I planned a pizza night with my son and some friends. He requested Homemade Butterscotch Ice Cream for dessert. It took a bit of research but I found out that butterscotch flavor originally came from cooking brown sugar with butter. Sounded yummy. I found many recipes that used butterscotch flavoring but I wanted the real thing.

I love ice cream and have had great results with the Cuisinart Ice cream maker. I reviewed it here: Cuisinart ICE 30BB

Cookistry.com came through with a recipe they had adapted from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. This is an excellent recipe that has a rich, natural butterscotch flavor. I chose to make the version with egg yolks in a double boiler. My eggless versions can be cooked directly on the stove. You can switch out the butter, cream, and milk with coconut oil, coconut cream and coconut milk for a dairy free version. The flavor is not quite the same but it is still rich and delicious.

For fun, we added some whiskey to the homemade butterscotch ice cream for more flavor.

Boozy Homemade Butterscotch Ice Cream with Eggless and Dairy free versions
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons (50 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (227 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (473 ml )heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 ml) whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Scotch whiskey or Bourbon optional
  • for an eggless version substitute 2 Tablespoons of Birds Custard powder for the egg yolks
  • for dairy free use coconut oil rather than butter, coconut cream and coconut milk. The flavor will be impacted but it is still delicious and creamy.


  1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the cream and stir until smooth.
  3. Take the pot off the heat.
  4. Add the remaining cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds or vanilla extract and salt.
  5. Return to the heat and cook, stirring often, until steam rises from the pan.
  6. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
  7. One ladle at a time slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Keep adding cream mixture slowly, stirring constantly until about half the cream mixture has been add.
  8. If you trust your stove pour the yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly on low heat until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon.
  9. If you don't trust your stove or pans (mine is an induction range and the pots get very hot on the bottom. Put everything into a double boiler. (Mine is a bowl on top of a pot of boiling water) and cook, stirring until the mixture steams and coats the back of a metal spoon.
  10. For the Bird's Custard version whisk the custard powder with a small amount of the cold cream then slowly add the hot cream mixture. This does not need a double boiler. Cook it over low heat until simmering, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove the vanilla bean.
  12. Pour the custard mixture through a fine sieve if you suspect there are curdled bits. Chill 4-6 hours or overnight. Add scotch or bourbon if you are using it.
  13. Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's directions.
  14. Original recipe: Van Leeuwen "Artisan Ice Cream" Laura O'Neill, Ben Van Leewen, Pete Van Leewen and Olga Massov. Variations by Cookistry.com and TMG

Homemade Butterscotch Ice Cream Tips

In the first step; keep the heat high enough to have some browning of the butter. You can smell this happening. It adds depth of flavor.

Hot sugar is VERY hot!

You don’t need a fancy double boiler.

homemade double boiler. www.moderngillie.com
Homemade double boiler

Stirring constantly means all the time. No bathroom breaks or checking phone messages. Make sure your stirring helper understands this. When I was young I was the designated stirrer – gravy, cheese sauce, custard…you name it. I stood and stirred.

Custard mix coating spoon, www.moderngilllie.com
What does it mean when the recipe says “coats the back of a spoon” ? This. dip a cold spoon into the custard mix and the mixture should instantly thicken and not run off the spoon. Ice cream custard will not thicken as much as a dessert custard.

Don’t forget to pin this …

Boozy Homemade Butterscotch Ice Cream, www.moderngillie.com recipe for an ice cream classic with eggless and dairy-free versions.  #butterscotch #icecream #homemade #butterscotchicecream #madeathome #fearlessDIY

14 Replies to “Boozy Homemade Butterscotch Ice Cream with Eggless and Dairy free versions”

  1. I could wrap my hands a bowl around of this right now, my dad had a thing for ice cream and I followed suit, add some bourbon to the mix and we have the perfect dessert! Pinned for later, thank you for sharing :)
  2. Oh my goodness!! This is a treat in a cup:))). We have Friday night pizza as a tradition with the kids. But I can see myself indulging in a cup of this afterwards:))). Looks delicious
    1. Better than average bladder control. Necessary for the Queen’s household guard and custard stirrers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.