Buttermilk Ice Cream

As you probably know from following any social media outlet at all over the weekend, it’s National Ice Cream month!  Sunday the 19th was National Ice Cream Day and it should come as no surprise that it’s a holiday we wholeheartedly endorse.  I am such a huge fan of homemade ice cream, so today seemed like the perfect day to share a recipe for a simple and delicious buttermilk ice cream.  If that sounds strange to you, imagine cheesecake.  This ice cream has a slight tang and mild sweetness reminiscent of the perfect creamy cheesecake, which makes it perfect along side fresh fruit.  

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Berry Sauce in homemade cones

I find that quite often I buy buttermilk for one recipe or another and end up with an unused portion in my fridge that ends up getting thrown away eventually.  Don’t do that.  make ice cream instead.  

Buttermilk Ice Cream Batter

This is a custard based ice cream, which means it has a cooked egg base.  Like any normal custard-based ice cream recipe, you’ll heat up your milk (or buttermilk) cream, and sugar, and then temper your eggs.  This recipe uses turbinado sugar, also called “raw sugar” and it gives it a beautiful warm color and flavor.  Turbinado sugar is coarse and caramel color and you can find it in the baking aisle of the store.  I put it on top of most of my baked goods because it gives them a sparkly crunch!

raw suar

Once the eggs are cooked through you chill the mixture before you pop it into your ice cream maker.

Tempering Eggs for Buttermilk Ice Cream

 Now, every time we post about ice cream we get questions about ice cream makers.  If you don’t have one yet, it really is a fun thing to have at home and there are a lot of reasonable options for different budgets.  This is a great, inexpensive basic ice cream machine.  If you’re ready for a step-up from that, Kate and I have both had this one, and it’s fantastic. If you have a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, they make an ice cream bowl attachment.    And if you’re really serious about ice cream like I am, I recently saved up my pennies and bought the Breville ice cream compressor, and it’s pretty amazing.  

There are honestly few things in this world that compare to a creamy homemade ice cream in a buttery homemade waffle cone.  You can get the recipe and tutorial for homemade cones, here!

Homemade Waffle Cones

This ice cream is so simple, yet so perfectly distinctly unique.  I added a couple of fresh vanilla beans as well and I love the little speckles they add.

We topped this batch with a fresh fruit sauce made from some pureed berries and a heaping spoonful of our favorite fresh berry jam and I might say, it was perfection.

Buttermilk Ice Cream in Homemade Cones

Speaking of perfection, has anyone seen my Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream in stores still?  I am dying to find some but I think it’s all sold out in Idaho and I’m so sad!  I wanted so badly to stock up last fall and instead I had a baby and forgot about pretty much everything else, including ice cream.  Which is okay.  But I still wish I had some of that!

Buttermilk Ice Cream from Our Best Bites

What’s your favorite flavor of homemade ice cream?  We have quite the collection ourselves, check them out, here!

Buttermilk Ice Cream

A rich and creamy ice cream with a flavor similar to cheesecake. This pairs beautifully with fruit!


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup raw/turbinado sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Equipment needed: Ice Cream Maker


  • Chill medium size metal bowl in freezer until cold, about 1 hour (optional, but helpful.)
  • Whisk yolks in another medium metal bowl. Combine cream, sugar, and salt in large saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk half of hot cream into egg yolks, then return mixture to saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until custard thickens and coasts back of spoon when finger is drawn across, 2-3 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat.
  • Pour cold buttermilk into reserved chilled bowl. Strain custard into buttermilk; whisk. Whisk in vanilla. Chill mixture uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
  • Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to freezer container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.


  • Grocer Tip: Raw sugar, or turbinado sugar, is coarse in texture and caramel in color. It adds a beautiful tan color to this ice cream and adds a warm hint similar to brown sugar. Find it in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!




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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I’ve got some demerara sugar. It’s got that same caramel color as turbinado but a larger grain size. Would it work in place of the turbinado sugar?

  2. I got some of your Huckleberry ice cream last year in Fruita, CO! It was amazing! My family just moved from CO to the Boise valley, so I’m bummed to hear it’s sold out here 🙁 I have started using Buttermilk Powder almost exclusively for when I need buttermilk to bake with because of not being able to use all of the liquid stuff fast enough, do you know if it would work ok for this, or if I should just go get a pint?

    1. Normally I would say powder would be totally fine in most recipes, but for this one I would definitely go grab a pint of fresh 🙂 Also, welcome to Boise! I wish you could have brought some of my huckleberry ice cream with you! haha

  3. I need your opinion. I own a kitchenaid mixer and would be up to purchasing the attachment. Have either of you used it? You both have the cuisinart and you both loved that. Do you have a recommendation between the two? I am going to get one of them on Amazon tomorrow. Just need some advice from the experts!

    1. I have only seen and heard about it, but I’ve never used it! Sorry I’m not much help!

  4. I still need to invest in an ice cream maker!
    Also, my local Fred Meyer (Vancouver, WA) still has the Huckleberry Pie ice cream… just a few hours south of where you’ll be on Thursday!

    1. Correction: …just a few hours south of where you’ll be on FRIDAY!!

      I mixed up my days… I just knew I couldn’t make it because of my son’s cub scout camp! I’m so bummed to not make it this time!

  5. I use a basic ice cream recipe, but use Egg Beaters instead of cooking the eggs. Egg Beaters go through double pasteurization so they’re safe to consume raw, but still give that silky texture and takes less prep time which means I’m eating ice cream sooner.

  6. This looks awesome!

    I saw your ice cream the other day at Fred Meyer here in Grants Pass, Oregon! That stuff is so good! Dang those babies making us forget all the important stuff! Haha!

  7. I’m still buying the Huckleberry Ice Cream here in Ogden, UT! It’s by far my favorite flavor!

  8. I had the huckleberry ice cream a couple weeks ago. It was really good. I found it at Kroger in Dallas.

  9. You can freeze leftover buttermilk too… Not that making ice cream is a bad option, just you know, in case you needed one more thing to do with it.

  10. Did I miss the amount of ice cream this makes? It sounds good but how could this be adjusted to make a 4 qt freezer full for a crowd? I’m a Texan & as you may know, we don’t do anything in a small way here. Thank you.