30 Homemade Ice Cream Recipes Made for Hot Summer Days
Cold, creamy ice cream is essential for surviving sweltering days in the South, and you don’t have to visit an ice cream parlor to get your fix. Break out the ice cream maker collecting dust in your closet and churn up a batch of our easy homemade ice cream in your favorite flavor. We have dozens of delicious ice cream recipes to choose from, whether you like chocolate, vanilla, fruity flavors, or all of the above. Just follow these expert tips and your batch of ice cream will come out smooth and creamy every time. No ice cream maker on hand? No problem. Get a little creative with technique and you can make an equally stunning batch of ice cream. Our Birthday Cake Ice Cream comes together in a loaf pan in the freezer, and our Strawberry Ice Cream in a Bag miraculously freezes with a little salt and shaking.
In the mood for something special for a summer party? Make an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake or a Creamy Peach Icebox Cake. No matter how you enjoy your ice cream, one thing’s for sure: This frozen treat is supremely satisfying.
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
Recipe: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
The trick is in the cookies. A very fine consistency will make sure every bite meets your cookie-filled expectations.
Sea Salt Ice Cream
Recipe: Sea Salt Ice Cream
If you savor sweet and salty flavor combos, you won’t be able to get enough of this simple, yet sophisticated Sea Salt Ice Cream.
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream
Pistachio Ice Cream
Recipe: Pistachio Ice Cream
You’ll want to use roasted salted pistachios in this cool ice cream to achieve that crave-worthy sweet-and-salty flavor.
Birthday Cake Ice Cream
Recipe: Birthday Cake Ice Cream
No ice cream maker? No problem. This fun shortcut ice cream—studded with cake crumbles and sprinkles—comes together in a loaf pan in the freezer.
Homemade Strawberry Gelato
Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Gelato
An Italian take on ice cream, gelato boasts an extra-creamy texture and a slightly tangy flavor. This strawberry version, paired with almond shortbread and elderflower crème, is as impressive as they get.
Banana Ice Cream
Recipe: Banana Ice Cream
With a creamy custard base and a dose of flavor from ripe mashed bananas, this ice cream is the perfect way to finish off a summertime meal.
Recipe: Blackberry Gelato
An innovative use for fresh blackberries, this Blackberry Gelato is creamier and richer than your average ice cream.
Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream
Recipe: Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream
Doctor up that pint of plain vanilla with warm toasted pecans and a nice splash of bourbon.
Putt’s Butter Pecan Sundae
Recipe: Putt’s Butter Pecan Sundae
Once you taste this praline sundae topping, you’ll be sure to keep a batch stocked at all times.
Strawberry Ice Cream in a Bag
Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream in a Bag
Looking for a fun activity to keep the kids busy? Make ice cream in a bag. Just toss all the ingredients—which you probably already have in your pantry—into a Ziploc bag and shake away.
Cornbread Ice Cream
Recipe: Cornbread Ice Cream
Meet the Southern ice cream flavor you never knew you needed.
Buttermilk-Plum Ice Cream
Recipe: Buttermilk-Plum Ice Cream
This frozen treat will make your insides feel like the temperature is taking a plunge, but your heart will be warm at the thought of a taste of Buttermilk-Plum Ice Cream. Its ruby-colored swirls—the source of its name— come from fresh plums. Half-and-half, buttermilk, and heavy cream help form its rich base, while peeled and chopped black plums add in beautiful color and flavor.
Justine's Pineapple Mint Ice Cream
Southern food maven Julia Reed tells a story of how Justine's, the famous Memphis restaurant, always had one or two homemade ice creams ready for its guests to enjoy. In this recipe, she recreates the flavors of one of her favorites, a Pineapple-Mint Ice Cream. One of the great flavor enhancers for this tasty treat is white crème de menthe, which pairs well with fresh mint leaves for a subtle-but-bright taste. Crushed pineapple and pineapple juice add in some delicious citrus flavors. For an authentic taste of the Southern summer, a bowl of this ice cream will have you feel like you're splashing your feet in the river and enjoying the warmth of the season.
Blueberry-Lemon Zest Ice Cream
Recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Zest Ice Cream
Having sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk in the recipe mean that this will be a rich and creamy delight. Mix in some fresh blueberries and eating a bite of this is literally like having your mouth stained with berries and sunshine. Just before this frigid favorite is ready to be scooped out, stirring a little lemon zest into the ice-cream base adds just the right amount of subtle citrus bite to this sweet sensation. You'll love how these two flavors go together. Once you've had a bite of this bright and flavorful ice cream, you may find that is too good to limit yourself to just one scoop.
Bourbon-Butter-Salted Pecan Ice Cream
This is a take on the classic Butter-Pecan Ice Cream. We just can't resist the salty sweet combination in this ice-cream recipe. Those butter-toasted pecans dusted with salt have a great crunch. Once they're stirred into the ice cream, the question of whether you prefer salty or sweet doesn't have to be answered because you've got them both. Adding in just a hint of bourbon brings in the smoky sweetness of this Southern spirit. This is, to quote one reviewer, "amazing." So let the idea of classic butter pecan be your guide, but amp it up with great add-ins. Salt and bourbon make this a dessert you'll always want to have on the table.
Strawberry-Basil Ice Cream
Recipe: Strawberry-Basil Ice-Cream
This ice cream is not a mix of sweet and savory, but it certainly is a mix of sweet and herby. These flavors collide in this refreshing treat to create an unmistakable and irresistible treat. Pulsing the strawberries, basil, and lemon juice all at once ensures that all the tastes of each are beautifully combined. A few hours in the freezer and this pink delight emerges with the tastes of fruit and basil. You'll love the rich flavor and creamy, smooth texture from the sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and evaporated milk combo. Dollop a big scoop of this in a bowl, or on a cone, and savor every bite.
Coffee Liqueur Cookies-and-Cream Ice Cream
If you can imagine dipping cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies in an adult version of frozen milk you can pretty much imagine this incredible dessert. It simply builds on the delights of a basic cookies-and-cream ice cream, taking its flavors to the next level. This dreamy ice-cream recipe is the perfect after-dinner treat when you are entertaining. It combines the chocolaty goodness and crunch of cream-filled sandwich cookies with the sweetness of an incredible ice cream. Simply pick your favorite coffee-flavored liqueur, and you'll have the perfect adult addition to this tasty frozen treat.
Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream
Recipe: Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream
If you've been wondering how to get one of your favorite chilled and sliced desserts out of the pie cooler and into a cup or cone somehow, this Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream recipe is the perfect solution. Homemade ice cream with four simple ingredients and a tangy citrus twist reinvents the classic Southern icebox pie. When you're done preparing this you may want to scoop out some large dollops onto waffle cone pieces. However you choose to enjoy this delight the result will be the same, meaning there probably won't be too much left to go back into the freezer—a Southerner can tell you that ice cream melts in the icebox!
No-Cook Peach Ice Cream
Recipe: No-Cook Peach Ice Cream
Peaches are a sweet taste of summer, and adding them to ice cream only makes the flavors of the season more sensational. Many homemade ice cream recipes require cooking a custard base first, but for this easy peach ice cream you simply freeze sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, and fresh peaches. Taking the cooking step out of the process has you enjoying scoops of this seasonal treat sooner. Choosing the taste of fresh peaches—one of our favorite Southern fruits—means that you will delight in some of the best produce our that comes from our farms and goes straight to your table, or in this case straight on top of that cone!
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Recipe: Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
You'll probably feel like you are in the Florida Keys, enjoying white sand beaches and reading Papa Hemingway novels, from the moment you have your first bite of Key Lime Pie Ice Cream. And who wouldn't want to serve the classic pie in ice-cream form? Key lime juice, zest, and graham cracker crumbs make this ice cream taste just like the real deal. You'll literally need to get your hands on some of those special citrus fruits—the tiny Key limes that give this South Florida delicacy its special flavors—to grate the zest that makes this pie ice-cream so special. It is well worth the effort because once you have it in the bowl you'll feel like you've been lounging on the verandah the entire time anyway.
Buttermilk Ice Cream
Master Recipe: Buttermilk Ice Cream
Variation 1: Avocado-Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Variation 2: Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
Variation 3: Blueberry-Cheesecake Ice Cream
Vartiation 4: Strawberry-Pretzel Ice Cream
A new freezer favorite has arrived. One genius (and easy!) master recipe and four over-the-top variations provide an endless array of sweet and creamy ideas. The secret to these dreamy treats? Soft-baked cookies from your bakery. Go large or small—just don't go with the crunchy kind. There are many ways to enjoy buttermilk ice cream. The classic recipe mixes cream cheese and tangy buttermilk, and you can then fill it with add-ins like candy pieces, crushed cookies, or spices. Think about what complements or creates the perfect opposite to those cookies you're getting ready to sandwich it between, then dig on in to the perfect buttermilk ice-cream sandwich.
Coffee-Chocolate Ice Cream
Recipe: Coffee-Chocolate Ice Cream
Take coffee and chocolate, which would be delicious and delectable flavors on their own, and combine them in a single dessert. You get the wonder that is Coffee-Chocolate Ice Cream. Instant espresso gives plain chocolate ice cream a jolt of flavor, and shaved semi-sweet chocolate, mixed in, brings each bite just a little frozen-chocolate crunch. Serve a scoop of this with a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven brownie, or let it stand on its own. The rich and bold flavors of homemade Coffee-Chocolate Ice Cream are certainly significant enough to be the star of a dinner table sweet.
Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Recipe: Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Cream Cheese Ice Cream is described by one reader as a summer version of cream cheese frosting, not that cream cheese frosting isn't delicious at any time. We simply think of this as a rich, frozen delight—cream cheese mixes with half-and-half, eggs, sugar, and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. What could be simpler? Yum! We'll have another scoop of this thick and luscious ice cream. Layer this with your choice of fresh seasonal berries, and garnish it with some fresh mint, and the tastes of summer will be ready for the boys and girls of summer. Scoop them up.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Recipe: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
People often say you can judge an ice-cream maker by their vanilla, so put your best foot forward with this homemade wonder. To put it plainly, no fancy flavors or creative concoctions can beat the ultimate creamy classic: vanilla ice cream. Eat it pure and simple, mix in chocolate or fruit, or add your favorite toppings. But remember that the base is basic: plain, old, homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, made with heavy whipping cream and vanilla bean paste. It doesn't get much easier, or much better, or much more delicious, than that.
Homemade Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Cream
Good things certainly do grow on trees. That's certainly the case here because this homemade treat is packed with two Southern favorites: refreshing, fresh peaches and nutty pecans. The sweet peaches add great texture, and the pecans pack in a crunchy bite to this homemade ice-cream recipe. The butter-toasted pecans will develop an incredible depth and aroma, and once you've sprinkled them with a dusting of salt they will have the perfect piquant bite. You'll love their flavor. Think of this as toasted butter pecans meet perfectly peeled peaches. These are Southern sensations in the wild. This means flavors that are sweet and mild.
Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream
Recipe: Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream
This Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream recipe is like a frozen twist on a classic cocktail. It mixes chopped pitted cherries in heavy syrup with a few tablespoons of bourbon for a taste that is sweet, yet filled with a smoky warmth, all at the same time. This is an adult delight on a summer afternoon, or the perfect dessert to bookend that great dinner party that you started with a stout glass filled with a drink like an Old-Fashioned. This may be such a delight that you'll skip that drink and head straight for dessert after all.
Mocha Latte Ice Cream
Recipe: Mocha Latte Ice Cream
Readers love this recipe. Says one, "the base recipe is perfect." We certainly think this recipe for Mocha Latte Ice Cream creates a frozen treat that is rich, full-bodied, and will only keep you up at night if you are walking back to the freezer again to fill up a bowl with another scoop. Mix coffee and semisweet chocolate into this dense ice cream. Add sliced almonds if you want to break up the richness of the mocha, but you'll find this delicious however you scoop it. It may not replace your morning coffee, but it could replace your favorite dessert.
Vanilla Ice Cream With Fruit Blend
Patience may be a virtue, but if you don't want to wait this ice cream is perfect when you want to dig right in. You can serve this soft right out of the ice-cream maker's container, or freeze it for a firmer consistency. However you prefer to dish it out, you'll love the combination of classic vanilla ice cream and your choice of one of two fruit mixtures—choose from Mixed Berry Blend or Nectarine-and-Toasted Almond Blend. Either will add just that perfect bit of tart to this delectable bowl of sweetness. The Mixed Berry Blend is even guaranteed to give you the seasonal tastes of summer.
Mocha Ice Cream
Recipe: Mocha Ice Cream
You should simply expect this frozen creation to be rich and delicious, which it is. Described by readers as "the perfect blend of chocolate and coffee," and "more like a gelato than an ice cream, this was so rich and creamy," this coffee-chocolate ice-cream concoction tastes divine. Mixing semisweet chocolate squares and brewed coffee is a great way to begin any dessert, and flavoring ice cream with them is fantastic. This frozen treat is great served with cookies, so we suggest biscotti—they add a little crunch to delectable flavors and textures of this Mocha Ice Cream.