Rum Raisin Ice Cream

a footed dish with two scoops of rum raisin ice cream.

Look no further for the creamiest, dreamiest rum raisin ice cream. This one is the best. This rum raisin ice cream recipe uses alcohol in two ways. First, soak and plump the raisins in the homemade ice cream custard for a double hit of boozy, creamy, brain-freeze-inducing rum ice cream that you can scoop straight from the freezer.

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Macerating raisins in rum simple syrup.

Rum raisin ice cream has been a favorite of mine since I was four years old. My grandmother tells a story that I would always ask for “wum wayzin” whenever she and Grandad treated me to a cone from Baskin Robbins.

My love of rum ice cream with sweet rum-infused raisins hasn’t dampened in the years since (maybe it’s gotten stronger), and this rum raisin recipe is the best I’ve ever had. I think you’ll agree.

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Ingredients for rum raisin ice cream

  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Rum
  • Golden Raisins
  • Whole Milk
  • Cornstarch
  • Cream Cheese
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Light Corn Syrup
  • Sea Salt

Wait. Where are the eggs?

You’ll notice that there are no eggs in this rum raisin recipe, which makes the custard even easier to prepare.

Instead of tempering eggs for a standard ice cream custard (a fickle process that can sometimes lead to scrambled eggs instead of smooth, creamy ice cream base), this easy blend uses a different process and thickening agent.

blending the eggless ice cream custard.

Is this no-churn ice cream?

No. You’ll need an ice cream maker for this rum raisin ice cream recipe.

That said, you don’t need any fancy equipment to make this. I use an inexpensive Cuisinart ice cream machine {affiliate link}. The kind with the freeze-able canister.

You can typically find them for $50-$70. I’ve had mine for 5 years and it still works like a champ.

adding rum to the homemade ice cream custard.

Jeni Britton Bauer (of Jeni’s Splendid fame) has an ice cream cookbook I’ve read from cover to cover. I used her basic method to make this rum raisin confection.

If you try this and like it, I’d encourage you to get her book {affiliate link}, which has tons of inspirational ice cream flavors.

I’ve found her method to be easier, more foolproof and it makes the BEST ICE CREAM I’ve ever had. Here’s how it works:

Foolproof ice cream method

  1. Make a slurry with water and cornstarch and set aside.
  2. Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth with a hand mixer. Set aside.
  3. Heat the milk, whipping cream, sugar, corn syrup and sea salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil so the sugar dissolves. Cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook until the mixture thickens.
  5. With the hand mixer running, add about ¼ cup of the hot cream mixture to the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Continue to beat in the remainder of the hot cream until you have a smooth “custard”.
  6. Add the rum to the ice cream mixture and cool to room temperature.
  7. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight before churning.

Make the rum soaked raisins

While the rum ice cream custard is chilling, macerate the raisins.

What’s macerate? Macerate simply means “to soak in a liquid to soften” (and in this case, plump) the raisins.

Just heat water, sugar and rum together until the sugar is completely dissolved and pour the mixture over the raisins to soak. The raisins will soften and plump in the rum syrup. They also take on a glacée effect and become a little chewier.

churning the rum ice cream in an ice cream maker.

Churn the rum ice cream

  1. Churn the ice cream custard according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. About 2 minutes before the rum ice cream is ready, add the drained raisins.
  3. Churn for 2 minutes until the rum soaked raisins are well combined with the ice cream.
  4. Transfer the icy confection to a storage container and freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up before serving.

Be sure to strain the raisins from the simple syrup BEFORE adding them to the ice cream maker.

Note: The raisins don’t get added to the rum ice cream until the last 2 minutes of churning, just to blend them evenly into the mixture.

storing rum raisin ice cream in a container to freeze.

What to do with the leftover rum raisin simple syrup?

Macerating the raisins in the simple syrup not only plumps the fruit, it also infuses the syrup with a distinct rum raisin flavor. It’s too good to toss, so here’s some ways to use the leftover simple syrup:

  • Add it to ice tea as a sweetener.
  • Make a Rum Raisin Old Fashioned Cocktail.
  • Toss with chopped fruit to sweeten a fruit salad.
  • Brush it onto sponge cake before icing to keep the cake moist.
  • Swirl into your morning yogurt, farina or steel cut oatmeal.
scooping a spoonful from the canister.

Why you’ll love it

This is real ice cream. Not “nice cream” or a wannabe. Not a low-cal version of the real deal. It’s classic, authentic, churned, eggless, rum ice cream that melts in a creamy puddle on your tongue. The chewy, glacéed raisins spiked with more of that smooth rum are the BOMB dot COM!

Unlike many homemade ice creams, this one is velvety smooth and not at all grainy or icy.

Because this recipe includes a shot of rum in the cream custard, the ice cream won’t freeze into a rock-solid pack.

In fact, it’s easily scoop-able right from the freezer. Just based on THAT FACT alone — I recommend adding alcohol to every ice cream you make in the future.

a footed dish of rum ice cream.

My tasters couldn’t get enough. The ice cream is velvety smooth with a noticeable rum flavor. The macerated raisins are chewy, sweet and add another layer of boozy goodness.

This recipe makes a solid quart of rum ice cream, instead of a measly pint.

Have I sold you yet? Go on. Make it for yourself. See what the fuss is about.

Homemade ice cream in a dish.

What goes with rum raisin ice cream:

More homemade ice cream recipes:

Print Pin
5 from 10 votes

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Make this classic rum raisin ice cream recipe with golden rum-soaked raisins and your favorite ice cream churn. Truly the best you’ve ever had (including Haagen Dazs).
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword ice cream, raisins, rum
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free, Gluten-Free
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8




  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons golden rum
  • ¾ cup golden raisins


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt can use kosher salt
  • ¼ cup golden rum



  • Place the raisins in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the sugar, water and rum in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the rum syrup over the raisins and rest until the mixture cools to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.


  • Add the cornstarch to a small bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the milk until it forms a smooth slurry.
  • Add the cream cheese to a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, whipping cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir together over medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat, slightly and boil the milk and cream mixture for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the milk mixture from heat and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil the cream mixture for one minute or until it thickens.
  • Beat about ¼ cup of the cream mixture into the bowl with the cream cheese until it’s smooth with no lumps. Continue adding more of the cream to the cream cheese mixture until they’re completely combined and smooth.
  • Stir in the rum. Let the ice cream base cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.


  • Add the ice cream base to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers instructions.
  • While the ice cream is churning, transfer the raisins to a fine mesh sieve (you can put the sieve over a small bowl to collect the rum raisin syrup for cocktails) and drain away the excess syrup.
  • When the ice cream is about 2 minutes from being completely churned, add the raisins and churn until they’re well combined with the ice cream.
  • Transfer the ice cream to a storage container and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Store ice cream in a well-sealed container in the freezer. Let the ice cream rest for 5 minutes at room temperature before scooping.


Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 137mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 719IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg

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a pin for the recipe.

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  1. 5 stars
    Turned out fabulous for me. Delicious. Definitely my go to recipe for this flavor. Thank you for posting.

  2. 5 stars
    Totally obsessed with this rum raisin ice cream. The raisins were sweet and chewy and the flavor of the rum in the ice cream takes it to the next level. Never thought I could get this texture from homemade.

  3. 5 stars
    Question? What is the purpose of corn syrup in your recipe? Can I leave it out?
    Thanks for your reply.

    1. Corn syrup is composed of glucose, which has a moisture-attracting quality that sucrose (granulated sugar) doesn’t have. It’s less sweet than table sugar and helps prevent ice crystals in the ice cream. This gives you a smooth, creamy elasticity that you normally find in premium ice creams. Note: It’s not high fructose corn syrup that’s called for, which is too sweet for this recipe. I don’t recommend skipping it, but if you do, understand that the ice cream may be more granular and icy.

  4. 5 stars
    O. M. G. That is THE most amazing rum raisin ice cream ever! Next time I’d cut down the cornstarch to 3, because it was like pudding before I put it into the ice cream maker, but wow. Just wow. It still turned into ice cream despite my initial hesitation. Delicious, creamy amazing, DELICIOUS ice cream!

    1. 5 stars
      Er….. I accidentally used 4 TBsp instead of teaspoons. Hence the pudding consistency. But still became ice cream! And I’d probably stick with 3 TBsp in the future because it was practically perfect anyway!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this ice cream for someone who loves rum raisin cakes, now this one is her top favorites! Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely loving the looks of this ice cream. I can only imagine how delicious it is! Saving the recipe for when it becomes a bit warmer outside 😉

  7. Shadi+Hasanzadenemati says:

    5 stars
    Love how easy this recipe is. It’s perfect for our family!

  8. 5 stars
    Rum raisin is such a delicious ice cream flavor, and I rarely see it when we got for ice cream! I’m definitely giving this a try next time we have a dinner party!

  9. Jessica Formicola says:

    5 stars
    Oh I love rum raisin! This ice cream looks incredible and I can’t wait to try it!