Black Cherry Buttermilk Ice Cream

5 from 28 reviews

This black cherry buttermilk ice cream recipe has a surprising tang. It’s refreshing and delicious on a hot summer day and easy to make.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups buttermilk

For the black cherry swirl:

  • 3 cups (1/2 pound black cherries), pitted and quartered (this tool will be your best friend)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with a handful of ice cubes and adding a few splashes of water. Set a slightly smaller bowl inside this bowl and place a sieve or strainer inside. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream, sugar and salt over medium heat in a saucepan until it reaches a slight simmer and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium mixing bowl. Temper the cream mixture by adding 1/4 cup of the warm cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking the entire time. Add the remainder of the cream and whisk.
  4. Return mixture back to the medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until 170-175 degrees F and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Pour the mixture through the sieve into the small bowl of your ice bath. Add the honey, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir constantly until the mixture becomes room temperature.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the fridge for at least 4 hours, until very cold.
  7. Prepare the cherries: Add the chopped cherries and sugar to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until bubbling and cherries are soft. Set aside.
  8. Churn the ice cream mixture according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container and freeze for about 30 minutes to an hour to help set. Remove from freezer and stir all or part of the cherries. I only added the cherries themselves and reserved the sauce part of the cherry mixture to drizzle on top, but you can also add it directly to the buttermilk ice cream base. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours. Drizzle with remaining cherry sauce before serving (optional).

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