Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Silky smooth cherry vanilla ice cream made with a rich custard base and simple ingredients like whole milk, heavy cream, and fresh or frozen cherries.

The cherry vanilla ice cream served in sundae dishes.

Ice cream, specifically cherry vanilla ice cream is one of our guilty pleasures.

There’s just something special about a cold treat that makes all those Summer temperatures bearable. Like our strawberries and cream popsicles.

For today’s recipe, we’re sharing our homemade cherry ice cream using a vanilla custard base.

Why use a vanilla custard ice cream base, you ask? Well, the answer has to do with ice crystallization.

Basically, without going into the chemistry, using a custard creates a smoother final product.

Now, I won’t fool you, this isn’t a, “quick,” recipe. It’s going to take multiple steps and at least 4-hours of freezing time.

In fact, I recommend chilling it overnight in your freezer to make sure it’s firm before serving.

Also, you’ll need an ice cream maker in order to use this recipe. It doesn’t have to be a top-of-the-line model. Our’s was only around $40.00.

What can I put in homemade ice cream?

There’s not enough room on this page to list all the goodies you can put into homemade ice cream. But, here’s a small list of our favorites.

  • Almonds
  • Dark Chocolate Chunks or Chips
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Fresh or Frozen Raspberries
  • Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
  • Anything you love!
The cherry vanilla ice cream served in sundae dishes.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

4.7 from 7 votes
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Author: Kim
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 2 cups cherries, fresh or frozen (pitted if using fresh)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  • This recipe requires an ice cream maker. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and place the core in the freezer well in advance to freeze solid. Most manufacturers require at least 24 hours.
  • Roughly chop the cherries, divide them in half, and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla.
    2 cups cherries
    Milk, sugar, and other ice cream ingredients in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a steep over low-medium heat. Steam should begin to rise from the liquid. Stir consistently and continue to cook over low-medium heat for approximately 8-10 minutes until the custard slightly thickens. The custard should lightly coat the back of a spoon when ready.
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup whole milk
    1 cup granulated sugar
    5 egg yolks
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    The vanilla custard base cooking in a pan.
  • Pour the custard through a mesh strainer to remove any solid pieces. Transfer the custard to a bowl to cool and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should touch the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator to cool (about 2 hours).
    Vanilla custard poured in a bowl through a mesh sieve.
  • After the custard cools, pour the custard and half of the chopped cherries into a blender and blend until smooth.
    Chopped cherries with the custard in a blender.
  • Pour the custard into the ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions until the ice cream reaches the soft set stage.
    Cherry vanilla ice cream churning in a maker.
  • Add the remaining chopped cherries, and continue to churn until the ice cream is well mixed and has begun to set.
    The remaining chopped cherries added to the ice cream.
  • Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container, and place in the freezer until completely firm. This will vary based on how frozen the ice cream is when it’s removed from the ice cream maker. (Ours took 4 – 6 hours.) Serve cold.
    The ice cream in a loaf pan covered with plastic wrap.
  • For tips and storage information continue scrolling to the post below the recipe card.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of ice cream. Actual calories will vary.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 5gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 192mgSodium: 33mgPotassium: 194mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 1108IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of More Than Meat and Potatoes and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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