Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

I love experimenting with different ice cream flavors, and this one with strawberries, graham crackers, and cream cheese is absolutely delicious!

Joby's Test Kitchen bowl with 2 scoops of strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

Recently my daughter requested a strawberry cheesecake flavored ice cream and I thought, “That sounds delicious!”

I started with my plain vanilla ice cream as the base, and then added the two main ingredients of cheesecake: cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs.

For the strawberry component, I decided to go with both diced and pureed strawberries for optimal berry flavor!

Top view of scoops of strawberry cheesecake ice cream in white bowl.

How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ingredients for strawberry cheesecake ice cream.

First, place 1/2 a block of cream cheese in a large bowl and set aside so it can come to room temperature.

Next, whisk 2-3 whole eggs or 3 yolks eggs in a small saucepan, followed by 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and gently heat while whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. It may take 8-15 minutes to thicken up and become creamy.

Take off heat. Let the custard cool for about 30 minutes.

Using a handheld beater on medium-high, beat the softened cream cheese till light and airy, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the custard a little at time, beating after each addition until it is fully incorporated. (If there were bits of cooked egg in the custard, pour it through a sieve or strainer to get the lumps out before adding to the cream cheese).

Next, whisk in 2 cups heavy cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a large glass container, cover with a lid, and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the strawberries, make a puree by blending 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries plus a few teaspoons of honey or sugar with an immersion or regular blender. They can also be mashed with a fork or potato masher. Keep the sauce in the fridge.

Next, dice 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries and stir with 1-2 tablespoons of honey or sugar. Honey may dissolve better than the sugar. Keep in fridge.

Bowls of diced strawberries and strawberry puree.

As for the graham crackers, take 2-3 whole crackers and break or crumble them with your fingers into bite size pieces. Keep these in the fridge until ready to use.

Bowl of broken graham cracker pieces

When you’re ready to churn the ice cream, follow the instructions on your machine. 

Towards the end of churning, add in the graham cracker pieces and chopped strawberries. 

Drop a few large dollops of ice cream into a freezer-safe container and drizzle on some of the strawberry purée.

Continue alternating between ice cream and purée until both are used up. This method will create ribbons of strawberry sauce throughout the ice cream.

Clear container of vanilla ice cream with strawberry puree swirls.

Cover the container and place in freezer. The ice cream should be ready in 2-6 hours depending on how creamy or firm you like it.

Joby's Test Kitchen closeup of scoops of strawberry cheesecake ice cream in white bowl.

Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream

Eggs:

For a richer, creamier custard use only egg yolks. You can also try different ratios like 2 whole eggs + 1-2 yolks, or 1 egg + 2 yolks.

Egg-Free Version: 

  • No Thickener: Beat together milk, cocoa, sugars, and salt, until really well combined. Then whisk in heavy cream and vanilla. Chill several hours and follow instructions for your ice-cream maker.
  • With Cornstrach: In a saucepan, whisk together milk, cocoa, sugar, salt, and 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch really well. Place over medium heat and bring to simmer, whisking continuously. Continue cooking 1-2 minutes until mixture is thick and silky. Chill 1 hour. Then add heavy cream and vanilla and chill several hours. Follow instructions for your ice cream maker.

Ice Crystals: 

To prevent ice crystals from forming on your ice cream, place plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on top of the ice cream when freezing. Or try adding 1-3 teaspoons of arrowroot or tapioca powder to the custard. No need to do this if you’re already using cornstarch in the custard.

Milk and Cream: 

I’ve tried different ratios of milk and cream, such as 1 1/2 cups of each. I have also used 2% milk. Both ways work, but using whole milk and a higher ratio of cream will obviously create a richer, creamier ice cream.

Prepping Ice Cream Maker: 

Some ice-cream makers have a container that needs to be placed in the freezer. Make sure to leave it in there for at least 24 hours. Also, it should be turned on beforeadding in the custard mixture.

No Ice Cream Maker? 

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, make the custard as directed, chill, and mix in heavy cream. Place in a durable metal bowl in the freezer. After 30-45 minutes, take it out and beat vigorously with a whisk until it looks creamy. This requires some elbow grease, so use a hand-held mixer if you have one!

Put the ice cream back in the freezer and repeat the process every 30-45 minutes for several hours. Stir in add-ins when the ice cream has thickened and is almost solid. This method may not result in the smoothest ice cream, but it should taste fine.

Closeup of strawberry cheesecake ice cream in a  bowl.

Try Out Some of These Other Cool Summer Treats

Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Check out this unique way to make your very own cookie dough ice cream!
Check out this recipe
White bowl of homemade vanilla cookie dough ice cream.
Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream
Creamy chocolate ice cream with chunks of fudge brownie.
Check out this recipe
Bowl of 2 scoops chocolate brownie ice cream.
Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
These mini cheesecakes have a golden graham cracker crust and a simple strawberry topping.
Check out this recipe
Mini strawberry cheesecake.
Homemade Vanilla Custard
Here is a simple and quick way to make vanilla custard or pudding.
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen bowl with vanilla custard.

Joby's Test Kitchen, strawberry cheesecake ice cream in a bowl.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice-Cream

Joby’s Test Kitchen
This summer, enjoy this creamy ice cream with sweet strawberries, tangy cream cheese, and graham cracker pieces.
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 1/2 cup portions
Calories 273 kcal

Equipment

  • Ice Cream Maker

Ingredients
  

Custard:

  • 1 cup (240ml) milk
  • ½ cup (96g) sugar
  • 2-3 whole eggs or 3 yolks
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 oz (½ block) cream cheese
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • tsp vanilla extract

Add-Ins:

  • cup fresh or frozen strawberries, divided
  • 2-3 whole graham cracker cookies, broken into pieces
  • 2-3 tbsps honey or sugar, divided (honey may dissolve better)

Instructions
 

Custard Base

  • Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and set aside so it comes to room temperature. Then whisk the eggs in a small saucepan, followed by the milk, sugar, and salt.
  • Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and gently heat while whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. It may take 8-15 minutes to thicken up and become creamy. Take off heat. Let the custard cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Using a handheld beater on medium-high, beat the softened cream cheese till light and airy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the custard a little at time, beating after each addition until it is fully incorporated. (If there were bits of cooked egg in the custard, pour it through a sieve or strainer to get the lumps out before adding to the cream cheese).
  • Next, whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla completely. Transfer mixture to a large glass container. Cover and chill in the fridge for for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Add-Ins:

  • Strawberry Pureé: Blend ½ cup of the strawberries plus a few teaspoons of honey or sugar with an immersion or regular blender. Alternately, mash with a fork or potato masher. Keep in fridge.
  • Strawberry Pieces: Dice remaining 1 cup strawberries and stir with 1-2 tablespoons of honey or sugar. Keep in fridge.
  • Graham Crackers: Take 2-3 whole graham crackers and break or crumble with your fingers into bite size pieces.

Making the Ice Cream:

  • When you’re ready to churn the ice cream, follow the instructions on your machine. Towards the end of churning, add in the graham cracker pieces and chopped strawberries.
  • Drop a few large dollops of ice cream into a freezer-safe container and drizzle on some of the strawberry pureé. Continue alternating between ice cream and puree until both are used up. This method will create ribbons of strawberry sauce throughout the ice cream.
  • Cover the container and place in freezer. The ice cream should be ready in 2-6 hours depending on how creamy or firm you like it.

Notes

Eggs: Using only egg yolks produces a richer, creamier custard. If I have time, I will separate the yolks out and save the whites for another recipe. But usually, I just use whole eggs. You can also try different ratios like 2 whole eggs + 1-2 yolks, or 1 egg + 2 yolks.
Egg-Free Version: Egg-free ice cream might not turn out as creamy as the eggy custardy version, but it can still be delicious.
    • No Thickener: Beat together milk, cocoa, sugars, and salt, until really well combined. Then whisk in heavy cream and vanilla. Chill several hours and follow instructions for your ice-cream maker.
    • With Cornstrach: In a saucepan, whisk together milk, cocoa, sugar, salt, and 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch really well. Place over medium heat and bring to simmer, whisking continuously. Continue cooking 1-2 minutes until mixture is thick and silky. Chill 1 hour. Then add heavy cream and vanilla and chill several hours. Follow instructions for your ice cream maker.
Ice Crystals: To prevent ice crystals from forming on your ice cream, place plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on top of the ice cream when freezing. Or try adding 1-3 teaspoons of arrowroot or tapioca powder to the custard. No need to do this if you’re already using cornstarch in the custard.
Milk and Cream: I’ve tried different ratios of milk and cream, such as 1 1/2 cups of each. I have also used 2% milk. Both ways work, but using whole milk and a higher ratio of cream will obviously create a richer, creamier ice cream.
Prepping Ice Cream Maker: Some ice-cream makers have a container that needs to be placed in the freezer. Make sure to leave it in there for at least 24 hours. Also, it should be turned on before adding in the custard mixture.
No Ice Cream Maker? If you don’t have an ice cream maker, make the custard as directed, chill, and mix in heavy cream. Place in a durable metal bowl in the freezer. After 30-45 minutes, take it out and beat vigorously with a whisk until it looks creamy. This requires some elbow grease, so use a hand-held mixer if you have one! Put back in the freezer. Repeat this process every 30-45 minutes for several hours. Stir in add-ins when the ice cream has thickened and is almost solid. This method may not result in the smoothest ice cream, but it should taste fine.
Keyword cheesecake, cream cheese, ice cream, strawberries

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