Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

I love chocolate ice cream, but I love it even more when it has something a little bit special going on. Like peppermint. Or peanut butter. Or cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

The spices in this ice cream make it a perfect winter treat; despite its iciness, you will feel oddly warmed after eating it. It's not too spicy, but has a nice, subtle, slow burn from the cayenne, and a sweet tingle from the cinnamon.

The consistency is divine, thanks to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, which has the best homemade ice cream recipes EVER. (Forgive the superlative: it's true.) I alter Jeni's recipes quite a bit, as I outlined in my series on the book here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Basically, I've done by best to make the healthiest and most delicious ice cream imaginable. Yeah, it's that good.

And oh yeah, Valentine's Day. Make this for your sweetheart! It's not pink or heart-shaped, but what better way to say I love you than with homemade ice cream?!

Ingredient notes:
  • For information on where to find healthy chocolate & my chocolate eating rules, see this post: Ingredient Spotlight: Chocolate. I used some Lindt Chocolate, which doesn't follow my rules but was certainly delicious!
  • I used whole raw milk, and vat-pasteurized, grass-fed cream from a local farm (since I don't want to give up too much of the cream from my weekly raw milk share).
  • I used coconut sugar in this recipe, but sucanat would also work well. These are the healthiest options for granulated sweeteners. Feel free to mess around with the sweetness to your liking: I reduced the quantities significantly from the original recipe, but it tastes plenty sweet to us.

Now on to the recipe!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream 

(inspired by Queen City Cayenne Ice Cream, from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home)
Yield: About 1 Quart


(Chocolate Paste)
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/4 c. coconut sugar or sucanat
1/3 c. filtered water
1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (55%-70% cocoa), finely chopped

(Ice Cream)
2 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. coconut sugar or sucanat
2 T. honey
1 T. + 1 t. arrowroot
3 T. cream cheese, softened
1/8. t. unrefined sea salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (mine is very hot so I used a little less than that)

  1. Make the chocolate paste by combining the cocoa, 1/4 c. sweetener and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, add the chopped chocolate, and stir to melt.
  2. Measure the cream and milk in a glass measuring cup. Pour into a large saucepan, leaving about 2 T. in the measuring cup.
  3. Add the honey and 1/3 c. sweetener to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat to bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, add the arrowroot to the measuring cup with the remaining milk and whisk to combine.
  5. In a medium glass mixing bowl, whisk the chocolate paste, cream cheese, and salt until smooth.
  6. When the cream mixture is gently boiling, whisk in the arrowroot/milk mixture. Continue to heat, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until it thickens slightly. If you're not sure if it thickened, taste some with a spoon (blow on it first!). Your tongue will know.
  7. Whisk the cream mixture into the chocolate mixture. Add the cinnamon and cayenne and stir well.
  8. Put a lid on the bowl, and chill either in a sink full of ice water or in the fridge. (It's okay to leave it in the fridge overnight if you run out of time!)
  9. Churn in your ice cream maker. When it is cold and creamy and looks like ice cream, transfer it to a container. (Jeni says it takes about 25 minutes.)
  10. Place in the freezer to chill for at least four hours before eating. 

 Part of the following link-ups: Keep It Real Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Tasty Traditions

Like what you just read? Subscribe so you don't miss a thing! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through them supports Plus Other Good Stuff. Thanks!


  1. Great recipe Joanna. I just wanted to let you know that we are featuring your recipe with the community at Keep It Real Thursdays at beyondthepeel.net. Thanks for contributing.

  2. Sounds wonderful! I would love to try.

  3. Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole's Chatter is collecting links to posts about Mexican dishes and flavours. I do hope you link this one in. This is the link . Please do pop back to check out some of the other links – there are a lot of good ones already. Have a great week.