Mind-Blowing Buttermilk Ice Cream Recipe

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Anyone with half an attention span has by now noticed I’ve been posting more ice cream recipes than any other food lately. Evidently, I’ve had a yearning to experiment with ice creams, but no ice cream maker. Thanks to my brother- and sister-in-law, however, that void has been filled!

homemade buttermilk ice cream topped with olive oil

Homemade buttermilk ice cream topped with olive oil

I’ll be honest; I very nearly did not share this recipe. Why? Because most folks will take one quick glance at the ingredients list and run screaming into the night.

This ice cream is not for the faint-hearted: It is mind-bendingly rich. Orders of magnitude creamier than anything you could possibly find at the grocery store. Ben and Jerry themselves would weep if they tasted it.

It is also the perfect medium for non-traditional ice cream toppings, such as olive oil, good salt, balsamic vinegar (works great for cutting the richness,) cacao nibs, black chia seeds – you name it.

The egg yolks and sucanat lend a wonderful, golden-yellow color to this concoction, and the vanilla bean seeds flecked throughout make it even lovlier.

Let’s get to it. Less reading, more making, more eating!

Buttermilk Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: About 2 quarts


(Brace yourselves.)

  • 2 cups heavy cream (raw, organic, grass-fed preferred)
  • 1 1/4 cupsucanat
  • 6 to 12 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups buttermilk (again with the raw, organic, et cetera, preferred)
  • 2 tablespoonsorganic, pure vanilla extract, vanilla bean crush, or the scraped seeds from one vanilla bean
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (if using store-bought buttermilk, probably not needed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

A word about the egg yolks; you’ll want at least six, but you don’t need to go the full twelve. Twelve eggs yolks here will not only blow your socks off and cross your eyes with their rich decadence, but they may also spoil your taste buds for other ice creams. Go with your gut. I like 8.

If you don’t have any sucanat on-hand, then by all means use another sweetener; I think honey would work really, really well in this! If you must go with refined, white sugar, alas; do as you must.


Since I’m using my own eggs (yick, that sounds horrible!) eggs from my own chickens, I don’t feel a pressing need to cook them to kill off potential pathogens. However, if you’re using commercial eggs, you’ll want to cook your ice cream batter. Both methods are described below.

Using trusted eggs:

Whisk buttermilk, sucanat, and egg yolks together in a large bowl until the sucanat has dissolved. Add the other ingredients, whisking until everything is well combined. Add to your ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Using commercial eggs:

In a large saucepan, combine the cream and one cup of sucanat. Bring to a point just below simmering over medium-ish heat, stirring now and then to prevent scorching.

While that is coming up to heat, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sucanat, until the sucanat begin to dissolve.

Take one ladle of the hot cream mixture and slowly add it to the egg yolks, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t clump and clot. Repeat twice for six egg yolks, thrice for more, whisking all the while.

Add the egg mixture back to the cream mixture, whisking your little heart out to ensure it’s not clotting.

Over low heat, cook the mixture to the consistency of a thin pudding. Then, remove from heat, and whisk in the buttermilk, olive oil, vanilla, and salt.

Allow the mixture to cool to a non-fridge-melting temperature before popping into the fridge to chill completely. Add to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you haven’t tried a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of crunchy sea salt on ice cream yet (despite my repeated urgings, darn it!) this is a great one to try it on. Balsamic vinegar on top of that will help you deal with the face-melting richness. Try it on one little spoonful! And if you do, please let me know how you like it.


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