Table of Contents
  1. Let's talk about brown butter
  2. What is brown butter?
  3. Why add citrus to this ice cream?
  4. Watch how to make this brown butter orange sage ice cream
  5. Brown Butter Orange Sage Ice Cream Recipe

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If you didn’t know, I take one week per year to create five different ice cream flavors. I started doing this Ice Cream Week five years ago, more as an ode to my love for ice cream, but also as a way of introducing and experimenting with unique flavors. Every year, I push myself to create a different theme, and 2019 is all about fruit and herb pairings. And if you ask me, it’s the perfect match. I love how fresh fruit makes anything taste fresh and bright. This brown butter orange sage ice cream brings together both the warmth of butter and the bright, fruity flavors for a comforting treat.

Top down view of orange sage ice cream sitting in glass container with sage leaves and orange slices all on marble surface

Let’s talk about brown butter

It’s a fact: brown butter makes everything better. When used in a sauce, it imparts a warm, nutty flavor. When used in a favorite cookie, there’s an indescribable butter flavor that you love so much. Since I can’t get enough brown butter, I felt it a necessity to add the flavor to one of my ice cream recipes this year.

Have you had the incredible experience that is brown butter? I promise you, it’s worth it. When my mom was growing up, her grandma would always serve homemade noodles drizzled with brown butter. This really was a fairly normal dish in the rural and Mennonite communities in which she was raised.

As I grew up, brown butter was not used as frequently since the ’90s were all about leaving fat out of… everything. Let’s not even talk about the margarine phase. Thankfully, we are once again embracing the flavor that certain fats add and that even extends to my ice creams!

Spoon holding spoonful of white ice cream with orange slices in background with marble surface in background

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is simply regular butter that is melted over medium heat. Once melted, the butter begins to separate, and eventually the milk solids that are within the butter cook and turn brown. When browned, the solids become full of nutty flavor. Sounds delish, right?

To ensure the brown butter is emulsified into the ice cream base, it needs to be blended with an immersion or countertop blender. This creates a smooth, creamy consistency, and prevents and pockets of butter in the frozen ice cream.

Why add citrus to this ice cream?

Citrus, in general, is bright and sharp, and orange is often associated with warmth. In the fall, we tend to pair orange with clove for a comforting combination. Adding orange to brown butter also creates a comforting pair. The nuttiness of the brown butter tones down the sharpness of citrus, revealing a clean orange flavor.

Sage mellows the flavors from the citrus and adds additional warmth. Herbs can easily overpower anything they’re added to, so steeping the leaves in the ice cream base adds just the right amount of flavor without adding too much.

The extra fat in this ice cream makes it one of the most scrumptious, creamy ice creams I’ve ever had. You can thank me in advance. ?

Top down view of orange sage ice cream sitting in glass container on marble surface

More fruit infusion ice cream recipes

Watch how to make this brown butter orange sage ice cream

My KitchenAid stand mixer (affiliate link) with ice cream maker attachment (affiliate link) is an essential tool for my ice cream recipes. I simply freeze the attachment for about 24 hours and then whip up the ice cream.

I’ve been using these Tovolo ice cream containers (affiliate link) to store my ice creams, and I love them!

Three scoops of brown butter orange sage ice cream in a glass cup with orange slices and ice cream scoop sitting on piece of marble

Brown Butter Orange Sage Ice Cream

3.67 from 3 votes
This brown butter orange sage ice cream is a perfect pairing of citrus notes and warm flavors. It's a unique treat that will soon be a favorite!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Freezing Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 cup brown butter
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp Mira-Cleer
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp orange extract
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • cup sage leaves


  • To brown the butter, melt 2 sticks butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once melted, continue to slowly cook until the butter begins to bubble. Allow butter to bubble until the foam subsides, the milk solids have turned an amber color, and the butter has a nutty smell, 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the 2 cups milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Whisk to combine and place over medium heat.
  • While the milk mixture is heating, in a separate bowl combine the reserved 2 tablespoons milk and Mira-Cleer. Then whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  • Bring the milk mixture to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the Mira-Cleer slurry. Return to heat and bring back to a rolling boil. It is essential the mixture comes back to a rolling boil to activate the thickener.
  • Remove from heat and add the prepared browned butter. Use an immersion blender or countertop blender to emulsify the butter and ice cream base.
  • Add the vanilla extract, orange extract, orange zest, and sage leaves. Stir to combine and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the ice cream base into an airtight container, removing all the sage leaves. Cover and chill 6-8 hours. The ice cream base can be stored for up to 48 hours.
  • Once ready to chill, follow the manufacturer’s instructions with the ice cream maker. Churn approximately 25 minutes. Enjoy immediately as soft serve or pour into an airtight container and place in freezer 4-6 hours for a hard serve.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 404kcal
Course Ice Cream
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Freezing

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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3.67 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. 1 star
    There are far better ways to execute. This ice cream dish.
    1. Steep the leaves over night in the heavy cream. Then strange them from the cream. Let them dry completely. If needed. This can be done on a low oven 250f-275f. Then fry the leaves for a toping.
    2. You do not need Mira-Cleer to thicken your ice cream. Honestly it should be fine. If you feel it will be to thin. You can ether add egg yolk. By whisking it with the sugar tell it is smooth and very thick. You will want to temper the egg, sugar mixture of you do this.
    Or you can cut the hole milk to 1 1/2 cups. Then replace it with a extra 1/2 cup milk.
    3. To emulsify the butter into the cream mixture. Use a whisk to emulsify. Start by adding the butter a drop or 2 at a time. Waiting tell the butter is completely absorbed before adding more. As you go you can SLOWLY work to a slight drizzle.

    1. I’m utterly shocked over your dress down. First, and foremost, this is Kaleb’s website and his recipe. Second, there are many paths to arrive to achieve this finished product. Third, this is a lovely recipe for those who do not wish to mess with tempering eggs. Finally, bugger off! Create your own website!

  2. 5 stars
    I love the flavors of this recipe! I forgot to emulsify the butter into the milk mixture so it became grainy. Next time I’ll make it properly. I love all your ice cream combinations, but most especially the new classic vanilla (without egg!.) 😉 Thanks again for sharing, Kaleb!