Brown Butter Ice Cream*

I have this problem where I get started on something and I just can’t stop. I think most people would call it obsessive, but for me it’s just normal. Once I get started on something, I can eat it for the next 5 days and not care. That Fontina Grilled Cheese with Arugula & Truffle Oil? Ya, you remember that one…who could forget?! Well, I ate that exact sandwich for lunch for 4 days. I could have gone longer, but I ran out of Fontina cheese. In this month alone, I have also been having a love affair with those candy apple suckers and diet cherry limeades from Sonic.

But nothing compares to my absolute dedication to Brown Butter. I think I could start a religion where we would worship Brown Butter, eat it at every meal and writhe around naked in it on a full moon. Uhh, did I go to far? ::sigh:: You just can’t understand my obsession until you have had it yourself.

Long story short: I can’t stop eating anything with Brown Butter. I’ll take it anyway I can get it….cake, cookies, or straight out of the pot. So I put it into ice cream. Thick, real cream, ice cream.

It’s nutty. It’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s ‘effing amazing. And I am not sharing mine with anyone. 😀

This ice cream comes with warnings:

1. Be Prepared: Don’t make it unless you are totally prepared to have your significant other start rolling you around the house. Once you eat your weight in ice cream, I don’t think your legs will work anymore.

2. Brown That Butter: Don’t wimp out and take your butter off the stove too soon. You want it dark and golden brown with lots of flecks swirling around the pan. Otherwise you won’t have that delicious nutty quality…and instead will have Butter flavored Ice Cream.

3. Soft Serve: This recipe makes ice cream my way. That means instead of the traditional hard ice cream, this creates a softer ice cream like Soft Serve. I hate hard ice cream. Anytime I eat it, I swirl it around my bowl with my spoon till it becomes more like traditional soft serve. So this recipe makes delicious soft serve ice cream right out of the freezer. You’re welcome Soft Serve Lovers!

4. Ice Cream Maker: Yes you need one. I have this one. You can also watch to see if the older version of that one goes on sale. Or you can buy the one that hooks up to your stand mixer. You seriously must have one of these before Summer, so go ahead and add it to all your wishlists.

5. Make Two Batches: Go ahead and buy enough ingredients to make two batches. You will eat the entire first batch before you even realize what has happened. And when your husband figures out there is none left, that old excuse of “I was just taste testing it” won’t fly. Trust me, I tried it.

You have been warned. Proceed with caution.


Brown Butter Ice Cream

Yield: 8 normal sized servings


  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until butter turns a deep golden color and you see dark flecks. Transfer to a bowl and let cool until no longer warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Cream together browned butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract, whisk till combined. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and milk, whisking the entire time, until their are no lumps.

Transfer mixture to a large saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, lower heat to medium. Let mixture simmer, stirring as needed, until thickened. When thickened, the custard will lightly coat the back of a metal spoon.

Pour into a glass bowl and allow to chill completely, about 2 to 3 hours in the fridge. Once cooled, transfer mixture to your ice cream maker and mix according to manufacture instructions. Then place in an airtight container and freeze for at least 6 hours to let it fully set up. Stores for up to 3 months in the freezer!


If you liked this, you might also like:

Key Lime Pie Frozen Yogurt from TNCB
Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches from Formal Fringe
Toasted Almond and Candied Cherry Ice Cream by Brown Eyed Baker
Key Lime & Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Ice Cream by Guilty Kitchen
BlackBerry Ice Cream Pie from Dessert For Two
Chocolate Sea Salt Cookie & Dulce De Leche Ice Cream Sandwiches by TNCB

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62 Responses to “Brown Butter Ice Cream”

  1. 1

    Jessica @ How Sweet — December 29, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!!!!!???????!!
    God I don’t even know what to do with myself.

  2. 2

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — December 29, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    Um, hello. BROWN BUTTER ADDICT here. Thanks a lot.

  3. 3

    nicole {sweet peony} — December 29, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    OMG amaaaazing!!!!! can i please come over??

  4. 4

    Deb @ knitstamatic — December 29, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    Oh my word! My mouth is hanging open and I’m drooling like one of my hounds. There goes my waistline.

  5. 5

    Megan @ Country Cleaver — December 29, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    Are you freakin’ kidding me here? I want to call you names – with love.

    But for real – brown butter? I’ll join that religion going door to door, knocking at the most inappropriate of times! There would be many converts, I think listening to The Word of Brown Butter. ~Megan

  6. 6

    Winnie — December 29, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    This is brilliant! Cannot wait to try this ice cream…Happy New Year!!!

  7. 7

    Ann — December 29, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    Fantastic! Brown butter ice-cream? *THUD* I think I just fainted from yummy overload! Really, this is brilliant!

  8. 8

    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery — December 29, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    OM NOM NOM. BROWNED BUTTER!!!!! Be still my beating heart.

  9. 9

    Alysa (InspiredRD) — December 29, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

    Holy moly girl! This sounds ridiculously good!

  10. 10

    Laurie Jesch-Kulseth @ Relishing It — December 29, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

    I’m a serious fan of browned butter. Your ice cream looks incredible — it would pair well with every dessert! Need to make soon.

  11. 11

    Curt — December 29, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    Now I know I really need to go get me an ice cream maker! I keep putting it off. This looks and sounds delicious!

  12. 12

    JulieD — December 29, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

    Oh man, I’m in trouble…seriously wow…I have no words right now.

  13. 13

    christina @ ovenadventures — December 29, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

    i can’t even form proper thoughts right now. I am a fellow worshiper of brown butter. Love the stuff. Can’t get enough. And you go and do this.

    I need an ice cream maker. Like now. I’ve decided to hold my breath until I get one!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. 14

    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — December 29, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

    Brown butter makes everything better, including ice cream. This is my husband’s dream dessert!

  15. 15

    Stephanie — December 29, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    Looks like our New Year’s menu is going to be champagne and ICE CREAM! Sugar rushhhh 😀

  16. 16

    Kris — December 29, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

    my head just exploded.

    this WILL be my next ice cream. probably as soon as I wake up tomorrow! you are a brown butter genius.

  17. 17

    Migle — December 30, 2011 @ 1:43 am

    Oh my, it’s soooo tempting!
    Just what’s the plan for the leftover egg whites? :)

  18. 18

    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — December 30, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    My dad just told me he has an extra ice cream maker for me, this could be VERY dangerous!

  19. 19

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  20. 20

    julia — December 30, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    Im not obsessive either, oh no, it’s just normal for me too! And brown butter, when I discovered it, I think I even tried to pour it over my salad. For like 8 days in a row. It’s only 5 am and I feel this NEED to make this, right now!

  21. 21

    Cookbook Queen — December 30, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Fabulous idea!!! I need some NOW.

  22. 22

    Shannon — December 30, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Shut your face, that’s incredible!!!

  23. 23

    Deliciously Organic — December 30, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    I love this!!! I’m definitely making it soon!

  24. 24

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — December 30, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    I love you. No, I hate you. But I love you :) What a great flavor for ice cream!!

  25. 25

    Maria — December 30, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    I am dying over here. I NEED that ice cream!

  26. 26

    Julie @ Table for Two — December 30, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    you must be joking. well, you clearly aren’t cause it’s staring right at me in the face. holyyy balls. this sounds amazing. loveeee this!!

  27. 27

    Cassie — December 30, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    You really can’t go wrong with browned butter, even if I have to be rolled around the house. Totally worth it for this stuff.

  28. 28

    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — December 30, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    YUM! This sounds amazing.

  29. 29

    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — December 30, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    Wow is this tempting me or what!!! YUM!

  30. 30

    Nicole, RD — December 30, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    Freakin’ genius. This looks sooooooo good!!

  31. 31

    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — December 30, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    I’ve never… but I must. Oh I must try this stat. I’ve never tried custard based ice creams – is that really the key to having it softer?

  32. 32

    Heather — December 30, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    mmmm… caramel apple suckers… did you know they come in Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious flavors in addition to the Green Apple? Oh, yes. Yes, they do.

  33. 33

    Jen @ — December 30, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    Sounds amazing. I’d totally join your religion :)

  34. 34

    Ambika — December 30, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    The ice cream looks so perfect! Wish I could taste that through my screen :) Wish you a Happy and Sweet New Year!

  35. 35

    Kerstin — December 30, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    Umm, yes please, sounds so unique and amazing!!

  36. 36

    kaceyjt — December 30, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    wow! i’m usually a no ice cream in winter kind of girl, but i may just have to break my own rule for this one!

  37. 37

    Joanne — December 30, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    I’ve been dreaming about this flavor ever since I tasted it at an ice cream place in SF. Don’t know what I’ve been waiting for to try it…probably I knew somewhere in my soul that you would do it for me 😛

  38. 38

    torviewtoronto — December 31, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    ice cream looks delicious

  39. 39

    ErinsFoodFiles — December 31, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    YUM! I’m about to make a batch of brown butter rice krispie treats for NYE party. Have you ever tried those?

    • Jessica replied: — January 2nd, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

      No! But they are on my list of things I must try!

      Are you going to blog them?? I think I need to see that magical-ness in action. :)

  40. 40

    Deborah — December 31, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    I don’t think that anything better has ever been created. Ever.

  41. 41

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  42. 42

    Cooking Rookie — December 31, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    I never heard about a brown butter ice cream :-), I must try it, but it will have to wait till summer, winter is not my ice cream season :-). Happy and delicious 2012 to you, Jessica!

  43. 43

    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — January 1, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

    I saw this post and immediately said “Holy S@#t.” If that isn’t enough of an indication, I’m really excited about this recipe!

  44. 44

    Tina (My Life as a Mrs) — January 2, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    i. need. this. in. my. life. & I need you in my life – it’s been TOO long!!!! We need to plan our blog conferences together to make sure we’re hitting the same ones 😉

  45. 45

    Gerry @Foodness Gracious — January 2, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Sounds presidential! I too love my ice cream smooth and velvety, I’ve never tried brown buttering but this is a keeper. Maybe I should spend my Sonoma and Sur La Table gift cards on a new ice cream maker, hmm….
    Take care,

  46. 46

    Ellen — January 5, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    I’m a reformed sugar addict, but this may make me fall off the wagon. Next time I carb it up, this is a definite “do”. Thanks for sharing with the world!

  47. 47

    Brooke (Baking with Basil) — January 9, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

    You are a sinful, wonderful woman!! I’m with you on the soft serve texture for ice cream. That hard stuff always hurts my teeth.

  48. 48

    Katie — January 16, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    I just made this…
    Holy delicious batman. Just wow.

  49. 49

    Abby — January 17, 2012 @ 2:05 am

    Hieeeeee… I just stumbled upon your blog… via google while searching for peanut butter oreo things (don’t ask why just accept it) and I am SO. GLAD. you are on the interwebz. really super glad.

    I haven’t found a new cooking blog I like LOVE since finding Joy the Baker (she’s my homie.) but I’ve got a new food blog love!

    also this ice cream needs to be made immediately. yes.

  50. 50

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  51. 51

    Ronda — January 31, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    Rolling around in brown butter, that is what I want to do. I’m totally making this ice cream, to go with the brown butter cookies, cake, & rice krispy treats.

  52. 52

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  53. 53

    Pam — May 27, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    This was so so good until it curdled. I think the cooking directions needed to be more explicit for novice ice cream makers like me. Med-High might be too high on some stove tops and I would use a double boiler next time. If there’s roughly a temp that works best just for this recipe that would be helpful too. I tried to put it in the food processor to smooth it out but it didn’t work, still grainy after I froze it. So take note of curdling with a cooked base. All that work and my recipe was ruined :(

  54. 54

    Ria — July 15, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It was absolutely lovely. I just made a batch and the family definitely approves. It tastes a bit like butterscotch ice cream– incredibly rich and smooth.

    I made a couple small changes– I added maple candied pecans, so I reduced the amount of sugar to 1/2 c so that the sweetness wouldn’t be overpowering, then added 1/4 c maple syrup to give it a maple-y flavor.

    For those of you who are worried about cooking the custard, a few tips:
    1. Use a pan with a nice thick bottom or a bain-marie (a double boiler) to prevent scrambled eggs.
    2. Just keep stirring! I like to use a silicone spatula in order to get maximum contact with the surface of my pan, so that none of the custard is in one place for too long. I’m a bit paranoid, so I stir my custard for the entire cook time– I just put on some music and rock out while it’s thickening.
    3. Know your stove. If it tends to run hot, use a lower temperature and cook longer if necessary.
    4. If you get some scrambled egg, don’t panic! Just put the custard through a mesh sieve to get the egg chunks out and then continue as usual.

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  59. 59

    Bridget Brewer — July 10, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

    delicious!! Just made this—so smooth and CREAMY!! Happy Birthday to me :)

  60. 60

    Frazee — December 8, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

    This sounds delicious! Won’t the eggs scramble if the mixture is brought all the way to a boil?

  61. 61

    Leslie — December 31, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

    This ice cream is off the charts! I just finished my first batch. It won’t be my last. Well done!!

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