An easy homemade rum and raisin ice cream recipe

10.7.24 | Recipe by Renz

Rum and raisin ice cream is a classic flavor that is deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of the Caribbean. This delectable frozen treat is not only a favorite among locals, but it is also commonly associated with cherished childhood memories. The rich flavor of rum combined with plump raisins creates a taste that is both nostalgic and indulgent.

Three scoops of rum and raisin ice cream in a glass bowl with waffles cones in the backgound.

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The process of making this delightful dessert is fairly simple, yet the results are truly delicious.

Homemade rum and raisin ice cream is a treat that brings back memories of warm Caribbean days and carefree childhood adventures. The combination of the rich and complex flavor of rum with the sweet and chewy raisins creates a harmonious and satisfying indulgence.

Give this recipe a try, and allow the taste to transport you to a place of pure bliss. And be proud that you made ice cream better than the grocery store.

You must also try my other ice cream recipes like mango ice cream, delicious soursop ice cream, or some Guinness ice cream.
There's something incredibly special about the combination of rich, creamy ice cream with the bold flavors of rum-soaked raisins. This rum and raisin ice cream is a delightful treat that brings a taste of the Caribbean to your home.

Perfect for warm summer days or as a unique dessert for special occasions, this recipe captures the essence of the Caribbean's vibrant culinary heritage.

Why should you make this ice cream at home?

Making a recipe has its great advantage in that you get to use quality ingredients. Using high-quality, natural ingredients like fresh cream, real vanilla bean, and premium rum can enhance the nutritional value and flavor. At home allows you to control the ingredients and avoid preservatives and artificial additives commonly found in store-bought versions.

Rum and raisin ingredient notes

Rum raisin ice cream is a delicious and indulgent frozen treat that combines the flavors of rum-soaked raisins with creamy, sweet ice cream. This classic flavor has been a favorite for many years, offering a unique combination of sweet and slightly boozy notes.

Ingredients used to make rum and raisin ice cream.

The key ingredients in rum raisin ice cream include rum, raisins, cream, sugar, and various flavorings. Let's take a closer look at each component to understand how they contribute to the overall taste and texture of this delightful dessert.

To make this mouth-water delight, you will need the following simple ingredients:

  • Dark rum - For the best flavor, use a high-quality dark rum. The rich, molasses-like flavor is key to achieving the authentic taste.
  • Raisins - Opt for plump, juicy raisins. If your raisins are a bit dry, soak them in warm water for a few minutes before soaking in rum. Through this soak, they absorb the flavors of the rum, becoming plump and bursting with deliciousness. When added to the ice cream mixture, the rehydrated raisins impart a delightful chewy texture and an intense burst of flavor.
  • Heavy cream - An essential ingredient in most ice creams, contributes to the velvety smoothness and richness of rum raisin ice cream. The high butterfat content of cream provides the necessary fat for a creamy, luxurious texture, ensuring a delightful mouthfeel with each scoop.
  • Condensed  milk
  • Vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract: Using a real vanilla bean enhances the depth of flavor. If unavailable, pure vanilla extract is a good substitute.
  • Nutmeg & Cinnamon - perfect for enhancing the overall taste profile of the ice cream.

Make sure to check the recipe card below for the full ingredients list and quantities to be used in this recipe. 


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  • Mixing bowl: Various sizes for preparing and combining ingredients.
  • Mixer: You can use either a basic hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. This is used to get the heavy cream creamy.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: For precise measurements.
  • Plastic wrap: To cover the mixture during cooling.
  • Freezer safe container - an air-tight container to keep secure
  • Ice cream machine (optional): An essential tool for churning the ice cream to a smooth, creamy consistency. If you don't have a machine see another method below

How to make rum and raisin ice cream

Soak the Raisins: Place the raisins in a small bowl and pour the cup of rum over them. Let them soak for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results.

Raisins soaking in dark rum in a glass bowl.

Making the Ice Cream Base:

Pour the chilled heavy cream into a large bowl. With your hand mixer, whip until there are high peaks in the cream. This can take from 5 - 8 minutes of whipping. 

Heavy cream mixed to stiff peaks in a large metal bowl.

Churning the Ice Cream:

In the large metal bowl, Gradually add the condensed milk and fold it in. Add in your spices and essence.  Incorporate it well.

Remove the raisins from the rum. Use a slotted spoon as we do not want the liquor added in as the ice cream will not freeze. Add the raisins to the cream mixture. 

Rum soaked raisins adding into the ice cream base.


If using an ice cream container or a loaf pan: add the mixture to the holders and cover tightly. You can use cling wrap to cover. Place to freeze for at least 6 hours.

If using an ice cream machine: Add to the base of the machine and follow the manufacturer's directions.

Add the Raisins: During the last few minutes of churning, drain the raisins and add them to the ice cream. Reserve the rum mixture for another use (or drizzle a bit over the ice cream before serving).

Ice cream in a red ice cream tub to be frozen.

Tips and Tricks

  • Soak raisins for longer: For an even more intense rum flavor, soak the raisins overnight. This allows them to absorb more rum, making each bite a burst of flavor.
  • Use cold ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients, especially the heavy cream, are thoroughly chilled before churning. This helps achieve a smoother, creamier texture.
  • Experiment with rums: While dark rum is traditional, you can experiment with spiced rum or other varieties to add different flavor notes.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Not chilling the ingredients enough: Ensure your ingredients are fully chilled before churning to prevent ice crystals and achieve a creamy texture.
  • Over- or under-churning: Follow the ice cream maker’s instructions carefully. Over-churning can produce a grainy texture while under-churning can make the ice cream too soft.
  • Adding raisins too early: Add the soaked raisins towards the end of the process. Adding them too early can cause them to break down and lose their texture.
  • Skipping the vanilla: While vanilla extract works, the vanilla bean adds a deeper, more complex flavor. It’s worth the extra effort if you can find it.


Flavor Variations:

  • Chocolate Rum and Raisin: Add chocolate chips or a swirl of chocolate syrup during the last few minutes of churning for a rich, chocolatey twist.
  • Coconut Rum and Raisin: For a tropical variation, use coconut milk condensed milk instead and add a touch of coconut rum.

Non-Alcoholic Version:

  • Rum Extract: Replace the dark rum with a teaspoon of rum extract. Soak the raisins in a mixture of rum extract and water.
  • Juice-Soaked Raisins: Soak the raisins in a mixture of orange juice and a touch of vanilla extract for a fruity, non-alcoholic alternative.

Scoops of ice cream in glass bowls with ice cream cones on the side.

Serving Suggestions

How to serve:

  • With Caramel Sauce: Drizzle warm caramel sauce over the ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.
  • Paired with Desserts: Serve alongside a slice of warm sponge cake, bread pudding, or even a rich chocolate cake.
  • Garnish Ideas: Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes, crushed nuts, or a light dusting of cinnamon for added texture and flavor.

Storage Tips:

Proper Storage: Store the ice cream in an airtight container in the coldest part of your freezer. Cover the surface with plastic wrap before sealing to prevent ice crystals from forming. Or use this great ice cream container.

Shelf Life: Homemade ice cream is best enjoyed within two weeks. After that, it may start to develop ice crystals and lose its creamy texture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I use a different type of alcohol?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of alcohol, such as bourbon or brandy, but it will alter the flavor profile.

What can I use instead of an ice cream maker?

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use the freeze-and-stir method. Pour the cream mixture into a shallow dish, freeze for 30 minutes, then stir vigorously. Repeat every 30 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.

How long do the raisins need to soak?

Ideally, soak the raisins for at least 2 hours. For a stronger rum flavor, soak them overnight to be used the next day.

Scoops of rum and raisin ice cream in a small glass bowl with ice cream cones at the back.

Can I use pre-made vanilla custard as a base?

While pre-made custard can be used, making your own ensures the best flavor and texture for this specific recipe.

Combining the rich, boozy taste of rum with plump, rum-soaked raisins, along with the creamy smoothness of the ice cream, rum raisin ice cream delivers a truly indulgent experience. Whether enjoyed on its own, atop a warm slice of bread pudding, or as an accompaniment to other desserts, this flavor combination will leave ice cream lovers craving for more.

We hope you enjoy making and savoring this rum and raisin ice cream recipe. Don’t forget to leave a comment below with your thoughts and share your creations on social media using #ThisBagoGirl.

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