed to have medicinal values, it might even be good for you to try this recipe in more ways than the obvious:-)

You may prepare Cardamom-cinnamon ice cream with any base recipe. Personally, I am quite fond of using the Sicilian gelato-base (using corn starch and no eggs), which tends to bring a particular focus on the flavours of the spices.  If you prefer an even leaner version, substitute milk for (parts of) the cream and increase the amount of corn starch accordingly, to ensure proper stabilisation.



Cardamom-Cinnamon ice cream (yields about 1 litre)


300 ml (1.3 cup) cream

400 ml (1.7 cup) milk

125 ml (about 1/2 cup) sugar

3-4 tablespoons of corn starch

pinch of salt

1 cinnamon stick

The seeds of about 4-5 (green) cardamom pods (multiply with 12 to get the approximate number of corresponding seeds).

 Note: If you would like to have a stronger flavour emphasis on cinnamon, reduce the number of cardamom seeds in the recipe!


Blend  200 ml (0.8 cup) of the milk with the corn starch, making sure that there are no lumps. Set aside for now.

Open the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and discard the pod remains. Crush the cardamom seeds slightly.

Blend the remaining milk/cream, the sugar, the salt, the cinnamon stick and the cardamom seeds in a sauce pan. Warm until steaming hot on medium heat.  Now, blend in the corn starch mixture with the rest of the ingredients in the sauce pan. Barely reaching a boil, cook and stir for about five minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.

Reduce the heat and continue to stir for another five minutes until the mixture has thickened even further and any possible corn starch-induced “floury” taste has disappeared. Take the saucepan off from the heat, and let the mixture cool down.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours, pass the ice cream base through a sieve to remove the cinnamon stick and the cardamom seeds. Freeze according to the instructions of your ice cream machine (or still-freeze without an ice cream machine, as discussed here).




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6 Responses

  1. hopeeternal says:

    Following your visit to my site I thought I would return the compliment.
    This one drew my eye – I love spices, especially cardamon and cinnamon which are two of my favourites. This would be a great cooler after a curry!
    Here is a link to ice cream and sorbet recipes already on my own site.
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

    • Anders says:

      Welcome h/e, and thank you for the useful link to your ice cream and sorbet recipes! I can tell that we clearly have a lot in common when it comes to love of spices:-)

  2. danielle says:


    I love your site and all the wonderful recipes here!

    I am going to try the Sicilian gelato with cardamon and cinnamon – I just have a question about the quantities. When you say a tablespoon, do you mean a U.S tblsp or a Australian/European tblsp and they are quite different?

    I am using Buffalo milk – no cream, so I hope it works out! Luckily I am a cheesemaker at a buffalo farm so have plenty of milk to keep trying…



    • Anders says:

      Hi Danielle, and happy to hear that you like the site!

      My tablespoons are usually the US/standard European size (= these days, 15 ml). Australian tablespoons would be 20 ml …

      Using Buffalo milk sounds interesting – I’m certain that could turn out very nicely, given its relative high content of fat (if still needed, you could always increase the amount of starch somewhat). I’d love to hear how your Buffalo milk ice cream turns out, so do come back and report:-)

  3. Lucia says:

    This looks like a great recipe, but I think I did something wrong… The ice cream was very chewy… do you think I put too much corn starch, or maybe I cooked the mixture for too long? Also, you can taste the cardamom but the cinammon isn’t even there… was I supposed to break up the cinammon stick into smaller pieces, or simply place it in whole?
    Thank you!

    • Anders says:

      Dear Lucia,

      If you find the ice cream too chewy for you, I would suggest that you try reducing the amount of corn starch: as you can see from the comments on the general post on Sicilian ice cream, there has been some debate as to the most enjoyable amount of starch to add. In rough summary, I think it well illustrates that – for the perfect fit – it is good to do some experimenting to find the texture that appeals the most to you. Alan, one of the commentators whose personal version of the basic recipe you can find there, reported great success with a mixture using only one spoon of corn starch, for example.
      (By the way, if you cook the corn starch ‘too long’ it will actually begin to thin out, so that is unlikely to be the problem.)

      As to the spices, I can’t say exactly what happened to your cinnamon. You should not need to break up the cinnamon stick if you leave it in the base as suggested. When I get ‘weak’ performances from spices, it often turns out to be caused by them having become too old (a rule of thumb when checking on cinnamon sticks is to sniff and see if they still carry that nice aroma …). That said, you can of course also simply try to increase the dosage of the spice you find ‘underrepresented’ and see if that does the trick for you: best of luck!

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