Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

DessertCherryChocolate ChipIce Cream

Homemade cherry ice cream made with fresh, sweet cherries, milk, cream, sugar, with shaved bittersweet chocolate folded in.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

There is something truly glorious about standing in the shade of a cherry tree ripe with cherries, and picking them and eating them right there on the spot.

As kids we would have pit spitting contests to see how far we could make them fly. Do kids even do this any more?

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They’ve already bred the seeds out of watermelons, I sure hope they don’t breed the pits out of cherries. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t mind working for my food, pits, seeds and all.

To make cherry ice cream, you do have to pit some cherries. Takes about 10 minutes with a paring knife, but it’s a lot faster if you use a cherry pitter.

This recipe calls for regular sweet cherries, which are milder in flavor than their sour cherry cousins, but easier to come by.

Because of the mildness, this ice cream benefits from the addition of chocolate, and some berry liqueur.

Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips Recipe

  • Yield: Makes about one quart

You can also try making this ice cream with yogurt instead of cream. Heat the cherries, sugar, salt, and milk first. Then let cool. Add 1 3/4 cup of full-fat yogurt and purée. Everything else is the same except no need to add lemon juice.


  • 1 1/2 cups pitted ripe sweet cherries (from about 3/4 lb cherries)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Amaretto, cherry liqueur, or rum (optional)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine, keep in freezer until used


1 Heat cherries, milk, 1 cup cream, sugar, salt, then purée: Put cherries, milk, one cup of the cream, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the mixture is steamy, then lower the heat to warm and just let sit for about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a blender, or use an immersion blender, and carefully purée.

(Careful because you are dealing with a hot liquid. Make sure you hold the cap down on the top of the blender while puréeing.)

2 Stir in remaining cream and chill: Put mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of cream.

Chill for several hours in the refrigerator until completely cold. (Can also place bowl over an ice bath, to speed up the cooling process.)

3 Stir in lemon juice and Amaretto: Before putting the mixture into your ice cream maker, stir in the lemon juice and the Amaretto or other liqueur if you are using. Note that you can skip the alcohol if you want, but the addition of it will help the ice cream from getting too icy, and the amaretto can add a nice flavor boost to the ice cream.

4 Churn with your ice cream maker: Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

5 Fold in chocolate chips and freeze: Once the ice cream has completed churning, the ice cream should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the finely chopped chocolate.

Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours.

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How to make ice cream without a machine - from David Lebovitz

Cherry Frozen Yogurt here on Simply Recipes

Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

25 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Sagi

    Just made it and came up with this variation as a result of a mistake I made while making it:
    If you add the lemon juice to the saucepan while heating the ingredients, it curdles the milk and cream and you actually get a Cherry Cheesecake ice cream… Yumm!

    Show Replies (1)
  2. mary

    Followed recipe. Very little flavor even with amaretto. Soaked some chopped cherries in vodka and folded them in. Meh. Maybe should have soaked cherries in vodka and sugar beforehand and used those in blended cream?


  3. Lechner

    I’m an instant gratification kind of girl, so any ice cream that doesn’t have a custard base that needs to be made and cooled is my kind of recipe!

  4. Donna

    Hi Elise,

    I found your site while looking for cherry ice cream since it’s cherry season now in Washington state. You have a lot of great recipes here so I’ll be back! This is a really, really good ice cream and pretty easy to make. I typically create a custard base, and I still think it makes a richer ice cream, but this version was nice. A few things I modified; used half & half in place of the milk, used chopped chocolate instead of shavings, and added some chopped cherries. In order not to have frozen hard cherry chunks (you have to get the water out of the fruit) I chopped up about 2/3 of a cup of cherries and soaked them in about 1/4 cup vodka and a few tablespoons sugar for several hours, stirring occasionally. Then strain and add to the ice cream after churning. I also added the chocolate after churning as well. I think if I make this again, I’ll try the custard base, but maybe not if I’m in a rush!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. L jones

    What a terrible waste of beautiful cherries. My whole family hated it so much we tossed it out. Don’t cut corners with this recipe. I thought it was worth a shot but I’m going back to making an ice cream custard and doing it properly.

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