Lemon Bar Pretzel Ice Cream

Lemon is having a flavor moment in the dessert world—and if it’s not, it should be! I was recently at a wedding and had the most delicious lemon cake! Which led to making some lemon bars, and then realizing I should turn it into ice cream, because, well … ice cream. 🙂 I ended up adding pretzels for a salty crunch and made a raspberry sauce to top things off. It feels like a perfect summer night treat.

Growing up, we had an old-fashioned hand cranked ice cream machine. If you know you know—but you had to really work hard for that ice cream. This recipe is no hand cranking required! 🙂 With this adorable countertop machine you have ice cream in 20 minutes and can recreate any of your favorites from Andy’s or other ice cream shop. Or, you can try any of the recipes we have in the archives—there’s even a cereal-based ice cream!

To start, I baked a pan of lemon bars. You could definitely make them from scratch, but I used a box since the ice cream was the star of the show (this time) and let them cool overnight. I also prepped the ice cream base. It does best chilled and combined overnight as well.

For the ice cream, I used a very basic recipe (copied below) and added extra vanilla. It’s really important to let the base chill overnight in the fridge. The bowl of most ice cream machines needs to chill in the freezer, too—just check your instructions before trying to start with it right out of the box.

When it’s time to make the ice cream, you cut up the lemon bars into small pieces and add to your base. Hold the pretzels for later on after it’s been churning for a bit.  Turn the machine on, and after it’s running, add your ice cream base into the machine. I love that you can peek and see the progress! You’ll let the machine run for 20-30 minutes.

I also added a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice to up the lemon flavor even more after it had been in the ice cream machine for 10-15 minutes. Totally up to you, but I like the extra flavor. During the last 5 minutes or so, add in the pretzels—this will mix them in, but they won’t be as much of a frozen part of the dessert.

You can either eat it right away or store in the freezer. It does have a firmer consistency if you store it. Scoop out and enjoy! I got these pint-sized ice cream containers to store in our freezer.

I made raspberry syrup to go with the ice cream—it tastes like summer to me! A few mini waffle bowls are a fun way to serve your ice cream (this little waffle bowl maker is the perfect size for a mini scoop!). Hope you’re enjoying your summer!

xoxo, Claire

Lemon Bar Pretzel Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream with lemon bar chunks and pretzels

Course Dessert
Author Claire Shaffer

Ingredients

  • 1 box lemon bar mix you can make homemade bars as well. Follow box instructions if using a mix.
  • 1 cup milk whole
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 pint whipping cream heavy
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 dash lemon juice fresh
  • chopped pretzels to taste

Instructions

  1. First, prep your ice cream base and lemon bars. You can use a box mix, homemade, or lemon bars from a bakery. They will be cut into small pieces. Your ice cream bowl needs to be kept in the freezer overnight before using.

  2. For your ice cream base, combine ingredients, and mix until sugar is dissolved. Sometimes it's easier to add the heavy cream last after the sugar has dissolved. Add in your lemon bar pieces.

  3. Place ice cream base in fridge for at least an hour—overnight works best.

  4. Turn ice cream maker on and the pour in your ice cream mixture. Let stir for 20 minutes, then add your fresh lemon juice and pretzel pieces. Let machine run for another 5-10 minutes.

  5. Store in an airtight container in your freezer or enjoy right away!

Credits // Author and Photography: Claire Shaffer.
    • Hi! I used about 1/3 of it at first and then added a bit more, so probably about 3-4 lemon bars! 🙂

  • This looks delicious! Do you add the entire pan of lemon bars to the base?

    • I didn’t use the whole pan! You could and it would be really full of lemon bar bites. I used about 1/3 of it and then added a bit more as it was combining.

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