No-Churn Fresh Cherry Ice Cream

A small batch of No-Churn Fresh Cherry Ice Cream is the perfect frozen treat for summer.  With only 3-ingredients, this recipe is super easy and made without an ice cream maker.  Sweetened condensed milk gives the ice cream its creamy texture, and fresh cherries add delicious flavor and color.

Scoops of homemade ice cream in a bowl

What Makes No-Churn Ice Cream Taste Like Other Ice Cream

When I first thought of making homemade ice cream, I took a trip down memory lane … All I could think of was the old school ice-cream maker we had as a kid.  The one that looks like a wooden barrel and required ice along the edges and you had to constantly turn the crank. 

When I thought of this, I decided to make cookies instead.

The second time I thought about making homemade ice cream, I calmed down a bit and researched ways to make ice cream without a fancy maker.  I happened upon the lifestyle queen herself – Martha Stewart – and her easy no-churn vanilla ice cream.  She takes two simple ingredients – whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk – and whisks them together, then into the freezer.  That’s it! 

Just like you, I was a little hesitant that would work.  Not to mention, does it actually taste like ice cream?

I’m delighted to report that this method for making ice cream is not only easy, but it also produces the creamiest ice cream.  And most importantly, it is the perfect blank canvas to add any ice cream flavor you like!  

Cherry ice cream on a cone

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No-Churn Fresh Cherry Ice Cream

So we talked about the blank canvas that is no-churn ice cream.  Now I’m going to throw a bit of a wrench in that process.  

For this Fresh Cherry Ice Cream I wanted to preserve the flavor – and color – of the cherries.  But I still wanted it to be sweet and creamy.  Ice cream without the sweetened condensed milk or whipped cream would just be a sorbet.  To get the sweet and creamy I wanted, I opted to try only the sweetened condensed milk.  This gives the ice cream its sweetness, and it also makes sure it is creamy. 

And I stopped there.  I decided not to use the whipped cream in this recipe because honestly, it doesn’t need it.  It would mute the cherry flavor too much.  Not to mention, we lose a couple of calories by not adding the whipped cream.  🙂  Because we are really watching our calories when we are eating bowls of ice cream, right!!??

Close up of no-churn cherry ice cream

What You Need To Make Cherry No-Churn Ice Cream

Ingredients

There are only 3 ingredients!

  • Fresh Cherries – I recommend fresh cherries when they are in season.  Otherwise, frozen cherries can also work.  
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Not evaporated milk.  The sweetened condensed milk is key to giving sweetness and creamy texture to the ice cream.  Note:  sweetened condensed milk is sweet.  You can throttle how much you use as you are blending the ice cream mix.  
  • Lemon Juice – I like to add lemon juice when I’m working with fresh fruit to amplify the flavor of the fruit.  And we are using such a small amount, you don’t taste it.

Equipment

  • Cherry Pitter – if you are going to bake/cook with fresh cherries, I highly recommend a good cherry pitter.  Here is the one I use.  
  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Ice Cream Container – I would recommend a container designed for ice cream – especially if you plan on making a lot of homemade ice cream.  Otherwise, you can use a loaf pan, ice cream pan, or even a casserole dish in a pinch.  If so, I would cover the top with plastic wrap, then a foil – to keep the ice cream cold.

How To Make No-Churn Cherry Ice Cream

Because there are only 3 ingredients needed to make the ice cream, there should only be 3 steps to make it!

  1. Pit The Cherries – If using fresh cherries.
  2. Throw all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  You will have little bits of the cherry skin, but this is fine to add flavor.  
  3. Freeze

Ok – so there is a 4th step to make cherry ice cream:  Eat!


Tips For Making Homemade Ice Cream

Not too many tips here, since this is a super easy recipe!

  • Taste the mix as you blend – Going back to my point on the sweetness of the sweetened condensed milk – you may find that you want more or less.  So start with a bit of the condensed milk and add more as you blend.
  • Use a good blender or food processor – I’ve learned first hand that not having a good blender or processor makes pureeing anything a nightmare.  
  • Ice cream containers make storing ice cream easy 
Ice cream scoops in a bowl

No-Churn Cherry Ice Cream FAQ’s

Can this small batch recipe for ice cream be doubled?

Yes, this ice cream recipe can be doubled! Since we are working with simple ingredients, this recipe is easily doubled.

Is it better to use fresh or frozen cherries?

If it is summer – i.e. cherry season – I recommend using fresh cherries. I find fresh fruit will always have a more robust flavor. However, if it is not cherry season, feel free to use frozen cherries.

Can I use evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk?

I would only recommend sweetened condensed milk. I find it gives the ice cream the creamy texture. And, I have not tested using evaporated milk in ice cream, so I can’t say for certain how it will turn out.

Can I make this ice cream dairy-free by using sweetened condensed coconut milk?

You bet! I have yet to test this, but I have sweetened condensed coconut milk on my list to try in ice cream.

Why do you put lemon juice in the ice cream? Won’t it make it taste like lemon?

The lemon juice highlights and brightens the fresh fruit flavor. It doesn’t add a lemon or citrus flavor.

Are ice cream containers worth it?

I highly recommend ice cream containers for homemade ice cream. I’ve used loaf pans and cake pans in a pinch. However, I have to double cover them with plastic wrap and foil to keep them cold and try to keep ice crystals off the ice cream. I don’t worry about this with ice cream containers.

More Frozen Dessert Recipes

Cherry ice cream with cone in the bowl
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No-Churn Fresh Cherry Ice Cream

3-Ingredient No-Churn Fresh Cherry Ice Cream! This is an easy, small batch ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice-cream machine or eggs. Sweetened condensed milk gives the ice cream its smooth and creamy texture, while fresh cherries give it its delicious flavor, and color!
Prep10 mins
Freeze8 hrs
Total8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 2 People
Author: Erin | Butter and Bliss

Equipment

  • 6-Inch Cake Pan, 9×5 Loaf Pan, or Ice Cream Container

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk - this is about 1/2 of a 14-ounce can

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or larger blender. Blend until smooth. Even after blending until smooth, you may still have speckles of the cherry skin, which is fine.
  • Pour the ice cream mix in a freezer-safe container. Seal, cover tightly, and freeze for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Notes

  • Cherries – I recommend fresh cherries when they are in season.  Otherwise, frozen cherries will also work.
  • Sweeten To Taste – The sweetened condensed milk is very sweet, and you can increase or decrease the amount you use, depending on your taste preference.
  • Ice Cream Container – Options in lieu of an ice cream container:  loaf pan, small cake pan, and casserole dish.  Cover the top with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil – to keep the ice cream cold.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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