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This cheesecake ice cream is rich, creamy and decadent! Enjoy it plain or add graham crackers for a crust-like mix-in.

Cheesecake ice cream

Are you a cheesecake lover? Then you’ll absolutely adore it frozen: try this Cheesecake Ice Cream! Adding cream cheese to a standard vanilla ice cream makes it over-the-top rich, creamy and indulgent. Take one bite and you’ll raise your eyebrows in amazement (we did). The best part? Stir in some chopped graham crackers to simulate that signature crust. It adds just the right contrast in texture that will have everyone coming back for more. Ready to make magic?

Ingredients in cheesecake ice cream

Cheesecake ice cream tastes just like cheesecake: but you don’t need to reverse engineer that popular dessert. It’s just a matter of adding cream cheese to a standard vanilla ice cream base. But it tastes like more than just an added ingredient: the cheese changes the entire character of the ice cream to rich and decadent! We were surprised at how much a package of cream cheese can do. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Cream cheese
  • Cornstarch
  • Whole milk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Graham crackers
Cheesecake Ice Cream

Required equipment: ice cream maker

This cheesecake ice cream does require an ice cream maker! If you don’t have one yet, you’ll find this piece of equipment a great investment you can use to make sorbetssherbet and ice cream year round. There are two main types of ice cream makers to try:

  • Freezer bowl ice cream maker (inexpensive). Find this type of ice cream maker for the most economical choice. Here’s the 2 quart freezer bowl ice cream maker we use. It’s a little more expensive than some, but it’s held up well. Make sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before making your ice cream!
  • Automatic ice cream maker (expensive, but easy to use!). Do you make ice cream often? You might want to consider this automatic ice cream maker, which is larger and more expensive. It requires no pre-freezing of the base, so you can make ice cream any time you please.

How to make cheesecake ice cream (basic steps)

This cheesecake cream recipe uses the classic method making ice cream: make a custard, churn it in an ice cream maker, then freeze to “ripen” the texture. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Make the custard (5 minutes): Soften the cream cheese. Simmer the cornstarch, whole milk and sugar 4 to 5 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Then add in the heavy cream, more milk and vanilla. Pour it over the cream cheese and whisk to combine.
  • Cool the custard (1 hour): Cool down the custard before churning it. You can do this in a few ways. Our favorite is to transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl and place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour.
  • Churn (25 minutes): Then churn the custard in the ice cream maker.
  • Add the graham crackers: Swirl the chopped graham crackers into the custard (if using).
  • Freeze or “ripen” for hard ice cream texture (at least 2 hours): Freeze the ice cream for 2 to 4 hours for a scoop-able, hard ice cream texture.
Cheesecake ice cream

Storage info

You’ll find that unlike many homemade ice cream recipes, this cheesecake ice cream stays creamy over the storage time. The flavor is at its peak right away, but you can store this ice cream for up to 2 weeks and it tastes delicious.

If you’ve stored it in the freezer for several days, it will be very hard. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.

Cheesecake ice cream variations and serving suggestions

Cheesecake ice cream is fun because you can riff endlessly on different cheesecake flavors! You can stir in fruity syrups and sauces right into the ice cream, or use it as a sauce when serving. Here are a few ideas:

  • Chocolate: Drizzle with chocolate sauce when serving
  • Strawberry: Swirl in strawberry jam or strawberry sauce before freezing or when serving. Or make Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.
  • Blueberry: Swirl in blueberry jam or blueberry sauce before freezing or when serving
  • Raspberry: Swirl in raspberry jam or raspberry sauce before freezing or when serving
Cheesecake ice cream

More ice cream recipes

We love homemade ice cream! Here are a few more ways to use your ice cream maker:

This cheesecake ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with no graham crackers).

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Cheesecake ice cream

Cheesecake Ice Cream

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including chill time)
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


This cheesecake ice cream is rich, creamy and decadent! Enjoy it plain or add graham crackers for a crust-like mix-in.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole graham crackers, chopped (optional)


Note: Make sure to freeze the base of your ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.

  1. Soften the cream cheese by placing it on a plate and microwaving for 10 seconds per side. Place the cream cheese in a large metal bowl and cut into a few pieces.
  2. In a medium saucepan, slowly whisk the cornstarch into 1 cup whole milk, then whisk in the sugar. Apply medium heat and heat for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking frequently, until it just starts to bubble and the mixture thickens.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it over the cream cheese. Whisk vigorously until it is fully smooth (it will start out chunky). Stir in the remaining ½ cup whole milk, heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract.
  4. Place the bowl with the custard in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour, making sure not to splash any water into the ice cream. Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 to 4 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Churn according to your ice cream maker instructions, about 25 minutes for soft serve consistency. Transfer half the ice cream to a loaf pan or freezer container, add a layer of chopped graham crackers, then top with the remaining half and more graham crackers. Insert a butter knife vertically into the pan and draw an S pattern through the ice cream a few times to distribute the graham crackers. Freeze in the freezer for at least 2 hours (or up to 4 hours). Store in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top or a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before scooping.
  • Category: Ice cream
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Cheesecake ice cream

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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