This lemon ice cream recipe is the queen bee of all homemade ice creams. Creamy, lemony and studded with poppyseeds, you’ll be blown away by how much this ice cream tastes like a lemon poppy seed muffin. Grab a spoon and dive in!
How to make this lemon ice cream recipe:
This lemon ice cream recipe is essentially my go-to ice cream base turned up a notch.
For my ice cream base I use a 1:1 ratio of cream to whole milk (so yes, you can use half-and-half if you’d like).
I then use some regular sugar and, instead of corn syrup, some honey. The honey (which acts like corn syrup) is essential to creating a smooth ice cream. Why? Honey interferes with the formation of ice crystals during churning and freezing, which helps to ensure this ice cream is smooth and not icy.
The final key component of my homemade ice cream base is a hearty amount of egg yolks. They add a luscious creaminess that you can’t get with anything else.
So what makes it lemon? Well, take this base and add a hearty amount of minced lemon zest and some fresh lemon juice!
The basic steps for making homemade ice cream:
Step 1: combine cream, milk, half of the sugar, honey and salt in a saucepan.
Step 2: cook mixture until steaming.
Step 3: whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar together.
Step 4: whisk a splash of the heated milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture (this is called tempering).
Step 5: add yolk mixture to saucepan with remaining milk and cook until mixture reaches 185-degrees.
Step 6: let cool; then transfer to refrigerator to chill completely.
Step 7: churn ice cream until it resembles thick soft-serve; meanwhile throw a metal baking pan in the freezer to chill.
Step 8: transfer churned ice cream to frozen metal pan and freeze.
What makes this lemon ice cream taste like a muffin?
There’s one key ingredient that takes this ice cream from lemon poppy seed to lemon poppy seed muffin. Can you guess??
Two words: Butter extract.
YA’LL. I’m not even Southern and butter extract has me saying ya’ll! It’s that good. My sister and I have agreed that we will be adding it to almost every baked good we make from here on out.
Are we overreacting? Maybe.
Are we being a bit extreme? Most definitely.
Is butter extract worth us being a bit “extra”? One-hundred percent.
You guys. I’m not encouraging you to use butter extract in place of, well, real butter. No, no, no. That’s not the point of butter extract. It simply adds a whole other dimension to baked goods and desserts by offering more of a decadent, indulgent flavor.
How to serve lemon ice cream (lemon ice cream desserts):
Lemony Ice Cream Sandwich
Freeze ice cream on a large baking sheet instead of a baking pan, then use a round cookie cutter to cut ice cream out. Sandwich ice cream between shortbread cookies. (These lemon or triple ginger thins from Trader Joe’s would be AHmazing).
Lemon Poppy Seed & Blueberry Muffin Sundae
Spoon this fresh blueberry sauce over a few scoops of the lemon poppy seed ice cream.
Lemon Poppy Seed & Blueberry Muffin Trifle
Layer scoops of lemon poppy seed ice cream with fresh blueberry syrup and diced pound cake. Top with whipped cream!
Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream Float
Top scoops of lemon poppy seed ice cream with Prosecco or Limoncello.
Want more homemade ice cream?! Check out these favorites!
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this lemon ice cream recipe!
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This lemon ice cream recipe is the queen bee of all homemade ice creams. Creamy, lemony, and studded with poppyseeds, you’ll be blown away by how much this ice cream tastes like a lemon poppy seed muffin.
Place a metal baking pan in the freezer.
Combine cream, milk, ¼ cup sugar, honey, zest, lemon juice, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook mixture, stirring frequently, until steaming and registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer, 6–8 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth and light in color, 1 minute.
Slowly whisk 1 cup heated milk mixture into egg yolk mixture to temper. Add yolk mixture to remaining milk mixture in saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 185°F on an instant-read thermometer, 5 minutes.
Off heat, stir in poppy seeds, butter extract, and vanilla extract.
Transfer custard to a large bowl and cool completely. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of custard and transfer to refrigerator; chill completely, at least 4 hours.
Transfer chilled custard to bowl of ice cream machine. Churn, according to manufacturer’s instructions, until mixture resembles very thick soft serve, 15–20 minutes.
Transfer ice cream to frozen baking pan and press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface; freeze until edges are firm, about 1 hour.
Transfer ice cream to an airtight container, pressing to compress and remove air pockets. Freeze until firm, 2 hours.
Ice cream is best enjoyed within 2 weeks of making, but lasts up to 1 month.
- Serving Size: per 1/2 cup
- Calories: 299
- Sugar: 23g
- Sodium: 119mg
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated Fat: 13g
- Carbohydrates: 24g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 4g
- Cholesterol: 221mg
Keywords: Lemon ice cream recipe, homemade lemon ice cream, lemon ice cream