Burnt Honey and Basil Ice Cream

Burnt Honey and Basil Ice Cream

If you aren’t familiar with burnt honey, it is just caramelized honey, and it tastes amazing in this ice cream with a hint of basil. Think about it – caramelizing anything makes it taste better. Honey is no different! Just like a deep brown caramel, the burnt honey has a great bitter flavor that works so well with the creamy ice cream and a hefty pinch of salt. Basil is my favorite herb to use in ice cream, the sweet and grassy flavor is a perfect compliment to the deep caramel.

I am helping teach an ice cream class next week with Liquid Nitrogen so I was running some tests at my house this past weekend. You know I had to mess around with some fun new flavors though and not just stick with the boring tests! “Burnt honey” is a trendy flavor on dessert menus right now, and it sounds weird but all it really means is honey caramel. Heating up the honey gives it a nice bitter note and adds to the depth of flavor in the final product. Mixing in some basil and graham crackers brought everything together for what I think was one of the best ice cream flavors I have ever made!

Making the burnt honey

Heat the honey in a frying pan or pot until it darkens a few shades. It’s that easy!

burning the honey

Then whisk in the cream, sugar, and milk powder. If you have ever made regular caramel, it’s pretty simmilar.

whisk it up

Steeping the mixture with basil

Mix in milk and let it cool a bit. Then add in the basil and let it steep in the fridge for a few hours.

add the basil

Freezing the burnt honey basil ice cream

First remove the basil from the mixture. MAke sure it is nice and cold and then freeze it in an ice cream maker or with liquid nitrogen. As you can see below, I use liquid nitrogen most of the time because it is easy and quick and works better than most at-home ice cream machines. If you are looking for a good at home ice cream maker, I like this one.

freeze it with liquid nitrogen

Add the mix-ins

Make sure to mix in the graham crackers when it is still soft. The graham crackers get soft and create a great texture in the ice cream! The honey in the graham crackers also is a great balance for the bitter burnt honey in the ice cream. After you mix them in, get it into the freezer for an hour or so to firm up.

adding graham crackers to the burnt honey and basil ice cream

Serving the burnt honey and basil ice cream

I like this ice cream on a honey cone! You could also put it in a bowl with more graham crackers sprinkled on top. A chocolate drizzle would also be nice.

burnt honey and basil ice cream

Like I said this is one of the best flavors I have ever made.

burnt honey and basil ice cream

The honey makes it really sweet but there is enough salt to balance it out and the graham crackers add a nice texture to the mix.The basil is the most unexpected twist but it isn’t prominent in the mix, it is more of a background player that makes people stop and wonder what they are tasting.

Twists on burnt honey and basil ice cream

If you are unsure about the basil, how about using fresh mint instead? You also could just leave it out all together.

For more unique ice cream flavors, check out my upside down peach cake with basil ice cream, this maple habanero ice cream, or caramel corn on the cob ice cream!

Burnt Honey and Basil Ice Cream

Burnt honey, basil, and graham crackers make a unique bitter ice cream flavor that is as delicious as it is memorable.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
rest1 day
Total Time1 day 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Sweets
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 427kcal


  • 12 ounces honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dried milk powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 stalks basil
  • 1/2 sleeve graham crackers


  • Heat the honey in a frying pan and allow it to bubble for about 10 minutes on a medium high heat until it darkens and has a bitter deep caramel flavor. Remove from heat
  • Whisk the cream into the honey after it cools for 5 minutes. Add in the sugar, milk powder, and salt and whisk.
  • Pour the milk into a bowl and add the honey mixture to it. Stir well. Add the basil and allow to steep for at least 3 hours or as long as overnight.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Chill in your ice cream maker or with LN2. Mix in graham crackers while still soft. Freeze until hardened.
  • Serve.


Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 798IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. This ice cream looks all kinds of awesome! Love the idea of using burnt honey, can just imagine those deep caramel flavours working so well in ice cream.

  2. Can’t I just put the mixture in the freezer? Or the ice cream maker/ LN2 is essential?

    1. Hi Bernardo Phillips! I just made this without the LN2 or an ice cream maker! Instead I used this method from The Kitchn: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-124210
      I needed to break this recipe up into two batches with this method. Make sure to use a glass or ceramic bowl when you pour in the mix.

      As an aside, this ice cream was AMAZING! After 3 hours of steeping, the basil flavor wasn’t very strong, however, I wanted ice cream so I kept moving forward. At the end, I put some chopped fresh basil, strawberries, and a little finishing salt on top. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Hi there – this ice cream sounds amazing! But when I tried to make it, it refused to freeze. I just have an ice-cream maker, not liquid nitrogen. Any suggestions on where I may have gone wrong?

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