A frosty, creamy ice cream pie full of cinnamon bun goodness.
Sometimes you see something in the store and you just have to buy it. For me, this lack of impulse control last happened when I spotted some Cinnamon Bun Oreos. I love Oreos. A lot. And I have zero control around an open package. If it’s sealed, it can last in the cupboard for months. If it’s open, well then I’d have to say “What Oreos? And on a completely unrelated note, don’t look in the trash.” As I previously mentioned, Liz has a debilitating weakness for cinnamon rolls, so at least I could claim that buying a package meant that I was getting them for “us” instead of just for me.
This impulse buy led to a modification of a recipe for one of my all-time favorite desserts: mud pie. The Cinnamon Bun Oreos cried out to be combined with other cinnamon roll type flavors, like, oh, cream cheese frosting and caramel. The original iteration will have to wait for the summer (family tradition), but nothing says we can’t share this recipe with you now. Given that it’s an ice cream pie, it’s probably more suitable for warmer climates, but if you’re in the colder part of the country, you could still earn a slice shoveling some late season snow.
On a side note, this recipe calls for homemade cream cheese ice cream. We used this same flavor in the red velvet waffle ice cream sandwiches, with roaring success. If you don’t have an ice cream maker at home, please substitute with whatever brand and flavor floats your boat. I think I’ve actually seen cinnamon roll ice cream in the freezer aisle. Of course, you can also use this as an excuse to get your very own ice cream maker! We got ours as a wedding present, and I have to say, I was against putting it on our registry. We had an ice cream maker growing up, but it was one of the hand cranked variety, and I can only remember using it once or twice. But Liz insisted, so I sort of shrugged, figuring that we’d throw it out in a year or two after re-discovering it in the dusty corner of a cabinet. I was wrong. So. Deliciously. Wrong.
To be fair, there are some pretty darn good brands available at the store (we’re partial to TIllamook), but having your own maker means that you can churn out whatever awesome combination strikes you. And you can make some amazing varieties at home. Liz did a brown butter caramel one that was ridiculous. Long story (sorta) short, I’d recommend getting one if you have the space and you like ice cream.
Anyway, back to the pie… The crust is simple: break up the cookies and mix with melted butter, then press the mixture into your pie plate. If you want a more solid crust, go for a finer crumb from the cookies and more butter. Be warned that going too far in this manner can result in a crust that is very difficult to cut. If you want something a little easier to get through, leave the crumbs a little bigger, and don’t add extra butter (this might be the only time I ever write that). You may need to play around with it a little to find what you like. When you press the crust into the pie pan, it may have a tendency to get thick right at the point that the plate curves up, so make sure you pay attention to that are to help you push the crust all the way up the walls. This is another task that I like to do with disposable gloves. It helps keep the crust from sticking to my hands, and inevitably, my mouth. You’ll want to make the crust a little bit in advance. With this recipe, each step has to to solidify before going to the next. So I would make the crust – 8 hour freeze – add the ice cream – 8 hour freeze – apply the topping – 8 hour freeze. This can be abbreviated somewhat if needed, but you might get a little melty.
As far as ice cream goes, this is one of the easiest recipes out there. Cut the cream cheese, mix with the remaining ingredients, and blast it in a blender or a food processor. I prefer to use the food processor for this, but if you’ve got one of those super duper blenders that really mixes well, go for it. After that, chill the mixture in the fridge (DO NOT ABBREVIATE THIS STEP) and then pour it into your ice cream maker. The colder the mixture is before you add it to the machine, the smoother and creamier it will be. This is because you will get smaller ice crystals, which equate to smoother texture. For most home ice cream makers, you will probably need to do this in two batches, but don’t worry, it’ll still turn out great! Once it’s made, spread it into the pie crust, and pop that baby in the freezer to let it set up.
As for the topping… it came from a jar. AND THAT’S FINE! While we appreciate the time and effort that go into making home cooked food, we also recognize that there are only 24 hours in the day, and sometimes you get pinched for time. This was one of those times. So we got a jar of salted caramel sauce from Trader Joe’s (love that place), and spread that over the ice cream, and surprise, surprise, back in the freezer. This last freeze helps keep the sauce in place when you cut and serve.
And speaking of service, I would pull the pie about 10 minutes before you want to start cutting to let it soften slightly. Choose a big, sturdy knife, and run the blade under hot water before you cut each slice. This will help more than you know. Be careful, because you will need a fair amount of force to get through the crust, and blood doesn’t go well with this pie. If you wish, you can garnish with whipped cream (maybe with a hint of cinnamon?) or some chopped nuts. It doesn’t really need anything, but it never hurts to pretty up your dessert.
If you decide to take a crack at this recipe, and Oreo has taken leave of its senses and stopped making the Cinnamon Bun variety, you can substitute with Golden Oreos, but you’ll want to add some cinnamon and just a pinch of nutmeg and ginger to give it that cinnamon roll spice profile.
Ice cream recipe adapted from The Kitchn.
- 25 Cinnamon Bun Oreos (may substitute Golden Oreos and a teaspoon of cinnamon plus a pinch of ginger and nutmeg)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 jar/batch your favorite caramel sauce
- Pulse the Oreos in a food processor until the consistency of coarse sand.
- Mix with the melted butter.
- Press into a standard pie plate, making sure the crust goes all the way up the sides.
- Chill the finished crust for at least 8 hours.
- Cut the cream cheese into ½ inch pieces.
- Make sure the frozen part of your ice cream maker is indeed frozen.
- Add the cream cheese and remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender and puree at high speed until smooth.
- Place the mixture in a airtight container and chill the mixture for at least 8 hours, and preferably overnight.
- Make your ice cream using the directions provided by your manufacturer. It'll take around 10 minutes of churning to achieve the correct consistency. You will likely have to do this in two batches with a standard ice cream maker.
- Spread the ice cream evenly into the crust. Freeze the crust+ice cream for 8 hours.
- Spread your preferred caramel topping over the ice cream. You may need to heat your topping slightly to get it to spread. Freeze the complete pie for at least 4 hours.
Ice cream recipe adapted from The Kitchn.