Mini No-Bake Fresh Mint Cheesecakes

These mini no-bake cheesecakes have a wonderfully fresh flavor thanks to both mint-infused syrup and whipping cream. They come together quickly with just a bit of advance planning and are perfect for summer since you don’t even have to turn on the oven. The entire family can enjoy these bite-size desserts with no artificial colors or flavors!

An overhead shot of a batch of Mini Fresh Mint Cheesecakes and a bottle of mint-infused simple syrup.
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that continue to make CaliGirl Cooking possible. This post also contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission when you click on them and make any subsequent purchases.

If you’re looking for an easy, refreshing dessert that’s already perfectly portion-controlled for you and your family, these Mini No-Bake Fresh Mint Cheesecakes are it! I’ve once again partnered with my friends at Sonoma Syrup Co. to come up with a tasty recipe to showcase all of the wonderful flavors of their fresh mint syrup, without any of that bright green faux mint color and flavor that shows up in most minty desserts you see. If you were a fan of my Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, you’re definitely not going to want to miss this one.

Special Equipment Needed for Making Mini Cheesecakes

Before we get into the recipe itself, it’s important to note a few pieces of equipment you’ll need to make it.

Mini Cheesecake Pan (optional)

If you want your cheesecakes to be the most aesthetically pleasing, I highly recommend investing in a mini cheesecake pan with removable bottoms. I have one similar to this. If you don’t feel like investing or simply didn’t plan too far in advance to make this recipe (hey, I totally get it) you can simply line a muffin tin with paper liners for ease of pulling out the individual cheesecakes once they’ve set up in the fridge.

Hand Mixer and/or Stand Mixer

To be honest, I used BOTH my hand mixer and my stand mixer for this recipe, but you certainly don’t have to. If you only use one or the other, you’ll just have to do some transferring and extra washing of dishes while you’re putting together your cheesecakes. But you will need at least one of these! No one wants to spend hours hand-whisking heavy whipping cream until it’s fluffy.

Those are all of the special tools you’ll need, everything else is pretty standard, like mixing bowls, spatulas, etc.

What You’ll Need to Prepare in Advance

This recipe comes together in no time at all, as long as you do a little advance planning. Here are the two easy steps you’ll need to take at least a few hours before you decide to put together these cheesecakes:

  1. Set out the cream cheese to come to room temperature.
  2. Steep the whipping cream with some fresh mint so it has time to cool down before you actually move forward with whipping it.

Since we’re not baking this dessert, we want to make sure everything is at the optimal temperature before moving forward with the rest of the recipe.

How to Make a No-Bake Chocolate Crust

It’s no secret that the ultimate compliment to fresh mint is chocolate, so that’s exactly the type of crust we’re going to make. A no-bake cheesecake crust is easier than ever to put together. All you need are some crushed up crispy cookies and melted butter. Once they’re mixed together, pressed into your mini cheesecake pans and refrigerated, the butter will harden up again and form a nice solid base for the mint cheesecake filling.

I used some chocolate cat cookies from Trader Joe’s for my crust, but you could also use chocolate graham crackers or even just the cookie part of Oreo’s (no filling).

An overhead shot of a mini cheesecake pan filled with chocolate cookie crust.

A Light-and-Fluffy Fresh Mint Cheesecake Filling

Once you have the chocolate crusts pressed into your mini cheesecake pan or cupcake tin, you’ll want to make the filling.

The first (and very important) step to a fluffy filling is to whip the mint-infused cream you prepared in advance until stiff peaks form. This will give your cheesecakes a silky, smooth and light texture that’s sure to please anyone who tries it. To really up the fresh mint flavor here, we’ll also whip in some of Sonoma Syrup’s Mint-Infused Simple Syrup, which is made with all-natural flavors and no artificial coloring.

An overhead shot of a mixing bowl full of whipped mint cream.

Once your mint cream is sufficiently whipped, it’s time to make the other half of the filling by combining your room temperature cream cheese and some powdered sugar.

Next (and this is important) gently fold the mint whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and – voila! –your light and oh-so-fluffy mint cheesecake filling is ready to go.

Gently scoop the filling into your chocolate crust cups and refrigerate for at least a few hours for the filling to firm up a bit. It won’t be super stiff, but that’s how we get the light and fluffy texture. If you need the filling to be a little stiffer for removing the cheesecakes from the pan, simply pop them into the freezer for 20 minutes or so before serving.

A stack of three mini fresh mint cheesecakes with a bottle of mint-infused simple syrup.

More Ways to Use Mint in the Kitchen

Mint is such a fun and refreshing flavor to incorporate into recipes, especially in the summer. Here are some other great ideas for adding more fresh mint flavor to your recipes during these warm-weather months:

Use it to make Fresh Mint Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Chips.

Make a classic cocktail like a Mojito or a Mint Julep.

Stray from your usual cup of coffee with a Mint Matcha Latte.

Or stick to your OG latte but add a dash of mint syrup.

And, finally, what better way to cool off from the heat than with some Vanilla Bean Mint Lemonade?

I dare you to try this recipe and tell me these Mint Mini Cheesecakes aren’t a breath of fresh, minty air. Be sure to check out Sonoma Syrup Co.’s full range of all-natural products here and leave a rating and comment below as soon as you give the recipe a try!

A fresh mint mini cheesecake with a bite out of it with more mini cheesecakes behind it.

5 from 1 vote
A fresh mint mini cheesecake with a bite out of it with more mini cheesecakes behind it.
Mini No-Bake Fresh Mint Cheesecakes
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Refrigerator Time
5 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 40 mins
 

These mini no-bake cheesecakes have a wonderfully fresh flavor thanks to both mint-infused syrup and whipping cream. They come together quickly with just a bit of advance planning and are perfect for summer since you don’t even have to turn on the oven.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: bite-size, cheesecake, dessert, family-friendly, mint, no-bake, summer
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 378 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookies (I used Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cat Cookies, or you could use chocolate grahams or Oreo’s without the filling.)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5-8 leaves fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons Sonoma Syrup Co. Mint-Infused Simple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • Fresh mint, to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. A few hours before you want to make the cheesecakes, pull out the cream cheese to let it come to room temperature and make the mint-infused heavy cream. To make the cream, bring the heavy whipping cream and fresh mint to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan, then turn off the heat and let it cool down until it is no longer too hot to the touch. Transfer the infused cream to a heat-proof dish or container (I used a glass measuring cup) and refrigerate until completely cool.

  2. Once the cream cheese is at room temperature and the infused cream has cooled down, prepare your mini cheesecake or muffin tin pans by either spraying the cheesecake tins (with removable bottoms) with cooking spray or lining the muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.

  3. Next, prepare the crust. Depending on the equipment you have available, either combine the chocolate cookies and melted butter in a food processor and process until finely crumbled, or smash the cookies into small pieces in a resealable plastic bag, then combine the crumbs in a small bowl with the melted butter.

  4. Firmly press the cookie and butter mixture evenly into the bottom of each of your tins and set aside.

  5. Remove the infused cream from the refrigerator and place in either a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the mint syrup and vanilla extract. Using your hand mixer or the whisk attachment on the stand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. This may take a while, 5-10 minutes.

  6. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Gently fold in the mint-infused whipped cream until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix.

  7. Scoop the cheesecake filling evenly into each of your mini cheesecake or muffin tins. Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. If you feel the cheesecakes are still too soft, feel free to pop them into the freezer for 20-30 minutes before removing them from the pan.

Recipe Notes
  1. You can find mini cheesecake pans with removable bottoms here.
  2. Be sure to remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and prepare the mint-infused whipping cream a few hours in advance. 
  3. It's important to make sure the cream is nice and whipped - with thick peaks - before folding it into the rest of the cheesecake batter. 
  4. The cheesecakes will be light and fluffy, even after setting in the refrigerator for a few hours. If you need them to be firmer for removing from the pan and serving, place them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before enjoying.
Nutrition Facts
Mini No-Bake Fresh Mint Cheesecakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 378 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 345mg15%
Potassium 116mg3%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 818IU16%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Virgin Raspberry Mojitos

Who’s ready for a drink??

Virgin Raspberry Mojitos are a quick and easy, refreshing way to kick off the weekend.

Meeeee!! Oh my goodness, yes please. This has been a long week and I am so ready to kick my feet up and relax (well, as much as possible with all the fam in town) with a Virgin Raspberry Mojito in hand for the next couple of days.

Not only has it been a crazy one workwise this week with me trying to get things prepped and ready for maternity leave, but our precious little fur baby was fixed on Tuesday so we’ve been playing nurse to her and trying to keep her as calm as possible the past few days. Not an easy feat with a 6-month-old golden retriever!

On top of all that excitement, my parents came into town yesterday and my hubs’ parents get here today, so we’ve been hustling trying to get our house (and lives) organized to host them all and be able to spend some quality time with them.

But enough about me, let’s talk about these Virgin Raspberry Mojitos that have become one of my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy both at home (thanks to this super-easy recipe) and as a special treat at restaurants whenever we go out to eat.

A Virgin Raspberry Mojito is the perfect mocktail - not too sweet and very refreshing!

I love virgin mojitos because they are refreshing and tasty without being overly sweet. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again, I’ve noticed I’ve been extremely sensitive to sugary drinks during this pregnancy, so I would much rather enjoy something like a mojito – with that hit of fresh mint and some acidity from fresh lime juice – than some fruity, blended concoction that’s sure to leave me with a headache minutes later.

For these Virgin Raspberry Mojitos, the only added sugar I used was a little bit of simple syrup to just give a slight balance to the fresh, tart muddled raspberries and sour lime juice. Other than that, you’ll just need some fresh mint and soda water. That’s it!

You’ll muddle the fresh raspberries in a cocktail shaker with the mint, simple syrup and lime juice, shake it up real good, dump it into a glass and top with the club soda. Ready in a flash.

These Virgin Raspberry Mojitos taste as good as they look!

This drink is really unbelievably tasty for how easy it is, so if I were you I’d whip it up just in time to celebrate the weekend. And if you feel like jazzing things up with a little booze, I wouldn’t be one bit upset if you decided to throw in some of the classic white rum.

So what are YOUR plans for the weekend? Does it feel like fall yet where you are or are you in the middle of a late-September heat wave like we are here in Southern California? No matter what the weather’s like, I hope you make time to whip up a Virgin Raspberry Mojito or two!

A Virgin Raspberry Mojito ready to be enjoyed.

Virgin Raspberry Mojitos
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

These tasty mocktails strike the perfect balance between sweet, sour and refreshing with loads of fresh raspberries and mint. Add rum to make it boozy!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: mint, mojito, nonalcoholic, raspberry, virgin
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 95 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 14 fresh mint leaves, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Club soda, to top
Instructions
  1. Muddle the raspberries, mint leaves, simple syrup and lime juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. 

  2. Divide shaker’s contents into two glasses, add more ice if necessary and top each with club soda.

  3. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Virgin Raspberry Mojitos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 95 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 20mg1%
Potassium 63mg2%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Virgin Raspberry Mojitos | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade

Thirst-quenching to the max!

This Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is the perfect thirst-quencher for summer! Add vodka for a boozy twist.

That’s exactly what this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is. It’s the perfect drink for summer and, yes, in case you were wondering, you can easily booze it up 😉 Just add a shot or two of vodka!

Throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been a big fan of acidic drinks with just a hint of sweetness. Whenever we go somewhere that I’m ordering a mocktail, if the bartender asks me what kind of drinks I like, my answer is always “Not too sweet!” I also tend to notice that baby gets more active when I have the juicy, acidic stuff, which is always exciting and fun.

But regardless of having weird pregnancy cravings/tendencies, this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is most definitely a winner. If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you’ll know that I’m not a big fan of processed foods (including juices) and try to make things from scratch whenever possible. No, I’m not a health nut, but I do care about quality, unprocessed food and minimal preservatives and additives.

The lemon- or limeade you’ll find at most grocery stores is often loaded with sugar, artificial dyes and who knows what else, so I always try to make my own as much as possible. And no, you do not need a truckload of citrus to make a decent glass of limeade. For example, for this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade, I only used about 1 cup of fresh lime juice, which is approximately a dozen limes.

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is just as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste buds!

And the raspberries. Ohhhh the raspberries. Don’t they lend just the most beautiful color? I couldn’t resist snapping some photos of the limeade before stirring because of that beautiful layered look you get with the raspberries on the bottom, the limeade on top and the garnish of bright green mint, but you’ll definitely want to give the drink a good stir before drinking so you can get all the flavors to meld.

As delicious as fresh limes and raspberries are, the two together can be pretty tart and acidic, so to sweeten things up a bit we use good ol’ simple syrup. We keep a stash of this brand on hand, but you can also easily make your own by boiling up equal parts sugar and water until you get a thicker, syrupy consistency. It’s a great ingredient on hand, even if you’re only making alcohol-free cocktails!

The other thing I love about all citrus is how easy it is to juice! Whether you’re going for orange juice, lemonade or limeade, you can easily make it with a hand squeezer. No fancy juicer necessary. I don’t know about you, but we have no room whatsoever for any other appliances in our kitchen so, as much as I’d love to have fresh juice of any kind on hand at any given moment, I’m happy to settle for all the citruses, like this Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade!

This Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade has a beautiful neon pink color and tastes incredibly refreshing and delicious.

By this time you may be wondering how we work the raspberries, which are clearly not a citrus fruit, into the limeade and give it that beautiful pink color (it’s electric, I swear!) Well, my friends, that’s where we turn to one of our good ol’ bartending skills – muddling! This is one of my other favorite tricks for adding fresh fruit flavor (no pre-bottled, additive-laden junk) to a drink, and raspberries are soft and juicy enough to release all their sweet flavor with just a quick little mash in the bottom of your glass.

And the mint, of course we can’t forget the mint! This is the perfect finishing touch and adds just the perfect hit of subtle flavor to an already refreshing drink. I mean, there’s no better way to make a mocktail fancy then to add some fresh herb-y flavor and a beautiful garnish, am I right?

Now, it’s Friday, we’ve got two days of play ahead of us, and the weather is undoubtedly warm wherever you are (unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, that is) so what do you say we whip up some Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade and call it a day?

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade is the perfect summer quencher. Add vodka to make it a cocktail!

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

This citrus quencher is loaded with fresh limes and raspberries, with a touch of mint to really bring it over the top. Add vodka for a delicious cocktail!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: drinks, limes, mocktail, raspberry
Servings: 2 drinks
Calories: 191 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 16 fresh raspberries
  • 4-6 ounces simple syrup (depending on how sweet you want your drinks)
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, plus 2 mint sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 12 limes)
Instructions
  1. Divide raspberries, simple syrup and mint leaves evenly into the bottom of two highball glasses. Muddle ingredients in each glass until the raspberries release their juices. 

  2. Fill highball glasses to the top with ice. Top with fresh lime juice. 

  3. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade
Amount Per Serving
Calories 191 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 35mg2%
Potassium 201mg6%
Carbohydrates 54g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 61IU1%
Vitamin C 40mg48%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Fresh Raspberry Mint Limeade | CaliGirlCooking.com

Kentucky Coffee

Because when you’re snowed in there’s no other way to go.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

This is what I found myself doing when we were stuck in Lake Tahoe for a couple of extra days. I was out of drafted blog posts and needed a cocktail to share with you all. The fam bam brainstormed what we had to work with and this is what we came up with: Kentucky Coffee!

That’s right, this is my stranded-in-a-cabin take on the classic Irish coffee, and let me tell you, it is sooooo good. My mom doesn’t even drink straight up coffee (mochas and lattes are more her jam) and she went back for Kentucky Coffee seconds. It’s that good.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Yes, we were stranded in Tahoe for a bit longer than anticipated, but it’s likely that by the time you’re reading this we’ll have dug our way out of that winter wonderland and made our way back to reality.

Not that we minded the extra time too much. We had a blast just being cozy in our cabin, building snowmen and jigsaw puzzles, and dipping in the hot tub for as long as we could handle. It was such a great time with both sides of our families, time that we will most definitely cherish and try to do more often. Because when you’re stuck in the snow, who else do you want to be with (and enjoy cocktails with) other than those you hold most dear?

So here’s what I did: I brewed up a bit of our huge stash of coffee (no way we’d run out of that on a trip to Tahoe) and I quickly simmered up some fresh mint simple syrup. We had a stash of bourbon on hand (which was a much better option than the tequila my sister brought along for margaritas) so of course that was a necessary ingredient for (and inspired the name for) Kentucky Coffee as well. Finally, I took advantage of the mixer we found in our AirBnB rental and whipped up some fresh whipped cream to top everything off. Do not skip this part! It really makes the drink.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Probably the best (a.k.a. funniest) part of creating this super tasty Kentucky Mule was the photography, which is best narrated by the photos below. Since we had planned on coming home Wednesday morning, I didn’t have any of my photography props with me at the cabin, so I had to make do. I must say the insane amount of snow made a pretty sick backdrop, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging to get the right shots! Thanks to my pops and sis for capturing my dedication (and super cute hairdo) in the process of shooting this recipe.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

I hope you all are staying warm, dry, and well-lubricated with drink in this New Year. You made it through the first week of 2017, so time to celebrate with a warming mug (or two) of Kentucky Coffee!

Kentucky Coffee
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

There's a new boozy hot coffee drink in town, and it's full of bourbon, mint and whipped cream. The perfect cold weather cocktail!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon, cocktails, coffee, winter
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 350 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces fresh mint simple syrup
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Pour 2 ounces of bourbon and 1 ounce of fresh mint simple syrup into the bottom of two coffee mugs. Stir to combine. 

  2. Add ½ cup of brewed coffee to each mug.

  3. In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Divide whipped cream amongst both mugs. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig if desired and serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

To make the Fresh Mint Simple Syrup: Combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 10 fresh mint leaves. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture reduces slightly. Remove from heat at this point but it's not necessary to let the syrup cool to room temperature since you're adding it to a warm drink.

Nutrition Facts
Kentucky Coffee
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

The snow doesn’t bother me anyway…

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

A delicious, refreshing recipe for the classic mint chip ice cream flavor, featuring fresh mint and dark chocolate slivers. No artificial color or flavor!

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

Man oh man am I so glad the wedding’s over! Don’t get me wrong, it was certainly the best day of my life, but I have been dying to create my own Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe for far too long and before the wedding I had, first and foremost, no time to figure this out, and second, was really trying to focus on healthy, whole foods eating in the weeks leading up so I would feel my best as I walked down the aisle.

Now that the wedding is over, the hubby and I have had some unfortunate things come our way, so a delicious, homemade ice cream is most definitely in order.

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

Let’s start from the beginning, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that we got stuck smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Earl on our honeymoon to Belize. Major bummer! We were evacuated to a really not-so-nice place and spent pretty much two out of our five days there driving to and from the evacuation zone, which put a major damper on our trip. Not to mention ALL of the bugs. No amount of Terrashield or Off! could have kept those pests away and I got all bit up. Needless to say, we were so happy to come home to our bug-free, air-conditioned home!

But unfortunately our bad luck didn’t stop there. Monday evening I started feeling my sinuses start to clog up (I figure all the climate changes in the last few days didn’t do them any good), so I made some soup and sent the hubs off to volleyball open gym. Fast forward to 8:30pm, and I get a call from him saying he needs to go to the emergency room. Noooooo!!!! His fellow open gym players were kind enough to get him home, and then off we went to the hospital. It turns out he went to pass a ball and heard a loud pop in his lower leg…bye, Achilles 🙁

So, now we’re looking at surgery + a 12-week recovery time for him, plus a likely sinus infection for me, and boy oh boy are we ready for something good to head our way! Good thing I married my best friend and can’t imagine myself going through all of this without anyone else 😉

Do you understand why we need some Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in our lives right now? If nothing else is going our way, there’s always ice cream!

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

Seriously though, this recipe has been at the top of my mind for a loooong time. You see, we have this delicious local ice cream shop here in Santa Barbara called Rori’s, and the first time I had them when I moved here, of course I ordered one of my all-time favorite flavors, Mint Chocolate Chip. But this Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, you see, was worlds better than any Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream I had ever had before.

First of all, the ice cream wasn’t bright green. But then how did they give it that vibrant mint flavor? The secret, my friends, is that they steep the milk/custard base of the ice cream in FRESH. MINT. LEAVES for hours before they make the actual ice cream. Mind, blown. You know me, as soon as I find out how to make something with less artificial-ness (and, in this case, less fake, bright green color) than its original recipe, I’m all in.

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

So, this recipe isn’t HEALTHY per-se, but it still falls into being mostly whole foods. Totally acceptable every once in a while when you need that extra little bit of comfort. Remember, we’re all about balance!

Because I am certainly no ice cream-making expert (yet), I turned to a few of my favorite bloggers for inspiration. I saw a lot of recipes that used the classic egg yolk custard base, but because I can’t always bring myself to use ALL of the egg yolks that a custard base calls for, I decided to go a slightly different route and take inspiration from my gal Yossy Arefi, of Apt.2B Baking Co. She has this fabulous recipe for Roasted Strawberry and Mascarpone Ice Cream that’s made using cream, milk and corn starch. Now that I can handle!

I altered the recipe slightly (steeping the fresh mint in the milk and heavy cream the night before, adding vanilla, omitting the roasted strawberries, etc.) but stuck closely to the technique that Yossy outlines and it worked fabulously. I would highly recommend this ice cream recipe to anyone that has the same reservations I do about the eggs. It sounds complicated, but just take it one step at a time, make sure you have all of your ingredients measured out, plan ahead, and you’ll be fine.

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

The results are so worth it! I was a little worried that the fresh mint wouldn’t come through strong enough in the finished product, but it turned out just perfect. There’s the slight hint of mint, and a nice lacing of dark chocolate from the slivered bar. Please, please take the time to chop up a dark chocolate bar (I used the big one-pounder from Trader Joe’s) as opposed to resorting to dark chocolate chips. It really makes a huge difference! The smaller slivers allow the chocolate to be more evenly laced throughout the ice cream, perfectly balancing the fresh mint flavor.

Now, I’ve talked your ear off long enough. It’s time to go make this Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream already! August is already well-underway and we need to get our ice creams in while we can…before the Fall foods invasion begins!

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirl Cooking

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Prep Time
10 hrs
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 hrs 10 mins
 
A delicious, refreshing recipe for the classic mint chip ice cream flavor, featuring fresh mint and dark chocolate slivers. No artificial color or flavor!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, dessert, freezer-friendly, ice cream, kid-friendly, make-ahead, mint, summer
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 560 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons whole milk divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 ounces mascarpone
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Combine 1 ½ cups whole milk, heavy cream, and fresh mint in a food storage container and place in refrigerator to steep overnight (or at least 8 hours.)
  2. When ready to continue making the ice cream, combine additional two tablespoons of whole milk and corn starch in a small bowl. Whisk together to make a slurry. Set aside.
  3. Next, combine the mascarpone and salt in a large bowl (preferably with a lid). Stir or whisk until salt is incorporated into mascarpone. Set aside.
  4. Remove steeped milk mixture from refrigerator and add to a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts) along with sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 4 minutes.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat and slowly stir in corn starch mixture. Place back on heat and bring to a boil once again. Stir continuously for one minute, until mixture begins to thicken.
  6. Slowly pour this mixture through a strainer into the bowl with the mascarpone. The goal is to remove most of the mint leaves. Some small ones may sneak through, but that’s okay. Stir the milk mixture into the mascarpone until well-combined. Cover with lid (or plastic wrap if you don’t have a bowl with a lid) and place in refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, or until the mixture is cool.
  7. Once cool, add mixture to ice cream maker with the chopped dark chocolate pieces and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. My ice cream mixture appeared to stop churning at one point, but upon touching it I realized it was still a bit too soft, so I simply placed the ice cream canister in the freezer for a bit until the ice cream was the consistency I was looking for.
  8. Transfer the ice cream to a covered container and store in the freezer. Best enjoyed within a week for freshness!

Recipe Notes
  1. While you can certainly use dark chocolate chips in this recipe, I highly recommend chopping up a bar of solid dark chocolate so those little slivers get laced throughout the entire batch of ice cream.
  2. Remember to start steeping your milk and cream mixture the night (or morning) before you plan to make the ice cream, as it needs at least 8 hours of steeping time.
  3. After you're done churning the ice cream, transfer it to a covered container in the freezer for storage up to one week. 
Nutrition Facts
Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 560 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 115mg5%
Potassium 367mg10%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 38g42%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1283IU26%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 165mg17%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | CaliGirlCooking.com

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