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Last Updated on November 2, 2020 by Chenée Lewis
If you’re around me for more than two seconds, I’ll probably mention that I grew up in the Cleveland area. I still think of Cleveland as home, even though I’ve been in Chicago for 13 years now (!). But I go back to Cleveland pretty often, and in recent years I have certain food places I HAVE to visit when I’m there: the West Side Market, Corky & Lenny’s deli, Donato’s Pizza (it’s a chain but I love their Margherita pizza! Don’t @ me!), and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. Mitchell’s is a Cleveland-based premium ice cream shop with locations all over the Cleveland area. It’s just the best ice cream. I don’t know what else to tell you. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Cleveland, I highly recommend picking some up, and if you do, my favorite is the key lime pie flavor. That’s the flavor I set out to recreate with this homemade no-churn key lime pie ice cream!
Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts — the flavors of citrus with condensed milk, and especially that buttery graham cracker crust — it’s just irresistible! And at Mitchell’s the key lime pie ice cream is so good! I have to have it every time I’m in town! And so when I realized I had the ingredients to make a no-churn version, I had to give it a shot! So I’m sharing this no-churn key lime pie ice cream recipe with you all so that until you’re able to have the real thing, you can enjoy all the key lime goodness this summer!
I’ve made no-churn ice cream before — my no-churn blackberry cheesecake ice cream uses a similar method, but because of the cream cheese in the mix it end up even richer! This no-churn key lime pie ice cream recipe is very simple and calls for the standard no-churn ice cream base: one 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, and 2 cups of heavy cream. The no-churn method makes ice cream that is richer and doesn’t have the exact same texture as ice cream, but it’s a deliciously easy treat when you don’t have an ice cream maker, and it’s a perfect summertime project with the kids!
- zest and juice of 3 limes – this is the main source of that tart lime flavor! To be truly traditional, you should use key lime juice and zest, but either is fine.
- sweetened condensed milk – this, along with the heavy cream, forms the base of no-churn ice cream. But if you’ve ever made key lime pie, you know that this is also a crucial element of the flavor and texture of that pie!
- heavy whipping cream – whips up so light and fluffy to give the ice cream its texture and creaminess.
- graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar – together, they make our graham cracker crust — my favorite part of a key lime pie! Here, they’re layered between the ice cream base for some of that buttery crust in every bite!
Step by Step
This is such an easy recipe! All you need is a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or even a whisk to whip up the cream, and then fold in the rest of your ingredients. Here’s how you do it:
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar in a bowl and stir well to get it all well saturated with butter. Yum!
- In another bowl, stir together your lime juice, zest, and sweetened condensed milk until it’s all smooth.
- In a third bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat your whipped cream for a few minutes to get those stiff peaks. Fold in the condensed milk mixture gently.
- Layer the ice cream base with the graham cracker crumb mixture and freeze!
This is a perfect summertime recipe — full of those tart, citrusy flavors balanced by the rich, creamy base and the buttery crust swirl. And it’s so easy to make with the family, you’ll turn to it over and over again as a favorite summertime treat!
If you like this no-churn key lime pie ice cream recipe, you’ll definitely enjoy my no-churn blackberry Biscoff cheesecake ice cream. It’s the same method, but with the flavors of cheesecake and Biscoff cookies! My favorite!
You should also try my strawberry banana sorbet for another easy summertime frozen treat! It takes just a minute or two to mix up and then it solidifies in the freezer. The best part? It’s free of refined sugars, paleo-friendly, and packed with healthy fruit.
Or if you’re just a key lime pie fanatic like me, you’ll love my key lime pound cake, full of the flavors of key lime pie in a pound cake! You can also make my family recipe for lemon icebox pie, which is a lot like a key lime pie, but with all that lemony goodness. You’ll love it!
Equipment you may need
Graham Cracker Crust Swirl
Ice Cream Base
- zest of 3 limes - about 2 tbsp; see note**
- juice of 3 limes - about ⅓ cup; see note**
- 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream - (one pint)
- Combine graham cracker crust swirl ingredients and stir to coat the crumbs well with the butter and sugar. Set aside.
- Gently whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice until smooth. Set aside.
- Beat heavy whipping cream with a stand mixer, hand mixer, or whisk until stiff peaks form, about 2-5 minutes.
- Gently fold condensed milk mixture into whipped cream and stir until combined, being careful not to deflate the whipped cream. This is your ice cream base.
- Spoon one-third of ice cream base into the bottom of a 9×5" loaf pan. Sprinkle one-third of graham cracker crumb mixture on top. Repeat two more times until you have three layers of both ice cream base and graham cracker crust swirl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften.
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