Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (No Machine Needed!)

No ice cream machine? No problem! You can make this rich and creamy vanilla ice cream with only 3 ingredients and a regular mixer.

Vanilla No Churn Ice Cream

This is going to be your new favorite ice cream recipe, and let me tell you why. There’s no egg custard or cooking. No food processor or special tools. No separating egg whites or buying weird ingredients like xantham gum. This is one of those simple recipes that delivers — creamy ice cream, made with your average electric mixer and grocery store ingredients. 

Even though I own an ice cream maker, I find myself coming back to this basic recipe time and time again. It’s such a great feeling to make your own homemade ice cream, and even if you’re a kitchen beginner, you can create absolutely delicious ice cream in your own home. 

Why you want this recipe

  • budget-friendly
  • thick and creamy
  • delicious vanilla flavor
  • no fancy equipment required
  • easy enough for kitchen beginners!

Ingredients

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is that it’s made from simple ingredients — two of which I can keep in my pantry for whenever the craving strikes!

Ingredients for Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This forms the base of your ice cream, making it rich and giving it that creamy texture. I do not recommend subbing anything for this — whipping the cream to stiff peaks gives the ice cream structure. Without it, you have vanilla soup!
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is what we’re using to sweeten our ice cream. It also keeps the ice cream from crystallizing, which ruins the texture (it tastes like the ice cream got freezer burn). This is another ingredient I do not recommend subbing. 
  • Vanilla Extract: This one is here entirely for the flavor. You can sub this with any other extract to play around with flavors. If you want to stick with vanilla, you can also sub vanilla bean paste in a 1:1 ratio, or use a single real vanilla bean, if you’re fancy.

Instructions

Step 1 | Whip the Cream and Prep the Milk

To start, place a standard loaf pan in the freezer.

Then, pour your heavy cream into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. While you can do this with just elbow grease, I do recommend using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer to beat your cream into stiff peaks. This video is fantastic for understanding the difference between soft peaks and stiff peaks!

Stiff Peaks

While your cream is whipping, you can pour the sweetened condensed milk into a separate medium bowl. Add the vanilla and mix them together. 

Sweetened condensed milk mixture

Step 2 | Lighten

Once your cream is whipped and you have gorgeous stiff peaks, we’re going to use a little of that cream to lighten the milk. Basically, if we pour the sweetened condensed milk mixture straight into our whipped cream, we’ll lose that lovely lightness that creates the creamy texture. 

In order to avoid this, we’re going to fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the milk. If you need a little clarification on folding, this video is fantastic. 

Lightened milk mixture

Step 3 | Fold

Now we’re going to exercise our folding skills by folding the lightened milk a little at a time into the whipping cream. This is by far the hardest part of the recipe, and it’s not that hard! 

Once the milk is completely incorporated into the whipped cream, you’ll end up with this silky, creamy homemade ice cream base. Try not to eat it by the spoonful!

Ice cream base

Step 4 | First Freeze

Take your loaf pan out of the freezer and pour your ice cream base in, smoothing it out with a spatula. 

Then, press wax paper down so that it completely covers the surface of the ice cream. The wax paper’s job is to prevent the formation of ice crystals on the surface, so you want to press it into the top of the ice cream. 

Place your covered ice cream in the freezer and let it freeze for 2 hours. 

Ice Cream

Step 5 | Stir and Final Freeze

Now, you can skip the middle stir and just let your ice cream freeze straight through, but for best results, I recommend taking the ice cream out of the freezer and stirring it around at about the 2 hour mark. 

This prevents any crystallization from happening, and also allows you to add our favorite add-ins, without them sinking to the bottom. 

Once you’ve stirred (and added any mix-ins), you can replace the wax paper, again pressing it down into the top of the ice cream, and put the ice cream back in the freezer for another 2 hours. 

Step 6 | Enjoy!

Take the ice cream out of the freezer 5-10 minutes before you want to serve it. It scoops just like regular ice cream, and you can top it with your favorites: fresh fruit, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, hot fudge sauce, chocolate chips, crushed Oreos, nuts, and whatever else you love!

Creamy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Flavor Variations

You can use this base recipe to create a ton of different flavors!

  • Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream: During your mid-freeze stir, add crushed Oreos to your delicious homemade ice cream!
  • Cookie Dough Ice Cream: I’ll let you in on a secret — if you don’t want the cookie dough in your ice cream to freeze hard, make any of these easy edible cookie dough recipes, and simply use heavy cream instead of water/milk. The extra fat content will keep the dough from freezing hard. 
  • Blue Monster Ice Cream: Add blue food coloring during the folding process, then add crushed chocolate chips cookies and crushed Oreos during your mid-freeze stir.
  • Apple Pie Ice Cream: Add canned apple pie filling and graham cracker crumbs during your mid-freeze stir.
  • Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream: Add yellow cake crumbs and chopped strawberries as mix-ins!

FAQs

How long can I store the ice cream in the freezer?

The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks in an airtight, freezer-safe container.

What can I use instead of sweetened condensed milk?

You really can’t sub this ingredient as sweetened condensed milk provides the necessary sweetness and texture.

What can I use instead of heavy whipping cream?

You really can’t sub this ingredient. Heavy cream is essential for creating the structure of the ice cream. I have heard good things about Silk’s plant-based whipping cream, but I’ve never tried it personally

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Vanilla No-Churn Ice Cream

Creamy and decadent vanilla ice cream you can make at home!
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 366kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Chill a bread pan in the freezer.
  • Whip cream until stiff peaks form (this takes my mixer about 10 minutes).
  • Pour sweetened condensed milk into separate bowl and add vanilla. Stir until well mixed.
  • Scoop 1 cup of cream and fold into milk.
  • Fold lightened milk into cream until well combined.
  • Pour ice cream into chilled bread pan and smooth. Press wax paper down firmly, then place in freezer.
  • Allow to freeze for 2 hours. Remove from freezer and stir. If you are adding mix-ins, stir them in now.
  • Replace wax paper and put ice cream back in freezer.
  • Allow to freeze until hard.
Tried this recipe?Mention @homanathome or tag #homanathome

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 28.8g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 5.6g | Saturated Fat: 16.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.7g | Cholesterol: 84.7mg | Sodium: 79.3mg | Potassium: 242.6mg | Sugar: 28.9g
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