Peanut Butter Whiskey Ice Cream Recipe

Peanut Butter Whiskey Ice Cream Recipe

Whiskey adds great flavor to ice cream and peanut butter-whiskey ice cream is irresistible. This recipe uses a peanut butter-flavored whiskey (like Skrewball or Old Smoky) and creamy peanut butter to make delicious homemade ice cream for adults. It doesn’t use eggs, so there’s no cooking involved; just mix, chill to marry the flavors, and freeze.

Strong alcohol doesn’t freeze, so the key to making spiked ice cream is to limit the amount of alcohol added. Peanut butter whiskeys are lower-proof than straight whiskey—generally, 30 to 35 percent alcohol by volume (ABV)—and that helps the ice cream to set up. This recipe uses just a shot of whiskey and will work with whiskeys up to 45 percent ABV.

Since the alcohol needs to remain low, it’s unlikely you’ll get inebriated from alcoholic ice cream. Spiked ice cream is more about the flavor. The vanilla brings out the whiskey’s oakiness, and doubling up on both the peanut butter and dairy ingredients ensures it is flavorful and extra-creamy. Also, peanut butter whiskey is typically sweetened, and there’s often sugar and salt in peanut butter; therefore, this ice cream uses less sugar than other recipes and eliminates the salt. Adding a swirl of chocolate is optional but a fun finishing touch.

“Whoever thought to add peanut butter flavor to whiskey, thank you! The peanut butter whiskey ice cream was novel and delicious. I thought the chocolate swirl was an excellent touch. And the peanut butter whiskey won’t go to waste because I’ll be making this ice cream again.” —Diana Rattray

peanut butter whiskey ice cream/tester image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter whiskey

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Homemade Peanut Butter Whiskey Ice Cream in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a deep mixing bowl, cream the peanut butter and sugar using an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes.

    Peanut butter and sugar mixture in a bowl, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of whole milk and mix until the peanut butter mixture is completely dissolved.

    Peanut butter, sugar and whole milk mixture in a bowl, with a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the remaining milk, heavy cream, whiskey, and vanilla. Stir well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

    Milk, heavy cream, whiskey, and vanilla mixture in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. When ready to churn, give the chilled ice cream base a final stir.

    Ice cream base in a bowl with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Pour it into the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Ice cream in an ice cream maker

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Transfer the churned ice cream into a freezer container or metal loaf pan. To add a chocolate swirl, use a rectangular container and work quickly while scooping in layers. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top of each layer and use a knife or chopstick to gently swirl it into the ice cream (Don't mix too much or you'll lose the swirl). Cover with a tight lid or plastic wrap and place in the freezer until fully set up (overnight is best).

    Ice cream with chocolate syrup in a container

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. When ready to eat, set the ice cream on the counter for about 10 minutes; softened ice cream is easier to scoop and has better flavor. Serve and enjoy.

    Peanut Butter Whiskey Ice Cream in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • An electric mixer is quicker and more thorough when creaming the peanut butter and sugar. However, it can get messy when it’s time to add the liquids unless your mixer has a very low speed. To avoid splashing milk all over you and the counter, it’s best to switch to a whisk and mix the rest by hand.
  • Ice cream machines vary, and you may have soft-serve ice cream ready to eat right after churning. Most require additional freezing time for the ice cream to set up properly; two hours is minimum in a deep freezer, and overnight is best in any freezer.
  • It is possible to make ice cream without a machine; the process requires multiple rounds of freezing and mixing.

Recipe Variations

Homemade ice cream offers many opportunities for spiking it with all sorts of liquor. To ensure the ice cream freezes, use no more than 1/4 cup of 40 percent ABV liquor per 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream. If you’re experimenting with regular ice cream recipes, you may also want to use less salt when adding alcohol because that also inhibits freezing.

  • Whiskey is a favorite for spiked ice cream. Flavored whiskeys are fun to play with and bourbon is ideal in ice cream flavored with chocolate, mint, or vanilla bean. Try the spiciness of rye whiskey in cherry ice cream or add Irish whiskey to butterscotch or salted caramel ice cream.
  • Among other liquors, aged or flavored rum would be a great choice and flavored brandies could produce interesting results.
  • Like peanut butter whiskey, liqueurs will add sweetness and flavor to your ice cream base. Butterscotch, mint, orange, and raspberry liqueurs make delicious frozen treats, though there are many other options to experiment with.

How to Freeze and Store Homemade Ice Cream

  • To prevent ice crystal formation, press a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface of the ice cream before placing the lid on the container.
  • Store the ice cream at the back of the freezer to ensure it stays frozen. It will keep well for up to two months.
  • Soften hard ice cream in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, or let it stand at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes.

How Strong Is Peanut Butter Whiskey Ice Cream?

Since the amount of whiskey is kept in check so the ice cream will freeze, the alcohol content of this recipe is minimal. When made with a 70-proof peanut butter whiskey, the ice cream is just under 2 percent ABV. That’s less than most alcoholic drinks but still a little stronger than “non-alcoholic” beer, which can be no more than 0.5 percent ABV.

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