3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream | No Churn

3 Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream | No Churn

This 3 ingredient vanilla ice cream is the richest and creamiest ice cream of your life. No fancy ingredients or ice cream machine needed! Summer, here we come!

An ice cream scoop with vanilla ice cream in a bucket of more ice cream

Why not use an ice cream machine?

have an ice cream maker. I think it cost me about $50. I even keep the bowl in the freezer all the time, in case the urge to make ice cream strikes. It’s easy and even kind of fun. But … I rarely use it.

In fact, whenever I read a recipe that calls for an ice cream machine (you know – “churn according to manufacturer instructions”), my heart sinks. And I turn the page. First of all, it doesn’t seem like much of a recipe since nearly anything will have the consistency of ice cream if you put it in a machine and churn it.

Second, ice cream machines just don’t make very much ice cream, and they always freeze the ice cream unevenly, leaving you with a layer of ice cream that’s frozen solid around the perimeter of the machine. And since the inside is non-stick, the only way to get that ice cream out is to melt it. And then it’s not ice cream anymore!

3-ingredient Gluten Free Ice Cream - no machine required!

But I do have this recipe for ice cream cones. I’m even considering buying a pizzelle maker and using it to make ice cream cones.

Plus, it seems to be easier and easier to buy gluten free ice cream cones. They’re not going to fill themselves with rich, creamy homemade vanilla ice cream.

Pouring condensed milk into whipped cream

But as the ice cream containers in the grocery store get smaller and smaller, and their ingredient lists get longer and longer, I find myself more interested than ever in making homemade ice cream.

A bowl with whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk

Why does this recipe work?

There is a good reason that this method works and makes smooth and creamy ice cream without any fuss at all. And without any of the iciness that you can expect from other methods like the ones that tell you to mix and freeze the mixture, then stir it every hour or something.

Those no churn ice cream methods are great if you’re looking for a bunch of ice crystals and no smooth, creamy mouthfeel. If it’s not smooth and creamy, it’s just not ice cream to me.

In this recipe, the ingredients have a very low moisture content. If you substitute any of these simple ingredients, I can’t promise you’ll get a good result. Simple recipes like this are really best made as is, if at all possible.

3 Ingredient ice cream unfrozen in freezer container

Now I have always loved the melty ice cream that ends up on the bottom of the bowl. That is what you have, basically, before you place it in the freezer for the first time.

If you’re the one who makes the ice cream, then a spoonful of that melty goodness is yours for the taking. I won’t tell.


3 Ingredient Ice Cream 3 scoops

P.S. Did you say you needed a dairy free version? Try my dairy free no churn ice cream. You’ll love it!

pouring condensed milk into whipped cream, unfrozen ice cream, and scoops of frozen ice creamA tub of 3 ingredient no churn vanilla ice cream and a bowl mixing the ingredients

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Yield: 2 quarts ice cream


1 pint (16 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (homemade or store bought)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • Place the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer) and beat the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Pour the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla into the bowl of whipped cream, and fold the whipped cream in until only a few bright white streaks remain.

  • Pour the mixture into a 2-quart freezer-safe container with a lid, and smooth the top. Cover tightly and place in the freezer until firm (at least 4 hours). Serve right from the freezer. It will not need to thaw at all to be scoopable.

  • Originally posted on the blog in 2013. Photos the same, recipe steps tweaked slightly, video new.


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