Easy Homemade Lemon Ice Cream Recipe

by wsg team

homemade lemon ice cream recipe

The summer sun beckons for refreshing treats, and what could be more delightful than a scoop of this easy homemade lemon ice cream? And you’ll have a lot of fun making this recipe, I’m sure.

To make homemade lemon ice cream, you will need just fresh lemons, heavy cream, sugar(or other natural sweetener), and a few other basic ingredients. The process is simple and straightforward, and you don’t need any special equipment to get started. Whether you’re an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, you can easily make delicious homemade ice cream that will rival anything you can buy at the store.

Now imagine this: a creamy blend of zesty lemon, velvety smoothness, and a hint of sweetness dancing on your taste buds with each spoonful.

Are you intrigued yet?

This isn’t just any ice cream, it’s a symphony of flavors waiting to tantalize your senses. But here’s the kicker: you don’t need to be a culinary whiz to whip up this citrusy masterpiece.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey of flavor and indulgence, let’s dive into the world of homemade lemon ice cream together. Get ready to awaken your taste buds and ignite your culinary creativity like never before!

But first, a bit of history, because..why not 😉

Brief history of lemon ice cream

Early Beginnings

Ever wondered about the fascinating history of frozen desserts? It’s a bit of a mystery, but there are some pretty cool accounts floating around and were likely discovered independently in various cultures.!

Ice cream-like treats have likely been chilling out in Persia as far back as 550 BC! Yep, you heard that right.

And get this:

Persian records from the second century mention sweet drinks cooled with ice. Even a Roman cookbook from way back in the 1st century had recipes for desserts topped with sprinkled snow.

However, historical records suggest that the concept of combining citrus flavors with frozen desserts emerged in the late 17th century.

During this time, European nobility and elite households began experimenting with frozen treats made from fruit juices, syrups, and sweetened creams. Lemon, with its bright and tangy flavor, quickly became a favored ingredient for creating refreshing frozen desserts.

Rise to Prominence

Fast forward to the 19th century, and lemon ice cream had totally won over dessert lovers far and wide. People couldn’t get enough of its vibrant, zesty flavor—it was like a party in your mouth! Plus, thanks to all those cool innovations happening during the Industrial Revolution, making and sharing lemon ice cream became easier than ever.

No longer just a treat for the upper royal crust, lemon ice cream was now making waves across all social circles, giving everyone a taste of its citrusy goodness. Talk about a dessert that knows how to spread the love, heh!

The earliest forms of lemon ice cream were likely handmade using simple ingredients like lemon juice, sugar, and ice. Over time, as refrigeration technology advanced and manufacturing processes improved, lemon ice cream became more accessible and commercially produced, gaining popularity among people of all social classes.

While the precise moment of lemon ice cream’s invention remains uncertain, its enduring appeal and timeless flavor have solidified its place as a beloved dessert enjoyed by people around the world.

Why Make A Homemade Ice Cream?

Well, the main benefit of homemade ice cream lies in its customizable flavors and the satisfaction of creating something from basic ingredients. So, why not give it a try and see for yourself how easy and delicious homemade lemon ice cream can be?

So, here we go:


homemade lemon ice cream recipe

Easy Homemade Lemon Ice Cream Recipe

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  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Start by zesting and juicing fresh lemons to capture their vibrant flavor.
  • Combine the lemon juice, zest, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.
  • Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to ensure it's adequately cold before churning.
  • Transfer the chilled mixture to the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.
  • Transfer the churned ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze for several hours or overnight until firm.
Keyword dessert, ice cream, lemon

What Ingredients You’ll Need For This Lemon Ice Cream Recipe

  • Fresh lemon juice – The star ingredient, fresh lemon juice provides the zesty tang that defines lemon ice cream.
  • Lemon zest – Zest adds aromatic oils and intensified lemon flavor to the ice cream.
  • Heavy cream – Heavy cream contributes to the luscious texture and richness of the dessert.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – provides sweetness and helps achieve the creamy consistency without the need for eggs.
  • Sugar – it balances the tartness of the lemons and enhances the sweetness of the dessert.
  • Vanilla extract – A touch of vanilla extract complements the citrus notes and rounds out the flavor profile.

Equipment Needed

  • Mixing bowlsVarious mixing bowls are essential for combining ingredients at different stages of the recipe.
  • Whisk or electric mixerA whisk or electric mixer helps to blend ingredients smoothly and incorporate air for a lighter texture.
  • Lemon zesterA lemon zester extracts the flavorful outer peel without the bitter white pith.
  • Ice cream makerAn ice cream maker churns the mixture while freezing, resulting in a creamy consistency.
  • Freezer-safe container-A freezer-safe container is needed for storing the ice cream once it’s churned.

Preparation Steps

  1. Prepare the Lemon Mixture:In a mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, and granulated sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract to the mixture. Whisk until well combined and smooth.
  2. Chill the Mixture:Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight for best results. Chilling the mixture allows the flavors to meld and enhances the creaminess of the ice cream.
  3. Churn the Ice Cream:Once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.
  4. Freeze the Ice Cream:Transfer the churned ice cream into a freezer-safe container, cover with a lid, and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm.
  5. Serve and Enjoy:When ready to serve, scoop the homemade lemon ice cream into bowls or cones. Garnish with fresh lemon zest or a sprig of mint for an extra burst of flavor.

Tips For Successful Preparation Of Your Yummy Homemade Lemon Ice Cream

ball scoop of Homemade Lemon Ice Cream

Use fresh ingredients

Fresh lemons yield the best flavor, so opt for freshly squeezed juice and zest.

Adjust sweetness and tartness

Taste the mixture before churning and adjust the sweetness or tartness to suit your preference.

Properly chilling the mixture

Ensure the mixture is thoroughly chilled before churning to promote even freezing and creamy texture.

Monitor churn time

Keep an eye on the ice cream during churning to prevent over-churning, which can result in a grainy texture.

Variations and Additions

Add lemon curd swirls

Swirl in homemade or store-bought lemon curd for bursts of tangy flavor throughout the ice cream.

Add crushed cookies or biscuits

Fold in crushed cookies or biscuits for added texture and a playful twist on traditional lemon ice cream.

Infusing with herbs like basil or mint

Experiment with herbal infusions like basil or mint to elevate the flavor profile and add complexity.

Serving Suggestions for your fresh lemon ice cream

Garnishes and toppings

Enhance the presentation and flavor of your lemon ice cream with a variety of garnishes and toppings. Fresh lemon zest, mint leaves, or a drizzle of honey can add visual appeal and complementary flavors.

Pair with other desserts or fruits

Lemon ice cream pairs beautifully with a range of desserts and fruits. Serve it alongside warm berry crumbles, tangy fruit salads, or buttery shortbread cookies for a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

You can try decorating your lemon ice cream with one of these sweet peeps

Storing Homemade Lemon Ice Cream

Freezer storage tips

To maintain the quality of your homemade lemon ice cream, store it in an airtight container in the coldest part of your freezer. Avoid storing it near foods with strong odors to prevent flavor contamination.

Shelf life considerations

While homemade ice cream is best enjoyed fresh, it can typically be stored in the freezer for up to two weeks. Be sure to consume it within this timeframe for optimal taste and texture.

Dietary Considerations

Dairy-free alternatives

For those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, coconut milk or almond milk can be substituted for heavy cream to create a dairy-free version of lemon ice cream.

Sugar-free options

To reduce sugar content, consider using a sugar substitute such as stevia or erythritol. Keep in mind that sugar substitutes may alter the texture and flavor of the ice cream slightly.

Lemon Ice Cream for Special Occasions

Summer gatherings and picnics

Homemade lemon ice cream is the perfect treat for summer gatherings and picnics. Its refreshing citrus flavor is sure to cool down even the hottest of days and delight guests of all ages.

Dessert for dinner parties

Impress your guests at dinner parties with a sophisticated dessert featuring homemade lemon ice cream. Pair it with a slice of lemon tart, funny little cute marshmallow peep cakes or serve it atop a yummy pound cake for an elegant finish to any meal. It’s perfect match for walnut ganache bars too ;-).

Lemon Ice Cream as a Gift Idea

Packaging suggestions

Package your homemade lemon ice cream in decorative pint containers or mason jars for a charming and personalized touch. Tie a ribbon around the lid and attach a handwritten label for a thoughtful homemade gift.

Personalized touches

Consider adding custom mix-ins or toppings to tailor your lemon ice cream gift to the recipient’s tastes. Whether it’s crunchy nuts, chocolate chips, poppy seed muffins or a hint of lavender, the possibilities are endless for creating a truly unique and memorable treat.

Health Benefits of the Homemade Lemon Ice Cream

You might be surprised, but when it comes to homemade lemon ice cream, the indulgence isn’t just about taste—it’s about health benefits too. They come mainly from the lemons used in the recipe, but since it’s homemade there are other advantages also.

So, let’s explore the surprising ways this delightful treat can contribute to your well-being:

1. Vitamin C Boost

Lemons are renowned for their high vitamin C content, and homemade lemon ice cream offers a deliciously refreshing way to get your daily dose. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports immune function, promotes collagen production for healthy skin, and aids in iron absorption.

Whats’s inside a lemon.

Nutritional values for lemon per 100 grams:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 29
Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrates 9 grams
Fiber 2.8 grams
Sugars 2.5 grams
Fat 0.3 grams
Vitamin C 53 mg
Calcium 26 mg
Iron 0.6 mg
Potassium 138 mg

Please note that these values may vary slightly depending on factors such as the variety of lemon and its ripeness.

2. Antioxidant Properties

In addition to vitamin C, lemons contain flavonoids and other antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. These antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Lemons are known for high vitamin C content, but still rank somewhere in the middle of the list among the Foods that have the highest vitamin C content per 100 grams as shown in this chart:

Food Vitamin C Content (mg)
Kakadu plum 1000-5300
Acerola cherry 1677
Rose hips 426
Guava 228
Blackcurrants 181
Red bell pepper 128
Kiwi 93
Strawberries 59
Lemon 53
Oranges 53
Papaya 60
Broccoli 89
Brussels sprouts 85
Pineapple 47
Mango 36
Spinach 28
Tomatoes 23


3. Reduced Sugar Content

Compared to store-bought varieties, homemade lemon ice cream allows you to control the amount of sugar added to the recipe. By using natural sweeteners in moderation, such as honey or maple syrup, you can enjoy the sweetness without excessive sugar intake. Lower sugar content can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

4. Incorporation of Healthy Fats

Heavy cream, a key ingredient in homemade ice cream, provides a source of healthy fats that are essential for overall health and well-being. These fats help support brain function, hormone production, and nutrient absorption. Additionally, opting for full-fat dairy products may help promote feelings of satiety and aid in weight management when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

5. Potential for Dairy-Free Options

For those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, homemade lemon ice cream can be easily adapted to accommodate dietary preferences. Substituting coconut milk or almond milk for traditional dairy products allows individuals to enjoy the creamy texture and tangy flavor of lemon ice cream without discomfort or adverse reactions.

6. Mood-Boosting Properties

The bright, citrusy flavor of homemade lemon ice cream can have mood-boosting effects, lifting spirits and invigorating the senses. The lemon oil in the peels will permeate all the ingredients and make you feel the benefits right away. Research suggests that citrus scents, such as lemon, may help reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance cognitive performance.

Indulging in a scoop of homemade lemon ice cream can provide a refreshing sensory experience that uplifts the mood and rejuvenates the mind.

7. Moderation and Mindful Eating

While homemade lemon ice cream offers a range of health benefits, it’s important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Practicing mindful eating, savoring each bite, and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness cues can help cultivate a healthy relationship with food and prevent overindulgence.

Sustainability Considerations

Choosing eco-friendly ingredients

Select organic and sustainably sourced ingredients whenever possible to minimize environmental impact and support responsible farming practices. Look for fair trade and ethically sourced products to ensure your homemade lemon ice cream is as environmentally friendly as it is delicious.

Minimizing waste

Reduce waste by repurposing leftover ingredients and packaging materials. Use excess lemon zest in marinades or salad dressings, and opt for reusable containers for storing and gifting your homemade ice cream to minimize single-use plastics.

FAQs about Homemade Lemon Ice Cream

1. Can I use bottled lemon juice?

Absolutely! While fresh lemon juice is preferred for its vibrant flavor, bottled lemon juice can be a convenient substitute if fresh lemons are unavailable. Just ensure you choose a high-quality brand without added preservatives or artificial flavors for the best results.

2. How can I adjust the sweetness and tartness of the ice cream?

Taste testing is key! Before freezing your ice cream mixture, take a moment to taste it and adjust the sweetness and tartness to your liking. You can add more sugar for sweetness or more lemon juice for extra tartness, depending on your preferences.

3. Can I make lemon ice cream without an ice cream maker?

Absolutely! While an ice cream maker helps achieve a smoother texture, you can still make delicious lemon ice cream without one. Simply pour the chilled mixture into a shallow dish and place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture every 30 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.

4. How long does homemade lemon ice cream last in the freezer?

Homemade lemon ice cream can typically be stored in the freezer for up to two weeks. However, for the best taste and texture, it’s recommended to consume it within the first week after freezing.

bowl of easy Homemade Lemon Ice Cream


This homemade lemon ice cream is a refreshing and delicious treat that is perfect for any time of the year. Making your own ice cream at home is a fun and easy way to create a unique dessert that your family and friends will love. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of creamy, tangy lemon ice cream that will be the hit of any party.

With this easy homemade lemon ice cream recipe, you can bring a taste of summer into your home anytime. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with your favorite desserts, this creamy, citrusy treat is sure to delight friends and family alike.

So, grab your ingredients, fire up the ice cream maker, and get ready to savor the sweet taste of summer with every spoonful!

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