Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chill, Churn, and Freeze Time: 10 hrs 15 mins
Total: 10 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
477 Calories
34g Fat
42g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 477
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 21g 107%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 308mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 108mg 8%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 140mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

There's nothing like the combination of sweet and salty when it comes to desserts. Our salted caramel ice cream checks all the boxes: sweet caramel, crisp sea salt flakes, and a cool and silky ice cream. For this recipe, you'll need an ice cream maker, as the ideal amount of creaminess is achieved by the constant churning of the machine. But making it without the machine is possible, although it might entail a tremendous amount of work. If you're going the manual route, the flavor of this decadent dessert might be worth the wait—and the whisking.

This is an incredible dessert on its own but can be served alongside some of your favorite holiday desserts like apple or pumpkin pie. A great alternative to vanilla ice cream, this is a treat to have at hand for a last-minute dessert. Make ice cream sandwiches, top with crunchy nuts, or make beautiful sundaes with crushed caramels and whipped cream. Our recipe doesn't contain eggs, and it is also gluten-free.

Simple and elegant, our salted caramel ice cream might just be your new favorite flavor. The ice cream will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, plus more for optional garnish

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  2. In a medium saucepan warm up 1 cup of heavy cream, stirring frequently, just until the first bubbles start to form. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  3. In another heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar turns a deep amber color.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour about 1/3 of the warmed cream into the caramel pan. Wear an oven mitt and use caution, as the caramel will bubble and release hot steam. Whisk to combine and carefully add the remaining warmed cream.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  5. Add the butter to the creamy caramel and whisk until melted and combined.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  6. Stir in the sea salt flakes and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  7. Pour half of the caramel into an airtight container and set aside.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  8. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining cooled caramel from the pot, the rest of the heavy cream, the whole milk, and the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour—the ice cream base needs to be thoroughly chilled before churning.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  9. When ready to make the ice cream, churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. On average, an ice cream machine can take from 25 to 40 minutes to appropriately churn an ice cream batch.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  10. Once the ice cream has churned, spoon half of it into a freezer-safe container and drizzle on top half of the reserved caramel.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  11. Spoon the remaining ice cream on top. Drizzle with the remaining caramel and, using a knife, make a swirling motion to lightly mix the ice cream and caramel. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours (or overnight) before serving.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  12. Scoop and serve with an additional sprinkle of sea salt flakes, if desired.

    Salted Caramel Ice Cream

    The Spruce

  13. Enjoy!

Ice Cream Making Tips

When making homemade ice cream it's important to remember a few tips:

  • You need to plan at least a day in advance of when you want to enjoy your ice cream. Most home ice cream makers have a bowl that needs to be kept in the coldest part of your freezer (usually the far back) for at least 24 before churning a batch of ice cream.
  • Remember to start the motor of the ice cream churn before adding the prepared ice cream base. The ingredients will freeze almost on contact and that will interfere with the churning process.
  • You can enjoy the ice cream straight from the churning process, but it will usually have the consistency of soft serve. If you want a more scoopable ice cream, it needs to be frozen overnight before serving.