Strawberry Ice Cream: Fresh v. Frozen v. Cooked Strawberries

While I may be a diehard chocolate fan, I’ve grown to like strawberry ice cream – as long as it tastes like real strawberries. Unfortunately I grew up only knowing the strawberry that came in the cheaper Neapolitan ice creams, so it wasn’t until I tasted the strawberry from Curbside Creamery in Oakland, California that I realize that you could have delicious strawberry ice cream.

Cooked Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Cooked Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Fruit flavored ice cream is just about as complicated as chocolate. Luckily we had extra Philly base (check out our ice cream base experiment here) laying around and lots of frozen strawberries and happened to just throw them together gave us pretty decent strawberry ice cream. Our experiment today is to see if using fresh or frozen strawberries makes any difference and whether straight blending strawberries with the base or cooking down the strawberries first is preferable.

Carlienne’s Strawberry Ice Cream Experiment


  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 9 oz Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3/8 Cup Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice*

*Lemon Juice only necessary for cooked strawberry (making the jam)

Uncooked Strawberries Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Set mix in the fridge for to chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  3. Proceed with churning by following the instructions of your machine and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Cooked Strawberries Instructions

  1. Make a jam by cooking the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice together, mashing down fruit and allowing it to thicken. Pour into a container and set it in the fridge to chill.
  2. When jam is cool, combine it with all remaining ingredients. You can hand mix or use a blender. Put the mix back in the fridge to chill for at least 1-2 hours.
  3. Proceed with churning by following the instructions of your machine and freeze for at least 4 hours.


The most obvious difference was that cooking your strawberries changes the flavor, giving it a rounded fuller jam flavor. Though we used the same amount of sugar, the cooked strawberries ice cream tasted sweeter. The uncooked blended ice creams doubled in size. We recommend using fresh strawberries if you’re really looking for that true-to-fresh-strawberry taste.

Cooked Frozen Strawberry Ice Cream
Cooked Frozen Strawberry Ice Cream

Cooked Fresh and Frozen Strawberries
There wasn’t a noticeable difference in flavor between cooking fresh or frozen strawberries. They both froze fairly hard and parts of the cooked swirl can get icy. The ice cream had a very mild rounded strawberry flavor and pale color, though that’s probably because we set aside some of the jam to swirl into the ice cream. The swirls made up for the flavor with their intense mouth-warming sweetness. The cooked fresh strawberries ice cream froze the hardest and had finer breaks. If you fully incorporate the jam and forgo the swirl, the color will likely be much darker and the intensity a little milder.

Blended Frozen Strawberry Ice Cream
Blended Frozen Strawberry Ice Cream

Blended Frozen Strawberries
The frozen strawberries that were simply blended with the ice cream base had a lovely strawberry milk flavor, light and creamy much like a good strawberry milkshake. This ice cream had the the softest freeze and had a nice break when scooping. This one had a nice bubblegum pink color.

Blended Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Blended Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Blended Fresh Strawberries
The blended fresh strawberries froze a tad harder than the already frozen strawberries blended ice cream. It had more of a crumbly texture and was harder to scoop. The fresh strawberries give the ice cream only a pale pink color and a wonderful bright pop that was just a tad tart. That will likely differ a little depending on the sweetness of your strawberries. Because of the tartness, you lose a bit of the milky cream flavor though you really get that refreshing strawberry flavor.

Tools Used To Make This Dish*

Camera Gear List*

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