The Best Ice-Cream Sundae You’ll Ever Have (With Bourbon Caramel Sauce)

A scoop of creamy ice-cream is the loveliest way to end a long day, don’t you think? So when Dana of Minimalist Baker sent over her recipe for a killer ice-cream sundae you can make in less than 15 minutes, I nearly fell off my chair. Here’s how to whip one up…

The Best Ice Cream Sundae You’ll Ever Have
By Dana, author of Minimalist Baker and co-author of the new Charity Water E-Cookbook

There’s a lot I could say about ice cream, but let’s start with this: it’s my favorite. When I thought about sharing my ultimate sundae on Cup of Jo, all kinds of ideas swirled around my head—think over-the-top ingredients like homemade peanut butter cups, fudge ripples and banana-infused whipped cream. But when it came down to it, I stuck to the flavors that I know and love best.

My “ultimate sundae” features chocolate and vanilla ice cream from a local dairy here in Kansas, crushed salted peanuts, dark chocolate syrup, sliced banana, homemade whipped cream, and to top it all off, a homemade caramel bourbon sauce that’s probably the best condiment I’ve ever put in my mouth.

If you make this sundae, you simply mustn’t go without this sauce. It requires just a handful of simple ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes. Who knew such a small commitment could yield such a grand prize? Bottom line: the main focus here is quality ingredients. Source local ingredients where you can and keep it as fresh, simple and decadent as possible. After all, what would an ultimate sundae be without that?

Recipe: Ultimate Ice Cream Sundae with Caramel Bourbon Sauce
Makes 1 serving

You’ll need:

For the sundae:
1 scoop quality chocolate ice cream
1 scoop quality vanilla ice cream
1 tbsp. dark chocolate sauce
1 tbsp. crushed salted peanuts
1/4 banana, sliced
1/4 cup homemade bourbon caramel sauce (recipe below)
Homemade whipped cream, for topping

For the 15-minute bourbon caramel sauce:
1 cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. bourbon (we used Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey)
Pinch of salt (optional)

Scoop ice cream into a sundae dish, bowl or wine glass, and go wild with toppings. This is the ultimate sundae: go big or go home.

For the caramel sauce: Simmer sugar and ¼ cup water on medium heat, swirling pan (NOT stirring) for about 15 minutes, or until a deep amber color is reached. Then turn off burner, remove from heat and slowly add cream while stirring. Add pinch of salt and bourbon and place back on still-warm burner for another minute while stirring. Transfer to a heat-safe dish or bottle and let cool. Store covered in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature or heat in a warm water bath before serving.

How delicious does this look?! Thank you so much, Dana!

P.S. More best recipes, including salted caramel brownies and a chocolate ice cream (no machine required).

(Recipe and photos by Dana of Minimalist Baker. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. Jenni says...

    I made this sauce for Ice Cream Day yesterday. Oh my…. Sorry, I just trailed off reminiscing on the amazing-ness that is this Caramel Sauce. I love bourbon but usually hate caramel things because they usually taste flat and too sweet. This is a winner. Perfect with ice cream and a few salted peanuts. And I overcame my fear of boiling sugar. It was kind of a perfect day. Thanks!

  2. Is the dark choc sauce homemade or shop bought? I’m in Aus so your shop bought items might not be available to me…IT LOOKS AMAZING and I really want to try it :-)

  3. wow. it’s really a good contribution to us guys not good at icecream, you know i did some cakes before but the taste it’s not good, then i quit, so if you have interesting, you can load to Wedding Dresses

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  4. that iphone tripod is the best idea ever! i want one for myself!

  5. first of all, caramel = yum. secondly, bourbon caramel? stop.


  6. That looks too amazing! My mouth is watering now!!!!

  7. This is my kind of dessert and so easy.


  8. Oh dear God! That just made my mouth water like crazy! So hungry for that sunday right now.

  9. That’s the kind of desert that you want to indulge in when no one else is around.

    1. Because you don’t want to share…

    And, 2. because you don’t want to be seen inhaling it. Which I would. Absolutely delicious looking!

  10. Thanks for sharing! This is glorious. I wish I weren’t dieting…

  11. Yum! I STARTED my day off with a cookie-dough ice cream cone. You can get away with anything while you’re pregnant… :)

  12. I may or may not be drooling at the office….

  13. drooling…

  14. This caramel sauce looks delicious!

  15. OMG. That sauce sounds incredible!

  16. Just emailed friends to organize party around making and eating this. So excited!

  17. That looks Amazing!!! I have to try it! Gorgeous photography, too!

  18. im sorry but those photos are absolutely criminal.

  19. The idea to mix bourbon and ice cream is a brilliant one! SOOO delicious!

  20. I grew up eating this Sundae minus the bourbon sauce. We called them mini splits in our house. It is still my favorite way to eat I cream, which isn’t often. But I think I may have to head out to the grocery just so I can make the sauce. Gotta try it….

  21. This looks amazing! How long will the caramel bourbon sauce keep? I’m curious if I can make the sauce and give to friends as gifts this year.

  22. I really should get into making ice cream things more. That looks amazing!

  23. is it wrong that i just raised both arms in the air and shouted THANK YOU JESUS?

    holy yum.

    smiles to you.


  24. Looks lovely! I’ll look into how to make it vegan! Like Chloe Moon, I’d love to have it for breakfast!

  25. Oh my goodness, it looks incredible! It looks so good that I want to lick the screen – giggle! Kisses

  26. drooling on my keyboard! that sounds like the best dessert ever! going to have to try this! thanks for sharing :)

    fly far

  27. I wish I had this breakfast right now…I have to make the bourbon caramel sauce!!! It sounds absolutely delicious!!

    Ergo – Blog

  28. This looks too good. Sometimes, I’ll add a dash of bourbon vanilla to my bircher muesli. I suspect bourbon caramel is also really good.