Pure Cane Ice Cream (+Bourbon Milkshakes)


Pure Cane Ice Cream

If you were to bottle Nostalgia, this is what it would look like.

Steen's Pure Cane Syrup

Steen’s isn’t the only brand of pure cane syrup, but it’s the best one we’ve tried, and as far as I’ve found – it’s the oldest brand in the country. Pure cane syrup has a deep, rich flavor akin to molasses, though sweeter and thinner in consistency.  The difference in the two products is due to the refined sugar that is retained in pure cane syrup, but removed from molasses. The result is a sweet and full-flavored syrup that brings to mind rope swings, games of horseshoes and country music on a crackly old radio.

Cane Syrup

The complex flavor of pure cane syrup makes it a beloved component of southern cooking – particularly Cajun fare – and is also what makes it our new darling ingredient in ice cream. Using Jeni’s ice cream base, but simply swapping out the corn syrup and replacing it with pure cane syrup made for a sultry ice cream that seems so simple, but has all the dark, caramelized and earthy notes that pure cane syrup brings with it.

Bourbon and Ice Cream

And because it’s us, and we just can’t leave well enough alone, we decided to pair it with another southern staple: bourbon. And this happened.

Pure Cane & Whiskey Milkshake

After a lot of very scientific trial and error, we’ve determined that 1 cup of ice cream and 1 ounce of bourbon will get you a thick and quite dignified adult milkshake; make that 2 ounces of bourbon and you have a shake that’s a little thinner and a lot perfect-Sunday-brunchier.

Pure Cane Ice Cream
Serves: makes 1 qt
  • 2 C Whole Milk
  • 4 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1¼ C Heavy Cream
  • ⅔ C Sugar
  • 3 T Pure Cane Syrup
  • ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3 T Cream Cheese, softened
  1. Make a slurry with ¼ C of the milk and the cornstarch and set to the side.
  2. In a 4 qt sauce pan thoroughly mix the rest of the milk with the remaining ingredients, excluding the cream cheese.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then cook, stirring regularly for 4 minutes.
  4. After 4 minutes, add the slurry*, bring mixture back to a boil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Add about ¼ C of the mixture to the cream cheese and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour in the remaining mixture and stir.
  7. Carefully cover surface with plastic wrap and store in fridge until completely cool.**
  8. Remove ice cream batter and prepare following ice cream maker directions.
  9. Store in the freezer.
*If the slurry has been sitting for a while the cornstarch will settle at the bottom, so make sure and give it a quick stir before adding it to the mixture.
**Alternatively you can pour mixture into a plastic bag; seal, and submerge in a bowl of ice water until chilled.

Pure Cane and Whiskey Milkshakes
Serves: 1
  • 1 C Pure Cane Ice Cream
  • 1-2 oz Bourbon
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino or Luxardo Cherries (garnish)
  1. Add ice cream and bourbon to blender and pulse for about 10 seconds.
  2. Pour into glass and garnish with whipped cream and cherries.



4 thoughts on “Pure Cane Ice Cream (+Bourbon Milkshakes)

  1. I am going to try this swap. Because I did grow up in the south and have a strong attachment to cane syrup. Besides I too use Jeni’s base and this would be an improvement on an already great way to go. GREG

    • You’ll love it, Greg. It’s like the red velvet cake you just posted about – it just makes you happy.

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