The days of summer are coming to a close, but I am still clinging on…here’s to a few more ice cream dreams.

I first sampled brown bread ice cream at Murphy’s Ice Cream Cafe in Dingle, Co. Kerry. It was 2005 and I was pregnant. As far as I was concerned, it was the next best thing to apple pie. 2 years later, I had it again and truth be told, it’s delicious, bold flavour stood the test of time (and pregnancy taste buds too)

Making ice cream in Ireland goes back to the early 20th Century, when Irish farming families such as ours discovered that by mixing eggs with sugar and cream and popping it into their newly discovered “deep freeze” overnight, you could create a delightful dessert that used ingredients that were always at hand. Over the past few years, R and I have pondered the idea of producing artisan ice cream on the farm as we are both are lovers of this frozen dairy delight, but, alas, there are only so many hours in the day and so many projects we can take on (still, we never say never!)

I discovered this recipe for Brown Bread & Irish Whiskey Ice Cream in Clare Connery’s lovely book, Irish Food & Folklore. I love that the brown bread is carmelised and crunchy which gives it a nice texture (and, of course, the whiskey gives it a kick). After doing further research, I found that there are other popular variations including the classic Brown Bread & Guinness (Murphy’s Ice Cream does an amazing one) and Brown Bread & Bailey’s Irish Cream, both of which are absolutely heavenly.

This very creamy home-made ice cream is remarkably easy to make and tastes better than any scoop of Häagen-Dazs I’ve ever had so go on, give it a try. If you’d like, you can swap out the whiskey for Guinness or Bailey’s for something a little different.

Brown Bread & Irish Whiskey Ice Cream

Preheat over to 240 C/475 F

Prep time: 30 mins. Cooking time: 10 mins. for crumbs

175 g/6 oz day old brown bread crumbs (use wholemeal or whole wheat in USA, not soda or wheaten)

125 g/4 oz demerra (brown) sugar

3 eggs

65 g/2.5 oz caster sugar (fine sugar)

75 ml/3 fl oz Irish Whiskey

450 ml/3/4 pint double cream

Fresh mint leaves to decorate

Combine bread crumbs and demerra sugar in a mixing bowl. Spread over a large roasting tray and bake in preheated oven until the sugar has carmelised, usually 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together until very thick ( you can use an electric mixer) and pale cream in colour. Fold the carmelised bread crumbs into the eggs followed by the whiskey and double cream, whisking until it holds it’s shape. Pour into a rigid container (stainless steel works well) and freeze overnight.

Cook’s notes: Irish wheaten or soda bread is not suitable for this ice cream as it makes it rather heavy and unappetising. However, any type of brown wholemeal or granary bread is excellent. Freezing is done in the deep freeze and no stirring or churning is required. An ice cream maker is not needed.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Slan Abhaile


Photo by Imen McDonnell. Assisted by Master Geoffrey McDonnell

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33 Responses to “Brown Bread & Irish Whiskey Ice Cream”

  1. […] then…who is up for some Brown Bread and Irish Whiskey Ice Cream?  I thought you would be, Linder […]

  2. […] For dessert, have a scoop of Brown Bread & Irish Whiskey Ice Cream. Bonus points if you make a Guinness float with […]

  3. Kelly Quinn says:

    Ment to post this earlier but forgot. Loved this recipe and I brought it as a dessert for a St Paddy’s Day Dinner … Needless to say my container was brought home empty. This is now a tradition. BTW I used Bailey’s instead of Jameson.

  4. Hayley says:


    I absolutely love your blog, and this recipe looks amazing! I’m going to try your recipe for brown bread tomorrow, and would love to use some in this ice cream recipe! I had a question though- for the breadcrumbs, do you just tare the bread into little pieces or get it very fine, by using the food processor? I just didn’t want mine to be too big or too small. Thanks!

    • imen says:

      Hi Hayley, don’t use my brown bread recipe for this ice cream…just use wheat or brown bread. The brown bread recipe is a heavy wheaten style and will not work very well in the ice cream as I mentioned in the post. You can tear the bread up or blitz slightly in food processor to your liking. Thank you so much for the kind words on my blog!! Let me know how you get on =) xoxo

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  6. Fido says:

    Do you have a brown bread recipe for those of us not lucky enough to live in Ireland?

    • imen says:

      Hi Fido,
      This recipe calls for plain wholemeal or whole wheat bread which is often just called “brown” bread in Ireland. Have fun with it! x

  7. Tate Allyn Peterson says:

    What does (not soda or wheaten) mean? Irish soda bread is made with whole wheat and soda?

    • imen says:

      Hi Tate
      This recipe calls for plain wholemeal or whole wheat bread which is often just called “brown” bread in Ireland. If you used soda or the heavy wheaten bread, the crumbs would get soggy in the ice cream. Enjoy! x

  8. Niamh says:

    Hello there! I love the sound of this ice-cream and would love to make it for St. Paddy’s Day this year. Only problem is that I am in Canada and cannot get decent brown bread here. The only brown bread I know how to make is brown soda bread. Can you recommend a recipe that might work for bread suitable for the ice-cream?

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  10. This recipe sounds so easy, Mac Icecream Palour in Killarney used to brown bread icecream years ago, It’s use be my favourite. So interesting that soda bread is unsuitable, thats what I would have thought it contained. Will be giving this a whirl for the weekend treat. Thanks

  11. I love the presentation! Very creative and pretty 🙂 This ice cream sure sounds delicious!

  12. Y says:

    This sounds so amazing, especially with that that glug of alcohol. It’s been such a long time since I’ve made a brown bread ice cream.

  13. Debs says:

    Oh yum, I’ve been thinking of ways to make ice cream with dark rum, but I don’t like raisins. This would be perfect. I’ll just replace the whiskey. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love your photos and I love the fact that no ice-cream maker required; I also am so impressed with the originality and flavors in this recipe.

  15. Lucy says:

    That is such a beautiful photo – want!!!!!

    • imen says:

      It is really tasty…and speaks for itself…photo couldn’t be bad even if I tried because it’s so yummy!

  16. Clare says:

    You had me at Brown Bread because that is my favorite of all the Irish food I’ve tried since moving here. The ice cream looks insanely delicious and your photos – wow – someone needs to pursue a career in food photography! I can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks so much for giving all these wonderful old-school Irish dishes a new spin.

    • imen says:

      You are so sweet…you know I have no idea what I am doing so am delighted that the shots are turning out half way decent. When we meet in Dublin let’s go to Murphy’s for his brown bread ice cream! x

  17. Traci says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Could a hand turned ice cream maker be used equally well?

    • imen says:

      Thank you! I am sure it would work equally as well with an ice cream maker…but it doesn’t need to be stirred. x

  18. I know I am starting to sound boring Imen, but your photos are stunning. They would be perfectly at home in any of the top food magazines. Great recipe too. I think I will have to try it soon.

  19. Claire says:

    Beautiful photo – love the container!

  20. Kristin says:

    Needless to say, I have just added brown bread, whiskey and double cream to my grocery list.

  21. Krista says:

    LOVE your photo, Imen, and the flavor sounds absolutely fantastic. 🙂 I can’t wait to try this. 🙂

    I enjoy your posts so much, by the way. I have very fond memories of my trips to Ireland and you always remind me of the things I love best: good people, beautiful countryside, happy moments around the table. 🙂

  22. TheGlutton says:

    Looks amazing, yet another beautiful picture and fab post Imen.

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