Caramel Swirl Ice CreamSo I have this sweet little girl that just turned 6. The kid has been reading since the first month of kindergarten…and I mean reading *everything*. I can’t open an email next to her without hearing the whole thing in audio, or walk through a store without *every* sign being read.

And that includes the walk down the frozen isle that we take every so often to grab frozen veggies. They (ever so conveniently) have the ice cream in that isle as well, so every time we take that trip I get to hear every ice cream imaginable read to me.

She knows why we make our own ice cream. She knows where to find the ingredients on the label, and even knows that many of the ingredients on those labels are chemicals. But let’s be real. She’s a kid! Swirl ice cream anything will sound so amazing to any kid her age.

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamSo one day she read “caramel swirl” ice cream, and I said yes.

Let’s make it. Let me show you how to make real caramel instead of fake. Let’s use our real cream at home and use real ingredients so not only will it be skipping out on the chemicals, but it will taste…amazing.

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamCreamy, salty, sweet…it doesn’t get much better than real, homemade caramel!

And swirl it into fresh spring and summer churned cream? Well I’ll leave it at that because I know you much be drooling by this point.

We make ice cream about once a month in the summer and it’s a fun occasional treat to celebrate the warm weather and enjoy the fresh cream from our local farmer. I stress the “occasional” because this particular ice cream recipe is a bit heavier on the sugar than my other ice cream recipes because of the caramel – but we definitely don’t have it every day, and a small scoop is really all you need.

I hope this will bring a smile of *yes* to your kids faces this summer 🙂 It sure did mine!

Caramel Swirl Ice CreamProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I just have a simple ice cream maker that I have had for literally years – it works so great and I love it! I do however have my eye on this larger ice cream maker so I can make birthday party sized volume in one shot instead of 2 batches.

Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

Renee -
Ice cream is fun to make homemade, but you don't always get the same "fun" flavors as the store. Caramel swirl is one fun flavor my kids love!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 cup organic pure cane sugar this also works with honey - I make this probably once a year so I just use sugar for this one and call it good
  • 6 TB softened butter
  • 1/2 cup whole cream
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt If you want a more "salted caramel" flavor double this - it is really good!


  • 3 cups whole cream Preferably raw. Avoid ultra-pasteurized
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup raw honey works well too
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TB vodka This is optional but keeps the ice cream from freezing rock hard in the freezer. If you choose to leave it out, just be sure to set your ice cream on the counter to soften a bit before scooping.



  • Warm the sugar in a small sauce pan until it melts - takes about 4-5 minutes. Stir continuously so it doesn't burn and it will start melting. When the sugar completely melts stir in the butter. Then drizzle in the cream a little at a time while stirring. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes while you stir. Turn the heat off, and transfer to a container into the fridge to cool while you make the ice cream.


  • Blend the ice cream ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and let it rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Give the ice cream a stir, and process in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions. My ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes.


  • Once the ice cream is done churning, place half of the ice cream into a container, then add 1/4 t o 1/2 of the caramel in and swirl it through with a chopstick or the hard end of a paintbrush. Put the other half of the ice cream in the container along with more caramel and swirl that in. Depending on how much caramel you like in your ice cream you can use the whole caramel batch for swirling, or save some to drizzle on top (or for your coffee in the morning!)
Keyword caramel swirl ice cream, caramel swirl ice cream recipe, homemade caramel swirl ice cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Oh I so want to make this. I am getting an ice cream maker soon. I noticed the recipe for the caramel is cut off though…? Thanks so much! My family and I love your recipes!

  2. Hi Renee! This looks delicious, and I am going to attempt to make it (this will be my first ever attempt at ice cream). I have heavy cream that is very thick. Is that the same as the cream you call for in your recipe? If not, should I try to mix in some milk with it?

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Renne! Just wanted to let you know I tried this recipe, the cream cheese ice cream recipe, and the strawberry ice cream recipe this weekend. All turned out perfectly and were so delicious! Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This did bring a smile to my face! Because I keep salty caramel sauce made , and am about to swirl some into a fresh batch of homemade vanilla, as per your instructions. Also, because I have been drizzling the caramel sauce on my morning cappuccino on occasion 😊