strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie Recipes

strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie

Sure, there’s nothing glamorous about carrying a watermelon, so to speak, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I rather enjoy many parts of being pregnant. For example, you get to wear elastic-waist pants all the time. Your hair gets really thick and shiny; I mean, sure, it doesn’t last but if this is as close as I’m going to get in my lifetime to my Pantene Moment, you’d better believe I’m going to revel in it. It’s so very wrong, but I even secretly enjoy the soft bigotry of low expectations as literally nothing I admit — that I’ve been only swimming two times a week instead of three recently, that if I cook dinner twice a week, it’s a triumph, etc. — is met with less than “Go you! That’s amazing!” I even delight in watching people’s expressions change to borderline-panic on the street as they realize this rather normal-looking woman approaching them is, in fact, colossal when viewed from the side.

getting started
pressing in the graham crust

That is, until the end. The final weeks are a little different, aren’t they? They are both too long and too short, erratic sleep, puffy feet, and can I admit that I dread standing in line at the grocery store because I know I won’t escape without having to converse with a stranger about the state of my midsection? I actually found myself debating the pros/cons of a grocery store run yesterday because of this, but fortunately, the need for cream cheese and graham crackers for cheesecake ice cream pie triumphed, as it always and forever should.

cheesecake ice cream batter
a mound of whipped cream
a cloud of whipped cream

You could say I’m on a frozen dessert kick this summer, whether I’m making the argument that popsicles are breakfast food, campfire-charred marshmallows should be slurped through a straw, and that anything with the nickname “crack” could be an ideal ice cream sandwich vehicle. I’m sure it has nothing — nothing — to do with the fact that 80 degrees outside is more like 105 in Third Trimester-ese, or that when your household includes a Kindergartener and a husband that’s been kind enough to eat like a stereotypical pregnant woman (pickles! ice cream! chocolate!), well, nobody is going to argue. Although I own an ice cream maker, my primary goal is to avoid using it because it requires advance planning (at least 24 hours of bowl-chilling) and nothing about ice cream cravings involve delayed gratification.

tiny jersey strawberries
hulled and halved
making the strawberry topping

So, when I spied a stunning churn-free recipe for Mexican Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Pie on one of my favorite food blogs and realized that the core recipe was just a few steps away from cheesecake, and that I’ve never met anyone — dad, grad, kid, carrier of watermelons — who did anything less than a leap for joy when told that if they opened the freezer, they’d find a billowing homemade strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie inside, I knew what needed to be done. And I don’t regret a thing.

strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie
strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie
strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie

One year ago: Valerie’s French Chocolate Cake
Two years ago: Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream
Three years ago: Chocolate Swirl Buns
Four years ago: Dobos Torte
Five years ago: Crushed Peas with Smoky Sesame Dressing
Six years ago: Pickled Sugar Snap Peas and Springy Fluffy Marshmallows
Seven years ago: Breakfast Apricot Crisp and Dead Simple Slaw
Eight years ago: Fideos with Favas

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Endives with Oranges and Almonds
1.5 Years Ago: Eggnog Florentines and Linzer Torte
2.5 Years Ago: Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce (so perfect for summer, too, with or without mint extract)
3.5 Years Ago: Cashew Butter Balls

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie
Adapted a bit liberally from Lisa Fain’s Mexican Coffee Ice Cream Pie

An additional note about texture: The cream cheese base of this pie gets firm but not rock-hard in the freezer (a good thing), but the whipped cream topping can get very firm, almost popsicle-like. If this isn’t to your liking, you can add the whipped cream right before serving, or only let it firm up 10 minutes in the freezer, enough that it can stand up to the wet strawberry topping but not be fully frozen.

1 1/2 cups (155 grams) finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake filling
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream topping
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Strawberry sauce
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Make crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Combine graham crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add butter and stir until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. I like to use the outer edge of a heavy measuring cup to press in neat, firm sides but nobody will be the wiser if you just use your fingertips. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 9 to 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, you can even transfer it to the freezer to get it started on the chilling process.

Make cheesecake filling: Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy, then slowly beat in condensed milk until smooth. Beat in zest and vanilla. [This step updated to ensure everyone avoids lumps.] Pour into cooled crust and freeze for 6 to 8 hours, until firm.

Make whipped cream topping: Whip cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the frozen filling and return to the freezer until firm, usually less than an hour.

Make strawberry topping: Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon, cornstarch and water in a medium, heavy saucepan. Let macerate for 15 to 20 minutes, then cook over medium-low heat to a simmer, stirring. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, then remove from heat and chill sauce completely. You can hasten this along by stirring it in a bowl set over a bowl of ice water. Chill strawberry sauce in fridge until needed. (We won’t be freezing this part.)

To serve: Using a hot, wet knife, cut pie into wedges and drape each with strawberry sauce. Eat, repeat.

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152 comments on strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie

  1. Charlotte in Toronto

    Perfect. Local strawberries have arrived and I’ll be making this to take to work tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll be a howling success. You haven’t let me down yet. Thank you.

  2. Lilllian

    I don’t know if I should be delighted or mortified to realize that I have all of these ingredients on hand. I know what I’m bringing to our neighborhood happy hour this Friday….

  3. Priyanka

    Deb this looks amazing! What are your thoughts on making this ahead of time? Need to take a dessert to work on Monday and am wondering about things melting during my hour commute. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Priyanka — Unlike “real” ice cream, I don’t think it would be the end of the world if this melted (it’s not total liquid), but it would be soft and pudding-y at the base. I’d put it on a bag of ice in a cooler and you’ll probably be fine. Lucky coworkers!

  4. Promise me if I work hard my dessert will look just like yours =) Oh………I loved your “discussion” on pregnancy. You know, I loved every minute of being pregnant!!!! I felt that people were so nice to me, holding open doors, helping to carry things, it made me so happy. And I wasn’t “mean” to myself about being a little chunky. I vow to never buy a store bought graham cracker crust after this !!!

  5. JR

    Deb, it looks amazing – and easy! What fruit could replace strawberries in countries (like the Holy Land) where strawberries are a winter fruit?

  6. wow!! Deb/ you are killing me! what a wonderful ideal for the summer time and the strawberries are out at this time, p.s. would like to ask you if the cheese is the 18 ounces are did you say 1-8 ounce pkg. of cream cheese?

  7. Mary

    Beautiful! How long would the strawberry sauce last in the fridge? Or can it be frozen? I have strawberries but probably won’t get around to making the cheesecake for a bit.

  8. This looks gorgeously delicious! I don’t know if you are a tennis fan, but Wimbledon is starting in a couple of days, and this recipe goes perfectly with the strawberries and cream theme! Perfection.
    xx Lane

  9. Add sweetened condensed milk to anything and it’s a winner. Including a spoon. There’s a book called The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love that has a pie recipe called “Oh God” that has SCM and cream cheese, and it might be one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Which leads me to believe that I should make this pie this weekend for comparison’s sake.

  10. Amy Cook

    Don’t you think this would work well with raspberries, too? Not to brag, but we have raspberry bushes that, after three years, have really come into their own, and I’m on a constant search for recipes (I’ve made your gratin and buttermilk cake many times–both delicious!).

  11. Sue T.

    This pie looks… amazing. I think I will need to clear out my freezer, there’s a pie about to happen. BTW, I am a bit envious of you but that is because my daughter was due on Labor Day (ha ha, I was the joke of my Lamaze class) so I spent my entire third trimester in Washington DC heat and humidity – and with no A/C. Then dear daughter decided to wait and come 10 days late. I thought I would either explode or melt. In any case, like all of your Gentle Readers, I am eagerly looking forward to being introduced to your new little one, very soon.

  12. Phoebe

    Perfect timing! My cheesecake loving cousin will be thrilled to have this on Saturday for his birthday dinner dessert. Thank you!!!

  13. Caterina

    This is a reason to get more strawberries. The last batch were sacrificed for the strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes :) You look amazing Deb – that black dress rocks and you are so not colossal looking!

  14. amyhodge

    Is it possible just to do this in the fridge without any freezing (more like a normal cheesecake)? My teeth are super sensitive to the cold these days and can no longer tolerate anything that is freezer-cold (fridge-cold is often too much!). Thanks!

  15. The last time I made cheesecake was an epic fail, and I swore never again, BUT since this is really ice-cream, I think I feel brave enough to try, try again.

    Every time I click on your site, I hold my breath waiting for a big announcement post!!

  16. liz

    How do you cook while pregnant? I find the minute I’m in the family way I cannot for the life of me summon up the energy or motivation to spend any substantial time in the kitchen.

  17. Kara

    I would love to do this with your vanilla bean pudding instead of the cheese cake filling. And of course there would be rum in the pudding. 4th of July dessert planned!

  18. Sarah U

    Deb, dearest preggers Deb, whatever pork butt or roast is taking up the room that is required for your ice cream bowl is not worth it! Cook that sucker and make room for important items! :) Mine is permanently housed in the freezer, sorry pork butt.

  19. deb

    Rosa — Just one (8-ounce) package.

    JR — Another berry or cherry, or really whatever you like with cheesecake. Frozen berries would work too.

    mary — Thank you. It’s this one from JCrew in black, i.e. not maternity so if you could listen to closely, the seams would be saying “HELP ME” because they don’t deserve this. I’ve found that I could get away with all sorts of stretchy summer dresses this time that are not maternity (yay)… until about 1 week ago. So, let’s hope this baby gets here soon because I am not going shopping.

    amyhodge — The cheesecake part wouldn’t set up in the fridge; it would be more of a soft battery pudding, you might instead bake an actual cheesecake filling, or part of one, into the pie shell if you want to keep it in the fridge.

    Sue T — Thank you. DC heat and humidity is NO JOKE. (I used to live there. Love that city, despite this.) Jacob was born in September so I remember the summer being unbearably hot but I’m learning now that the first pregnancy is always easier because you don’t have the existing kid to take care of. I worked from home, put my feet up whenever I needed to. I am quietly resenting Deb of 2009 right now. :)

    Mary — I’d expect the strawberry sauce to be good for a week. Longer, with more sugar. You could probably freeze it as well.

    Amy — Absolutely with raspberries. Maybe a little more sugar in the sauce.

    liz — Ha! I have zero energy for regular cooking. To wit, the last post here was a full week ago and it was for pancakes. Actually, I was going to talk more about that next week, I hope, what I’m doing instead. Who says pregnant women eat for two? Give me a couple slices of watermelon and I’d happily skip dinner.

    Sarah — I used to house it permanently in there, which I agree is most logical. A couple summers ago, I switched to the Kitchen Aid ice cream bowl attachment. I like it a lot more (less “ehnnnnnn” noise, driving me bonkers) but it’s bigger! And it doesn’t fit in the freezer unless I remove the shelf and I basically never want to do that. My laziness knows no bounds.

  20. Oh my…instant gratification is what I love, and this is practically as close to it as you can get with cheesecake-turned-ice-cream. I love love love this idea. The strawberry sauce also looks like absolute perfection. You ARE amazing! And I laughed out loud reading about your mental dilemma to go to the grocery store or not…yes, Deb, graham crackers and cream cheese always win! :)

  21. Sandy

    :o. My friends and family have a little summer/last holiday until November bbq/dinner get together coming up in a couple of weeks and I’m planning on making Sally’s Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bar but figured I needed another dessert and THIS, this is perfect. Thank-you for sharing it looks so gooood.

  22. Ashley

    This looks beautiful and yummy. I’m a longtime cheesecake lover, but I’ve never made anything like this.

    So, this was months ago but I’m still eagerly awaiting the banana pudding recipe you’d mentioned. ;) No rush! But I can’t wait to see what you put together. :)

  23. 1. That pie looks so delicious. I think I drooled a little bit.

    2. You look so much more gorgeous and put together while 9 months pregnant than I ever do (typed while wearing rolled up jeans and a t-shirt)!!

  24. JP

    This looks fantastic…I notice you are on a bit of strawberry jag…perfect for June. Do you let this thaw a bit on the counter before serving? I wonder about how hard it would be to cut if left overnight in the freezer. Best wishes in the third trimester! It is an exhausting time, but when you get a dear new baby at the end of it, it will be well worth every minute, of course!

  25. Tim

    Hi Deb–I may be a little dense here, but when you say “blend” the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk, are you using a blender, or are you just mixing them together in a bowl? Seems it would be too thick to put in the blender, but I could be wrong!

  26. Gina Moore

    You are such a cute pregnant lady!! And this looks amaze as always. I have been considering “anything from” for our next Cookbook Club (since we already used your book!)

  27. Tami

    I absolutely HEART this baby you’re pregnant with…impeccable taste that one. Every recipe to date is a WINNER :D This is on my summer “to-make” list! Oooooh, so excited!!!!!

  28. sooo, do you think it would be possible to replace the graham cracker crust with an oreo crust instead (such as one from here: if yes, would it be necessary to still bake the crust before adding filling? thank you so much, deb. you are a diva~

  29. Angela M

    This version sounds awesome. Similar to one we do without freezing. Instead of using vanilla and lemon zest we use lemon juice and place it in the fridge to set for an easy pie. I use 1/4 cup of juice but my mom uses more. She also uses lime juice sometimes. The toppings are similar as well. Most of my family want this at almost every get together. :)

  30. Hey Deb, so why granulated sugar in the whipping cream? I’ve always used confectioners sugar, but I don’t have a good reason to back up my choice. Is there is difference in final product? Thanks!

  31. Melanie

    Deb, I have to say, after taking a small hiatus from your website (forced due to being insanely busy at work and not being able to distract myself with your lovely stories and recipes) I have to say that I absolutely love your pregnancy posts. You are coming up with some amazing things that I never would have thought of. I’m loving spending some time distracting myself with my (very neglected as of late) laptop for the evening while hubby is out with some friends. Thank you for all you do. Although I’ve never met you, I’ve missed you!!!! :)

  32. Ellen

    Hi Deb,

    This looks so good. I’m making it this weekend. The only problem is that you spoiled the instant gratification part for me by posting the graham cracker recipe. Once I made them I was ruined for store bought.

    Thank you for the zillion wonderful recipes I’ve gotten from Smitten Kitchen.


  33. Ellen

    Hi Karen,

    I think I can answer your granulated vs. powdered sugar question. The reason to use powdered sugar in whipped cream is that the corn starch in powdered sugar keeps the cream whipped longer. As the whipped cream in this recipe will be frozen deflation is not a concern.


  34. Charlotte

    OMG. That actually went through my head when I opened up this page. I think I need to make this now and the only reason I’m not is because my kid has eaten every crumb of fruit I had (raspberries, cherries and watermelon) so I need to wait until the fruit stand is open tomorrow. Thanks for this and you look fabulous! Rockin that non-maternity wear.

  35. Geri

    It’s always a treat to see you Deb. Know that strawberry pie will be on our table very soon. For 4th of July might add a few blueberries to the top. So many ideas come to mind. Peach season will soon follow. Wishing you smooth sailing the rest of your pregnancy. Always enjoy your “delivery” of words at the beginning of each post. Happy Father’s day weekend.

  36. Tim – I just put this pie in the freezer, and since I decided I’m too lazy to break out the blender, I think I can answer your question: no, it does not work to just mix the ingredients in a bowl. I tried first with a spoon, then with a whisk, and just couldn’t get rid of the cheese lumps, so eventually gave up and used an immersion blender, and only then I got a nice smooth consistency. I guess maybe it could work with a hand mixer, too? Or a food processor or something. But cream cheese appears to be just too stubborn for regular mixing.

    (Also, additional laziness means I used a store-bought pie crust, instead of making one myself; I’m sure the buttery version is tastier, but just couldn’t bother, today. I will report on the results.)

  37. This is the perfect recipe for when you are in need of some (guilt-free) indulgence. From a nutritional perspective, Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamins C and K as well as providing a good dose of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe. :)

  38. Dahlink

    Oh sniff–another recipe with strawberries. I am not feeling the love since I am allergic to them. I clicked over to the Mexican coffee inspiration and read that ice cream pies were popular in Texas in the 1950s. We have a family story from the 1920s when my uncle as a very small boy ate so much ice cream cake for his birthday that supposedly his stomach froze and he had to be taken to the ER. He survived.

  39. Daria

    This sounds like a dream! Small question: how could I reduce the sweetness in this one? Can I replace some of the condensed mik by a non-sugar version, or maybe cream? (I usually make your recipes with half to 2/3 of sugar – I guess my sweet tooth isn’t sweet enough!)

  40. deb

    Karen, re, granulated instead of powdered sugar in whipped cream — I’ve always used powdered sugar, too, and then one day I didn’t have any and used granulated and it turned out, it mattered very little. It completely dissolves as you’re beating the cream, and I didn’t find that the cream softened faster without the additional cornstarch in powdered sugar (which, for the amount I’d use in this much whipped cream, is really nominal). So, no reason not to use powdered sugar, but I didn’t feel there was any reason to add another ingredient to the list for it.

    Kelley — Sure, you can use a chocolate crust. Also, the Homesick Texan recipe I adapted this from uses one too, but just adding cocoa powder to a graham crust. (She uses slightly different proportions, but once I landed on this one, it became my go-to crumb crust and I haven’t wanted see if another works.)

    Tim, re: blending the cream cheese portion — Yes, I used the word exactly to imply that you could either blend it in a blender or use an electric mixer. I realize that’s not the clearest way to write a recipe! As Yael noted, cream cheese can be very pesky to blend. It needs to be very, very, very soft before beating in another ingredient, softer than butter. So, a machine-motor is better than hand mixing. I’ll write that direction out a little more clearly to address this.

    JP — You can let it thaw a bit. In the freezer, the whipped cream gets very firm, the cheesecake base, only moderately. So, if you don’t want it too hard, you might leave the whipped cream off until the end, or only partially freeze it.

  41. JessB

    Wow, wow, wow!! This thing is beautiful. And you look amazing for how far along you are!! At that point of my last pregnancy, I could barely, and I mean, barely shove my feet into Uggs or Crocs…and she was a winter baby. You have strappy sandals!!

  42. Patty P.

    What a perfect way to use up the season’s last strawberries, while thumbing my nose at the 100+ temps here in CA! Can’t wait to try this out with the peaches that are just about ready to pick. BTW….You’re beautiful! So glad you’re enjoying these days. They’ll be sweet memories soon enough (as you already know!).

  43. That looks so good Deb! And I want to go swimming also now! I swam a couple of times a week when I still lived in the Netherlands. But I swim slowly, using a very unprofessional looking breaststroke. Here in Madrid all swimmers look like true professionals and I don’t dare join them :)
    Have a good weekend!

  44. Carmen

    This is akin to a Bon Appetit pie, Coconut Cream with a Macaron crust, that I made two weeks ago while on vacation, the only time I had enough free time to make it without work or toddler intervening.

    These types of pies are great for summer. It is already 100 degrees in Savannah, and when I was pregnant this time of year two summers ago, I wore nothing but elastic waste jean shorts and a tank top. No regrets.

  45. Ann

    Deb, you should really consider moving here to San Francisco if you love elastic waist pants so much! Lulus are essentially the ex-9-5 uniform here :)

  46. I am pregnant right now too, and I feel like you have been reading my mind the last few months!!! This looks so good.. Last night I made a super lazy version of this – really good ricotta whipped with some powdered sugar, topped with strawberries with a sprinkle of sugar and a dash of balsamic. This dessert is on my list! :) Thanks for all the inspiration.

  47. I’m a hesitant baker but have loved making your summer strawberry cake and will make this for father’s day! I’m wondering if leftovers – if there are any – would go back in the freezer (a bit concerned what would happen to the whipped cream)?

  48. This looks amazing. I guess I need to keep on running if I’m going to wow my tastebuds with this gorgeous pie! Thanks for sharing!

    Any substitute for the graham crackers you can suggest? We don’t have them where I live.

  49. Sue

    This looks divine esp as I have a fridge full of homegrown strawberries to use. However, neither my partner nor I like cream but I’m guessing this cheesecake would be just as yummy & successful without the topping of whipped cream?

  50. Sarah S

    Deb – if I have to pick one shortcut to this recipe and opt to use some cool whip for expediency’ sake, how would you recommend I incorporate it? Melt it on the counter a little bit, then fold it on top of the cheesecake? I’m in DC and a month out from third trimester… hot hot hot!

  51. All these strawberry recipes are gratefully appreciated as I have a fridge full of Nofo strawberries. The guy at oysterponds berries has decided, however , to concentrate on raspberries .. Not a bad thing, but will have to take out a raspberry mortgage . We await the arrival of even more Perelmans ! You Look terrific. For Labor nurses, make your Everyday Chocolate Cake… Let them take slices as needed. ( it is also Fabulous with berries and whipped cream !)

  52. Man that last month of pregnancy was fun in some ways. I did in fact carry a seedless watermelon on my hip into the grocery store once, taking full delight in the huge eyes and double-takes I got. I was so tickled I had to show my husband when I got home and the blessed man told me the watermelon was bigger (it wasn’t.). The looks when I turned to the side were priceless, too. Ah, the memories. = )

  53. Jax

    I love this recipe. Your writing is masterful yet down to Earth. I found this blog today and will bookmark to make sure I can return often. Thank you!!!

  54. Beth

    Pure heaven! I can completely relate to your pregnancy woes and joys, as I have an 8 month daughter. Being pregnant through the summer was not delightful, but it did give me more liberty to eat lots of ice-cream and fresh fruit. Many congratulations and good vibes to you through these last difficult weeks! :) I cannot wait to make this beautiful pie!

  55. Now this is just unfair. How am I supposed to run a race with this amazing-looking recipe staring at me? Maybe I’ll make this as a post-race reward :)

  56. Rosa Meggie

    Hello Deb, I want to ask you where can I buy the white pie pan or can you just past the site where you got your …thank you.:)

  57. Kari

    Not going to read the rest of the comments right now, but I just had to reply to the comment made by Sue T. (#17). I similarly afflicted my mother. I was due on the 1st of September but declined to make my appearance until 10 days later. My poor mother. I’ve never been that big a fan of summer, myself…

  58. Update on the pie I made yesterday: it is delicious. Took longer than 8 hours to get really firm – when we ate it yesterday evening (after it has been in the freezer from around noon or so) it was still kinda soft and gooey, but today the texture is much better. It’s kinda weird to eat frozen whipped cream, but eh, I like it.
    I made a blackberry sauce, instead of strawberry (used frozen berries), and accidentally used double the required cornstrach, so it got a bit too thick and jammy, but who cares, it still tastes good.

    Oh, and the readymade crust works just fine – I’m sure a homemade one with butter and Lotus biscuits (graham crackers are hard to find here, but Lotus is a more than adequate substitute) would have been tastier, but for other lazy folks, don’t worry, it’ll work either way.

  59. Christy

    Wow, this came out shockingly bad. Like, so bad I looked back at the recipe after waiting 8 hours to make sure I hadn’t done something wrong! The crust is frozen to the pie plate, requiring a chipping-out process that destroys the integrity of the slice. But the filling, after 8 hours, is still just a gloppy, conndensed-milk texture, without any good cream cheese flavor – so I just end up with a pool of crust-studded filling when I finally manage to get it out of the dish. The proportion of 14oz of condensed milk to 8oz cream cheese is likely to blame – this is just doctored condensed milk put in the freezer. I’ll consider leaving it in my freezer to see if anything good happens with more like 24 hours of freezing, but the flavor is such a bummer I don’t know that I’ll eat much even if it sets up. This is a rare stinker from Smitten Kitchen.

  60. ellen

    i actually had a lot of trouble with this pie. made it yesterday. the crust shrank down from sides. then when i went to serve it, the crust was rock hard, solid in one piece that refused to be cut. we had to just scoop out the filling and then some folks broke pieces of crusts with their hands (messy!!). the cheescake filling got very soft right out of freezer but the whipped cream topping was much firmer, i would have preferred both to be same texture. i have made many graham crusts and have no idea why it went so wrong this time – over baked, over packed, over frozen?? other possible issue was i used a king arthur pan that is meant for butter crusts (ridges on bottom) – perhaps that was the culprit. flavor was great, i just wish i had tried it out at home before bringing to a party where it was so messy.

  61. Parsley

    You look great!
    I gave up eating dairy and wheat months ago because eating them gives my mother’s-milk-fed baby bad eczema: this sort of recipe makes doing so a bit (lot) harder. I might make this for the family, and just hold a napkin to wipe the inevitable drool off my face.

  62. MJ

    Your first ref to the “Mexican – – – – Ice Cream Pie” says “Mexican Chocolate” when in fact it’s “Mexican Coffee.” Not so much for you, but disappointing for those of us who don’t drink coffee. :(

    Otherwise, brilliant as usual. Best luck and all good wishes for a speedy delivery and beautiful baby sib for the boy.

  63. JessB

    I made this for the weekend with store bought crusts and pre-sweetened frozen strawberries…dishwasher is broke and I couldn’t handle more dishes than necessary! It was yummy!! My whole family ate it and practically licked the plates. The cream cheese part was soupy but it had been out of the freezer and on a bag of ice in a cooler for hours so I wasn’t surprised. I have the second one in the freezer for the celebration w the other side of the fam today. Can’t wait!

  64. SusanB

    Admittedly, I am somewhat technologically challenged, but where are people seeing photos of Deb? “All” I see are the photos of the food, which is great, but I feel I am missing out on some important visual information. Thanks!

  65. Katie

    Deb: must make banoffee pie. Apparently it’s popular in Ireland and I am shocked and sad to never hear of it until last year. Graham crust, sliced bananas, caramel, coffee custard, and whipped cream.

  66. SusanB: click the highlighted words in the article. They’re links that take you to the Flickr photos of Deb and other miscellaneous cute photos.

  67. DeAnn

    Christy…mine came out the same! I made this one and the Mexican coffee version from Homesick Texan…both very soupy after nearly 24 hours in the freezer. I too reread both recipes to see what I missed. Real bummer.

  68. Adrianne Collins

    I’m not sure which is more gorgeous – this pie or you! Ok, you win, hands down, but thanks for this delicious recipe!!!

  69. Karen

    This pie is sitting in the freezer waiting for my family to be ready to sit down for dessert. So far I have high hopes. I did not use graham crackers or bake the crust, I suspect the problems people had with shrinking and sticking crust are from baking it. Instead I made a no-bake Oreo crust with gluten free Oreos, 20 cookies to 1/4 cup melted butter, grind it up and pat in pan, and freeze before putting in filling.

    The filling set up perfectly in my freezer, I made the filling at noon yesterday and stuck it in there. Added the whipped cream today and figured we’ll decide it we like that. It cut well with a hot, wet knife. Will update with taste reports as soon as my family tears themselves away from their game to eat.

  70. Karen

    Taste reviews: The filling was firm, but did soften while eating, getting a little gooey, but very rich and delicious. We made a cherry sauce because my husband is not a fan of strawberries; we used a 1 lb bag of frozen sweet cherries from Trader Joes, might have added a smidge too much cornstarch but it was still delicious and didn’t need more lemon juice at all.

    I think a no-bake pie crust is the way to go here, or a premade graham cracker crust pie. I didn’t have any issues with the crust sticking, but I have in the past when I tried to par-bake a crumb crust for a no bake pie. So just skip that step.

    if your filling gets gooey or doesn’t set, it may be that you didn’t fully whip the cream cheese so that it could really incorporate with the condensed milk. The milk will keep it from freezing solid, but if you have spots where the cream cheese isn’t fully integrated it’s going to be puddly. That was my experience. I found one gooey spot and it was sweeter than sweet, meaning I’d missed thoroughly whippin’ that cheese. So don’t be impatient whipping the cream cheese before adding the milk.

    Those are my humble cook’s notes. Delicious special-occasion pie, super rich and I might have to go lie down for a bit. It was a fun pie for the kids to help make.

  71. Abby

    Made this today for Father’s Day. It was delicious and worked perfectly as the recipe is written. Will be making again and possibly try with blueberries and kicking up the lemon a bit more!

  72. Chelsea

    I made this today as a Father’s Day dessert, since my kids and I saw the photos and thought it looked amazing. Based on the notes, I decided to only freeze the cheesecake layer. It was plenty firm after about 6 1/2 hours, but even with a hot, wet knife as directed, getting through the frozen crust was tough. Once I had two pieces out, it was easy to slide a butter knife between the dish and the bottom of the crust, so the next pieces came out without much trouble. We added my (nearly-overwhipped) cream and the sauce and dug in. I found the sauce to be too thick, but it was ok. I also found the texture of the cheesecake layer to be strange, almost gummy. The flavor was good, but I just couldn’t deal with the texture. Nothing ice-cream-ish about it. My 7-year-old twins LOVED it, though! :)

  73. crystal

    I made this over the weekend. I thought I would let it sit for a bit, so it would be easier to cut. This turned out to be a BIG mistake, as it melted into a goo. I loved the taste but need to figure out the perfect time out of the freezer before serving.

  74. Suzzanne

    My Father’s Day guests and I enjoyed this beautiful dessert. As an alternate to strawberry shortcake, this is a great do ahead recipe that saves whipping cream and berry prep just before serving. We had trouble getting the crust out of the pan, but by the time we took out the 4th piece the slice of pie released easily in my warm kitchen. Thanks for the recipe!

  75. Denise

    We had this last night and everyone (including my picky chef brother) loved it. I made the pie & the strawberries the day before, and made the whipped cream day of. A perfect summer make ahead dessert.

  76. Christine

    Not my favorite SK recipe :( I didn’t have any problems with lumps or mixing of the ingredients, but the filling didn’t really firm up. I think next time I’ll add more cream cheese to try to get a firmer texture and more depth of flavor. To me it just tasted like cold condensed milk.

  77. deb

    Rosa — The pie pan was from Giada’s line at Target several years ago, don’t think it exists anymore. I found it after obsessively looking for a plain, white, unadorned pie dish that was NOT deep dish. If you search on Amazon for “white pie dish,” there seem to be a lot more options these days.

    Filling not firming up — I wish I knew why some are too firm and some are too soft. I’d chalk it up to vagaries in freezers, I guess.

    As for the other concerns, I agree, this pie is a pain to cut (the hot, wet knife helped tremendously) and I’m sorry it wasn’t for everyone. Ours is (whoops) long gone now and has been requested again. From my husband, of all people, who usually merely tolerates non-chocolate desserts. ;)

    Re, unbaked crumb crusts vs. baked ones — I began making my graham crusts consistently this way after the Key Lime Pie earlier this year. I was delighted to have a crumb crust that wasn’t so crumbly and I chalked it up to the baking time, which I assumed melted the sugar enough that the crust stays together better. I don’t think I’ll be making them any other way in the future. I also liked that it didn’t get as soggy as graham crusts can. So, that’s more of an explanation of the rationale. Of course if you’re happy with whatever no-bake graham crust you’re using, you can/should use it instead here.

  78. Rosa Meggie

    Thank 6Deb for getting back to me, law the two pictures of you and you look pretty darn good for someone that is pregnant….

  79. Rosa Meggie

    Oppssss – thank you Deb, for getting back to me, I saw the two pictures of you look pretty darn good for someone that is pregnant (very pretty)

  80. D

    I loved this recipe! I had no issues at all.. I made it a day ahead so it froze for a full 24 hours.. Not sure if that’s what helped it out but it was perfection. Thanks so much Deb! I’ve realized I no longer look around the Internet for recipes, I just come here or look in your book.

  81. ruthy in vt

    My filling was soupy as well, but delicious! I blame it on user error: I did the blending during my daughter’s nap time, so used the food processor (easiest appliance to move outside to the porch where it won’t wake the baby). Have no idea why I opted for the food processor over a hand mixer, but I will blame that one on a year of sleep deprivation. I figured since I basically chopped the filling instead of whipping it, it wasn’t freezing as well. Wow – frozen whipped cream is delicious. I may just have a dish of that in my freezer all summer.

  82. Jessica

    Wow. I made this with peaches instead of strawberries, and it is amazing. I’m a fan of cheesecakes generally, but the freezing really adds something great. Ice cream pie may be my new favorite dessert!

  83. Sharon

    My husband, who normally sticks to “this is good, babe” for most of my cooking, was momentarily speechless when he dug into this pie, and a minute later came up with a reverent, “This is extraordinary.” Say no more! One tip, though, because I blithely ignored your directions and poured my condensed milk all in one go into a lumpy mass of cream cheese – if you have an immersion blender, you can easily remedy this and make an ultra smooth batter by running your blender into the batter for a minute.

  84. Sharon

    Also, curious how some turned out soupy. Even after just four hours, mine was perfect. I do suspect varying freezer temperatures and strengths!

  85. Joanne Augusta

    I made this and it turned out great. I wonder if some people had problems due to their freezers? The filling was not frozen solid like ice cream, it was firm and cold and refreshing. I don’t eat whipped cream, so my husband added it at the table. I used a no-bake crust and lined my pie plate with parchment paper. The crust was hard to cut BUT I could lift it up with the parchment and managed to get nice-looking slices of dessert. Mine was ready to eat after about 6 hours.

  86. Allison

    I just made this, and it’s delicious! It ended up tasting exactly like key lime pie, but that’s never a bad thing. Even with the strawberries, the lemon overwhelmed a bit. That’s okay. This could always be my new key lime pie recipe!

  87. Vanessa D.

    Help please?
    My husband’s birthday is coming up and he has requested “a GIANT Oreo cheesecake”. Would you recommend making a sky-high version of this ice cream cheesecake or just following your already tall NY cheesecake recipe to mix in the crumbled cookies? Thanks!

  88. Lindsay

    I made this last weekend and the hubs said it was the best dessert he’s ever tasted! My only dislike was that the filling had a slightly “gooey” texture, as in even though it was solid, it would sort of stretch like putty. Do you think this was due to the condensed milk? What could it be replaced with?

  89. Jess

    Oh my gosh, Deb, this pie tastes so amazing! Made it while my mother in law was visiting and everyone talked about how great it was. Thank you for another winning recipe. :)

  90. Melinda

    I also had issues with graham crust sticking to the pan. I would recommend planning for chilling more than six hours on your coldest freezer setting–by the time came to bring it to a cookout, it did not even approach sliceability.

    I would add, however, that by the end of the night it was almost gone, which means that people had to first chisel chunks of crust out of the plate and then drink the filling with a spoon, but they all did it, which means that YES. It was just that good. For those who are so inclined, may I suggest a layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache between the crust and the filling? Nice note of bitter with the creamy, the sweet, and the tart (depending on your strawberries).

  91. Krista

    I made this practically the day you posted it! It looked too good to pass up. Subbed blueberries, it turned out great!

  92. shailey gb

    suggestions on how to modify this to be a 8×8 or 9×13? I am thinknig about making this for a party, and serve it in squares?

  93. Cath in ottawa

    I made this today for our annual street Canada day party and it was *amazing* – while it was a bit tough to cut/eat the crust, not a single person complained! :) I will definitely make this again – thank you!!!

  94. xi

    this looks so similar to this cherry-amaretto tart i made from serious eats this week:

    it’s a (walker’s) shortbread crust instead of graham crackers, and the filling is a blend of mascarpone cheese & amaretto–heavenly. the topping is sweet cherries cooked down in more amaretto and it is totally magical. given that mascarpone is crazy soft, i let this one hang out in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up and it is amazing. i much prefer mascarpone to cream cheese, but i’ll still try this one next week and see how the combo of cream cheese & condensed milk is.

  95. Cassie Sue


    I just made this pie and it was a huge hit for the 4th. After hearing a few other people complaining I made the following tweaks:
    1) I did not press the crust into the bottom with much force. And it came out pretty well without much sticking.
    2) I folded some unsweetened whipped cream into the pie filling to get it to freeze a little harder, so… then before cutting it I took it out about 2-3 minutes before to thaw a bit. It cut like a champ! And I feel like the unsweetened cream helped cut some of the over the top sweetness (though the kids inhaled it).
    3) After adding the strawberry topping I sprinkled a few fresh blueberries for the red, white and blue effect. It was VERY pretty!!

    Other than that I used your recipe and it was delicious!! Thank you for a great recipe! I was shocked by how much it tasted like ice cream.

  96. Cassie Sue

    Oh I forgot to add, I made it the day before so it had almost 12 hours in the freezer. I think that helped a lot.

  97. Francesca

    My water broke right after making this crust, and I finished the pie when we returned from the hospital. It was an amazing celebration treat! Everytime I make it I’ll remember that our kids are one day apart. Love you, my amazing friend I’ve never met or talked to!

    1. deb

      Francesca — Wow! Congratulations. (I had unused blueberries when I went to the hospital. Uh, they were thrown away a week later, covered in mold, so I’m impressed!)

  98. Tricia

    I love to peruse this site and see what interesting and new thing I can make. I saw this recipe for the strawberry ice cream/cheesecake and because I had everything needed for this recipe I decided to make it. While whipping the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together I tasted it and oh my goodness was it sweet. Too sweet. And we love sweets here. I thought how can I fix this and get rid of the overpowering sweetness? I added the juice of 2 lemons and that took care of it. Otherwise it turned out perfect, but here’s the thing, Deb. This recipe got me to thinking about when I was in a Home Economics class about a 100 years ago. We made this exact pie, but added the lemon juice as I did. Poured a can of cherry pie filling on top and it was called “Cherry O’ Cream Cheese Pie”. You can “Google” it and the recipe will actually come up. What it made me think about was the girl and I who made this pie. We made it for a class dinner, but she and I ate it all standing in the kitchen ourselves!

  99. If I wanted to double this recipe, would it work to make this in a regular springform pan? And would I also double the crust recipe? I think I may go ahead and do it like that and just wing it, but hopefully it’ll work!

  100. deb

    Pat — I’m not sure how well it would work. This is more of a custard pie, not a stackable layer cake. And, the strawberries get icy when frozen (popsicle-ish) so I prefer to keep that sauce loose in the fridge.

  101. Rebecca

    I know you dislike giving the amount of servings because it can be so objective, but what would your guesstimate be on this one? :) I was planning on making this (with an oreo crust and hot fudge instead instead of strawberries) tonight, and I realized I’m not sure if it’s going to be big enough. There will be 10 people. Do you think that’s a stretch, or could it work? Thanks in advance!

    1. deb

      Rebecca — For pies, almost always 8 actually! It’s the one place where, to me, it’s fairly consistent. However, I do think you could stretch it to 10. Not huge servings, but people should be too busy eating to complain.

  102. Rebecca

    To come back to my question from comment 136: I ended up getting 11 perfectly tiny slices and it was just perfection. Everyone raved and could not believe how simple the filling was. This is definitely a make again! It was the perfect compromise between me wanting an ice cream cake and my husband wanting a cheesecake. :)

  103. Jil

    i made this over the weekend for a Labor Day party. it was a big hit, but i was disappointed with the pie not firming up well in the freezer (i froze it for 24 hours). The taste was excellent, but because it didn’t firm up, i didn’t love the gooey texture. However, i took leftovers to my father-in-law’s house and, after sitting over night in HIS freezer, it was a perfectly firm texture. all that by way of saying, I think a very low freezer temp is key to getting the cheesecake to set.

  104. Heather H.

    I made this yesterday for a Memorial Day dessert. It was delicious. The cheesecake layer firmed up nicely in the freezer overnight. I beat the cream cheese for quite a while to make sure it was nice and fluffy before pouring in the condensed milk in a slow stream while the mixer was running. I used vanilla bean paste instead of extract for extra vanilla flavor. I whipped the cream and added that and the strawberry topping just before serving. Everyone loved it. I did have some difficulty cutting through the crust, but it was much easier after the first slice.

    My only problem is the leftovers are not very good. After the whole pie is in the freezer, the whipped cream and strawberries are much too hard, and left to sit out for any length of time, the bottom layer turns to liquid before the others soften up. If I were to make this again where I knew it would not be eaten all at once, I’d top the slices individually with whipped cream and strawberry sauce so that only the crust and cheesecake would need to be frozen.

  105. MeriKaye

    This has been our family’s go-to summer pie recipe for the past 40 years – I think the original was printed on the sweetened condensed milk can in the the 70’s. We never freeze it but it does take several hours to firm up, I usually make the night before. I think it’s key to add 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice if you aren’t going to freeze it to help the filling set. Once set, it will cut perfect semi-firm slice. Pre-made crust makes it easier to pull together on a busy summer day. We choose fruit that is in season but the original recipe called for a can of cherries with thick syrup. This doesn’t make a huge pie but because it’s sweet, it serves 6-8. After reading this take on the recipe, I’m going to freeze it next time, I know my family will love it!

  106. Yael

    I’ve made a version of this pie again yesterday, but with a few changes – main one being that I skipped the whipped cream and fruit topping, and instead mixed the fruit right into the filling (used a little bit of raspberry puree I had leftover in the freezer, as well as frozen raspberries cooked with sugar, lemon and a little cornstarch – like Deb does for the topping, basically, just inside rather than on top). That worked really well, and I definitely think I’ll do it in the future, as well.
    Also, made my own crust this time, using Lotus biscuits instead of graham crackers – and a lot less butter than in the recipe. There was no way I’d use 100g butter for 155g biscuits; even the 68g I used (that’s how much was in the open packet in the fridge, so I figured what the heck) felt a bit excessive. Maybe different cookies have diferent butter absorption, or something? It turned out delicious, anyway, but I think next time I’ll cut it down to 50g.

    Once again, freezing time is rather long (even though I used a flatter tart pan, which I hoped would help it set quicker). We ate it after about 7-8 hours freezing, and it was still a bit gooey in the centre. Probably would be better today.

  107. Jasmin

    Hey Deb, thanks for the delicious looking recipe. I just started making the crust and I will say that’s way too much butter for the amount of graham crackers by weight I’ve got pools of butter sitting on my graham crackers. Going to have to start over :( That’s ok though I know it will be delicious in the end.

  108. krista

    I made this for the 4th and it was delicious! Some adjustments were made, because I was concerned about some of the comments. I used a pre-made graham cracker crust, folded 1/2 cup unsweetened whipped cream into the pie mixture, froze that 24 hours, added the sweetened whipped cream and the (doubled) strawberry topping when served. It made 8 generous pieces and everything was gobbled up. It came out of the pan and sliced perfectly. Texture was great. Thanks!

  109. Jennifer

    I made this over the weekend and didn’t have any of the problems that other commenters did. It froze perfectly, was easy to cut (after I ran a knife under hot water) and tasted delicious. It was a perfect summer treat…light, refreshing, delicious!

  110. Rebekah

    This was a giant, enormous, disappointing flop and I don’t know what I did wrong. The crust stuck to the glass pie plate, so nobody could serve themselves a piece. The filling was just like soft taffy except for the first two minutes out of the freezer and didn’t even taste like cheesecake. I’m so sad, especially because I brought it to work for a pie get-together. I double checked the recipe and don’t see any missing ingredients or missteps on my part. Best of luck to everyone else!

  111. Cristina

    Normally, the majority of the recipes I make from this site are gold, but I had a little trouble with the crust of this one. When I made it, it came out super hard. I had to take a sharp knife and pretty much jab down at the crust in order to cut it. Where could I have gone wrong? I used honey graham crackers instead of plain, could this have made a difference?

    1. deb

      I think it would fit, well, the frozen part but of course the whipped cream and more would go over the top edge. I haven’t tried it in that size, however, so this is mostly an estimate.

  112. Byn

    I made this in a tart pan with a removable bottom and it worked like a charm. Popped right out of the tart pan and it was super easy to cut neat slices. My family freaked out – was a hit all around!