9 recipes for homemade ice cream made quickly and easily without an ice cream maker.
What's your page-turner for an ice cream recipe? For me, if I spy “churn according to manufacturer directions,” I'm out. And I have an ice cream maker!
An ice cream machine isn't the most expensive one-trick pony kitchen appliance. I still consider it a major pain and a deal breaker.
Here's why I hate ice cream machine recipes:
- The bowl has to be kept frozen all the time. It's easy enough to keep it stored in your freezer if you're lucky enough to have a large enough freezer. But once you use it, you can't use it again until you freeze it again. Which brings me to …
- It never ever makes enough ice cream for my efforts. Seriously.
- The bits right next to the walls of the machine never come off without my scratching up the container. So it makes even less than it makes. See #2 above.
No churn is the answer
Well then. It goes without saying that I have a particular fondness for no-churn homemade ice cream recipes. Way back in 2013, I created my first no churn ice cream recipe—no churn 3-ingredient vanilla ice cream (see the photo and link just below). That was before every company that makes
That was before every company that makes sweetened condensed milk had essentially the same recipe on its website. I'm not exactly claiming credit since everyone knows that there are no entirely new recipes under the sun.☀️ Except the timing is pretty suspicious.
To make no churn ice cream, there are a few essential elements:
- Low moisture. Water freezes solid, which makes for an icy texture. No bueno for ice cream;
- Plenty of ingredients that don't freeze solid, like fat and sugar;
- Added ingredients that prevent water from freezing solid, like gelatin (or perhaps agar agar—still experimenting with that one); and/or
- Air incorporated into the mixture, from whipping. That sometimes is in the form of whipped heavy cream, sometimes in the form of marshmallow fluff.
Since the warm weather is coming for most of us, it's time to start talking ice cream. I have a whole ice cream category of recipes here on the blog, but here are the 9 no churn recipes that I turn to again and again (and again).
You are 3 common pantry-style ingredients away from the richest and creamiest vanilla ice cream of your life. Of course, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make it, and it never gets icy. This is the recipe that started it all.
No churn ice cream recipe made with a simple homemade marshmallow base—and no sweetened condensed milk. Creamy, dreamy and so delicious, you won’t believe how easy it really is. And hello! It tastes like marshmallows.
Smooth and creamy dairy free ice cream made from coconut milk, sugar, and just a touch of powdered gelatin. That’s the secret ingredient that makes it perfect—even though it’s no churn.
Sure, the basic ice cream flavors are gluten free. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry. *yawn* But heaven help you if you'd like something more exciting. Like perhaps… cookie dough ice cream.
The recipe makes just enough cookie dough for the ice cream. If I were you, though, I'd double that part of the recipe and save some for warm-weather snacking.
This rich and creamy no churn dairy free ice cream is made with whipped chocolate coconut cream and marshmallow fluff. The marshmallow base means that you're halfway to rocky road ice cream right at the start!
Smooth and creamy strawberry homemade ice cream, and not icy at all like we've come to expect from ice cream blended with fruit. The secret's in roasting the strawberries until even their juice is a natural strawberry syrup, and then blending it all right in.
This is a recipe for vanilla semifreddo. It has a custard base, and doesn't freeze completely solid (semi-freddo – get it?) so it makes a lovely ice cream cake that slices beautifully and is smooth and creamy. And because of the egg yolks in the custard base, it doesn't need as much sugar to stay smooth. Bonus!
No churn chocolate ice cream with bits of edible brownie dough mixed in. What more is there to say?
Now for a twist on the general ice cream theme. Make no churn frozen yogurt at home without an ice cream machine—and with just a few basic ingredients like Greek yogurt, sugar and water. Freeze it longer for a scoopable treat, less for soft serve consistency. Pinkberry-style froyo at home.
The next time you see “churn according to manufacturer directions” in a recipe, laugh your evil laugh and turn the page … to one of these no churn homemade ice cream recipes.
Also, Nicole, can you come up with the Good Humor copycat recipes for the Strawberry Shortcake and Toasted Almond popsicles? Thanks in advance!
Nicole Hunn says
Hi, Mare! I’m afraid that when I posted the recipe for Good Humor chocolate eclairs, it was the biggest dud of a post! I absolutely loved it, but no one else was interested—so I have to imagine that the Strawberry Shortcake would be the same. I’d have to figure out a way to get people interested before creating a recipe like that. I’ve never heard of toasted almond popsicles, though!
I have been craving ice cream lately. Thanks for posting this and reminding me of the dairy free options! Not supposed to have sugar, though, so I will substitute with coconut sugar. Have you figured out if 1 full can of coconut cream will work instead of two cans of the refrigerated full fat coconut milk in a recipe?
I am sure that ice cream that does not require a freezer is great, but making homemade ice cream with an electric freezer is not difficult either. Just saying… And the recipe where you heat the milk, add sugar, salt, half and half, evap milk, vanilla, and cream is wonderful and gluten free.
Dear Nicole: Thank you so much for these ice cream recipes! I am thrilled that I don’t need an ice cream maker. I’ve avoided buying one for three reasons: the cost; no room for more appliances; no freezer space. We love our ice cream and I can’t wait to try these!
BTW, I love your books. Your recipes are wonderful. I have both of your books (I was on the waiting list for the second one) and I tell anyone who is going gluten free that if they need cookbooks, yours are the ones to get! When I went gluten free a few years ago, I found that most of the recipes were horrid. I became a “kitchen chemist” myself and began devising my own recipes. Because of this, I know how hard you work to create recipes that are easy and taste like “real” food and I appreciate being able to bake without hours and months of experimentation.
Thanks for all the great recipes you share in your blog as well!
Nicole Hunn says
Thank you so much for the kind words – and your support of the books! Yes, it is a lot of trial and error, and a lot of learning to devise successful, replicable gluten free recipes, but since it’s what I do all day, it’s actually more a pleasure than a chore! (although when something has, indeed, failed 3 and 4 times before I achieve success, I can be rather sullen about the whole affair). Hope you enjoy the easy no machine ice cream recipes!
JoAnn C. says
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Haven’t seen you here for a while. I hope all is well and you enjoy your birthday. And if your family won’t make you ice cream, I’ll bring you some of the chocolate and cherry flavors I made just yesterday.