Dessert/ Frozen Desserts/ Recipes

Homemade Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

pb ice cream-5336

So a few weeks ago Adam worked late at the office and I drank a really big glass of wine and then ordered an ice cream maker. It just sort of…happened. We had eaten so much great ice cream in Europe and I was having a difficult time readjusting to the land of bland fat free frozen creations that seem to take up our supermarket’s frozen aisle. I mean, come on. Eating fat free ice cream is sort of like licking a wall. Not to mention all the weird artificial ingredients. I’ll pass.

Soon enough, I was churning out delicious homemade ice cream in my wine-induced purchase. Probably one of the better online shopping purchases I’ve made, if I do say so myself {in case you’re wondering, this is the one I ordered}. When it arrived at my door, I was like a racehorse just let out of the post. I couldn’t wait to get churnin’. I already had a few bases made and waiting in the fridge, and immediately threw the bowl in the freezer for a few hours.

My first ice cream was a salted whiskey vanilla gelato, which I promptly brought over to a friend’s barbecue to go with the blueberry crisp. Oh my, was it ever delicious and went down way too quick. Too quick for photos. My next batch was this peanut cup ice cream. I don’t know a single person that can say no to peanut butter cups and, in my opinion, this is the best way to enjoy them….chopped up and stirred in homemade vanilla bean ice cream.

pb ice cream-5317-2

These peanut butter cups hail from Trader Joe’s and I swear, they are my kryptonite. I was gladly popping one in my mouth every time I opened the fridge last week, thinking they MUST be healthy since they are ORGANIC and all, until they all fell into Dexter’s water bowl one evening when I happened to open the fridge with just a tad too much force. Then, I cried. The end.

Anyway, in this recipe, the more peanut butter cups the better! Next time I make this, I’ll probably use more. You can never have too much.

pb ice cream-5326

I think what really makes good ice cream is the quality of the milk and eggs you use. We are lucky enough here to get our dairy sourced from a local farm, but if that’s not the case for you just use whatever looks best at the store.

Six egg yolks, heavy cream and whole milk might seem excessive but hey, it’s ice cream. I’ve been reading lately how whole milk dairy products are actually better for you than low fat or nonfat since they are much less processed {and contain much less sugar and additives}. Makes sense to me. Fat free cream tends to scare me, anyway. We aren’t big milk drinkers in this house, but I have started buying whole fat Greek yogurt and am loving it. Speaking of Greek yogurt, I have a feeling it will be the star of my next ice cream experiment.

pb ice cream-5338

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

makes about 1 quart ice cream

Print this Recipe!


6 egg yolks

2 cups whole milk, preferably organic

1 1/4 cup heavy cream, preferably organic

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp vanilla bean paste OR seeds from 1 vanilla bean OR 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup roughly chopped peanut butter cups

special equipment: ice cream maker


In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Set aside.

Combine the whole milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepot. Turn the heat to medium and heat until small bubbles appear all around the sides of the pot. Turn down heat to low. Carefully, ladle one cup of milk and slowly stream it into the egg yolks, whisking while you stream. Follow with one more cup of hot milk, slowly streaming into the yolks {slow is key here}. Whisk until well combined then slowly drizzle this hot egg yolk/milk mixture into the mixture on the stove. Stir well to combine.

Turn up the heat slightly {more to a medium/low now} and start slowly stirring the mixture with a spoon. It’s best to use a large wooden spoon here if you have one. Keep slowly stirring the pot continuously for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture thickens. You’ll feel it thicken when you stir and it’s done when it coats the back of your spoon. A great way to test this is to bring the spoon up from the mixture and swipe your finger down it. If the swiped finger line stays, it’s done. Immediately remove the pot from the stove but don’t stop stirring for another three minutes.

Pour this mixture into tupperware and place in the fridge for four hours to cool down. You need it to be cold to make the ice cream!

When the base has cooled thoroughly, start your ice cream maker. The bowl of the ice cream maker should be frozen. I keep mine in the freezer at all times when I’m not using it. With the motor running, slowly pour in the ice cream base. Add the salt. Let the ice cream churn for about 25 minutes until thick. Add the chopped peanut butter cups at the end when the ice cream is very thick.

Scoop ice cream back into tupperware and place back in the freezer for an hour to harden up. Alternatively, you can eat it right away but it will be more like soft serve {which I prefer, actually}.


active time ~ 30 minutes

total time ~ 5 hours {a good Saturday afternoon activity}




You Might Also Like

  • Jaime
    July 24, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Whole milk and whole dairy products, especially if they’re hormone and antibiotic free, are better for you, in my opinion. When we talk about eating organically and naturally, we often don’t think that organic and natural also means “full of fat and flavor”. Skim milk is extra processed, and the less processing in our lives, the better!
    Your ice cream looks delicious. Thanks for sharing. And happy marriage!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    July 24, 2013 at 4:27 am

    I’ve been loving making homemade ice cream this year. And yours with PB Cups – automatically a win! I also use the TJ’s Salted Caramel Sauce in my ice cream. You know, as long as you’re already on a TJs trip, may as well add that is my logic 🙂 Beautiful ice cream!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    July 24, 2013 at 4:34 am

    This ice cream is a definite winner. Love PB cup anything!

  • Laura@FoodSnobSTL
    July 24, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Ok, who knew ice cream makers were so affordable?! I always thought they were at least $100-$150! I don’t think I’ll need wine to jump on that bandwagon.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 24, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Oh my gosh, I wish you were MY neighbour Jenna! This looks phenomenal! There’s a chance I might be in the US with a TJs in close proximity in a couple of weeks, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for these peanut butter cups!

  • Bekah
    July 24, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I agree, ice cream full of milk fat just tastes so much better! I highly recommend the book Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home for your endeavors – easy to use and a.m.a.z.i.n.g. recipes. The lemon yogurt alone is worth the purchase! And Jeni’s is great company with a great story, to boot.

    • deva
      July 24, 2013 at 6:32 am

      I love Jeni’s ice cream!

      • gwen
        July 24, 2013 at 7:31 am

        Yes! When I read the post, I immediately wanted to recommend Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. The gooey butter cake, milk chocolate, and five-spice pumpkin ice creams are all divine.

        Jeni’s technique is a little different, using only the milk proteins (as opposed to egg yolks, which she says can impact the flavor) to thicken the base. Anyone who enjoys the “why” behind cooking and baking would enjoy reading about it!

  • Lauren @ The Highlands Life
    July 24, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Yes!!!! I was hoping this would be a posted recipe soon. I can’t wait to make this! Our poor ice cream maker needs some love and attention.

  • Ksenija @ Health Ninja
    July 24, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I love making my own ice cream – purchased a cheap ice cream maker last year and making your own ice cream with healthy, natural ingredients is just the best. Currently I am going through a batch of coconut milk ice cream, which is to die for, and the next one on my list is a matcha ice cream. I just love everything matcha flavored and miss the taste so much since I left China last time, that I have to make my own!

  • jenna k
    July 24, 2013 at 5:26 am

    I’ve been reading those articles about lowfat/whole diary too. I think a huge point that I really agree with is how people who consume whole diary products will generally take in less calories because they are less likely to go back for seconds. I always go for a small serving of real ice cream, because I feel more satisfied that way than if I have a larger serving of the “healthier” stuff. Even though you think you’re eating less, are you really satisfied enough to stop wanting more?
    Anyway, this sounds amazing! I just bought a boat-load of ice cream products last night (sales!), but now I want to get some pb cups to stir in. Homemade ice cream is just the absolute most delicious thing ever, though.

    • Mila
      July 24, 2013 at 5:48 am

      I totally agree! I switched to whole (after a long skim period, then some 2%) and yeah… use a small glass (and even if it’s a full 8oz, who cares!) and it really IS more satisfying!

      • deva
        July 24, 2013 at 6:33 am

        I also agree! We don’t have whole milk at home and go for 2%, but I’m far more satisfied when the milk has fat in it. Skim milk is like drinking watery milk, and I’m not a fan.

  • Amy Walters, A DESIGN DOCK
    July 24, 2013 at 5:29 am

    This looks so amazing…PB is one of my favourite “foods”, I spread and stir it into everything I possibly can!

  • Marissa@ohhhsolovely
    July 24, 2013 at 5:33 am

    i’ve thought about purchasing an ice cream maker for a long time. i think it’s definitely in my future. this looks amazing. that’s great that you are able to get your dairy from a local farm. we do not really have that option where i am.

  • Christin
    July 24, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Ummm… I am begging you for that salted whiskey vanilla gelato recipe. That sounds life-changing.

    • Brooke
      July 27, 2013 at 4:04 am

      I second this!!!!

      • Jena
        July 27, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        I third.

        • Dawn
          August 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

          I fourth..Please!!!!!!!

  • Live Love Yum
    July 24, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Can you tell me what articles you have been reading? Would love to know the sources. Interesting – you seem to be on a natural health kick girl!

    • Meghan
      July 24, 2013 at 7:25 am

      There is certainly some debate about skim vs. whole milk, but it isn’t about sugar – skim and whole milk have the exact same amount of sugar.

      • Amy
        July 24, 2013 at 9:11 am

        I’m super curious to see the articles too. I completely agree with whole fat products being more satisfying, but they are also a lot higher in saturated fat…

      • Molly @ RDexposed
        July 24, 2013 at 6:18 pm

        The sugar should be the same since it’s just the lactose contributing to the sugar.
        Also, I have patients that simply switch from whole to any other fat-content milk and have lost weight. It all just really depends how you consume the product and your eating habits.

  • Danielle
    July 24, 2013 at 5:49 am

    I am very disappointed in myself for not having made this yet. Nor having invested in an ice cream-maker. Thanks for the incentive 😉

  • Mila
    July 24, 2013 at 5:49 am

    On the WHOLE milk thing too… in my coffee, I have started using… wait for it.. heavy whipping cream. Before anyone freaks – it’s like 1 TBS. It’s perfectly delightful! Now go out and try it and thank me later 😉

  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
    July 24, 2013 at 6:19 am

    That was a very wise wine-induced decision. And I freaking love those TJ pb cups!

  • Tieghan
    July 24, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Yummm! This is some of the best ice cream around. Peanut butter cups are the best!

  • Amy @
    July 24, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I just bought the same ice cream maker! I will be trying this recipe this weekend! My girls will have a blast!

  • gillian @ the haas machine
    July 24, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Oh yum. I think I might have to jump on this bandwagon as well!! And I totally agree that consuming whole fat dairy products are better for you. People tend to freak out about the fat content, but it’s all in moderation (like maybe you should just eat one serving size). I think fat isn’t necessarily as bad for you as all the crazy other ingredients that they add to low fat dairy products to make them taste OK.

  • Adrienne
    July 24, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Have you tried making ice cream with coconut milk? All you need is the milk (full fat!) plus some sugar and vanilla then anything else you like. My most recent favorite was mixing that all up in the blender with chocolate chips so that they were more flaky and smaller. Also cinnamon coconut is amazing!

  • Wendy @ All Kinds of Miles
    July 24, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Oh my goodness, this ice cream looks absolutely amazing! Your photos are really crisp and beautiful, too! Question: have you ever tried Jeni’s ice cream? It’s a shop in Nashville, and they have some of the most amazing flavors. (Also, she has the cutest book!)

  • Colleen
    July 24, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Nice! You exercise enough to enjoy this; I’ll take my Edy’s Slow Churned!

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    July 24, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Yes, organic peanut butter cups are totally healthy! 😉 So sad they met the doom of Dexters water bowl.
    I don’t usually eat ice cream unless its a special occasion because it hurts my stomach but I can’t wait to see what you make with Greek yogurt!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    July 24, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Aw heck yeah! Coconut creme here I come!

  • Jessica
    July 24, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Yum!!! Looks delicious!

  • Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry
    July 24, 2013 at 7:33 am

    I need to drink a glass of wine and order an ice cream maker because this ice cream looks awesome!

  • Karen
    July 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I don’t eat dairy, but I sure can relate to emotional, spontaneous ordering on Amazon (thanks too the ever taunting Amazon Prime!) Only in my case, no wine is necessary to provoke such purchasing – such great therapy.

  • Rebecca
    July 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I thought with an ice cream maker you just added all of the ingredients and turn on the machine? Why all the additional steps beforehand?

    • jenna
      July 24, 2013 at 8:52 am

      You have to first make the ice cream base – that’s what you freeze in the ice cream maker. Without making the base, you’d just be tossing in some raw eggs, milk and sugar and spinning them around in a cold bowl for awhile. The base is a thick vanilla cream that freezes into ice cream.

  • Kinsey
    July 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Yum! Reminds me of my favorite chocolate-peanut butter sorbet that my dad and I make. It’s the bomb!

  • Nicole
    July 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Wow, this looks amazing! I can’t wait to make it! Thanks, Jenna

  • Caroline L.
    July 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I love justifying treats from Trader Joe’s – they just make it too easy! Mmmhmm, this looks like pure heaven, and I’m pretty sure it must taste like it too!

  • sarah
    July 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

    YUM! I think this is the final straw I need ice cream in my life, like need to buy an ice cream maker:) I have been seeing so many awesome pictures, like yours and have been holding off but today is the day!

  • Jessica @ Prayers and Apples
    July 24, 2013 at 8:51 am

    hahaha that first sentence cracked me up 🙂 totally something i would do!! ..i just read another blog post on peanut butter smoothies, so between that one and this one i think it’s safe to say i’ll be making a peanut butter sandwich for lunch! 🙂

  • John Ward
    July 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

    On days like to day, it has to be ice cream and your pictures are just amazing. I defy anyone to not be tempted to make this.

    I agree with the last post. It made me smile, the first sentence.


  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    July 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

    HECK YES! This sounds right up my peanut butter lovin’ alley. And due to my lactose aversion (or my tummy’s, that is), I tend to try and steer clear of ice cream altogether…. however I recently bought a low-fat version and ugh — you’re totally right. Low-fat/Fat-free ice cream is like an oxymoron.

  • Morgan
    July 24, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Jenna I love love love this post! Just about as much as I love peanut butter cups in ice cream. And wine induced purchases? Hello, that is how I own a cupcake maker shaped like a cupcake, two espresso machines, and half of my shoes. It may not cost as much as having a glass at a fancy restaurant, but us cooks sure still pay the price ;p

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
    July 24, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Haha! Wine makes anyone do crazy things so no judgement on my part. Obviously it was totally worth it if it whipped this delicious looking ice cream!

  • Lauren C
    July 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Ice cream is my love language. Please share the recipe for the salted whiskey vanilla gelato!

  • eileen ragan | leaner by the lake
    July 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    You can ask for nothing more in summer than THIS. Well done! “I mean, come on. Eating fat free ice cream is sort of like licking a wall.” Awesome.

  • Mary Catherine
    July 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Hey Jenna! Just curious what changed you and Adam’s mind to eat more animal products again? I remember you posted that you stopped eatin Greek yogurt etc after watching a documentary not that long ago.

    • jenna
      July 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Hmmm I don’t remember ever stopping eating Greek yogurt (just re-read that post you’re talking about and I never mentioned dairy). About five years ago, I had a brief stint in trying to go vegetarian but it was very short lived. I enjoy meat and don’t have a problem with it. We do make an effort to buy only organic and local meat and dairy though…and we are lucky enough to live in an area of the country where it’s readily available and embraced. Adam? He’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy. 😉

  • Sarah
    July 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Looks beautiful! Can’t wait to try this. Totally agree with you on the whole milk dairy products!! Consuming any food in its natural state is much better!

  • Erin
    July 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Oh, pleeeeeaase share that whisky gelato recipe. Pretty please!

  • Laurel
    July 24, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Wow, that looks to-die-for! Our family has recently switched to all organic dairy and meat products too. So much of what I’ve been reading lately, it is scary what is being added (or taken away from) our food. Our freezer broke just as the warm weather hit. I planned on making our own homemade ice cream this year, but because of this, it hasn’t happened. As soon as it is fixed, this will be one of the first flavors to try! 🙂

  • John
    July 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I love your writing! The beginning of this post really shows your humor with the way you write!!
    Love Dad

  • Shaun Cullen
    July 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    hi Jenna,

    love your photos. do you take those yourself? if so can you tell me how you setup the shots? I am looking at doing my own food blog and I have a canon camera and I would love to be able to take shots like yours. even though I am a diabetic I am going to try your naughty recipe! thanks


    • jenna
      July 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks! I do take all the photos myself. I set up the shots either in my kitchen using natural light or in my office, on the floor, using a lowel pro light. I prefer using natural light when I can. My best advice is to invest in a good lens if you can and just keep practicing! I’ve learned a ton about photography just from shooting around my kitchen but am no way a pro!

  • Amanda
    July 24, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    There is no greater abomination than fat free ice cream.

  • jan
    July 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I think this is my favorite recipe I’ve found on your blog. I haven’t actually tried it, but I know I will like it. Mmmmmm. I have an ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, which is actually super fun and easy!

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    July 25, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I have been having so much fun with my ice cream maker this summer. Cannot wait to see all your recipes. This one is a fantastic start.

  • DessertForTwo
    July 25, 2013 at 5:38 am

    This looks so divine! And you definitely deserve it since you’re waiting for hubby to come home. I can’t tell you how frequently I eat dessert before dinner while I’m waiting on Brian to get home.

    Next up, salted whiskey gelato? Please? 😉

  • Anita
    July 25, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Great post! I LOVE peanut butter cup ice cream and I have an ice cream freezer I haven’t used for a couple years. I will be getting it out ASAP ! Congrats on your wedding, you two make a super cute couple!

  • valerie
    July 25, 2013 at 6:34 am

    soooo…. how about sharing that salted whiskey vanilla gelato recipe??? 😉

  • Colleen, The Smart Cookie Cook
    July 25, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Haha, I think I probably would’ve cried too. What a tragedy! Thank goodness you got to whip up this ice cream. Looks fantastic!

  • Alicia @ Alicia Carlson Photography
    July 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Those peanut butter cups are kryptonite, aren’t they?! I’m going to save this recipe for whenever I get an ice cream attachment for my stand mixer.

  • SarahN
    July 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I have the Kitchen-Aid stand mixer ice-cream attachment. Love that thing!! I make homemade ice cream all summer long. My favorite? Triple Chocolate Overload. Yeah, it’s just like it sounds. 🙂

  • Kimberly
    July 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    This looks delicious! And omg, those peanut butter cups from TJ’s…I usually have good self control but I can’t buy those anymore!! I can’t control myself!

  • Ari@The Diva Dish
    July 26, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Peanut Butter Ice Cream is the ONLY ice cream my husband likes to eat, and I’m positive I could win him over with this! 🙂 Looks so refreshing!

  • Kim
    July 27, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I hadn’t used little ice cream freezer in awhile, but this recipe inspired me! Before I added the tempered eggs, I added 3/4 cup of natural creamy peanut butter to the milk/cream. I whisked until the mixture was smooth then added the eggs. It was the best ice cream ever!

  • Karen
    July 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I don’t know what the heck I did wrong, but I ended up with a curdled mess. I was even super careful with the tempering. What did I do wrong. I had to throw it out and went out and bought Jeni’s madagascar vanilla instead. 🙁

    • jenna
      July 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm

      The egg yolks must have cooked when you mixed the hot milk in them — tempering can be difficult and it sometimes takes several tries to get the hang of it. I promise it’s worth it when you do!!

  • Jenn
    July 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Haha, before I knew what “organic” really meant I thought it was another way of saying that this food was made to be healthier…so when I bought TJ’s pb cups I literally was like great! these are healthier I can eat as many as I want!!! haha, but glad the tispy ice cream maker purchase was a success and not a regret 🙂

  • Lisa
    July 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Those peanut butter cups look SO GOOD. Wish we had Trader Joe’s here. Also wish I had an ice cream maker to recreate this! 🙂