This easy no-churn ice cream is made with just 4 simple ingredients. It’s creamy, sweet and makes the perfect base for your favorite mix-ins.
No Ice Cream Machine Necessary!
I absolutely love ice cream. Ok, I love all desserts, but homemade ice cream is pretty darn dreamy. Today I’m sharing a recipe that is perfect for summer. No cooking involved, no eggs, just 4 simple ingredients for the base.
You do NOT need a fancy ice cream maker. You do not need to kick around a ball with rock salt, and you do not need to hand crank anything.
Doesn’t that sound almost too good to be true? It isn’t! I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for easy no-churn ice cream as much as we did. The options are endless!
How to Make No Churn Ice Cream
PREP. This easy n0-churn ice cream can be made in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer. I always opt for my stand mixer because I’m usually holding a baby or child and I’ll do just about anything to make things easier on me. Go with what works best for you.
No-churn ice cream is made with 4 ingredients:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vanilla extract
- Sea salt
TIPS. I’ve tested this recipe twice now to get the ratio just right. Sweetened condensed milk can be, well… sweet. So adding the right amount of cream and salt was key. And of course, all ice cream needs flavor. I prefer using a quality pure vanilla extract like Nielsen-Massey. You really can taste the difference.
BEAT. Pour the cream, vanilla and salt into the bowl and beat the mixture on high until stiff peaks form. Add the sweetened condensed milk and gently fold it in with a spatula.
ADD-INS. Mix in your favorite candy, sauces, fruit or nuts. (Note: You should chop any additions bite-sized or smaller. Especially with things like fresh fruit—do not try to use full-sized strawberries! Crushed toppings like waffle cones can come in different sizes, as long as they are bite-sized.)
FREEZE. Transfer the base to an airtight freezer-safe container for 4 hours.
Evaporated milk? Sweetened condensed milk is not the same thing as evaporated milk! Do not get those mixed up because evaporated milk will not provide the texture or flavor you need for the ice cream.
No Churn Ice Cream Recipes
What’s great about this recipe is that it is super easy to customize. You can divide it up and make all sorts of flavors. You can create pretty much any flavor by just eye-balling the mix-ins. There’s no set amount—just do what feels right. You may like one ingredient more than another, or you may even want to ditch or swap one out. It’s totally up to you!
Here are some of our favorite flavors:
- Cookies and Cream: crushed Oreo cookies
- Drumstick: crushed sugar cone, chocolate salted carmel swirl, chopped peanuts
- Chunky Monkey: peanut butter swirls, mini chocolate chips and chunks of banana
- Strawberry Shortcake: crushed ladyfingers (or pound cake) and chunks of strawberry
- S’mores: crushed graham crackers, Nutella swirl, chocolate chunks, mini marshmallows
- Mint Chip: mint extract, green food coloring (optional), mini chocolate chips
Tips and Storage
Can this be made with half & half? You can use half and half instead of heavy cream, but it yields a more icy texture. This is a risk you take when making this substitution!
Dairy-free option? To make this dairy-free, use vegan sweetened condensed milk as well as coconut milk. To make it with coconut milk, you are going to want to whip the milk into a merengue-like texture before incorporating it. After that, you can fold in the rest of the ingredients and let it set for about 6 hours in the freezer, then you have dairy free ice cream!
Storing: There may not be a definite “best by date” for homemade ice cream, but there are ways to make it last a bit longer. Store it towards the back of the freezer where the temperature is more consistent, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and then a lid, and store it in a shallow container. I like using these little containers pictured to separate the various flavors.
If your ice cream ends up getting freezer burn then that is probably when you should say goodbye to your homemade ice cream, but other than that it should be good to go for a couple of months. Honestly it may not last a full week, depending on how fast you devour it!
For more ice cream recipes, try:
- Brownie Fudge Swirl Ice Cream
- Toasted Coconut Fudge Ice Cream
- Vanilla Bean Sundaes
- Caramel Cashew Ice Cream
- Peach Ice Cream
No-Churn Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- desired mix-ins
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer, add the cream, vanilla and salt. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the sweetened condensed milk and desired mix-ins until no streaks remain.
- Pour into a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer until firm, about 4 hours.