Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream – A Couple Cooks

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream is rich and decadent, pairing zingy sweet fruit with creamy vanilla and graham cracker chunks!

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

In the mood for a treat? Try this over-the-top dessert: Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream! This homemade ice cream is decadent and rich, featuring zingy-sweet fruit against a creamy vanilla base and soft graham cracker chunks. Take one bite and you’ll mumble “wow” before immediately poising your scoop for another. (At least, that’s what we did!) It takes a bit of effort to put together, but it’s worth it for this special indulgence. Our family went crazy over this one…and it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t!

Ingredients in strawberry cheesecake ice cream

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream recipe has several components and takes a bit of time to put together. But if you’re up for the challenge of making a showstopper of a dessert recipe, it’s absolutely worth it! This recipe uses our base cheesecake ice cream recipe, then swirls in a homemade strawberry sauce. You can also shortcut the recipe a bit by using purchased strawberry jam, which makes it more manageable. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Cream cheese
  • Cornstarch
  • Whole milk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Graham crackers
  • Strawberry sauce: strawberries, sugar, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon
Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

Homemade strawberry sauce and a shortcut

The best way to make this strawberry cheesecake ice cream? With homemade strawberry sauce! It has a pure, sweet tart flavor that’s not possible with any other store-bought shortcut. In particular, we love how the balsamic vinegar and cinnamon flavors accent the sweet berries. It takes a few minutes to prep and 10 minutes to simmer on the stove.

But we get it! Sometimes you don’t have the extra 15 minutes or want to clean up a sticky pan. (Noted!) So you can easily make this ice cream recipe with purchased strawberry jam. Try to find the best brand you can: a more expensive jam will most likely taste better than the cheapest jar on the shelf.


Required equipment: ice cream maker

Strawberry cheesecake ice cream requires an ice cream maker, so make sure to have one hand before you start! You’ll find this piece of equipment a great investment you can use to make sorbetssherbet and ice creams year round. There are two main types of ice cream makers to try:

  • Freezer bowl ice cream maker (inexpensive). This type of ice cream maker is the most economical choice. Here’s the 2 quart freezer bowl ice cream maker we use. It’s a little more expensive than some in the category, but it’s held up well over time. With this type of maker, make sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before churning.
  • Automatic ice cream maker (expensive, but easy to use!). Do you make ice cream often? You might want to consider this automatic ice cream maker, which is larger and more expensive. It requires no pre-freezing of the base, so you can make ice cream any time you please.

How to make strawberry cheesecake ice cream (basic steps)

This strawberry cheesecake cream recipe is a classic ice cream: you’ll make a custard base, then churn in an ice cream maker, then add mix-ins and freeze it again in your freezer. It does take a bit of effort to put together, but it’s well worth it for an over-the-top treat! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Make the custard (5 minutes): Soften the cream cheese. Simmer the cornstarch, whole milk and sugar 4 to 5 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Then add in the heavy cream, more milk and vanilla. Pour it over the cream cheese and whisk to combine.
  • Cool the custard (1 hour): Cool down the custard before churning it. You can do this in a few ways. Our favorite is to transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl and place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour.
  • Make the strawberry sauce (during the cool time): Make the homemade strawberry sauce. Place it in the refrigerator to chill.
  • Churn (25 minutes): Then churn the custard in the ice cream maker.
  • Add the graham crackers and strawberry sauce: Swirl the chopped graham crackers and strawberry sauce into the custard (if using).
  • Freeze or “ripen” for hard ice cream texture (at least 2 hours): Freeze the ice cream for 2 to 4 hours for a scoop-able, hard ice cream texture.
Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

Storage info

Some homemade ice cream recipes turn into a frozen block after storing for more than a day. But this strawberry cheesecake ice cream stays creamy over the storage time! (The secret? Cornstarch keeps it creamy over time.) The flavor is best right away, but you can store this ice cream for up to 2 weeks and it still tastes delicious.

After you store the ice cream in the freezer for several days, it will be very hard. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.

More ice cream recipes

There are so many ways to use your ice cream maker to make homemade treats! Here are a few of our favorite ice cream recipes:

This strawberry cheesecake ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers.


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This strawberry cheesecake ice cream is rich and decadent, pairing zingy sweet fruit with creamy vanilla and graham cracker chunks!

For the ice cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole graham crackers, chopped

For the strawberry sauce (or substitute 2/3 cup purchased strawberry jam)

  • 2 cups diced strawberries (¾ pound)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Note: Make sure to freeze the base of your ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.

  1. Soften the cream cheese by placing it on a plate and microwaving for 10 seconds per side. Place the cream cheese in a large metal bowl and cut into a few pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, slowly whisk the cornstarch into 1 cup whole milk, then whisk in the sugar. Apply medium heat and heat for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking frequently, until it just starts to bubble and the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it over the cream cheese. Whisk vigorously until it is fully smooth (it will start out chunky). Stir in the remaining ½ cup whole milk, heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract.
  4. Place the bowl with the custard in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour, making sure not to splash any water into the ice cream. Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 to 4 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce (or make it ahead): Clean, hull and dice the strawberries. Add them to a medium saucepan with sugar, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally while it bubbles gently. Cook about 9 to 10 minutes, until all the berries are cooked down. Immediately transfer to a medium bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool (we recommend first placing it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to speed up the cooling process.)
  6. Churn according to your ice cream maker instructions, about 25 minutes for soft serve consistency. Transfer half the ice cream to a loaf pan or freezer container, add a layer of chopped graham crackers and strawberry sauce, then top with the remaining half and more graham crackers and strawberry sauce. Insert a butter knife vertically into the pan and draw an S pattern through the ice cream a few times to distribute the graham crackers and fruit. Freeze in the freezer for at least 2 hours (or up to 4 hours). Store in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top or a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.

  • Category: Ice Cream
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Strawberry cheesecake ice cream

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