Caramel IPA Ice Cream

Caramel IPA Ice Cream - sweet, burnt and full of hop flavor in every bite.

Think Spring!  I am trying really hard.  Although yesterday’s snowfall was fluffy and beautiful, I am definitely ready for warmer weather.  Can you tell by my ice cream picture?  I stuck a tulip in there for good measure.  Found them on sale at the grocery store today and just had to get some.

If you have perused my website or own the Scoop Adventures Cookbook, then you know that I like to use beer in my ice creams.  Beer gives ice cream a smooth texture and adds interesting notes of flavor without adding lots of extra ingredients.  Several of my beer ice cream don’t actually taste much like beer – such as my cookbook recipe for Chocolate Porter Ice Cream – but instead the beer adds toasty notes to the ice cream.  Fair warning…this beer ice cream is for beer lovers.  Depending of the brand, IPAs can pack a hoppy punch.  My favorite IPAs are those that include citrusy and tropical hop flavors, however for this ice cream I thought a more piney hop would complement the burnt caramel and add some character to the ice cream.  I chose Troges Perpetual IPA.  Always solid, always good.  Find your favorite IPA to use.  If you are not a huge fan of IPAs, substitute a standard pale ale for a toned down hop flavor.  Enjoy!

Caramel IPA Ice Cream - sweet, burnt and full of hop flavor in every bite.

Caramel IPA Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart

¾ cup (177ml) whole milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 ½ (355ml) cup heavy cream
1 cup (237ml) evaporated milk
2/3 cup (67g) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
¾ cup (177ml) IPA beer

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, combine 2 Tablespoons milk with cornstarch, whisk and set aside.  Measure sugar into a large, deep saucepan and place over medium heat.  Do not touch the sugar until all edges begin to melt, then cook the sugar until it begins to brown, stirring gently and frequently, allowing the sugar to reach a deep amber color.  Immediately and carefully add about ¼ cup of the cream mixture.  Be careful – mixture will bubble and spit when adding cream to hot sugar; sugar will harden but when returned to heat will melt again. Continue adding cream until complete, stirring to combine.

Return pan to medium heat. Add remaining milk and evaporated milk and bring mixture to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes or until all caramelized sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Pour into a medium bowl. Whisk in salt.  Set bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, add chilled beer and whisk gently to combine. Pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.


  1. Joanna Hoegerman says

    Hi there,
    I really wanted to try to make this ice cream (it sounds great!). However, the instructions are slightly confusing to me since I am somewhat of a cooking novice. Is there any way you could explain what you mean by “cream mixture” in the first paragraph (is that just all of the milk and all of the cream from the ingredients section?) Also could you be more specific on your cooking temperatures for the sugar at first and when you should be taking things off the heat? Thank you so much, looking forward to your reply!

    • says

      Thanks for writing. The recipe actually has a typo and should just say “add cream” instead of “add cream mixture.:
      Unfortunately I have not recorded the cooking temperature for the sugar. I always cook the sugar by sight and smell. Be sure to let the edges melt and then give the sugar a good stir to help the remaining sugar melt. If you have a stainless steel pan it will be easier to see the sugar browning than in a darker pan. Keep cooking the sugar until it just starts to smell burnt, then wait 5 more seconds. That usually does the trick.
      Hope this helps.

    • says

      No I would not use this recipe to make a plain caramel ice cream. Check out my recipe for Chunky Turtle Ice cream (eggless recipe) and omit the mix-ins or find my recipe for “Apple Crisp with Caramel Ice cream” (made with eggs).

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