The Many Ways to Make Ice Cream at home! Learn how to make the perfect Ice cream at home with the help of my video and Step-by-step guide. In this post I share 5 ways to make an ice cream that will yield you creamy & delicious no ice treat. Make it with a hand or stand mixer, in a blender, in a mason jar, in a plastic bag & in a ice cream machine or kitchen-aid attachment. Ice cream has a long history of being an elite treat due to its labor-intensive creation. Nowadays there’s so many ways to make ice cream – some easier than others.
Ever since ice cream was introduced to the general public at a French café in Paris in 1660, it has been a beloved treat for people of all ages. Although it was originally a delight only for the elite, its popularity spread quickly in the United States after the industrialization of dairy farming and the creation of new storage, pasteurization, and insulation technologies by the mid-1800s.
It has become both vice and virtue, making us think of decadent desserts and innocent childhood pleasures. But what happens when the ice cream truck doesn’t come to you? Or you just want to avoid all those nasty preservatives and additives in the store bought stuff ..
If you’re in need of a cold, sweet fix on a hot day, then you’re in luck. You can easily make your own at home with these methods. Best of all, you get to control what goes in it, from the base custard to the flavorings and fillings to the fixings on top!
French Style vs. Philadelphia Style Ice Cream
With the popularity of ice cream as a frozen sweet treat, you’ve probably tried the two most famous kinds without even realizing it. The two most common styles of ice cream are called French style and Philadelphia style.
French style ice cream was first popularized in the United States by Frenchman Emanuel Segur, shortly after the end of the American Revolution. It’s also, arguably, the most popular and complex form of ice cream. What makes this luscious treat so irresistible (and so French) is the incorporation of eggs.
While all American ice creams have some combination of milkfat (at least 10% to legally be ice cream), sweeteners, and overrun (air content added to the ice cream), French style ice creams must also have at least 1.4% egg yolk solids according to law.
The egg yolks are full of fat and protein. Because fat freezes differently from water, it keeps the ice cream rich and creamy. The protein in the eggs also helps prevent the formation of large ice crystals, ensuring a smooth, consistent product. The inclusion of egg yolks both helps the ice cream melt more slowly and last longer in the freezer because it is less subject to the thaw and freezing cycle that can affect ice cream’s texture. As a result, it remains a staple amongst ice cream lovers.
Then what about Philadelphia style ice cream? What makes it different?
Unlike French style ice creams, Philadelphia style ones contain no eggs – just cream and sweeteners. The result is a lighter, more delicate dessert that is also arguably cheaper and less labor intensive. It’s most suited for milder flavors that would normally be overpowered by an eggy custard, such as vanilla or fruit flavored ice creams.
About the Ice Cream Recipes
In the step by step photos I share 2 ice cream recipes and both can be made without an ice cream machine. I use a electric hand mixer here. If you do not have a mixer, scroll down to explore the other methods of making ice cream. These recipes are Philadelphia style, so if you’re concerned about egg allergies or raw egg yolks, don’t worry! Both recipes are egg-free.
For the first recipe, I use just three ingredients – heavy cream, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. It’s the easiest recipe and the best one to start with if you’re new to homemade ice cream. This ice cream is best to make with heavy whipping cream with 36% to 40% fat content.
The second recipe works even if you do not have heavy whipping cream. I make an egg-free custard with cornstarch and sugar. While cornstarch might be a surprising addition, it serves as a stabilizer and prevents the formation of ice crystals in the ice cream. This gives a velvety and smooth ice cream without the taste of starch in it.
How to Make Ice Cream with 3 ingredients
1. Chill the bowl, beaters, condensed milk and whipping cream in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. (24 hours if you live in a hot region). Freeze an ice cream tray as well for 12 to 24 hours. Metal pans/trays are best for this.
2. Transfer ¾ to 1 tin of sweetened condensed milk (11 to 14 Ounce or 300 to 400 grams) to a mixing bowl and pour 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Set this aside. This step is optional but I prefer doing it.
3. Pour 2 cups chilled heavy cream to the chilled bowl.
4. Begin to whip on a low speed and later increase to a medium speed. Whip until soft to stiff peaks depending on your cream. It takes about 7 to 8 mins. Be careful not to overwhip else it turns grainy and later to butter.
5. Add 1 to 2 scoops of this whipped cream to the condensed milk. Carefully incorporate this.
6. We do this extra step just to enable easy mixing.
7. Pour that to the whipped cream.
8. Gently fold the condensed milk into the whipped cream without deflating the whipped cream.
9. Transfer this to a frozen container. Place a cling wrap or a parchment paper & press down so there is no air trapped in between the ice cream and the cling wrap. This step prevents the ice cream from getting icy. Freeze it until set, for 10 to 12 hours.
When you are ready to serve, place the container out of the refrigerator for 5 to 7 mins. Scoop vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.
If you are making it for a party, scoop the individual portions to ramekins and freeze them up to an hour before serving with your favorite toppings. This ice cream melts pretty fast so enjoy it immediately.
Ice Cream Recipe with Egg-free Custard base
This is a custard base ice cream made with corn starch also known as corn flour, milk, sugar and cream. You can also use custard powder instead of corn flour. If you follow the recipe exactly you don’t need to blend it after the initial freezing. You can serve it right away once it is set.
But if you Over freeze it, you will need to whip it or break the ice crystals and then freeze back until set. I highly suggest using a very good pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean for this. If you do not have, consider adding 2 to 4 tbsps of condensed milk or milk powder to this to add flavor and subside the flavor of corn starch.
1. For this recipe you will need, 2 teaspoons corn starch or custard powder, ¾ cup sugar, vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons pure extract, ¾ cup (180 ml) of full fat milk & 1 ½ cups or 360 ml of cream with 25% to 40% fat.
2. Add sugar and corn starch to a pan.
3. Add milk and vanilla pod if using. You can either use the vanilla pod or vanilla extract. Pod gives a deeper flavor since it is simmered in the custard for a while.
If using extract, add it later. Stir very well until the sugar dissolves completely. Make sure the mixture is uniform and lump free. Begin to cook on a medium to low flame stirring constantly. Do not bring it to a rapid boil. Cook it stirring constantly until slightly thick.
4. Dip a spoon into the custard, a thin layer must form on the spoon. It will thicken upon cooling. Taste test this and you shouldn’t feel the raw flavor of starch. If you feel it still tastes raw, it means you have to cook it a little longer. This step is very important.
5. Filter it and cool completely. If using vanilla extract, add it now. Cover and chill in the fridge for sometime.
6. Whisk it well for 1 to 2 mins until smooth. Set this aside.
7. Since I had a lot of requests from readers to show an ice cream recipe with amul fresh cream (not whipping cream), I am showing the same here. You may use any other cream too. Chill the cream cartons in the fridge overnight. Scoop out the top portions from the cartons. We need need about 1 ½ cups or 360 ml of cream. You will be left with 2 to 3 tbsp of whey in the pack which you will discard. If you are using cream with 35% or more fat, you can use up the entire content from the pack.
8. Add the cream to a chilled mixing bowl.
9. Whip until peaks are formed. With amul cream, you will get only soft peaks.
10. Take 2 scoops of the whipped cream and add to the cornflour custard.
11. Gently mix it well.
12. Pour this to the whipped cream.
13. Gently stir for uniform mixing. Smooth and delicious ice cream mixture is ready. Taste test this and add more vanilla extract if you want more flavor.
14. Transfer this to a freezer safe box. Place a cling wrap on the ice cream. Cover and freeze until set or overnight.
Once it is set, remove from the fridge and leave it out for 5 to 6 mins. Scoop vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.
Don’t be afraid to customize these ice creams to your liking once you get the basics down. The ice cream of your dreams awaits!
Other Ways to Make
In a Blender
Yes, you can make ice cream in a blender! Just blend together condensed milk, prepared custard (without sugar), heavy cream and vanilla extract. Once the mixture is smooth and thick, transfer to a loaf pan and press down an unbleached parchment paper so no ice crystals form. Freeze just until set, for a minimum of 12 hours. Be careful not to over blend as you will end up with butter. A lot of Indian mixer grinders come with a whipping blade. Use that if you have.
In a Mason Jar
To make ice cream in a jar, simply add ½ cup chilled heavy cream. ¼ condensed milk tin (chilled), and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to a cold-resistant glass Mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake it for 5 minutes or until the mixture doubles in size. Add mix-ins, put the lid back on, and freeze for about 3 hours. You’ll have an easy ice cream you can eat right out of the jar.
In a Plastic Bag
For some fun and a little bit of science, you can try making ice cream in a plastic bag. In a small plastic bag, add ½ cup heavy cream, ½ cup milk, 2 tablespoons fine sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. In another larger bag, add 2 to 3 cups ice and ¼ cup salt, then place the smaller bag inside and seal it. Shake the big bag for about 6 to 8 minutes, and presto! Instant ice cream.
This method is a simplified version of making ice cream in a hand crank machine, where custard is added to an inner bucket, placed in a larger bucket filled with ice and salt, and then churned using a hand crank. The salt lowers the melting temperature of the ice, allowing the ice to absorb heat as it melts and make the custard cold enough to turn into ice cream!
In a Ice cream Maker or Kitchen-aid attachment
Of course, we can’t forget about making ice cream in an ice cream machine. While you can obviously use the hand crank machine mentioned previously, most folks use the more hands-off electric ice cream machines. Like the hand crank ice cream machines, they usually have an inner tub or bucket–sometimes they need to be put in the freezer before use, while other models freeze the tub in the machine.
To make the ice cream, simply add your ice cream base to the inner tub and let it churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I have shown that method here on this pistachio ice cream post.
Both recipes include instructions for keeping the ingredients and equipment nice and cold. Keeping your bowl, beaters, and ingredients cold helps the cream whip up faster. You can still whip cream with room temperature beaters and bowls, but it will take longer & won’t give you the desired results.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce can, about 400 grams)
- 2 cups Heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups Heavy cream (Whipping cream or amul fresh cream, 360 ml)
- ¾ cup organic sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (Corn flour or custard powder)
- ¾ cup full fat milk (180 ml)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla pod)
- Chill all the ingredients, mixing bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Also freeze a metal tray or container overnight to store your ice cream.
How to Make Ice Cream with 3 ingredients
- Pour the chilled cream to the chilled bowl. Begin to whip on a low speed first. Then increase the speed to medium and whip to stiff peaks.
- It takes about 7 to 8 mins to get to the stiff peak stage, on medium speed. Be careful not to over whip the cream as it can turn grainy.
- Pour the condensed milk and vanilla to the whipped cream. Gently fold to incorporate the condensed milk into the whipped cream. Do not mix vigorously so you don't deflate the whipped cream.
- Transfer this to a freezer safe container and place a parchment paper or cling wrap. Press down on to the ice cream to remove any trapped air in between the ice cream and the parchment paper.
- Freeze until set, for 8 to 15 hours. If the ice cream is too hard, place it on the counter for 5 to 6 mins. Scoop the ice cream and serve.
Recipe 2 Egg-free Custard Base Ice Cream
- To a sauce pan, add corn starch, vanilla extract (or pod), sugar and milk. Whisk well until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook this on a medium heat stirring constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon well. Do not over cook. Taste test this to make sure it is cooked thoroughly as we don't want a starch flavor in the ice cream.
- Strain this and cool, before chilling in the fridge.
- When the custard becomes really cold, beat with the electric beater until smooth.
- Pour cream to another chilled bowl and whip it until stiff peaks. Add 2 scoops of this whipped cream to the custard and mix gently.
- Pour this back to the whipped cream. Mix together gently to incorporate the cream and the custard. Pour this to a freezer safe container. Place a cling wrap over the cream. Freeze for 8 to 16 hours.
- Scoop the ice cream and serve with your favorite toppings.
- For easier mixing you may also pour condensed milk and vanilla extract to a separate small bowl. Mix some of the whipped cream with it and then incorporate it with the rest of the whipped cream. This way you won’t deflate the whipped cream much. I have shown this in the video.
- Both the recipes can be used to make ice cream in a machine. To make recipe 1 simply mix together condensed milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Chill for at least 8 hours and use it in your ice cream machine. To make recipe 2, mix together the custard, heavy cream and vanilla. Chill and pour it to your ice cream machine.
- Adjust the amount of sugar and condensed milk to your taste.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Homemade Ice Cream Recipes first published in May 2016. Updated & republished in April 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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