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Homemade Ice Cream

Updated on August 30, 2017

"Without ice cream, life and fame are meaningless"

Ice cream is the modern descendant of chilled egg custards. Although most of us are used to ice cream as something you just go and get from the freezer section, it can be fun and delicious to make your own homemade ice cream! And let's not forget, with more and more people needing to watch their sugars, avoid allergens or limit their dairy, making your own ice cream (or a reasonable facsimile) might be your better option.

Many ice cream recipes are good to use for homemade popsicles too! All you need to do it put the mixture into your ice pop molds instead of into an ice cream maker and freeze, and in just an hour or two you'll have lots of single-serving size treats!

Making Ice Cream In A Bag

No ice cream machines needed!

If all you have is several pounds of ice and a good plastic bag, you can make a batch of simple ice cream in a bag.

Time: Approx. 40 minutes


3 to 4 lbs ice (10+ cups)

1/2 C table salt or 1 C kosher salt

1 C milk

1 C heavy cream

1/2 C sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Put the ice into a large bowl (glass or plastic), cover with salt and stir.

2. In another bowl, combine milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt together until everything is dissolved. Pour mix into sealable 1-gallon freezer bag, remove as much air as you can and seal shut.

3. Place a wide plastic bowl with a lid on a towel. Fill bowl halfway with ice. Put freezer bag on ice and flatten. Cover bag with ice, leaving zipper edge sticking out. Put cover on bowl. Let the bag sit for approx 15 minutes, shake it occasionally to settle melting ice.

4. Pour off the covering ice into another bowl. Lift bag out by edge and lay on a towel. Cover ice cream baggie with second towel and gently knead for about a minute to mix liquid and frozen contents.

5. Put bag back in freezer bowl, repack with ice and cover again for 15 more minutes.

6. Take bag out of ice bath, towel off brine. Ice cream is ready to serve, or it can be stored in the freezer until later. Makes approx one pint.

DIY Natural Ice Cream - if you're gonna make it at home, make it the best!

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients
Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients

Seattle's Own Molly Moon makes some of the most amazing ice cream I have ever tasted! And they do it while using the freshest and most delicious local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Bring that same quality and down-home goodness to your ice cream!


For Best Flavor...

Ice cream that is slighty melted tastes superior to ice cream that is frozen hard. Allow homemade ice cream to soften by sitting out at room temperature for a few minutes before you serve it.

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Makers - these ice cream makers are all operated by hand

If you live off-the-grid or if you like the old-fashioned way of doing things, you might prefer getting a hand-cranked ice cream machine. This is how ice cream was made before electric appliances were invented to do the job.

Milks and Creams - from low-fat to high butterfat content

The dairy products you choose determine the character of the ice cream you make. The variances in butter fat content will sway the texture from icy with light crystals to heavy and silky. Use the best quality ingredients and you'll automatically be on the way to producing a superior artisan product.

  • Low-fat milk - one or two percent milk will work okay in modern ice cream mixers for making ice cream, but it definitely produces a fluffier texture, and it can be grainy when used in old-fashioned mixers which take longer to freeze the mix.
  • Whole milk - makes a nice quality ice cream all by itself.
  • Buttermilk - substitute for 1/2 the milk. Creates a tangy flavor and rich texture.
  • Chocolate milk - you can make chocolate ice cream just by using a good quality chocolate milk instead of regular milk.
  • Light cream - substitute for 1/2 the milk. Creates a super rich, gourmet ice cream.

Put To The Test: The Rival Ice Cream Maker

Rival GC8151-WN 1-1/2-Quart Treat Shoppe Electric Ice Cream Maker, White
Rival GC8151-WN 1-1/2-Quart Treat Shoppe Electric Ice Cream Maker, White

Here's the machine I had at my disposal for my recipe experimentation. Simple to operate, definitely handled test batch-sized recipes easily. Handled differently with the different milk/cream combinations and how well the container was pre-frozen. It was fairly easy to clean, but it made ice cream best with a good 24 hours of freezing time ahead of time. For some people, that's too much preparation time spent, and those cooks will probably get an ice cream maker with a built-in freezer.


The Great Flavor Debate

A battle of the classics, the ultimate ice cream flavor showdown! If you could only pick one, which would it be...?

Vanilla or Chocolate?

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

With your own ice cream machine, making fresh frozen desserts is easy and economical!


Cook-Along Ice Cream Videos - how-tos that show you how to make ice cream

Make Homemade Popsicles

Back to Basics Flute Pop Ice Pop Maker (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Back to Basics Flute Pop Ice Pop Maker (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Pour your homemade ice cream recipe into these cute ice pop molds and have individual ice cream treats in no time!


We All Scream For Ice Cream! - reader comments and feedback

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens!

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      I am very enthused to try this in my own home... Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Use the Cuisinart one exclusively during the summer. There's nothing like home made ice cream.

    • mowug1776 profile image


      7 years ago

      great lens, as far as desserts go undone have to stick with homemade ice cream either that or homemade brownies. Great lens

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I want more ice cream when it's cold outside, than in the warm months. Don't know why. Thanks for the recipe!

    • timelessearth profile image


      7 years ago

      i love ice cream! thanks for sharing this lens

    • stacyga profile image


      7 years ago

      Thought you might like this info I found on the Old Ice Cream Maker.

      Lens on the Old Ice Cream Maker

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That ice cream looks so good!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great looking food!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i love ice cream! thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this lens.

    • hlkljgk profile image


      9 years ago from Western Mass

      welcome to Comfort Food Headquarters


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