Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

Cornstarch Ice Cream (Sicilian Eggless Gelato)

4.76 from 74 votes
My Cornstarch Ice Cream recipe, also known as Sicilian Gelato or Eggless Gelato, is the perfect cold treat that's sweet & incredibly scoopable.

Hi Bold Bakers!

You know that yellow tub of cornstarch you have in the back of your cupboard? The one you bought seemingly years ago and hardly have to replace because it seemingly lasts forever? It’s a go-to whenever you find yourself having to thicken up a runny gravy, or a too liquidy soup, or when you want to create the crispiest fried chicken.

Did you know that this magic ingredient also makes an incredibly creamy, flavorful egg-free gelato? My Cornstarch Ice Cream recipe is even made without a machine, so you can start imagining yourself on a vacation to Sicily in no time. 

While this recipe does take a little bit more effort than my 2-Ingredient Ice Cream, the result is a delicious, super dense, and silky-smooth ice cream. You may never walk down your grocery store’s frozen aisle again!

What is Cornstarch Ice Cream?

Instead of using egg yolks, this recipe calls for the magic ingredient: cornstarch. Apparently, this is how they do it in Sicily!

So what does cornstarch do in ice cream? Basically, it serves as a stabilizer and keeps the liquid ingredients in the ice cream from moving around and forming just chunks of ice instead of a creamy, easy to scoop dessert. 

What You Need To Make Cornstarch Ice Cream (Eggless Gelato)

Scooping Eggless Gelato, also known as Sicilian Gelato — and cornstarch ice cream.

How To Make Cornstarch Ice Cream

A lot of people think that they can’t make ice cream because they don’t have an ice cream machine, but that isn’t true! Just follow these super-simple steps (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl, mixing until the lumps are gone. 
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and salt. You could also add a vanilla pod now, if you are using. 
  3. When that begins to steam, pour in the milk/cornstarch mixture and whisk for 4-5 minutes. You will notice it will now begin to thicken. 
  4. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Let it cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. 
  5. When you’re ready to make the gelato and the mixture is cold, remove the vanilla pod from the mixture and place the bowl in the freezer. 
  6. Every 4 or 5 hours, vigorously stir the mixture, making sure to scrape the frozen bits to the center until it is all incorporated and then return to the freezer. 
  7. Once the gelato remains incorporated, it is done! Cover and store the bowl in the freezer for up to one week.

Pouring chocolate on top of my cornstarch ice cream recipe, also known as Sicilian gelato.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips for Making Cornstarch Ice Cream

  • This recipe calls for vanilla, but you can mix up your flavor choices by using other extracts like peppermint, almond, or rose. Be sure to start small while adding, as some extracts are very strong. 
  • Using a shallow metal bowl or a cake pan helps the ice cream freeze faster.
  • Make it a stracciatella: stir 1/2 cup of grated chocolate into the cooled base before freezing.
  • Make pistachio gelato! Stir in 2/3 cup of finely chopped pistachios into the hot mixture before cooling. Let the flavors steep until you are ready to freeze, then strain out the nuts if you wish. Then pop it into the freezer.

How Do I Store Cornstarch Ice Cream?

Homemade cornstarch ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to one week. But if you serve it alongside some warm brownies, it probably won’t be around that long! 

A close up of my Eggless Gelato, to show texture and consistency.

Make More Ice Cream!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Cornstarch Ice Cream (Sicilian Eggless Gelato) Recipe

4.76 from 74 votes
My Cornstarch Ice Cream recipe, also known as Sicilian Gelato or Eggless Gelato, is the perfect cold treat that's incredibly scoopable.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 pints
Prep Time 20 mins
My Cornstarch Ice Cream recipe, also known as Sicilian Gelato or Eggless Gelato, is the perfect cold treat that's incredibly scoopable.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 pints

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (12floz/340ml) whole milk, divided
  • 1 ½ cups (12floz/340ml) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla pod split lengthwise (optional)

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine a ½ cup (4 oz/115 ml) of milk with the cornstarch and mix until all the lumps are gone.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla pod (if using).
  • Once steaming, pour in the milk/cornstarch mixture and whisk for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Pour into a freezer-safe bowl, stir in the vanilla extract and let cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (or overnight).
  • When the mixture is cold and you are ready to make the gelato, remove the vanilla pod and place the bowl in the freezer.
  • Every hour for about 4 or 5 hours, stir the mixture vigorously, scraping the frozen bits into the center until incorporated and return to the freezer.
  • Once the gelato is done, cover the bowl and store it in the freezer for up to one week.

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Veronica
11 months ago

Can you please do a video on how you make it. Thank you

Kelsey
Kelsey
11 months ago

This recipe looks pretty easy and would love to try a chocolate version!

Shazu
Shazu
11 months ago

In place of the cornstarch, try using custard powder (which is basically constarch with yellow food colour and vanilla) instead and your are in for a treat!

Preethy Vasu
Preethy Vasu
11 months ago

Hi Gemma,
I have tried many of your recipe(Pizza,Crazy dough Cinnamon Roll,Chocolate cake,VeganPasta,2 Ingredients ice cream) which is foolproof.
In this recipe,Can I replace heavy cream with full fat milk and melted butter in 2:1 ratio?

Last edited 11 months ago by Preethy Vasu
Claudia
Claudia
9 days ago

Would this recipe also work in an ice cream machine?

Linda Crowley
22 days ago

What about that hot fudge??

Kiki
Kiki
2 months ago

This looks amazing, how would I convert this into espresso/coffee flavor?

Lillian
Lillian
2 months ago

Hi Gemma,
Do I need to stir the gelato mixture every 30-60 minutes when I start putting it into the freezer? I saw this instruction from your egg custard based gelato video. So I’m just wondering if I should do the same for this eggless version. And please do a video for this recipe to =) .Thank you.

Beth
Beth
4 months ago

Can I replace the cream with more milk, or will that make the texture suffer?

G T
G T
4 months ago

This recipe looks awesome. A few questions:

Should I use a hand mixer for the mixing during the 1 hour freezer intervals?

Does the mixture have to cool down completely before putting into the fridge?

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!