Luscious, cold, and made from all-natural ingredients. Caramel nice cream is an incredibly delicious, sweet, and guilt-free treat! Believe it or not, the base of this recipe simply consists of frozen bananas blended with a bit of cream (or plant-based milk). The result is the smoothest, creamiest frozen dessert, perfect for the hot summer weather!
This caramel nice cream recipe actually has two primary components. The first component is the decadent nice cream base.
The second component is the rich "caramel" which is simply a bit of nut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and flaky sea salt whisked together with some water until a smooth, amber-colored caramel sauce is formed. The sauce and nice cream are then joined to form this incredibly delectable dish.
Many people (especially kids!) prefer to eat their nice cream with different toppings of varying flavors and textures. I strongly recommend spooning some simple stewed pears on top before serving!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Nice cream is a clean, plant-based version of ice cream that is formed by blending frozen banana slices.
- This frozen dessert is definitely a healthier alternative to traditional, processed sugar-filled ice cream.
- Create the luscious caramel sauce using just 5 simple ingredients.
- The smooth nice cream base requires minimal prep time.
- Salted caramel nice cream is a great choice for those who adhere to a gluten free diet.
- You can even make this caramel sauce as a drizzle for other yummy desserts (think pound cake or pie).
- To jazz up this treat, indulge in flavorful toppings such as coconut shreds, chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, chopped fruits such as strawberries or apples, dark chocolate chips, or melted dark chocolate. My personal favorite is granola for some crunch.
- Summertime calls for light, frozen desserts. Nice cream with caramel sauce is perfect after indulging in a heavier meal such as Rigatoni Al Forno, Spicy Adobo Chicken, or Cacio E Pepe Ravioli.
- Bananas: You definitely want to select bananas that are ripe as they will be sweeter. The bananas should be a solid yellow in color (no green whatsoever), soft, and show the beginnings of some brown spots on the skins.
- Nut Butter: Any type of nut butter is suitable for the caramel sauce. Peanut butter, almond butter, or even cashew butter would be very tasty.
- Maple Syrup: You can use honey or agave nectar if you don't have any maple syrup on hand.
- Cream: I recommend using real dairy cream as it lends a richness to the ice cream. If you are vegan, simply replace the cream with almond milk, rice milk, or just plain water!
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located on the recipe card below.
Health benefits of bananas
- Bananas are a great source of potassium. Potassium regulates blood pressure and helps the pregnant woman's body to maintain its muscles.
- Ripe, delicious bananas contain Vitamin B6. This important vitamin helps with the development of baby's nervous system and brain. Helpfully, vitamin B6 also helps to alleviate nausea and vomiting in pregnant mama.
- Bananas are also a source of fiber which is important during pregnancy because adequate fiber intake helps to lower the risk of diabetes, preeclampsia, and constipation!
- Plus, the carbohydrates in bananas will give you instant energy!
How to make salted caramel nice cream
Step 1: Peel, slice, and freeze the bananas
After peeling, use a sharp knife to thinly slice the bananas. The bananas should be about one centimeter (0.4 inches) in thickness. The smaller the discs, the easier the blending process will be. Freeze the bananas in a single layer, with no bananas overlapping, for a minimum of 6 hours.
Step 2: Prepare the caramel sauce
While the bananas are chilling, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Combine vanilla extract, peanut butter, maple syrup, and flaky sea salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk until totally smooth and no lumps remain. Add a splash of water to thin, if necessary. Set the sauce aside.
Step 3: Blend the frozen bananas
After the banana chunks have been adequately frozen, blend them using a high-speed blender. Add a small splash of cream to help the blending process. Start out with a low speed and then increase the speed gradually until no chunks remain and you have a smooth yet firm texture. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the nice cream into a glass food storage container and spread until level.
Step 4: Assemble the salted caramel nice cream
To assemble the final salted caramel nice cream, drizzle your homemade caramel sauce across the top of the nice cream. Use a flat knife, such as a butter knife, to gently swirl the sauce so that it penetrates into the nice cream below the surface. Top with optional toppings and serve immediately!
How to freeze the bananas
To avoid having the bananas freeze together in a clump, ensure that the banana slices are not touching during the freezing process. If the bananas are frozen together, it will be very difficult to blend the large mass.
If you don't have an over-abundance of freezer space (like me!), the easiest way to freeze the bananas without them touching is by laying the banana discs on a sturdy sheet of parchment paper, rolling up the paper, and then sliding the roll into a freezer bag. The video in the recipe card below demonstrates how to do this.
Freeze the bananas for at least 6 hours, up to overnight. The firmer the bananas are, the thicker the texture of the resulting nice cream.
- When blending the bananas, do not add too much cream or the nice cream will turn to liquid (which would not be so nice)!
- You can certainly use a food processor as an alternative to the high speed blender, but depending on the model used, you may find that some bananas escape being blended. Just be aware that this could result in some unblended banana chunks.
Vegan: The only non-vegan ingredient in this recipe is the dairy cream which thins out the banana nice cream. Simply replace the cream with water or plant-based milk to make this recipe vegan.
Salt: Instead of blending the salt into the caramel sauce, you can alternatively sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of each individual serving. This adds a bit of crispy texture.
Cinnamon: Add a sprinkle of cinnamon while blending the bananas for added earthy flavor.
How to make ahead
I recommend storing the nice cream in the freezer, in a covered, freezer-safe glass container. Retrieve the nice cream from the freezer approximately 15 minutes before serving so that it has time to soften slightly.
Frequently asked questions
This caramel nice cream does contain a bit of dairy cream. However, you can use a plant-based milk such as almond milk or even plain water instead of the cow's milk for a vegan nice cream.
Store the nice cream in the freezer, in a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid. For best results, store the nice cream for up to one month. Before serving, allow the ice cream to thaw for 15 minutes.
Related pregnancy dessert recipes
Caramel Nice CreamAuthor:
For the Nice Cream
- 4 large, sliced, ripe frozen bananas
- 1 tbsp cream or milk of choice
For the Caramel Sauce
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
- pinch of flaky sea salt
- splash of water
- Peel the bananas and slice them into thin discs, about 1 cm thick.
- Freeze bananas for at least 6 hours, up to overnight. Ensure that banana slices are not overlapping.
- Retrieve frozen bananas from the freezer and blend them using a high-speed blender. Start out at low speed and gradually increase speed as the bananas start to break down.
- Add a small splash of cream or milk, if needed, to aid the blending process. Do not add too much liquid.
- Once the frozen bananas are blended and no chunks remain, use a silicon spatula to spoon out the frozen nice cream into a sealable container.
- To create the caramel sauce, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Add water to thin, if necessary, until no lumps remain.
- Drizzle the caramel sauce on top of the nice cream. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the sauce so that it penetrates into the ice cream below the surface.
- Serve immediately, with optional toppings.
- The only non-vegan ingredient in this recipe is the dairy cream used to thin out the banana nice cream. Simply replace the cream with water to make this recipe vegan.
- Instead of blending the salt into the caramel sauce, you can sprinkle flaky sea salt on top of each individual serving. This adds a bit of crispy texture.
- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon while blending the bananas for added earthy flavor.
- When blending the bananas, do not add too much cream or the nice cream will turn to liquid.
- You can certainly use a food processor instead of a blender, but depending on the model used, you may find that some bananas escape being blended. Just be aware that this could result in some unblended banana chunks.
- To avoid having the bananas freeze together in a clump, ensure that the banana slices are not touching during the freezing process. If the bananas are frozen together, it will be very difficult to blend the large mass.