Filed Under: Ice Cream

Light Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Recipe By Tessa Arias
April 15th, 2011
5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Light Salted Caramel Ice Cream is all around amazing with a deeply sweet and slightly nutty taste.

Yield: 10 Servings

Cook: 10 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Salty, deeply sweet, slightly nutty. All-around amazing.
Texture: Thick and rich. You would never know this was a “light” ice cream.
Ease: The original directions were a bit confusing, I tried to make them a bit more clear. You will need either an instant read thermometer or a candy thermometer and an ice cream machine. This recipe does dirty a few dishes and requires special equipment but it is so worth it. SO much better than store-bought ice cream.
Appearance: I had a difficult time getting the flakes of sea salt sprinkles on top of the ice cream scoops to show in my photos but the ice cream is beautiful in person.
Pros: One of the scoops of ice cream I’ve ever eaten.
Cons: Requires a bit of work.
Would I make this again? Yes!

It felt good to take my ice cream machine out of the dark corner of the cabinet where it has sat for the past six months.  Admittedly, I haven’t had all that much experience with homemade ice cream as I only purchased my machine last summer. But every experience I had has been dee-lish. This recipe was no exception. Actually, my boyfriend said that this salted caramel ice cream was “one of the best things you’ve ever made”. Win. If you like the salty-sweet flavor combination, you will adore this ice cream. Especially since it’s also made with far less whole-milk, cream, and egg yolks than the traditional custard-based ice cream recipe.


5 from 1 vote

How to make
Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Yield: 10 Servings
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Light Salted Caramel Ice Cream is all around amazing with a deeply sweet and slightly nutty taste.


  • 3 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon flake salt


  1. Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat to 180° (check temperature with an instant-read thermometer or candy thermometer) or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil). Meanwhile, place egg yolks in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Once milk is heated, gradually add half of hot milk to yolks, stirring constantly to temper. Return yolk-milk mixture to saucepan .

  2. Combine sugar, cream, and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar melts. Cook 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat; stir in sea salt. Gradually and carefully add caramel mixture to yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return pan to low heat; cook until a thermometer registers 160°. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until completely cooled, stirring occasionally.

  3. Pour mixture into the freezer bucket of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Once ice cream is at desired consistency, serve or freeze for a few hours for a firmer consistency. Scoop about 1/2 cup ice cream into each of 10 dishes; sprinkle evenly with flake salt.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Cooking Light
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Maria — April 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    This looks dreamy!

  2. #
    Natalie — April 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    YUM!!! bookmarked this 🙂

  3. #
    Georgia — April 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Tessa, this looks heavenly! I love the flavors that you used. Great job on it and thanks for sharing. I hope you have a great weekend!

  4. #
    Tracey — April 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I'm so intrigued by this lightened version! I made salted caramel ice cream last year and it was anything but light 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  5. #
    Christina — April 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    This sounds a little hard to make but I bet that incredible caramel taste will reword the effort. I will sure try to make it, but I'm not promising I will make it that good. 😀

  6. #
    Tessa — April 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    This looks great. Who doesn't love caramel! The only thing I don't love about homemade ice cream is that it is always so much more calorie dense than store brands, so a lighter version is perfect!

  7. #
    Emily — April 16, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Mmmm. In NYC, ever since Starbucks came out with their “Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate” I've noticed the salt-caramel trend which is SO GOOD. I even made chocolate pudding with salt & caramel and it was so yummy. I think my salt-sweet addiction will now have to transfer over to ice cream 🙂 Not quite warm enough for it in NYC but hopefully soon! Thanks Tessa!

  8. #
    TwirlyGirly — July 4, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I know this is an old post, but I stumbled upon it while looking for ideas for ice cream recipes. This recipe is actually “Light Salted BUTTERSCOTCH Ice Cream,” not caramel.

    Caramel is made with granulated sugar; butterscotch uses brown sugar. I know a lot of people claim not to like butterscotch, and I’ve seen many recipes posted on the internet mis-named “caramel” that are made with brown sugar, and thus are really butterscotch (maybe the authors think by using “caramel” instead of “butterscotch” in the name the recipe will be appealing to more people?)

    At any rate, I *LOVE* butterscotch (I actually prefer it to caramel) and will be trying this recipe.

  9. #
    Cam — June 28, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    This is actually so tasty, and LIGHT! Ha!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • #
      Tessa — June 29, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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