How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 hours 10 minutes
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!
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!
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!
1 teaspoon peppermint extract + 1 cup mini chocolate chips + green food coloring
Peanut Butter/ Nutella / Cookie Butter
1/2 cup to 1 cup spread
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!
3/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted) + 4 ounces melted cooled chocolate
1 cup chocolate syrup + 1 cup mini marshmallows + 1 cup toasted almonds swirled into ice cream
10 graham crackers, crushed + 1 Hershey’s bar, chopped + 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup cocoa powder (sifted) + 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
Cookies & Cream
15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
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?
Ice Cream Without a Machine
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!
- 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
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.
If you want to use the last two methods with homemade custard-based ice cream, check out this video tutorial.
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