Blackberry brown sugar buttermilk ice cream: A perfect swirl of smooth and tart blackberry sauce rippled through sweet buttermilk ice cream – could you possibly ask for a more summery frozen treat??

Before last summer when I made these blackberry oatmeal pie bars, I didn’t think I liked blackberries. And that was solely based on the fact that I wasn’t a fan of raspberries.

And that was based on the fact that I don’t really like the tough seeds that raspberries contain. I’m slightly ashamed to admit to this picky way of thinking to you guys (though Kyle will tell you that I am actually a picky eater – ??) but I quickly found out that baking and puréeing fixes the tough seed issue.

And so this blackberry brown sugar buttermilk ice cream was born in my head!

A perfect swirl of my smooth and tart blackberry sauce ripples through sweet buttermilk ice cream and together, the two blend beautifully. I’ve been looking forward to making buttermilk ice cream for AGES and I finally came across a recipe that appealed to me.

What turned me away from the recipes I’d passed over was one thing: eggs. Most of the recipes I came across were either eggless recipes or they only contained a few eggs. I wanted a recipe with a good ratio of eggs to cream to buttermilk.

And the reason for that is that the buttermilk I’m able to find in grocery stores is naturally low-fat so in order to create a creamy buttermilk ice cream, the fat – which dictates ice cream’s creaminess – had to come from somewhere else: eggs. Normally, my ice cream recipes include both heavy cream and whole milk but since I replaced the whole milk with buttermilk in this recipe, I stripped out a good portion of the fat.

To their credit, the eggs do their job here! This blackberry brown sugar buttermilk ice cream is suuuper creamy, thanks to its SIX egg yolks, and the brown sugar adds a bit of extra sweetness. I absolutely ADORE the flavor of the brown sugar ice cream base with the blackberry swirl – it’s lovely!

Scooped into an old fashioned sundae glass and topped with a little hot fudge, could you ask for a more delightful late-summer ice cream treat?

I think not!

Blackberry Brown Sugar Buttermilk Ice Cream

  • Prep Time: sauce: 35min (active) + 4hrs (inactive chill time) | ice cream: 20min (active) + minimum 12hrs (inactive chill time)
  • Cook Time: 15min (sauce) + 10min (ice cream base)
  • Yield: about 1 ½ quarts


The addition of the brown sugar in this recipe is a happy accident on my part.  I had forgotten that I was completely out of white sugar when I started the recipe but I’ll never make this ice cream again with anything but brown sugar in the future.


For the blackberry sauce:
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp lime juice

For the ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cup brown sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract or half a vanilla bean, scraped and simmered with the cream
Pinch of Kosher salt


  • 01

    To make the blackberry sauce: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, stir the blackberries, sugar, and lime juice together. Simmer the berries for 15, until they have softened and have started to burst, aided by some occasional mashing with the back of a spoon. Allow the mixture to cool down for 30 minutes. Transfer the berry mixture to a blender and purée until relatively smooth – it won’t be completely smooth because of the seeds. Press the mixture through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl; discard the waste in the sieve.  Cover and chill the blackberry sauce completely.

    The sauce can be done 2-3 days in advance.


  • 02

    To make the ice cream: In a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat, stir the heavy cream and one cup of the sugar together until uniformly combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Meanwhile, lightly whisk egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup of sugar together in a medium bowl. If you have a silicone pot holder or baking mat, place the bowl on top of that to prevent it from skipping around in the next step.

    Remove the saucepan from the heat and using a ladle, slowly drizzle a ladle of the cream mixture into the yolks, whisking it constantly while you drizzle to keep the eggs from curdling. Repeat 3 more times to warm up the yolks and then pour the yolk mixture back into the cream in the saucepan, again whisking constantly. Cook over low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and salt.

    Allow the mixture to cool to almost room temperature then cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool completely (overnight is best to allow the flavor to meld).

  • 03

    Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according manufacturer’s directions. Scoop the ice cream into an airtight, freezer-friendly container.

    Dollop the blackberry sauce by the tablespoonful into the ice cream and swirl it around with a knife. Serve immediately as soft-serve or freeze until completely firm, about 6-8 hours.

Smells Like Home original | buttermilk ice cream recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Leave a Comment

  • tanya1234
    August 28, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    looks easy to do

  • August 28, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    This looks so delicious. I will give it a try. Currently I am making peach icecream as we got a bunch of peaches at a farm and I chopped them and froze them. I have never used buttermilk in my icecream, can’t wait to try it!

  • August 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Oh, this sounds delicious! I love blackberries. Can’t wait to make it!

  • jmbh
    August 28, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I literally bought buttermilk to make buttermilk ice cream last night. Now I have a recipe to go with the craving!

    • August 28, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      jmbh: It’s a SK recipe – how could you possibly go wrong??

  • August 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    big time drool. Can I have this for breakfast? Such great flavors all in one!

  • August 28, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    This ice cream sounds lovely! Yum!

  • August 28, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    What a wonderful flavor combination! Definitely would disappear in no time around here!

  • This sounds absolutely amazing!! The buttermilk-brown sugar combo is genius – I hope I’ll be able to snag some blackberries to make this before the end of summer!

  • August 28, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    What a gorgeous creation!

  • August 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    As my mother has always said – “necessity is the mother of invention”. So glad you were out of white sugar. Each component of this ice cream is complimentary to the other. Brown sugar makes everything just a little bit better. Add the tang of buttermilk and you have a deliciously balanced ice cream. Bravo!

  • August 28, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    So gorgeous!

  • Monika
    September 10, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    OMG! My heart literally stopped for few moments when I saw the first photo:) Heaven!
    Just discovered your blog today. Got email from Google+ about 3 Top posts – God, do they know me well….