Thai Sweet Chili and Caramel Topping

Vanilla ice cream
Vanilla ice cream works best with this recipe. ac_bnphotos / Getty Images
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 4 mins
  • Cook: 1 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

Thai food has always seemed magical to me, but nothing has astounded me more than the magic of this simple ice cream topping recipe. Don't be put off by the ingredients—they may not sound like dessert, but when they're stirred together and drizzled over vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or other frozen vanilla desserts, you will have an incredible dessert recipe that will wow your friends and family. A little sweet, a little spicy, this ice cream topping is a gourmet food lover's treat. I call it "Butterscotch with a Kick". And it only takes 5 minutes to make!


  • 6 scoops vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt/soy milk/rice milk (enough for 2 to 3 scoops per guest)
  • Garnish: fresh mint or basil leaves
  • Optional: crushed or chopped peanuts or cashews
  • Optional: dried red chili flakes (available in the spice section of your local grocery store)
  • Thai Sweet Chili Caramel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons Sweet Thai Chilli Sauce (available in the Asian section of grocery stores, or find it in Asian/Chinese stores)
  • 4 tablespoons syrup (pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (or a generous pinch of salt or "Vegetarian fish sauce" - available at Vietnamese food stores)
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all sauce ingredients together in a saucepan.

  3. Place saucepan over medium heat, stirring continually until sauce is well combined and warm (but not boiling) - about 1 minute.

  4. Place 2 to 3 scoops vanilla ice cream in each serving dish. Now spoon the warm sauce over, dividing the sauce up equally (there will be enough for 2 people - double the sauce recipe for 4 to 5 people).

  5. Serve immediately, or see additional serving options below.

  6. Enjoy!


After the sauce has been spooned over ice cream, garnish each dish with:

  • a few fresh mint or basil leaves
  • some crushed peanuts or Sweet & Spicy Glazed Cashews.
  • an extra sprinkling of dried red chili flakes (this looks pretty and spices things up a bit more!)
  • Adds a final topping of Grand Marnier (nice for extra special occasions, such as a dinner party).

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