This simple yet perfectly balanced Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream is smooth and creamy. Delicious by itself, or as a base for chocolate chunks and swirls.

Looking for an easy brown sugar ice cream?

Ditch the white sugar and try this brandy brown sugar ice cream instead! Brandy brown sugar ice cream offers a warm, caramelly depth of flavor that plain white sugar just can’t compete with. Trust us, this homemade brandy brown sugar ice cream is the perfect grown-up twist on a classic – sophisticated, yet undeniably delicious.

We admit it. We have an addiction to making seriously delicious homemade ice cream and then spiking it with alcohol, like our spiked spicy mocha ice cream or our spiked potato and huckleberry swirl ice cream. But don’t worry. We’re not adding alcohol because we’re trying to get a buzz from our dessert. Rather, the alcohol creates a super creamy, scoopable texture with only subtle alcohol flavor. 

What Is Brandy Brown Sugar Ice Cream?

Brown sugar brandy ice cream is the perfect way to indulge your inner child while satisfying your adult palate. It’s got a traditional ice cream base made with egg yolks, heavy cream, and whole milk. But instead of using white sugar, we opt for dark brown sugar, adding a richer flavor profile. We also added real vanilla beans for an intense vanilla flavor to round out the other flavors in the base. Finally, we toss in a couple tablespoons of brandy for a hint of flavor and to create a super creamy texture. 

Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream | Kita Roberts

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • CARAMELIZED DEPTH – Forget plain vanilla! Brown sugar brandy ice cream boasts a deep, richly caramelized flavor that goes way beyond regular white sugar. It adds a complex sweetness that complements the boozy notes and creates a truly unique taste sensation.
  • GROWN-UP –This isn’t your childhood ice cream! The touch of brandy adds a subtle boozy warmth that elevates the flavor profile, adding a sophisticated touch that grown-ups will appreciate.

What You Need to Make Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream

  • Egg Yolks: These are the base for the custard that becomes the ice cream. They add richness and thickness and help bind everything together.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar adds a deep, caramelly flavor that’s much more complex than regular white sugar. It also adds a touch of moisture to the ice cream.
  • Heavy Cream: This adds richness, creaminess, and that luxurious mouthfeel we love in ice cream.
  • Whole Milk: This helps to thin out the heavy cream a bit and adds another layer of creamy texture and flavor.
  • Vanilla Bean: The vanilla bean adds a subtle vanilla flavor that complements the rich brown sugar and boozy notes from the brandy. You can also use vanilla extract in a pinch.
  • Brandy: A splash of brandy adds a touch of boozy warmth and complexity to the ice cream. But don’t worry. The flavor isn’t overpowering.

How to Make Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream

  • Whisk egg yolks and brown sugar in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk, and split vanilla pod (scrape out the insides). Heat, whisking occasionally, until simmering. Remove from heat, cover, and let vanilla infuse for 15-20 minutes.
  • Discard the pod, then heat the hot cream mixture again until steaming. Slowly whisk it into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it reaches 170°F or coats the back of a spoon.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, whisk in the brandy, and chill in a large bowl of ice water until cold. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Process in your ice cream maker, then transfer ice cream to an airtight container to freeze overnight. Enjoy your boozy, caramelly ice cream!

Expert Recipe Tips

  • When heating the milk mixture, take it slow and steady.  Use medium heat and whisk occasionally to prevent scorching. Remember, we want slow simmering, not a rolling boil.
  • Reaching the right temperature is crucial. Don’t skip the candy thermometer!  The custard needs to reach 170°F (or coat the back of the spoon) to thicken properly. An undercooked custard will result in icy ice cream, so be patient and let it cook through.
Ice cream in a pail |

How to Store

Homemade ice cream is best enjoyed fresh, but store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. The longer it sits, the texture might get a bit icy, so enjoy it within a week or two for peak creaminess.

Brown sugar brandy ice cream is the perfect marriage of rich, caramelly brown sugar, subtle vanilla bean elegance, and a touch of boozy warmth from the brandy. If you try this recipe, please rate the recipe card and leave a comment down below to help out the next reader! 

Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream

This simple yet perfectly balanced ice cream is smooth and creamy. Delicious by itself, or as a base for chocolate chunks and swirls.
4.86 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
ice cream
Author: Kita Roberts
4 hours 50 minutes
Serves: 1 Quart


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup brandy*


  • Whisk the egg yolks and brown sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine the cream and milk in a medium sized, heavy bottomed pot.
  • Slit the vanilla pod in half in lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scrape out the paste with the back of your knife.
  • Add the vanilla pod and paste to the pot.
  • Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture just starts to bubble around the edges.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Cover and let the mixture infuse for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the vanilla pod and discard. Warm the mixture again on the stove until steaming.
  • Slowly drizzle it into the beaten egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Return the combined mixture to the pot. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it registers 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Strain into a large bowl.
  • Whisk in the brandy.
  • Cool in an ice bath, whisking frequently to lower the mixture’s temperature. 
  • Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 4-6 hours.
  • Process mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. 
  • Transfer to a container and freeze overnight.


*To be honest, the recipe called for bourbon, but I didn’t have any so Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream was born 😉 .
Adapted From Slushed


Serving: 1g | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 209mg | Sodium: 40mg | Sugar: 20g

Nutritional informations provided as a courtesy and is only an approximatation. Values will changes based on ingredients used.

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Recipe FAQs

Yes! Follow these instructions for making ice cream without an ice cream maker:

  1. Follow the recipe and let it chill completely (at least 6 hours).
  2. Fill a large metal bowl with ice and salt (salt lowers the freezing point). Nest your smaller bowl of chilled custard inside.
  3. Grab your mixer or whisk and vigorously stir the custard in the ice bath. You’ll see ice crystals forming – that’s good! Keep going for 20-30 minutes until thickened (soft-serve consistency).
  4. Fold in your favorite mix-ins (chocolate chips, fruit, etc.).
  5. Pour the churned ice cream into a container and freeze for 4-6 hours. Since it’s not churned as much, let it soften for 5-10 minutes before scooping.

Since this recipe makes a great ice cream base, you can make all sorts of variations to get your perfect homemade ice cream. Here are some delicious options:

  • Adding caramel sauce while mixing in the brandy for decadent caramel swirls.
  • Add a dash or two of cinnamon to make brown sugar cinnamon ice cream.
  • Toss in some chopped chocolate, nuts, candy pieces, or anything else your heart desires.
    Brown Sugar Brandy Ice Cream in a galvanized pail | Kita Roberts


  1. I’m still in awe – I haven’t yet really taken out my bike for a real hard ride yet! Definitely deserving of this ice cream!

  2. Kita this looks delish! The photos are gorgeous!

  3. Well done! Its awesome that you’re able to ride on the road, and clearly you’ve got the mindset to push through, dig deep and rack up those miles!

    And then there’s this badass ice cream. Oh yes. Yes please.

    1. I don’t do road biking (yet). The thought of it scares the bejesus out of me. Mountain biking is where it’s at ;D

  4. Gosh! I get tired just by reading about your progress. I do the “think about something else” bit too when I feel like my legs are about to fall off their sockets … that seems to help a lot. Besides, if I get to come home and stuff myself with this ice cream …. I’d pedal faster 🙂

  5. You go girl! Great job! The ice cream looks fantastic.

  6. Good for you Kita!! It really is a great thing what you are doing. I find that I like running by myself more than with others. I find that it is easier for me to get into my own rhythm instead of like you said trying to keep up or slow down in some cases.

    This Ice Cream looks like the perfect treat for when you get home. YUM!

  7. Oh my – what a delicious ice cream! The flavors, the texture – can’t be beat! Love it!

  8. I love LOVE spin class but haven’t actually taken a bike out in the real world – definitely want to try it at some point but I’m scared a car will run over me!

    Anyway, love this ice cream. And I love that ice cream bucket! Definitely need to get me one of those.

  9. I’m about to make this ice cream for a second time. I made it the first time to use up a bunch of extra brandy. It is delicious and really easy to make

    1. Thank you Renada! I am glad that you are giving it round two (and heck yeah to the double dose of brandy!) ;D

4.86 from 21 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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