Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

9 Reviews / 4.7 Average
My husband used to think he didn’t like strawberry ice cream, and come to find out it’s because he’d never had “real” strawberry ice cream before … only the bright pink stuff out of a box. But once I made him the real deal his mind was forever changed, and I promise you’ll be “won over” by this simple recipe as well.
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homemade strawberry ice cream in a glass bowl

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It’s honestly hard to beat the taste and consistency of fresh homemade ice cream, no matter what flavor you make. And with the high-tech ice cream makers these days, it’s fairly easy to make at home yourself, and it doesn’t take long either—no cranks, ice, or salt necessary. :) We have a Cuisinart ice cream maker and love it. Here’s how we made strawberry ice cream at home!

Easy Ice Cream Maker Recipe with Fresh Strawberries

Homemade ice cream is one of our favorite real food indulgences when we want to enjoy a sweet treat. You can easily make it at home with just a few ingredients and flavor it with fresh fruit and maple syrup.

This recipe can be enjoyed right away or frozen for later.

Ingredients and Supplies for Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

  • Strawberries: Fresh work best in this strawberry ice cream recipe. Make sure to mash them before starting. Check out these Red Fruits!
  • Maple syrup: We use pure maple syrup instead of refined sugar; you can also sweeten your homemade ice cream with honey instead.
  • Milk and heavy cream: Use full-fat options for the best ice cream.
  • Ice cream maker: I love how easy it is to make ice cream at home with ours!  

Can I Make this Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe in a Vitamix?

This is the number one question we’re asked in the comments so I thought I’d add some info here! You should be able to make strawberry ice cream in a high-powered blender with the same ingredients and quantities as our ice cream maker recipe.

To Make this Recipe in a Vitamix or Blender:

  1. Use chilled ingredients. I find pre-freezing the cream in an ice cube tray the night before makes it best if you plan to eat your homemade ice cream right away.
  2. Place the milk, syrup, and cream into the blender, followed by the strawberries. Layering with liquid first is important so it blends properly.
  3. Blend on high pushing ingredients down with the tamper, then blend for an additional 30 seconds to churn the cream. Don’t overdo it or your ingredients will melt.
  4. Serve immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container and chill.

Why is my Homemade Ice Cream Icy?

This is a common issue that happens when you make homemade ice cream, especially with an ice cream maker. If your homemade strawberry ice cream turned out too icy after freezing, here are a few things to try:

  • Make sure you have enough fat. Ice cream gets its creamy texture from milk fat; it’s a must in this recipe! Use whole milk instead of skim, and make sure you’re using heavy (whipping) cream, not half and half or a lower milk fat option.
  • Use cold ingredients. Cold ingredients mean less churning and less chance for ice crystals to form. (Also make sure your churning bowl is completely frozen, too!). You can chill all ingredients in the fridge the night before, including fresh strawberries.
  • Re-freezing. If you thaw and refreeze your homemade strawberry ice cream multiple times ice crystals will form; try avoiding this by freezing in smaller portions.

How to Soften from the Freezer

Since this ice cream has no additives it may freeze more firmly than you’re used to with store-bought varieties. It will also depend on your freezer temperature; especially if you store your homemade ice cream in a deep freezer!

To thaw, let the strawberry ice cream sit out for a few minutes on the counter until it’s soft enough to scoop. Remember, this is supposed to be “hard” ice cream, not soft serve.

What do you plan to make with your fresh strawberries this season?

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148 thoughts on “Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream”

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  1. ooooh Jenny I really like the individual cups idea!

    I got a Ninja Food Prep thing and made it just great by whirring the heck out of all the ingredients! I found it great freshly made but then became rock solid after a few hours. Freezing it in individual cups will solve the problem of thawing, refreezing, thawing, refreezing.

  2. This is so good! I made it with the higher amount of syrup and it was great! The second time I substituted frozen peaches for the strawberries and it was enjoyed at least as much. When fresh peaches arrive it will be even better! My only struggle has been scooping it out of the container. It gets really hard in the freezer, probably from all of the fruit. Trying freezing individual portions in Dixie cups straight out of the machine when it’s still soft. The cups will still need to sit out for about 30 min to soften up before eating but hopefully this will work.

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      We’ve put leftover ice cream in a freezer-safe tupperware and it was fine. You have to let it thaw a bit before you eat it leftover though.

  3. I was looking for a completely different post when i went to your site tonight but the second i read this post i dropped everything and started a batch of ice cream. We only had 1/2 cup of whippkng cream but i have the natural verion of coffee creamer (four ingredients, nothing artificial) so i used a half a cup of that and excluded the sweetener since my creamer has sugar and vanilla. I used 1/2 cup raw milk and the organic strawberries we had left in the fridge. It was SO quick and easy and was delicious!

    I already have plans to serve this dessert for our next BBQ. There were only three of us eating it tonight so i put the leftovers in a freeze pop holder that you’ve mentioned before. I’m excited to see how that tastes tomorrow. Thanks for inspiring my family to eat real food! We’ve never been healthier!

  4. I LOVE my ice cream maker too. It is so nice to not have to bother with rock salt and ice. I will have to try this with coconut milk, I like to use coconut milk when I am making ice cream for all the healthy fats. My favorite berry ice cream is that is dairy free is:
    1 can coconut milk
    2 C almond milk
    3/4 C honey or maple syrup
    2 C berries chopped or crushed
    I like to blend the first three ingredients and part of the berries, blend them and then add fresh berries to the top so that they don’t get icy.

  5. Very tasty! I tried doubling the recipe in my Cuisinart ice cream maker and it didn’t thicken at all. Have you ever tried doubling the recipe?

  6. Hey Lisa,

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious striaght out of the ice cream maker. However, we froze the leftovers and when we went back to have some more, the ice cream was frozen solid. It took about 20 minutes for it to thaw on the counter but it was still pretty hard (not creamy at all). I’ve made homemade ice cream before and never had a problem with it being “scoopable” after sitting in the freezer. Any ideas? I’m thinking maybe the water content of the crushed strawberries had something to do with it. What do you think? Thanks!

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      I too have frozen fresh ice cream and figured out it needs to be thawed a bit first before eating it again, but I haven’t tried it yet with this exact recipe…I bet you are right about the strawberries making a difference.

    2. This is exactly my issue with my homemade strawberry ice cream (and gelato). All other flavors do not “dry out” the subsequent days. Would love to find the solution. Thanks!

  7. Help! I tried this recipe in my Kitchenaid stand mixer with ice cream attachment. I also used 2% milk. It turned out great at first but then quickly became more of a ice consistency, not soft at all. Where did I go wrong?

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      Have you successfully made ice cream in your mixer before? I have only done it in my ice cream machine so I am not sure I can offer much advice…maybe it was overdone?

    2. We (my soon-to-be-3 year old) just made this icecream. We’ve not eaten it yet as it is in the freezer firming up a bit more. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer w/ ice cream attachment. Worked fine as usual.

      To Noelle, who also used the Kitchen Aid– in my opinion, it is the 2% milk that “turns icy” since it has more water content in it. Whole milk doesn’t do this nearly as much. It has nothing to do with the mixer.

  8. Hi Lisa, this ice cream looks fabulous!! I have been busy shooting your recipes and I am so happy you are in the Easy LunchBoxes book with me :) xo

  9. Huge hit!!! We made it with honey instead of maple syrup since my daughter and I are honey fanatics! Thank you do much for this recipe!

  10. I’m so excited to try this! I think it will be the first recipe I try in my new Cuisinart ice cream maker (which I decided my 4 year old should give me for my birthday tomorrow). :) Love your blog!

  11. Is there a rule of thumb to convert this to the 4 qt style ice cream maker? I’m thinking somewhere like… 4 cups heavy cream, 4 cups milk, some amount of maple syrup proportional, and a bunch of strawberries?

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      I’ve only tried my ice cream maker so I am not sure, but you could certainly experiment with it!

  12. We have the same ice cream maker and love the deliciousness it churns out. We’ll be trying the strawberry recipe!

  13. I recently found a great variation of Strawberry ice cream on Pinterest. All it required was a handful of strawberries(sliced and frozen), one banana (sliced and frozen), 1-2 T coconut milk, and 1 t vanilla. Throw them all in the food processor and viola! I loved it!

  14. We have had our Cuisinart ice cream maker for 10 years and it is still going, even after a little abuse. We look forward to trying your ice cream in a month or two when strawberries are finally in season here.

  15. We made this tonight. Added a little extra maple syrup and a little bit of pure vanilla. Used all organic ingredients. Yum! Everyone from 2-31 loved it and it was sooo simple to make! :)


  16. Yummy, I made the maple ice cream last night and put the chocolate sauce on it, it was super good! 5.5 pounds down today!

    1. Do you have a “real food” recipe for choc chip mint? If so, would you mind sharing? that’s my favorite flavor!!

      1. We just add chocolate chips and mint extract to the ice cream. We use dark chocolate chips. Today we made rhubarb and blueberrie ice creams for my daughter’s birthday. She didn’t want cake.

    1. I just bought mine too!! and I feel the same way about taking pride in something you made…especially since I have 2 small children, boys, and I want to teach them things other than sports and trucks!! My 5 y/o loves making his own meals!

  17. my son and i are both lactose intolerant and I’m allergic to coconut….we can use lactose free whole milk but i’ve never seen lactose free cream…any ideas?

  18. My ice cream maker is the old pain-in-the-rear kind so I haven’t gotten it out yet this year, but I have been enjoying the old-fashioned dessert called fool. It’s super-easy.

    To make strawberry fool: chop up about a cup of strawberries pretty finely, or smoosh them up, and add a little sweetener to pull out the juice- I use a teaspoon or two of sugar, but maple syrup would probably work also. Let them sit at room temperature until the juice is drawn out of the berries and the sugar is dissolved, then chill it down. When you’re ready to serve dessert, whip a half-cup or so of heavy cream (I like to add a little liqueur or orange zest to it) until it’s fairly stiff, then fold in the cold berries and juice. Serve it in pretty little bowls or glasses. Yum!

  19. Thank you so much for mentioning what maker you use. I have been in the market for one for a while but was having a hard time making a decision.

    This ice cream sounds amazing!

  20. Whole milk is best for ice cream. You could use 2% in a pinch but the butterfat content will be off making the ice cream softer and less creamy tasting. Plus, this post recommends full fat dairy. I am jealous that you have FRESH strawberries already, ours aren’t ready until the middle of June. I always use the recipe from the Cuisinart recipe book that has you macerate the berries in lemon juice and sugar. I’ll have to try maple syrup instead of sugar next time. Also, if anyone is planning to buy a Cusinart Ice Cream maker, William’s-sonoma has their free extra freezer bowl deal going(usually every spring), plus free shipping. It is really handy to have the second bowl, so you can always have one in the freezer or make 2 batches if need be.

  21. Oh my goodness, that sounds amazing!!! My husband and I bought the same ice cream maker and he asks me to make ice cream for him almost every night. I finally had to stop keeping the freezer bowl in the freezer to make it harder to have every night. So easy and yummy! I will never go back to store bought ice cream again:).

  22. I have the same ice cream maker LOVE it- so simple. My step-daughter was jsut saying how we need to make more homemade ice cream, this will be our next batch.

    I do have a question.. which variation of milk did you use? Skim, 1%, 2%, whole? Recipes I have used in the past called for whole milk but I also see a poster said they use coconut milk and it works well. Just curious!

  23. I do have a hand-crank ice cream maker. Excellent workout by the way. I just couldn’t justify spending money on something I could get for free and with sentimental value. (We used to make ice cream with my gramps on Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, and Labor Day.) I was thinking about either strawberry or lemon on Sunday. Maybe chocolate.

    What I usually make with strawberries is angel food cake. And freezing them if I have enough.

  24. Since the recipe calls for equal amounts of milk and cream, is there a reason you can’t use half and half? I look forward to using my ice-cream maker (same as yours) a lot this summer.

  25. We just used our new Cuisinart ice cream maker for the first time (hazelnut ice milk used in homemade ice cream sandwiches – now that we’ve tried it out we’ll post about it next time!).

    We will definitely try out this recipe once strawberries show up up here in Mass.

  26. We picked 4 GALLONS of strawberries over the weekend. They are delicious! I made mostly real food with them.
    – 6 cups of no sugar added strawberry jam (5dollardinners.com)
    – pb&j smoothies, that I froze in kid size portions
    – 24 whole wheat muffins, off this site
    – 24 whole wheat rolls, from artisan breads
    – 1.5 gallons hulled,frozen strawberries

    Not quite real food,but still tasty
    – bisquick strawberry shortcake
    – bisquick strawberry cobbler

    It has been a fun week finding new recipes to do with all these strawberries!

  27. This recipe sounds fabulous! Question: I try to stay away from dairy, with the exception of yogurt. I’m sure I can use my almond milk in place of the milk. Anyone know of a substitution for heavy cream? Or I suppose I could make the ice cream with frozen bananas and just add the strawberries to that…

    1. There is a Soy Milk Creamer at Trader Joe’s that might do the trick. I have not tried it. The ingredients list won’t make you happy, but you may want to check it out. Ripe bananas would be an awesome addition as well. They would bring so much sweetness that you may not need the maple syrup!

    2. I have made this twice with non-dairy substitutions. I used almond milk once for the milk and coconut milk the other time. Both times, I used “coconut milk coffee creamer” from Whole Foods for the heavy cream. It came out great both times. It is a little more like a sorbet than a true rich ice cream, but it was still delicious!

      1. You can actually make your own cream the same way you make your homemade milk. I think for a heavy cream substitute I would use cashew’s the flavor is a little richer.

        if the ratio for cashew milk is 1 part cashew to 4 parts water make the cream by having it 2parts cashew to 4 parts water.

        I hope this makes sense.

  28. Absolutely making this! We are getting strawberries in our organic bin this week…I know what I am doing with them. Have you tried this recipe with other fruits?

  29. I bought an ice cream maker a few summers ago and use it frequently. I LOVE the taste of fresh, REAL ice cream. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Strawberries are everywhere in the market and I can’t wait to try it.

  30. Yum! Strawberry ice cream was always my favorite flavor growing up and it’s been a while since I had it. We also have a Cusinart ice cream maker, but I’ve never used it! This recipe is so simple now I HAVE to try it :)

  31. I, too, thought I didn’t like strawberry ice cream until last year. I decided not to eat processed sugar, was thoroughly enjoying strawberries (from farmers market) and decided to try it. Delicious! I used honey instead of maple syrup. I plan to try your recipe too. Thanks for sharing.

  32. Thank you! I just purchased the same ice cream maker per your suggestion because I know we are going to want to eat this sweet treat this summer and we have been eating so “clean” — Strawberry is one flavor I was hoping to make, especially once we go picking! Thanks!!! perfect!

    1. I made the ice cream with our fresh picked strawberries tonight and it was PERFECT!!!! YUM!!! I have SO many strawberries to process, so I made another double batch of the ice cream mix (blended the cream, milk and berries/maple syrup together) and frozen in ice cube trays. Not sure what I will do with them exactly, but I figure I can add them to smoothies or just blend them up into ice cream in my VitaMix (this mix has not been added to an ice cream machine). Maybe if I let them defrost, I can still add to the ice cream machine. At least I was able to freeze some cream too this way since I had to buy a half gallon of the cream from the grass-fed local farm. THANKS! We loved this!!