No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

5 from 4 votes
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A step-by-step guide for how to make no churn ice cream with gourmet results! All you need is two simple ingredients for the base. Customize to create your homemade ice cream and delicious flavors.

Several scoops of no churn vanilla ice cream in a bowl.

Recipe Science

  • Whipping heavy cream incorporates air, creating a light and airy structure that mimics the texture of churned ice cream.
  • Sweetened condensed milk provides both sweetness and a smooth, creamy consistency by lowering the freezing point, preventing large ice crystals from forming.
  • The vanilla extract adds flavor and aromatic compounds that enhance the overall taste of the ice cream, giving it a rich and fragrant profile.

Why It Works

What if I told you ice cream could be made with minimal time and no fancy equipment? You only need two main ingredients; heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. That’s it! With a bit of imagination, you can make any flavor your heart desires.

I will show you how to make a no-churn ice cream recipe flavored with vanilla. It’s a versatile base that you can adapt your any flavor combination. Whipping the cream mimics the actions of an ice cream maker. Use tools already in your kitchen, like a bowl and whisk, or speed things up with a stand mixer. Add your favorite mix-ins to switch up the ice cream recipe. Let’s get started!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make no churn ice cream.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: Use a 14-ounce can. With 60% of the water removed, it adds more milk solids to the ice cream base, giving you a thicker texture. Sugar is already added, equivalent to about 1 cup of granulated sugar.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Contains no less than 36% milk fat. This helps to hold the air pockets to lighten the ice cream when whipped. It also gives a super creamy ice cream. You need 2 cups of cream.
  • Vanilla: Use vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract, or the seeds scraped from one whole bean. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

If you’ve ever wanted to design your own ice cream flavor, here’s your chance! Here are delicious ways to customize no-churn ice cream.

  • Chocolate: Add Dutch-processed cocoa powder, chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, M&M’s, or chopped chocolate.
  • Fruit: Add chopped strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, peach, or pineapple. Make a compote or jam to add a fruit swirl like my raspberry ice cream.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip: Add peppermint extract and chocolate chips. A tiny amount of green food coloring changes the hue.
  • Caramel: Add caramel sauce, sea salt, and chopped nuts for sweet and salty ice cream.
  • Cookies and Cream: Add crushed Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, graham crackers, or peanut butter cookies.
  • Coffee: Add cold brew, chilled espresso, instant coffee, or espresso. Toffee pieces add a nice caramel flavor.
  • Matcha: Add in matcha green tea powder for a Japanese-inspired flavor.
  • Nut Butter: Warm up some peanut butter, almond butter, or your favorite butter. Swirl in or mix for a nutty taste.
  • Rocky Road: Combine cocoa powder, mini marshmallows, and chopped almonds.
  • S’mores: Crushed graham crackers, chocolate pieces, or make a chocolate ice cream base.

How to Make No-Churn Ice Cream

Bowl of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla being whisked together.

Step 1: Flavor the Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened condensed milk is a dairy product that has been concentrated and combined with sugar to give a caramel-like consistency and sweet milky flavor. Add a 14-ounce can to a large bowl as the sweet component of your ice cream. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

I prefer to use vanilla bean paste, adding two teaspoons. It’s an affordable option that adds flavor and pretty vanilla bean specks for a gourmet appearance. This is the time to add other flavoring agents like extracts, cocoa powder, instant coffee or espresso, or other liquid ingredients.

Pouring heavy whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer.

Step 2: Whip the Cream

The process is like making whipped cream. Pour 2 cups of chilled heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer, immersion blender, blender, food processor, or a large metal bowl to use a whisk.

Stand mixer whisk attachment held in the air to show stiff peaks formed after mixing heavy cream.

Whip the cream until “stiff peaks” form. When you pull the whisk from the bowl, the cream can stand up to form a stiff, unmoving peak. This takes about 2 minutes in a stand mixer or 3 minutes in hand whisking.

Stand mixer bowl after creating whipped cream.

Be careful not to overwhip; it will become lumpy instead of fluffy and smooth. The whipped cream gives a super-rich and creamy mouthfeel and adds air to the ice cream base, just like overrun, so it’s scoopable once frozen.

Part of the whipped cream added to the sweetened condensed milk.

Step 3: Make the Ice Cream Base

Start by adding ⅓ of the whipped cream to the condensed milk and gently fold the ingredients. This helps lighten the condensed milk and evenly mix the flavorings. If you add all the cream at once, it will cause too much air loss and make for a dense product.

Homemade ice cream base mixed in a bowl.

Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold in until the mixture is smooth with just a few small lumps left. The base should be consistent in color and texture. Try your best not to deflate by over-mixing. The vanilla ice cream mixture will yield about 5 cups.

Pro Tip: You can add other mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, fruit, or chopped nuts, to create a uniform mixture.

Vanilla ice cream base added to a 9x5 metal loaf pan.

Step 4: Freeze the Ice Cream

Transfer the ice cream base to the desired container. I use a metal 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, which holds up to 1 quart of ice cream.

Plastic wrap and parchment paper placed on top of a loaf pan.

If there is no lid, then place a piece of plastic wrap on top, gently pressing down so that there is no room for air to enter. Cover that with wax or parchment paper, cutting to fit in the pan as an additional barrier. Then, use foil to cover the pan and freeze until hardened, about 6 hours or overnight.


Frozen vanilla ice cream inside a metal loaf pan.

Ingredient Chemistry: You want to minimize the exposure of the ice cream surface to the environment to reduce ice crystal formation or freezer burn on top. The no-churn vanilla ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

No-churn vanilla ice cream topped with colorful sprinkles and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Serve This With

Any excuse to enjoy some ice cream for dessert is always welcome. These are some of my favorite pairings to try:

Equipment and Tools

Here’s the good news, no need for an ice cream machine to make a delicious frozen treat! Grab these simple tools:

  • Measuring cups, spoons, and spatula
  • Stand mixer, hand mixer, immersion blender, blender, food or large whisk
  • Large metal mixing bowls
  • Ice Cream Containers- Pints, quarts, 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, 9×9-inch square pan, or other containers for freezing
  • Wax paper or parchment paper, plastic wrap, and foil
  • Hungry taste testers!

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you churn ice cream for too long?

If you overwhip the ice cream base or whipped cream, it will become very clumpy as the fat globules cling together. It will have an unpleasant texture like butter. Stop mixing when the cream looks smooth, with enough air incorporated to hold its shape when scooped. Target “stiff peaks” of the whipped cream when making no-churn ice cream.

How do you prevent ice crystals in no-churn ice cream?

If you don’t have an airtight container, make sure to cover the surface of the ice cream using plastic wrap, parchment paper, and foil to create layers. This reduces the moisture on the surface’s exposure to the damp and cold environment in the freezer. Alternatively, if there is a lot of ice crystal formation, blend to break down the ice. This will create more of a soft-serve consistency.

How long can you store no-churn ice cream?

Enjoy within 2 weeks for the best taste. Any longer, and more ice crystals will form, especially if the container goes from freezing to room temperature several times. It does not contain gums to reduce ice crystals like commercial products, so the shelf life is shorter.

What can I add to the raspberry sauce to prevent it from freezing solid?

it’s natural for the raspberry juice to taste slightly icy on top of the ice cream because it contains water. However, you can add honey or corn syrup instead of granulated sugar to reduce crystallization for a slightly softer texture.

What is the difference between churned and no-churn ice cream?

Churned ice cream uses a sweet liquid base which may contain cream, milk, sugar, eggs, cornstarch, guar gum, or carrageenan. It’s added to an ice cream machine, chilling it to become solid while churning to incorporate air and reduce the size of ice crystal formation. The air creates air pockets called overrun, which lightens the texture. No-churn ice cream only uses whipped cream to mimic churning and trapped air. Sweetened condensed milk adds milk solids and sweetness for a creamy, scoopable texture.

More Frozen Treats

If you tried this No Churn Ice Cream recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

With just a few simple ingredients and a mixer, you can create a delicious and creamy frozen treat that is sure to impress your family and friends.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time6 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions 

  • Flavor the Sweetened Condensed Milk In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk with the vanilla bean paste and set aside.
  • Whip the Cream In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the heavy cream. Whisk on medium-high (setting 8) until a fluffy and smooth consistency is reached and stiff peaks form, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. It should hold its shape when lifted from the bowl. Do not over-whip!
    Alternatively, hand whisk by adding the heavy cream to a chilled large metal bowl. Slightly tilt the bowl and vigorously whisk until stiff peaks form, about 3 ½ to 4 minutes.
  • Make the Ice Cream Base Gently fold in ⅓ of the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold in until the mixture is smooth with just a few small lumps left. Do not deflate the mixture by over-mixing!
  • Freeze the Ice Cream Transfer the ice cream base to a 9×5 loaf pan or container large enough to hold a 1-quart mixture. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper that fits just the surface of the ice cream. Cover the pan tightly with foil or lid. Freeze until hardened, about 6 hours.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: About 5 cups
  • Serving Size: About ½ cup
  • Storing: Freeze for 2 to 4 weeks

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 10 servings
Calories 293kcal (15%)Carbohydrates 24g (8%)Protein 4g (8%)Fat 21g (32%)Saturated Fat 13g (65%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 67mg (22%)Sodium 63mg (3%)Potassium 192mg (5%)Sugar 24g (27%)Vitamin A 806IU (16%)Vitamin C 1mg (1%)Calcium 144mg (14%)Iron 0.1mg (1%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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10 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Beverly Terry says

    I want to try this recipe. Can I put the ice cream into half pint containers ahd shorten the freezing time?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I think freezing smaller batches could help reduce the time, but not by much. I reccomend at least 6 hours for the ice cream to firm up properly.

  2. Norma says

    I have seen several no-churn ice cream recipes using condensed milk – and just wanted to add that the fat-free version of Eagle Brand milk tastes NO different than the regular. I have been using it for years.

  3. Catarina says

    I just made this using my own homemade Keto sweetened condensed milk and it worked like a charm! Now I’m able to enjoy ice cream again!

  4. Kathleen Backhus says

    i am trying to figure out how to print out your pictures and recipe to make this icecream but there is no where that says print. i tried right click and print but it only did one little section at a time . i teach kids how to make cookies and things and thought this would be a fun recipe for them. especially with the pictures for the 3yr. old. can you help me please.
    thanks a lot.
    Grammie B

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Kathleen, this is just a guide. The recipe for no churn ice cream can be found here. There’s a green “print” button on the recipe.

  5. Trish says

    I love this! I *almost* bought an ice cream maker this summer, but then this whole no-churn ice cream trend started happening and I am soooooo into it. Totally digging this base for making any kind. Gotta try it out!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Trish! I do still love the texture of the classic churn method, but it’s so nice to have a quick and easy no-churn solution, especially if you just want to try some new flavors. VERY dangerous for my waistline for sure, ha.