Sweet Corn Ice Cream is becoming more and more popular at summer events, for good reason! Though it sounds weird, it just WORKS. Recipes for several great toppings to go with it, included!
Originally published July 31, 2020, Updated on 5/14/2023
It was early on in our relationship, and I was just learning how much of a feral corn addict my new husband was. I'd like to joke that he could live on corn, every meal, every snack, endlessly... but I'm not entirely sure how much of a "joke" it would be!
It was that realization that led me down the path that would eventually culminate in a cookbook, "Maize Craze"!
For his birthday that year, I decided to make him a "day of corn".
Every meal, every snack... would involve corn.
Corn pancakes for breakfast, corn chips and corn salsa as a snack, you get the idea.
Honestly, some of the stuff I came up with - including the corn ice cream - came from a place of creative snark, more than anything.
Snarky or not, he LOVED it.
This homemade ice cream may have been a bit of a joke at first, but it was super tasty.
You wouldn't think that corn - a grain, and usually used as a savoury side - would make a delicious ice cream, but it really does.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Anyway, sweet corn ice cream is becoming popular at summer festivals and other events - a far cry from how bizarre people seemed to take the idea when I created this recipe!
So, not to sound like a gross hipster or anything, but... we were making Sweet Corn Ice Cream before it was cool to do so! 🙂
This recipe is actually for a frozen custard, more so than an ice cream - but the lines between the two have really blurred, in modern usage.
Sweet corn ice cream tastes like corn, but not in a savoury way, or even a “grain” way. It has a rich sweetness, and a great flavour.
I guess it shouldn’t be so much of a surprise that it works so well - think of how many recipes involve adding dairy products to corn, after all... Homemade Creamed Corn and Scalloped Corn being a couple of amazing examples!
Anyway, this delicious recipe is fantastic on its own, but also great served up in a waffle or sugar cone, and/or topped with one of my delicious toppings.
Keep scrolling to see the topping recipes - they’re in the post, as they didn’t really fit in the recipe card.
This recipe uses really simple ingredients that will be easy to find in any grocery store - when sweet corn is in season, anyway!
The ingredient amounts - as well as detailed instructions - are in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
Here are a few ingredient notes for you,though:
This recipe uses fresh corn cobs - the kernels from them, anyway.
While you could theoretically use frozen corn, the corn flavor won’t be as pronounced, and you may find yourself with a different texture.
Waiting until you’ve got in-season corn is going to give you the best results.
This recipe uses both heavy cream / heavy whipping cream, and whole milk.
If you need to use a plant based alternative - or just want to decrease the fat content - you can use a different types of milk.
Just know that you’ll have a different mouthfeel - not quite as thick and luxurious.
The use of the egg yolks prevents it from feeling too “thin”, though!
Rounding out this recipe, you will need:
... I just don’t have anything to add, for these last few ingredients!
In terms of special equipment, you can make this with or without an ice cream machine - I know plenty of people just freeze and stir the custard base in various ways - but to be honest... I'm way too lazy for that.
I just use an ice cream maker (This one is the model we have), and let it do its thing.
If this is your first time making ice cream and aren’t sure if you want to make the investment, the best way to do this is to dump the entire mixture of cooled custard into a large loaf pan, or other freezer container.
Stick it in the freezer, give it a good stir every once in a while, and you’ll end up with ice cream eventually.
In addition to that, you’ll want a large knife and a fine sieve - I use a fine mesh sieve.
This is what you’ll use to separate the corn pulp out of the mixture, once it’s given up its flavor to the custard.
Sweet Corn Ice Cream Toppings
Before I get to the recipe for my sweet corn ice cream, I want to talk about toppings!
This ice cream is great on its own, but - like most ice creams - toppings can really elevate it.
Here are a few quick recipes for toppings that I like to serve with this corn ice cream:
This sauce is particularly great served over sweet corn ice cream, or layered with sweet corn mousse for a unique and beautiful parfait!
Makes about 2 cups
2 cups Fresh or frozen blueberries
¾ cup Granulated sugar
⅔ cup Water
2 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
½ - 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Combine blueberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Turn the temperature down to low or medium-low heat and simmer until the blueberries have broken down into a thick sauce, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature before stirring in vanilla extract.
Transfer cooled blueberry sauce to a jar, chill until serving.
I like to use cashews, walnuts, or pecans for use on corn recipes, but feel free to experiment.
You can use almonds, peanuts.. pretty much any type of nut you prefer. Use just one type, or a mix of your favorites!
Makes about 1 lb
1 lb Nuts of choice
1 ¼ cup Granulated sugar
3 tablespoon Butter, melted
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine nuts, sugar, and melted butter in a large heavy sauce pan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar melts, turns golden, and coats the nuts - this will take between 5-10 minutes.
Divide nuts between the two cookie sheets, spreading loosely across each.
Allow the nuts to cool completely, store in an airtight container
Candied Bacon Dessert Topping
Not so much as a recipe, but a how-to. Use as much bacon as you think you'll need, and enough brown sugar to coat it!
Bacon (Ideally thick cut!)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C), line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, coat bacon slices with brown sugar.
Arrange bacon on the baking sheet, sprinkle with additional brown sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the desired level of crispy.
Allow to cool slightly, then crumble.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Salted caramel has been a popular flavour in the past few years, being used for almost any kind of dessert imaginable.
The rich flavour of the caramel, with a bite of saltiness works really well as a foil to creamy, corny ice cream.
This sauce keeps well in the fridge, and should be good for around 2.5-3 weeks- just warm and stir before serving.
Be absolutely sure that your butter and cream are at room temperature, or even a bit warmer - adding these as cold ingredients to the caramel can cause it to seize and turn into a crystallized mess.
Makes about 3 cups
2 cup Granulated sugar
¼ cup Light Corn syrup
1 ½ cups Butter, room temperature
1 cup Heavy cream, room temperature
1 tablespoon Sea salt
In a large saucepan combine sugar and corn syrup, bringing to a boil over medium-high heat.
Gently stir the mixture just until the sugar dissolves, trying not to splash much of it up the sides of the pot.
Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat down to medium and stop stirring - just swirl the pan gently, every once in a while as it cooks.
Use a candy thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the caramel as it begins to turn golden brown. Once it reaches 350 F (180 C), remove pan from heat and carefully stir in the butter - the mixture will bubble up somewhat violently at this point!
Continue stirring until all of the butter is melted and fully incorporated into the sugar mix.
Once butter is incorporated, slowly and carefully pour the cream into the pot, knowing that it will once again bubble up.
Stir well, until cream is completely incorporated, leaving you with a thick, smooth sauce.
Mix in the sea salt, allow to cool for 20 minutes or so.
Pour sauce into a glass jar(s) and allow to cool to room temperature before covering with a lid
More Sweet Corn Recipes
Fan of sweet corn? I’ve got more recipes for you, you’re sure to discover some new favorite ways to serve corn!
Beer Battered Corn on the Cob
Breakfast Corn Muffins
Hearty Corn & Black Bean Soup
How to Cook Corn on the Cob
Marie's Low Country Boil
Quick Sweet Corn Soda
Roasted Corn Chowder
Roasted Corn & Potato Salad
Roasted Corn Salsa for Canning
Roasted Corn Salsa Verde for Canning
Southwest Hot Dish
Sweet Corn Bruschetta
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta
Sweet Corn Relish
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Sweet Corn Ice Cream Recipe - With Optional Toppings!
- 3 Ears fresh sweet corn husks removed
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 8 Large egg yolks
- ¾ cup Granulated sugar
- 2 cups Heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut kernels off each ear of corn, placing the kernels into a food processor or blender, along with the milk. Discard cobs.
- Process corn kernels until they are rendered into small pieces. Pour into a medium saucepan.
- Heat corn and milk mixture over medium heat to just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Do not let it come to boil!
- Remove from heat, allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- Once mixture has steeped, run it through a fine mesh strainer, and into a clean saucepan. Discard solids (corn pulp).
- Heat mixture over medium just to a simmer once again.
- Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Cream mixture until fluffy, pale yellow, and smooth - you can use a hand mixer or immersion blender if you’d like, I just use a whisk.
- Add heavy cream and salt to the egg yolk mixture, whisk until well incorporated.
- Stream egg mixture into saucepan, whisking to incorporate. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens - it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and then chill thoroughly until ready to use.
- Follow your ice cream maker’s manufacturer's directions to freeze and churn custard mixture - depending on the size of the ice cream maker, you may need to do this in multiple batches.
- Keep any extra ice cream mix chilled in an airtight container until use - process into frozen custard within a day or two.
- Serve immediately for a soft ice cream, or transfer to a freezer-safe container and continue to freeze for at least 2 hours for a more firm ice cream.
More “Sounds Weird, but it WORKS!” Recipes
Got a bit of a sense of adventure in the kitchen? Here are some more recipes that sound weird, but actually work!
Canadian Candy Bar Salad
Cardamom Fig Pavlova
Crab Rangoon Pizza
Dill Pickle Gummy Worms
Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze
How to Make Haggis
Moon Mist Ice Cream
Moroccan Twist Salted Caramel Popcorn
Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars
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Spicy Southern Comfort Glazed Chicken