Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

It’s funny that this is my favorite ice cream ever ever because a) the rest of my favorites are minty and b) I’m not the hugest fan of blueberries. It’s a gross story and I’ll spare you all the icky details. But this is another huge hit from Cooking Light (with one major, delicious, and completely un-light addition) that is also one of Sara’s favorites. And everyone who tries it loves it. I took it to a BBQ last summer with a bunch of kids and I didn’t think they’d like it, so I also brought some mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches. There was actual fighting over this ice cream and I came home with a bunch of melty, squashed ice cream sandwiches, so I learned my lesson.

In the spirit of experimentation, our friend Lisa made it with strawberries instead of blueberries and didn’t love it. Ever since she told me she wasn’t wild about it, I’ve realized that there’s a lot to love about blueberries in this recipe–they don’t completely freeze, so you get little bites of frozen blueberry, similar in texture to frozen grapes, and it’s delish. Also, the color is beautiful and blueberries just pack a lot of flavor punch and they hold their own very nicely in this recipe.

I actually think it’s a little misleading to call this “Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.” I think non-cheesecake fans will be scared away and die-hard cheesecake-in-my-ice-cream fans may be disappointed. Honestly, you can hardly taste the cream cheese and there are no cheesecake bits. The cream cheese does, however, add a little zing and a lot of richness.

I won’t lie, this recipe is quite time-consuming. But it’s so worth it.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Recipe by Cooking Light

3 c. fresh blueberries (or frozen works too)
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. water
2 c. sugar
6 oz. light cream cheese, softened*
4 egg yolks
3 c. 2% milk*
1 c. half and half*
Optional: 1 prepared graham cracker crust

*If you don’t care about the calories (and you really shouldn’t when making home made ice cream!) use full-fat cream cheese and substitute heavy cream for the half and half and whole milk for the 2%. It makes it soooooo good.

I forgot the regular sugar in this picture. Fortunately, I did not make the same mistake in the ice cream. Don’t forget the sugar! Ever. That just seems like good, everyday advice.

In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, powdered sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

In a large saucepan, combine milk and half and half (or cream and whole milk if you’re taking that route). Bring to a boil and then remove from heat.

While milk is heating, combine cream cheese, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl and mix well.

After you have removed milk mixture from heat, very slowly pour half of the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture while the beater is running. This is called tempering the eggs, meaning that you’re slowly acclimating them to heat so you can cook them without them curdling. Mix the egg mixture well and then add the tempered egg mixture back into the hot milk mixture. Over medium-low heat and stirring very often, cook to 160 degrees (use a candy thermometer; 160 degrees is considered safe for most animal products, eggs included). Remove from heat.

Place pan in ice–I actually just put the pan in my sink and then dumped a whole bunch of ice all around it; hey, it’s one less dish for me to clean!

Allow to cool to a touchable temperature and then add those gorgeous blueberries and all of the liquid with them.

Combine completely and put in the fridge for several hours until well chilled. Because this ice cream is a little more labor intensive that most, I make it up to this step one or even 2 days ahead of time. That way when you’re ready to freeze it, it’s well chilled and will be ready faster!

Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. After churning it will be like soft-serve. Place in an air-tight container in the freezer to let it set up.

If you’re adding the graham cracker crust: While the ice cream maker is working its magic, go ahead and break up the graham cracker crust. Leave some bigger chunks–the ice cream maker will break them down and the texture in the frozen ice cream is awesome!

When the ice cream is very thick, add the pieces of graham cracker crust and then stop the motor as soon as the crust pieces have been mixed in. Transfer to a freezer-safe container (I just use a plastic food storage container) and freeze for at least three hours. The REAL beauty is that for about a week, the longer this sits in your freezer, the better it tastes. So you can make this well in advance if you’re having a party–and THANK GOODNESS for that, since you’re pretty much guaranteed to be spending at least 1 hour working on this stuff, not counting all the waiting time!

Another reason why you want to freeze this for as long as possible is because this is pretty soft and seems to have a lower melting temperature than most commercial ice creams. Even after an overnight in the freezer, it’s pretty easy to scoop up.

The flavor is rich and creamy, the berries are sweet, the cream cheese adds a tang and the finished product is so worth the time you put into making it!

Try it in a little homemade waffle cone

Or a big ol’ bowl





  1. Erika, I think that most of the basic electric table top models have a 1.5 qt. capacity. It seems to be pretty standard, because most recipes make just enough to fit in there.

  2. I think it makes 2 quarts and I have a 1.5 quart ice cream maker. I either half the recipe or I fill it about 3/4 full, refrigerate what I don’t use, and then make the rest the next day after my cannister has had a chance to re-freeze. I reaaaaaaally want a Cuisinart 2 qt. maker, especially after the motor on my little cheap-o one kept pooping out on me last night!

  3. okay, after writing the word “met” in quotations, I realize I look like a wacky internet stalker or something. So just to clarify for everyone, Kate and I DO know each other in real life! We just happened to reconnect on-line after a few years, lol.

  4. Yes Becca, this is the one. Mmm…and home made cones…

    This is one of my very favorites too. And Kate, I totally agree about the blueberries. After Lisa tried it with Strawberries, I tried it that way too, and it SO wasn’t as good as the original blueberry.

    Random memory for you Kate…remember when we first “met” and were talking on IM maybe for the first time after discovering that we both loved to cook and had such similar tastes and styles, including a mutual love of CL. And one of us said, “oh my gosh, have you tried the blueberry cheesecake ice cream? And the other was like, “It’s totally our favorite!” okay, something like that, lol. (and then we started talking about banana breads…) That’s when we knew we were destined for food-bloggerness. Okay, or at least friendship, haha. Anyway, because of that, this ice cream always reminds me of you!

  5. I have made this before (I bleieve on Sara’s insistence??) and it is WONDERFUL!! Especially with homemade cones 🙂

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