Strawberry Pretzel Ice Cream

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This decadent strawberry pretzel ice cream has the flavors of the classic summer pie nestled in a cream cheese base. No eggs required!

Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, ice creeeaaaaaam… I’m making you just because I can.

OK, now that I have that out of the way, I need to tell you that my ice cream maker has been working 9 to 5 overtime lately. In fact, I recently made eight ice creams in just a few days!

This is fine though, because my family loves the stuff. And we don’t care what the weather is. After all, did you know that places like Norway and Sweden eat vats of the stuff? 

Ice cream is all-inclusive.

strawberry pretzel ice cream with bowls of pretzels and strawberries

I know I’m not the only one who tried to buy the special Dolly flavor from Jeni’s and ended up empty-handed. But after noodling about it, I realized I could make it at home!

Even though I still have a lot of ice cream in my freezer, I had to make this strawberry pretzel ice cream immediately.

Now, I don’t claim to be anywhere near an ice cream expert, but this flavor is pretty great, and it’s simple to make.

My favorite ice creams tend to be egg-free for simplicity’s sake, and this strawberry pretzel ice cream falls right into that category. It has a few steps, but because you can break it up into pieces and do them ahead of time, the ice cream is easy to make.

If you’ve never had strawberry pretzel pie, it’s a sweet-salty treat that seems to have originated in the 1960s thanks to the rise of flavored gelatin.

It’s also called strawberry pretzel salad, even though it is definitely not a salad! The tangy cream cheese, salty pretzels, and sweet berries are a great combination no matter what you call the final product.

bowl of strawberry pretzel ice cream with spoons

What kind of ice cream maker do I need?

This is not a no-churn ice cream, so you’ll need an electric ice cream machine.

I use a 2-quart Cuisinart one that fits on my countertop. They also make a slightly smaller 1.5 quart that is sufficient for most recipes, but I like the bigger one just in case I get extra volume in my ice creams.

If you have a stand mixer, you can get one of the ice cream bowl attachments. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard it works well, and cuts down on extra appliances.

There are also larger, more expensive ice cream machines, and machines that use rock salt, but I recommend either of the two above. 

And yes, I do use mine often! If you’re worried about not making ice cream enough to warrant a machine, consider borrowing from a friend until you’re convinced.

stacked bowl of strawberry pretzel ice cream

How do I prepare ice cream at home?

The most important thing to remember when making ice cream is to chill your maker’s bowl ahead of time!

It’s recommended that the bowl chills for 24 hours to be completely frozen for churning. The liquid in between bowl layers needs to be as cold as possible, otherwise your ice cream won’t freeze properly.

This ice cream doesn’t use a custard, so you just mix the ingredients together, chill for a few hours, and then pour into your ice cream machine.

The best part is that the machine does all the work, and in about 30 minutes it is churned! 

You can enjoy it right away as soft-serve style or scoop it into containers and freeze until firm. 

pretzel crumble on a baking sheet

When do you add mix-ins for ice cream?

This strawberry pretzel ice cream has two different mix-ins, the pretzel crumble and the strawberry sauce.

For solid ingredients you want blended in, pour them into the ice cream as the machine is running, but only in the last few minutes

This will get the mix-in folded in without clogging up the machine, which can happen if you add them too early.

For sauces that you want a clear line of, add it to your ice cream container. Layer in the churned ice cream with spoonfuls of sauce, repeating until you fill the container. Run a butter knife through the ice cream to swirl.

When you scoop, you should be able to get a lovely stripe of sauce through it!

I made sauce specially for this ice cream, but you can also use your favorite strawberry jam, at room temperature.

strawberry pretzel ice cream half eaten with spoon

How long does homemade ice cream last?

I store my ice cream in quart-size or pint-size containers so it can stay a bit fresher.

Because it is frozen, ice cream can last a long time, but for the very best fresh flavor, eat it within two weeks to a month.

Of course, with this strawberry pretzel ice cream, I doubt it will last that long!

You can dress it up even further with chocolate sauce or whipped cream. It would be great blended up as a milkshake too!

stacked bowl of strawberry pretzel ice cream

Strawberry Pretzel Ice Cream

Strawberry pretzel ice cream features a tangy cream cheese base, strawberry swirl, and crunchy pretzel crumble.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chill Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 45 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 365 kcal

Ingredients
  

For ice cream base

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt

For the strawberry sauce

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the pretzel crumble

  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • In a blender, combine cream cheese, sour cream, lemon zest, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt, and puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill at least 4 hours.
  • To make the strawberry sauce, remove stems and puree strawberries until smooth. If desired, press puree through a sieve to remove seeds.
  • To a small saucepan, add pureed strawberries, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Heat over medium, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is somewhat thick. Let cool completely.
  • To make the pretzel crumble, preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine crushed pretzels, melted butter, and brown sugar until well-mixed and crumbly. Spread mixture onto a lined baking sheet, press to flatten somewhat, and bake 7-10 minutes, until sugar has melted. Let cool completely, then break crumble into small pieces.
  • When ready to churn the ice cream, pour in cream cheese mixture and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • In the last few minutes of churning, sprinkle in pretzel crumble. (You may have extra.)
  • Once fully churned, layer ice cream and strawberry sauce in an ice cream container or loaf pan, starting and ending with ice cream. Using a butter knife, make one or two swirls through the ice cream to marble strawberry sauce.
  • Cover and freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

  • Be sure to chill your ice cream bowl for 24 hours before churning.
  • Save any extra pretzel crumble or strawberry sauce for topping.
  • Makes about 1 quart.

Nutrition

Calories: 365 kcalCarbohydrates: 37 gProtein: 4 gFat: 23 gSaturated Fat: 13 gCholesterol: 66 mgSodium: 279 mgPotassium: 214 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 27 gIron: 1 mg
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