Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try ’em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

Love the flavors of carrot cake?  Try 'em in ice cream!  This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

I’ve always loved ice cream with various things mixed in. Crushed Oreos? Absolutely! (In fact, make it 2 handfuls of crushed Oreos.) Nuts? Sure! Cinnamon? Well, perhaps. I mean I did have a fantastic cinnamon chip ice cream one time. Raisins? Ummm, maybe? Shredded carrots? Ok, what’s going on here?

What’s going on here is this Carrot Cake Ice Cream. It might sound strange, but it’s absolutely delicious! I’ve always loved mashing two types of recipes together – like this ice cream. It’s all of the flavors in carrot cake…just in creamy ice cream form.

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

As I set out to make this ice cream, I started with my go-to vanilla ice cream recipe. I reduced the sugar in the base slightly, but only because there’s an extra bit of brown sugar that gets added at the end. Other than that, it’s a pretty straightforward combination of vanilla ice cream and all of the ingredients in a classic carrot cake.

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

Cream cheese. I admit that it’s a bit odd to put cream cheese in ice cream. However, carrot cakes are almost always paired with a good cream cheese frosting. Therefore, I had to figure out how to get the cream cheese flavor into this ice cream. The answer? Blending softened cream cheese right into the ice cream base!

The most amazing thing happened when I added cream cheese to this ice cream – it turned into the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I mean that shouldn’t be a surprise, right? It is cream cheese, after all! I knew I wanted the cream cheese flavor, but the creamy texture was a bonus that I hadn’t anticipated.

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

I know carrot cake is one of those things where folks have differing opinions. For me, I like my carrot cakes with walnuts and golden raisins, so I included both of those in this recipe. Feel free to make adjustments to the mix-ins here, though. Do you like carrot cake with bits of pineapple? Add those in! (I would recommend cooking the pineapple bits with the carrots + brown sugar, though.) Shredded coconut is another common addition to carrot cake. Toss a handful into this ice cream!

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

No matter what mix-ins you prefer in your carrot cake, I promise this ice cream will be a big hit. The creamy base alone is amazing, and I could’ve eaten it plain – but then again, ice cream is always better with mix-ins! I hope you enjoy this ice cream as much as we did!

Did you make this Carrot Cake Ice Cream at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see what mix-ins you include in your version!

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Ice Cream

Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.
5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 337kcal

Ingredients

  • cups half-and-half
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese cut into 1” pieces
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • cups grated carrots ~3 large carrots
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts lightly toasted

Instructions

  • Using a medium saucepan, add half-and-half and place over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until half-and-half just begins to simmer.
  • Meanwhile, using a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until well blended.
  • Gradually pour the heated half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture; whisking vigorously the entire time.
  • Transfer this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens noticeably and coats a wooden spoon. (~4-6 minutes).
  • Once the custard mixture has thickened, remove from heat and add the heavy cream; stir until well combined.
  • Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.
  • Add cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Using a hand mixer, beat until well combined. (Note: If a few small pieces of cream cheese remain, don’t worry!)
  • Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface of the mixture, and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
  • Using a small saucepan, add butter and brown sugar; place over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally until both butter and brown sugar have melted.
  • Add grated carrots and raisins; stir until well combined. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Stir carrot/raisin mixture and chopped walnuts into the chilled ice cream base mixture.
  • Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Note: For a softer ice cream, serve immediately. For a harder ice cream, transfer mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 3-4 hours.)
Love the flavors of carrot cake? Try 'em in ice cream! This Carrot Cake Ice Cream is extra creamy and packed with all of the baking spices found in a classic carrot cake.

Looking for more fun ice cream recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:

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23 Comments

  1. Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use almond milk / coconut cream / vegan cream cheese and butter can i skip raisins as am not a big fan of raisins and can i use blender to make this milkshake i never had carrot cake ice cream before perfect for hot days in Singapore love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

      1. I don’t have experience with making ice cream using vegan ingredients, Ramya – you’ll have to give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

  2. I don’t eat many sweets, which is why I don’t click on your dessert recipes, but I do love ice cream. What a fabulous recipe!!! Really unique. And pretty pictures, cause I know how hard it is to take photos of ice cream!

    1. Oh ice cream…it really is one of the hardest foods to photograph! You’ve gotta be quick. 🙂 Of course, all the mix-ins in this ice cream really help the cause. Either way, this is a fun ice cream…and different than what you see in the stores!

  3. You’ve really piqued my interest with the idea that cream cheese will make a creamier ice cream! I’m always looking for more ways to get a good, homemade ice cream texture. As ususual, you’re a genius, David!

    1. Give cream cheese a try in ice cream, Jeff – it’s different! I was looking for the tanginess that you get with cream cheese frosting, but I never anticipated the creamy texture, too. SO good.

  4. 5 stars
    You are so creative David! I wouldn’t have imagined or even thought of carrot cake ice cream — but now it totally makes sense! Another fantastic recipe to try!

    1. Ah – you definitely should give this one a try, Michelle! It’s not a “normal” flavor of ice cream, but it is SO tasty!

  5. 5 stars
    For me cream cheese is not odd in ice creams, In the Philippines we have cheese ice cream and I recreated them before using cream cheese giving it a nice salty-sweet balance. That carrot ice cream looks really good, never tried this flavour so this will be next on my agenda! thanks for sharing

    1. Oh interesting – I didn’t realize cream cheese is used in ice cream over there. Good to know! The tanginess (plus the creaminess) really takes this to a whole new level. We loved this batch of ice cream!

    1. Carrots in a sandwich? Now that’s new to me! Then again, carrots in ice cream was new to me until I made this ice cream…and it turned out quite well!

  6. 5 stars
    Ok, so … basically, what I’m thinking here is that because this ice cream has carrots in it it’s kinda healthy, right?? 😉 Lol, seriously though, this sounds AMAZING and I know that it’s gonna taste even better. One of my favourite things is carrot cake so this ice cream flavour is brilliant!! Wishing I had three scoops … for breakfast!!

    1. Yeah, definitely! Carrots are healthy. Carrots in ice cream must be healthy, right? 🙂 I like your logic, Dawn! I do really enjoy this ice cream…it’s delicious and it’s different than what you can find in the store!

  7. I love icecream, and carrot cake so this recipe looks a perfect pairing. I also love that your icecream is from scratch based on custard. Is it the creaminess from the cream cheese which removes the need to mix it in an icecream maker. Anyway great idea and recipe. I’ll be trying this one. Thanks David.

    1. I do love a custard-based ice cream, Pauline! I know it takes a bit longer to cook the custard, but it really is worth it in terms of texture and flavor. You do still pour the mixture into an ice cream maker at the end to make the actual ice cream. Enjoy!!

  8. 5 stars
    I always love how you come up with unique recipes with different flavours David. Seeing as I just love carrot cake, I know I will love this! I bet it tastes amazing!

    1. Thanks so much, Neil! I do love carrot cake, and I had a lot of fun figuring out how to get the flavors of carrot cake into ice cream form. This was one tasty dessert! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Say what? You think cream cheese in ice cream could sound a little strange? Nonsense! Cream cheese, ricotta, and mascarpone are perfect ingredients that don’t sound odd at all. (Sour cream might sound a little strange, but I still want to give it a try!)
    Now, I love unique ice cream combinations, but I never would have thought of carrot ice cream. I might be even a little jealous because I did not come up with this idea first! 🙂 And all these additions like nuts, raisins, and spices sound perrrrrfect in here!

    1. Hahaha – I knew you would have some thoughts about the cream cheese in ice cream, Ben! I was waiting to hear what you had to say. 🙂 So I have to say that this ice cream is pretty darned fantastic. It’s not the normal flavor of ice cream that you can find in the store, but it really is quite delicious!

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