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Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream. Amazing buttermilk ice cream with homemade rhubarb compote.

This luscious Rhubarb Buttermilk Ice Cream and post hails from my friend Kelli from The Corner Kitchen.

She originally wrote it as a guest post to cover for me while I was in France (this was a common thing in the old school blogging days!).

This luscious ice cream is now one I love to make, because it is unique but also homey (just like my Rhubarb Pie!) It hits the spot!

Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream Recipe

This recipe begins with a simple rhubarb compote. It’s just that it’s so gosh darn delicious, and if the early days of summer were to have a taste, this is it.

This compote is the perfect blend of sweet and tart. I was smitten after one bite, and if you’re a rhubarb lover I feel fairly certain you’d feel the same way.

The sweet and slightly tart compote meets its destiny swirled through a batch of homemade ice cream.

Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream

Have you ever tasted buttermilk on its own?

I tried it once.

If memory serves I took one sip and instantly spit it out.

On its own I find buttermilk to be pretty wretched.

But, mix it with some cream and sugar and it is transformed into something truly magical.

Buttermilk Ice Cream is super creamy with a tang and richness that makes it the perfect compliment to the sweet and tart rhubarb.

Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream. Creamy and sweet with summer flavor.

Rhubarb Swirl Buttermilk Ice Cream

5 from 1 vote
Creamy sweet buttermilk ice cream with a fresh swirl of rhubarb compote.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 8 hours 45 minutes

Servings: 1 quart


For the Ice Cream:

For the Rhubarb Compote:

  • 6 cups rhubarb (approx. 8-10 stalks, ends trimmed and cut to 1/2-inch slices)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Place a medium-size metal bowl in the freezer to chill for at least 1 hour.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. In a large saucepan combine the cream, sugar and salt, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Temper the eggs by gradually whisking half of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. Return the mixture back to the saucepan. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon when finger is drawn across, 2-3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • Remove the metal bowl from the freezer and add the chilled buttermilk. Strain the custard into the buttermilk, and whisk together. Whisk in the vanilla. Chill until cold, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rhubarb compote. Combine rhubarb, sugar, honey, water and vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Lower the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the rhubarb breaks down. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
  • Churn the mixture in the bowl of an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer half the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, top with a layer of rhubarb compote, add the remainder of the ice cream, then top again with more compote. User a skewer, chopstick or knife to swirl the layers together. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

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  1. Ice cream made with buttermilk? That is PURE genius! Especially when you add a little rhubarb into the mix-er-oo. Kelli, does have super powers!
    And good luck with all the unpacking, that’s the worst part about vacays! :( But, glad you’re home safe! Pinning this!

  2. Erin, welcome back! Sorry albeit the jolt back to reality, though.
    Kelli, this ice cream is marvelous! Such good flavor combinations!

  3. Just cut and cooked rhubarb for a cake yesterday. I have a bit too much. Now I know what I’ll be doing with the extra.

  4. You had me at rhubarb, Kelli! YUM! Welcome home Erin, loved following your trip on-line!

  5. welcome home :) and this icecream – loved the buttermilk twist with rhubarb.

  6. Welcome home, friend!!! Thanks so much for having me today and for giving me the biggest dose of travel envy everrrrr :)

  7. I just love this! Buttermilk is so great in any sweet bread, cake, rolls you name it! I can only imagine it in ice cream. Love Kelli from Corner Kitchen! Great guest blog. Welcome back to the USA i’m sure you’ll get back into the swing of things in no time :D

  8. Love this recipe so much Kelli!!! It’s still rhubarb season here and I really need to do something with it other than just snacking on it raw with salt!

    1. And now I’m going to START snacking on it raw with salt Liz. Sounds both intriguing and addictive!

  9. “McDonalds still isn’t serving wine” -> we just had a missionary from India speak and he was saying how there, they deliver your chicken nuggets to your door step. Wine must be the next step! Anyways, welcome back!!!
    Kelli, this ice cream looks amazing. I just jumped on the rhubarb bandwagon and it is SO GOOD. Especially in cold creamy treats! Pinned!

  10. If only McDonalds sold wine. Welcome back! This isn’t France, that’s for sure. This ice cream looks fabulous–perfect for this hot weather.

  11. Wine at McDonald’s! Well, I may actually go there, then! :) Welcome back, Erin!!! So glad you had a fantastic trip! I just loved reading about it and seeing your fabulous pictures!

    Ummm … so my only question is … why was there buttermilk at a hotdog stand?? (It works wonders in the kitchen … but I’m so confused as to what benefit it would serve on a hotdog!!)

  12. Welcome back Erin!!! I’m sure you are still reeling from your incredible trip!!!

    This looks delicious!! I haven’t experimented with rhubarb yet, but I love the idea of combining it with buttermilk to make ice cream.

    1. Thanks so much Leah!! I’m definitely still acclimating (almost fell asleep at my desk today, lol). You should definitely give rhubarb a try. I love the tart bite it adds to just about anything!

  13. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve brought back from your trip–both in memories and experiences and in goodies. (Did you find a way to pack gelato into your suitcase?) Thanks for the introduction to Kelli. This ice cream is right up my alley. I bet the buttermilk and the rhubarb pair so well together!

  14. Mmm what a fabulous ice cream. Great recipe Erin, hope you’re doing well :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  15. I can never get enough ice cream in the summer and this strawberry and rhubarb combo sound fantastic and perfect for summer!
    Welcome home! Good luck with all the unpacking, that’s my least favorite part about vacations :(

  16. Welcome back Erin!! I hope you had such a wonderful trip!
    Also, thanks for introducing us to Kelli’s blog – it’s sheer perfection! And this ice-cream looks super delicious. Who wants summer when you can hace ice-cream season instead though? ;–)

  17. It seems like you’ve had such a worthwhile adventure, Erin, but I bet it feels good to be back in some ways. Kelly’s ice cream sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? I love her photos!

  18. Ice cream made with rhubarb and buttermilk…the combination sounds fascinating!

  19. Welcome back! I’ve loved following your trip on Instagram (super jealous)! Regular vacations are always hard enough to adjust from so I’m sure this one is even harder!

    1. Thanks so much Lauren. I loved being able to share bits of our adventures, so that means a lot!

  20. Welcome back Erin!!

    And this ice cream sounds amazing. I made buttermilk ice cream a few months ago but not with the rhubarb! That looks awesome!

  21. I’ve never thought of adding rhubarb to ice cream, but this sounds amazing!

  22. Buttermilk ice cream?? In love with this Kelli!! And then you added in rhubarb? My my!!

    Welcome back Erin!

  23. You’re home! I know you’re lamenting a bit, but we are all glad! I don’t know if that should cheer you or not. Either way, ice cream! The best pick me up I know. This one looks spectacular!

  24. i can’t wait to try this fabulous ice cream and going to check out other recipes from you, Erin. Keep up the great work. Tasty!5 stars

  25. I’m a HUGE rhubarb fan, and I’d love to make this. I had rhubarb ice cream in Holland and it was amazing!
    I don’t have an ice cream maker though, is it possible to still make it?

    1. Hi Lindy! While I’ve never tried to make banana ice cream without machine help, this article provides some tips that might be helpful. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!