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.



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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mmmmmmmmmmmm……

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lovely thank you

  • 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!

  • And where did you say you lived in Paris?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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

  • 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…

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Yummy

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

    Jane (Paris Batignolles)

  • 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!

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

  • 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.

  • 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..

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

  • 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!

  • 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*

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 :(

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • David,
    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?

  • WOW!,

    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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. :)

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Hi!
    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?

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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??

  • 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.

  • 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?

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!