Chocolate and cherry is one of those perfect combinations, so when cherry season rolls around, don’t miss making this super easy cherry chocolate chip ice cream recipe!
My cherry chocolate chip ice cream recipe relies on heavy cream or sweet cream to create a creamy texture without the need for eggs. Fresh or frozen cherries can be used depending on availability, making it a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed any time of the year.
I only make cherry chocolate chip ice cream when cherries are in season, so only about six weeks a year. Saying that, sometimes I do freeze my cherries to prolong the joy!
Cherry lovers beware – you won’t be able to stop eating this!
I prefer an American style ice cream because you don’t need to worry about egg yolks and making an egg custard. It only requires only a few simple ingredients.
Black Cherries: The star of the show are the cherries, either black, sweet or sour. Fresh cherries can be pitted and quartered, or frozen cherries can be used for convenience. Either way, cherries should be sweet and ripe for the best flavor.
Chocolate: I used Green and Black 70% Chocolate. It’s organic and absolutely delicious. Make sure you save some for the recipe!! I don’t suggest using dark chocolate chips – they are really made for baking.
Heavy Cream (Double Cream): Heavy cream is an important ingredient in cherry ice cream, contributing to its rich and creamy texture. For a lighter option, half-and-half can be used instead.
Whole Milk: Milk is a key ingredient in ice cream, and cherry ice cream is no exception. Full-fat milk or whole milk is recommended for the creamiest texture, but any type of milk can be used.
Granulated Sugar: Obviously, sugar sweetens the final product and plays an important role in the freezing process. Granulated sugar is the most common sugar used to make ice cream. Combined with milk and cream, it also helps prevent ice crystals from forming, ensuring you get a smooth result.
Vanilla: Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the ice cream and is a must-have ingredient in any ice cream recipe.
Salt: A pinch of salt helps to balance the sweetness of the ice cream and bring out the cherry flavor.
I used all these!
The Ice Cream maker to use!
You have to have an ice cream maker if you want to make ice cream or sorbet! I started making it using the Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato.
There is no faffing around with bowls in the freezer. When you are ready for ice cream, it’s ready. Just turn on the Cuisinart ice cream maker and go. In about 40 minutes, you have ice cream that you can eat right then, or you can put it in the freezer to harden up a bit more. Once done in, you’ll have about 1 litre of ice cream ready to devour!
It only takes a few simple steps for this great recipe:
Making the Cherry Mixture
In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, milk, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When the milk gets steamy, then lower heat and let stew for about 15 minutes.
Blending the Cherries
Remove the cherry mixture from heat. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If you prefer small chunks of cherries in your ice cream, pulse the mixture a few times instead of blending it completely. Add the rest of the cream.
Chop up the chocolate
Cut up your bittersweet chocolate into tiny pieces. Either keep it in the freezer or use right away!
Freeze (skip this step if you’re using an ice cream maker)
Transfer the milk mixture into a freezer-safe container or a shallow loaf pan (and cover tightly with plastic wrap) and place it in the freezer for about 4 hours.
After it’s completely frozen, keep the ice cream at room temperature to partially thaw it. Add the lemon and the cherry liqueur if using, and then transfer it to the food processor for a minute or two (for a light, fluffy texture). Then add in the chopped chocolate! Transfer the ice cream back into its container and refreeze for at least 3 hours.
Chill and transfer to the ice cream machine (skip this step if you’re not using an ice cream maker)
Place the ice cream mixture into a large bowl in the refrigerator until it is chilled. Transfer the mixture to the chilled container of your ice-cream maker and add the lemon and the cherry liqueur if using. Then churn ice cream as per the manufacturer’s instructions. When still soft, stir in the chopped chocolate.
You can start eating your homemade ice cream immediately or keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm it up.
When making any ice cream, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure success:
- Use high-quality ingredients: The flavor of your ice cream will only be as good as the ingredients you use. Opt for fresh, high-quality cream, milk, and eggs.
- Chill your mixture thoroughly: Before churning, make sure your ice cream mixture is thoroughly chilled. This will help it freeze more quickly and evenly, resulting in a smoother texture. Aim for a temperature of around 40°F.
- Don’t overfill your ice cream maker: It can be tempting to fill your ice cream maker to the brim, but this can actually impede the freezing process. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended capacity, and if you need to make a larger batch, do it in batches.
- Add mix-ins at the end: If you’re adding mix-ins like nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit, wait until the last few minutes of churning to add them. This will help ensure they’re evenly distributed throughout the ice cream.
- Freeze your ice cream properly: Once your ice cream is churned, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it for several hours or overnight. To prevent ice crystals from forming, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream before sealing the container.
By following these tips and tricks, you can create delicious, creamy ice cream that’s sure to impress.
For those who want to add some extra flavor and texture to their cherry chocolate chip ice cream, there are plenty of mix-ins that can be added to the recipe. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Try different cherries: While sweet cherries are the most commonly used type of cherry in ice cream, you can also experiment with tart cherries or even dried cherries.
- Add nuts: For a crunchy texture, add chopped nuts to your cherry ice cream. Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are all great options.
- Swirl in different flavors: Instead of using chocolate, try swirling in a different flavor. Caramel, fudge, or even a fruit puree would all be delicious.
- Make it boozy: For an adult twist, add a splash of cherry liqueur or amaretto to your ice cream mixture.
- Use coconut milk: For a dairy-free option, substitute coconut milk for the heavy cream and milk in the recipe. This will give your ice cream a subtle coconut flavor.
- Add spices: To give your ice cream a warm, spicy flavor, add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the mixture.
- Make it a sundae: Top your cherry ice cream with whipped cream, hot fudge, and a cherry on top to create a classic ice cream sundae.
With so many ways to customize cherry ice cream, you’re sure to find a combination that you love.
Frequently asked questions
Can you make lactose-free ice cream?
Absolutely! If you don’t have lactose tolerance and want to enjoy homemade ice cream, you can replace whole milk with lactose-free milk. moreover, you can also use coconut cream or lactose-free heavy cream.
Can you make dairy-free ice cream?
Yes! If you want a dairy-free ice cream without compromising its creamy and smooth consistency, use full-fat coconut milk instead of dairy milk. You can also add coconut cream instead of heavy cream for more creaminess.
Is ice cream gluten-free?
Ice cream is typically gluten-free, but it’s important to check the ingredients list to make sure there are no gluten-containing additives.
How can I keep cherries from freezing in ice cream?
Cherries can be tricky to work with in ice cream because they tend to freeze solid and become hard and icy. To prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do.
First, make sure the cherries are pitted and chopped into small pieces. This will help them freeze more evenly and prevent large chunks from freezing solid.
Second, consider macerating the cherries before adding them to the ice cream. To do this, toss the chopped cherries with a bit of sugar and let them sit for at least 30 minutes. The sugar will draw out some of the cherry juice, which will help keep the cherries from freezing as hard.
Finally, consider adding a bit of alcohol to the ice cream base. Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, which means it will help keep the ice cream from freezing as hard. Just be careful not to add too much, as it can affect the texture of the ice cream. A tablespoon or two of cherry liqueur or vodka should be enough to do the trick.
With these tips, you should be able to add cherries to your ice cream without worrying about them freezing solid.
The Cherry on Top
Topped with hot fudge, cherry chocolate chip ice cream is one of my favorites! I wait all year long to find cherries in season to make this ice cream and cherry sorbet!!
List of other ice creams to make
Here’s the Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe!
Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1½ cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1¾ cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp cherry liqueur (optional)
- 4 ozs bittersweet chocolate chopped finely and frozen
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, milk, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the milk gets steamy, then lower heat and let stew for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the cherry mixture from heat. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If you prefer small chunks of cherries in your ice cream, pulse the mixture a few times instead of blending it completely.
- Add the remaining cream.
- Cover and put in the fridge for at least two hours, but I would do overnight
- Take out of the fridge, add the lemon and the cherry liqueur if you are using, and make it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (I always use my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker)*
- Once the ice cream is done, fold in the finely chopped chocolate.
- Wow everyone by serving it immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Pour in the ice cream mixture, add the ice cream paddle and then turn it on
- I set the timer for 35 minutes
- You can always churn it longer if you want it harder
- Put it in the freezer to harden up some more