Red Velvet Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Swirl

So, I really hope you guys aren’t sick of ice cream yet… National Ice Cream month comes to an end tomorrow, and I fully intend to take advantage of these last few days!

On top of (obviously) being obsessed with ice cream this month, I’ve also developed a somewhat unhealthy addiction to red velvet. I’ve made these blue velvet cupcakes at least twice since posting them only a few weeks ago, and just this past weekend made them in their original red color too. And despite a huge menu of choices, I’m unable to order anything but red velvet ice cream when we go to our local ice cream shop.

Red Velvet Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Swirl

I have a mile-long list of other red velvet treats I want to make as well. If I wasn’t so nervous about the impact of eating red food coloring every day for weeks, we’d be having red velvet month over here :)

Sadly, I think it might be time for a little red velvet time-out, but not before first sharing one last dessert! When Annie posted this red velvet ice cream earlier this year it immediately went on my list of must-try recipes, and it only seemed appropriate to make it happen for National Ice Cream month.

Red Velvet Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Swirl

I’ve tried so many new flavors this month it’d be impossible to pick a favorite, but if you forced me to, this one would be near the top. Though I love the red velvet ice cream at my local shop, it’s not really red velvet – it’s more like chocolate ice cream with pieces of red velvet cake and a cream cheese swirl running through it. But this homemade version is the real deal.

It’s a tangy buttermilk ice cream made with just a little bit of cocoa powder and no joke, it really does mimic the taste of red velvet cake perfectly! There’s even a swirl of cream cheese frosting to really drive the point home. I almost skipped the swirl but am so glad I changed my mind at the last minute. This red velvet ice cream is super creamy – it scoops easily straight from the freezer – and oh so rich. It’s an indulgence for sure, but worthy of every single calorie. You have to try it before summer is over!

Red Velvet Ice Cream with Cream Cheese Swirl
barely adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Swirl
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

To make the ice cream: Add the heavy cream, 3/4 cup of the sugar, cocoa powder, and the salt to a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Whisking frequently, heat the mixture until the sugar and cocoa powder dissolve into the cream – the mixture should come to a bare simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar in a heatproof bowl until combined and pale in color. Slowly add the warm cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 170-175 F on an instant read thermometer). Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl then add the buttermilk, food coloring, and vanilla. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (overnight is good).

Right before churning, make the cream cheese swirl: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, mixing on low just until combined, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the vanilla and heavy cream and increase the speed to medium-high, continuing to beat the mixture until very light and fluffy.

Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you transfer the ice cream to an airtight container for storage, layer in the cream cheese frosting (make the layers of frosting as thin as you can for the best swirls). Transfer the ice cream to the freezer and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Makes about 1 quart