Have you seen the latest craze in homemade ice cream? It’s called No Churn Ice Cream and it is super simple to make, no expensive ice cream maker necessary. For an easy vanilla ice cream, it takes just 3 simple ingredients- heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. (If you want other flavors, it WILL take a couple more ingredients.) You mix the ingredients, spoon it into a loaf pan, and freeze until solid. It makes a totally easy, delicious ice cream without any special equipment.
My family tried no churn ice cream at the end of last summer and loved it. Then cold weather came, and we promptly forgot about it. This year however, we have been making it a lot. I’ve come up with several variations too, that will breathe new life into your ice cream game. For all the variations below, feel free to use the quantities of add-ins you would like. I’ve just listed my suggested amounts. Also, feel free to invent your own flavors. This recipe is very forgiving, so its gonna be good no matter what you do!
A note on using sweetened condensed milk
For those of you who frown on using sweetened condensed milk, there are recipes on the internet (here is one) if you would like to make your own. However, that considerably increases the time needed to make this because the sweetened condensed milk has to be made and cooled before using. The sweetened condensed milk that I buy from Aldi or Walmart only has two ingredients, milk and sugar. I’m not claiming it’s a health food, but ice cream is supposed to be a treat anyway, right?
No Churn Ice Cream Variations:
- S’mores (our family’s favorite)- fold 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers + 1/2 cup mini marshmallows + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips into the basic recipe
- Mint Chocolate Chip- use the basic recipe but switch the vanilla extract for 1 teaspoon mint extract + 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Lemon-make basic recipe but fold in 1/2 cup crumbled lemon cookies and then swirl in 1/2 cup lemon curd. Leave streaks of the lemon curd showing.
- Caramel-make basic recipe but swirl in 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
- Chocolate Swirl-make basic recipe but swirl in 1/2 chocolate ice cream topping
- Cookies & Cream-make basic recipe but fold in 10 chopped chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
- 2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- add-ins* optional
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Do not whip too long or you will make butter! In another bowl, stir the vanilla into the sweetened condensed milk.
- Fold about ⅓ of the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk until fully incorporated, then fold in the remaining ⅔. (I have added the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla directly to the mixer, but it isn't quite as fluffy. Choose whether you are OK washing a separate bowl or would rather the ice cream be a little denser.)
- When the cream is fully mixed in, fold in the add-ins. (See below for lots of variations) I usually reserve a small amount of the add-ins to decorate the top.
- Pour into a loaf pan. A metal pan works best because it will freeze the ice cream faster. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
- Scoop into bowls and enjoy.
S'mores (our family's favorite)- fold ½ cup crumbled graham crackers + ½ cup mini marshmallows + ¼ cup mini chocolate chips into the basic recipe
Mint Chocolate Chip- use the basic recipe but switch the vanilla extract for 1 teaspoon mint extract + ½ cup mini chocolate chips
Lemon-make basic recipe but fold in ½ cup crumbled lemon cookies and then swirl in ½ cup lemon curd. Leave streaks of the lemon curd showing.
Caramel-make basic recipe but swirl in ½ cup caramel ice cream topping
Chocolate Swirl-make basic recipe but swirl in ½ chocolate ice cream topping
Cookies & Cream-make basic recipe but fold in 10 chopped chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
A few more ideas:
If you are looking for a chocolate no churn ice cream, try this recipe from An Oregon Cottage. I’ve not tried it yet, but it looks great and is just as easy.
Also, this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers looks simple and delicious if you like strawberry ice cream. It doesn’t use sweetened condensed milk but relies on maple syrup for the sweetener.
For another cool, creamy dessert try Frozen Strawberry Delight.
Have you tried no churn ice cream yet? What flavor should I try next?