If you’ve never had a Melon with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce, well, friends, you may be missing out. What could be better than a juicy ripe melon filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with a silky, homemade caramel sauce? There’s nothing better for dessert when it’s hot outside, and everybody just loves it!
Warm weather BEGS for recipes that feature beautiful fresh fruit, and melons are one of my favorite things to pick up at the Farmers Market. Melon with Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce is one of those fabulous easy dessert recipes you’ll want to hang onto forever and ever! 🙂
Besides eating a LOT of melons and fragrant, juicy peaches, I’m also craving my Roasted Grape Hazelnut Breakfast Bowls, and Dark Cherry Smoothies, a really delicious and fancy-looking Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Ganache, and of course, my all-time favorite, Summer Fruit Crisp.
Good Reasons to Try this Recipe:
- Melons are really flavorful and abundant right now…also, they come with their own little built-in bowl for ice cream, so how great is that?
- A big scoop of vanilla ice cream inside the hollowed out center of the melon is next-level delicious. Caramel Sauce on top makes it even better, and trust me, everyone LOVES it.
- For such an easy dessert, it’s kind of a show-stopper too. Bring out a big tray of these and pass around the extra caramel sauce!
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe
- Melon: The easiest melons to find are Cantaloupe, which have a rich, juicy taste and golden interior.
- Ice Cream: Vanilla works best, and feel free to use any kind you’d like, including non-dairy versions.
- Basil: You can skip the sprigs of fresh basil, but it does add a very pleasant and slightly savory herbaceous quality to this amazing dessert.
- Honey: Just a little bit to sweeten the homemade caramel sauce
- Sugar: Mix this with the honey and a little water to cook together and caramelize.
- Heavy Cream: This is what makes our caramel sauce creamy and luxurious tasting.
- Butter: For richness and buttery flavor 🙂
- Sea Salt: This little ingredient makes ALL the difference in the caramel sauce..the flavors just POP.
- Vanilla: For a little sweetness and depth of flavor you can’t get from anything else.
Tips for Choosing a Good Melon
A few things I’ve learned along the way when picking out a melon:
- Use all your senses – sight, smell, touch and sound. When picking out a watermelon, a hollow sound is good.
- Seek a filled-out, rounded melon, with no bruises or soft parts.
- The heavier the fruit, the juicier it is.
- Fun Facts! The sweetest melon is a Honeydew. Cantaloupes are sometimes called Muskmelons and are by far the most popular and common variety.
- A musky aroma and skin that’s easy to depress lightly with your finger are signals that your melon is ripe and ready to eat.
- Often you can ask to taste the melon first, especially at a farmer’s market. This is great, because you can try before you buy.
- I’m in LOVE with heirloom melons for their perfume-y, exotic taste, so if you ever come across a French Charentais variety, be sure to give it a try.
How to Make this Recipe
Guys, this is EASY! Here’s all you do:
- Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds and discard them.
- Scoop in a generous cup of vanilla ice cream.
- Spoon a couple of tablespoons of caramel sauce on top of the melons.
- Garnish with fresh basil and serve!
Homemade Caramel Sauce, Step by Step
Homemade caramel sauce may seem intimidating, but it’s totally do-able, and doesn’t take long. It’s basically three easy steps, four if you count the cooling time:
- Cook the honey, water and sugar in a nonstick saucepan and bring it to the boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved
- Stir the mixture while it cooks, until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes
- Add in the cream, butter, salt and vanilla and whisk it all together (carefully, it can splatter!)
- Cool for 10-15 minutes until it sets, then serve!
SHORTCUT TIP: No time to make homemade caramel sauce? Buy a good quality store-bought variety! Just spoon it into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 10 seconds or so to loosen and warm it slightly, which will make it easier to pour.
Serving Tips and Ideas
- I love to serve this easy dessert on a big platter already assembled with some extra caramel sauce on the side.
- They also look great in individual bowls, served with a spoon.
- TIP! Slice a small piece off the bottom of the melon… this will allow it to sit level on whatever serving dish you choose. Genius, right?
- This is wonderful after a dinner of Summer Pasta!
- Also VERY good after a healthy dinner of Blackberry Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts.
More Recipes to Try:
If you’ve tried Melon with Ice Cream & Caramel Sauce or any recipe on Studio Delicious, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
MELON WITH ICE CREAM & CARAMEL SAUCE
- 2 medium-sized Melon, (cantaloupe)
- 4 1/2 cups Vanilla ice cream
- 3 tbsp Basil leaves, fresh
- FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons Honey
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract (pure)
- Cut each melon in half and remove and discard the seeds Scoop a generous cup of vanilla ice cream into the center of each melon halfSpoon 2 about tablespoons (or more if you like) of caramel sauce over the melon and ice creamGarnish with fresh basil and serve
- FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
- Combine the honey, water and sugar in a medium-sized nonstick saucepan, and stir with a wooden spoon on medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved.Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Continue to cook and stir until it's deep golden brown, about 5-6 minutesRemove pan from the heat and quickly whisk in the cream, butter, salt and vanilla (careful, it may splatter a little) until combined. Cool the caramel for 10-15 minutes before serving, keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cantaloupe is my favorite melon to use for this dessert, and it's usually easy to find at the grocery store or Farmers Market.
- Running short on time? Use a store-bought Caramel Sauce instead!
- This recipe calls for full-fat vanilla ice cream, but you can use any brand or type of regular or non-dairy ice cream you'd like.
- Leftover caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month. Be sure to seal it securely - I use a small Ball canning jar with a lid.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
This recipe was posted in August 2019 and was updated with new instructions and photos July 2020