It feels like a while since I posted an ice cream recipe. There’s really no excuse because the recipe I always turn to is so freaking simple and it’s not like the weather is too chilly here in California.

Rich and creamy lemon ice cream with buttery cracker crumbs

But I get notions and yesterday I took a look in the fridge to see what I had…lots of lemons leftover from the amazing brunch my wife made for Father’s Day, more about that in Friday’s My week post. I feel like I sort of cheated with this recipe just because the original base recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream already contains cream cheese so the cheesecake flavor is already there. No matter what flavor you make from Jeni’s book, you’ll always taste the cream cheese tang which I love. Add some lemon zest, a lot because I like my lemon desserts to taste like lemon, and crushed graham cracker crumbs to take the place of the cheesecake crust and BOOM, you have an awesome lemon cheesecake ice cream.

Rich and creamy homemade lemon ice cream

This ice cream received major thumbs-up from the rest of the family and they can be my fiercest critics. It’s creamy with a strong lemon flavor and don’t forget those little crunchy, buttery graham cracker crumbs, they’re like little golden nuggets of butter heaven. If I had remembered as I was making the ice cream, I’d have swirled some lemon curd through it too or even raspberry jam! Basically any of Jeni’s recipes are always fantastic and so easy to make. If the whole quart and a half is gone in one day, then you know it’s a keeper.



Rich and creamy lemon ice cream with buttery cracker crumbs

Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream with Buttery Cracker Crumbs

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 6
Print Recipe


  • For The Graham Cracker Crumbs:
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter 2oz
  • 1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • For The Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Zest of two large lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract


  • You will need a gallon sized zip lock bag and a 1 1/2 quart capacity ice cream maker.
  • In a small pan melt the butter. Add the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt. Mix until well combined.
  • Mix two tablespoons of the milk into the cornstarch.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt together until smooth.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water to cool the ice cream base later.
  • In a medium sized pot, heat the milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup together.
  • Bring to a rolling boil and cook for four minutes whisking every so often.
  • Take the pot from the heat after four minutes and add the cornstarch mixture.
  • Whisk and put back on the heat.
  • Cook for a further minute/half whisking until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the lemon zest and stir.
  • Gradually whisk the hot mixture into the cream cheese starting with a small amount, about 3 tablespoons and then add more as the mixture becomes smooth and shiny.
  • Once all of the mixture has been added, mix in the lemon juice and extract.
  • Carefully transfer the mixture to the zip lock bag and seal the top tightly.
  • Place the bag into the iced water making sure no water can get to the ice cream base.
  • Let the bag cool for at least 30 minutes. Prepare your ice cream maker.
  • Once the bag of mixture has cooled, pour it into the cold canister of the ice cream machine.
  • Follow the manufacturers instructions but It usually takes me about 20-25 minutes before the ice cream starts to really solidify.
  • Take the paddle out of the ice cream and add your graham cracker crumbs. Fold gently with a spatula or wooden spoon and pour into the dish you'd like to freeze the ice cream in. You could also just leave it in the canister and cover with some plastic wrap.
  • Let freeze for at least four hours or overnight.


Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams,