Creamy Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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That taste of homemade caramel sauce is classic and is the perfect match for homemade ice cream.

We love all things caramel, from our grilled peaches with caramel sauce to homemade caramel apple pie. But there is just some extra special about the addition of caramel to home-churned ice cream. The coarse sea salt gives an added depth of flavor. This ice cream is always a huge hit.

A waffle cone with two scoops of salted caramel ice cream that has been inserted into a metal holder with two other cones in the background.

How To Make Creamy Salted Caramel Ice Cream

This ice cream isn’t difficult to make at all.

You just need to give yourself a little time for the custard to chill and then for the ice cream to freeze. Start a couple of days before you want to serve, and you’ll be golden!


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The Ingredients You Will Need

There are just a handful of ingredients needed to make this incredible ice cream. Making the caramel sauce from scratch is easy and definitely the way to go.

Here’s What You’ll Need to Have on Hand

For the Caramel Sauce:
Sugar – Granulated
Cream – Heavy, whipping cream is best. In the U.K., go with double cream. Half and half can be substituted in a pinch.
Salt – Coarse sea salt, or finishing salt, such as Madlon’s is best.
Vanilla extract – Go with good quality.

For the Ice Cream Base:
Milk – Whole (you’ll use a combination of heavy cream and milk).
Maple syrup – Pure, please.
Eggs – Large.

EXPERT TIP: When you make the caramel, it may seem a little thin. This is normal. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. It will thicken as it cools. Pour directly into the custard and then whisk to combine.

Homemade caramel sauce being poured from a small white bowl into a ceramic bowl filled with an ice cream custard.

Tips for Making Perfect Creamy Salted Caramel Sauce

Make the Caramel Sauce from Scratch – Store-bought tends to be thicker and extremely sweet. Our version blends perfectly with the custard base and has just the right level of sweetness.

Stir in Your Favorite Blend-ins – The ice cream is incredibly delicious on its own. But stirring in your favorite blend-ins, such as toffee bits, butterscotch morsels, or even crushed peanuts, or all fantastic.

Freeze for Best Results – Once the ice cream reaches a thick, dense, creamy consistency, you could serve it straight out of the machine. But, we find that if you allow the ice cream to completely freeze in the freezer, you get best results.

EXPERT TIP: Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker once adding it to the canister. This recipe makes 1½ quarts. The ice cream we used in the video is a Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Electric Freezer.

A creamy custard being poured from a large ceramic bowl into the canister that is resting in an electric ice cream maker.

How to Serve

We love to serve this in ice cream bowls, sprinkled with crushed Heath bars, or toffee bits.

You can also add your favorite blend-in during the final 5 to 10 minutes of churning in the canister.

We also get rave reviews (especially from the kids) when we serve these in waffle cones or sugar cones (available in most the ice cream section of most supermarkets).

EXPERT TIP: Once the ice cream has reached the right thick and creamy consistency in the machine, we transfer it to an ice cream container (with lid) and keep in the freezer for 6 hours, or for best results, overnight.

Soft ice cream being transferred from an ice cream canister into a rectangular plastic ice cream container.

Other Classic Homemade Ice Cream Recipes To Try

There are seldom times that we met a bowl of homemade ice cream that we didn’t like. Following are some of the best we’ve ever made, and we’re sure you will love them, too!

Classic Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
S’Mores Ice Cream
Blueberry Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

These are nothing short of amazing, without a doubt. But, isn’t this scoop of yumminess calling your name right now?

A person using an ice cream scooper to roll a scoop of salted caramel ice cream in a rectangular ice cream container.

How To Store

If desired, you can keep the ice cream in the canister and place it in the freezer.

Or, you can transfer the freshly churned ice cream from the canister into a freezer-safe container, such as our favorite ice containers from Tovolo, and then place in the freezer.

The ice cream will keep in the freezer for several weeks. If it’s left out and starts to melt, it will re-freeze with no problem. If it melts completely, you will lose the creamy smooth texture.

An overhead view of an ice cream waffle cone that is filled with salted caramel ice cream and topped with toffee bits.

Every time we serve this ice cream, family and friends are always amazed that we made it from scratch.

We’re always told that it’s so good, it tastes like ice cream you would get from a specialty ice cream shop, or a top-notch pint from one of the most popular ice manufacturers in the world.

It’s easy to prepare. The ingredients work beautifully together. And it just makes people happy. What could be better than that?

A person holding a waffle ice cream cone that is filled with salted caramel ice cream that has been topped with toffee bits.

Ready to make a batch of ice cream that will rival even the best ice cream shop in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A waffle cone with two scoops of salted caramel ice cream that has been inserted into a metal holder with two other cones in the background.

Creamy Salted Caramel Ice Cream

This Creamy Salted Caramel Ice Cream is so decadently divine. The caramel is just slightly bitter and balances perfectly with the sweet custard. And the finishing salt puts it over the top. Amazing!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Ice Cream, how to make caramel ice cream
Prep Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chill, Churn, and Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 11 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 596kcal



  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • cups heavy cream divided
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt or finishing salt, such as Maldon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup toffee bits for garnish, optional


  • Heat the sugar and water in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until starts to bubble. Stop stirring and continue to cook, swirling the skillet periodically. Continue this process (without stirring) until it is deep amber in color, about another 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, warm 1¼ cup of the heavy cream.
  • Add the butter and the warmed cream into the sugar mixture, and stir constantly until smooth (it will bubble vigorously for a minute, but will calm down).
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in the salt and vanilla.
  • Chill until no longer warm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring milk, the remaining cup of cream, and the maple syrup to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and then add half of the hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
  • Pour all of the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats the back of the spoon, 4 - 5 minutes. (Don't let come to a boil). If it starts to scramble, take off the heat and stir continuously until smooth and thickened.
  • Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.
  • Refrigerate the custard for 3 hours, or overnight.
  • Freeze custard in an ice cream maker (it will be soft), then transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer until firm, 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Serve with toffee bits sprinkled on top, if desired.


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
The caramel sauce may seem a little thin. Once you chill it in the fridge, it will thicken somewhat. It's not as thick as jarred caramel sauce. 
We love adding in our favorite add-ins during the last 10 minutes of churning. Our favorites are toffee bits, Heath Bar bits, butterscotch morsels, or chocolate chips. 
The ice cream can be frozen for up to several weeks. If it melts slightly, simply re-freeze and it will still be delicious. 


Calories: 596kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 211mg | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 183mg | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 1597IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in July 2016, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in September 2023!


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