Sweet Southern Belle Ice Cream Recipe

by Pamela

ice cream recipe, homemade ice cream, honey caramel, relationship advice

I know the weather is still a little cool, okay cold in some places, but I’ve had the worst craving for ice cream lately. And lactose intolerance be damned. I’m looking for the full fat, full moo juice and heavy cream stuff with eggs and all the trimmings. (Sorry Craig, but this is what they meant when you agreed to the vow “for better or worse.”)  I’m calling this irresistible frozen treat: my Sweet Southern Belle ice cream recipe. Why, you may be asking? It’s got all the makings of a genuine Southern Belle. It looks beguiling and sweetly innocent, but behind that facade you’ll find crunchy bits of sweet cornbread, ribbons of honey caramel with just a hint 😉 of Kentucky bourbon and it’s all swirled into a rich and creamy custardy base. Want some? Of course you do!

I really wasn’t too sure what kind of ice cream I wanted to make (yes, I crave homemade ice cream and not the store bought stuff – mine’s richer), so I put it out there into the Universe. Okay, I didn’t go quite that metaphysical on my quest for an ice cream flavor…I put it out to Twitter (so maybe Twitter isn’t quite the Universe…but for some people it is their whole world) in search of suggestions. While chatting with a couple of people, the suggestion (and then conversation) from @fayethorn set the wheels in my brain spinning by mentioning the cornbread and buttermilk combo.

You might be thinking that this sounds like a truly bizarre ice cream recipe, but is it really? Considering all those local ‘artisinal’ ice cream shops serving things like pork ice cream, chicken and waffles ice cream (yes, I posted it first and now someone is serving it up), beer infused ice creams, bourbon ice creams and the list goes on and on. So as  you can see, this really isn’t that weird. And is cornbread in ice cream really that different from crushed up waffle cones in ice cream?

Sweet Southern Belle Ice Cream Recipe

I’m a big believer of using a custard base when making ice cream, unless it’s a vegan ice cream recipe. This is the same custard base I used in the basil olive oil ice cream recipe from last summer. And for those of you that get freaked out by having to add the hot cream mixture to the eggs, and usually end up with a batch of ridiculously rich and runny scrambled eggs, I just make the custard by including the eggs with the cream…no mixing of dairy and eggs required (or scrambled eggs).

I think the honey bourbon caramel swirls might just be my favorite part of this ice cream. And you can only get an ingredient like this in homemade ice cream. Making caramel from honey is pretty much the same as making it from sugar, but the way it cooks is a little different. Since it’s already in liquid form (instead of solid sugar) it starts bubbling pretty early on and you can’t really see the color change like you can in traditional caramel making. So it’s a good idea to have a candy thermometer to make it. But if you feel lucky, you could wing it (or use the old fashioned water test method).

And how about that cornbread? I used my favorite box of Jiffy cornbread. I just love that stuff! Whatever cornbread recipe you use, it needs to be a bread that’s on the sweeter side (I wouldn’t use one that contains kernels of corn though). I baked it in a 9×13 pan, instead of an 8×8 pan so that the pieces wouldn’t be too thick. To keep them crunchy in the ice cream,you just brush the squares with a little melted butter, sprinkle them with some sugar and bake them until crunchy. Since you’re adding them to semi-frozen base and immediately freezing them, they don’t get soggy.

Oh yeah, the buttermilk part. Like I said earlier, this is my basic sweet cream ice cream recipe. Instead of using all whole milk, I used one cup of buttermilk and one cup of regular milk. I didn’t want all the tang of the buttermilk, just a little hint. But you could just use all regular milk if you like.

Cornbread and Borbon Honey Caramel Swirl Sweet Southern Belle Ice Cream Recipe

Break out that ice cream maker, screw the weather, and make up a batch of this Sweet Southern Belle ice cream. This is definitely an ice cream recipe you’re going to make again and again.

Sweet Southern Belle Ice Cream Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chunks of sweet cornbread and swirls of bourbon honey caramel in a sweet cream ice cream. It's pure Sweet Southern Belle bliss
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4

  • CrunchyCornbread
  • 1½ Cups Cornbread Cubes (1/2" cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar

  • Bourbon Honey Caramel
  • 1 Cup Honey
  • ¾ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ Cup Bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch Kosher Salt

  • Ice Cream
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk (or you can use 2 cups of whole milk and NO buttermilk)
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • Pinch Kosher Salt

  1. CrunchyCornbread
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  3. Lay out the cornbread cubes onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle the melted butter over the cornbread and stir it up to coat all the sides of the bread.
  5. Sprinkle the sugar over the cornbread and stir again.
  6. Toast the bread cubes in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes until crunchy.
  7. Stir up the cubes every 10 minutes, so that all sides get crunchy.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool.

  9. Bourbon Honey Caramel
  10. Add all ingredients to a heavy, medium sized sauce pan.
  11. Heat over medium high heat and whisk until it starts bubbling.
  12. Turn heat down to medium and insert a candy thermometer into the pan.
  13. Cook until temperature reaches 238 degrees Farenheit.* (*See notes at end of recipe.)
  14. Remove from heat and let cool.

  15. Ice Cream
  16. Add all ingredients to a heavy, medium sized saucepan.
  17. Heat over medium high heat.
  18. Stir and cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan and sugar is melted. DO NOT BOIL.
  19. Remove from heat and let cool.
  20. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the mixture and slide into the refrigerator until cold.
  21. Once completely chilled, pour into ice cream maker and process according to directions.
  22. Stir the cubed cornbread into the soft ice cream.
  23. Spoon the mixture into the container you'll be storing in the freezer.
  24. Pour or spoon some of the caramel over the ice cream as you spoon it into the container. By alternating ice cream and caramel, it will be swirled when you serve it.
  25. Chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.
* 238 degrees Farenheit will leave you with a fairly loose and liquid caramel that will freeze well. I cooked mine to 258 degrees Farenheit. This gave me a firmer caramel that was pliable at room temperature. I pulled it into large strips and layered them into the ice cream. Either way, you may have some caramel left over, unless you want loads of caramel in your ice cream. :) [/br] The caramel will freeze fairly hard (you don't have all the chemicals the commercial companies use to keep it super soft in their frozen ice creams). But it will quickly soften in your mouth. I'm just letting you know so you aren't surprised that the caramel is hard if you bite right into it immediately after spooning it into your mouth.


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Ursula March 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Good lawd! I think this might be a hit in my house. You had me sold at bourbon honey caramel!!

Pamela April 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Ursula…that caramel sauce is going to be making many more appearances on this site. I.PROMISE!

Faye March 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

Wow! You certainly flew with the idea I gave you! The honey bourbon caramel swirl sounds amazing! I’ll definitely have to try this!
Faye, aka @fayethorn

Pamela March 29, 2013 at 8:24 am

Thanks for the fantastic inspiration Faye! The honey bourbon caramel swirl would also be outrageously good poured over a stack of pancakes.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 27, 2013 at 5:48 am

If I’m going to take the time to make homemade ice cream it’s always going to be from a custard base. David Lebovitz’ The Perfect Scoop is my friend. or was until I saw this southern belle ice cream 🙂

Pamela March 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Maureen, you guys are going to love this stuff! Custard based ice creams are the best. 🙂

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