Serious Heat: We All Scream for Spicy Ice Cream


Cinnamon-Cayenne Ice Cream with Cider Doughnuts; photograph by Bill Milne

When the weather turns warm there's nothing like basking in the glow of cold, creamy ice cream. But have you let your taste buds explore the cool/fiery sensation of spicy ice cream? For example, there's a frozen concoction called Cold Sweat from Sunni Ski's Homemade Ice Cream in Angier, North Carolina. Listed as "dangerously hot," tasters and buyers must first sign a waiver before sampling this ice cream spiked with blazing hot sauce and chiles. Wow.

If you want to come up with your own, albeit milder, spicy ice cream, try steeping dried chiles into the milk or cream base. You can also add a strong dose of cinnamon to the custardy base and enhance with Red Hot candies after churning. Use chocolate that's already been spiced, candied or fresh ginger for zing, or a heavy dose of five-spice powder. As far as sorbet, nothing beats the refreshing mix of cucumber, lime, and chile. I also enthusiastically endorse a watermelon-jalapeño combo. As another option, eCreamery lets buyers create their own ice cream, with flavors like habanero (as well as a long list of non-spicy options) and creative add-ins.

Use our Cinnamon-Cayenne Ice Cream recipe in all its glory, or just as guidance to experiment with other spicy combinations. You can also buy your own zesty ice cream from our favorites below, after the jump.

Our Spicy Ice Cream Faves

Queen City Cayenne: milk chocolate "Cincinnati style" with cayenne and cinnamon
Thai Chili: toasted coconut, cayenne and coconut milk

Vosges Haut Chocolate
Naga Ice Cream: sweet Indian curry and fresh young coconut
Red Fire Ice Cream: Mexican ancho and chipotle chiles, plus cinnamon and dark chocolate ice cream

Mexican Chocolate: chocolate and spice and everything nice

Ciao Bella
Chocolate Jalapeño Gelato: tingling jalapeños and West African chocolate

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