Salted Caramel Macchiato Sundae – Vanilla ice cream is topped with a shot of espresso and finished off with whipped cream and homemade salted caramel to give you a fun way to enjoy the macchiato.
Today’s recipe is inspired by an affogato, which is an Italian dessert made by pouring espresso over vanilla gelato. I have decided to take that a step further and add in some salted caramel sauce to make this a full-on Salted Caramel Macchiato Sundae.
A macchiato is also an Italian espresso treat. It’s made with a vanilla milk base with espresso poured over the top. Starbucks has popularized the drink by adding caramel over the top. It was actually my first espresso drink EVER. I guess having the word “caramel” in the name made it less intimidating. For my interpretation, I am using a cold vanilla ice cream instead of hot vanilla milk.
Without further ado, here is my Salted Caramel Macchiato Sundae!
The easiest treat
This sundae comes together in minutes. The biggest task is making the salted caramel sauce. But once that’s done, the assembly is simple:
- Scoop ice cream into bowls
- Pour hot espresso over the top
- Finish with whipped cream and caramel sauce
Making salted caramel sauce
The caramel sauce is made in a saucepan on the stove. First, the sugar is caramelized. Butter is added until combined with the caramelized sugar. Finally, the cream is added extremely slowly and whisked until smooth. Boom! That’s all there is to it!
Tips & Tricks
- Let it cool. When making the salted caramel sauce, make sure you let it cool before making the sundae. Otherwise, it will melt the ice cream too much, especially since the espresso will slightly melt the ice cream.
- Don’t stir after it’s done. After the sauce is done boiling, don’t whisk it anymore. You don’t want any of the firm parts on the bottom of the pan to loosen and destroy the smooth texture of the sauce.
- Do not make ahead. Because the espresso melts the ice cream, you must only pour it over right before serving. You can, however, make the caramel sauce ahead of time, if needed.
Salted Caramel Brownie Milkshake
For the sundae:
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 4 shots espresso
- whipped cream for garnish
- ¼ cup salted caramel sauce (recipe below)
For the salted caramel sauce:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter salted, sliced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
To make sundaes:
- Add 1 large scoop of ice cream to each serving dish. Top each scoop with shot of hot espresso. Finish with whipped cream and dollop of salted caramel sauce. Serve immediately.
To make caramel sauce:
- Place sugar in medium saucepan and heat to medium. Stir occasionally with a silicone spatula (make sure it can handle high heat temps!). As the caramel begins to liquefy, scrape from the bottom and mix back into the granulated pieces. The sugar will clump but eventually it will melt again and turn an amber brown. Make sure you are still stirring so it does not burn.
- Once the sugar is melted, add butter and stir until butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Use a whisk to incorporate the butter with the sugar. Keep an eye on the color of the caramel. If it's getting too dark, remove from heat to cool down, and then add back to heat.
- Very, very slowly, add the cream to the sugar mixture while whisking. The mixture will start to bubble violently, but keep stirring and it will calm down. Allow it to boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Transfer to storage container (such as a mason jar) and allow it too cool for at least 1 hour before using.