Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Rich, buttery and salty caramel ice cream with little bits of praline sprinkled throughout.
Oh, the goodness that is salted caramel… anything. Sauce, frosting, cupcakes, brownies, caramel apples, ice cream. It seems that whatever salted caramel touches in the kitchen turns to gold. There’s something about that smooth, buttery, sweet, salty and almost nutty flavor that transforms just about anything into the best version of itself.
I have had salted caramel ice cream on my to-make list for quite some time, and after spending my vacation eating ice cream almost every single day, I definitely had the ice cream-making bug once I got back. I took a quick poll on Facebook to see what types of flavors readers might be interested in seeing, and I was pleased to see so many were thinking along the salted caramel line as well. To the kitchen I went!
I even splurged on fancy European butter for this occasion!
I concluded that since it’s David Lebovitz’ recipe and he fashioned it after ice cream he’s had in Paris, that it was appropriate :)
I was tempted to stop the ice cream process after the caramel sauce was made and just eat it by the spoonful. Holy wow. And I won’t lie – I did steal more than a few tastes. But the sacrifice for the good of the salted caramel ice cream was definitely worth it.
If you’re a caramel fan, you’ll want to stash this away and not share it with anyone. Such a deep, creamy and perfectly balanced sweet and salty flavor with tiny bits of praline that turn gooey and perfect.
I do believe this ice cream deserves a partner in crime. I’m thinking brownies would be a perfect pairing!
One year ago: Triple-Chocolate Cookies
Three years ago: Fresh Orange Cream Tart
Salted Caramel Ice Cream
For the Caramel Praline Mix-In:
- ½ cup (99 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) flaked sea salt, such as fleur de sel
For the Ice Cream:
- 2 cups (460 ml) whole milk, divided
- 1½ cups (298 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (57 g) salted butter
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) flaked sea salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 1. Make the Caramel Praline Mix-In: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- 2. Place the sugar in an even layer in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat until the edges begin to melt. Gently stir with a heatproof spatula from the bottom and edges towards the center until all the sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel begins to smoke and emits a nutty, almost-burnt smell, a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.
- 3. Immediately sprinkle with the flaked salt (do not stir), then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet, tilting and swirling it to form an extremely thin layer. Set aside to harden and cool.
- 4. Make the Ice Cream Custard: Fill a large bowl one-third full with ice cubes and add a cup of water. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts) over the ice, pour 1 cup of the milk into the bowl, and rest a fine-mesh strainer on top.
- 5. Spread the sugar in a medium saucepan in an even layer. Cook over medium heat until caramelized, using the same method described in Step #2.
- 6. Once the sugar has caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream. If the caramel hardens, return it to the stove and stir over low heat until completely melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of the milk.
- 7. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in about ½ cup of the warm caramel mixture. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard over medium heat using a heatproof spatula, stirring and scraping the pan constantly until the mixture thickens and reads 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- 8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, and stir in the vanilla. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight
- 9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into ½-inch pieces. Add the praline pieces during the last minute of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Ok this recipe does not work for me. I have my eye on a two quart ice cream maker by cuisinart.
Your recipe makes only one quart. So sad, I will not be pinning this.
We hope all of your ice cream recipes are not 1 quart only.
Hi Heather, You can simply double the recipe to make 2 quarts if you want to fill your ice cream maker to capacity.
Your salted caramel ice cream looks delicious! I’ve made this ice cream a few times, the first using normal table salt. Big mistake. It tastes so much better using a salt like fleur de sel. The taste is much less harsh.
You’ve copied the recipe exactly from my website!
Although it says “adapted,” you’ve used my exact same words and descriptions in the making of this recipe. I am shocked and disappointed that someone in the food blogging community would do that. I spent a lot of time developing this recipe and I’m really stunned you would just copy and paste it from my blog:
So tasty! Salty caramel ice cream is my husband’s absolute favorite dessert, but not easy to find and super expensive. This recipe is a keeper!
Boy, I am in florida and it is getting HOT and i needed a new ice cream flavor. It is cooling down before going into the ice cream maker and I keep dipping my finger in to taste (again and again) Hope there is enough left to make ice cream :)!!!!
I do follow all the instructions step by step. I keep the ice cream bowl and the custard for almost 2 days as well. But this is the first time my ice cream couldn’t freeze. I have made some of the other ice cream flavor and was perfect. I wonder what’s going on with mine. The custard tastes good and it didn’t split after chilled. Wondering what’s wrong with it.. *so sad…
I loved the custard for this ice cream. I was a little worried because it was softer than my normal ice cream custard after churning. However, it hardened to the perfect consistency in the freezer and, unlike some homemade ice cream recipes that I’ve tried, it never got extremely hard. It maintained the perfect consistency. One question–do you think that there would be any problem making this with unsalted butter and adding in a little extra salt? I’m making salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream this weekend, and I’ll just happen to have 4 T of unsalted Plugra and 1 c of heavy cream leftover. It’s the perfect excuse to make this recipe again!
Hi Andrea, I think that would work! So glad you enjoyed the ice cream!
Can I substitute the vanilla extract with essence and what would the quantities be
Hi there, it all depends on what the “essence” actually is. In some places, it is merely imitation vanilla extract, in which case, you can substitute it in a 1:1 ratio for the vanilla extract. In other places, vanilla essence is like an essential oil, and in that case, you should only use a drop or two.
Thanks, I’ve made the ice cream, don’t have an machine so busy in the process of beating it every 30 mins then freezing
Do you use coarse sea salt?
For the ice cream custard, I used fine sea salt.
hey. Thanks For the recipe. I love it so much. I only found out about the salted caramel ice cream on haagen-dazs and have been a fond of it since. Since I already bought my ice cream maker I thought why should’t I make Salted caramel. I tried this recipe and really enjoyed it. Only thing that I would change is the usage of sugar. It’s too sweet. But its okay though. I love this recipe and I love you for posting this. keep up the good work!
Add me to the failed list on this one. First, I must have burned the sugar because it tasted burned. I didn’t realize it until I had made the custard and tasted it – I haven’t had very good experiences lately with caramel making, I tried to make the salted caramel sauce and burned that, and now this. I followed the directions (except that maybe I stirred it too much? I didn’t read that you are only supposed to stir it “intermittently” until I had already been stirring it almost constantly), but it goes from ok to burned so quickly – I honestly had no idea that it had burned – there wasn’t a smell or smoke, and it was a nice golden color. Anyway, I continued making the ice cream hoping that the other ingredients would somehow mask the burned taste. Let me tell you, it’s impossible. Burned sugar is a horrible taste and can’t be covered up. If I were to do it again, I would have cooled some of the caramel after step 5/2 and tasted it before I added the other ingredients. At least at that point you have only wasted 1.5c of sugar.
So, after I cooled the custard over night, I churned it, but it stayed very soft. I wasn’t too concerned because I usually have to freeze the churned ice cream to actually get it frozen to the texture of store bought ice cream, but this never hardened. I had it in the freezer for ~10+ hours, and it was still goppy soft serve texture, and tasted burned :-(
Mine never turned creamy either. It just remained a soup even though I churned it for over half an hour and didn’t add the pieces until the last minute.
I’m super sad. I’ve been craving this ice cream ever since I tried some at an ice cream shop at an airport, strangely enough. I found this recipe and was super excited to make it. Everything went exactly as the recipe said. When I chilled it, it separated. I whisked it back together before I churned it and it churned for over an hour and didn’t freeze. I put it in the freezer and it separated again and is still not freezing. What did I do wrong? :(
Hi Jennifer, I’m not sure – if you didn’t make any substitutions and followed the directions as written, I don’t know why it would separate and not freeze.
You actually made your own Ice-cream? I’m such a newb compared to you.
Got my Cuisinart ICE-100 delivered to the house yesterday. Used this salted caramel recipe for my intial test-run. FAN-TAST-IC recipe…and results! Ice cream is incredibly smooth, creamy and delicious! Thanks!
Just made this and I was wondering if you found it s bit too sweet? Other recipes don’t call for as much sugar. It’s delicious but I could only have one scoop as I found it very rich and sweet.
Hi Ruks, I usually find questions about whether foods are too sweet or not sweet enough to really be a matter of personal taste. What tastes too sweet to one person might be perfect to another. If you found the ice cream too sweet, try reducing the sugar a little next time.
Hey Michelle! I am working on this now and am wondering if there is a way to quicken the 8 hour cooling process? I am making this as a surprise for my husband for tomorrow but don’t want the ice cream maker running when he gets home.. The surprise won’t be a surprise then :) do you think I could chill it more quickly in the freezer or not?
Hi Elizabeth, Definitely don’t put the custard in the freezer to speed up the process. You could probably cut it down to 6 hours or so; the key is making sure it’s thoroughly chilled or it won’t churn and thicken up into an ice cream texture.
I got an ice cream maker for Christmas, and I think this will be the first type I make!
If we added pecans to this, would it be like a butter pecan? Or even better because it is caramel?
It won’t taste as much like butter pecan as it would a “turtle” type of flavor, minus the chocolate. I think it would be good!
I added 1 cup toasted pecans to the salted caramel praline add-in, roughly chopped it, and put 3 1 inch layers of them in the container between the ice cream (bottom, middle, top). before sticking it in the freezer to harden more. It was so unbelievably good I can’t overstate it.
I’ve made this twice now- once for a friend who took care of our animals while we were on vacation, and one for us because it is just so darned yummy. I asked my friend’s husband who it turned out, and he didn’t get any! Wife and kids ate it all before he got any poor guy.
I had some issues getting this to thicken in my KitchenAid also (all my fault, though. SO. IMPATIENT.) Once it did, it was perfect! I used to think I didn’t like caramel very much – apparently I don’t like the brown goo that PASSES for caramel in a lot of sweets. Awesome recipe!!
I just made the base this morning. It was my first ever attempt at home made ice cream. I almost just grabbed a straw and drank it! *lol* It is chilling in my fridge right now. I just realized I forgot the vanilla. Do you think I can add it now? I don’t know how I will wait to churn and eat! The waiting is the worst!!
Hi Amy, Yes you can add the vanilla now. It just can’t be added when the mixture is on the stove because it will cook right out. Enjoy the ice cream!
Oh my word. I just made this ice cream and it is absolutely wonderful! I made it without a ice cream maker with my hand mixer and it turned out wonderfully. I adore anything that involves salted ice cream and this lived up to all my expectations!
Yes, everything was cold… we chilled the freezer bowl for about three days and chilled the custard for at least 15 hours. We added the praline after about 12 minutes of churning and KitchenAid recommended ~30 minutes total churning. After we added the praline it didn’t get any thicker. So, we can confirm that your tip about waiting until the end is a good one! Thanks for your reply :)
Thanks for the amazing recipe. A friend and I made this in a KitchenAid this weekend and it never really thickened, do you have any thoughts on what would cause that? We suspect it might have something to do with the fact that we added the caramel bits about halfway through the churning (per manufacturer instructions) and the salt slowed down the freezing. Still very very tasty!
Hi Erin, This ice cream does churn up a bit softer than traditional ice cream due to the caramel sauce in the custard, but it should definitely thicken. Adding the praline bits too early may have caused it (I added mine at the end), but I imagine it should have thickened already at that point. Was your custard chilled for at least 8 hours before you tried churning it?
I made this the other day and it was seriously the best homemade ice cream I’ve ever had! It was delicious and had a great consistency (it seems like many homemade ice creams are either too soft or too hard after freezing).
This makes me want an ice cream maker so. bad.
i love your recipe of Salted Caramel Ice Cream thanks for the reciper.
I’ve read the directions, several times, envisioning how to do this. I’m going in– you have no idea how much I love caramel. I haven’t stopped thinking about this recipe of yours, since I saw the photos. Wish me luck! I’m excited!
wow, can’t wait to try this on out!
I think your ice cream is fantastic..I buzzed it!
Yum with brownies!!! This ice cream looks really great!
Fabulous! I think I need to make some of this ice cream myself!
Oh.my.yum! I have just discovered this caramel salt phenomenon. It is amazing! There is a Sea Salt with Caramel Truffel ice cream I discovered a few weeks ago that is to die for. This recipe look fabulous! I am totally going to try this soon! Thank goodness my girls over at Couple of Crumbs spotlighted your site or I may have never found you! Already on my list is snickerdoodle popcorn, s’more cookies, and THIS! And I haven’t even checkout the other caramal salt recipes. Did I see brownies?!! Ahhh!
Love this site and I adore the name!
Michelle, this looks so good. Actually, it might be the perfect snack food to enjoy during the playoffs.
You make me want to bake/cook! I awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award. Love your site. ;-))
This ice cream sounds absolutely divine! Putting on my list to make this summer for sure!
There is nothing better than salty and sweet together. I make fleur de sel caramels often and they’re out of this world delicious….so, salted caramel ice cream can only be equally delicious. My husband would love this too. It would be good with some toffee bits incorporated as well. Yum!
My ice cream maker is a 6 quart maker….Can someone update the recipes accordingly for me please?
Thank you :)
Oh my, this looks and sound divine – I am such a sucker for anything caramel and will definitely be needing to try this – SOON!!! It would be so delicious with my poppy seed pound cake, yum!
You are right! Brownies are a great pairing. I made them together a few weeks ago to rave reviews from friends.
I. Want. This. Now! Mmmmm sweet and salty-best combo! I definitely would’ve had trouble not eating the caramel before it made it into the ice cream. Really, I just think its absolutely impossible not to eat caramel when its staring at you in the face with all of it’s wonderful aroma and creamy look.
Well, there goes the diet (again). I love salted caramel anything, and ice cream sound so good right now.
I love salt and sweet… so awesome to make an ice cream with that combo!
Bi-Rite in San Francisco makes Salted Caramel ice cream and it’s my absolute favorite. I’ve always wanted to try it — thanks for the recipe!
I am definitely a card-carrying member of the salted caramel fan club and this is topping my to-do list!
I was looking around for recipes to try with my new ice cream maker and I think I found a winner! Yummy! The picture put it over the top as I am running out ASAP to get some more butter!
I love salted caramel ANYTHING!! Can’t wait to try this now that it’s ice cream season!!
Never had salted caramel before but you’ve piqued my interest. And, everything is better with brownies!
I really do need to get an ice cream maker now. So yum!
I need this is my life. It would make my bad hair day to a good day. *sigh*
Looks greats, I immediately thought of Jeni’s in Columbus. Did you use any special salt?
I used Sicilian sea salt (couldn’t get fleur de sel or maldon near me).
How necessary is the ice bath for the milk?
Hi Brandi, The ice bath helps to speed up the cooling process, but it’s not absolutely necessary – I’ve done without when my ice maker was broken ;-)
Oh, my word. I must try this. It’s salted caramel, it’s David Liebovitz, and it’s ice cream. What is not to like. It’s the best invention ever.
I don’t even like ice cream and I want some of this! Absolutely delicious! Thank you for using one of my favorite things in the entire world.
Nevermind…i had to read it a third time. I blame it on Friday tiredness ;)
Am I missing something? I am reading the recipe wondering where the butter comes in for the praline. I know it should be in with the sugar but I did not see it in the directions.
Help! I want to try this one! :)
Michelle, this looks DELICIOUS! If you like this flavor, check out Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, they’re a homegrown small biz here in Buckeyeland, I think you’ll LOVE LOVE LOVE her flavors!!! http://jenisicecreams.com/
I’ve made this recipe before and loved it! I never thought to it with brownies but that’s a wonderful idea!
Yum! I recently made a caramel ice cream that was pretty good. My only complaint was that it didn’t have egg yolks and wasn’t quite as creamy as I wanted. I will have to give this a try!
oh sweet mother! I was seriously JUST imagining a browned butter ice cream last night as I scooped some boring vanilla bean next to a pan of melted browned butter. I refrained from putting the browned butter ON my ice cream, and now that this recipe exists – I shall indulge in delicious salty, caramelly goodness! :) Lovely. Thanks!
Oh, that looks awesome! I got an ice cream maker recently and was getting bored with the usual chocolate and vanilla variations. I’m definitely going to have to make this one!
Fabulous, just fabulous!
I tried salted caramel ice cream for the first time this week and it is absolutely divine!
Yum! Definitely bookmarking this for the Summer.
That is divine, sweet and salt….DELISH!
OH MY!!! I must try this!
One of my favorite flavors!
I had a taste of this in a restaurant last week and haven’t stopped thinking about it – now I can make my own! Thanks so much. Looks delicious.
oh dear — I think I’m going to have to make that this weekend. Out of control yum. Theresa
Mmm I want to try that! It looks delish.
Oh yes!! That looks delicious!!
looks amazing. I agree with brownies it would be amazing. or maybe a shortbread cookie?
oh wow… this looks delicious!
how about brownies topped with caramel?!?
This would make me so happy today!! Looks delish!
this looks incredible – can’t wait to try it!
So good! I love caramel!
I can’t get enough salted caramel, this ice cream looks amazing!
Oh yes, pair w/ brownies! Perfect idea!