Olive oil ice cream sundaes.

These sundaes are really all about the ice cream (which is based, as always, on Jeni’s).  I had grand plans for the one brownie recipe to rule them all to go with it, but umpteen trials and one box mix later, all I can say is — I indiscriminately love brownies.  (With an extra special and unabashed love for Ghirardelli brownie mix.)  But I did include a few of my favorite recipes below in case you’re having trouble choosing which to roll with!




  1. Stir together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk in a small bowl, and set aside. In a medium, preferably high-sided pot, whisk together the remaining milk, cream, sugar, syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes, stirring continuously. If the mixture becomes too frothy and threatens to boil over, partially or totally remove from heat for a few seconds until it calms. I found that scooting the pot halfway off the burner and continuing to cook worked well.
  3. After 4 minutes, take the cornstarch slurry, give it another quick whisk, then add it to the milk mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring continuously again, until thickened. Remove from heat.
  4. Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in a small amount of the hot milk mixture. Whisk vigorously until smooth, or use an immersion blender to get out the lumps. Whisk in the remaining milk mixture, then drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously, until well-combined. The olive oil will float on top at first, but it should incorporate smoothly after a good 15-30 seconds of whisking. Pour the mixture into a glass container or a Ziploc bag and place in an ice bath or in the refrigerator until very cold.
  5. Once cold, pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a 9×5” loaf pan, then chill in freezer until solid, about 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Then serve over your favorite brownies, with some flaky salt and an extra drizzle of olive oil, and enjoy!


Since this ice cream depends solely on the olive oil for its flavor, this would be a good time to break out the good stuff, preferably with a strong flavor that tends towards fruity or grassy over peppery. I used California Olive Ranch’s Rich & Robust variety here.

Also, since you’re adding quite a bit of fat to the recipe through the olive oil, I found that it was fine to scale down the fat content of the milk and the cream cheese and didn’t notice any compromise in taste. I stopped at six tablespoons of olive oil because I didn’t want to risk a greasy mouthfeel, but I expect you could up it a few more tablespoons for a stronger olive oil taste!

Finally, my favorite brownie recipes! If you like fudgy and if you want a gluten-free version that you’d never guess was gluten-free, Kathryn’s are a go-to — I’ve used all kinds of mix-ins and swapped out the ground almonds for regular flour and for hazelnut meal and all the variations have worked splendidly. They’re simultaneously light and fudgy at the same time, if such a thing were possible, and so very good. If chewy and dense is more your speed, Kristin’s double-chocolate brownies are a recent find I really enjoyed. Finally, Joy the Baker’s are somewhere in between — a hint of cakiness but mostly fudge decadence. And obviously you can’t go wrong with Ghirardelli’s brownie mix. (It’d been a hot minute since I last made a box of those, and I’m pretty sure … they just got better with time.)