This strawberry cheesecake ice cream tastes just like a slice of cool and creamy cheesecake! Made from a sweet and tangy cheesecake ice cream base flavored with real strawberries, this homemade recipe is a delicious treat any time of the year.
Homemade Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
You think you know what rich and creamy ice cream is, and then you have a scoop of this Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. It’s SO smooth and SO creamy, with bursts of bright summer strawberries and sweet cheesecake flavor in every bite. This recipe was inspired years ago by David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop. With this homemade ice cream, there’s no need to stand over the stove cooking up a custard base, and the texture is way silkier than frozen yogurt. It’s indulgent enough to satisfy any ice cream craving, and it’s actually super simple to make at home!
Why You’ll Love This Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe
- No custard. While you will need an ice cream maker, this is Philadelphia-style ice cream. Meaning, no egg yolks! It has all the creamy texture minus the need for a custard base.
- Fresh ingredients. Making your own ice cream is the best because you know exactly what goes into it. This strawberry cheesecake ice cream is packed with real berries wrapped up in simple, fresh dairy, with real lemon zest and a bit of sugar for sweetness. No additives or unpronounceable ingredients here!
- Better than storebought. Not to mention, homemade is more affordable. This recipe is rich, creamy, and perfectly sweet, like your favorite pints of Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, made at home for a lot less money.
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Below, we’ll go over step-by-step how to make the base, churn the ice cream, and then store your homemade ice cream in the freezer. Please scroll to the recipe card for the full ingredient amounts and recipe details.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Cream Cheese: You’ll need one 8-ounce package of cream cheese to form the cheesecake base for the ice cream. For best results, use full-fat cream cheese.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon zest brightens up the flavors of the ice cream.
- Sour Cream: Contributes to the silky-smoothness of the ice cream as well as the tanginess of the flavors.
- Half-and-Half: Or heavy whipping cream for the base. The ice cream will turn out richer and creamier when made with full-fat heavy cream; however, half-and-half is a good option if you’d prefer to lighten things up.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar adds sweetness, while a pinch of salt helps to balance and enhance the flavors.
- Strawberries: I use freshly washed, hulled, and chopped strawberries. You can just as easily make raspberry cheesecake or blueberry cheesecake ice cream using any berries you’d like. I recommend making ice cream with fresh berries, though, as frozen berries can contain excess water.
- Prepare the ice cream base. Begin by dicing up the cream cheese into cubes. Next, add the cream cheese and the rest of the ingredients (apart from the strawberries for now) to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Chill. Place the cheesecake ice cream base into the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
- Churn the ice cream. Transfer the base to your ice cream maker. You’ll need to freeze and churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions for your ice cream machine.
- Add the strawberries. A few minutes before your ice cream is finished churning, chuck in the chopped strawberries. Many ice cream makers have an ingredient spout specifically for this purpose. Once the ice cream is ready, get scooping!
Tips for Successful Homemade Ice Cream
If you’ve never made homemade ice cream before, you’re going to be amazed at how easy it is. Here are some tips to get this recipe right every time:
- Use full-fat ingredients for the best ice cream texture. High-fat content in the cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream will yield the creamiest results, as it helps to keep ice crystals from forming.
- Don’t skip the sugar. Yes, sugar adds sweetness, but it also contributes to the creamy texture of homemade ice cream. Don’t skip it!
- Chill the bowl of your ice cream maker. Most models call for chilling the ice cream maker bowl before adding your ingredients.
- Fresh strawberries are best, but you can use frozen in a pinch. Make sure to thaw and drain frozen strawberries before adding them to the ice cream.
- Homemade ice cream is harder than store-bought ice cream when it comes out of the freezer. This is because it doesn’t contain any of the additives that keep store-bought ice cream soft. To make it easier to scoop, take the ice cream out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving.
Can I Make This Recipe Without the Ice Cream Maker?
Yes, you can make this homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker in the style of my cottage cheese ice cream. Simply blend the ingredients as directed, and then pulse in the chopped strawberries. Instead of chilling the mixture in the fridge, transfer the ice cream base to a loaf pan or container and freeze it for 3 to 4 hours.
Add-Ins and Variation Ideas
You can easily make this ice cream with your favorite mix-ins and flavor variations. Be mindful and don’t go overboard regarding add-ins, as too many chunky ingredients will make the ice cream harder to scoop. Here are some ideas:
- Strawberry Sauce. Instead of chopped strawberries, make this strawberry cheesecake ice cream with fresh strawberry sauce.
- Graham Crackers. For some extra crunch, add chopped or crushed graham crackers to the ice cream along with the strawberries.
- Cookies. Add in chopped white chocolate chip cookies, vanilla wafers, Oreos, gingersnaps, or shortbread cookies.
- Chocolate. Toss in dark or white chocolate chips and chopped chocolate, or drizzle in fudge sauce (caramel sauce would also be yummy!).
- Different fruit. Make blueberry cheesecake ice cream, or raspberry cheesecake ice cream, or try a different fruit, like cherries, pineapple chunks, or chopped mango or peaches.
Ways to Serve Homemade Ice Cream
There are many ways to serve this ice cream that go beyond a bowl or an ice cream cone!
- Toppings. Sprinkle the ice cream with crushed or chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts for a bit of crunch. Chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, and crumbled cookies are other easy options.
- Chocolate Sauce. Drizzle strawberry cheesecake ice cream with boozy chocolate dipping sauce for a grown-ups-only twist.
- Cake. This summery ice cream pairs great with my mini lemon cakes or with slices of this soft lemon yogurt cake. It’s also delicious to serve over fudgy Nutella brownies or blondies.
- Waffles. Serve scoops of cheesecake ice cream over cream cheese waffles or baked French toast, topped with a swirl of whipped cream, for an indulgent sweet breakfast or brunch.
- Ice Cream Sandwiches. Scoop this ice cream between two cookies.
How to Store Ice Cream
Store this strawberry cheesecake ice cream airtight in the freezer, with a layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper pressed directly to the surface of the ice cream. This prevents the ice cream from icing over. Properly stored, this ice cream will keep frozen for up to 1 month.
More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
- Blueberry Nice Cream
- No Churn Mango Ice Cream
- 2-Ingredient Homemade Ice Cream
- Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream or half-and-half
- ⅔ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- ½ cup chopped strawberries, add more if you like more berries
- Cut the cream cheese into pieces.
- Transfer the cream cheese, lemon zest, sour cream, heavy cream, sugar, and salt to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Then, put it in the refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
- Remove the cream cheese mixture from the fridge and pour it into your ice cream maker; freeze it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Three minutes before the ice cream is done churning, add the chopped strawberries into the mixture through the ingredient spout on the ice cream maker.
- When done, scoop out some ice cream and serve.
- To freeze, store the ice cream in an airtight container and add a layer of plastic wrap pressed directly to the surface of the ice cream. Cover and keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Use full-fat cream to achieve the creamiest consistency. The richness in cream cheese and heavy cream prevents the formation of ice crystals.
- Sugar isn’t just for sweetness; it’s crucial for the soft texture of the ice cream. Don’t omit it.
- While fresh strawberries deliver the best flavor, you can use frozen ones if necessary. Just ensure they’re thawed and well-drained before use.
- Unlike commercial ice creams, homemade versions tend to freeze harder due to the lack of softening additives. Let it sit out for about 10 minutes before serving for easy scooping.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.