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Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Caramel swirl chocolate chip ice cream has a creamy egg custard vanilla bean ice cream base, swirls of homemade caramel sauce and mini chocolate chips. It’s the perfect frozen dessert for summer!

Let’s play Food Blog Jeopardy! What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? Play along. 😉

“I’d like “Scream Makers” for $500 please, Alex.”

Here’s the question:

It’s swirled, it’s creamy, and oh so dreamy.

What is Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?

*DING DING DING* You are correct!

Chocolate Chip Caramel Swirl Ice Cream from @itsyummi - A creamy cold frozen dessert recipe.


Chocolate Chip Caramel Swirl Ice Cream from @itsyummi - A creamy cold frozen dessert recipe.

I used a whole vanilla bean in the egg custard base for this ice cream, giving it adorable flecks of color and flavor.

Of course, I needed a bit of chocolate in it too. Because, let’s be serious for a minute, it’s not possible for me to go without chocolate at some point in the day. And when I made this ice cream, I hadn’t ingested my daily dose of chocolate chip cookies yet. So there’s that.

Chocolate Chip Caramel Swirl Ice Cream from @itsyummi - A creamy cold frozen dessert recipe.

Because I wanted to swing this bad boy homemade ice cream over the top of indulgence, caramel sauce was an easy answer. Not just any caramel sauce, though… it’s homemade caramel sauce. It’s the very same caramel sauce that I use when I make Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Banana Bread, and I also use it in my Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies.

You’ll receive no judgement from me if you decide to buy store bought caramel sauce, or use my recipe for Microwave Caramel Sauce. I just like to avoid extra chemicals when I can. I also think making caramel is fun!

Wait… To reduce the risk of an ice cream headache, you should enjoy your ice cream with a warm chocolate peanut butter cookie.

The chewiest, most chocolate loaded cookies I've ever eaten. They're extreme chocolate peanut butter cookies!


I hope you enjoy this caramel swirl chocolate chip ice cream recipe.

How to Make Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Homemade Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This creamy vanilla bean ice cream is loaded with mini chocolate chips and a swirl of sweet caramel sauce.
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Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 vanilla bean split and 'caviar' removed or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 vanilla beans 
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (recipe shown below)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or 1/3 cup standard size chocolate chips


  • Heat half-and-half and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, adding vanilla bean “caviar” to the mixture. (You can also add the scraped vanilla bean to the pan for extra flavor, but be sure to discard the bean before moving to the next step.) Turn off heat when mixture is heated through, but not boiling.
  • Beat egg yolks with a whisk or an electric mixer until pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the egg yolks by SLOWLY drizzling 1/2 cup of hot half-and-half mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolk/half-and-half mixture back into the pan containing the rest of the half and half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat until quite thick, stirring constantly. You will know the custard is ready when it reaches 185 degrees F. or coats the back of a metal spoon.
  • Strain custard through a fine mesh sieve to remove any possible pieces of cooked egg, then pour into bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine and refrigerate until chilled completely.
  • Prepare in an ice cream maker per manufacturers directions. Add chocolate chips and caramel sauce to machine during last 10 seconds of processing.
  • Place container in freezer until ice cream is frozen, approximately 4-6 hours.
  • For the Caramel Sauce
  • Heat sugar on moderately high heat in heavy-bottomed 2 or 3-quart saucepan. As sugar starts to turn liquid, stir gently with a silicone whisk or wooden spoon. DON'T OVER STIR! Just let the sugar work its magic and stir from time to time to assure that the sugar on the bottom doesn't burn.
  • As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, STOP STIRRING. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on, but don't stir. Note: This recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted or you have large clumps of sugar, turn the heat to low and let it sit untouched...the clumps should melt. Next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, OR start with lower heat to help sugar cook more evenly.
  • As soon as the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color, like an old copper penny), immediately add butter and whisk until butter has melted.
  • Remove from heat, count to three, then slowly add cream to the pan and whisk to incorporate. Note: When you add the butter and cream, the mixture will foam up considerably.
  • Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar or other heat proof container and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding to the ice cream.
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

titled photo collage (and shown): Caramel Swirl Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
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Chocolate Chip Caramel Swirl Ice Cream from width=



Chocolate Chip Caramel Swirl Ice Cream from

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  1. Oh, great, now I need an ice cream maker. I can see from this recipe that it’ll be worth my while, though.

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