Homemade Ice Cream Without a Machine

Craving the velvety goodness of homemade ice cream but don’t have a fancy ice cream maker? No worries! With this simple recipe, you can whip up deliciously creamy ice cream right in your own kitchen, without any special equipment. Just gather your basic ingredients and follow these easy steps for a delightful frozen treat that you can customize with your favorite flavors and mix-ins. Let’s dive into the scoopable joy of homemade ice cream!

Indulge in Creamy Homemade Bliss:

Forget store-bought ice cream laden with artificial flavors and preservatives. With just a handful of pantry staples, you can create a batch of heavenly homemade ice cream that’s bursting with pure, creamy goodness. This recipe requires no cumbersome ice cream machine—just a few simple steps and a bit of patience are all you need to achieve ice cream perfection.


To get started on your homemade ice cream adventure, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

These basic ingredients form the foundation of your ice cream base, ensuring a rich and luscious texture that will rival any store-bought counterpart.


Now that you have your ingredients assembled, it’s time to embark on your ice cream-making journey. Follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Mix it Up: In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is well combined.
  2. Spread and Freeze: Pour the ice cream mixture into an 8-10 inch square baking pan, spreading it out evenly. Place the pan in the freezer for 90 minutes to initiate the freezing process.
  3. Whisk and Repeat: After 90 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer and vigorously whisk the mixture, breaking up any frozen chunks and scraping the sides of the pan. Repeat this process every 45 minutes for the next couple of hours, ensuring a smooth and creamy consistency.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: After 3-4 hours of freezing and whisking, your homemade ice cream should reach a soft-serve consistency. Scoop it into bowls or cones, top with your favorite toppings if desired, and savor the rich and creamy flavor of freshly made ice cream!

Customize Your Creation: One of the best things about homemade ice cream is the endless opportunity for customization. Experiment with different flavors by adding extracts, fruits, or chocolate chips to the base mixture. Get creative with mix-ins like crushed cookies, nuts, or candy pieces for an extra indulgent treat. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serving Suggestions: When serving your homemade ice cream, consider enhancing the experience with a variety of toppings. Fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, caramel drizzle, crushed nuts, or whipped cream are all excellent choices to elevate the flavor and presentation of your dessert. For an extra special touch, serve the ice cream in homemade waffle cones or alongside warm, freshly baked cookies for a delightful ice cream sandwich.
  2. Proper Storage: If you have any leftover ice cream (although it’s so delicious, there might not be any!), it’s essential to store it correctly to maintain its creamy texture and prevent freezer burn. Transfer any remaining ice cream to an airtight container, ensuring that it’s tightly sealed to prevent air from reaching the ice cream. Store the container in the coldest part of your freezer to maintain optimal freshness.
  3. Freeze Firmness: Homemade ice cream tends to freeze harder than store-bought varieties due to the absence of stabilizers and preservatives. To make scooping easier, allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. Alternatively, run your ice cream scoop under warm water to help glide through the frozen dessert effortlessly.
  4. Labeling: To keep track of the flavors and dates, consider labeling your ice cream containers with the flavor and the date it was made. This simple step can help you identify your favorite flavors and ensure that you enjoy your homemade treats at their peak freshness.
  5. Enjoy Fresh: While homemade ice cream can be stored in the freezer for several weeks, it’s best enjoyed fresh within the first week of making it. The longer it sits in the freezer, the more likely it is to develop ice crystals and lose its creamy texture. So, indulge in your homemade creation sooner rather than later for the best taste experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I use low-fat milk or alternative milk options in this recipe? Yes, you can substitute low-fat milk or alternative milk options such as almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk for the milk and heavy cream in this recipe. However, keep in mind that using lower-fat milk may result in a less creamy texture and slightly different flavor. Experiment with different milk options to find the one that best suits your taste preferences.
  2. Can I add mix-ins like chocolate chips or fruit to the ice cream mixture? Absolutely! Adding mix-ins like chocolate chips, fruit, nuts, or crushed cookies is a great way to customize your homemade ice cream and add extra flavor and texture. Simply fold in your desired mix-ins after combining the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Be sure to chop any larger mix-ins into smaller pieces for even distribution throughout the ice cream.
  3. What if I don’t have a square baking pan? Can I use a different container? While a square baking pan is ideal for spreading out the ice cream mixture evenly, you can use any freezer-safe container with enough surface area to accommodate the mixture. A shallow container with straight sides works best for promoting even freezing and easier whisking. Alternatively, you can use multiple smaller containers if you don’t have one large enough. Just be sure to adjust the freezing time accordingly based on the container size.
  4. How long does homemade ice cream last in the freezer? Homemade ice cream can typically be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 weeks if properly stored in an airtight container. However, for the best taste and texture, it’s recommended to enjoy your homemade ice cream within the first week of making it. Over time, ice cream may develop ice crystals and lose its creamy consistency. Remember to label your containers with the date to keep track of freshness.


  1. Chocolate Lovers’ Delight: For a decadent chocolate twist, add ½ cup of cocoa powder to the ice cream mixture along with the sugar and vanilla extract. You can also stir in chocolate chunks or swirl in a ribbon of chocolate sauce during the whisking process for an extra indulgent treat. Top with chocolate shavings or sprinkles for a finishing touch.
  2. Fruity Paradise: Infuse your homemade ice cream with the vibrant flavors of fresh fruit by adding pureed fruit or fruit preserves to the base mixture. Try favorites like strawberries, raspberries, or peaches for a burst of natural sweetness. For added texture, fold in diced fruit pieces during the whisking process. Garnish with fresh fruit slices or a fruit compote for a delightful fruity experience.
  3. Nutty Crunch Sensation: Elevate your homemade ice cream with the irresistible crunch of nuts. Stir in chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts into the ice cream mixture before freezing for added texture and flavor. You can also sprinkle toasted nuts on top of the ice cream just before serving for an extra nutty crunch that’s sure to satisfy.
  4. Cookie Dough Dream: Indulge your sweet tooth with chunks of cookie dough swirled throughout your homemade ice cream. Prepare a batch of your favorite cookie dough recipe and roll it into small balls. Fold the cookie dough balls into the ice cream mixture before freezing, ensuring even distribution. Every spoonful will be filled with creamy ice cream and pockets of cookie dough goodness.
  5. Minty Fresh Twist: For a refreshing and aromatic variation, add a few drops of peppermint extract to the ice cream mixture along with the vanilla extract. You can also stir in chopped fresh mint leaves or crushed mint candies for an extra burst of minty flavor. Serve with a sprig of fresh mint or a drizzle of chocolate sauce for a classic combination that’s always a hit.
  6. Coffee Lover’s Indulgence: Give your homemade ice cream a rich and bold flavor by adding brewed coffee or espresso to the base mixture. Stir in cooled coffee or espresso along with the other ingredients for a delicious coffee-infused treat. Top with a dusting of cocoa powder or chocolate-covered espresso beans for a caffeine kick that’s perfect any time of day.
  7. Coconut Bliss: Transport yourself to a tropical paradise with the exotic flavor of coconut. Replace the milk and heavy cream with coconut milk for a dairy-free alternative. Add shredded coconut or coconut flakes to the ice cream mixture for added texture and flavor. Serve garnished with toasted coconut flakes or a drizzle of coconut cream for a taste of the islands.

With this easy homemade ice cream recipe, you can satisfy your sweet cravings with a creamy, dreamy dessert that’s made with love and a dash of creativity. No fancy equipment required—just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of patience are all it takes to create a frozen masterpiece that will delight your taste buds and impress your friends and family. So go ahead, grab a spoon, and treat yourself to the irresistible allure of homemade ice cream