Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream Recipe

When I was finalizing the recipes in The Perfect Scoop, I was conflicted about something sweet. Even more so than I usually am. Some might call it a character flaw, but for me it’s normale.

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

I wrote too many recipes and I needed to make room for all the sumptuous photography. I’ll admit once I got started I got a bit too eager and couldn’t stop myself from churning up all sorts of great flavors. Although I did include a fabulous recipe for Pear Caramel Ice Cream, which gets its smooth richness from caramelized pears rather than boatloads of cream and egg yolks, I decided since my first book had a killer-good recipe for Caramel Ice Cream, that would suffice for ice cream fans.

Then I got a desperate message from a clever friend asking about Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream, asking if I had a recipe as good as the one at Berthillon in Paris.

Before I go on, here’s a tip from someone who’s pretty in-the-know around these parts: True Caramel Ice Cream fans, like me, go for Berthillon’s normal glace Caramel rather than their glace Caramel-Buerre-Salé, which to me has a slightly peculiar flavor. As someone who’s spent more than his fair-share of time standing on the Pont Marie lapping up ice cream, I know.
Believe me. Boy, do I know.

So here I’m presenting my very own recipe for Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream which I guarantee is better than anything you can get anywhere, including…gasp…the glace Caramel at the venerable Berthillon: It’s so good, I can unconditionally make that claim. So there. And after the feedback I got from local friends who took a taste, they wholeheartedly agreed. Still not convinced? Then be prepared to miss out.

Quelle Dommage.

It’s not difficult to make good caramel but the secret is to cook it far enough so it’s very-slightly burnt; otherwise it just tastes like syrupy sugar. There’s complete guidelines for caramelizing sugar in my book Room For Dessert and my post Making the Perfect Caramel. You want to take it to the edge of darkness, then stop it there with the addition of a few pads of salted butter. It’ll melt into a buttery caramel that’s so irresistible, you’ll be tempted to stick your finger in for a taste.
But please don’t…it’s extremely hot. You’ll just have to wait.

But I assure you—it’ll be worth it.


Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream
One generous quart (liter)

I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but be sure to use good salt. I use fleur de sel, but if you don’t have it, a mild-tasting sea salt will do in a pinch, such as Maldon, fine gray salt, or kosher salt. Don’t use ordinary fine table salt; it’s far too harsh.

Because of the caramel in this ice cream, once churned and frozen, it’ll remain nice & creamy (as shown in the photo.) To make it firmer, crank up your freezer a bit or store it in a shallow pan.

For the caramel praline (mix-in)

½ cup (100 gr) sugar
¾ teaspoon sea salt, such as fleur de sel

For the ice cream custard

  • 2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, divided
  • 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 gr) salted butter
  • scant ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cups (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the caramel praline, spread the ½ cup (100 gr) of sugar in an even layer in a medium-sized, unlined heavy duty saucepan: I use a 6 quart/liter pan. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or brush it sparingly with unflavored oil.

2. Heat the sugar over moderate heat until the edges begin to melt. Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved. (Or most of it—there may be some lumps, which will melt later.)


Continue to cook stirring infrequently until the caramel starts smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn. It won’t take long.

3. Without hesitation, sprinkle in the ¾ teaspoon salt without stirring (don’t even pause to scratch your nose), then pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet and lift up the baking sheet immediately, tilting and swirling it almost vertically to encourage the caramel to form as thin a layer as possible. Set aside to harden and cool.

4. To make the ice cream, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl about a third full with ice cubes and adding a cup or so of water so they’re floating. Nest a smaller metal bowl (at least 2 quarts/liters) over the ice, pour 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk into the inner bowl, and rest a mesh strainer on top of it.

5. Spread 1½ cups (300 gr) sugar in the saucepan in an even layer. Cook over moderate heat, until caramelized, using the same method described in Step #2.

6. Once caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, until butter is melted, then gradually whisk in the cream, stirring as you go.


The caramel may harden and seize, but return it to the heat and continue to stir over low heat until any hard caramel is melted. Stir in 1 cup (250 ml) of the milk.

7. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the warm caramel mixture over the yolks, stirring constantly. Scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan and cook the custard using a heatproof utensil, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture thickens. If using an instant-read thermometer, it should read 160-170 F (71-77 C).

8. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk set over the ice bath, add the vanilla, then stir frequently until the mixture is cooled down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or until thoroughly chilled.

9. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

10. While the ice cream is churning, crumble the hardened caramel praline into very little bits, about the size of very large confetti (about ½-inch, or 1 cm). I use a mortar and pestle, although you can make your own kind of music using your hands or a rolling pin.

11. Once your caramel ice cream is churned, quickly stir in the crushed caramel, then chill in the freezer until firm.

Note: As the ice cream sits, the little bits of caramel may liquefy and get runny and gooey, which is what they’re intended to do.

Variations: Add some strong liquid espresso (or instant espresso powder) to the custard to taste, prior to churning the ice cream to make Coffee-Caramel Ice Cream.

Other options might be some of the mix-ins in The Perfect Scoop, like gooey Dark Chocolate Truffles, crackly chocolate Straciatella, or Oatmeal Praline folded in at the last minute.

This is also excellent served with warm Mocha Sauce (page 166), although it’s also excellent melting over sautéed apples or alongside a wedge of apple pie or tarte Tatin for a caramel double-whammy.

Quite a few of you have asked me for tips on ice-cream making equipment. You’ll find suggestions at my Amazon Ice Cream Shop and at my ‘Meet Your Maker‘ post.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, check out Making Ice Cream Without a Machine.


Never miss a post!


  • April 9, 2007 6:44am

    Oh David, I’m swooning. I’d do your dishes anytime. Merci mille fois.

  • April 9, 2007 7:06am

    Ok, I’m so going to get an ice-cream attachment to my KitchenAid next week in London. Also – thanks for the in-the-know tip about which Berthillon caramel ice cream to choose. Will keep that in mind.

  • April 9, 2007 7:17am

    Pille: Just make sure that if you have a European-model KitchenAid that you get the ice cream attachment specifically for European models. (Same applies to attachments for American models.) Due to EU-safety regulations, the mixers have slight differences, so be sure to get the proper model for your mixer…Enjoy it when you do!

  • fanny
    April 9, 2007 7:55am

    Hi David,
    this ice cream simply looks *perfect* to me. And I do believe you when you say it’s best than Berthillon’s.

    – fanny

  • April 9, 2007 8:30am

    Dave, thanks for the recipe. From the picture, it appears you’re using fine sea salt. Have you tried large-crystalled sea salt? I’m assuming the purpose is to thoroughtly dissolve the salt, so fine would probably be better. I do enjoy the crunch of salt in my ice cream however – do you think I could put in less of the fine up front and add the remaining amount in large-crystals just before freezing?

    Great work, always enjoy reading about your confectionary adventures.

  • April 9, 2007 8:36am

    David, you make my dreams [of ice cream] come true. Thank you for posting this recipe! It is the next ice cream I will make, honest.

  • April 9, 2007 9:01am


  • April 9, 2007 10:52am

    I am currently experiencing abject despair over the fact that I do not own an ice cream machine, and have no space to buy one anytime soon. I don’t know how to get over my despair especially when confronted with your recipe and those photos (those photos!) Maybe Deb will read your post, my comment, and then share her batch with me??? If she doesn’t, I don’t know what I’ll do. Sob!

  • April 9, 2007 11:16am

    I just spent a weekend at my mother’s where we went on an ice cream-making rampage. We made six flavors from The Perfect Scoop and every one was amazing! I can’t wait to make this one. Caramel, Salt, butter, ice cream…what could be better.

  • April 9, 2007 11:30am

    Whoever it was that said you’d never amount to anything were wrong, oh so wrong! This looks absolutely heavenly. I’d happily do your dishes if I weren’t on a different continent.

  • April 9, 2007 11:33am

    Be still my salty and ever-so-slightly burnt heart! David L., you complete me. Why do I get the feeling I’ll be bumping off some boring pre-vacation errands this week just to try this? And Luisa, you may of course come over. In fact, you must: my bathing suit season begins in but six days and I need to offset the damage.

  • Lauren
    April 9, 2007 11:42am

    Can’t wait to try this one and the pear caramel. Thanks for sharing. Willing to share any more that didn’t fit in the book? Perhaps there will be a volume two?

  • April 9, 2007 11:49am

    What a mensch you are. You put together an entire book of brilliant recipes, and then you throw this on one for free? Wow.

    We’ll be eating this tomorrow. No question.

    And by the way, I’m happy to listen to you talk about salt, every day.

  • April 9, 2007 12:18pm

    You devil, you. Thanks to you I was eating ice cream all weekend, and now I have to run right home and make this one. I’ll send you the bill when I have to buy a whole new (plus-size) wardrobe.

  • Connie
    April 9, 2007 1:24pm

    Lovely thank you

  • Katrina
    April 9, 2007 1:36pm

    A friend and I have spent the last 2-3 days looking for this recipe. When she told me your book was out/coming out, we even did a search of the contents on Amazon to see if, by chance, you had included just such a recipe. We found the topping but no ice cream. Yahoo. I’ve ordered the book and the salt…Thanks!

  • April 9, 2007 2:21pm

    And where did you say you lived in Paris?

  • Christy
    April 9, 2007 2:33pm

    Is there some sort of prize for the blog with the most Jerry Maguire-inspired comments and/or quotes? I think anyone who slips one in should get a free quart of this divine creation made by the man himself. Unfortunately, the only other quote I can remember that is not either “You complete me.” or “You had me at ….” is something about “Never stop ……….. me!” and not at all appropriate for this topic! Never stop lecturing me about salt (as long as caramel is involved)? Does that work?

  • April 9, 2007 3:03pm

    Trust me when I say this. David’s version is even Better. Than. Berthillon’s (although I’ve only sampled Berthillon’s caramel au beurre sale, not the caramel). I had the good fortune of sampling David’s version a few days ago. The addition of praline takes it over the top. Simply genius. I did have to wash a boatload of dishes, though, for the privilege of tasting it. But I was responsible for the mess, not David, so I can’t blame him. David’s ice cream (nearly) even made up for the horse milk that he made me drink earlier, but that’s another story.

  • April 9, 2007 3:09pm

    One thought. Tell me you didn’t use Jean-Yves Bordier’s salted butter to make that ice cream.

  • April 9, 2007 4:06pm

    Ulterior Epicure: That’s sugar in the picture, my friend. If that was salt, I’d be thirsty for weeks on end. I like fleur de sel since its crystals are between fine and coarse salt. If you don’t have it, kosher salt or fine grey sea salt are good substitutes.

    Brett: Horse milk? Eww..that sounds gross.

    Kevin: If you’re oversized but wearing an undersized thong, I think you’ll fit right in on the Greek beach.

    Mimi: Bring rubber gloves and a scrubby!

    Katrina: Enjoy the rest of the recipes in the book! I’m going to post links to other blogs that’ve been making recipes soon.

    So anyone else who’s been churning up ice cream from The Perfect Scoop, please send the URL to me as I’d love to include it.

    And Deb & Luisa: No need to get into a cat-fight (although I’m sure those pics would do well passed around the ‘net.) I’ve got two batches in the freezer. One’s for the fish-boys, but that leaves one liter left…

  • April 9, 2007 5:14pm

    Wow, that looks delicious, I can feel it melting in my mouth. I love your dilemma with too many recipes. :)

  • April 9, 2007 7:43pm

    Oh my! All this time I’ve spent thinking about salted butter caramel ice cream (Berthillon and Damien’s), and I never thought to ask someone for a recipe. Thanks to Deb, and to you, this is moving to the top of my must-make list!

  • Lu
    April 9, 2007 7:50pm

    David, I picked up the book today! I have only just begun reading it and it’s so very impressive: instruction AND photography. Simply superb.

  • April 9, 2007 8:03pm

    I love caramel to distraction. And I ‘specially love that fleur de sel caramel that I can find every so often and which costs an arm and a leg (and is worth it!), so I can see I’m going to have to make this one.

    And then I see that I’m going to have to make it yet again, but with goat milk products — for comparative research purposes, of course! — as soon as the goat farm people have their stall up in the farmers’ market near my job.

  • April 9, 2007 9:45pm

    I knew it! I thought Berthillon’s salted caramel ice cream tasted too…salty. (But in Room for Dessert, didn’t you say that the salted caramel is their best flavor? I’m so confused now.) I’ve been clipping a million ice cream recipes. This will be the year that I finally get an ice cream maker.

  • April 9, 2007 11:18pm

    Ymmmm! I just love carmel with salt! It just brings out the flavor. I am a gelato addict, but I would certainly give this a try! And maybe a taste test is in order. I’ll have to make yours…and try it at Bertillon the next time I am there!

  • April 9, 2007 11:22pm

    I recently made some salted butter chocolate caramels and after this post, they definitely should have become ice cream.

  • April 10, 2007 12:52am

    Isn’t it great when we can say for certain tat our —– is better than so & so’s?

    I made a rosemary caramel ice cream at Aziza a few years ago and no matter how much I made it sold out every night!

    Caramel is a sexy ingredient indeed. and salt? I could talk or listen for hours. any day.

  • April 10, 2007 3:16am

    I am definitely making this I love caramel and salt. I hope my little Donvier Sorbitiere is son will love cranking the handle. This would be so good with toasted pecans.
    Another flavor I love is chocolate with salted pecans.

  • Jane
    April 10, 2007 9:10am


    Oh oh David I believe you, I’m fully convinced but infortunately I don’t have ice maker.
    Quel dommage.

    Jane (Paris Batignolles)

  • April 10, 2007 11:14am

    so I think we need the perfect scoop blog day.. where everyone makes their favorite recipe and blogs the foto’s!

    I am buying a machine.. even though
    i live in Gelato capital of the world.. italy!

  • gilly
    April 10, 2007 12:50pm

    This sounds utterly amazing – time to break out the ice cream maker again!

  • April 10, 2007 1:58pm

    Oh my…

    I love good chocolate, but I absolutely adore all things caramel. It’s my guilty pleasure, and you’ve sorely tempted me with this recipe! Gonna have to try it soon.

  • Judy
    April 10, 2007 5:22pm

    Oh Yummy, I’m adding this to my list of ice cream to make from your book which I love. I was wondering why this recipe wasn’t included and now I have it…YEAH!! I emailed you after I got your book and you were kind enough to answer me. Made my day. Thank you David. If you ever want to visit and made me dessert, just let me know you are always welcome..

  • April 10, 2007 6:17pm

    thank you, david. you know what i am going to do? i am going to try your recipe with goat’s milk!

  • Lisa T.
    April 10, 2007 7:04pm

    My batch of this ice cream just came out of the ice cream maker. Oh my goodness… it is divine! It made 2 pints plus just enough left over to immediately reward myself for a job well done.

    I just received the book in the mail yesterday. Given how well this recipe that *didn’t* make the cut tastes, I can’t wait to make more from the book. But where do I start?

    Thanks David!

  • April 10, 2007 8:33pm

    Dave, yes, thanks, I went back and re-read your recipe in more detail. LOL! I was truly confused there for a while – I thought it was a miracle you could get anything to freeze with that much salt! I do love salted caramel, especially with fleur de sel, which I do always keep on hand. Thanks, sorry about the confusion. *sheepish*

  • April 10, 2007 10:44pm

    Dang, David. If you weren’t already engaged to at least three women I’d be begging to marry you myself. Better than Berthillon? My gosh. Can’t write more–Must make ice cream–Now.

  • Lynn T
    April 11, 2007 4:02am

    I just consumed more than I should have, but much less than I wanted to, of Lisa T.’s batch of the Salted Butter Caramel ice cream AND the Orange Popsicle ice cream from your book—all I kept saying in between spoonfuls was OMG. It’s a good thing time is short before we arrive next month, or I’d be charged extra baggage for myself at this rate.

  • April 11, 2007 5:25am

    Every trip to Paris requires at least one obligatory Berthillon glace Caramel and it is justifiably divine. I intended to go back again and get the full Monty – their Tart Tatin a la mode with Caramel glace that you reccommended, but they close on Sunday/Mondays..
    This recipe does look heavenly, but I’m not sure I could trust myself with an ice cream maker in the house :(

  • scotchgrrl
    April 13, 2007 5:17pm

    Here is how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker: DIY Ice Cream Maker

  • April 17, 2007 8:40am

    I made this last night and it’s fantastic!

    David- I have the same ice cream maker as you. I’ve been finding that even when the machine stops, the consistency is still pretty soft. The ice cream has been in the freezer for 8 hours or so now and it has reached a more gelato-like consistency (but it’s still pretty soft to scoop.)

    Is this what’s supposed to happen?

  • April 17, 2007 10:56am

    Hi Lisa: Most ice creams that I’ve frozen in that machine are someone like soft-serve when they’re ready to come out (yum!). This ice cream, which has a higher amount of sugar in it, will not freeze as hard as others even after spending time in the freezer. Most folks like that consistency. If it’s a problem, you can substitute some skim milk for the whole milk. For more detailed info, in The Perfect Scoop, I go in-depth a bit about the role of fat & sugar in ice cream.

  • April 17, 2007 11:15pm

    Thank you!

    I am next in line for the book at my local library (though I will probably buy it soon! I usually try out books from the library first just to make sure i’ll use them.)

    I like the texture a lot- much nicer than too hard ice cream. All of the crunchy caramel bits dissolved too; i’m not sure if that was supposed to happen, but it gave the whole thing a caramel ripple sort of effect…

  • April 19, 2007 2:00pm

    David, inspired by your post and the beautiful wheather I walked to Ile St. Louis today with the plan to enjoy a caramel ice cream at Berthillon. BTW, is Berthillon about to buy the Ile St. Louis ? I remembered only one shop there, but today every second shop was a Berthillon “point of sale”, at least in the afternoon, amazing. The other thing I noticed, at none of those shops it was possible to buy just “caramel”, but they had everywhere handwritten flavor sign, supposedly covering the old “caramel”, with “caramel au beurre salé”. I liked it but I wouldn’t necessarily kill for it. I do love the “caramel beurre sale” ice cream from Picard though. Please don’t shout, I know, I know, it’s industrial, but it tastes very good ;) Cheers, Ulla

  • April 19, 2007 3:04pm

    Hi Ulla: Most of those shops on the Ile St. Louis sell Berthillon ice cream, but only one is the real Berthillon. (Since they’re closed so much, I think they realized it would be a smart decision to start letting others carry it.)

    I don’t like their Caramel-Buerre-Salé ice cream. It tastes funny to me. But their normal Caramel is out-of-this-world. Except now that I’ve come up with this recipe, which I think is better : ), I can have it whenever, and wherever I want!

  • April 19, 2007 7:44pm

    Wow. Just wow. After the week I’ve had, this is going to be the perfect Friday afternoon project. Salted caramels are my favorite candies, and I cannot wait to try this. Love your site!

  • April 24, 2007 11:35am

    My son said this was the best homemade ice-cream ever. However, one problem – it was great for the first couple of days, but because it does not freeze solid, slowly the caramel bits liquefy releasing the salt into the rest of the caramel ice-cream. Any remedies for that (except for eating it all up on the first day ?!). Thanks ! Love the site.

  • April 24, 2007 11:40am

    The pieces of caramel do soften and get gooey. That’s the beauty of them! Perhaps I’ll add that to the recipe. Glad you like it.

  • April 30, 2007 10:47am

    Wow. Now you’ve gone and done it. You’ve drawn me out. I lurk no longer. And um, wow. This recipe is inspired. Did I mention wow? Because, seriously, wow. This is creamy, salty, buttery, caramel perfection. I know caramel isn’t hard to make… at least, it’s not supposed to be. Nonetheless, I fail more times than I like to admit. I’m competent in the kitchen – I’ve even baked a wedding cake – but caramel was my downfall. Always it would seize when I added the dairy, seize to the degree that no amount of low heat stirring would dissolve. So it was with some trepidation that I embarked on this recipe. It was perfect. The sugar dissolved evenly, the praline the ideal warm-up. Round two with the butter and the cream… and success! Sweet, salty, caramelly success. Thank you! If you can get me through caramel, I think you can probably do anything…

  • April 30, 2007 9:08pm

    Wow David – we went on one of your market tours in Paris (I brought you goodies from Trader Joe’s) and after exploring with you that fun day (La Reine plums … swoon) and then visiting one of your restaurant recommendations (Biche au Bois), I knew I could trust you always, no matter what.

    This ice cream is fantastic – the depth of the caramel flavor and the richness, oh la la … This will become a regular feature on my dessert repetoire.

  • May 8, 2007 1:48pm

    David, just an FYI, someone started a topic about your book on Egullet.

  • noah
    July 22, 2008 8:21am

    hmmm…. not sure if it’s too late to leave a comment on this thread.
    but here goes.
    i’ve made this ice cream 3 times now. love the taste. the 2nd and 3rd times, though, i’ve wound up with what seems to be little flakes of butter in the finished product. they aren’t there in the custard when i put it into a container to chill. so it seems to happen in the ice cream making process. any tips on how to avoid this? it tastes soooo good but the mouthfeel is just a bit off.

  • Kara
    July 27, 2008 12:43am

    I just made this custard and it was a first try for making both caramel and a custard. I did burn my first to batches of caramel sugar, but numbers 3 and 4 turned out great! I did dip a fork in the caramel then in cold water to taste for burntness before adding in the butter and cream. This is simply sinful and thankfully so rich that you cannot eat much in one sitting. It took me about 1 hr to make the custard from start to finish, but that was mostly because my caramel seized and I had to melt in. Totally worth the time, but just so rich and sinful that I’m not sure how often I’ll make it.

  • Chad
    July 29, 2008 12:33am

    Like Noah, I too got tiny crystals of butter in my caramel ice cream. After a few bites, the spoon gets coated with it.

  • July 29, 2008 8:15am

    Chad & Noah; Usually little bits of butterfat are from ice cream being overchurned, although it usually happens in powerful, commercial-style machines. Since Noah reported it happening after the ice cream is churned, that’s likely the cause.

  • jamiealyse
    August 15, 2008 10:04pm

    I just put the custard for this ice cream in the fridge to cool, and I can’t wait until tomorrow to eat it!! It tastes DELICIOUS. I couldn’t help but eat the caramel bits left in the strainer. =X

    Also, thanks for the tip-off on Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco. I stopped there on my honeymoon to get the Salted Caramel and Coffee Toffee. Wonderful, but I think this caramel ice cream will beat it!

  • August 31, 2008 2:09am

    I just made this custard for the first time and the result was…. AMAZING. I served it to some guests after dinner, and they loved it too. This is probably one of the best ice creams I have made thus far in my ice cream making “career”! This was also probably one of the richest ice creams i’ve made… but the five egg yolks, butter, cream, and ton of sugar do result in a marvelous ice cream with an amazingly smooth and soft texture.

  • Sneha
    September 18, 2008 6:15am

    Hi David, I’d love to make this ice-cream at home, but am averse to adding 5 egg yolks (or rather any egg at all). Is there any way I can make it eggless?
    Also, I don’t own an ice-cream maker, will it suffice if I follow a freeze, whip in food processor, re-freeze & blend in food processor route?

  • Anna
    October 11, 2008 10:31pm

    I finally made this ice cream today after discovering it two weeks ago. Yes, it IS Outstanding! And I didn’t find it difficult at all! Let me add here, that I have NEVER made ice cream before, nor have I ever made caramel. So I am shocked that it came out so GOOD! My only regret is that I could only eat about a half cup so far as it is really rich.

    David — Since I never made ice cream before, I want to ask about the consistency of the ice cream. I had the mix in the ice cream maker for 30 minutes — a Cuisinart 30BC model. I’d describe the consistency as that of a very thick shake. I then poured the frozen mixture into a container, stirred in the caramel praline, covered and put into the freezer. It took about 6 hours to freeze to my preferred consistency — “medium-hard,” just hard enough to keep shape in a bowl and slowly soften while being eaten. Does that all sound right? Having never made ice cream before, I was expecting that after the 30 minutes in the machine that it would be more solid.

    Anyway, it really tastes wonderful. I’m glad I tried it — glad for the recipe and glad for your site!

  • October 11, 2008 10:41pm

    Anna: When I make it the ice cream is the consistency of what’s shown in the photo. Depending on your freezer, or machine, it can take longer. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  • Anna
    October 12, 2008 7:26am

    Thanks, David! I just came back from a Paris trip two weeks ago and have been searching for a caramel ice cream recipe since a trip or two to Berthillon. (Again, never made ice cream before, never had a burning desire to either, etc…)
    So a couple of weeks have gone by and granted my taste memory has faded a bit, but yeah, I think your recipe is probably better!

    Side note — one of the first things I looked to unpack was my Fleur de Sel Guerande. I had never had it before — never knew this was the best of them etc., till this past trip, my third, to Paris where I discovered it. And it is THE ONLY THING I seem to have left behind in Paris! I was so upset, I had to order it online which I did the day after I came home. Why is it so hard to find even in NYC!?

    What an amazing touch in the ice cream! 5 thumbs up!! UP with ice cream, too!

  • October 15, 2008 1:53pm

    I do love your Blog – If only I wasn’t a photographer I would try my hand in the Kitchen just for the sake of licking those dishes- Was at bertillon only yesterday, photographed a beautiful bride wearing Oscar de la Renta overlooking Bertillon’s terrace bathed in the Golden hour. Of Course we had an ice cream – I Love this place!

  • Vidya
    December 26, 2008 11:40pm

    Hi David,
    As good as this sounds, I can’t eat eggs – are there any replacements I can use for the egg yolks, or will it matter if I just leave them out?

  • December 27, 2008 3:55am

    Vidya: Yes, the recipe is written as a custard-based ice cream, and requires eggs. I have no experience with egg substitutes but if there is one you like, that’s suitable for cooking, it would probably work.

  • noah
    January 1, 2009 3:51pm

    Well, I still haven’t totally eliminated the butter flecks. (I churned it less this time, but I could see that they started to form pretty early in the process). But there were fewer this time, anyway.
    That said, I went a bit overboard and made 5 ice creams for a dinner party last night. This was the clear winner. The other 4, there’s plenty left. This one’s all but gone!
    Thanks again for the recipe!

  • February 16, 2009 6:24pm

    WOW, this recipe sounds soo good – a little complicated but sounds quite yummy. I just got my ice cream maker and would love to try it. Yum even with fleur de sel … luckily I brought back several little container of the stuff from monoprix while I was in Paris in December. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Annalisa
    February 18, 2009 1:08pm

    This sounds great, but I was wondering if I could make it with a “wet” caramel base rather than dry. I consistently have difficulty with the dry caramels (even after reading your post on it…), and would prefer to go that way. But would the water change the texture of the finished product?

  • Sean B.
    March 3, 2009 11:25am


    I didn’t think any food could be as good as chocolate ice cream. This is. Ice cream good. Butter good. Throw a hefty chunk of butter into ice cream with homemade caramel – amazing! This ice cream is unbeleivable and super rich. Truly a treasure. Thank you David!

  • Katherine
    April 8, 2009 5:17pm

    Made this for a Mexican friend for his birthday! Oh Goodness, I did not want to part with it! I actually wondered if there would be any left for the ice cream maker from the numerous spoonfuls I indulgently enjoyed while mixing together!

    The only change requested for future gifts of this spectacular ice cream was to ensure the caramel is broken into smaller pieces so that it does not stick to his teeth as much. When I asked if he allowed it to melt a little before eating, he said, no, he cannot wait that long, when he wants it he simply must have it right then. I belive his words were, “this ice cream is ridiculous!”

    Btw, it’s actually very easy to make. I used a non-stick pan to make the caramel, making clean up much easier! Read the directions through before starting, have all your ingredients lined up and you are done in a flash!

  • May 25, 2009 9:20pm

    I have two questions:
    1. What is the method/technique for the adding the finished mixture to a cup of milk at the end? Why not incorporate the milk in the cooking process with the cream/milk mixture?
    2. The recipe states: 1 cups of cream. Is this a typo? I have made this recipe many times. It’s labor intensive but absolutely delicious. I can see that more than 1 cup of cream could be added. Especially, since the recipe note states: it makes a generous one quart which is difficult to do given the current measures.

    I welcome your notes.

  • May 26, 2009 2:03am

    1. Because the reserving that 1 cup of milk and keeping it cold helps cool the custard down quickly. You are welcome to add it at the beginning if you wish.

    2. No, that’s not a typo. Since the finished, frozen ice cream is on the soft side, adding more cream would make it even softer.

  • keg
    June 15, 2009 6:39am

    made this yesterday, it was deeelish. i added 1/4 c or so of sliced almonds to the praline, very yummy!

  • June 17, 2009 7:44am

    This looks delicious. I’ve bookmarked it to try in the future, thank you!

  • June 22, 2009 7:07pm

    I made this yesterday and it is AMAZING! Thanks!

    My only (minor) complaint is that by the time I’d chilled the base down and churned it, the praline had gotten all sticky and was difficult to crunch up properly. Next time, I’ll probably make it closer to the end.

  • Heather
    June 25, 2009 9:35pm

    I have owned a very nice ice cream maker for almost 4 years and have never opened it. This delicious sounding recipe is going to kick me into gear to start experimenting so that I can quit spending $10/pint, though worth every cent, for my favorite ice cream.

  • June 25, 2009 11:56pm

    This is incredibly perfect! I promised some ice cream to a VERY pregnant friend and was asked for something salty-sweet with perhaps a fudge swirl and something crunchy. I wanted a salted caramel base and just got out my recently-acquired copy of your book to look for one – but there wasn’t one! Luckily, this was the first result that came up when I Googled. You so should have included this.

  • Gourmande!
    July 3, 2009 12:08pm

    Amazing!! Made this the other day, WITHOUT AN ICE-CREAM MAKER, and was still absolutely fantastic. Creamy, incredible flavour….what more can I say? It was also my first time making ice-cream, so i can’t believe how well it turned out ;D Your articles on making caramel were also supremely helpful!
    J’aimerais vous remercier sincerement!

  • russ-russ
    July 6, 2009 11:58am

    My goodness, that is a great batch of ice cream. I fancy myself a decent cook, but I’ve never gone down the candy route beyond brittles. Caramel seemed daunting. So early yesterday morning I started to make this wonderful creation. Everything takes longer the first time, but my three hours in the kitchen were rewarded! I’m positive this is the best batch of ice cream I’ve ever made and perhaps ever eaten.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Kojak
    July 14, 2009 10:01am

    I made your salted caramel ice cream. The instructions were well written and simple to follow.The flavor was wonderful, but perhaps too salty for my taste. My only disappointment was the batch never got to the soft-serve stage. It ran in the ice-cream maker for more than 30 minutes. Usually this machine, a Krups La Glaciere, churns to that consistency between 20 and 30 minutes. Judging from other’s comments, they did not have a problem, but mine, even after two days in the freezer, never really got much past the point of being a salted Butterscotch sauce, delicious, but just a thick, cold sauce.
    The custard was cooked to 170° after tempering the yolks with the butter/caramel/milk/cream. I left the mixture covered in the refrigerator over night and churned in the morning.
    You call for 3 cups milk/cream to 5 yolks. Other recipes I have for ice cream are usually 1 cup milk/cream to 2 yolks. Those custards usually churn to soft serve in my Krups. If I adapt my ratio to your recipe, I would use 2.5 cups milk/cream to 5 yolks. Is it possible a half cup of liquid could cause such a difference in churning? Another wild card is the added salt…could that effect churning?
    Oh yeah, one other thing I did differently was to add the bits of praline during churning rather than trying to get it in afterwards. The praline was made the day before the custard so it was cooled completely.
    I’m lost why I am the only failure (sigh).

  • Meg
    July 20, 2009 3:33pm

    I made this and it is so unbelievably and incredibly delicious! I took a few liberties with the recipe, but nothing too seriously offensive (I hope). I could easily give up chocolate (for, oh, about a day) for the sake of this ice cream. I’m going to make it again and again and again … I splurged for the fleur de sel, and have already used it again to make nice soft fleur de sel caramels. Tres yum. I also made your chocolate sherbet (haven’t posted pics or a story about it on my blog yet, but soon!). It went like THAT, no surprise there. I’m definitely buying your “Scoop” and chocolate books. I’m hooked! Thank you, David.

  • Marta
    July 22, 2009 7:20pm

    Dear David,

    Your salted butter caramel ice cream will be my next adventure with my ice cream machine.
    Today I used your recipe of dates rum and pecan ice cream from “The perfect scoop” to make dates and porto wine ice cream (apologies for that but I’m Portuguese… no way I would keep my porto wine bottle away from that wonderful recipe…) It was DELICIOUS. My mother said that this was the best ice cream she ever tasted (but the opinion of a mother is far from imparcial…).
    Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  • Justin
    July 28, 2009 3:23pm

    First off, thank you so much for the amazing blog! On to the question…so I made the salted caramel ice cream last night, and it is currently chilling in the fridge, but I was extremely worried that it is too thin once I had finished heating it. The custard read 160 on the thermometer, but it still seems quite thin. Is this usual for this particular recipe, or did I just not cook it slowly enough. If I did screw this up, can I just try slowly reheating the cooled “custard” again and then chilling it overnight again? Any foolproof tests to know that it is thick enough? Thank you, oh wise ice cream one. :)

  • July 28, 2009 5:55pm

    Hi Justin: 160º is the minimum temperature that eggs should be cooked for safety-purposes. But you can cook it to 170º, it will make a richer custard. However this base, and ice cream, are pretty rich-tasting so it’s not really necessary. It should freeze fine.

    PS: As mentioned, even frozen, this ice cream stays softer than others due to the caramel.

  • July 29, 2009 4:26pm

    David, this ice cream is soooooo good! I used skim milk and the consistency is still very smooth, very creamy. I decided to double the batch and it was so worth it! The only problem I had was drizzling my cream into the caramel. It seized into many, many pieces, but I exercised (slaved over the hot stove) patience and stirred for what seemed like eternity to get all those hardened lumps out! Should I try warming up my cream before pouring it into the caramel base?

    I also love the candy caramel bits into the ice cream. They are still crunchy, but good. I think it’s because I didn’t carmelize it long enough. Not sure. But, this ice cream is still a winner in my book. Thanks so much!

  • Nicole
    August 12, 2009 3:39pm

    I’ve been having so much fun w/ ‘The Perfect Scoop’ that I’m having an ice cream party for some friends on Saturday. I’m planning on making 6 or 7 different flavors so I was wondering if I can make the ‘mixtures’ ahead of time, like today (Wednesday) and Thursday and then freeze them in the Ice Cream maker a few days later like on Saturday morning?? Is it ok for the mixtures to be in the refrigerator for a few days before going through the maker?

  • August 12, 2009 3:43pm

    I only keep mixtures a maximum of 2 days in the refrigerator before churning. This ice cream stays somewhat soft after frozen, so you might not want to wait til the last minute. If your machine can handle 6-7 batches one right after the other, and you like ice cream on the softer side, then you can do it. Personally, I would freeze them the day before since my machine takes about 45 mins to churn a batch. Happy churning!

    August 26, 2009 9:41pm

    This was the first of your ice cream recipes I’ve made and it’s wonderful.

    September 4, 2009 3:14am

    Hi David – is there any way to adjust this recipe without the use of an ice cream maker?

  • September 4, 2009 3:17am

    Marie: At the end of the recipe and post, there’s a link to a post I did on How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine, which you’ll find useful.

  • Caitlin
    September 8, 2009 5:46pm

    ice cream is in the freezer and the liquid base tastes awesome.. is it okay to let it chill in the freezer for a few hours instead of in the fridge for eight??

  • fredrik
    September 14, 2009 3:12pm

    I live in the most Francophone part of New York and took my boys to a local ice cream cart where they have been receiving rave reviews.

    The boys had the salted caramel pretzel ice cream, and I had the bittersweet mint. Both were heavenly.

    I tried this recipe here and it was very good, but never got hard enough in the freezer. Yummy and gooey, but I would have been happier had it been harder. Any ideas why?

    I’m a bit of a novice ice-cream maker but David if you have any thoughts about bittersweet chocolate mint I would love to hear it. The mint was clearly fresh – not that sweet sticky peppermint kind. Heaven.

  • eM
    September 27, 2009 10:29am

    Hi, I just wanted to know where I could get sea salt. It doesn’t seem to be available where I live. =\
    Also, can this recipe be followed without an Ice cream Maker?

  • Liam
    October 26, 2009 1:55pm

    I am also having the problem of it being more of a sauce consistency than that of ice cream.

  • Laura
    October 31, 2009 8:07pm

    This is fantastic ice cream. I’m supposed to be taking it to a dinner party tomorrow, and I hope I can keep my spoon out of it until then! It has been thoroughly tasted for quality, and I finally hid it in the back of the freezer until tomorrow. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • Helen
    December 10, 2009 7:41am

    Really dumb question, but what does burnt caramel taste like? I have the custard chilling in the fridge at the moment and when I tasted it, it was kind of bitter. I’ve only ever made wet caramel before and ice cream once. Is it supposed to taste bitter or did I overcook the caramel? I dunno if it will miraculously work out after churning and freezing or if I should just toss it and start again. Running to check your photo on the color of the caramel before adding the butter might constitute a little more time than scratching my nose. *sigh* ;(. Responses from anyone would be welcome and appreciated.

  • December 10, 2009 8:07am

    Hi Helen: The caramel should have a faint burnt edge, which is the way I like it. If it’s not cooked enough, it often just tastes sweet. It’s one of those things you might need to do once or twice, the first time, to actually see it for yourself. If it’s gone too far, sugar is relatively inexpensive and you can re-do it.

    Generally speaking, if it’s really burned badly, there is no question when you smell or taste it (once it’s cooled, of course) if it’s usable or not. Good luck!

  • Helen
    December 10, 2009 11:34pm

    Thank you so much for responding! I’m always shocked that you take the time to answer such neophyte questions. You are too sweet! I have no idea how you get everything that you do, done.

    Tossed the first & second batch cause I expect great things when I attempt your recipes. Lowered the heat and third time is the charm!

    Can I send you anything via your publisher? Saw some praline bits of maple syrup that you might like or maple caramel. Merci Infiniment for the blog and everything.

    BTW, Flo Braker’s recipe for Chocolate Lover’s Angel food Cake is really something special and handy for using up egg whites. Very light, but packs a choco-punch. It’s in Baking for All Occasions that you mentioned in your list of top 2009 cookbooks.

  • Hendrik
    December 27, 2009 4:59am

    WOW!!! I made this for christmas dinner and it was a huge hit!
    I’ve never made ice cream before and don’t have an ice machine, but still tried this recipe using your guide of making ice without a machine. The texture was unexpectedly good and it tasted absolutely great, everybody loved it.

    This definitely inspired me to make more ice cream and the first thing I will probably buy once I’ve got my own apartment is an ice cream machine to simplify the process and get an even better texture.

    Thnx a lot David!

  • Adrian Kahle
    January 17, 2010 1:53pm

    Hi, David. I’ve been reading your blog for a short while now and I love it to death. Coming across this Salted Butter Ice Cream recipe has just made my day. I intend to set a day aside this week to try it out.

    I imagine you get a copious amount of emails/question, so I’m not expecting anything. I remember having a Fleur de Sel Ice Cream at school a few years ago and it simply blew my mind.

    I was wondering if you had any tips or recipes as to how to go about making it. Salt is always tricky to work with and I was hoping I could pick your Pastry Chef brain.


  • Elsa
    February 5, 2010 11:03am


    I’ve been a fan for some time. My housemate last summer owned an ice-cream maker, and I got your book as soon as I discovered how good homemade ice cream could be. At the peak of summer, was making ice creams pretty much as quickly as the 24 hour pre-freezing of the container would allow…

    Now, I’ve moved to Washington DC and my very own ice cream maker just arrived in the mail. I’m making this recipe for its inaugural run. Just in time for the snow storm (“snowmaggedon” according to local papers)…

    Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  • February 6, 2010 9:07am

    Made this for guests this week and everyone was crazy about it. I think it has become my new favorite ice cream. This could be dangerous.

  • Chanel
    February 11, 2010 1:36am

    Best ice cream ever – and I don’t even like ice cream :)

  • marcy
    April 3, 2010 8:23am

    you are a genius. i love this recipe. i cannot wait until it is ready. i just finished the base. thank you so much for your talent and sharing your gift! also the tutorial on making caramel rocked!

  • Robyn
    April 5, 2010 3:21am

    I made this today and it is divine. I now have to make all your icecream recipes.
    One small point, this is better than Berthillon’s version.
    And thanks for the caramel instructions, I have never quite got it right until now.
    Vous etes genie du glace.
    Merci beaucoup.

  • April 6, 2010 6:44pm

    This really is the most exquisite thing I have ever eaten! Fantastic recipe, thank you so much for sharing it :)

  • April 13, 2010 4:27pm

    I have been in search of a salted caramel ice cream since I tried the salted caramel in cream from Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco. I stumbled across yours and made it this weekend. Wonderful!!!!! It was delicious! Thank your so much for sharing your recipe with us!

  • Gabrielle
    April 19, 2010 11:23pm

    David, David, David! Such a sexy creamy beautiful ice cream. I did add one teensy weensy change. I added 1/4 cup of fresh lavender blossoms to the simmering custard mixture, and then another 1/4 cup of fresh lavender blossoms to the mixture after straining out the bits. Before freezing the ice cream, I strained out the lavender blossoms. The end result reminded me of Lavender Fleur du Sel Caramels from our local chocolatier. Oh heaven! Sigh. If you ask, I will give you the chocolatier’s website. I just don’t want to gratuitously plug them, unless you let me!

  • May 5, 2010 3:02am

    This recipe looks so delicious. I might have to buy an ice-cream maker.

  • June 3, 2010 4:20pm

    Mmm – I made this the other day – and even though I screwed it up (I used too little sugar because the wrong measuring cup was in the sugar canister) – it was still awesome. I wrote about it here:

    After I try it again with the right amount of sugar, I may have to make all of the ice creams on your site.

  • Chris
    June 3, 2010 7:23pm

    Let me take you on a tale of a young amateur chef (which will be revealed in a moment) in search of the perfect salty caramel ice cream.

    The tale begins with a young man who previously ordered salty caramel ice cream by mail, and after first bite knew, at that very moment, his life would not be complete if he could not find the holy grail of salty caramel ice creams.

    So the chef began his search and came across this very recipe we have here. He was overly excited by Mr. Lebovitz’s claim of having perfected the salty caramel ice cream and began making the delicious concoction immediately. With little regard for his own life or the fate of one rubber spatula he was on his way, melting the sugar when all of the sudden he noticed he was without half his spatula, “not another set back!” he screamed, for he knew he had little time to waste. He tossed the spatula aside and began on another batch of sugar with a trusty metal spoon and this method proved viable! He had done it! He had made two batches of the melted sugar and was stirring the cream into the second when he noticed he had a hardened caramel obstruction in his pan, so he heaved with all of his might and hot caramel went all over his hand, shirt, and shorts! But these obstacles were no match for his determination as he handed the reigns of the stirring over to another lost soul in search of the perfect salty caramel ice cream recipe and changed his clothes. He ran back to the kitchen to take hold of his own fate when at last, the labor was done, and all that was needed was patience. The next morning he ran to the freezer, put his caramel concoction into the ice cream maker, and waited. The wait seemed like hours, days even, but when it was all done with he was left with what David Lebovitz stated as ” better than anything you can get anywhere.” And with ruined clothing and kitchen utensils, his life was fulfilled. THE END.

  • lisa
    June 4, 2010 8:48am

    I just made this ice cream, and I know everyone is raving, but I just don’t think it’s my favourite…

    I don’t know, I just find it too sweet. And I didn’t even do the mix-in caramel bits (and I double checked all my measurements…it’s not like I put the sugar from the mix-in into the ice cream or anything). The slightly burnt flavour is lovely, the mild saltiness is lovely, but I could certainly tone it down a notch, especially if I hoped to eat more than a teaspoon or two at a time. I ended up adding an extra cup of cream before freezing (and I’d have used more if I had it) just to make it a little less cloying, and now that it’s frozen it’s good, but I’m thinking that I need to serve it with something to balance the sweetness. I feel like it would be incredible with some espresso powder mixed in. I used vanilla bean instead of extract and mixed the seeds in with the eggs and there are really nice little flecks, and the texture is gorgeous…I mean it’s a great recipe, but I wish I’d done a test batch and made some adjustments. I’m taking it to a party tonight and I don’t feel like I’m bringing the best ice cream in the world as people are suggesting here and I’m hoping the guests will like it. I’m hoping some fresh raspberries on the side willl give it the tartness it needs since I don’t have time to make some kind of espresso biscuit or intense dark chocolate wafer or something.

  • June 5, 2010 4:06pm

    I’m looking for new recipes for my daughter and I to make ice cream cakes with and this one looks like a great choice for the top layer. Thanks, she’s eager to learn to cook this summer.

  • June 15, 2010 3:13pm

    Hi! I am a very big fan of The Perfect Scoop and making your ice cream recipes non-stop for the past 2 weeks! Thank you for putting such a great book together!

    I made the Salted Butter Caramel ice cream yesterday and it turned out really addictive and delicious! The only thing is the bits of caramel didn’t melt and become gooey but stayed crunchy instead. I used unsalted instead of salted butter for the mixture though. Do you think that’s why the bits didn’t melt?


  • Duygu
    June 16, 2010 9:57am

    This caramel will be my second time on ice-cream after I’ll make ”stracciatella” tonight,or tomorrow night:)Anyway,I don’t have ice-cream maker,do you think I could manage this beauty by hand?
    Thank you..Duygu.

  • MrS
    June 26, 2010 8:10am

    Dear David,

    this is torture, I still have no ice cream maker, but I just HAVE to test that recipe, so I will try the described method of making ice cream without machine (will try to churn with an old stand mixer with a plastic bowl, that I can put in the freezer between the churns).

    I just came back from buying the ingredients, even got hold of a small bottle of Fleur de Sel here in Austria (at a price!), but I could not find any vanilla extract.

    How do you substitute a Bourbon Vanilla Bean for ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract?

    And does it make a difference?



  • Neko-chan
    June 26, 2010 8:31pm

    Are you married, David? :)

    I have made both the Strawberry Frozen Yogurt (using local strawberries) and this amazing Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream! O—-M—-G—-!!!

    I say again, O—M—G—!

    Thank god I have a double barrel ice cream maker! And the whole summer free to make these scrumptious creations…

    Bonjour and merci beaucoup from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada!

  • meecee
    July 1, 2010 9:10am

    Greetings from Hungary! I just finished the mixture, tasted it, and now I am wondering if I can wait 8 hours for it to cool, plus another 20 minutes to churn in the ice cream maker. I can only repeat what has been said before: OMG!!!

  • Jill
    July 6, 2010 10:02am

    I was just gifted an ice cream maker on Friday and this was the first ice cream I ever made as soon as the bowl froze. I was a little nervous that I didn’t start out smaller, but I’ve been dying to try this since I read about it. Holycrapit’ssofrickingood! I could barely wait the 20 minutes churning! Thanks for an amazing recipe!

  • Sheila
    July 16, 2010 8:38pm

    Hi David, I came across this fabulous sounding ice cream which led me to your book The Perfect Scoop. My copy has just arrived and it looks wonderful. But I think I will try this salted butter ice cream before all others :-)

  • Tami
    July 22, 2010 8:42am

    This has to be some of the best ice cream that I have ever had, much less made! The caramel is so intense and the ice cream is just a great smooth texture. I am anxious to try the pear caramel recipe next. Thank you for sharing, I now know that I HAVE to go get the Perfect Scoop!

  • July 30, 2010 10:09pm

    There is something to be said for the fact that this recipe has been reviewed countless times over… for three years! This was only my second attempt at homemade ice cream. I’m working with a borrowed Cuisinart maker, and just HAD to try this before giving it back. Good Lord, this is dangerous stuff. I have a serious thing for salty sweet, and this recipe delivered. I was dipping pretzels into the top of the machine before the churning was even complete. All in all, not too difficult to complete. A little time consuming, but completely worth it. I don’t even care that I burnt my first batch of praline! I will most likely buy an ice cream maker JUST to make this ice cream again. Thanks, David. I will be ordering your book once I get properly set up to make more. Any recommendations on machines?

  • July 31, 2010 1:44am

    Glad you liked the ice cream! You can check out some of my suggestions for ice cream machines at Buying an Ice Cream Maker, and I go into it in much more detail, and explain more about the machines and their differences, in The Perfect Scoop.

  • August 3, 2010 2:56am

    Oh thank you! I have just arrived back in Sydney from a month in the Dordogne where I had gorgeous salted caramel ice cream. I have been in deep withdrawal (France and salted caramel). I am going to make this the coming weekend.

  • Heidi
    August 3, 2010 12:59pm

    Can you use unsalted butter?

  • August 6, 2010 3:23pm

    After going to Bi-Rite last week, I knew I needed to figure out how to make a Salted Caramel Ice Cream. So after googling and finding this recipe, I knew yours was going to be the one. Careful reading and re-reading and consulting my autographed copy of Room for Dessert (To Laurie: For a great cookie-maker) from a cookie class I took with you in SF WAY too many years ago to discuss, I made it this morning. This is the easiest good quality ice cream recipe ever. And it turned out beautifully. Your thoroughness in explaining everything that can and will go wrong really takes the stress out of the process. Thank you!

    One subsitution (so freakin’ American of me): instead of the caramel cackle, I cut up a good quality dark chocolate/gooey caramel bar into small chunks, refrigerated, then added to the ice cream when it had about 5 min left to churn. Yuuuummm!!!

  • August 11, 2010 12:36am

    I tried this substituting light cream and low-fat milk, and with only 2 egg yolks. (also I needed to reduce the suggested quantities of ingredients here to about 80%, because my churner always ends up spewing stuff everywhere once it’s aerated). The custard doesn’t end up quite so thick, but the end result is still a phenomenally delicious ice-cream with a surprisingly good mouth feel.

  • jane
    August 17, 2010 5:20pm

    OMG! a friend made this to have with my wild blueberry pie and it stole the night. I am making it as we speak for a dinner party tomorrow. Thank you for explaining so carefully the dry cooking process for sugar. The last time I tried … well it was a pitiful mess. This time I mastered it. You are brilliant. Thank you

  • E.
    August 23, 2010 11:52am

    Hi David, what do you think went wrong when the caramel praline don’t turn runny and gooey in the ice cream? After 2 days, it’s still like hard candy.

  • David
    August 23, 2010 12:07pm
    David Lebovitz

    E: Sometimes that happens if it’s too thick. Next time try making the caramel praline very, very thin if you want to it break down in the ice cream.

  • August 28, 2010 9:40pm

    This may be my first recipe of yours that I make. It sounds lovely. LOVE salted butter caramel ice cream and since you claim this is better than Berthillon, and I trust you, I must make it.
    Will take photos and blog about it.
    Maybe this coming weekend.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe and in such detail.


  • leslie
    September 1, 2010 7:45pm

    I made this ice cream two days ago and learned something. If you leave the cooked custard in the fridge for 24 hours to chill (rather than, say, just three or four hours), it forms a thick scum on top, I thought the entire pot of custard had just thickened a lot in the fridge, but the liquid underneath broke through the scum when I went to pour it into the ice cream maker and about half of it ended up on the floor. Unfortunately, I almost always have to make ice cream in two stages because of work, kids and other pesky interruptions.

    Skim the scum before you pour!

    It may be possible to prevent formation of the scum by laying plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard, but that would probably affect the taste.

  • Darlynne
    September 7, 2010 8:02pm

    Thank the ice cream gods for your gentle caution about not worrying if the batch seizes. Without your excellent instructions, I would have completely freaked given up when what appeared in my pan was a caramel-colored glacier the size of Asia Minor. I persevered with very low heat and my reward was the look on my niece’s face when she put the first bite in her mouth. We took pictures, in fact, because she wanted her friends, who love all things sea salt, to see the glorious-ness on her spoon.

    Because of all the steps I did ineptly, this is the hardest, best, non-life threatening thing I’ve ever done in the kitchen. I will definitely make it again many times and, maybe one day, I’ll even have an ice cream maker. Thank you so much!

  • Leslie
    September 8, 2010 11:04pm

    This stuff should be illegal! David, if you are still reading these posts, which it appears you are, you need to know you are my HERO! Just thinking about how this tasted makes my mouth water. Everyone who I was able to force myself to share a spoonful with just couldn’t believe what happened in their respective mouths. Please tell me the next thing to make that could come close to topping this! I have the Perfect Scoop, and don’t like nuts. I would be so happy to have your recommendation. Oh geez, this is SOOOO YUMMMMMMY!

  • Leslie
    September 8, 2010 11:40pm

    ok.. maybe i’ll try the roasted banana ice cream next..

  • Sam Highley
    September 14, 2010 12:35am

    I made this last weekend, and it’s so good, I can’t believe it didn’t make The Perfect Scoop! This will be a regular in my house. The only trouble i’m having is getting the praline really thin, but I don’t think it detracts too much if you don’t.

  • September 15, 2010 6:39am

    James was afraid to try the fleur de sel because from the way Carin and I described it, he thought it would taste like a tidepool. He just tasted the ice cream and said, “Yum. It doesn’t taste like a tidepool at all!” That’s a compliment, really it is. :-)

  • Helen B
    October 5, 2010 5:07pm

    Made the Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream for a recent dinner party. Besides the war wound on my finger from a piece of flying molten sugar (you should listen to David and wear gloves!), the effort was completely worth it. Swoon worthy, lick-every-last-drop-worthy ice cream.

  • October 18, 2010 11:18pm

    just made a batch of this (borrowed a friend’s ice cream maker when i saw the recipe) and it’s really amazing. used the 5 egg whites in a pizza dough and had a great evening! i also had a difficult time getting the caramel to spread really thin. in fact, mine was so thick in places i took a picture of my reflection in it. it’s my self-portrait in caramel…

  • Kim
    October 19, 2010 12:58am

    Can this be made Philadelphia style? if so, will it merely change the consistency?

  • Kinh
    October 24, 2010 11:59am

    Hi David ,
    Ijust made a batch of Coffee Caramel Ice Cream , but it seems to my family that it is too sweet , there is so much sugar in the recipe . May I lower the sugar amount to 200 g [total] ? Can I put some corn starch into it when making the custard? Everything seems right except the so-much-sugary taste.

  • October 24, 2010 3:24pm
    David Lebovitz

    Kihn: I am unfamiliar with the Coffee Caramel Ice Cream that you are referring to, unless you’ve modified this recipe. If it’s someone else’s recipe, I advise you to contact them for best results. (If the recipe is mine, let me know the source and I can advise.)

    More information can be found at: Baking Ingredients and Substitutions

  • October 29, 2010 10:13pm

    Hi David
    I finally made this ice-cream last weekend. I followed the recipe to the letter (but I only chilled the custard in the fridge for 2 hours before putting it in my icecream machine).

    It is beyond superb. Everyone who visits is given a tiny serve. Here is a photo.

    Thank you!

  • Luna
    December 5, 2010 2:26pm

    Hi David,
    I think what Kinh meant was your variation of this Salt Butter Caramel Ice Cream. As mentioned at the end of your post. I can tell Kinh is a Vietnamese from her name. Even though you mentioned Vietnamese Caramelized porkribs on your site (which, by the way, I don’t think is that authentic, but who cares about authenticity), I can tell you we Vietnamese have very little tolerance for sweetness, something to do with having very little access to food, let alone sugar, during the War.

    By the way just want to tell you some very interesting facts. Since Vietnam has a super long beachline, I grew up eating ONLY seasalt. I was surprised to find out that in other countries they actually eat something other than sea salt and even had to Google to find out what the heck this kind of salt was. Any chance you’ll quit Paris and move to Vietnam now that you learn about this? :D

  • December 31, 2010 7:52pm

    Hi David,

    Made this yesterday and it turned out beautifully – froze to a fairly hard state in the freezer, and I managed not to eat it all to save for New Years Eve tonight. But I just opened the freezer to find both containers had gone completely soft! As in milkshake soft – much softer than when it came out of the ice cream maker, even. Everything else in the freezer is still frozen hard, so I know it’s not a problem with the freezer. How could it have frozen hard and then completely softened again? Could it have to do with the caramel bits melting? I did notice some pooled caramel at the bottom of the container. One half is in plastic, one half is in glass – same result.

    Thoughts? Thanks for your help!

  • Alan
    January 3, 2011 8:23pm

    Wow! Instructions are perfect, although I chilled the base an entire day in fridge, then short time in freezer to 32F before adding to maker. This was my first ice cream and it turned out great. Very smooth and very rich. After ripening in the freezer it is a perfect consistency for eating straight out of the bowl. Firm but not hard. Not the tiniest bit icy. Texture still good next day.
    My caramel praline wasn’t all thin enough, so some of it is still crunchy. That’s a difficult step.
    This is so rich and flavor-intense, I’m not particularly interested in the Coffee Variation suggested at the end of the recipe. It is just perfect as-is.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • sheila
    January 9, 2011 5:34am

    Made this ice cream for a holiday party this year. WOW! Delicious and everyone loved it.

  • January 15, 2011 5:16am

    Mmmm! This looks delicious! I just made Salted Caramel Buttercream and now I’m on a kick, I don’t think a whole lot can beat the combination of caramel and salt. – Not even peanut butter and jelly.
    Jess : )

  • Phylliss
    January 15, 2011 2:06pm

    Hello, David
    I’ve just found your recipe and intend to try it today! Can you give me a tip for making fruit sorbets really smooth? Thanks you from Costa Rica.