How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

No ice cream maker? No problem!

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Heidi Larsen is the culinary creative behind , where she creates and shares recipes that are fresh, seasonal, mostly simple, often healthy, and always comfort food. Here, she shares her recipe for easy no-churn ice cream—just in time for .

This simple three-ingredient ice cream base is an easy way to cure your ice cream cravings and is made even better with 10 favorite flavor mix-in ideas to make this recipe your own.

Really good, totally indulgent, creamy ice creams can be time consuming at best (don’t forget to freeze that ice cream maker bowl first!) and temperamental at worst (why did my custard base turn into scrambled eggs?). Taking on the task of making your own homemade ice cream can sometimes be enough to throw in the towel and send you to the street corner with the kids to wait for the ice cream man to drive by.

But there’s a way to avoid all of that and still get your licks in. It only takes a hand mixer, a couple of bowls, and three ingredients to make.

Say hello to one of my favorite kitchen hacks: This recipe for homemade, no-churn ice cream.

Most homemade ice creams start with an egg custard base that is cooked and tended to with the same care as your first born child. This one doesn’t.

This recipe takes just three ingredients folded into one another to make an easy, creamy, homemade vanilla ice cream that’s ready to lick in just a few hours.

Martha Stewart may be the one most popularly credited for this recipe, but like many family favorites, the beauty is in how you make it your own.

We Scream for Flavored Ice Cream

I like to make the ice cream base, and then let everyone’s individual taste buds take over to invent their own favorite flavor. Plus, if you’re looking to create a DIY ice cream bar that doesn’t take forever to create, this recipe will be the secret to your success.

Here are some of my favorite flavor combos that I hope will inspire you to create your own faves, too.

Once you’ve made your base, you’ll need containers for freezing. You can use an 8 X 5 bread loaf pan for your container (this one is cool because it has a lid) but know that a metal container will freeze the ice cream faster and better than a glass pan. If you will be making ice cream often consider investing in an insulated ice cream tub or container, or, I like using paper containers with lids for on-the-go individual servings.

To serve, allow the ice cream to sit for a few minutes at room temperature, wet an ice cream scoop and spoon into dishes, scoop onto cones, or eat straight from the container like I typically do.

This style of ice cream will melt a little quicker than usual custard based ice creams, but that’s okay! More incentive to lick it up fast.

This simple way to make homemade ice cream calls for just three ingredients plus any mix-ins (see my favorites here!) you desire and is ready to eat in just a few hours.


Serves 10-12  


• 2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks occur, be careful not to over whip. The cream will be done when you pull the beaters out and the cream stands at attention.  
In another large bowl, whisk the vanilla into the sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, slowly incorporating the two mixtures together so it stays light and aerated.  
If making individual flavors, scoop the cream mixture into smaller bowls and gently fold in your desired mix-ins, or if making just one flavor, mix the ingredients directly into the cream mixture.  
Transfer the mixture to an insulated tub or paper containers and freeze for 4-6 hours.

If you make this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and @foodiecrush on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.  

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