No Churn Ice Cream
No ice cream machine? No problem! You can make no churn ice cream from scratch using just four basic ingredients. Use the ice cream base to make any flavor variation you want, from mint chocolate chip to Oreo!
No summer is complete without ice cream — lots and lots of ice cream! While I love treating myself to a few scoops from my local ice cream shop now and then, I also enjoy making it myself when I have the time.
Traditional ice cream is often made with an egg custard base that has to be cooked and chilled completely, then churned in a machine.
Personally, I prefer to keep things easy and make homemade no churn ice cream instead. This ice cream is made with just four ingredients and there’s no cooking or ice cream machine involved.
All you have to do is mix everything together and let it sit in the freezer for several hours before it’s ready to be scooped!
You can take this ice cream recipe in any flavor direction you’d like. In the recipe card below, I’ve shared how to make vanilla no churn ice cream. However, if you keep scrolling through this post, you’ll find an entire section with my favorite ice cream flavor variations and how to make them using this base recipe.
Let’s review the ingredients needed to make it:
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is the secret ingredient to create a creamy, rich ice cream. Make sure to use sweetened condensed milk and not evaporated milk by accident.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Be sure to use heavy whipping cream or heavy cream for this recipe. Your cream should be at least 36% milk fat for it to whip up properly.
- Salt: A tiny pinch of salt helps to bring out the flavors of the ice cream.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla bean paste may also be used. The ice cream is sweet, creamy, and lightly flavored with vanilla. You’re welcome to add more to taste, if desired.
How To Make No-Churn Ice Cream
Preparing ice cream with condensed milk and cream is very simple, however you do still need to make the recipe in advance because the ice cream base has to sit in the freezer for 8 hours before it can be eaten. The end results are worth it though!
Below is just an overview of this no churn ice cream recipe. Full instructions can be found at the bottom of the post:
- Combine the sweetened condensed milk, salt, and vanilla. You’ll want to use a large mixing bowl because you’ll be adding the whipped cream in a moment, and you need plenty of room to fold it in.
- Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. You can use a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer to do this. Note that heavy whipping cream whips up more easily when it’s still fridge cold, so wait until the last moment to remove the carton from the fridge.
- Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. I recommend folding half of the whipped cream into the mixture at a time. You want to be gentle with the whipped cream; fold it in just until combined so you don’t knock too much of the air out!
- Freeze the ice cream until firm. I like to turn my ice cream into a 9×5-inch loaf pan for easy scooping later on, but any freezer-safe dish will work. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the ice cream so it doesn’t get icy, then freeze for at least 8 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ice cream that’s made using a machine is often made with an egg custard base that has to be cooked and then chilled prior to churning it.
No churn ice cream is made with sweetened condensed milk to mimic the egg custard base, and whipped cream to add lots of air without the need to use a machine!
If you follow my recipe exactly as instructed, you should wind up with perfectly creamy ice cream. If your ice cream base isn’t thick enough, it’s possible that you didn’t whip the heavy whipping cream for long enough. You need to whip it until stiff peaks form — in other words, the peaks of the whipped cream should stand straight up on your beaters.
Also note that this recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk. If you use evaporated milk, the ice cream will not set up properly.
Of course! I kept this recipe simple by adding just vanilla extract, but you can make strawberry ice cream, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Oreo ice cream, you name it! I’ve given a full list of flavor variations below.
The ice cream will last for about 3 to 6 months. Because it’s homemade, the ice cream doesn’t contain any stabilizers or other mystery ingredients. That means it’s more prone to developing freezer burn over time. If your ice cream develops freezer burn, it’s still safe to eat but the texture might be altered.
Homemade no churn ice cream can be flavored however you want! To make another flavor of ice cream, follow the instructions below:
This recipe will make a vanilla ice cream base, but for a stronger vanilla flavor I prefer to use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
Puree 1 pound of fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor. You should end up with a little under 2 cups of puree. Pour the puree into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture has reduced by half or a little under one cup.
Cool completely, then whisk the reduced strawberry puree and 1 teaspoon of strawberry extract into the sweetened condensed milk mixture.
Mint Chocolate Chip
Replace the vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and add 4 to 6 drops of green food coloring to the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Once the ice cream is prepared, gently fold in ⅔ cup of mini chocolate chips or finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
Chop 16 regular or Double Stuf Oreos and fold them into the ice cream.
Peanut Butter Cup
Melt 1 cup (250 grams) of creamy peanut butter in the microwave and whisk it into the sweetened condensed milk mixture. The mixture will be pretty thick, so use your electric mixer to mix in the whipped cream on low speed, if needed. Chop 10 regular peanut butter cups (or roughly chop 1 heaping cup of miniature peanut butter cups) and fold them into the ice cream.
- Make sure to use the exact ingredients listed in the recipe card below. You want regular heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk; all that fat makes for the creamiest ice cream!
- Feel free to flavor the ice cream base however you want, or add any mix-ins you have on hand. Chopped nuts, chocolate or caramel sauce, and chopped candy bars can all be folded or swirled in.
- If you don’t have an electric hand mixer or stand mixer at home, you can still make this recipe using a chilled mixing bowl, a wire whisk, and some upper body strength!
Homemade Ice Cream Toppings To Try!
- Salted caramel sauce
- Peanut butter shell
- Blueberry sauce
- Dulce de leche
- Strawberry sauce
- Magic shell
No Churn Ice Cream
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (1 pint; 480 ml)
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, add the heavy whipping cream. Start mixing on low speed. Once the mixture starts to increase in volume, increase the speed to medium-high and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until just combined.
- Scoop the ice cream into a 9×5 loaf pan and smooth it out into one even layer.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream and transfer it to the freezer to freeze overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
- Vanilla: Use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste.
- Strawberry: Puree 1 pound of fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor. You should end up with a little under 2 cups of puree. Pour the puree into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture has reduced by half or a little under one cup. Cool completely, then whisk the reduced strawberry puree and 1 teaspoon of strawberry extract into the sweetened condensed milk mixture.
- Mint chocolate chip: Replace the vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract and add 4 to 6 drops of green food coloring to the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Once the ice cream is prepared, gently fold in ⅔ cup of mini chocolate chips or finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
- Peanut butter cup: Melt 1 cup (250 grams) of creamy peanut butter in the microwave and whisk it into the sweetened condensed milk mixture. The mixture will be pretty thick, so use your electric mixer to mix in the whipped cream if needed. Chop 10 regular peanut butter cups (or roughly chop 1 heaping cup of miniature peanut butter cups) and fold them into the ice cream.
- Oreo: Chop 16 regular or double stuf Oreos and fold them into the ice cream.