This 3 ingredient dulce de leche ice cream has a classic vanilla base layered with ribbons of thick caramel. This recipe requires no ice cream machine or special tools and is the perfect easy dessert.
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If you've ever had no churn ice cream before, you know it's super simple to make without any fancy tools or gadgets.
And whether you're making the caramel yourself, or grabbing a can at the store, it's the easiest and most delicious addition to swirl into the vanilla base.
Here are the three ingredients you need to make this ice cream:
- dulce de leche
- heavy cream
- vanilla extract
See recipe card for quantities.
Dulce de Leche
With origins in Argentina, dulce de leche is a thick caramel originally made with reduced sugar and milk.
Variations of this sweet sauce can be found all accross the globe, with names like cajeta, confiture de lait, manjar blanco, and more!
You can find dulce de leche at most grocery stores, online, and even make it yourself with just a can of sweetened condensed milk.
Prep the dulce de leche. Add the dulce de leche to a bowl with a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk until smooth and creamy.
Whip the cream. In another large mixing bowl, whisk several tablespoons of the dulce de leche mixture in with the remaining heavy cream and all of the vanilla extract and beat until soft peaks form.
Reminder: make sure to use a container that is safe for the freezer. Freezer safe containers include (but are not limited to): aluminum pans, plastic boxes, glass Pyrex).
Layer the ice cream. In a freezer safe container or loaf pan, gently add a layer of the whipped cream mixture, then swirl gently with a spoonful of the dulce de leche mixture.
Continue this until the pan is full, finishing with a final layer of caramel. Top with flakey salt if desired.
Cover and freeze for 4+ hours before enjoying!
As with most ice cream recipes, the add ins are the best part! Because dulce de leche ice cream has such a broadly sweet flavor profile, the sky is the limit when it comes to add ins.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Chocolate - mix in cut up pieces of chocolate bars and indulge in the caramel/chocolate paradise.
- Cinnamon - add a sprinkle or two of cinnamon to the heavy cream before whipping and infuse the ice cream with the sweet spice.
- Strawberries - fold macerated strawberries in with the dulce de leche when adding to the loaf pan for a fruity caramel ice cream combo.
What to Eat it With
Here are some of my favorite desserts to enjoy with this ice cream:
- Toss a scoop in a glass of Moroccan coffee or cold brew for an impressive Affogato
- With a cup of café con leche
- Topped with a few sweet fried plantains (maduros)
- Sandwiched between two cookies, like these oatmeal cookies, double chocolate cookies, macadamia nut cookies, s'mores cookies, or chocolate chip cookies
- Topped with this magic matcha shell
No Ice Cream Machine Needed
Heavy cream is the magic ingredient that allows us to make ice cream without an ice cream machine.
Its high fat content means no eggs or milk are necessary either, and the result is a deliciously rich and creamy ice cream that's sweetened with decadent dulce de leche.
For this recipe you won't need an ice cream machine but it does help to have an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream.
Store this ice cream wrapped air tight in the freezer for up to 1 month.