Two tone ice cream stripes with a pop of peppermint and a hint of cacao, this Candy Cane Nice Cream is a holiday-festive frozen fruity feast made right in the blender!
Peppermint. As a flavor–love it. With chocolate–the best. Where we start to have a problem is with visual representation. Because candy canes taste like peppermint, but peppermint doesn’t look like candy canes. Peppermint is a leaf, but leaves don’t look Christmas-y unless they are holly leaves, which taste nothing like candy canes.
Did you follow that? I’m not sure I did even. Allow me to elaborate…
I could’ve simply
poured carefully added a little bit of peppermint extract to a blender full of banana ice cream and called it candy cane complete. But who would’ve believed that it wasn’t just plain old nice cream? No one. The classic candy cane coloring is essential.
Crushed up candy canes on top? I could’ve gone that direction. But healthy-ish vegan candy canes are hard to find and you can’t buy just one and as I learned from this photo shoot they make things quite sticky. Plus I didn’t want the nice cream to just be garnished with candy cane I wanted nice cream to BE the candy cane. Red, white, minty, striped–the whole candy cane shebang. And once I had this cold, creamy candy-cane-in-a-jar vision in my head, I had to see it through to it’s deliciously enticing end.
So on to the tricky task of making red ice cream that doesn’t end up pink.
Strawberries + banana–pink.
Rasberries + banana–darker pink.
Pitaya + banana–the most amazing almost-neon pink that I can never believe is for real.
See, no red anywhere on that list. Plus berries + peppermint sounds a little funky on the flavor front.
Taking a cue from cupcakes, beet seemed like a good idea. If it works for red velvet it can work for red candy cane stripes, right? The answer is yes, but only with some assistance from chocolate. Beet by itself is more Valentine’s pink than Christmas red. However, with a tablespoon or so of cacao powder to deepen the color and a dash of peppermint oil or extract, I call it candy cane perfect. And I’m not complaining about the necessary added chocolate flavor either!
Pink + brown = red? Apparently yes. But be careful, pink + too much brown still = ugly.
Now that we have the two tones of nice cream sorted out, all that’s left is stripes and sprinkle-y bits. I used a piping bag for clean stripe lines, but simply using a spoon and going for a swirl look would be lovely too. The sprinkle-y toppings could be anything, but for festive-ness I chose pomegranate seeds (because they look like Christmas lights) coconut (because it looks like snow) and chocolate (because it’s chocolate). Chocolate shavings to be exact, because as this cake taught me that looks extra fancy.
I know, I know everyone is in cozy-craving not cold-creamy mode right now. But actually snowflakes, snowmen, snowballs, the North Pole–those things are all very trendy these days, so this frozen festive fruity feast fits right in!Print
Candy Cane Nice Cream
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
Two toned ice cream stripes with a pop of peppermint and a hint of cacao, this Candy Cane Nice Cream is a holiday-festive frozen fruity feast made right in the blender!
Red Ice Cream
- 4 frozen bananas
- 1/2 cup cooked beet
- 1–2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or a few drops of peppermint oil)
White Ice Cream
- 4 frozen bananas
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or a few drops of peppermint oil)
- Blend the ingredients for the red ice cream until smooth and creamy, adjusting the amount of beet and cacao powder until it is a deep shade of red. Transfer to a bowl and set in the freezer.
- Blend the white ice cream until smooth and creamy.
- Layer the ice creams in a jar/jars, sprinkle on toppings of choice, and enjoy!
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The Vegan 8 says
Omg, I don’t know what I’m more excited about…that this post is plastered all over by my very favorite color RED or the fact it is also peppermint…another favorite holiday flavor of mine! This red color you achieved is absolutely SPOT ON and sooo gorgeous. It just makes me happy seeing it! I love, love using beet for my coloring as well, it is so magical and you achieved the color amazingly. I love peppermint so much more than just mint too and I go bonkers when people get the two confused on a recipe and I’m like, noooo they are not the same, use peppermint, lol! Such a beautiful and simple recipe Natalie, I just love it! Like how you combined the 2 colors for that candy cane look!
See red food I can do, it’s red dishes that I can never seem to pull off like you do! Although I admit it is not the easiest color to achieve, but I couldn’t have a pink candy cane ice cream jar (even they do come in EVERY color nowadays it’s ridiculous haha!) Beet is perfect–less flavor and more color than berries, and yes totally peppermint > mint for me too. Mint extract I can do, but fresh mint just doesn’t live up to my artificially mint flavored candy memories well enough lol. But I’d still trade this for a slice of gingerbread cake in a heartbeat 🙂
Aimee | Wallflower Kitchen says
We’re candy cane twins today and I love it. This not only sounds incredibly delicious but is the prettiest nice cream I’ve seen! <3
I KNOW!!! I was smiling when I saw that too…pretend like we planned it 😉 Thanks Aimee!
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy says
WoW!!! I came back from a 2 week vaca to see THIS…and now i’m so craving all the holiday flavors! I love how you experimented and came up with the PERFECT color combo for this peppermint nicecream instead of just adding in candy-canes! It just started getting cooler here in san diego, but that won’t stop my kids and i from devouring this! I need to freeze some bananas and surprise them with this sometime in the next week! Your photography is stellar!!!
Well I hope settling back into the home routine is going well 🙂 Everywhere you look online right now it’s just candy canes and gingerbread men, I seriously cannot stop thinking of holiday flavors recipe ideas! I know right, I’m like hmmm 65, that’s a little chilly for ice cream. While poor people up north are surrounded by actual snow and probably think I’m crazy for posting this…oh well 😀
well if they knew you at all, they’d know why you posted it =) you are in my books the nice cream queen ha! I’m relying on all you for the holiday inspiration since my fall and winter have been overloaded with other things. Not sure if i’ll get any candy cake or gingerbread recipes in before the holidays, but let’s see!
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
Yep, the classic candy cane coloring is essential, indeed!!! I am right there with ya on your line of logic, my friend! Oh, how easy it’d be if we just crushed those candy canes and topped our desserts with them. Haha. OKAY, but I just wrote that line and then scrolled down to your line “Crushed up candy canes on top?” Lol. Bestie connection? I THINK SO! Yes and more yes’s to the nice cream actually being the ice cream! You absolutely succeeded in making this just incredible! Now… how can we go about working out a package with these in it? That should be our next project. Ahem. 😉 xoxo
Haha such high and in sync standards we have for our candy cane creations–none of this sprinkled on funny business! Or worse yet those sprinkles that come in a jar and look like crushed up candy canes but aren’t even. Those are just sad. Oh boy, I’m not even sure your most masterful care-packaging know-how could box up this one and ensure it gets there safe and sound (and unmelted!)…quite the challenge indeed? Dry ice? Okay okay I’ll just hop on a plane and bring it with me 😉 Thanks my dear! xoxo
Dianne's Vegan Kitchen says
This is so fun! I love that you’ve used beets for the red “candy cane” stripes!
Thanks for hopping over to check out this candy cane craziness, Dianne! The beets were perfect, plus an extra serving of sneaky veggies never hurts 🙂
Nisha / @rainbowplantlife says
Oh this is just too pretty! So clever you are! Love the candy cane stripes.
It was a fun color puzzle to figure out, plus pink candy cane ice cream would just be unacceptable 😀 Thanks Nisha!
Kaila @ Healthy Helper Blog says
Perhaps the prettiest ice cream I’ve EVER seen! No, ya know what? IT IS.
Haha you are too kind! I’ve seen some things on Instagram that could beat it in an instant, it’s got a lot of festiveness going for it that’s for sure 😀
Sarah | Well and Full says
You are the nice cream queen, girl!! This looks fantastic!! 🙂
They are just so fun, I can’t help it! 🙂
Wow, Natalie!!!!! You absolutely nailed the Christmas-y, candy cane vibes right here!! I love this!!! I really enjoyed reading the thought process here ? Who would have thought that beets and cacao powder to could create such a perfect candy cane red??? And the pomegranate perils + chocolate = the perfect addition! Willow had just requested that beets be added to the grocery list, so I think this holiday creation will make an appearance soon! What a fun recipe ❤️
When your kiddo is requesting beets you know you are doing something right! Even if it’s mostly for the color 😀 Well I guess the color wheel never did include chocolate, so perhaps it can defy all the color mixing rules haha. Also I almost emailed you but I will just tell you here: you went absolutely above and beyond with the package and all the fun surprises, thank you times 100!!! I feel totally spoiled, you did not have to do all that! And Willow’s artwork in the card was the cutest thing–totally made my day! I hope Saturday went really well <3
In all fairness, the beets are usually used to create a sweet treat, so that’s probably why she requested them! Although, she has also requested pink rice, so they’ll be used for savory, too 🙂 Yay! So glad you got the package…mail has been taking forever these days. I apologize again, and the vanilla lip balm could use more vanilla – next batch! Haha! She LOVES writing and drawing in cards so when she saw me writing in yours, she asked to have a turn. Sadly, Saturday was kind of a bust – put me in quite the funk, but I’m slowly bouncing back! It wasn’t all bad – I connected with a couple of people who want to talk about getting my stuff in local shops. Anyways, thank you!!!! Lots of love to you! <3
rachel @ athletic avocado says
You are the QUEEN of nice cream!!! This is so creative! PLEASE teach me your ways <3
My “ways” with nice cream involves a lot of running between freezer and camera, praying it doesn’t come out looking a melty mess, and always worrying I over-swirled haha! Still a speed challenge every time 😀 Thanks girl!
Harriet Emily says
Wow this looks amazing Natalie! The colours are so beautiful and vibrant! Nothing beats nice cream <3
Thank you Harriet! I totally agree, styling and eating cold creamy things is so much fun 🙂
Josh brought home beets yesterday so today we used some to make this nicecream!!!! Not quite the treat I intended to make after playing outside in the snow all day, but I’m SO glad I did!! Minty, not overly sweet, and two thumbs up from Willow. She was beyond excited for this and has been asking to make it ever since watching your video. I was lazy and used raw beets and skipped the pomegranate perils because we didn’t have them…and knowing my finicky little eater, she would have picked them off 😉 she sprinkled some mini chocolate chips on hers and devoured the entire jar! I’ll either send you a pic or post it on IG…definitely not as pretty as yours, but it was SOOOO good!!! <3 xo
You made it already!?!?! AHHHHH you are the best, I am so happy it is now officially Willow-Approved!! Post-snow ice cream…yeah that makes sense lol. If you don’t want to ever defrost yourself that is. As long as there were chocolate chips that’s really the only topping that matters 😀 I can’t wait to see, thank you for the wonderful and speedy feedback <3 xoxo