Cinnamon Stick (or Twist)

Showstopper. This is a huge hit and a magical combination of a creamy, silky base custard and crunchy sweet caramelised ribbon. This is a sweet ice cream so it would work really well if served with more mild flavours, maybe a spicy chocolate.

I suggest keeping sugar shards just slightly larger than bite-size pieces to break up naturally as you spoon through the custard.


  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 (2") cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla


Make the Crystal Sugar Layer

  1. Heat oven to 180° C/ 350° F
  2. Combine 3⁄4 cup sugar, ground cinnamon, and butter in a bowl
  3. Spread sugar mixture evenly on a non-stick baking pan
  4. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes, but watch closely – do not let burn
  5. Let cool completely and break into small pieces; set aside

Make the Ice Cream

  1. Bring half & half, cinnamon stick, and salt to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes; strain into a bowl and set aside
  3. Whisk sugar and yolks until smooth and pale yellow
  4. Slowly whisk in half & half mixture and cream
  5. Return to saucepan over medium heat and cook until mixture thickens using the stovetop method
  6. Let cool slightly, then stir in vanilla until combined and let cool
  7. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the custard and chill custard completely overnight
  8. Pour custard into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions until churned and thick
  9. Layer custard and cinammon sugar mixture
Transfer to an airtight storage container; freeze until set, at least 4 hours.