Bourbon And Corn Flakes Ice Cream (Secret Breakfast)

If you’ve been to Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco you will know where I’m going with this post. Chef Jake Godby, along with his co-owner Sean Vahey, are known for their creative, and somewhat unusual, ice cream flavors. One of Humphry’s most popular flavors to date is their Secret Breakfast flavor which is a testament to how inventive and playful chef Godby can be.

bourbon and corn flakes ice cream

If you break it down, Secret Breakfast is a rich vanilla-based ice cream infused with bourbon with crunchy, golden-brown cornflake “cookies” swirled within. I was never really a cornflakes fan, but I am now. To be clear, this is not your typical ice cream flavor. In fact, Secret Breakfast pushes the ice cream-alcohol boundaries to the max in this boozy adult favorite that is beyond memorable and perfect for weekends in the summer.

According to Godby, he had been making bourbon-infused ice cream for years before he came up with the idea for this clever and unique flavor. The idea of pairing bourbon with cornflakes was actually just a playful “nod to breakfast and the fact that bourbon is (actually) made from corn”. Simple. yet clever, if you ask me. bourbon and corn flakes ice cream

I first had Secret Breakfast years ago but I never forgot it. With Summer in full swing, I was eager to work on a copycat recipe for this unusual flavor. Replicating the cornflake cookie was the challenging part, thankfully I like challenges. I got the texture and sweetness I wanted in the “cookie“, but I also needed to balance that with the intense bourbon flavor and the rich vanilla base. This took some effort.bourbon and corn flakes ice creamLike Godby, I don’t recommend using a high-end bourbon in this recipe (I tried that, but it’s not necessary) save that for sipping, and use anything you have on hand. The real trick with adding alcohol is to wait till the ice cream base has cooled completely before adding the bourbon so you can truly assess the flavor you are going for.

A note about the booziness factor. The bourbon level in this recipe is completely adaptable. Unlike Humphry’s version, I made mine a bit less alcoholic, but you don’t have to, so feel free to increase or decrease as desired. This was a fun experiment for me, and the end result was (if you ask my husband) amazing.

Recipe: Bourbon And Cornflakes Ice Cream

: 1 1/2 pints : 30 min : 40 min : 3 hr 40 min


  • For the Corn Flakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups Kellogg’s cornflakes
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • For the Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (or more) good quality bourbon


  • Step 1 For the Corn Flakes: Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Step 2 Crumble the cereal slightly and place in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream, sugar, and salt, and mix well. Add the cream mixture to the dry cereal. Mix in the melted butter and toss until cereal is evenly coated.
  • Step 3 Spread the cereal onto the prepared baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Step 4 For the Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream: In a medium saucepan add the heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Step 5 In a medium mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar and whisk until a pale yellow color, about 2 minutes.
  • Step 6 Gradually pour a slow stream of the cream mixture into the yolk mixture while mixing constantly to combine. Note: if you add the hot cream too fast it will curdle the eggs.
  • Step 7 Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, place over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Step 8 Remove from the heat, and strain the custard in a fine strainer into a medium bowl set over a bowl of ice water.  Allow the custard to cool completely. Once cool, stir in the bourbon.
  • Step 9 Process the custard in an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, about 30-35 minutes. Mix in the baked cornflakes. Transfer to an airtight container, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

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