Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

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.

  • Yield: Makes about one quart


  • 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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  • 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!

  • 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!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Donna, thank you! I love your idea of soaking the chopped cherries in vodka and sugar. Now that I think about it, you might be able to get a similar result with just sugar.

  • 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.

  • Sue

    Made this today. Tasted good, I added some chopped cherries. Question….mine is a very pale pink, not the dark color in your photo?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sue, we used some very dark bing cherries for this batch.

  • J.B. Bulharowski


    Really enjoy your site and visit it often. Although I am not an inexperienced cook (been at it for over 50 years), I now look for delicious tasting food, but opt out for easier more streamlined ways to do things. Several weeks ago I made a gorgeous recipe for cherry ice cream with eggs and a cooked custard that was stellar, but a good deal more work. As an alternative to the multi-step custard I.C., I found your cherry ice cream recipe, put it together according to your directions, but finised the purée in my Vitamix. Last night installed it my I.C. Maker and churned away at it. Taste was every bit as good as the more involved recipe and twice as easy. My DH is a purist and vetoed the chocolate shavings aspect, so I threw in about 1/3 cup of the chopped cherries at the end of the processing and it was done in about 25 minutes. Stellar, gorgeous results and taste, the only differences in what I did was I only had Chambord liqueur so I went ahead and used it. To my delight and surprise it is stellar and the head taster/scooper loved it. Thanks for assisting me in my quest for good, and easy. Keep posting and I’ll keep looking!


    • Elise Bauer

      Thanks so much JB, I’m so glad the recipe worked well for you! I love Chambord, great idea to use it!

  • elie

    This looks promising.. any idea of what type of cream to use?? Would a non sweetened cooking cream work?? Or is there different type which i should look for in the supermarket.

  • Nina Gannon

    my mixture did not thicken into a custard and did not turn into a ice-cream

  • ML Chan

    Just made today. It turned out amazing. I would have put some alcohol if the kids weren’t eating it. Definitely an easy recipe.

  • Denise

    Hi,just made the mix for this ice cream. I’m About to pour it into ice cream maker..Is it really 2 tablespoons of amaretto or cherry liquor or 2 teaspoons? I made a double batch and am afraid to add 4 tablespoons.thanks.

    Tablespoons, not teaspoons. ~Elise

  • Sanda

    I just stumbled across this recipe of yours and decided to give it a try. It was fabulous! So, thank you for posting it (some three years ago)!

  • Danielle Goewert

    Just made this ice cream:) I love it so. This is my favorite ice cream and to make it at home tops it off. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, making another batch tomorrow

  • Latha

    Hi Elise,

    This is a wonderful recipe. First time I’m making ice-cream and I’m very impressed:) I tried half with yogurt and half with cream. I think I prefer the latter:) Tomorrow I plan to try out the strawberry frozen yogurt. I have no doubt it’d be a success as well. Thanks for your clean recipes…

    PS: I had to strain to remove the cherry skins. How did you manage a fine puree?

    I just kept the blender going until everything was well puréed. ~Elise

  • Latha

    Dear Elise,

    I bought a local brand ice-cream machine (German). It says the ice-cream is best soon after churned in the machine. What do I do if i want to freeze for couple of days’ use? Should I churn everytime before having the ice-cream or just straight from the freezer? I have some lovely cherries waiting to be consumed… pls. help!

    Hi Latha, Ice cream straight from the machine is wonderful and soft. If you like soft ice cream, eat it then. Otherwise, scoop it out of the machine and put it into a container and freeze. It will firm up in the freezer. ~Elise

  • Adrienne

    Elise, thanks for the recommendation! I bought that ice cream maker from Amazon and made this cherry ice cream. Delicious! I’m going to try a custard base (vanilla, I think) this afternoon :)

  • Stephen

    Hi Elise! How about Bing cherries preserved in port to use as a warm topping for ice cream. 2 cups port, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest in shreds, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon fresh, coarse ground black pepper, 1 pound Bing cherries– You don’t have to pit them!!! Combine the port, sugar, zest, lemon juice and pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cook unitl reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and stir in the cherries. Cook and stir for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to place the cherries in two 1-pint canning jars already sterilized. Then bring the syrup to a boil and pour over the cherries nearly to the jar rims. Cool and refrigerate for several weeks–if they last that long!

    Hi Stephen, what a delicious idea, thank you! ~Elise

  • live2cook

    Wow! I will surely try this recipe. To make me happy, it is Egg free! Yay!

    I will replace the liquer with arrowroot powder as they say the latter prevents ice crystals forming in Ice creams too.

  • Adrienne

    Well, now I have to buy an ice cream maker. I’ve been reading amazing ice cream recipes for the last several weeks, but this one is putting me over the edge. Do you have a model you recommend?

    The one I use is the Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker. ~Elise

  • Mike

    Now there’s a coincidence–I just made a batch of cherry frozen yogurt with chocolate chunks (like stracciatella) last night! Although I’m definitely jealous that you have backyard kind of access to cherries–seems a lot more fun than driving to the grocery store. I really like the color you got on your ice cream though–mine took on more of a Pepto Bismol look, which isn’t quite as exciting a dessert color, lol (hopefully I’m the only one eating it who makes the Pepto observation). ;-)