Grape-Nuts Ice Cream Recipe

This custardy and crunchy ice cream is a New England classic.

Overhead view of two scoops of Grape-Nuts ice cream served in a small bowl. Grape-Nuts are scattered on the orange surface below.

Serious Eats / Alexandra Penfold

Why This Recipe Works

  • Using Grape-Nuts as a mix-in provides a wonderful textural contrast: crunchy, malty nuggets suspended in a smooth and creamy custard-based ice cream.
  • Topping scoops of the ice cream with Grape-Nuts adds even more crunch.

When it comes to Grape-Nuts-related desserts, I'm decidedly pro. Naturally, I gravitate towards Grape-Nuts ice cream, a vanilla-based ice cream with those crunchy cereal bits mixed right in. It's rare to find Grape-Nuts Ice cream outside of New England, so I've taken to stalking around the City where I've spotted it only in a few places, namely on board a Mister Softee truck in Flatbush and at the former Uncle Louie G's, now JT Ices in Windsor Terrace.

Given my obsession, it's surprising that it took National Ice Cream month to help me realize that I don't have to sulk about the limited availability of Grape-Nuts ice cream, I can just make my own at home.

What's so great about Grape-Nuts ice cream? Besides the fact that it's the perfect breakfast food (hello, cereal and milk!), those little cereal nuggets make a great crunchy mix-in. The Grape-Nuts soften slightly while in ice cream suspension, but still hold some crunch as well as a malted flavor that nicely complements the rich, custardy vanilla base. If you like your ice cream with "stuff", then as far as accompaniments go, Grape-Nuts are a pretty awesome choice. They're loaded with whole grains, fiber, and more vitamins than you can shake a stick at. While I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that they make super premium ice cream into a health food, they sure make it taste good. To up the crunch factor, I recommend serving each scoop with a healthy sprinkle of Grape-Nuts on top.

I favor a rich, custardy base because it's most similar to the Grape-Nuts ice cream I remember having as a kid while on summer vacations to Maine. Feel free to substitute your favorite vanilla ice cream recipe and prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions, just be sure to add the Grape-Nuts in the last 5 minutes of churning.

July 2012

Recipe Details

Grape-Nuts Ice Cream Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 6 hrs 30 mins
Serves 8 servings
Makes 1 quart

This custardy and crunchy ice cream is a New England classic.


  • 6 egg yolks

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1 (4-inchvanilla bean

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal


  1. In a medium bowl lightly beat egg yolks and set aside.

  2. In a medium saucepan add cream, milk, and sugar. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the cream mixture along with a pinch of salt. Whisking occasionally, heat mixture over medium low heat until bubbles begin to form along the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and add heated cream mixture to the eggs one tablespoon at a time while whisking constantly to temper the eggs.

  3. Once the cream mixture and eggs have been combined return to the saucepan and heat on medium low until mixture coats back of a spoon or spatula and line drawn with a finger leaves a distinct trail. Mixture should register 170° to 175°F (77° to 79°C), do not allow mixture to overheat.

  4. Pour custard into a medium bowl and set over an ice bath. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, then cover and refrigerate for 2 more hours or up to overnight until completely chilled. Churn chilled custard according to your ice cream maker's instructions, adding the Grape-Nuts in the last 5 minutes of churning. Transfer ice cream into a bowl or container that will hold 1 quart. Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours to fully set. Serve

Special Equipment

Ice cream maker, whisk

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
394 Calories
29g Fat
27g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 394
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 233mg 78%
Sodium 177mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 118mg 9%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 232mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)