Filed Under: Dessert | How To | Ice Cream | Videos

How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
July 29th, 2015
4.84 from 55 votes
4.84 from 55 votes

 How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine with simple no churn methods and flavor ideas! Step-by-step video, recipe, and printable ice cream labels too!

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

How to make the best ice cream without a machine! 3 methods, step-by-step video, and free printable ice cream labels!

Oh man do I have a treat for you today! And not just in the form of a sweet recipe. I’ve been working extra hard to make this special post for you which is just jam-packed with awesome stuff. You’d think after writing an entire cookbook about ice cream I’d have nothing more to give on the subject – but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
No churn peanut butter cup ice cream - just 5 ingredients!

Something I get asked ALL the time is how to make ice cream without a machine. I understand that not everyone has an ice cream maker (or two like me…) and since I just adore mine I’ve been hesitant to talk about making ice cream without one. While I believe an ice cream maker produces the best results, I’m sharing the next best thing for those of you who don’t have one!

In this post I cover four different methods for making homemade no-churn ice cream. One method requires just two ingredients, and the others can be used with ANY recipe. You may remember one from science class!

How to make the best ice cream without a machine! 3 methods, step-by-step video, and free printable ice cream labels!

This can be a super fun DIY project or just a way to satisfy a frozen craving. Either way, I just adore using those classic white ice cream containers. It’s like making homemade Ben & Jerry’s. I got mine from Amazon, but I’ve also seen them at craft stores or speciality kitchen stores like Sur la Table. They’re pint sized, so since each recipes makes about 1 1/2 quarts a single batch will fill 3 of the containers.

Pint container of DIY vanilla ice cream made without an ice cream maker

I like to divvy up a batch of the ice cream base and and make two or three different flavorings! I’m all about variety. Don’t forget to sign up for new recipes delivered to your inbox in order to get your hands on the free ice cream label printable! Click here to get the labels.

How to Make Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Machine

Method #1: Two Ingredient Ice Cream

This method is its own recipe. Simply whip 2 cups of cream, by hand or with an electric mixer, until stiff peaks form. Slowly drizzle in a chilled can of sweetened condensed milk. Add your desired flavorings or mix-ins. Remove to an airtight container and freeze. It’s that simple!!

No Churn Ice Cream Flavor ideas:

Note: some mix-ins may increase the amount of time the ice cream needs to freeze before serving. Also be sure to check out all my ice cream recipes for more inspiration and guidance!

Cheesecake

Add 8 ounces softened cream cheese to the 2 ingredient method below. Use an electric mixer to beat with the condensed milk and vanilla before folding into the whipped cream as the recipe instructs.

Mint chip

1 teaspoon peppermint extract + 1 cup mini chocolate chips + green food coloring

Peanut Butter/ Nutella / Cookie Butter

1/2 cup to 1 cup spread

Cinnamon Roll

3 tablespoons butter, melted + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Caramel or Dulce de Leche

1/2 – 1 cup caramel drizzled over the almost frozen mixture, stir to break up the ribbon a bit. Add a teaspoon of sea salt and/or a few tablespoons of bourbon for a gourmet touch!

Chocolate

3/4 cup cocoa powder (sifted) + 4 ounces melted cooled chocolate

Rocky Road

1 cup chocolate syrup + 1 cup mini marshmallows + 1 cup toasted almonds swirled into ice cream

S’mores

10 graham crackers, crushed + 1 Hershey’s bar, chopped + 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Mocha

1/2 cup cocoa powder (sifted) + 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

Cookies & Cream

15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Blueberry swirl

2 cups fresh blueberries + 3 tablespoons sugar + 2 tablespoons lemon juice cooked in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until burst. Chill before swirling into ice cream.

Method #2: Plastic Bag Method

Place the ice cream mixture in a quart size resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Place this bag inside another quart bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Put the bags inside a gallon size resealable bag and fill with about 4 cups crushed ice then sprinkle with 4 tablespoons coarse salt. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra cold environment that absorbs heat, causing the ice cream base to freeze.

Squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Wrap the bag in a towel or put gloves on before shaking vigorously and massaging the bag, making sure the ice is surrounding the ice cream mixture constantly. Shake for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the ice cream is frozen. The more vigorously you shake, the smoother your ice cream will be.

Method #3: Freeze & Stir Method

Place the unchurned ice cream recipe mixture in a deep stainless steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously with a spatula. Return to the freezer.

Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have a hand held mixer or blender, use one of those. Repeat this process for 2 to 3 hours, or until frozen.

Method #4: Food Processor or Blender Method (best method!)

This is a new method that’s been added since this article and video were created in 2015.

Make any ice cream base according to the recipe directions. Instead of churning in an ice cream maker, pour into a ziptop bag, squeeze out all air, and seal. Freeze, lying flat, until solid.

Remove from freezer and break into chunks small enough to fit into the bowl of your food processor or a high-powered blender. Pulse until completely smooth. If adding mix-ins, either fold them in or pulse until desired consistency is reached, then pour into an airtight container. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

The Best Ice Cream Recipes

4.84 from 55 votes

How to make
Ice Cream without a Machine

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
 How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine with simple no churn methods and flavor ideas! Step-by-step video, recipe, and printable ice cream labels too!

Ingredients

2 Ingredient Method

  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, chilled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

2 Ingredient Method

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, mix in the condensed milk, vanilla, and any flavorings.
  2. Pour into a resealable container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, then seal. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or until firm. Keep stored in the freezer.

Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. If mixture isn’t cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.

For the freeze & stir method:

  1. Place the mixture in a deep stainless steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously with a spatula. Return to the freezer.
  2. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have a hand held mixer or blender, use one of those. Repeat this process for 2 to 3 hours, or until frozen.

Plastic bag method:

  1. Place the ice cream mixture in a quart size resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Place this bag inside another quart bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Put the bags inside a gallon size resalable bag and fill with about 4 cups crushed ice then sprinkle with 4 tablespoons coarse salt. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra cold environment that aborbs heat, causing the ice cream base to freeze.
  2. Squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Wrap the bag in a towel or put gloves on before shaking vigorously and massaging the bag, making sure the ice is surrounding the ice cream mixture constantly. Shake for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the ice cream is frozen. The more vigorously you shake, the smoother your ice cream will be.

Food processor or Blender method:

  1. Note: This is NEW and not covered in the video!

  2. Make your ice cream mixture according to the recipe directions. Pour into a ziptop bag, squeeze out all air, and seal. Freeze, lying flat, until solid. Remove from freezer and break into chunks small enough to fit into the bowl of your food processor (using the standard s-shaped blade) or high-powered blender. Pulse until completely smooth. If adding mix-ins, either fold them in or pulse until desired consistency is reached, then pour into an airtight container. Cover and freeze until ready to serve.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you want to use the last two methods with homemade custard-based ice cream, check out this video tutorial.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Barry — October 3, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Tessa-How about for a Ice Cream recipe that you need 2 cook the mixture on a stove top some recipes call 2 do that by using a Renett Tablet than put it in a Refrigerator Tray then freeze it would that make sense?.

    • #
      Emily — October 4, 2021 at 1:39 pm

      We haven’t tried that!

  2. #
    Amy — September 24, 2021 at 9:53 am

    I make this all the time! My husband raves over it! We have not bought store bought ice cream for over two years now.

    • #
      Emily — September 27, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      So amazing to hear that, Amy! Yay!!

  3. #
    Phani — August 5, 2021 at 3:17 am

    wow yummy, my wife is very fond of ice creams, she just loves it, will try this recipe at my home, Thanks for sharing

    • #
      Emily — August 5, 2021 at 10:03 am

      So excited to hear what she thinks! Check back in with us and let us know 🙂

  4. #
    Terry — July 31, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Just found this great site & tried to obtain the “Cookie Customization Chart”. HOWEVER – when I clicked on the “Sign Up” link I got an error message saying the link could not be located .
    Is this because the original post is several years old?

    AND – do you have a subscription method that would allow me to receive new recipe notifications?
    That would be the cat’s meow! Several other sites that I’ve visited have a pop-up that – if you click on it – does this very thing. A surefire way of getting people back to your site! Without having to try & remember site name & put it in the search bar.
    Thanks for listening!
    Now – it’s off to buy heavy cream so I can make one of these luscious recipes!

    • #
      Emily — August 4, 2021 at 8:54 am

      Hi Terry! Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. I also received the error when attempting to sign up and have forwarded the issue to our tech team! Click here to sign up for the Cookie Customization Chart. Doing so will also add you to our email list 🙂 Please don’t hesitate to email me at support@handletheheat.com if you experience any further issues, I’m happy to help!

  5. #
    Ruth — July 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    The food processor method is AMAZING!! I’m so pleased with how well it turned out. I used the base recipe from your How to Make Ice Cream post and it was so so delicious and the texture was incredible. Everyone needs to try this recipe/method!!!

    How long do you think the flat slab of custard base would keep in the freezer before needing to “churn” it in the food processor? I was thinking how great it would be to keep a bag at the ready for unexpected company or when a craving strikes 🙂 Thanks Tessa!!

    • #
      Tessa — July 19, 2021 at 11:19 am

      YAY!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’d suggest keeping it in the freezer for a month or less. If you’re using any add-ins that contain water, such as fruit, it’ll ice up even quicker, so just keep that in mind 🙂

  6. #
    Cherish — July 9, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Hello,
    I’m going to try the blender technique for making this ice cream. I don’t see a recipe for that particular way. Where can I find what I need? Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — July 9, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Sorry about that! I accidentally only included it in the pink tip box above the recipe and just as the Food Processor Method in the directions! It has been added it to the directions 🙂 Enjoy your ice cream!

  7. #
    Tessa — July 6, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Aw, YAY!! I’m so happy to hear this!

  8. #
    Persis C. — July 6, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Super easy recipe. Homemade is absolutely delish and so awesome!

    • #
      Tessa — July 6, 2021 at 3:11 pm

      So great to hear this!

  9. #
    Rue — June 29, 2021 at 10:19 am

    My kids love the mint chip. I use a little green gel food coloring and Baskin and Robbins move over!! Thanks for the recipe. Today I’m doing Oreo cookie:)

    • #
      Tessa — June 30, 2021 at 8:58 am

      Yum!! I’m so glad your family is enjoying this recipe and all the flavor options!

  10. #
    Pamela Zap — June 19, 2021 at 10:58 am

    This is great ice cream. I made the peanut butter ice cream with mini M&M and mini chocolate chips. It was so easy and fun to make this ice cream. This ice cream was a hit with the family 🙂 Thank you for sharing your idea with us. I used the two ingredients recipe. The video was very helpful. 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — June 21, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Love your add-ins, the more chocolate the better! 🙂 I’m so happy to hear your ice cream was such a hit!

  11. #
    Sophia — May 10, 2021 at 11:31 am

    I made chocolate an dit wa sreally good. I was wondering if we could make strawberry ice cream bye jus swiping the blueberries with the strawberries?

    • #
      Tessa — May 10, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      I haven’t tried that, but you’re welcome to give it a try! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  12. #
    AJ — April 26, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Hi Tessa, is it whipping cream the same as heavy cream? I can’t seem to find “heavy cream” in my neck of the woods. Thanks so much

    • #
      Tessa — April 27, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      No, they are completely different. Heavy cream is the richest type of liquid cream with a fat content of at least 36% whereas whipping cream usually has 30%-36% fat. The more fat in your cream, the more stable it will be, so I don’t recommend any substitutions when it comes to using heavy cream in ice cream 🙂 . Heavy cream is normally located near the milk in grocery stores, whereas whipped cream is usually found in the freezer aisle. Hope this helps!

  13. #
    Monica — March 27, 2021 at 2:08 am

    I live this post it is supper . Please do have like tutorial classes for one to learn all about ice cream making . Please how do you get the heavy cream ?

    • #
      Tessa — March 29, 2021 at 11:39 am

      Hi Monica! I’m so glad you loved this article. Heavy cream can be purchased in the dairy section at your local grocery store 🙂 I don’t have a tutorial for ice cream making specifically, but I do have a class called The Magic of Baking where I teach all about the fundamentals of baking. You can find that at handletheheat.com at the top of the page in the red banner (click Join my class!) You might also be interested in reading my first cookbook called Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich. I hope this helps!

  14. #
    Amelia — February 25, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Easy to make and rich taste!!!

    • #
      Tessa — February 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

      Thanks so much!

  15. #
    Maria — February 9, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Good!

  16. #
    Chris — February 5, 2021 at 4:07 am

    I made Mint Chocolate Chip last night and it was delicious. Everyone loved it! But…. for me I found it was too smooth in constancy than I prefer… any suggestions on how to get its texture closer to say, Brewers consistency? Thanks.

  17. #
    Sandy — January 31, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Do you have a recipe for chocolate cheesecake ice cream.

  18. #
    K, E & A — January 25, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Amazing recipe! We made the bag shake method and it was perfect. Will definitely make this again.

    • #
      Tessa — January 26, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      So glad you enjoyed!

  19. #
    Pema — January 7, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Great taste i tried this during the lockdown

    • #
      Tessa — January 8, 2021 at 10:55 am

      Glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  20. #
    pm kisan — November 17, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    great nice wok

  21. #
    brooke — October 31, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    What if u hate ice cream

  22. #
    Mahia Sharma — October 18, 2020 at 5:31 am

    I am new to baking. trying new thing, sometimes it work and sometimes it don’t. Yet, it is a nice experience to try these.

  23. #
    Anna Davis — October 12, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for explaining how you should stir the mixture in the freezer every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours. I have been thinking about selling homemade ice cream made with fresh organic milk from my aunt’s cows at the local farmer’s market. Do you have any tips about using flavorings and mix-ins without ruining the texture?

  24. #
    Hema — October 1, 2020 at 3:16 am

    Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will definitely Share your Rrecipe with my friends.

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed