Salted Nut & Caramel Ice Cream

We have a friend from our Paleo meet up group that suddenly announced that she was moving out of town. As the ever-loving potluck hosts that we are, we immediately moved to organize a good bye party and asked her what the one request she had for party food. Her answer? Ice cream.

Well, sure. We can do that. The flavor? Surprise me.

In that case, an experiment. Why not combine our sweet caramel sauce (recipe here and in ELaD) with some salty nuts and throw that together with creamy coconut milk. The result was delicious!

Party goers who arrived early watched in anticipation as we put it together in the ice cream maker. A few hours later, they devoured a double batch in mere seconds.

Salted Nut and Caramel (Dairy-Free) Ice Cream


1/4 C chopped macadamia nuts
1/4 C chopped walnuts
1/4 C chopped almonds
1/4 C chopped Brazil nuts
1 Tbsp salt
Alternatively, buy salted nuts of your choosing anywhere

1/4 C warmed caramel sauce (we keep a batch in our fridge, so feel free to make ahead of time, just warm it slightly before adding to ice cream)

2 cans (about 26oz) coconut milk
4 soft fresh medjool dates
1 1/2 tsp good vanilla or hazelnut extract
Optional – adds thickness: 2/3 C raw cashews, preferably soaked for 4-12 hours but if you can’t wait plain raw will work


  1. ♥ Toss nuts with salt on a baking tray
  2. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Let nuts cool or chill in fridge after roasting
  4. ♥ Puree coconut milk, extract, pitted dates and cashews together until completely smooth (this took us almost 5 minutes)
  5. ♥ Add to prepared ice cream maker and watch with fascination as it churn for 10-15 minutes
  6. ♥ As ice cream begins to thicken, add nuts
  7. ♥ Pour in caramel in a thin stream to get a ripple through ice cream (when it hits ice cream it will likely harden to a brittle-like texture – this is perfect with the nuts!)
  8. When ice cream is finished (just a few minutes to incorporate additions), transfer to serving bowls immediately or let stand-up in the freezer for an hour or two and enjoy!

Invite your littles to help with the ♥ steps! Please note, if you save this ice cream in the freezer for more than several hours it will harden and need to sit-out 10-15 minutes before serving.

The result? Delicious! Who doesn’t love some salted caramel? The caramel hardens into a brittle-like texture, perfect with the crunch of roasted nuts and the cold creaminess of ice cream!

This recipe was inspired by Kelly at SpunkyCoconut. Her Dairy-Free Ice Cream book is PHENOMENAL and we’ve had lots of fun making her recipes and finding inspiration from her ingenious new cookbook.

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  • Hi Guys!
    What kind/brand of ice cream maker do you use? I’ve been dying to try a Paleo ice cream, but the maker I have doesn’t cut it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • This recipe sounds wonderful! I love the idea of combining salted nuts with the caramel! Yum!

  • Oh, how I wish I had read this before I gave in to the siren call of the last little bit of real ice cream in the freezer last night. At least I now have confirmation that dairy is not my friend after being pretty much paleo and dairy free this summer. Next time I get the craving for something creamy and frozen, I’ll be armed with your recipe!

  • Shirley @ gfe

    This recipe is yet another example of why you guys are the Most Loved People in Paleo!!! No kidding. Can’t wait to try this one!


  • I have been waiting anxiously for this recipe since you guys mentioned it a few weeks ago.  I CANNOT WAIT to try it.  Now, to go dig out the ice cream maker and the ingredients . . . 

  • Stephk

    Made this tonight and it was sooo good!  Thanks for sharing!

  • Carol

    Thanks for the great sounding recipe!  Looking forward to trying it!  Just wondering if canned coconut milk and boxed coconut milk are the same thing?  Newby alert…..

    • They are not. Canned is thicker and is used in cooking, not drinking. The boxed is formulated to approximate bovine milk.

  • I’m so late to comment on this post, but I’m so grateful to how wonderful you and Matt were to open your home and host my farewell party. And the ice cream was delish!!!

    • Not a problem, Rachel! We’ll miss you and it was great seeing you in your new habitat this past weekend!

  • I tried it and it came out too salty with 1tbsp of salt. Did I mess it up? I tossed the chopped nuts in the salt and roasted and then poured the whole thing into the ice cream.

    • It is supposed to be significantly salty. Although, perhaps there was excess salt that you poured in that was not on the nuts?

      • Thanks. I made it again and this time added salt later. It is so great! I can not rave about it enough! Thank you so much. My husband is in heaven 🙂

  • Any idea how this recipe would do in a traditional ice cream freezer? I would guess I would triple or quadruple the recipe…I need a non-dairy alternative for a family reunion this weekend! 🙂

    • I’ve only made it in the electric, but the concept is the same, so I don’t doubt it will still work.

  • Amanda

    Can 1 tablespoon salt be right? I put in the whole amount and it turned out so salty its inedible

    • You use the salt to coat the nuts, then roast them. Then you place only the salted nuts in the ice cream, not the excess salt.