Organic caramel vanilla ice cream is so creamy and has such depth of flavor, it’s hard to believe it only contains four ingredients. Make your own organic dulce de leche, and it’s homemade times two!
Make This Immediately!
Friends, I am generally excited about food, but I have to tell you, you really must drop whatever you’re doing right now and make this ice cream. That is how excited I am about this particular food.
I will admit there is a bit of a process since you have to make homemade organic sweetened condensed milk first. It’s made with organic palm sugar.
Sweetened Condensed Milk or Dulce de Leche?
If you cook your organic milk and sugar together to reduce the volume by about 25%-40%, you’ll have made sweetened condensed milk. If you reduce it a full 60%, you’ll have dulce de leche.
Either will work in this recipe, although if you use dulce de leche, your results will be a bit creamier and have more caramel flavor since you cooked more water content out of the milk.
What I Love About This Recipe
- It’s made with all organic ingredients.
- It contains no refined sugar.
- It’s no-churn, so you know it’s easy to make.
- It’s incredibly creamy and smooth with a deep, caramelized flavor and no bitterness.
- It melts into dreamy pools of thick, naturally sweetened cream.
- It makes me smile when I eat it.
What You Will Love About This Recipe
- You’ll be able to pronounce all the ingredients.
- You will be in caramel vanilla heaven.
- Even though it tastes super caramelly, you don’t have to caramelize sugar to make it.
- You can add in mix-ins like ganache or grated chocolate or toffee bits or whatever sounds good to you.
- Like all the no-churn ice creams I’ve made, this doesn’t get icy, even if it melts and refreezes.
- It will make you smile when you eat it.
Let’s just stop talking about it and make some, okay?
How to Make It
Like most no-churn ice creams, this one is pretty easy to make, especially once you’ve made the dulce de leche (or sweetened condensed milk, depending).
Here’s what you’ll need:
- sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche: you can use either one here. If it is important to you that it be organic, definitely make it yourself. If you make dulce de leche, know that the flavor will be more pronounced and your ice cream will be super creamy. For reference, the ice cream I made and photographed for this post was made with dulce de leche, cooked down to 40% of its original volume (cooked down by 60%)
- heavy cream: use organic if you want to keep this recipe organic. No subs here. You need the full-fat cream for texture and mouthfeel.
- vanilla extract: This recipe calls for a full tablespoon of vanilla, so use the best quality you can find. This Vanilla Bean Crush is my favorite commercially available vanilla. Or keep it organic by purchasing organic vanilla extract.
- salt: I like to use kosher salt. It balances the flavors and brings out the caramel goodness. If you want a salted caramel ice cream, increase the salt by another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.
Making this ice cream really couldn’t be much easier:
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a “regular” bowl if you’re using a hand mixer).
- Whip until the mixture is the consistency of thick, melted ice cream. The whisk should leave tracks in the cream but it should not form peaks.
- Pack into a freezer container, press plastic wrap down onto the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight, to be safe.
Tips for Success
If you’re using homemade dulce de leche/sweetened condensed milk, you should already have it in the fridge.
If you are using canned sweetened condensed milk, organic or otherwise, chill the can of milk the day before you make your ice cream.
It speeds the whipping process along a bit.
Do NOT use canned dulce de leche from the grocery store. I find it to be too thin and dark, plus it tastes oddly artificial.
Definitely make your own dulce de leche, either on the stovetop as outlined in my sweetened condensed milk post (linked above in the intro), or by boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, for a good 2 1/2 hours.
Make sure the can is completely covered with water and just let it go, topping off occasionally when the water starts to get close to the top of the can.
Allow the can to cool completely in the water, and then remove it to the fridge to chill overnight.
Q & A
It makes about 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream, more or less. It will make somewhat more if you use sweetened condensed milk than if you use homemade dulce de leche because the dulce has less volume than the sweetened condensed milk.
I have not done this, but I think you absolutely can. Make your sweetened condensed milk (or dulce) with coconut milk and palm sugar, and use coconut cream in place of the heavy cream. If you do give this modification a try, please let me know how it turns out!
Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free without need for substitution. Do check your labels to make sure none of your ingredients is processed on shared equipment, though.
For best flavor and texture, you should eat homemade ice cream within a week, but it should stay reasonably smooth and creamy and delicious for up to two weeks. Make sure to keep it tightly covered so it doesn’t pick up any odd “freezer flavor.”
If you have any other questions about this recipe or any other, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can leave a comment here, and I will be back in touch in about 24 hours.
If your question in more urgent, you can email me and I answer within about 4 hours.
Either way, I promise to help!
I may be a bit biased, but I think you should definitely consider making my best hot fudge sauce and pouring a healthy amount over this ice cream.
A Note About Measurements
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids.
Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
This is the scale I use, love, and recommend.
I really hope you love this recipe, you guys!
A star rating and a review is also really helpful to readers, so if you make this recipe, please rate and review it!
And leave me a comment, too. I love to hear from you guys, and am always working to make the site better!
I’d also love to have you join my PCO newsletter, The Inbox Pastry Chef!
Thanks, and enjoy!
- homemade organic sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche
- 2 cups (1 pint) organic heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tablespoon excellent quality organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sweetened condensed milk, cream, vanilla, and salt.
- Whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Whisk on high speed until the whisk leaves tracks in the cream and it just barely mounds in a spoon, about 1 1/2 minutes. You are looking for thick melted ice cream consistency.
- Pour/scrape your ice cream base into a freezer-safe container. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours and preferably overnight.
Feel free to add mix-ins to this ice cream. Anything from cut up pieces of frozen cheesecake or pound cake to chopped caramelized nuts to grated or melted chocolate. The sky is the limit. This is an excellent caramel vanilla ice cream base that you can eat as is or doctor it up to your liking!
Best eaten within a week but will be fine in the freezer, tightly covered, for up to 2 weeks.
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Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 270Total Fat 13.9gSaturated Fat 8.7gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 52mgSodium 140mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 0gSugar 31.4gProtein 5g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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I am completely serious when I say you really need to make this ice cream.
Especially you caramel lovers out there: caramel ice cream doesn’t get much better than this.
Each time I make a no-churn ice cream, I think it can’t get any better. And then I go and make one that’s organic and contains no refined sugar, and it might be my favorite so far. I know you will love it.
Thanks for spending some time with me today.
Enjoy the ice cream, and have a lovely day.