momofuku-inspired cornflake chocolate chip + marshmallow ice cream.

There’s a scene in the movie Garden State (good movie, terrific soundtrack; check it out) where Zach Braff and Natalie Portman are hanging out after Zach meets her in/gives her a ride home from the hospital. Natalie reveals her belief that all awkward moments can be banished by doing something completely unique; some motion, or sound, or anything, really, that no one has ever done before. Then she does something random with her arms, they both laugh, and everyone feels better. Now, I didn’t make this ice cream because I felt awkward, but it did make me feel a little more confident about my ice-cream-creation skills. Because it is unique, and I really hope maybe it hasn’t been done before. This recipe is not a Momofuku Milk Bar original (except for the cornflake crunch and cereal milk, which are recipes adapted from the book), but rather an ode to how much I am inspired by the flavor combinations contained in that precious tome. I worked hard on it, and I hope you love it as much as I do; so now, I give you Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Ice Cream.

Have you had the cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie? I know several of you have made your own in the past few months, and judging from most of the conversations i’ve had, you liked them. In a pretty major way. This is the freezing-cold liquid version of that. Like a cookie, with milk, spun magically into ice cream. And you get to eat it. The best part? It’s not even what i would consider to be a “summer” ice cream, which means you can totally make this all year round. Because cornflakes don’t have a season, people. Neither do chocolate or marshmallows.

So let’s get right to it. Remember Jen’s coffee custard cream that I stole for my awards thank-you post? I used that as inspiration for this ice cream base. It worked wonderfully, because it’s a rich ice cream which can handle all these add-ins. Did I mention this isn’t just cornflakes? Oh heavens, no. I made the cornflake crunch for this; it needed to be more sturdy to stand up to all that creaminess, and the crunch gives it a more malty, toasted flavor than cornflakes alone would have. I took my adapted version of the recipe and adjusted the bake time up a few minutes to really get a good toast on it, and somehow that crunch stays crunchy even after freezing.

When you make this, don’t be scared: the flavor of the base will be intense before the spin time in your ice cream maker and the subsequent chill-down to set everything up. It’s okay. If you like the cookies, you’ll love this, and you have to have that “pow! in your face!” flavor to really get the essence of the cookie to come forward in this ice cream. It really is important to refrigerate the mixture prior to spinning it; it melds the flavors and makes it easier on your ice cream maker to do its thing, I promise.

 A few other things to keep in mind:

  • Add your cornflake crunch, chocolate chips, and marshmallows in the order I give them to you. Trust me, it’s the best way. Chocolate chips are heavy, so they go in first. The marshmallows go in after because then they don’t get in the way of the chocolate chip distribution. Cornflake crunch gets added in last because you want to do the least amount of stirring possible with it in order to keep the flakes as intact as you can. You can almost use a ribbon technique with the crunch if you choose to do so.
  • The extra toast on the crunch is important. Don’t get all anxious and pull it out ahead of schedule, because some of that baked cookie flavor is going to come from the crunch. You can do things to the ice cream base to mimic this, but toasted flavor is hard to duplicate. The extra few minutes and some close watching towards the end will mean better ice cream for you to enjoy.
  • If you do the recipe components in the order I give them to you, it flows pretty well. For instance, if you make your cornflake crunch and then make your toasted cornflakes for the cereal milk, you can simply cook your crunch, remove it from the oven, turn it up to 300˚F, lift your crunch off the sheet pan using the parchment paper, place a new parchment, and pour your cereal milk cornflakes on the sheet without missing a beat. “spit-spot,” I believe Mary Poppins would say.
  • Don’t feel like you need to stick with my measurements for add-ins; you make it how you’d like. I like the quantities you see in the above photo because it’s packed with stuff, very much like the cookies. Filled to max capacity. If you like your ice cream less chunked with things, try reducing your chocolate chips to 1/2 cup, your marshmallows to 3/4 cup, but leave the cornflake crunch the same.

I know one of you may ask me if I’ve eaten this with an actual cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookie alongside it. I haven’t, because the thought blows my mind. But I’m hoping one of you out there try it and tell me what it’s like. If I can get around to it, I’ll be making another batch of this and the actual cookies at the same time, so if I get to it before any of you do, I’ll let you know how it goes.

You know what this ice cream would be good for? Anything. I just went through all the holidays in my head, and i can’t think of one it would be inappropriate at. Although – is it too early to say this? – I do feel like, given all the toasty cookie-flavored goodness, it may be pretty amazing for Halloween parties. Think about it.

Ice cream base adapted from the Coffee Custard Cream recipe at Juanita’s Cocina. Check her out, people, if you haven’t already; she’s got some serious food over there.

The cornflake crunch and cereal milk recipes are adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook by Christina Tosi, and the overall flavor of this ice cream is inspired by their very own cornflake chocolate chip + marshmallow cookies.

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Ice Cream

for the cornflake crunch:

  • 3 cups of cornflakes
  • 1/4 cup of milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
for the cereal milk:
  • 2 3/4 cups cornflakes
  • 3 3/4 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

for the ice cream base:

  • 1 2/3 cup cereal milk (made the same)
  • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar

for the add-ins:*

  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup cornflake crunch

*these add in sizes are for what i would deem a pretty “loaded” ice cream. If you’re the sort of person who, upon heading to the self-serve fro-yo place, can’t seem to find a container large enough for your fro-yo and toppings, then these measurements are for you. If you prefer a little less pizzazz in your ice cream, then opt for 1/2 cup chocolate chips, take down the marshmallows to 3/4 cup, and reduce your cornflake crunch to anywhere between 1/2 to 2/3 cup. If you don’t want to take down all three, just reduce the chocolate chips and see what happens. This is your ice cream; you make it how you want, but avoid the “I’ll just add a little and keep adding” method, or you run the risk of over-mixing and over-smooshing your add-ins.

crunch time:

Preheat oven to 275˚F.

Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to half of their original size. Add the milk powder, sugar and salt and toss with your hands to mix. Add the butter and toss with a spatula to coat, making sure everything looks even when you’re done. The mixture should form small clusters.

Spread the clusters on to a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 23-35 minutes, until toasted and buttery-smelling. I’m giving you a few extra minutes on the toast because this is going into ice cream, not cookies; since they won’t be toasted again during cookie-baking, it’s good if you can get a nice toasty crunch on them now.

Cool the crunch mixture completely before adding to your spun ice cream.

cereal milk time:

Turn your oven up to 300˚F.

Spread the cornflakes on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly toasted. Cool completely.

Transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher or bowl. Pour the milk into the pitcher (or bowl) and stir vigorously. Let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Stir the mixture gently, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. The milk will drain off quickly at first, then become thicker toward the end of the straining process. Using the back of a ladle or large spoon, wring the milk out of the cornflakes, taking care to not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve. Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved. Store in a clean pitcher or glass milk jug, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. But you’re not going to store this, are you? No. You’re going to make ice cream.

ice cream base time:

Your finished cereal milk should, by now, be all strained out in a large bowl. Add to that cereal milk your heavy cream, salt, vanilla, and brown sugar. Stir together until incorporated, making sure the sugar and salt have dissolved into your liquid and nothing is hanging out on the bottom. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or up to overnight to chill thoroughly.

Once chilled, spin ice cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once spun, the ice cream should be very similar to that of frozen custard, and soft-frozen.

add-ins party!

Have your mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and cornflake crunch ready to go. Remove ice cream from maker and place in large bowl (or, if your ice cream maker is a KitchenAid, like mine, you can do this in the bowl itself by hand). Add chocolate chips and stir using a rubber spatula or spoon to evenly distribute. Once incorporated in the manner which makes you happy, add your marshmallows, stirring again until marshmallows are all over the place. Grand finale; add your cornflake crunch, stirring gently to incorporate/ribbon amongst the other add-ins. Once you have everything added and stirred, place your ice cream in an airtight container and throw in the freezer to set up prior to serving, about 4-5 hours. It will, yes, be difficult to wait that long, but no one said you can’t accidentally leave some out to eat ahead of time.

This will keep, if stored in a tightly sealed container, about 2-3 weeks in your freezer.

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  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina August 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Dear lawd, I just had an out of body experience.

    I’m in need of some Tosi-time. I need the measuring and the exactness of it.

    I also need this ice cream. Because…well, just because.

    I’d like to think you made this for my birthday. Say it’s so!

    • Reply shannon August 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      tosi-time is the best time, in my opinion; there’s nothing like some baking steps to brighten one’s day.

      and yes; although jennie (cough*seriously*cough) outdid me in the “jen’s birthday blog post” department (hi, lemon bars!), i did like, get my booty in gear enough to swiftly finish typing this post knowing that i used your recipe in this. so although i’m not super awesome like jennie was, i did really try. so with your birthday in mind, this was published. in your honor. and now i have a forever reminder of when you’re birthday is. yay!

  • Reply movita beaucoup August 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Best line: you know what this ice cream would be good for? Anything.

    I agree with Jen. Awwwww lawdy! This ice cream be jammin’. And I’m going to a cottage by the ocean tomorrow. So I can’t even devote my day to this epic creation. But know that I would. I would make it. And eat it. And make it again. And eat it again.

    Of course, I’ve gotta find some milk powder first. I’ve totally wasted my summer.

    • Reply shannon August 18, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      originally, i was going to list some things out that the ice cream would coordinate with; then, i mean, the truth came out. there’s nothing this would not go with.

      thank you!!! you and your seaside cottages; for real. i daresay for the end of summer, your seaside trek is more important than this ice cream. but when you return…different story.

      when you’ll all baking school-graduated and stuff, you’ll need an assistant to find you things like milk powder; you simply won’t be able to waste your time. i will be this assistant you require.

  • Reply Faygie Moorvitch August 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Um, okay….YUM!!!

    I told my husband that before next summer I want to get the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid (I’m thinking for my birthday in April). Once I get it, I am totally going to make this.

    • Reply shannon August 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      thanks faygie!
      seriously: mother’s day present, birthday present, christmas present, any of them; you must get the ice cream maker attachment! I got mine this year for mother’s day (or was it valentine’s day? i can’t remember), and it has been the most useful kitchen thing ever. I never knew how much fun making your own ice cream was. and i can’t speak for other brands, but the KitchenAid one is sooooo easy to use/operate/clean. nothing to it. i can’t wait until you get one. you’ll have so much fun!

      • Reply Faygie Moorvitch December 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

        Woohoo!! Got an ice cream maker today! (Early Chanukah present.) I ended up going with a Cuisinart since it was $20 cheaper than the KitchenAid attachment (and I used a 20% off coupon at BB&B). I CANNOT wait to start using it!!!

        • Reply shannon December 3, 2012 at 8:29 am

          I AM THRILLED YOU GOT THE ICE CREAM MAKER! FINALLY we get to discuss ice cream, and i know you’ll be making some excellent ones. The Cuisinart ones are reviewed very well; i was thinking of getting my mom one if she doesn’t get her KitchenAid attachment soon. I can’t wait to hear how it goes! I know i was so nervous using mine for the first time (i act like everything is a nuclear device when i break it in, like it could explode at any moment, so weird) and i couldn’t believe how easy making ice cream was. Way to go, technology! Happy early Chanukah to you. 🙂

          • Faygie Moorvitch December 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

            I knew that if anybody would understand how excited I am for an ice cream maker, it would be you! 🙂

            I actually made ice cream once a few years ago (a kahlua-chocolate chip one – it was fantastic! I’m pretty sure it’s somewhere on my blog), but it was with a machine I borrowed – one of those ones where you have to keep adding ice and rock salt to it. What a pain in the you-know-what. I’m so happy to have one that’ll do all the work for me 😉

          • shannon December 8, 2012 at 8:58 am

            this morning i woke up thinking about ice cream. I know that party of yours is this weekend, and it’s safe to say i’m jealous. have fun!

  • Reply Mary Rose August 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Sheer brilliance. I weep with joy.

    • Reply shannon August 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      oh mary rose: you of all people need to make this, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. it was so much fun, and i know you like a good Momo-inspired recipe. it was fantastic. i was weeping right there with you.

  • Reply Eva {Not your mama's dinner} August 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Whowzie! I’m totally impressed! This ice-cream sounds totally major bonkers!
    Huray for uniqueness! Huray for Garden State! Huray for Momofuku and most of all Huray for A periodic table, dude!

    • Reply shannon August 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      thanks cubed, Eva! this ice cream is a little bonkers…definitely not your average ice cream, and really fun to make/eat. Hurray for you for liking things like Garden State, Momofuku, and my little random blog. 🙂

  • Reply Emma August 18, 2012 at 6:20 am

    I’m ice cream maker-less, but since this is a custard-based ice cream, I just may give it a try in my freezer. Awful lot of steps, though. Having just gone through all the steps to make your blueberry pie muffins, I might need at least a week of step-less baking before this attempt:D

    • Reply shannon August 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      emma, there are a bunch of steps to this one. My general rule with anything steppy and momofuku is to do it over a span of time. I think with this recipe, i made the crunch and the cereal milk the day before. insert night of sleep, and it was off to the races with the ice cream base. it makes it seem like “oh: lookie here. i have that cereal milk and crunch right here; i suppose i’ll whip together some crazy ice cream.” if you just made those muffins, though, you deserve a break. those were pretty step-filled. 🙂 and i hope you really loved them; they are, after all, my brianne-inspired muffin. 🙂 and you get to use awesome blueberries, whereas i only got to use normal ones.

  • Reply natalie August 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    you are basically a genius for making this… could you imagine…. cornflake cookie ice cream sandwiches???? did your head just explode???

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      natalie: yes. my head did just actually explode. whoa. i can’t even wrap my thoughts around that.

  • Reply Aly August 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

    This just looks too good! Oooo. Love the combo. I’ve made the cookies, but now I might need to make it into an ice cream like you did! Or maybe try another cookie of theirs.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      thanks Aly! this was really good; i kept finding myself taking it out of the freezer to ‘taste’ it (you know, just to make sure i got it right) over, and over…and over. that’s how i know i really like something.

      you should try this! or another cookie recipe of theirs…i’ve done them all except the peanut butter (it’s on my to-do list) and i love them. we just made the corn cookies this weekend, and they’re always a big hit, as are the compost cookies.

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