Caramel Ice Cream

This easy recipe for homemade Caramel Ice Cream made with a rich, luscious custard base, flavored with brown sugar salted caramel is a heavenly and indulgent frozen treat!

This French-style caramel ice cream recipe is made with an egg-based custard and churned in your ice cream maker so that it’s incredibly creamy and velvety smooth.

When you make this ice cream from scratch, it will be gluten-free, nut free, and free from any unnecessary chemicals and dyes as well!

a footed glass bowl of homemade caramel ice cream

Sweet and salty caramel is such an amazing flavor, and it’s even better when it’s turned into this delectable homemade Caramel Ice Cream!

I love making caramel sundaes with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel syrup, but when I make this caramel ice cream recipe, I can skip all of that fuss, because the caramel sauce is already in the ice cream!

It’s also amazing on top of this warm crockpot peach cobbler with cake mix.

This recipe is made with eggs, but if you want to try a similar flavor that is eggless, check out my Butter Brickle Ice Cream or Pralines and Cream Ice Cream next.

Why You’re Going to Love This Caramel Ice Cream Recipe

It’s made with homemade caramel! Butter and brown sugar are cooked down with heavy cream to make a delicious and rich sauce that will give this ice cream so much flavor.

It’s a French style recipe, so while it’s a bit more laborious than some other ice cream recipes, it’s well worth it once you taste how smooth and luscious it is.

If you’re new to the site or new to making ice cream from scratch, know that you are in the right place! I’ll give you step-by-step instructions so that you’ll have everything you need to create amazing homemade ice cream with ease.

The ingredients in caramel ice cream, including egg yolks, brown sugar, and cream.

Ingredients in Homemade Caramel Ice Cream

Butter and Brown Sugar – To make the perfect homemade caramel sauce to flavor this ice cream, we’ll start by cooking brown sugar and butter on the stove until it’s dark and caramelized.

Heavy Cream – Some is added to the caramel mixture, while the rest is used to create a rich and creamy ice cream base.

Egg Yolks – These are the key ingredient to making a custard ice cream base. They will be gently cooked.

Whole Milk – To get the most amazing ice cream texture, this specific ratio of whole milk to heavy cream is ideal.

Granulated Sugar – Sugar is a must for any ice cream recipe. In this recipe, we’ll use a bit less than usual, since the caramel has quite a bit of brown sugar in it already.

Salt – A bit of kosher salt helps to balance the sweetness of the caramel.

Vanilla Extract – Vanilla elevates the simple flavors of milk and cream.

A collage of 8 photos showing the steps to take to make caramel ice cream from scratch in an ice cream maker.

How to Make Caramel Ice Cream from Scratch

Start the day before by making sure that the bowl for your ice cream maker has at least 24 hours to freeze solid.

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter with the brown sugar until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved and starting to bubble up.
  2. Whisk in ½ cup of heavy cream and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until the caramel is thick and smooth. Set it aside to cool while you prepare the custard.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
  4. Then add the milk and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then remove from the heat, making sure not to let the milk boil. To temper the egg yolks, add about 1/2 cup of hot milk to the eggs and whisk constantly until combined.
  5. Then add the tempered egg mixture back to the saucepan with the milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the ice cream base has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  6. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve to remove any pieces of cooked eggs, then add the remaining heavy cream, vanilla extract and the cooled caramel sauce from before. Stir, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic is touching the surface of the ice cream. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before churning.
  7. Churn the caramel ice cream in the bowl of your machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it has thickened.
  8. Then spoon the soft ice cream into a loaf pan. Press plastic wrap to the surface and freeze for at least four hours, or until sold.

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.

Homemade caramel ice cream in a metal loaf pan. an ice cream scoop and sugar cones are next to the pan.

How to Store Caramel Ice Cream

Store this homemade caramel ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month.

Tips for Making This Homemade Caramel Ice Cream Recipe

Use quality ingredients – When making homemade ice cream, you’ll want to make sure you are using high-quality ingredients for the best outcome.

Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes.

Don’t skimp on the fat – High-fat milk and cream are essential when making homemade ice cream. Opting for a low-fat option often leads to icy ice creams and inconsistency in the texture.

Don’t go crazy with the add-ins – If you’re adding in additional ingredients, pick one or two and make sure they are chopped into pieces no larger than a blueberry or pea.

Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to homemade ice creams, it also helps with the texture. Sugar is essential for the creamy texture of ice cream.

How Do I Make Salted Caramel Ice Cream?

The amount of salt in this recipe is enough to give it a very balanced sweet and salty taste. If you want your caramel ice cream to be saltier, feel free to adjust the amount of kosher salt added to the recipe, or just sprinkle coarse flaky sea salt over the pan before freezing.

a metal scoop pulling a scoop of homemade creamy caramel ice cream.

No Churn Caramel Ice Cream Directions

Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you prepare and mix the ice cream base ingredients.

Pour the caramel ice cream mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours to help add air. This will help create a creamy, smooth texture.

Tasty Caramel Ice Cream Add-Ins

Just like vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate ice cream, this luscious ice cream flavor is great as-is, but can be even better with the right mix-ins.

Caramel goes really well with all types of chocolate, so try adding chopped candy bars, a swirl of hot fudge sauce, or use the method we share in our stracciatella ice cream recipe to add thin ribbons of melted chocolate throughout.

To make caramel ice cream even more decadent, swirl in some store-bought or homemade caramel sauce, or top bowls of caramel ice cream with caramelized bananas or candied pecans.

Other tasty add-ins include bits of baked brownies or cookies, toffee bits, apple pie filling, or cut up Snickers or Milky-Way bars!

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

If you like this recipe for Caramel Ice Cream, I know you’ll love these other rich and sweet flavors too.

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a footed glass bowl of homemade caramel ice cream

Caramel Ice Cream

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes

This easy recipe for homemade Caramel Ice Cream made with a rich, luscious custard base, flavored with brown sugar salted caramel is a heavenly and indulgent frozen treat!


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar. Cook until the butter has melted and the sugar is dissolved and starting to bubble up, about 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Whisk in ½ cup of the heavy cream and cook another 1-2 minutes until smooth. Remove the caramel from the heat and set aside. 
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color. 
  5. Add the milk and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Be sure not to boil. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined. 
  6. Then, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk. Heat the saucepan on low. Stirring constantly, heat until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take a few minutes. 
  7. Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove any pieces of egg that may have cooked. Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, vanilla extract, and caramel mixture, and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure to have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the ice cream base. This will help keep it from forming a skin while chilling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until cold. 
  8. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  9. Spoon the ice cream into a loaf pan. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving. 


  • Use full fat cream and whole milk to create the ice cream base. Lower fat dairy products won't work in this recipe.
  • Be sure that everything is very cold before you mix up the recipe. This includes all of your ingredients as well as the ice cream maker bowl, which should be frozen solid.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 248mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 0gSugar: 51gProtein: 8g

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