Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

The Easiest Homemade Gelato (No Machine, 3 Flavors!)

4.85 from 13 votes
The Easiest Homemade Gelato Recipe can be turned into any flavor, so I'll show you how to make Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate, and Blueberry Cheesecake!
Easiest Homemade Gelato Recipe, in three flavors, side-by-side.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Have you ever had gelato? Somehow, this magical iced dessert can launch a person at unimaginable speeds to a quaint seaside town in Italy with just one lick! Or, at least, that’s how good Homemade Gelato should make you feel. 

Somehow this gelato recipe creates an even creamier treat than traditional ice cream, and it has two major bonus points for me. First, this is a no gadget gelato recipe. That means no ice cream machine is needed! All you need is an electric mixer! 

[ Try my Strawberry Gelato recipe here! ]

Secondly, and more importantly, it’s customizable. Maybe one weekend, you’re craving a salty but sweet gelato — you can add a salted caramel sauce to the base recipe! Next week, maybe you absolutely need a chocolate fix, using the same recipe, fold in some chocolate ganache, and chocolate chunks. Maybe another day you want something tangier to balance out the sweet gelato, what if you just add some cream cheese and blueberries?

Keep reading to learn how I make my Homemade Gelato, and how easy it is to make it into Salted Caramel Gelato, Blueberry Cheesecake Gelato, and Triple Chocolate Gelato.

P.S If you can looking for an eggless gelato recipe then check out my Cornstarch Ice-cream (Silician Eggless Gelato).

Ice Cream Vs. Gelato 

Gelato is more rich and creamy and ice cream, with a more intense flavor. Instead of a scoop of ice cream, gelato forms beautiful folds that are impossible to pass up. 

But they’re made with all the same ingredients, so what’s up with that?

[ Have you tried my 2-Ingredient Ice Cream yet? No ice cream machine needed! ]

The only difference between ice cream and gelato is that ice cream has a much higher fat percentage than gelato. Typically, you think more fat from milk and cream would mean a tastier dessert, but cold fat tastes pretty bland. Because the fat coats your tongue, you end up tasting less. With gelato’s lower fat percentage, you get all the delicious flavors!

Easiest Homemade Gelato recipe in Blueberry Cheesecake, topped with Graham cracker.

What You Need to make Homemade Gelato

  • Heavy Bottomed, Medium Saucepan
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Electric Mixer
  • Wooden Spoon/Spatula
  • Fine Sieve
  • Loaf Pan
  • Measuring cups and Spoons

How to Make Homemade Gelato

Before adding any of your flavoring of choice, you’ll need to make the plain gelato base. Here’s how you do it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer gently.
  2. While you are waiting for your milk to simmer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Add some of the hot milk to the egg yolks and whisk, this is called tempering. Then, pour the egg and milk mixture into the saucepan with the other milk.
  3. Cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes, frequently stirring with a wooden spoon. The custard will start to thicken and will coat the back of the spoon. Do not bring to a boil; it will begin to curdle. (If it has started to curdle, see in my tips below how to fix it!)
  4. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl to cool down to room temperature. Stir every 5 minutes or so and add in the salt and vanilla. 
  5. Once the mixture is cooled completely, cover and refrigerate until it is very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  6. Once the mixture is very cold, whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. 
  7. Now, gently fold the cold custard base into the whipped cream until it is smooth. You want to avoid beating as that will deflate the whipped cream. 
  8. Now it’s time to add in your flavoring, which I will detail below!
  9. After adding your ingredients, pour the gelato into a loaf pan (or any freezer-safe container) and place it in the freezer. After 30-60 minutes, whip it up to break the ice crystals. Do this roughly 2-3 times until it thickens up. 
  10. Once thickened, leave in the freezer for another 4 hours or until frozen before scooping and serving.

How to Make Salted Caramel Gelato

  1. Follow the above instructions, simply stir in the salted caramel sauce, tasting as you go for the perfect amount, before continuing to step 9.

How to Make Blueberry Cheesecake Gelato

  1. Whisk softened cream cheese into the gelato base.
  2. In a small bowl, stir crushed graham crackers and butter together, then add into the base.
  3. Stir in the blueberries, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to step 9 above.

How to Make Triple Chocolate Gelato

  1. Swiftly fold in the chocolate ganache into the gelato base, making sure it is not too hot, otherwise, it will set when it hits the cold base.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chunks and drizzle on the white chocolate. Continue to step 9 above.

Salted Caramel Gelato recipe, topped with Salted Caramel sauce.

Gemma’s Pro Tips for Making Homemade Gelato

  • Cook the custard low and slow otherwise, it can curdle.
  • OH NO, it DID curdle! Using a blender or an immersion blender, blend your custard for around 20 seconds, and it will be good as new.
  • Use full-fat milk for the best flavor. Also, please use good quality chocolate when making Triple Chocolate Gelato!
  • Use my salted caramel sauce!
  • Make chocolate ganache!
  • You can swap graham crackers with plain vanilla cookies or even digestive biscuits, and you can swap the blueberries with any kind of fruit for a different cheesecake gelato flavor! 
  • Make your plain gelato base up to 2 days in advance. Letting it age will give it more flavor!

How Do I Store Homemade Gelato?

Homemade gelato can be stored in your freezer for up to 6 weeks! Which means you can take an imaginary vacation to Florence anytime you want. 

Triple Chocolate Gelato recipe, on a cone.

Make More Ice Cream!

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

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

The Easiest Homemade Gelato Recipe (No Machine)

4.85 from 13 votes
The Easiest Homemade Gelato Recipe can be turned into any flavor, so I'll show you how to make Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate, and Blueberry Cheesecake!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 people
Prep Time 30 mins
The Easiest Homemade Gelato Recipe can be turned into any flavor, so I'll show you how to make Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate, and Blueberry Cheesecake!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Plain Gelato Base

  • 2 cups (16floz/450ml) whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks , room temperature
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8floz/225ml) heavy whipping cream (36%)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Blueberry Cheesecake Gelato

  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups Graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/28g) butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups (8oz/225g) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 small lemon, zested

Salted Caramel Gelato

Triple Chocolate Gelato

  • cup (5oz/142g) chocolate ganache, melted
  • ¾ cup (4 ½oz/128g) bittersweet chocolate, chunks
  • ½ cup (3oz/85g) white chocolate, melted

Instructions

How to make Plain Gelato Base:

  • In a heavy-bottom saucepan, add the milk. Place over medium-low heat until it comes to a gentle simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. Temper the eggs by slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously. Pour this custard back into the same saucepan and place over low heat.
  • Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon for roughly 6-8 minutes or until the custard has thickened slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Do not bring to a boil or it will curdle. (See tips above about saving curdled custard.)
  • Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and let cool down at room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Add in salt and vanilla to the custard and mix. To cool the custard quickly place the custard in an ice bath (see video above). Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • When the custard base is cold begin to whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold the custard base into the whipped cream until smooth and thickened. Don't beat or you will deflate the whipped cream.

Salted Caramel Gelato:

  • Stir in the salted caramel sauce , taste and add more if desired. It should be both salty and sweet. Pour into your loaf pan and follow freezing directions below.

Blueberry Cheesecake Gelato:

  • Whisk the softened cream cheese into the gelato base until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the crushed Graham crackers and butter and add to your gelato base.
  • Lastly, stir in the blueberries, vanilla, and lemon zest. Pour into your loaf pan and follow freezing directions below.

Triple Chocolate Gelato:

  • Swiftly fold in the chocolate ganache into the gelato base. Make sure the ganache is not hot or it will set when it hits the cold base.
  • Stir in the chocolate chunks.
  • Lastly, drizzle over the white chocolate and allow to sit on the base to set and firm up before stirring it in completely. Pour into your loaf pan and follow freezing directions below.

Freezing your Gelato:

  • Pour the gelato into a loaf pan or any freezer-safe container and place it in the freezer. Now, after 30-60 minutes go in a whip it up to break up the ice crystals. Do this roughly 2-3 times until it thickens up (see video above for step by step)
  • Allow freezing for another 4-5 hours or until frozen before scooping. If hard to scoop allow the gelato to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes until it softens slightly.
  • Cover well and store in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

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Yashila
1 month ago

Is there a substitute for heavy whipping cream? Here we only get fresh cream which is 25% fat so it doesn’t whip well (like it doesn’t get to stiff peaks…only soft peaks)..

Yumna
6 days ago

Can I use cocoa powder instead of ganache?

Liesl Miller
12 days ago

I have an ice cream maker at home, can I use this recipe for my ice cream maker or do I have to put the gelato base in the fridge/freezer?

Gaby Smith
Gaby Smith
1 month ago

So far I have made the chocolate (Amazing!) And the cheesecake gelato (it’s in the freezer but I snuck a taste) Let me just say, this gelato recipe is worth it all! I added raspberry to the blueberry cheesecake and it is to die for! Some of the best gelato ive had, and it came right from my kitchen! Thank you for sharing Gemma!

Maya
Maya
1 month ago

I made the blueberry cheesecake gelato, but I swapped out blueberries for raspberries. It was AMAZING!!!

Rachel Ong
Rachel Ong
1 month ago

Hi, can I make a cookies and cream gelato by just adding crushed oreo cookies to the base gelato?

Janet
1 month ago

Okay I’ve never posted two comments on a food blog before but I have to give an update. I made the blueberry cheesecake one now for a bbq we did yesterday and it is to die for!! Don’t be afraid, just make it, you’ll be so proud of yourself and everyone will love it!! It takes a little time, but just be patient because the end result is so worth it. I’m so excited. I think I’m addicted to making gelato now. Can’t say enough about it…thank you again Gemma !!

1 month ago

Dear Gemma and team,

Thank you for all the wonderful recipes, video and website. Also for al the time, effort and passion you invest in us fans.

My question is is there a way to convert the no machine recipes to use them in my self freezing ice cream machine? I love al the flavors u have created on your website but I don’t no how to convert them for my ice cream machine.

I own also your craftsy/bluprint course and loving it.

Kind regards from The Netherlands,

Love Saskia

Janet
1 month ago

I made the original strawberry gelato and the salted caramel gelato for a birthday gathering and everyone was so impressed. I was too because I didn’t think I could do it but it was awesome! So just follow the directions and you’re a winner! Thank you so much for sharing. George and Kevin are both adorable!

Heba Daneen Shabeek
Heba Daneen Shabeek
1 month ago

Hi Gemma,
I love all of ur recipes and I think this was a pretty useful one cause during the summer time we all crave something cold and sweet (well I obviously want something sweet cause I’ma sweet tooth 😁😅😜) but due to current situations I don’t think it’s that safe to go out and buy ice cream whenever we feel like having some so……yah, but it would be nice if you could show us how to make a rocky road flavour or a cotton candy flavour (my sister loves cotton candy ice cream).

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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!

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