No-Churn Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

4.75 from 43 votes
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This raspberry swirl ice cream is my ultimate go-to dessert, especially during hot summer days. No fancy equipment is needed! If you’re a fan of fresh fruit and ice cream, then you have to give this recipe a try.

Homemade raspberry swirl ice cream.

Just because you don’t own an ice cream maker doesn’t mean you can’t make your own frozen sweet treat! I’ll show you how to make no-churn raspberry ice cream using simple tools and equipment you already have in your kitchen. To make the base, you only need sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream.

For a delicious homemade raspberry ice cream, make a fresh berry sauce. It’s simple to prepare. Just simmer and strain. It only takes 10 minutes! Swirl the sweet and tangy sauce into the creamy vanilla ice cream base for stunning scoops. Everyone will be impressed and won’t believe it’s made from scratch!

Key ingredients

Ingredients needed to make this raspberry ice cream recipe.
  • Raspberries: Use fresh or frozen raspberries. You’ll need 12 ounces.
  • Lemon: Lemon zest and juice enhances the flavor of the berries.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar balances the tart flavor of the fruit. Other types of sweeteners can be used, like honey, agave, maple syrup, or brown sugar.
  • Thickener: A cornstarch slurry is added to slightly thicken the sauce and prevent it from tasting too icy when frozen as it binds the juices.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Contains 36% milk fat. It adds a rich texture and holds the air when whipped.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: The milk has 60% moisture removed, adding more milk solids for a thicker consistency. The sugar is already added about 1 cup of granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla: Use two teaspoons of vanilla bean paste for flecks of seeds for a gourmet appearance. Vanilla extract or a whole bean that has been scraped can be used.

Make the raspberry sauce

To make a fresh raspberry sauce for the ice cream, you only need a handful of ingredients. Cook the raspberries over medium-high heat with sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. The berries will break down and release their juices. The process takes about 5 minutes.

Add a small amount of cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce—strain to separate the seeds. You should have a very smooth and lightly thickened sauce. Chill before adding to the ice cream so it doesn’t deflate the whipped cream. This should yield about ¾ cups of raspberry sauce.

Flavor the sweetened condensed milk

Vanilla being incorporated into a bowl of sweetened condensed milk.

Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk with vanilla bean extract. I love how you can see the tiny seeds from the pod, like French vanilla ice cream! Vanilla extract will add a strong, baked, sweet taste if you don’t have a paste. Another good flavor extract to use is almond.

Whip the cream

To mimic the overrun created in commercially made ice cream, make some whipped cream. The simplest way is to hand whisk using a large chilled metal bowl. The process only takes about 4 minutes to create stiff peaks.

Use a stand mixer, blender, immersion blender, or food processor for quicker methods that take about half the time. The whipped cream should be smooth, don’t overwhip, or it will create a non-desirable curdled consistency.

Make the ice cream base

To retain as many air pockets in the whipped cream as possible, gently incorporate the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in ⅓ of the whipped cream, making it much easier to distribute the flavor.

It’s okay if there are still a few clumps. Now add the remaining cream, folding until a creamy texture and fluffy consistency is reached. It’s time to layer and swirl!

Layer the ice cream

Use a container that fits about 1 quart of ice cream or two pints for a smaller size. I use a 9 by 5-inch metal loaf pan. To create raspberry swirls throughout the vanilla ice cream base, add it in layers. Add half of the ice cream base, then add about one tablespoon of the raspberry sauce in different areas on top.

Using a knife, swirl the sauce around the ice cream surface. Add the remaining ice cream and sauce, repeating the spoon and swirl process. It’s best to get as much sauce swirled into the base as possible. The juices in the berries create a slightly icy texture on top.

Freeze the ice cream

Frozen raspberry swirl ice cream in a metal pan.

To reduce the amount of ice crystal formation on the top of the raspberry ice cream, cover it. I use a layer of plastic wrap to press against the surface, followed by a sheet of parchment paper and then foil for a tight seal. You may see some tiny crystals on the raspberry swirl because there is moisture in the sauce, but it shouldn’t affect the texture too much. Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

The texture reminds me of Breyer’s all-natural ice cream because it doesn’t have the emulsifiers and stabilizers to make it overly pliable when scooped. It’s best to let the ice cream sit for a few minutes at room temperature before scooping (the hardest part is waiting!)—the ice cream stores well for 2 weeks and up to 1 month.

Flavor variations

Now that you know how to make no-churn ice cream, it’s easy to customize the raspberry flavor! Try these yummy ideas:

  • Chocolate: Add chocolate syrup or chocolate chips to the ice cream for a cocoa flavor.
  • Cookies: Crush up your favorite cookies like vanilla wafers, shortbread, Oreos, or chocolate chip cookies and top or mix in. Graham crackers, waffle cones, or sugar cookie cones work well too.
  • Jam or Jelly: For a shortcut, add raspberry jam or jelly to make the swirls. Other flavors like strawberry, boysenberry, blackberry, or blueberry are also delicious!
  • Caramel: Drizzle caramel sauce into the layers for a sweet and salty flavor.
Big scoop of homemade ice cream with raspberries.

Serving suggestions

Serve this super smooth raspberry swirl ice cream in a crunchy waffle cone, or try these tasty pairings.

Frequently asked questions

Can I mix the sauce completely into the ice cream base?

Make a raspberry flavor if you don’t want to swirl the sauce and ice cream together. Whisk the raspberry sauce into the sweetened condensed milk mixture, then combine with the whipped cream until smooth and creamy.

Can I use jarred raspberry sauce, jam, or jelly?

Yes! You will need ¾ cups of sauce to make the ice cream. You can add up to 1 cup from a stronger berry taste. If needed, slightly warm the sauce to make it pourable but not hot. Strain any seeds before adding.

How can I prevent the raspberry sauce from becoming too hard when frozen?

The raspberry juice contains water, so it will naturally be harder than the ice cream base. Honey or corn syrup can be used to make the sauce instead of granulated sugar. These ingredients help prevent the recrystallization of sugars, so it will be slightly softer and less hard when frozen.

Two scoops of raspberry swirl ice cream in a waffle cone.

The science of no-churn ice cream

Ice cream machines make a sweet liquid base using milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks, and thickening agents like carrageenan, guar gum, or cornstarch. Churning solidifies the base when exposed to a continuous cold environment. Air is incorporated, called overrun. For no-churn ice cream, sweetened condensed milk is the thick and sweet base. Whipping cream adds air to lighten the texture. When combined, create a creamy and smooth dessert with a similar taste and scoopability to traditional ice cream.

No-Churn Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream

Creamy and smooth raspberry swirl ice cream can be easily made at home with no fancy equipment! Just two simple ingredients and a sweet and tangy raspberry sauce.
4.75 from 43 votes
Prep Time6 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

Raspberry Sauce

  • 12 ounces raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water

Vanilla Ice Cream

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

Instructions 

  • Cook the Raspberries – In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir and cook over medium-high heat until the raspberries break down, about 5 minutes.
  • Thicken the Sauce Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add to the raspberry mixture. Stir and cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
  • Strain – Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl. Use the back of a spoon to push and separate the sauce from the seeds. Scrape the bottom of the strainer to collect more sauce. It will yield about ¾ cups.
  • Let it Cool Transfer the raspberry sauce to the refrigerator to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the ice cream base.
  • Flavor the Condensed Milk  In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk with the vanilla 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!
    Transfer half of the ice cream base to a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan or container large enough to hold a 1-quart mixture. Dot half of the raspberry sauce onto the ice cream, and use a knife to create swirls. Add the remaining base on the top, dot with the rest of the sauce, and create swirls again.
  • Freeze the Ice Cream Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream. Cover with a piece of parchment paper that fits just the surface. Cover the pan tightly with foil or a lid. Freeze until hardened, about 6 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften before scooping.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: About 5 cups
  • Serving Size: About ½ cup
  • Storing: Freeze for 2 to 4 weeks. 
  • Using Frozen Raspberries: Add to the saucepan frozen and cook according to recipe instructions.
  • Using Jam or Jelly: Warm in the microwave until it’s easy to stir and pour. Strain if there are seeds. Add to the ice cream base when cool.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 10 servings
Calories 326kcal (16%)Carbohydrates 31g (10%)Protein 5g (10%)Fat 21g (32%)Saturated Fat 13g (65%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 67mg (22%)Sodium 64mg (3%)Potassium 246mg (7%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 29g (32%)Vitamin A 817IU (16%)Vitamin C 11mg (13%)Calcium 153mg (15%)Iron 0.4mg (2%)

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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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I am with you on that Linda! no time is a bad time for ice cream, i think I just like the more fall inspired flavors like pumpkin and eggnog during the winter 🙂

  1. Laura says

    Just found this recipe. Sounds kinda of scary for a novice, but I’d like to give it a shot. You said to “Gently fold in about ⅓ of the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk. Transfer the rest of the whipped cream into the bowl…” and it confuses me. Am I folding a portion of the cream into the condensed milk to just get it started and then putting the rest in? And, what does it mean to let the lumps “let”? One last question – does the plastic wrap need to fit just the surface like the parchment? Like I said – I’m a novice 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Laura- Great questions! You first fold together the sweet and condensed milk with 1/3 of the whipped cream so that it’s easier to mix together with the rest of the cream and you don’t loose too much air. Once you mix the condensed milk and whipped cream, then you can add the rest of the whipped cream to the same bowl, and gently fold the rest together. I updated “let” to “left”, great catch! The first layer of plastic wrap can just be the surface, then add the parchment paper, then tightly wrap the entire pan with more plastic wrap to prevent as much ice crystal formation as possible when it’s freezing. Please let me know if you have any more questions, I’m here to help! So proud of you for trying something new 🙂

      • Anna says

        It didn’t work out for me 🙁 The whipping cream was runny even after I beat it on high for 3 min., and the condensed milk was showing up in streaks when I poured it into my bowl, which means it didn’t mix well. 🙁

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Hi Anna- Oh no! Definitely getting the heavy whipping cream to “stiff peaks” is key for the ice cream. Let’s see what we do to troubleshoot 🙂 I have a couple of questions; 1) Did you use heavy whipping cream and was it chilled? The amount of fat and temperature can affect the ability to whip the cream. 2) What kind of mixer did you use? Stand, immersion, or by hand? The 3 minute timing is a guideline for a stand mixer, but it may take more time depending on your method. Use your best instinct to gauge when the whipped cream is ready. If all else fails I’ve always been able to whip cream by hand with a large bowl and whisk, it takes a little more time but works! 3) Did you whisk together the sweetened condensed milk with the vanilla until combine before you added the whipped cream? This will definitely help with the streak.I would also add the whipped cream to the condensed milk in phases, instead of the other way around for easier mixing.

          Here is my step by step guide for how to make no-churn ice cream:
          https://www.jessicagavin.com/how-to-make-no-churn-ice-cream/

          Let me know if any of the steps are confusing and I can help clarify, I want to help find a solution for you! 🙂

          • Anna Pelonis-Mills says

            Hi! I actually did follow the recipe exactly as the recipe mentioned, but when my sister in law read the recipe, she told me that I should’ve beat the whipping cream for at least 10 minutes and not 3 as the recipe stated. The flavor was definitely there, however, and we used it to make our children milkshakes! 🙂

          • Jessica Gavin says

            I’m so happy you found a solution with the help of your sister Anna 🙂 Milkshakes sound amazing too!

  2. Fatima says

    I made this yesterday. It was the first time I attempted home made ice cream, so I was apprehensive. But it did not disappoint!! The instructions are clear and easy to follow. My ice cream came out so amazingly smooth and creamy. The zesty raspberry swirl helps cut through the sweetness. Will definitely be making again.

  3. Judy says

    I cannot wait to try this recipe Jessica. I know it will be fabulous. Look at those wonderful photos you took.