No-churn Brownie Salted Caramel Ice Cream is the ultimate indulgent frozen treat. With a caramel flavoured creamy ice cream filled with bits of brownies, this will cure any sweet ice cream cravings immediately.
I love to make ice cream and have fallen in love with no-churn ice creams. Even though I'm a big fan of traditional custard-based gelato, there's a joy in making ice cream that is quick and easy.
My Raspberry Chocolate Ice Cream, Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream and Pecan Praline Ice Cream are all no-churn, meaning they require zero specialist equipment to make them. If you love ice creams that don't require an ice cream maker- you'll love these!
This salted caramel ice cream recipe is incredible to make. Incredible on its own, but including brownie ice cream takes this dessert to the next level. I mean, what's not to love?! Brownie and ice cream are a match made in heaven!
Why you'll love this Salted Caramel Brownie Ice Cream
- It's no-churn. As mentioned- to make the actual ice cream, you just need a whisk and a bowl. No ice cream machine is needed, or remember to freeze your ice cream bowl ahead of time.
- The perfect combination of textures. You get everything in this ice cream, smooth and creamy texture from the ice cream, chewy, fudgy bits from the brownies. Heavenly combinations!
- Indulgence to the max. The caramel ice cream in itself is absolutely incredible. The chunks of brownies throughout elevate it to one of sheer decadence!
I am making the three components for this recipe, the brownies, the caramel sauce and the ice cream base, from scratch. Read on for more information on making those components homemade or using pre-bought.
- Boxed brownies- pick your favourite. Go for one that produces fudgy brownies. Rather than boxed, use homemade or store-bought. They'll all taste delicious!
- Espresso - all boxed brownies ask you to add water to the mix. Go the extra mile and add espresso powder to the hot water. The coffee helps accentuate the flavour of the coffee, but you won't actually taste it. Leave the coffee out if you aren't a fan.
- Melted butter - instead of oil, add melted butter as the fat component. It's richer and more flavourful than oil and so helps improve the overall taste of the brownies.
- Dark chocolate - an extra that is definitely needed. Rich, dark and intense, the dark chocolate puddles it creates are totally worth it.
The ice cream
- Double cream (heavy cream) and condensed milk form the base of this recipe. How simple is that!
- Vanilla bean paste - This is how we impart the vanilla flavour into the ice cream. I prefer to use vanilla bean paste as the flavour is more intense than extract, and I love seeing the hundreds of vanilla beans throughout the creamy ice cream. I specified extract in the praline, but for both components, you can use either extract or paste. Just steer clear of the essence, which is artificial flavouring.
- Sugar - I state to use granulated sugar, but if you have caster sugar on hand, then, by all means, use that instead. The finer granules dissolve that little bit quicker.
- Butter and cream - It's best if these are taken out of the fridge ahead of time. If they are too cold, then they can cause the caramel to split.
- Salt and vanilla extract - These two ingredients flavour the caramel accentuating the sweetness but also balancing that sweetness with the salt. I prefer to use good quality flaked salt such as Maldon Salt. (And don't worry, it doesn't turn it into salty ice cream!)
Favourite brands of boxed brownies
- Here in the UK, Betty Crocker Brownie Mix is by far the most popular and accessible brownie mix to use. It's in every supermarket and also found online. Each supermarket has its own home brand that you can use too.
- In the US, after a bit of research, Ghiradelli, Pillsbury, Duncan Hines, and King Arther seem to be the most popular brands for boxed brownies.
Using homemade vs boxed brownies
What's better to use in this recipe, homemade vs boxed brownies?
Homemade brownies will always be more flavour-packed, rich, deep and luxurious. And that's because they're homemade - you're controlling the exact ingredients and the quality.
But they take effort and work. Once broken up and mixed into the ice cream,, will you taste the difference? Quite possibly not. If you choose the homemade option, then any brownie you love will work great. Just pick one that is fudgy rather than cake. Fudgy, gooey bits work a charm in the ice cream! My Triple Chocolate Brownie or Caramel Brownies would both be great options.
I decided to use boxed brownies as they're easily accessible from the store, come together quickly, and are inexpensive. Timewise, it felt like a happy medium. Making something that will taste great but is also super easy to make.
But there are some super simple tips that I learned from Kristie of The Sweet and Simple Kitchen Blog, who's become renowned for turning box mixes into super delicious treats by substituting some of the ingredients.
- Substitute the oil for melted butter. The butter gives the brownies an added richness.
- Substitute the water for the same amount of brewed espresso coffee. You won’t taste the coffee in the brownie, but coffee accentuates the flavour of chocolate. It’s a good tip to add a small amount of coffee into your chocolate cakes too.
- Add some chopped dark chocolate. This will melt into the batter as the brownies cook and add to the richness and depth of flavour.
I should note that if you fancy using store-bought pre-made brownies, that is also 100% acceptable!
Using homemade caramel vs premade caramel
Here's another time in this recipe where you get to choose what you prefer to use. Homemade caramel or store-bought caramel.
As much as both options work in this recipe, I personally prefer the taste of homemade caramel. As of yet, I haven't found a storebought version that isn't overtly sickly and sweet.
For me, homemade caramel is deeper and richer in flavour and, dare I say, less sweet. I think because when we caramelise the sugar to a golden brown colour, doing it at home, the process is taken a bit further than they would do commercially. The darker the sugar, the more complex, bitter notes in the caramel.
Plus, in homemade caramel, you control the amount of added salt, which, without a doubt, helps balance the sweetness.
Ultimately it's up to you, but if you only had the option to make the brownies or the caramel from scratch, I would hand down go with the caramel.
Recipe pro tips
- Doctor up those boxed brownies. Get the most out of that packet by making the small changes that I recommend rather than following the packet instructions. The changes do make a difference to the overall taste.
- Don't overbake the brownies. If anything, err on caution and underbake them ever so slightly. Bake until the sides are set, but the centre still has a slight wobble. They'll continue to bake as they cool, and the gooey bits mix beautifully into the caramel ice cream!
- Keep a constant eye on the caramel. It can turn from golden to burnt in a blink of an eye, so I suggest staying right by the cooktop the whole time.
- Fold the whipped cream into the caramel mixture gently. The air in the whipped cream helps create the smooth, creamy consistency of the ice cream.
How to make Brownie Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Making this ice cream is broken down into three separate components. Making the brownies, the caramel sauce and the ice cream itself.
For your time frame, I recommend prepping the separate ingredients and the equipment you'll need for the brownies and caramel. Make the brownies then, while baking, you can get on straight away with making the caramel sauce. That way, they will both cool at the same time. It takes about half an hour to cool fully, and then you can crack on with the ice cream.
You can have the ice cream in the freezer chilling within 90 minutes, including brownie bake time and brownie and caramel chill time.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
How to make boxed brownies
Boxed brownies may vary in their method slightly, so be sure to read the back of the packet carefully. Most likely, it's a super simple method of adding the wet ingredients to the dry and stirring them all together.
1. Beat butter and egg together. A quick tip is to beat the cooled melted butter and egg together with a wooden spoon for a fudgier texture to the brownies (Image 1).
2. Add coffee and chopped chocolate to the box brownie mix. In a large separate bowl, the coffee gets added to the dry packet mix along with the chopped chocolate and mixed together (Images 2 & 3).
3. Bake! The brownies are ready to bake! Pour the batter into a greased and lined 20cm (8-inch) brownie tray and bake in a 180C (350F) preheated oven. Follow the recommended time on the box, mine baked for 25 minutes (Images 4, 5 & 6).
The trick is not to overbake them so that they come out fudgy. The centre should be just set with a slight jiggle. They'll continue baking with the residual heat once out of the oven. Set them to one side to cool completely, then chop half of the brownies into small pieces (Image 7). The rest can be saved and eaten later.
How to make salted caramel sauce
I have a super-comprehensive post dedicated solely to making caramel sauce. If you need a few more visuals and tips, then make sure to check out my Salted Caramel Sauce recipe.
Whilst the brownies are baking, it's a good idea to make the caramel sauce. The sauce can then cool whilst the brownies are also cooling so they are ready to use simultaneously.
My biggest tip when making caramel is to get all your ingredients measured by the cooktop. Place the utensils you need close by, ready to use when needed. This makes the process of making caramel seamless and runs smoothly.
1. Melt the sugar until it melts. Add the sugar into a pan and heat over low heat, stirring often. The sugar will slowly melt and turn lumpy. Keep going; this will happen, but don't be tempted to turn up the heat to make it melt quicker. Low and slow is keep to melting it all without over-browning.
Once melted, watch the liquid sugar like a hawk as it turns from golden to amber (Images 8 & 9).
2. Add the butter. Add the butter in one go, carefully and whisk until fully melted. Then remove the pan from the heat (Images 10 & 11).
3. Add the cream. Pour in the cream, it will bubble up, so be careful and whisk until it is combined. The bubble will die down, and then return the pan to the heat and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened (Image 12).
4. Add in the vanilla and salt. Turn the heat off and add in the vanilla extract and salt, whisk it in (Image 13) and then pour the caramel into a large, shallow bowl This will make the caramel cool quicker (Image 14).
How to make salted caramel ice cream
Making no-churn ice cream is such a simple process. Now that our main flavour components the brownies and caramel sauce are ready, this part takes a couple of minutes only to come together.
1. Whip the cream. Do this by hand, with electric hand-held beaters or with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until the creams are at soft peaks (Image 15).
2. Mix the condensed milk and caramel together. In a separate bowl, add ¾ of the cooled caramel into a bowl with the condensed milk and vanilla extract and stir them together until fully mixed in (Images 16).
3. Add the cream to the caramel mixture. Add the whipped cream into the bowl of caramel condensed milk and fold through with a rubber spatula. Try not to knock out all the air (Images 17 & 18).
Assemble and freeze
1. Add the brownies and freeze. Add the chopped brownies to the mixture, and fold until combined (Images 19 & 20).
Pour the ice cream into your freezer container (Image 20). Drizzle the remaining caramel over the top and swirl through with a skewer or knife (Image 21). Sprinkle with some more brownies if you like (Image 22). Cover well with plastic wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming and freezing.
Note: Due to there being a fair bit of sugar in the ice cream from the caramel sauce, the ice cream doesn't freeze rock solid. Sugar prevents the formation of ice crystals and in our ice cream, that means it is scoopable after 5 to 10 minutes outside of the freezer.
TIP: The best way to serve
Take out the Brownie Salted Caramel Ice Cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Dip the ice cream scoop in boiling water and then serve.
Chocolate brownie with ice cream is a family favourite, so serve a scoop of ice cream over any leftover brownies. OMG, delicious!
Ice cream variations
- Pure Caramel Ice Cream: Omit the brownies and keep them pure only using the caramel sauce. Add in chopped toasted pecans for a little crunch.
- Brownie Ice Cream: If you don't fancy making the caramel, leave it out altogether and only add in the brownies.
- Brownie Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich: Bake the brownie in a 23cm (9-inch) square baking pan, yielding an extremely thin brownie. You'll have to adjust the time so as not to overbake it. Once baked and cooled, line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, cut the brownie in half and lay it on the bottom. Make the ice cream base and spoon it over the top of the brownie. Top with the other brownie half and freeze. Then use the cling wrap to lift it out and slice it into ice cream sandwiches.
- Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream: Don't want the brownie chunks in the ice cream but still want the chocolate flavour, then omit the brownies and add ¼ to ½ cup (depending on how 'chocolatey' you want it) to the condensed milk and stir. Layer into the freezer-safe container the ice cream, then swirl in the caramel. This is one of my favourite renditions!
- Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream: Go all in with the chocolate. Swirl my Chocolate Hot Fudge Sauce and brownie chunks throughout the ice cream.
Frequently asked questions
It's pretty simple, really. The difference lies in the name. Salt. Traditional caramel is made using sugar, butter and cream, whereas the addition of salt at the end turns it into salted caramel.
There are essentially two ways to make ice cream. The more traditional method is to make a cooked custard using eggs, sugar and milk, churned in an ice cream machine. Alternatively, you can make no-churn ice cream, such as this one that contains no eggs and does not require an ice cream machine. Once made, it can go straight into the freezer.
Unfortunately, no. The point of using the base ingredients of condensed milk and whipped cream is to eliminate the need to use an ice cream machine. If you prefer a traditional gelato ice cream using a machine, then make the custard base from my Creme Brulee Ice Cream. Add the caramel sauce to the custard and churn as per the manufacturer's instructions. Then add in the chopped brownies once churned and freeze.
How to store this ice cream
To store: Store the ice cream in your freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you have any leftover brownies, store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Any remaining caramel can be refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Heat gently in the microwave to create a runny consistency.
And there you have my ultimate frozen treat. With three incredible components, caramel, ice cream and brownie, your friends and family are going to love this. I can't wait for you to make it.
More ice cream recipes you'll love
If you tried this Brownie Salted Caramel Ice Cream or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you go in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you're there!
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This post was originally published in July 2019 but has been updated with new photos and new content.
Brownie Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- 1 Boxed brownie packet
- 60 ml brewed espresso coffee
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 100 g dark chocolate 70% , chopped
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 90 g unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- 120 ml double cream (heavy cream), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
- 397 g unsweetened condensed milk, 1 can
- 480 ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Brownies
- Note: Follow the boxed brownies instructions. However, make the following simple substitutions to elevate your boxed brownies. Substitute the oil for the same quantity of melted butter. Substitute the amount of water for freshly brewed espresso coffee.
- Mix egg and butter together. In a medium mixing bowl, beat your egg and butter with a wooden spoon as this gives your brownies a gooier texture.
- Add packet and espresso. Then add in the dry ingredients from the box and pour in the espresso. Mix until just combined.
- Stir through chopped dark chocolate (or milk chocolate if you would prefer) to enhance the chocolate flavour profile.
- Bake as recommended on the box. Allow to cool before chopping the brownie into small pieces for the ice cream. (I used ½ to ⅔ of the cooked brownies in the ice cream and left the remainder to be enjoyed with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Option: add all the brownie.
Make the Caramel Sauce. For more information and process images head to my Salted Caramel Sauce post)
- Heat the sugar until it melts. In a high-sided non-stick saucepan, heat the sugar over low heat, stirring often. It will go lumpy, but slowly those lumps will melt away into a liquid that will slowly turn golden. Once the sugar is in liquid form, stop stirring and swirl the liquid sugar while the colour changes to a lovely amber colour. Keep an eagle eye on it at this stage, as it can turn to burnt sugar very quickly. If the liquid is turning amber, but there are still lumps of sugar, then take the pan off the heat and keep swirling the liquid to give a chance for those lumps to melt.
- Add the butter. Carefully add the butter in one go. It will bubble up but whisk continuously until it has thoroughly melted. Then remove it from the heat.
- Add the cream. Pour in the cream, but be careful as it will bubble up again, but keep whisking, and the bubbling will die down. Please return it to medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, so that the caramel can thicken. This takes around 5 minutes.
- Add the flavourings. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla extract and salt (to taste), and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool completely.
Make the Ice ream
- Whip the cream. In a medium bowl, with hand-held electric beaters fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form taking care, not to over whip. The cream will be done when you pull the beaters out and the cream stands to attention with a peak.
- Mix the caramel and condensed milk together. In another large bowl, mix the condensed milk, vanilla extract and 180ml (¾ cup) caramel sauce. Mix until combined.
- Add the cream to the caramel mixture. Add whipped cream to the condensed milk mixture and fold with a rubber spatular gently until both are incorporated but still aerated. Add in the chopped chocolate brownie and fold through.
- Freeze. Pour into your pan and drizzle more caramel and sprinkle brownie onto the top. Freeze for 4-6 hours until fully set.Remove from the freezer ten minutes prior to serving. Use an ice cream scoop dipped into hot water. Serve with extra drizzled caramel sauce and brownies. Above all, enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.