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Savory ice cream sauce ideas?


Anyone have some creative ideas for savory ice cream sauces?

The traditional sweet variety I can do without for this round of ice cream experimentation.

What I'd like is some ideas for ice cream sauces that are savory. I've thought of maybe making something with buttermilk and mint?


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  1. Soy or miso caramel (more umame) with green-tea ice cream?
    Unsweetened espresso sauce? w/ maybe a hint of lemon to be classic?
    Love the buttermilk idea; may need to break out some herbed toasted nuts for that one.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamachef

      Coffee or espresso is definitely on deck.

      1. re: toveggiegirl

        I'm wondering if balsamic vinegar on its own might be too overpowering in its one dimensional "sour" profile. Maybe I could blend it with something like mustard or tobasco sauce?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Balsamic with strawberries over ice cream, though not savory then.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            What about uing rhubarb with the balsamic (no sugar)? Tamarind or tomatoes could be interestin.
            Also, something based around garam masala, curry powder, peppercorns, or Chinese 5 spice powder.
            In terms of herbs, sage and lavender might work.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              i have been really enjoying an elderberry vinegar on ice cream at the moment. Obviously not simple to get your hands on, but i imagine a raspberry vinegar would be similar. Not sure if this reaches far enough into the savory for you though.

          2. Clarified butter blended with sweet cream (or whipped sour cream) with rosemary on a vanilla ice cream

            5 Replies
            1. re: todao

              I presume I should clarify salted butter? Would unsalted butter really add anything to the sweet or sour cream? The rosemary is a good idea.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Good question. I'd only use the butter to elevate the fat content of the brew. I think unsalted butter would prove to be more suitable but if you're up to the challenge I don't think it'd hurt to see how salted butter works cuz I've fallen short of the bulls-eye with these kinds of things before. Failure is my favorite way to learn :D

                1. re: todao

                  Failure is my favorite way to learn.

                  I am currently completely my bachelor's degree from Failure U.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    That's great. What I've learned to like about you is that you're courageous and not afraid to jump in to the foray when things sometimes get a little uncomfortable for others. As long as we stand close to the counter, handle sharp things carefully and don't burn down the kitchen we'll make it.
                    Many years ago my young son came to like eating burnt toast. He just dipped it into his orange juice. He's ready to retire ... he still likes it that way. I guess I leave a legacy of creating flavorful dishes without even trying.

                    1. re: todao

                      "What I've learned to like about you is that you're courageous and not afraid to jump in to the foray when things sometimes get a little uncomfortable for others."

                      Some (many?) here would actually find that as a fault of mine.

                      Regarding burnt toast and OJ. I like burnt toast with ... (get this!) ... ketchup.


            2. no need to make the sauce, it's already sitting in your pantry...sriracha ;)

              maybe do the balsamic as a caramel so it's not too sour.

              - red wine syrup
              - ginger & five-spice
              - chipotle & lime
              - spicy Thai peanut sauce
              - brown butter & sage
              - olive oil & peppercorn (think olive oil gelato)
              - creamy parm or pecorino & peppercorn
              - coconut milk-curry

              1 Reply
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Yes, ginger is definitely on the menu.

                Aside from your ginger and five spice, I'm thinking ginger with lemon juice/zest, ginger with peppercorn and ginger with midori sour.

              2. Pumpkin and the associated spices
                a pseudo mole w/ dark chocolate and chipotle
                a pseudo korma w/ yogurt, chilis, cardamom, coconut, cashews

                3 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  Hmm ... like a pumpkin pie sauce? That's so intriguing I'm going to have to play around with it.

                  Would I puree the pumpkin, strain, and infuse with nutmeg, ginger, etc.? Or maybe get some pumpkin and boil and then reserve the water for the sauce?

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Hmm, I didn't give it that much sauce but maybe along the idea of a runny pumpkin butter but w/out the sugar? Add a little apple cider to thin it? Not too much to give it too much sweetness.

                  2. re: chowser

                    I've used an ancho chile powder on Death By Chocolate ice cream to good effect. Some ancho and/or pasilla puree, mixed into a fudge sace, with a touch of cinnamon, would be fantastic.

                  3. some off the top of my head i would think of:

                    Balsamic reductions
                    curries (especially coconut ones)
                    matcha tea sauces
                    anything with coffee/espresso
                    masala based sauce
                    red wine reduction
                    spicy peanut sauce
                    bbq sauce
                    honey mustard

                    really you can make a ice cream to match any savory sauce you can think of!! i cant think of a single traditional sauce that wouldnt be able to find a matching ice cream

                    1. one more thought...a Guinness/dark ale sauce.

                      1. Maybe just some pretty pink or grey salt flakes? The pink is sometimes also amber.

                          1. Earl grey, black, or green tea reduction or herbal tea infusions.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: toveggiegirl

                              Tea is definitely an option, but I need to pair something with it to give it a stronger profile. Just tea by itself would probably get overpowered by the ice cream I think.

                              Maybe tea and Savory? Or tea and black pepper?

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I could see either of those working. Or Chinese 5 spice or star anise alone. So many flavours, so little time. ;-)

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Did you mention what flavor ice cream you're planning to make? It seems to me like there are a lot of great ideas here but that the flavor of ice cream might change what people suggest for a sauce.

                                  1. re: Adrienne

                                    Probably start with a basic vanilla.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Vanilla in particular i think would go really well with things like balsamic reduction, coconut curry, sweet and sour sauce, some sort of jerk-seasoned sauce, mole sauces, or maybe even a onion or tomato marmalade

                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                        I'm going to try a soy sauce dark chocolate combo with my ginger ice cream.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          mmm! i think a masala type sauce with alot of cinnamon and cloves would be delicious with ginger ice cream too

                                          1. re: mattstolz

                                            I'd prefer cinnamon and cloves with dark chocolate and ginger over soy sauce. Or maybe nutmeg.

                              2. A friend gave me a jar of her home made tomato jelly that had a pronounced flavor of cloves. It was good on english muffins but even better on vanilla ice cream.

                                1. I had a drizzle of saba (grape must reduction) with blueberries that was pretty great -- it leans towards the balsamic reduction, but different.

                                  Also fennel infusion is tasty. I used the fresh plant, not the seeds.