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Sweet Corn Ice Cream

It is Sweet Corn season in Minnesota and this year it’s incredible. My friend’s family has an organic corn farm and he delivered dozens of ears to me, which I have made into corn chowder and this brilliant Sweet Corn Ice Cream. The taste of corn can be easily overpowered, so keep it simple. Nothing more than a bit of sugar, a touch of honey, lots of cream and a dash of vanilla.

To get the right consistency I make a custard base and add a blob (technical term) of cream cheese. The most important ingredient is the corn, of course. Pick the sweetest corn you can find, and if your friend delivers straight from the farm even better. The ice cream is perfect on a cone, covered in caramel sauce, sandwiched between cookies or scooped over apple crisp. 

Thank you Patrick and the growers at Rodning Heirloom Farms who grew the corn and made this ice cream so delicious! 

You can watch me make this ice cream in my Instagram Video and recipe below.

sweet corn ice cream / ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François
sweet corn ice cream / ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

Caramel makes everything better! 

Caramel Recipe If you make ahead, you may need to warm it slightly to pour over the ice cream.

sweet corn ice cream / ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

I suggest you pour it over a bowl! 😉

sweet corn ice cream / ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François
Sweet corn ice cream cone with caramel topping

Sweet Corn Ice Cream

This Sweet Corn Ice Cream is truly brilliant. The taste of corn can be easily overpowered, so keep it simple. Nothing more than a bit of sugar, a touch of honey, lots of cream and a dash of vanilla. Inspired by Melissa Clark's recipe at the New York Times.
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Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 1 quart (approx)


  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 12-oz (354-ml) can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 cups corn kernels from about 4 ears sweet corn, reserve the corn cobs
  • 2 sprigs lemon thyme optional
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (113g) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Caramel Sauce

  • 2 cup (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup (100 grams) of the sugar, honey, corn kernels, reserved cobs, and thyme if using. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Once it simmers, remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let the corn steep in the cream mixture for at least an hour (the longer you can let it sit, the more saturated the corn flavor will be).
  • Discard the corn cobs and thyme sprigs. Purée the mixture with an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, then remove from the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar. Whisk a small amount of the hot cream into the yolks, adding enough to warm the yolks so they won’t curdle. Once the yolks are warm, whisk them back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the custard over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream cheese and vanilla.
  • Strain the custard through a fine sieve set over a large bowl, pressing down on the corn solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. To cool the mixture down quickly, place the bottom of the bowl of custard into an ice bath and cover with plastic wrap. Once the mixture has cooled, chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  • Freeze the custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve scoops drizzled with Caramel Sauce.


  • In a medium saucepan, sprinkle the sugar in an even layer. Pour 1/4 cup water over the sugar and add the corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the caramel becomes a deep amber brown and starts to smoke. Carefully pour in the cream and whisk until smooth. Let cool. If you make the sauce ahead, you may need to warm it slightly to pour it over the ice cream.
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Note: Scoop the ice cream while it is still slightly soft from the ice cream maker, or if you’ve frozen it ahead, let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before scooping so it’s really creamy. Dipping your ice-cream scoop in hot water between scoops will make the process easier.
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7 thoughts to “Sweet Corn Ice Cream”

  1. Hi! I make homemade ice cream frequently and use whole milk not evaporated milk. Could I do that with this recipe? I can’t wait to make. Thanks Zoe!! Love your show!

    1. Hi Noreen! Evaporated milk has less water content, so Zoe is a little hesitant to recommend using whole milk instead because without some other means to remove some of that extra water, the end result could be a bit crystallized. If you do try it, this might be one of those times where you need to serve it more like soft serve so it doesn’t get too hard and crystallized. Please let us know how it goes either way!

  2. What is the yield for the ice cream? I’m trying to scale this to complement a cake I’m making. TIA!

  3. This had to be your most intriguing recipe for me. I can’t wait to try it. There’s nothing like homemade ice cream and you had me at caramel. I love making it from scratch! It’s the next best thing to lemon curd. Thank you again for sharing your talent!

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