The Best Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
This is the homemade strawberry ice cream recipe of our dreams! It's super creamy and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor. It's an iconic summer treat that's easy to make at home, and it only takes about 30 minutes of hands-on prep time.
If you love strawberry treats as much as we do, also try our strawberry banana bread, medieval strawberry tart, and strawberry rhubarb cobbler.
This recipe was originally published in 2011. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe exactly the same.
Table of contents
This is a strawberry ice cream recipe we've been tinkering with for a long time, and we can now confidently say it's the best strawberry ice cream! It's made with fresh, whole ingredients and it's the perfect refreshing treat to enjoy at the end of a long hot day (or anytime, really). Homemade strawberry ice cream can be hard to master as it often ends up bland and icy. We've reworked our recipe into the most creamy and delicious homemade ice cream that's bursting with fresh strawberry flavor.
The key is to make it when strawberries are in season in the spring and summer. So pick up some locally grown strawberries (or pick some from your garden, if you're lucky!) and then whip up the ice cream base in just 30 minutes.
Why you'll love it
- This homemade strawberry ice cream is incredibly simple to make
- It's super creamy and flavorful.
- There are no unwanted ingredients making it healthier than store-bought ice cream.
- It's a fun activity to do with kids. They'll be fascinated by the process of making churned ice cream.
- It's a delicious way to enjoy summer berries!
If you love strawberry ice cream recipes, also check out our roasted strawberry ice cream!
Ingredients in homemade strawberry ice cream
When recipes have just a few ingredients (like this one), the quality of each ingredient becomes extra important. Each one plays an important role in this strawberry ice cream so we recommend using whole milk, good eggs, and if your budget allows, pure vanilla.
Here's everything you'll need to make the most creamy strawberry ice cream at home:
- Strawberries – as red and ripe as you can find! Scour your farmers' markets for the best local selection.
- Granulated sugar – we use regular granulated sugar. It's used mostly as a sweetener but it also plays an important role in the texture. Sugar actually lowers the freezing point to produce softer ice cream.
- Egg yolks – egg yolks are key to the custard base and also work as a stabilizer, prolonging the shelf life in the freezer.
- Whole milk – this high-fat milk will produce a creamy texture when cooled.
- Refined coconut oil – increases the fat content to make the ice cream creamier. To avoid a coconut flavor, make sure to use refined coconut oil.
- Pure vanilla extract – adds a subtle warm flavor that compliments the strawberries
- Sea salt – is used to enhance all the flavors.
- Whipping cream – also increases the fat content to produce a creamy texture.
- Vodka – this ingredient is optional, but the vodka prevents the ice cream from becoming icy.
You'll also need an ice cream maker. If you don't have an ice cream maker, check out the notes section of this ice cream recipe for tips on making no-churn ice cream.
How to make strawberry ice cream
Here's how to make strawberry ice cream at home in a few simple steps:
- Place the strawberries and some of the sugar into a pot and simmer them for 5 minutes. Once the strawberries have cooked into a juicy strawberry sauce, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Purée about half the strawberries in your blender or food processor then combine both the puréed strawberries and strawberry sauce in a bowl and let it chill in your fridge.
- Now, whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar.
- Now it's time to make the creamy ice cream custard! Heat the milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a pot until it starts to steam. Then, temper the eggs by whisking some of the hot milk into the egg yolks – this is to prevent them from turning into scrambled eggs. Once the egg yolks have been warmed with some of the hot milk, stir them into the pot. Whisk the pot constantly but slowly, bringing the milk almost to a boil. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain the custard into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve – this is to remove any bits of accidentally scrambled eggs. Add the whipping cream, strawberries, and vodka to the bowl and whisk well then place the bowl into your fridge to let it cool completely.
- Once the strawberry ice cream custard is completely cold, process it in your ice cream maker. Once it's done, it'll have the consistency of soft-serve. You can either eat it as soft serve ice cream or freeze it for hard ice cream. Transfer the soft churned ice cream to a freezer-proof dish, cover the top with parchment paper directly on the surface of the ice cream, and freeze it until it's firm. That's it!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
This strawberry ice cream is full of strawberry flavor and wonderful chunks of strawberries. If you eat the ice cream straight from your ice cream maker, it'll have the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If you put it into your freezer for a few hours, it turns into delicious hard-scoop ice cream.
Some recipes use drops of red food coloring to make the ice cream pinker, which we think is a bit strange. Instead, we use lots of bright red, ripe strawberries and blend them into a delicious syrup, which not only gives the ice cream an intense strawberry flavor but also makes it vibrant pink.
You'll want to use refined coconut oil in this recipe. Unrefined coconut oil (also called virgin coconut oil) has a stronger coconut taste and can even make it a little gritty. For this recipe, opt for refined coconut oil.
Whatever you choose, make sure it is a freezer-safe container. We like to use a loaf pan as it's easy to scoop from once it's frozen. Glass pint jars (just like from a fancy ice cream store!) also work well. Most hard plastic becomes brittle when frozen so it's not the best option for the freezer.
Homemade ice cream will keep for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container in the freezer. While it will be safe to eat after that point, the texture and flavor aren't quite as good.
No, you don't! While an ice cream maker is the easiest and does make really creamy ice cream, you can still make this recipe without one. Here's what to do: pour the cold custard into a shallow pan and put it into your freezer. After 30 minutes, use a fork to scrape and mix up the ice cream. Put it back into the freezer then half an hour later scrape and mix it again. Keep repeating these steps until you have ice cream. It usually takes between 2-3 hours.
Frozen strawberries are a great choice when strawberries are out of season. You'll simply need to let them thaw first so that you can chop them.
It only takes about 30 minutes of hands-on time to make strawberry ice cream at home. Once you finish making the custard, you'll need to let it cool, which takes a few hours. And most ice cream makers take about 20 minutes to turn the custard into ice cream. So the whole process does take a little time, but most of the time you're just waiting for things to get cold.
Tips for making the best strawberry ice cream
We're going to share a few secrets we've learned in making strawberry ice cream that turns out creamy and delicious every time:
- Use the ripest strawberries you can find! You'll know they're super ripe when you can smell them from across the room. They'll taste sweet like candy and should be pink in the center when you slice them. Farmers' markets are the best place to look for ripe strawberries.
- If you're making this recipe in the fall or winter when strawberries aren't in season, use frozen strawberries that have been picked in season.
- Ensure high-fat content. To accomplish this, we add refined coconut oil to the recipe. This makes it super creamy. Make sure to use refined coconut oil (not virgin coconut oil) if you want to avoid the flavor of coconut.
- Add some vodka. We know that adding vodka to ice cream might sound a bit strange. But if you've ever stored hard alcohol in the freezer, you'll know that it doesn't freeze, which is exactly why we want it in this recipe. Don't worry, you won't taste it. Adding a small amount of vodka helps keep the ice cream soft and prevents it from becoming icy.
It's always a good time for strawberry ice cream
Homemade strawberry ice cream tastes amazing at the peak of summer at the end of a hot day. Scoop it into a waffle cone, sandwich it between two cookies, or eat it right out of the freezer with a spoon. It's a healthier treat you can feel good about serving and it's one the whole family, kids to grandparents, will love!
Delicious homemade ice cream recipes
The Best Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 4 cups chopped strawberries, see notes
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup refined coconut oil, see notes
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Optional but recommended: 2 tablespoons vodka
- Place the strawberries and ¾ cup sugar in a medium-sized pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, give the pot a stir and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.4 cups chopped strawberries
- Pour about half the strawberries into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add the pureed and chopped strawberries into a bowl together and place them in your fridge to cool.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining ½ cup sugar.4 egg yolks
- Heat the whole milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a small pot over medium-high heat until steam rises from the pot. Then whisk some of the hot milk into the egg yolks to temper them, then add the egg yolks to the pot of hot milk. Place the pot over medium heat and, whisking constantly but slowly, bring the milk almost to a boil. You want the custard to thicken to the point where it will coat the back of a spoon.1 cup whole milk, ¼ cup refined coconut oil, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla, 1 pinch sea salt
- Pour the custard into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve Make sure to use a sieve to filter out any little bits of cooked egg. Add the whipping cream, strawberries, and vodka to the bowl and whisk. Place the bowl into your fridge to let it cool completely, for at least 4 hours.1 cup whipping cream, Optional but recommended: 2 tablespoons vodka
- Once the strawberry ice cream custard is completely cold, process it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. When it's done, it'll have the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Transfer the strawberry ice cream to a freezer-proof dish and cover the top with parchment paper directly on the ice cream. Freeze until firm.
We're big fans of homemade ice cream. If you are too, make sure to check out all of our ice cream recipes!
I do not know if it is the best, for I try this recipe and is delicious, work perfect every time. Thank a lot.
I made this following the instructions exactly….It was fabulous! Its a keeper for sure
Your strawberry ice cream is delicious I’ve had many compliments from family and friends.
I was wondering if you could use this base to make rhubarb ice cream?
While I haven’t tried it, I think turning this into a strawberry rhubarb ice cream is a great idea. I would taste test the cooked strawberries and rhubarb first to make sure they’re sweet enough with the amount of sugar listed. You may want to add some extra because of the rhubarb.
Hands down, the best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever made. Been making this recipe for a few years now, using fresh berries we pick every June. The 2 secret ingredients are key and what make this recipe stand out from the rest — so smooth and creamy, my kiddos, husband, neighbors (and myself!), gobble this up faster than it can be made. Thank you for sharing this awesome goodness, Kristen — this is winner for sure!
Recipe was a success! Everyone loved it! I omitted the strawberry bits as my son doesn’t like it and added bright pink colour! Coconut taste is really nice and makes it very creamy!
I attempted this recipe today and excited to taste test tomorrow. For the “4 cups finely chopped strawberries”, I chopped up the strawberries and then measured them to be 4 cups. Was I supposed to measure 4 cups of strawberries, then finely chop them? My ice cream base color was a lot redder than yours, so I was wondering if I did it right!
You measured correctly!
Hi! I was wondering if I can substitute the coconut oil? My daughter can have any coconut but I haven’t found a recipe for strawberries that makes curd like this one. It sounds absolutely delicious!
If your daughter is unable to have coconut oil then it’s best to simply omit it. 🙂
I tripled the receipt to fill my three quart ice cream maker
Some of the best ice cream I have had in a long time tasted great
I didn’t put in the vodka
Didn’t see that it had to chill for 4 hours, I thought that it would just take 30 minutes. Oops , other than that it was really nice, good flavor
What other oil can you use, I don’t like coconut ?
I suggest either looking for refined (tasteless) coconut oil or omitting it.
Would I be able to swap vanilla bean paste for the extract?
That will work!
I made this exactly to the recipe. It is truly delicious and very creamy with a just hint of coconut, which is different. I made it to serve on top of double fudge brownies for 4th of July, and the slight coconut (nutiva) flavor being perfect with chocolate (and a cup of coffee) it’s sure to become a favorite.
OMG! I made this recipe as is. It is delicious! The process seems long and tedious…..perhaps because this was my first home made icream…lol!
This was so successful. I am looking forward to making another flavor. My favorite ice cream is mocha almond fudge. Do you have a similar flavor profile to share?
So happy that you enjoyed the recipe! I’ll need to work on a mocha almond fudge version for you. 🙂
Best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever tasted. It’s so rich in flavour and superior in taste.
Me and my family love it.
Ive been sharing the recipe with family and friends and the feedback is amazing. thanks Kristen.
Simply delicious and creamy and a good balance of strawberry flavour! Thanks!!
Question. . . I plan on trying this tomorrow. . . Your instructions say, “Place the strawberries and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium-sized pot over high heat and bring it to a boil.” How do strawberries and sugar alone, with no liquid, come to a boil? Seems like there’d be burning of straweberries and/or sugar, no?
The sugar will start to melt and the strawberries will release their liquid. Seems odd, I know, but that’s what happens. 🙂
I would have to say this is the best strawberry ice cream I ever made. Had to use frozen strawberries but it made no difference.
I was thinking of trying your recipe soon however I am diabetic. If I substitute Splenda in place of the sugar will this adversely effect the ice cream? And if not how much Splenda for one cup of sugar ?
I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with splenda. If the directions on the package say it can be substituted in most recipes then I would think it would be safe to try. 🙂
10/10 would definitely make again! My wife was skeptical about strawberry ice cream, because store-bought is usually “meh”, at best. I decided to try it because strawberries were on sale. The recipe is easy to follow and the result was delicious. I used gin in place of vodka, seemingly to no negative outcomes.
help.made ice cream do i use the juice from the strawberries as well or just strawberries.thank you
I’m assuming you’re using frozen thawed strawberries? The juice will be icy when frozen so I would discard it.
Hi! Your recipe looks amazing, going to try it with the kids tomorrow. Quick question, can we scale the recipe up and double the amounts of everything?
Just make sure you have an ice cream maker large enough to handle the double batch! If not, you can double the recipe but only churn half of it. The other half can stay in your fridge for a day until you can churn it. 🙂
Do you think I could make the base ahead and chill in the fridge overnight to make the next day? Thank you!
Absolutely you can!
I followed this recipe exactly and my ice cream came out very icy. Also, it’s not sweet enough! In my opinion this recipe requires a lot more sugar. Just came out icy and bland.
Hi! I’m currently chilling the strawberry ice cream base I made with your recipe and I’m excited to try it! I have a silly question. I was just wondering, by adding vodka to this ice cream to prevent it from becoming icy, is it okay to give children this one or any ice cream with added vodka?
Because it is such a minuscule amount per serving, it’s not something that I worry about when sharing this with my daughter. But ultimately that’s something you’ll have to decide if it is ok for you and your family. 🙂
Best strawberry ice cream! My whole family loves it. I was wondering if I could substitute raspberries for the strawberries and make raspberry ice cream.
I think you could totally use raspberries! Yum!
I’m trying this recipe as the first ice cream I make with my new ice cream maker! Just wondering if you need to thaw the frozen strawberries first?
No need to thaw them first. 🙂
I love this recipe. It’s become my go-to food gift this year. I was thinking of adapting it for cranberries, adding orange liqueur instead of vodka. Since cranberries are more tart than strawberries, how much sugar do you think I should add?
I think cranberry ice cream is a great idea! Since you’ll sweeten the cranberries in step 1, I would simply taste test until they are sweet enough. Maybe try adding 1 cup of sugar and then add more until it is nice and sweet. 🙂
This is by far my favorite ice cream recipe. It turns out perfect every time and is far better than any store bought strawberry ice cream. My question is, can I skip the strawberry part and just make it vanilla?
You could definitely use the base of this recipe and add any flavors you like. Vanilla would be dreamy!
Just added a hint of lemon juice before putting the mixture in the machine. Perfect! Thank you
This REALLY is the best strawberry ice cream ever!! Thank-you so much for sharing this with us. I gave this to a real strawberry ice cream connoisseur and he said it’s the best he’s ever tasted!!
Awww that is so great to hear! Hooray!
I have just given this amazing recipe a good try with refined coconut oil and vodka. I have no ice cream maker so I am just going to put it in the freezer and give it a stir every 30 mins for 1st 4 hours and maybe a stir every hour after that. Do you think that will suffice? Any tips for those without an ice cream maker please? My mum made ice cream when I was younger and she said she just gave it a stir half way through the freezing process and it was always creamy. That being said, her recipe was very different and involved egg whites beaten to soft peaks.
Just wondering, when you mentioned adding the cup of whipping cream, is that a cup of regular full milk cream that I whip to soft peaks, or a cup of dollop cream or something else? I’m in Australia so we don’t have ‘whipping cream’ here. Thanks in advance for your advice.
I think it should work well to freeze it as you’ve written. While I haven’t tried it with this recipe, I’ve done it with others in the past with success.
Whipping cream (sometimes called heavy cream) is 30-36% fat content and is what you use to whip into soft peaks. But instead of whipping it, just use the thick cream as is.
This is the best ice cream I have ever made!!! It is so creamy, my ice cream churn just kept going. I thought something was wrong. It came out ready to eat!!! I am going to try the same recipe with peaches next weekend!! The two secret ingredients really do make a difference! Thank you
The very best Strawberry Ice Cream. Wonderful with strawberry on top. Would tell everyone to make it.
I’ve been using this recipe for strawberries, blackberries, peaches and am thinking about trying figs! This is the best ice cream I’ve ever made so thank you! I would suggest one could dial back the sugar and it’s still amazing.