How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 6 hours 10 minutes

How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine with 3 simple no churn methods and flavor ideas! Step-by-step video, recipe, and printable ice cream labels too!

How to make the best ice cream without a machine! 3 methods, step-by-step video, and free printable ice cream labels!

How to make the best ice cream without a machine! 3 methods, step-by-step video, and free printable ice cream labels!
Oh man do I have a treat for you today! And not just in the form of a sweet recipe. I’ve been working extra hard to make this special post for you which is just jam-packed with awesome stuff. You’d think after writing an entire cookbook about ice cream I’d have nothing more to give on the subject – but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
No churn peanut butter cup ice cream - just 5 ingredients!

Something I get asked ALL the time is how to make ice cream without a machine. I understand that not everyone has an ice cream maker (or two like me…) and since I just adore mine I’ve been hesitant to talk about making ice cream without one. While I believe a machine produces the best results, I’m sharing the next best thing for those of you who don’t have one! In this post and the step-by-step video below I cover three different methods for making homemade no-churn ice cream. One method requires just two ingredients, and the others can be used with ANY recipe. You may remember one from science class!
Free printable ice cream labels
This can be a super fun DIY project or just a way to satisfy a frozen craving. Either way, I just adore using those classic white ice cream containers. It’s like making homemade Ben & Jerry’s. I got mine from Amazon, but I’ve also seen them at craft stores or speciality kitchen stores like Sur la Table. They’re pint sized, so since each recipes makes about 1 1/2 quarts a single batch will fill 3 of the containers. I like to divvy up a batch of the ice cream base and and make two or three different flavorings! I’m all about variety. Don’t forget to sign up for new recipes delivered to your inbox in order to get your hands on the free ice cream label printable! Click here to get the labels.


Ice Cream Flavor ideas:

Note: some mix-ins may increase the amount of time the ice cream needs to freeze before serving. Also be sure to check out all my ice cream recipes for more inspiration and guidance!

Mint chip

1 teaspoon peppermint extract + 1 cup mini chocolate chips + green food coloring

Peanut Butter/ Nutella / Cookie Butter

1/2 cup to 1 cup spread

Cinnamon Roll

3 tablespoons butter, melted + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Caramel or Dulce de Leche

1/2 – 1 cup caramel drizzled over the almost frozen mixture, stir to break up the ribbon a bit. Add a teaspoon of sea salt and/or a few tablespoons of bourbon for a gourmet touch!

Chocolate

3/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted) + 4 ounces melted cooled chocolate

Rocky Road

1 cup chocolate syrup + 1 cup mini marshmallows + 1 cup toasted almonds swirled into ice cream

S’mores

10 graham crackers, crushed + 1 Hershey’s bar, chopped + 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Mocha

1/2 cup cocoa powder (sifted) + 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

Cookies & Cream

15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Blueberry swirl

2 cups fresh blueberries + 3 tablespoons sugar + 2 tablespoons lemon juice cooked in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until burst. Chill before swirling into ice cream.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Free ice cream label printable
*This post contains affiliate links.

How to make
Ice Cream Without a Machine

Recipe By Tessa Arias, Handle the Heat
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 hours 10 minutes

If you want to use the last two methods with homemade custard-based ice cream, check out this video tutorial.

Ingredients

2 Ingredient Method

2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

1 1/4 cups whole milk, chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

2 Ingredient Method

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, mix in the condensed milk, vanilla, and any flavorings.

Pour into a resalable container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, then seal. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or until firm. Keep stored in the freezer.

Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. If mixture isn’t cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 seconds.

For the freeze & stir method:

Place the mixture in a deep stainless steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously with a spatula. Return to the freezer.

Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have a hand held mixer or blender, use one of those. Repeat this process for 2 to 3 hours, or until frozen.

Plastic bag method:

Place the ice cream mixture in a quart size resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Place this bag inside another quart bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Put the bags inside a gallon size resalable bag and fill with about 4 cups crushed ice then sprinkle with 4 tablespoons coarse salt. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra cold environment that aborbs heat, causing the ice cream base to freeze.

Squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Wrap the bag in a towel or put gloves on before shaking vigorously and massaging the bag, making sure the ice is surrounding the ice cream mixture constantly. Shake for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the ice cream is frozen. The more vigorously you shake, the smoother your ice cream will be.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

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36 Responses to “How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine”

  1. #
    Kat — July 29, 2015 at 6:19 am

    For the 2 ingredient method. The directions say to fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture, but in the video you added the condensed milk mixture to the whipped cream and mixed. Does it make a difference which way you do it? I’ve seen videos and recipes using both methods and I’m utterly confused! – I need to make me some Chocolate Malt Ice Cream!

    Thanks!

    Kat

    • #
      Tessa — July 29, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Hey Kat! Thanks for bringing this up, I meant to edit the recipe! I actually tested both ways and it doesn’t make a noticeable difference. So there’s really no need to worry about folding 🙂 I edited the recipe to make it that much simpler. Yay!

  2. #
    Kristin — July 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Hi Tessa, I loved your ice cream video. Who knew it could be so easy and made with so few ingredients without a machine. For the last couple of weeks, I have actually been thinking about purchasing an ice cream machine. You mentioned that you really like yours and I was wondering if you would mind sharing what kind of machine you have. Thank you! Kristin

    • #
      Tessa — July 29, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Hi Kristin! I have the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker: http://amzn.to/1fHkNUX

      I’ve actually had it for many years and used it to test all 50 ice cream recipes in my cookbook. I’ve literally used it hundreds of times and it’s still going strong!

  3. #
    Patty K — July 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Hi Tessa, I just received the link to download the labels. They are adorable! Did you design them yourself? What kind of labels did you use to print the labels? Can you reference an Avery number? Thank you.

    • #
      Tessa — July 29, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Thank you Patty, glad you like them! I used Canva.com and Photoshop to make them 🙂 I’m sorry to say but I had one sheet left of label paper that I used to make them and I have no idea what kind it was. I will say that I wish I had used glossy label paper.

  4. #
    Kristin — July 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Thank you for the information on your ice cream maker. I am ordering a copy of your ice cream book to go with my new ice cream maker. Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — July 29, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Yay! That makes me so happy 🙂

  5. #
    Sophie — July 30, 2015 at 12:53 am

    Thank you for doing all of this legwork so that ice cream fiends like myself can make ice cream without a machine! The number of ice cream recipes I’ve pinned and looked at longingly on Pinterest is just sad 😛 I’m hesitant to get a machine because we have so little space in the kitchen as is, so this looks PERFECT. Looking forward to trying the two-ingredient method in particular!

    • #
      Tessa — July 31, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Awesome Sophie! Hope you love the two-ingredient method!

  6. #
    carly — July 31, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Would the first method work if you whipped the cream in a food processor?
    I’ve actually been thinking about getting that same exact ice cream maker you mention in your comment. Hahah I’ve had it bookmarked for a while now. It looks like it has pretty good reviews and the price isn’t bad. Especially compared to some of the other machines out there that are near or in the hundreds.

    Btw, under freeze & stir or plastic bag methods it says: “If mixture isn’t cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 seconds.
    If mixture isn’t cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.” I assume the first one shouldn’t be there?

    • #
      Tessa — July 31, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      I don’t see why not Carly! And I really can’t recommend that ice cream maker enough. Thanks for catching that – so weird it ended up in there twice.

  7. #
    Kristin — August 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    At your recommendation, I purchased the Cuisinart ice cream maker. I got the 2 quart ice cream maker and purchased it from Costco.com, which saved me an additional $10.00. I just love it. I first made your basic vanilla recipe which turned out so good! I then made a custard style chocolate and added homemade brownie chunks to it. The day I made the second recipe, it was 114 here in Scottsdale, and my ice cream came out a little softer, but was perfect after a few hours in the freezer. I also ordered the frozen dessert containers from Amazon as you recommend. The containers are perfect. I am so excited to try more recipes. Thanks so much for sharing your great knowledge! 😀

    • #
      Tessa — August 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Fabulous Kristin! I know all about 114°F+ heat and making ice cream, glad to hear it still turned out 🙂 And aren’t those containers adorable?!

  8. #
    jeanette lalor — March 18, 2016 at 10:36 am

    even though i am 73, i still enjoy bringing a little happiness to others. i can hardly wait to make milano cookies and the ice cream. i hope they turn out as beautifully as YOU LOOK… (now you print that, Tessa).

  9. #
    Tanushka — May 12, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Hey Tessa! Loved your tutorial for making icecream without a machine. I’ll soon be ordering a copy of your faboulous icecream book to go with my brand new icecream maker. Your labels are just adorable. Looking forward for 2 ingredient method. Thanks a lot. It really helped a lot.

  10. #
    shaela — June 6, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I loved this recipe, just one thing. when i did the 2 ingredient method, the first time it was really hard and i couldn’t get my spoon in it , the second time i put it in the container in a plastic bag and it was perfect.

    • #
      Tessa — June 7, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Sounds like the first time the container wasn’t airtight! We just invested in some new food storage containers because our old ones lost their airtight seal.

  11. #
    Mikayla Walberg — June 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    On the freeze and stir method- it says 11/4 cups milk chilled. Should that be 1/4?

    • #
      Tessa — June 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      It’s 1 1/4, or one and a quarter cups 🙂

  12. #
    Maria Robinson — June 12, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    If your using a glass measuring cup 11/4 is 14 ounces. I looked it up. I made this recipe. It was super easy and my kids love it. Thank you.

  13. #
    Karyn — July 25, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Greetings to all!

    I just found this site and I’m excited about trying the recipes. BTW, has anyone been able to convert the ingredients into a PALEO friendly version; especially a substitute for the sweetened condensed milk?

    Maria;

    I believe you miscalculated as one and one quarter cup would = 10 ounces (i.e., one cup =’s 8 ounces and 1/4 cup =’s 2 ounces). 14 ounces would = one and 3/4 cups.

    Glad it turned out good and that you and your children enjoyed it. Perhaps using the 10 ounces will make it even better.

    Best wishes.

    Karyn

  14. #
    Susan Glace — July 26, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Do you have any for plant or nut milks?

  15. #
    Randy — August 11, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Maria, that’s not correct. 1 1/4 cups is 10 fluid ounces, not 14.

    Tessa, as I’m sure you know, the freeze-and-stir method is not technically ice cream, it’s a semifreddo. Still delicious. With the bag method, make sure you leave a bit of air in the bag; it will get broken up into tiny bubbles which will lighten your ice cream a bit. If you have a vacuum sealer, put the zip-top bag into a vacuum bag and seal it; that will guarantee no leaks!

  16. #
    Rachel — October 8, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you so much! My husband is addicted to the chocolate 2 ingredient method version. Do you have a recipe for a pumpkin version? I was going to wing it, but I don’t want to screw it up!

    • #
      Tessa — October 10, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Yay! I’d add in 1/2 cup pumpkin puree + as much pumpkin pie spices as you prefer!

  17. #
    concurso professor prefeitura sp — November 27, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    VMSIMULADOS PDI ─ PEB I ─ PEB II – CONHECIMENTOS BÁSICOS – SME/OSASCO contato@ : 8 Texto real ser capaz da
    ciência A partir de que se conhece ao longo de gente, essa espécie humana busca explicações para planeta ao lhe redor.

  18. #
    Christi — December 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Chilled means

  19. #
    Naldo — December 27, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Hey Tessa,
    I just made the 2-ingredient version last night and added 3/4 cup of puréed soursop, one of the delicious fruits we have in abundance here in the Virgin Islands. I didn’t have an airtight container, but I put the mixture into one of my 9 x 4 Fat Daddio round aluminum cake pans, placed cling wrap over the surface and covered everything up with another layer of cling wrap over the top. In the freezer overnight, and the first thing I had out of bed was a spoonful of tasty, creamy soursop ice cream…no need for an ice cream maker! Thanks a million! I’m gonna try guava and passion fruit next!

  20. #
    linda — January 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    thanks ice cream short cut .i will try your ice .thanks linda .from texas.

  21. #
    linda — January 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    hello for recipes short cut .i will try your ice.thanks ! linda from dallas.

  22. #
    Bruce — January 26, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Tessa – I made the two ingredient method and the consistency was fantastic, however, the taste was a little funky. I added a 1/2 cup of Hersheys Syrup; perhaps that was it ? I am not sure. It made a great milk shake though ! I am going to try the other method and see how that tastes – rocky road this time.

  23. #
    Kesha — February 28, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks for these recipes! I’m thinking of making the 2 ingredient one, but i’m all out of condensed milk, so could I just use normal milk? Or even soymilk? If not, i will be sure to head out to the store and get some condensed milk! Thanks for your time!

    • #
      Tessa — March 7, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Condensed milk is key for the two ingredient method!

  24. #
    Eunice — March 31, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Can I substitute anything instead of using sweetened condensed milk cos it is too sweet for my diabetic Husband thks

  25. #
    Thao — May 13, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Could you pls tell me the name of vanilla extract you r using in this recipe? Thx

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