For a seriously Cuban inspired ice cream, you have to make this guava cheese ice cream recipe! With a cream cheese ice cream base, swirls of guava, and chunks of Maria cookie, it’s the flavor of Miami – no travel required.
Darlings, if you don’t have an ice cream machine, let this be your reason. Seriously. The only reason you need is keeping this guava cheese ice cream stocked in your fridge all summer long. Or winter, whatever. There’s no ice cream season when you’re in a Miami state of mind. This dessert is your ticket there.
With its easy cheesecake base – that requires no chilling – this is one of the easier homemade ice cream recipes I’ve made. I’m also going to go ahead and this ice cream The Ice Cream Flavor for this year. At least, it’s “the flavor” for our house. Primarily because guava cheese is one of those classic combinations that – for the Godfather – is comforting and reminiscent of childhood.
I’m being a little more pragmatic and know that I probably only have one more batch of “summer ice cream” in me after we unpack in our new house. Food bloggers have to be just a little ahead of everyone else when it comes to seasonal flavors, and fall recipe testing and shooting starts in August. So by the time we get settled, and I remember to get the bowl to my ice cream maker frozen, I get one more summer-flavor batch. After that, it’s time to perfect this fabulous idea I have for fall. But for now, let’s just talk about this recipe.
How to make guava cheese ice cream at home
You will need an ice cream maker for this recipe because it does need to be churned. I have the Cuisinart one linked to in the recipe card and I like it. It’s worked very well for us for years, and I use it a handful of times each year for ice cream. We seriously debated purchasing an ice cream machine for a while. We don’t always know what the kitchen storage situation will look like each time we move. It’s been a few years, and the ice cream machine is never on the chopping block when we look for things to minimize. There’s something truly special about home churned ice cream.
When you make ice cream for churning, you need to make a base. Because I wanted the guava and cheese flavors to really shine through in this ice cream, I knew at least one of the flavors had to be incorporated into the ice cream base. A vanilla base with cream cheese and guava added wasn’t quite the right flavor profile. Instead, I made a cheesecake-inspired ice cream base for churning. The guava was added with store-bought guava marmalade.
We add some Maria cookies for texture at the very end of churning, and also because Maria cookies are also one of the most common cookies used as a base for a slice of guava preserves and cheese. If you can’t find Maria cookies though, you can always substitute graham crackers. It’s not quite the same, but close enough. Thankfully, Maria cookies are pretty easy to find, usually in the Hispanic food section of the grocery store. You’ll find the guava there too.
For many churned ice cream recipes, you need to cook the custard, then let it chill overnight. Because of the cream cheese in this recipe, this base is different. It goes straight from being mixed to your ice cream machine for churning. You’ll churn it for about 15-20 minutes, and it will look soft. That’s okay. The ice cream will freeze perfectly. And since cream cheese doesn’t freeze solid, this ice cream is never too hard to scoop straight out of the freezer. In fact, you can scoop it as soon as 2-3 minutes outside the freezer, which is great! No one likes to wait for ice cream.
The final texture is creamy, light, and keeps you coming back for more! On a Godfather scale of “it has mango, I don’t want it” (weirdo) to “keep ALL of this because it’s dessert for the week!”, this guava cheese ice cream recipe was a multi-night dessert in this house! I was allowed to share it with one (1) other family, because they’re from the Miami area too. That’s it. I guess it’s time to plan the next batch of this ice cream, then. 😉
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups milk, divided
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 Maria cookies
- 2/3 cup guava preserves
- In a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or large mixing bowl with a hand beater, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. About 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sugar salt, and vanilla and stir to combine. Scrape the sides of the blow. Stir in the milk, half a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip for an additional minute.
- Once the ice cream base is smooth and well combined. Pour into your ice cream machine. Churn for 15-18 minutes, until the mixture resembles a custard. Break 6 or 7 of the Maria cookies (up to you) and add in the last minute of churning. The ice cream will look a little loose, that's okay. Do not churn longer than 20 minutes.
- Pour half the ice cream into your ice cream container. Place the preserves in a piping bag and snip off the tip, or place in a plastic bag and cut off a corner. Pipe 1/2 the preserves over the ice cream. Top with the remaining ice cream, then add the remaining preserves. Use a chopstick or butter knife to swirl the preserves over the ice cream. Break up the remaining Maria cookie to top the ice cream.
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours until solid. Ice cream will keep a month in the freezer.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.