Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, Roundups

The Easiest Homemade Ice Cream Recipe with 50+ Flavors

4.55 from 1441 votes
This is the easiest Homemade Ice Cream recipe — you only need 2 ingredients and no ice cream machine. Plus, get 50+ ice cream flavor ideas!
6 quarts of different 2 ingredient ice cream flavors made without an ice cream machine

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE You don’t need an expensive ice cream machine to enjoy homemade ice cream. I’ll show you the easiest way to make ice cream at home. My two-ingredient, no-machine ice cream recipe is versatile and easy to whip up.

And finding your next go-to ice cream recipe will not be a challenge because I have 50+ ice cream flavors and dozens of frozen desserts at my Gemma’s Freezer Section Ice Cream Destination

IMPORTANT NOTE This recipe was updated and improved on 5/3/2023, to include additional photography, answers to the most frequently asked questions and Pro Chef Tips.

Table of Contents

What is Homemade Ice Cream?

My easy homemade ice cream recipe requires just two simple ingredients—heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk—and you do not need an ice cream maker!

Top-down view of 6 difference flavors of the easiest Homemade Ice Cream recipe.

Heavy Whipping Cream is readily available in the United States, and it’s referred to as Whipping/Double Cream in Britain, Slagroom in the Netherlands, and Whipped Cream or Heavy Cream in the Philippines. There is also a heat-treated cream from Nestle in large parts of Asia. In parts of South East Asia and the Philippines, there is a Nestle product called whipping cream. It is made from milk powder and milk fats. It is suitable for some applications, such as no-bake cheesecakes, but not for this ice cream.

Condensed milk can be difficult to find in many places, but it is very easy to make at home using my sweetened condensed milk recipe!

Tools You Need

(No special ice cream maker needed!)

Ingredients You Need for Homemade Ice Cream

  • Heavy whipping cream: Heavy whipping cream is a fresh liquid dairy product skimmed from full-fat cow’s milk. It has a fat content of around 35%, which makes it whip up well.

1) Heavy whipping cream not only incorporates air but also retains the incorporated air to aerate ice cream to make it light and tender.

2) The fat from heavy whipping cream also adds flavor and creaminess. In the meanwhile, the fat lowers the freezing point to make ice cream still scoopable once frozen.

Softly whipped heavy whipping cream in a glass bowl with hand-handled electric mixer on the side. Heavy Whipping Cream is the base of the Easiest Homemade Ice Cream Recipe and aerates the ice cream to make it light.

  • Condensed milk: Condensed milk is traditionally cow’s milk that has much of the water content boiled away and then sugar added.

1) Cold condensed milk is a key ingredient, and there is no substitute. Condensed milk provides sugar to dissolve in water from cream to form inverted sugar, which sweetens ice cream to enhance flavors, and lowers the freezing point to provide a smooth and creamy texture.

2) Condensed milk’s sugar also coats air bubbles to stabilize the light and aerated structure.

Sweetened Condensed Milk from the easiest Homemade Ice Cream Recipe is in a glass jar with a condensed milk coated spoon hovering over.

How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

1. DO NOT add condensed milk in the beginning.

1)BEFORE adding condensed milk: whip cold cream only to SOFT peaks (which barely hold their shape and flop over immediately when you lift the beaters).

2) Whipping heavy cream to soft peaks will build a structure to hold upcoming condensed milk and prevent the cream from getting over-whipped later.

2. “INTRODUCE” condensed milk.

1)Condensed milk tends to weigh down the cream due to its thick consistency and is hard to mix.  You can mix condensed milk with a small amount of surrounding soft whipped cream first then continue to mix with the rest (majority) of the whipped cream.

2)This will introduce condensed milk to soft whipped cream more easily to get stiff peaks eventually, which stand straight up when you lift the beaters.

Can I use Evaporated Milk Instead of Condensed Milk? What is the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk?

No. Due to its lack of sugar, you can not use evaporated milk in place of condensed milk in this Easiest Homemade Ice Cream Recipe.

  • Both are made by reducing the percentage of the water content from the milk.
  • The most significant difference between condensed and evaporated milk is the sugar content. Evaporated milk has NO sugar. While condensed milk has sugar which can caramelize to thicken the milk, so it is called Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Can I Replace Heavy Cream With Milk?

No. Milk has up to about 3.5% milk fat (full-fat milk or whole milk), which is much less than the 35% in heavy cream. Milk does not contain enough milk fat to whip up well to incorporate or retain air.

Buffalo milk produces a really good high-fat cream and will be perfect for this.

There are manufactured products, made with milk powders and fats, in places where there is no dairy industry. Although good for some recipes, they are not the fresh cream required in my homemade ice cream recipe.

How to Store Ice Cream at Home?

Vanilla extract keeps your ice cream from freezing too hard. If you omit vanilla extract, you can leave your ice cream at room temperature for about 15 minutes to make it more scoopable. Store your ice cream in an airtight container or a well-covered loaf pan for up to six weeks. Try these frozen dessert containers to store your ice cream flavors.

FAQs

1. How can I make homemade ice cream that’s less sweet?

Add one-third more heavy whipping cream or a ripe avocado to your ice cream base to reduce its sweetness without making it icy or freeze-rock hard.

2. How can I keep my ice cream from becoming icy-hard?

1) INCORPORATE ENOUGH AIR: Note to whip up heavy cream till SOFT peaks to build an aerated structure then add in condensed milk. If you whip cream and condensed milk at the same time from the beginning, you won’t distribute the condensed milk evenly. More water will float onto to form crystals.

2) Do not cut back condensed milk (sugar) by more than one-quarter. As condensed milk is beaten in, the sugar from it will coat the air bubbles to prevent them from popping or drying out. Ice cream will be light and creamy instead of dense and hard.

3) Adding more vanilla extract will help. Vanilla extract is alcohol-based and has a lower freezing point than water, so the ice cream will not freeze icy hard.

3. How can I make 2-Ingredient Ice Cream in an ice cream maker?

Gradually introduce about 1/4 cup of cold heavy whipping cream into cold condensed milk until the mixture is smooth. Add this mixture with the rest of the cold heavy whipping cream into your ice cream maker. Churn ice cream accordingly to its manual instructions.

Fold in desired add-ins before storing it in the freezer.

4. How to make dairy-free homemade ice cream

Don’t eat dairy? Not a problem! You can make my homemade ice cream completely dairy-free with full-fat coconut milk and vegan condensed milk. Learn more about my dairy-free coconut ice cream recipe.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips on Making the Easiest Homemade Ice Cream at Home:

  1. Chilling your bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer will help to keep the ingredients cool during high-speed whipping.
  2. Cold condensed milk is a key ingredient, and there is no substitute. You can use fat-free or low-sugar if you wish.
  3. After you add the condensed milk, whip the mix on high speed to STIFF PEAKS. They will hold their shape and will be firmer than before. Take care not to over-whip at this stage, or your cream will curdle.
  4. Add in a little vanilla extract at the end. The alcohol in the extract will lower the freezing point, making your ice cream a little softer and easier to scoop. (Think about what happens to a bottle of vodka in the freezer—it gets very cold, but it doesn’t freeze!)
  5. How to read labels to calculate fat content? What’s the “7%” on the label?

1) DAILY VALUE -DVs are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.

The %DV is how much a nutrient in a single serving of an individually packaged food or dietary supplement contributes to your daily diet.

2) For example, most brands label 1 Tbsp (15ml) as one serving. The fat is around 5g. 15ml heavy (whipping) cream weighs around 13.8-15g. So 5g/13.8-15g=around 30%-36% fat content. The “7%” means in each serving of 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, the fat should not exceed 7% of all the nutrients/food that you consume in one day.

Make Vanilla Ice Cream & 50+ Flavors

With just this base, you’ll be able to make an endless supply of homemade ice cream flavors! On its own, it’s a vanilla ice cream recipe and it’s also a blank canvas to make more than fifty of my favorite flavors. You can find all the flavors of the easiest ice cream on my Gemma’s Freezer Section Ice Cream Destination. From classic vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate to pistachio kulfi, strawberry cheesecake, cookies & cream, tiramisu, and green tea, we have a wide variety of ice cream flavors that you’ll love.

Vanilla ice cream is in a glass ice cream serving bowl with a spoon taking out.

IMPORTANT NOTE This recipe was updated and improved on 5/3/2023, to include additional photography, answers to the most frequently asked questions and Pro Chef  Tips.

Watch The Recipe Video!

Homemade Ice Cream with only 2 Ingredients (No Machine)

4.55 from 1441 votes
This is the easiest Homemade Ice Cream recipe — you only need 2 ingredients and no ice cream machine. Plus, get 50+ ice cream flavor ideas!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 3 pints
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 6 hours
This is the easiest Homemade Ice Cream recipe — you only need 2 ingredients and no ice cream machine. Plus, get 50+ ice cream flavor ideas!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 3 pints

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place sweetened condensed milk in the fridge to keep cold for at least 4 hours.
  • Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cold cream on medium/high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Turn off the machine and pour the cold condensed milk into the whipped cream.
  • Turn the speed up to high and whisk until the mixture is thick and stiff peaks form. Turn off the machine and stir in vanilla extract (optional).

Making Homemade Ice Cream Flavors

  • Now you have your ice cream base you can add in your desired flavors and fixing. GO NUTS! Try my 50+ ice cream flavors at my Gemma's Freezer Section or experiment with your own flavors and enjoy creating something that is all you. Generally, use two cups of ice cream base and add mix-ins to create your flavors.
  • Once you finish creating your flavors, transfer your ice cream mixture to an airtight container and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight before eating. Keep stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Enjoy A Few Initial Flavor Ideas

  • Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: Mix 1 cup cheesecake into 2 cups ice cream base and add strawberry puree
  • Honeycomb Ice Cream: Mix ½ cup crushed honeycomb into 2 cups ice cream base. Don't add too much as it will make your ice cream soft but very yummy.
  • Cookies and Cream Ice Cream: Mix ⅔ cup crushed Oreo Cookies into 2 cups ice cream base
  • Mango Ice Cream: Swirl ¼ cup mango puree into 2 cups ice cream base
  • Rainbow Cake Ice Cream: Mix 1 cup frosted Rainbow cake into 2 cups ice cream base
  • Birthday Cake Ice Cream: Mix 1 cup frosted Funfetti cake (or cupcake) into 2 cups ice cream base

Recipe Notes

Get 50+ ice cream flavors at my Gemma's Freezer Section Ice Cream Destination.
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Sue
Sue
4 years ago

I made ice cream using this recipe for the first time yesterday. I made it in the morning and we had the most delicious ice cream for dessert that evening! This makes a large amount of ice cream base, so I made three different flavors from the base recipe – Peanut Butter cup (by rough chopping several peanut butter cups and blending into 1/3 of the base recipe), Chocolate Chip Cookie (by rough chopping some chocolate chip cookies I had made just the day before to another 1/3 of the base) and Mint Chocolate Chip – my favorite! – by… Read more »

Noelia garcia
Noelia garcia
4 years ago

Hi Gemma I turned 14 yesterday but I just wanted to say that Ie used your recipes for years I want to thank you for sharing them and helping me make delicious recipes for my family. Also can you try to make a recipe for ube icecream just out of random. Thank you in advance!!

Stephanie
Stephanie
4 years ago

I had to make it without vanilla, and with only 15 percent fat cream (all I could find in the store in Spain during Corina quarantine) but still it turned out PERFECT and delicious. Thank you!

Paula Mehigan
Paula Mehigan
4 years ago

Hi Gemma my name is Paula from Dublin. I love your site and yesterday made pistachio and raspberry with white chocolate. I nearly ate all of it before freezing 😂. However when frozen it was not scoopable……. any idea where I went wrong… thanks

Tuti
Tuti
4 years ago

Fun to make in particular now when we all stuck in the house due to Corona virus carfew.

Fauzy Wan
Fauzy Wan
4 years ago

Hello Gemma, I love your 2 ingredients ice cream recipe, I wonder if you have something similar for making frozen custard. I would like to venture and try making frozen custard either plain or flavored. Any suggestions??

Rachel
Rachel
4 years ago

Hi Gemma,

I hace tried to do your recipe several times, but with no success since I can’t find the right whipping cream in my country. Today I bought a french whipping cream with 35% fat. Will that work?

Louise
Louise
4 years ago

This recipe was amazing I made Oreo,chocolate chip, birthday cake and vanillaI used double cream and it was so creamy and I left it over night.

Brendan
Brendan
4 years ago

Hi Gemma,

Will this work with a cake mixer? I don’t have a stand mixer!

Thanks!

Rebecca Barnett
Rebecca Barnett
4 years ago

Okay, was so amazed at just how easy this was. I made it three different ways. I made it with coconut milk, whole non-homogenized cream from the cow. And I did goats milk with a vegan thickener. They all came out wonderful. A little soft on the goats milk but still tasty. The home made sweetened condensed milk was so quick and easy I made a ton and canned it, which went surprisingly well. Thank you for all the recipes!

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About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook