Filed under: Fall / Frozen
October 14, 2022

Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream

A super creamy ice cream that combines the sweetness of caramel and the tart taste of apple cider. Muscovado sugar lends deeper caramel notes. Caramelized white chocolate bits make this the only ice cream you’ll want all autumn. 

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A super creamy ice cream that combines the sweetness of caramel and the tart taste of apple cider. Muscovado sugar lends deeper caramel notes. Caramelized white chocolate bits make this the only ice cream you’ll want all autumn. 

Originally published: Dec 28, 2018

 

apple cider caramel ice cream drizzled with apple cider caramel

Recipe overview

This ice cream came about after making Deb’s apple cider caramels years ago. It’s a fabulous recipe and uses one of my favorite techniques: reducing cider to intensify the flavor. The base caramel for my ice cream is very similar to hers but has been adapted to fit a caramel for ice cream.

The result is a wonderful fall flavor that screams apple and cider and has undertones of caramel and cinnamon. It’s deliciously smooth and creamy and somehow not a heavy flavor, like a cider donut in ice cream form.

 

apple cider caramel ice cream

 

Ingredients for this recipe

Apple Cider: Fresh unfiltered apple juice labeled as ‘cider’. It’s not vinegar, it’s not alcoholic and it’s not apple juice and none of those will serve as a substitute here.

Brown Sugar: While it’s easier to come by light and dark brown sugar for this, I do love using muscovado sugar here so if you have it use it!

Butter: Unsalted, no need to soften it.

Cinnamon: this is the only spice I use here but you are welcome to add some nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom; any fall inspired spices that you love.

Heavy Cream: Heavy or heavy whipping cream; no substitutes will do.

Milk: I prefer whole milk but a 2% would do too. Anything lower will give a less creamy result.

 

apple cider caramel ice cream

How to make this ice cream recipe

  1. Reduce the cider: this is as simple as boiling fresh cider (add mulling spices to make it extra tasty) until much of the water has evaporated. You can do this the day of, hours before or even a week before making the ice cream. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
  2. Make the caramel: this caramel base is different than this apple cider caramel; we aren’t going to caramelize the sugar first but instead add all of the ingredients and allow it to come to caramel point. In terms of taste, it’s more similar to a butterscotch. A thermometer is necessary here (candy, instant or even laser) so we know when to get it off the heat.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream and milk: in the video you’ll see me try to do this in a bowl first but the cool temperature of the heavy cream and milk (plus how much there is of it) will harden some of the caramel so best to do this in a pot and stir it until it’s all incorporated.
  4. Chill the base: any ice cream base should be fully chilled before churning. Best to leave it in the fridge, in an airtight container overnight.
  5. Churn: you’ll need a machine for this bit.

 

What would this cider ice cream recipe taste good with?

First, I must tell you I love it most with bits of caramelized white chocolate; to add them you’ll melt the chocolate and drizzle it in after you’ve churned it.

Even though this is made with a different kind of caramel, a spoon of apple cider caramel tastes delightful with it.

But also, this is truly wonderful on or with pumpkin or apple pie, served with apple cider donuts – basically take any fall flavor and add this and you’ve got a golden dessert.

 

apple cider caramel ice cream

Other Apple Cider Recipes

Apple Cider Banana Bread

Apple Cider Caramel Rolls

Apple Pie Scones 

Special tools needed

  1. thermometer (to know when the sugar has caramelized)
  2. ice cream machine (to churn the ice cream)

Recipe for Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream

Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream

Apple cider caramel turned into a creamy ice cream.
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients

Apple cider caramel:

  • 57g or 1/4 cup fresh apple cider reduced from 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 113g or 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 300g or 1 1/2 cups brown sugar or muscovado sugar sugar can be reduced to 1 cup if you don't want it overly sweet
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon depending on how strong you want it (can also use apple pie spices: nutmeg and allspice)
  • 1 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Ice Cream Base:

  • 480g or 2 cups heavy cream
  • 240g or 1 cup whole milk

Method

  • First reduce the cider: in a small pot boil the cider on high for 30-45 minutes until it has been reduced to about ¼ of a cup.
  • Once the caramel has reduced, add the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon then stir and let it come to a boil.
  • Once the temperature reaches 245 turn off the heat and add the milk and heavy cream.
  • Some of the caramel might harden and float to the top, return to heat and whisk it as it warms and it will melt into the milk.
  • Add the vanilla and whisk then set it aside to come to room temperature.
  • Set it in an airtight container and in the fridge to chill overnight.
  • The next day, stick the container you plan to store it in in the freezer to chill so it is cold before you add the ice cream. Whisk your base together (it tends to set a bit at the top) and freeze according to your machine’s instructions. Store in the freezer in an airtight container.

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Recipe Rating




  1. 5 stars
    This ice cream was incredibly flavorful. The apple and caramel flavors really come through. The texture was wonderful… it was pretty soft coming out of the machine, but firmed up overnight in the freezer into a perfect, firm but scoopable consistency right from the freezer. I used dark brown sugar and my husband and I thought the ice cream was too sweet. Curious if muscovado is the preferred choice for this one? I think if we were to make it again, we’d reduce the brown sugar and hope the texture isn’t sacrificed too much?… Or seek out some muscovado.

    • I do like muscovado here but I bet it won’t change much in terms of the overall sweetness. But based on your, and a previous, comment I’ll make a note that you can reduce the sugar by 1/2 cup and it should still be fine.

  2. This was so, so, so sweet – too sweet, really. My family couldn’t finish the small servings I gave. I love caramel, and the flavor was superb, but I would make this again with 1 cup of brown sugar and 5.5T of butter. That ratio is more in line with other ice cream bases I make, anyway. It was so caramel-ly that it doesn’t even harden in the freezer! I do actually really like that texture, as homemade ice creams tend to harden to a rock consistency after a day.

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious, and combination of the caramel and spiced cider flavors was surprising and wonderfully Fall! I made a large batch of the apple cider reduction, and reserved some for other recipes. I do tend to add 2 oz of room temp cream cheese to most ice creams I make before the chilling stage, but that was my only modification and it was very creamy and smooth!

  4. I am planning on making the ice cream in a couple of days to go with an apple pie. Please confirm how many cups of heavy for the apple cider caramel sauce. The amount isn’t indicated…I only see a rectangular box beside the ingredient. Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    This is such a special and delicious ice cream! So unique, I have never had anything quite like it. I used the boiled cider King Arthur sells instead of reducing my own.

  6. 5 stars

    This was DELICIOUS! We loved it – I served it with a hazelnut butter cake and caramel sauce. My cider boiled down much quicker than yours! Next time I’d switch the proportions of cream to milk to make it a little creamier… Thanks!

    • Sally – that’s wonderful to hear!! Yes, I deliberately switch the cream and milk to keep the dish overall a bit light, even though it will yield a creamier result to have more cream.
      Also – I’ve been working on a hazelnut butter cake this week so very interesting that you paired those together! I will have to try it =)