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Cherry Ripple Gelato


Cherry Ripple Gelato

Bursting with fresh fruit and juicy fruit puree, this cherry ripple gelato is the best treat to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Cherry Ripple Gelato //

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This is my favorite way of making gelato this time of year. This cherry ripple gelato is bursting with fresh fruit and juicy fruit puree, making it an elegant dessert–and the best treat to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Cherry Ripple Gelato //

Helpful Tips for Making Cherry Ripple Gelato

Use the ripest cherries you can find—or pick up a bag of frozen ones

Plump cherries that feel soft to the touch are the juiciest and deliver the most aromatic flavor in this cherry ripple gelato. Although this frozen treat is perfect for celebrating cherry season—early June to mid-August—you can also make this gelato with frozen cherries. Frozen fruits are generally packaged at their ripest, so you can be sure gelato produced with frozen cherries will be delicious. Bonus points: frozen cherries come pitted!

Invest in a cherry pitter

If you love cherries, you simply need a cherry pitter. Let’s all be honest here: pitting cherries is a pain. I should know—I’ve probably halved and pitted thousands of cherries in my time. It’s not that hard, but a few years ago, I succumbed to the lure of a cherry pitter. The purchase was motivated by both a hungry toddler and an impulsive want for a shiny new kitchen gadget (because I deserve it! haha). The Oxo cherry pitter had been on my Amazon wish list for years and let me tell you, it was worth every penny. Like all Oxo gadgets, it’s sturdy, comfortable to use, efficient, and easy to clean. And at about $15, it’s pretty affordable too. From the first cherry I pitted in less than a second, I haven’t looked back! I promise Oxo did not sponsor me for telling you this. I’m just a huge fan and I promise you: if you’re as serious a cherry lover as I am, this gadget won’t gather dust at the back of your drawer.

Pitting cherries is easy with a cherry pitter! A kitchen gadget that's worth every penny. //

Plan Ahead

As with all gelato flavors, you should start the cherry ripple gelato-making process a day in advance. Both the cherry puree and the gelato base need to be refrigerated to cool completely before being combined and churned together. Gelato custard must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.

Cherry Ripple Gelato //

Bring Cherry Ripple Gelato Back to Room Temp Before Serving

Always remember to bring this cherry ripple gelato to room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving. That will not only make it easier to serve—gelato’s lower fat content means it freezes rock hard—but also soften it to a consistency closer to what you would enjoy at a gelati bar, waking up the flavors and giving it the luxurious texture that is so easy to fall in love with.


Never made gelato before? Curious about what makes gelato different from ice cream? Check out my colorful masterclass! In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into various flavors, and all my secrets and tips to churn and serve outstanding gelato. I even share how to make dairy-free, vegan gelato! In short, it’s a very thorough, colorful class that will quickly turn you into a gelato master.

This masterclass was previously hosted behind a paywall on an educational site where thousands of students rated it 5 STARS! It’s now available to all gelato lovers worldwide, absolutely free. Watch Now!

More Delicious Homemade Gelato Recipes

Love gelato? Then you need to give these irresistibly fruity, homemade gelato recipes a try.

White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato // Cherry Ripple Gelato // Rhubarb Gelato //

Cherry Ripple Gelato //

Cherry Ripple Gelato

Bursting with fresh fruit and juicy fruit puree, this cherry ripple gelato is the best treat to enjoy on a hot summer day.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Cooling + Freezing Time:4 hours
Servings 1 quart (4 cups/1L)


For the gelato base

For the cherry puree

  • 2 cups pitted cherries, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ lemon)

To assemble

  • ½ cup pitted cherries, diced
  • 1 tbsp cherry liqueur (also called Cherry Heering) or kirsch (cherry brandy) (optional, helps keep gelato at a softer texture even when fully frozen)


  • For the gelato base: Make the gelato base of your choice, then strain it into an airtight container. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. The gelato base must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.
  • To make the cherry puree: Place the cherries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the cherries are soft and the mixture has thickened. Puree using a stand blender, a stick blender, or a food processor. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely cool.
  • Measure out 1 cup (250 ml) cherry puree. (Keep remaining puree, if any, to add to smoothies or serve over cake.)
    Pour ½ cup (125 ml) of the cherry puree into the gelato ustard base and whisk to thoroughly combine. Transfer the cherry custard to the bowl of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is icy but still soft.
  • To assemble the gelato: Spread a third of the frozen gelato over the bottom of an airtight container or a loaf pan. Drizzle a third of the remaining cherry puree, and sprinkle with a third of the diced cherries. Add another layer of gelato, then drizzle with another third of the cherry puree and a third of the diced cherries. Top with the remaining gelato, then drizzle the top with the remaining cherry puree and sprinkle with the remaining diced cherries.
  • STORAGE: If you used a loaf pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap, or cover if you used a container. Freeze the cherry ripple gelato until firm, at least 2 hours.
    Cherry ripple gelato is at its creamiest and best if enjoyed within 2 weeks. Past that, some ice crystals will inevitably start forming (especially if the gelato is kept in the freezer section of a regular fridge, as opposed to a chest freezer) and the texture won't be quite as smooth. The gelato will still be perfectly edible for up to 2 months, but my advice is: enjoy it as quickly as possible after churning.
  • SERVING: Always take cherry ripple gelato out to room temperature 20 minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop. This will also allow you to enjoy the treat at its ideal temperature and texture.
  • MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: When making the gelato base, substitute lactose-free milk or oat milk for the regular milk, and lactose-free heavy cream or soy cream for the regular heavy cream.

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

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Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling + Freezing Time: 4 hours


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Recipe Rating

  1. I am confused because all recipes state that the yield is “2 quarts” of gelato. However, the Sicilian gelato base uses only about 3 cups of liquid, while the fruit gelati use the base plus 2 cups of fruit puree for a total of about 5 cups of liquid. My experience with the ice cream maker is that the volume expands by about 1/3 when freezing, but even so, neither one of these recipes would make 2 quarts of gelato. By my estimate, the vanilla gelato base would make about 1 quart, and the fruit gelato would make about 1.5 quarts. Can I adjust the recipes to yield equal volumes of vanilla and fruit gelato?

    • Hello Rob! Thanks for your comment. The 1 qt yield was a typo, the recipe indeed should say 1 1/2 qt (I just fixed it). Even so, as you say, liquids expand once frozen so the yield is an approximation.

      You can absolutely adjust the recipes to combine equal volumes of gelato base and fruit puree! The cherry flavor will simply be more intense. You can’t go wrong!

  2. This cherry gelato looks amazing! I actually live in a cherry growing area in Italy and when they’re in season I pick cherries from the trees near my house! I’m always looking for ways to use them and this gelato recipe is calling my name. Bookmarking for next cherry season!

  3. 5 stars
    This looks absolutely gorgeous! What a scrumptious frozen treat. The swirls are so beautiful too…I need to make this before the season is over :)

  4. Such a wonderful authentic flavor!! I loved every bite of it! So worth the time it takes to make it!!

  5. 5 stars
    My family prefers gelato to ice cream and they adored this cherry ripple version so much, they ate the entire batch in one weekend. I’ll be making more next weekend, but this time doubling the recipe, LOL!

  6. 5 stars
    Wow this is a good looking ice cream! Cherries are my guilty pleasure and so it is ice cream. Trying your recipe this weekend thanks for all the tips!