Mexican Ice Cream for a Special Birthday


Mexican Ice Cream | From My Sweet Heart

No birthday celebration is ever complete without ice cream!  Today, I’m participating in a virtual surprise party for one of the ‘Theme Weavers’.  (That great group of women who, once a month, bring you a week long event celebrating a particular food theme.)   And in honor of the birthday girl, I consulted a Texas cookbook for this one.  This Mexican ice cream has a sweet vanilla base, but is studded with maraschino cherries, caramelized sugar bits and toasted pecans!  It’s almost as sweet as the birthday girl herself.  Whose birthday is it? . . . . .


Inside Nanabread's Head

HaPpY BiRtHdAy to my dear friend, Jeanne from Inside Nanabread’s Head! 

I first met Jeanne about a year and a half ago, when I was a spanking new blogger without a clue.  We were both members of Tasty Kitchen and she reached out to me with a kind word and a friend request.  I remember being blown away when I first visited her blog.  It’s very eclectic.  Some food.  Some crafts.  Some family.  Some travels.  A pineapple tree….you know…..typical stuff.  Wait!  Pineapple tree???  Yup!  That’s Jeanne!  But it quickly became clear to me that this was one very talented, creative and amazing lady.  And I am so grateful that she has taken the time to share her huge heart, her wonderful sense of humor, her knowledge about anything and everything, and her generous spirit with me.  It has been my absolute joy in getting to know her.  And here I am, 2 years later, and still clueless.  And Jeanne continues to support me through it all.  I can only hope one day I am able to return the million kindnesses she has shown me.  And boy, would I LOVE to meet her in person!

So, Jeanne, I wish you a fabulous, happy and healthy year.  And I look forward to our friendship for a long time to come!


Now let the party begin!  What’s everyone bringing?  Let’s start with my Mexican Ice Cream:

This recipe was adapted slightly from Nanny’s Texas Table by Larry Ross.


Yields:  about 1 quart

Level of Difficulty:  easy



  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of water
  • a pinch of sea salt

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan.  Heat this over medium heat until the sugar melts and turns amber in color.  Remove it from the heat and pour it all at once onto the parchment lined tray.  Immediately sprinkle it with sea salt to your liking.  Don’t wait or else the sugar will harden and the salt won’t stick!  Allow this to cool for about 10 minutes.  Break into small pieces.  This amount should yield about 1/2 cup of caramelized sugar bits.


Mexican Ice Cream | From My Sweet Heart



  • 1/4 of a cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of milk (I used whole)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of Mexican vanilla extract ( I find this at Penzey’s)
  • 1/2 cup of halved maraschino cherries
  • 2 Tablespoons of maraschino cherry syrup
  • 1/2 cup of caramelized sugar bits
  • 2/3  cup of toasted, chopped pecans
  • a pinch of salt

You are basically beginning with a simple vanilla ice cream base.  In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch and a pinch of salt.  Then add the eggs and whisk this all together.  Next, stir in the milk until the mixture is smooth.  Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.  Add the cream and the vanilla and refrigerate until the mixture is completely cool.  Then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Mine took about 20 minutes.


Mexican Ice Cream | From My Sweet Heart

It’s easier to mix everything together if you dump the ice cream into a large bowl.  Add your maraschino cherries, the syrup, caramelized sugar bits and pecans.  Fold everything in until it is mixed well.  Your vanilla ice cream, of course, will turn pink!  I love pink food!


Mexican Ice Cream | From My Sweet Heart

Once everything is fully mixed, transfer it to a freezer container and freeze until you are ready to serve.  Honestly, sometimes I can’t wait.  And I like it more like a soft serve custard.  Either way it’s refreshingly good.  Not as sweet as you would expect.  A little hint of salt from the caramelized sugar and pecans.  And just a fun array of textures.  A party in your mouth!

On one of my regular trips to the thrift store, I happened upon this ice cream cone thingy for $1.29.  I’m not sure if it was really meant for ice cream cones, because……how long can you display them really?


Ice Cream Holder | From My Sweet Heart


But whether you serve these in a cone or a dish… sure to add some sprinkles for the birthday girl!


Mexican Ice Cream | From My Sweet Heart

Please stop by Inside Nanabread’s Head to wish Jeanne a very happy birthday and to take a peek at her wonderful site.  You will be hooked like we are!

So what’s everyone bringing to the party?

As always, the links to the recipes will be updated as they are available.  But clicking on the site name will always get you there!  And the party’s not over yet……another special surprise will be revealed on Saturday!



  1. says

    What a fun birthday ice cream!! I can definitely see how creamy and dreamy the ice cream is and I also love that last photo too… it’s a party waiting to happen. :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks so much Ramona…..all we need now is some of your yummy chocolate covered pretzel sticks! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      I love ice cream, too, Allison! And your little dates sound so special! Unfortunately, I couldn’t drag my adult sons kicking and screaming to the ice cream shop. (Though I recall a time or two in the past dragging them kicking and screaming HOME from the ice cream shop!) Your coca cola cake really turned out sensational! : )

  2. says

    Cherry Pecan is my absolute favorite ice cream. The addition of sugar crunchies and sprinkles just makes this one even more spectacular. What a wonderful party ice cream, Anne! It’s perfection in a cone. Thank you for the kind words, as well. When I quit crying and laughing over all of this, I’m going to want to book plane tickets to all of your homes to give you big hugs. You ladies have no idea how much this means to me. I love you all so much. -jeanne

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Just trying to do my best for our Texas girl! Happy Birthday dear friend! I can’t say enough about what a special person you are. I did a lot of laughing and crying this past weekend myself! You’ll find out soon enough why! Wait….is that the UPS man at your door???
      ;- }

      • says

        I’m about 90% scared to death to open these boxes after some of the comments I’ve seen about blood, cuts, swearing and heavy drinking involved. I think I might need a few cocktails before I start opening. Now I just need them to HURRY UP AND GET HERE ALREADY! (It’s kind of killing me … can you tell?)

        • Anne Boeckl says

          Blood, cuts, swearing, heavy drinking, crying, laughing…..and that was just in the first half hour! I CAN’T WAIT for them to get there, too! Enjoy…we love you! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Sandra and oh how I wish we could thrift store shop together! What really would have made a great splash at Jeanne’s birthday party was your Strawberry Margarita Cake! Yummly! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Anna…and I can’t wait to try your kid friendly meatloaf (for us adult kids!). Love the football shape with the cheese stitches! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Carrie! I’m craving summer, too! But more than that, I’m craving a slice of your Coconut Banana Brownie Pie! How scrumptious! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Beth! And everyone should read your “Hope is the thing with Feathers” post…just lovely! : )

  3. says

    What a great recipe to celebrate a great blogging friend’s birthday! I can’t wait to try this ice cream. It’s so beautiful with the vibrant red of cherries throughout the ice cream. :) Can’t wait to find out what the next surprise is. :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks so much Amy! I love your recent banana bread with chocolate chips….it looks so perfectly moist. Beautiful pictures and you just have this great sense with food styling! : )

  4. says

    You are a very cruel girl… LOL I am trying to change my eating habits and eliminate (GOOD THINGS) from my diet and look what you throw down in front of me. My GOD Anne this looks so scrumptious – I’ll just go back to licking my computer screen now – ha! Have a great weekend :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Awww….I’m not trying to throw you off track Eileen….but just looking is okay! And what a lovely post your wrote regarding the suitcases from the Willard Asylum. I would love to see Crispin’s exhibit! : )

  5. says

    Wow Anne, this is one of the sweetest ice creams I’ve seen and loaded with goodness. I’m now thinking why I have never thought of adding maraschino cherries before, it’s such a great idea (especially when you’re crazy about them as I am). Have a lovely weekend :)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Ms. G…..I just have to admit it, too. I love maraschino cherries ( in small doses!) I hope you’re having a lovely weekend, too. I sure wish I could be sipping a glass of your beautiful blood orange and carrot juice! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Jennie….and I loved reading your Slice of Life Saturday! A busy but productive weekend for you….LOVE that Easter wreath you made! : )

  6. says

    I have a weakness for maraschino cherries, and I love pecans and ice cream….oh dear, I’m in trouble! This is so gorgeous and colourful and festive ! Perfect birthday ice cream Happy birthday to Jeanne!


    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thank you so much Nazneen and how lovely of you to visit Jeanne and wish her a happy birthday. I’m in trouble, too. Your white chocolate and blackberry tart has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen….your photography was just stunning! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Lauren and I’m going to send you an ice cream maker!!! BRILLIANT idea to use animal crackers for your lovely mini key lime pies! : )

  7. says

    Anne! I will be honest. When I read, “Mexican Ice Cream” I wondered what it could possibly mean. But truly, I would love to use this combination of things on EVERYTHING. You hit it out of the park with this one!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Kat….and a good thing this party was virtual because I don’t think I would have been very good at sharing your luscious guacamole! : )

  8. says

    What a fabulous birthday party!!!! Look at all of those delicious treats! Anne – your ice cream is a total tease. Look at all of the goodies that you churned in with the cream. Supposedly, maraschino cherries aren’t suppose to be good for you because of the red dye #5 thing, but (secretly) I could eat a whole bottle in one sitting. The cherries, the pecans, and those crunchy little sugar bits definitely make this a special treat for your special friend. What a nice bunch of ladies you all are!!! I’m sure Jeanne was surprised and absolutely thrilled!!!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks MJ….I’m not ashamed to admit it….I like maraschino cherries. I can take them chopped up in recipes. But they are like marshmallows to me. I can only 2 or 3 and I’m done! I could, however, eat several of your home made chorizo patties. They looked fabulous! : )

  9. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had Mexican ice cream! Looks quite nice. Definitely something to make now that ice cream season is coming up. 😉 Great pictures, too. Thanks for this.

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks John….and I’ve never had colcannon…but am dying to try your recipe for it. The ultimate comfort food! : )

  10. says

    Very fun way to celebrate the birthday girl! Now that the weather is warming up I will have to get out the ice cream maker … I really like your unique Mexican ice cream flavor 😉

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Patty and I really like the flavors you put together in your BEAUTIFUL Moroccan carrot and blood orange salad! (Not to mention those colors!) : )

  11. says

    Hi Anne! This looks like a fun recipe to make, and the combination sounds so unique! I am always up for making ice cream all year. (BTW, I love my Breville juicer and would highly recommend it! It works great, and it really gets all of the juice out of the pulp. The juicer is very easy to clean, and the parts are dishwasher safe. More juices to come!)

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Hi Claire…and thanks. This was fun to make and I use my ice cream maker all year round! Thanks for the heads up on the juicer…I’ve been thinking on getting one so I will gladly take your recommendation. I’d also gladly take a slice of your coconut bread with honey browned butter! : )

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Tiffany and I wish my nana made me a pistachio cherry cake! Just took a peek at your latest recipe….love that spaghetti squash with roasted broccoli and wine sauce! It looks fabulous! : )

  12. says

    Wow! How have I’ve never heard of Mexican ice cream before? I love these flavors! This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to pull out my ice cream maker and make this! Great photos too!

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Caroline….and so perfect after your beautiful black bean and red lentil chili! : )

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