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tub o delicious ice cream

Brown Sugar Caramel Crunch Ice Cream

This rich, creamy ice cream comes together with just six simple ingredients! Dark brown sugar is the star of the show in both the ice cream base and in the crunchy, caramel bits. This is sure to be your new favorite ice cream!!
5 from 6 reviews
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Ice Cream
Keyword: Ice Cream, Brown Sugar, Caramel


  • Ice Cream Maker (see note below for other methods)


For the Ice Cream

  • cups (360 g) whole milk
  • cups (360 g) heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cups (165 g) C&H® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ vanilla bean split and scraped or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Caramel


For the Ice Cream Base

  • In a large, heat-safe bowl add milk, cream, C&H® Dark Brown Sugar, eggs, vanilla bean seeds + pod (if using paste or extract add once off of the heat) and salt and set over a large saucepan of simmering water set over medium-high heat. Gently whisk for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the sugar is melted and the ice cream base is hot to the touch (it should reach 170 F (77 C) to kill any bacteria from the eggs). Remove from the heat and transfer to a large-lidded container. Add in the vanilla paste/extract if using. Cover and set in the fridge until chilled through, about 2 to 3 hours.

For the Caramel

  • While the ice cream cools, prepare your caramel by placing the remaining dark brown sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat and constantly stir with a silicone spatula until the sugar liquefies and no sugar crystals remain. Don’t turn up the heat to speed up the process. It will resist melting, then look clumpy. Keep stirring until it looks smooth and glossy, but it will still be quite thick.
  • Pour onto an ungreased baking sheet and use a spatula to spread evenly until it’s about ¼ to ⅛ inch (0.7 to 0.3 cm) thick. It will set quickly; don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Set aside for 1 hour or until cool and hardened. Once cool, turn out onto a cutting board and cut into small bits or you can also pulse in a high-speed blender until it’s mostly tiny little pieces (tip of a pencil or smaller). The hard caramel is sharp, so be careful. Set aside.

To Assemble

  • Once your ice cream base is cool, add to an ice cream maker (discard the vanilla bean pod) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it is thick and creamy, add in the crushed caramel and run the machine for 1 minute more or until evenly distributed throughout. Store in a lidded container in the freezer for at least 2 to 3 hours or until ready to use.



If you don’t have an ice cream maker, set your ice cream in a deep bowl or lidded Tupperware container. Every 15 to 30 minutes, take it out of the freezer and mix it with the hand-held blender getting rid of any ice crystal formations.
You could also place it in a high-speed blender or a Cuisinart fitted with the blade attachment (both of these options will make it a little harder transferring it between your freezer container and your mixing device…but we do).
Lastly, if you don’t have any of the above mixing appliances, you can use a good old spatula. You will develop muscle, you will have earned your ice cream…and it’s worth it.
You will need to take it out of the freezer and break up the ice crystals for several hours. You can stop once your ice cream looks smooth, creamy and light. It won’t be completely set (or hard), but it will have definitely firmed up.
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo