Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cheesecake Ice Cream

Supposedly, cheesecake was served to athletes at the first Olympic games, circa 776 B.C. That is a post-workout snack I can totally get behind. I'd definitely run faster if I knew cheesecake was waiting for me at the finish line.

Cheesecake is fairly unique in the cake pantheon because there's so many different incarnations. There's the New York style, which is dense and rich and contains heavy cream. The Bavarian or French style, which is light and smooth, typically uses gelatin as a binding and stabilizing agent. German cheesecake uses Quark cheese.  Swedish cheesecake uses cottage cheese. The Japanese version, featuring whipped egg whites, is so light and fluffy it looks like it could float directly off the plate and into your mouth on its own.
Personally, I'm partial to the New York version. And to the lattice-topped Italian ricotta cheesecake my grandma used to make. And to any version that comes with a sour cream top. And to any food that has "cheesecake" in the name.

Naturally, then, this recipe, Cheesecake Ice Cream, is one of my all-time faves. It's a best-of-both-worlds dessert: cheesecake-flavored ice cream. And because I'm an all-or-nothing type of person, I like to sandwich it between two cookies (Oatmeal Graham being my choice) for a trifecta of dessert yay.
If you've never made ice cream before, this is the recipe for you. No eggs (so it's essentially Philadelphia style), which means you get to skip the tempering step ~ the trickiest part of making French-, or custard-, style ice cream. And did I mention it tastes just like cheesecake? Which makes it one of those recipes you have to run out and buy ingredients for right away. Like, now. Go ahead. If you get started immediately, you can have this for dessert tonight.
Cheesecake Ice Cream
~ adapted from David Lebovitz, The Perfect Scoop
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup light cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth, pulsing several times. Pour into container, seal tightly, and refrigerate until well chilled.

When ice cream base is chilled, process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Place finished ice cream in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze immediately. Let ripen in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving, for best results.

For a really cheesecakey experience, try topping this with a spoonful of berry compote and a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs. 


  1. Oh my golly! I have all these ingredients.......but not time - working for the weekend.....but soon! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. cheese cake in ice cream form...I'll try it!

  3. Mine is in the ice cream maker as I type! Ooo I can't wait.

  4. Thanks for this! I added some rose water to mine and it turned out really well. I can't wait to buy the cookbook :)

  5. I will be making this to go sandwiched between two layers of homemade carrot cake. Who needs frosting?!

  6. Going to make ice cream sandwiches with this ice cream and red velvet cookies for the 4th. I might tint some sugar blue and roll the sandwiches in it. Can't wait to try this!

    1. Melody ~ What a great idea! I'd love to see a pic!

  7. Made this ice cream this week with my 4 1/2 yr old son and my handy kitchenaid ice cream attachment. This couldn't have been easier and the consistency was creamy but got hard rather easily. Before it got too hard, we stirred in some red velvet crumbs from a cake i had just made. I love red velvet with lemon cream cheese icing so this was pretty close to that flavor combination. Bonus was it was so easy to make memories with my son. Will make this again and again!

  8. I want to make a red velvet ice cream cake and wondered if homemade ice cream would work or if it would be too soupy. Does it stiffe up enough to use in a cake? Thanks. The recipe sounds divine!

  9. Krisquilts ~ Thanks for your comment! To answer your question, yes, this ice cream does firm up quite nicely. I've used it to layer between frozen sheets of carrot cake for dessert entremets. It also is fairly stable and doesn't melt as quickly as many other recipes, which is why I always liked it for ice cream sandwiches at the restaurant when I was a pastry chef. In any case, it's best to give yourself plenty of chilling time ~ I like at least 8 hours. Hope that helps!


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