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No Machine Kulfi Ice Cream - so easy to make this delicious Homemade Summer treat.

Kulfi Indian Ice Cream (No Machine)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Some of my favorite Ice Cream flavors are ones that surprise my mouth and include exotic ingredients! If you are like me and you love to try new things you’ll love my recipe for Kulfi Indian Ice Cream! Kulfi is a traditional indian ice cream that can be flavored with lots of different unusual spices, nuts and fruits. I have had Kulfi flavored with rose, mango, saffron and orange, which is so refreshing and elegant! All Kulfi is usually characterized by being extra thick and rich, far more dense in flavor than American or English ice creams. With this in mind I really wanted to create a unique Indian inspired flavor that would capture the unusual flavor and texture of a traditional Kulfi!

First off, have you tried my Two Ingredient, Homemade Ice Cream without a Machine recipe? You simply whip up cream and condensed milk to create this amazing ice cream base without the need for an ice cream machine. You know that saying, “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is…?” Well, in this case, it is that simple and it tastes that good. I have made almost 100 flavors from this two ingredient base including Lemon Meringue Pie, Mint Chocolate Chip and even my favorite flavors of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. You can probably tell by now that is a very versatile Ice Cream.

After trying a few different flavor combinations I decided on a pistachio and cardamom Kulfi! Pistachios are buttery in texture with a nutty earthy flavor. Cardamom is floral and spicy, one of my personal favorite spices to add to both sweet and savory dishes. I could have done just a pistachio Kulif recipe or just a cardamon Kulfi recipe… But the two flavors together are heaven. This flavor is perfectly balanced, extremely rich while being totally unique in flavor. Next time you want to take a mini trip to India or really  impress your friends I suggest you give this recipe a go!

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4.39 from 31 votes
No Machine Kulfi Ice Cream - so easy to make this delicious Homemade Summer treat.
Indian Ice Cream (Kulfi) (No Machine)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 pints
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 14 oz (1 Can/ 400ml) sweetened condensed milk (fat-free or regular), cold
  • 2 cups (16oz/450 ml ) whipping cream, cold
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10oz/300g) shelled pistachios, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch saffron
  1. Put your saffron threads in a small bowls with 1 tablespoon on warm water to infuse. Once infused set aside to cool fully.
  2. Place sweetened condensed milk in the fridge to keep cold.
  3. Beat cold heavy cream on medium in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer) until stiff peaks form.
  4. Turn down the speed a little and pour the condensed milk into the whipped cream. (Stir in vanilla extract now if desired).
  5. Then, turn up the machine speed again and whip until your mixture is thick and to stiff peaks.
  6. Now you have your ice cream base add in your ground pistachios, cardamon & saffron infused liquid. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  7. Transfer your ice cream to a large resealable container and freeze at least 6 hours or overnight before scooping and serving.


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  1. Margaret Seymour on May 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Gemma, I don’t have saffron but turmeric. Can I use this in stead?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 10, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      Hi Margaret,

      Great question! So numeric is that spice that it’s purpose is for color in recipes and not flavor. It wouldn’t be a good sub for saffron. it is not the same flavor.

      Keel free to leave it out if you don’t have it. If you are in the U.S I buy it it in trader joes and it’s not expensive.


      • Margaret Seymour on May 11, 2019 at 3:28 am

        Thanks Gemma – I live in Cambridge UK. Saffron is pretty expensive here but I will treat us and give it a whirl.

  2. Jenny Evans on April 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    I have black cardamom seeds and pods. Which would be better to grind into a powder. I have never used cardamom before.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

      hum, yes you could grind it and then use that. Remove the seeds from the green pod and just grind the seeds.

      Hope this makes sense,

  3. Leone on April 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve made the basic ice cream – lovely and creamy -Thankyou for such an easy recipe. Any idea how to make a licorice flavoured ice cream ?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 12, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that! For this I might suggest flavor or extract. Enjoy!

      • Fiona on July 12, 2019 at 4:34 am

        What about using star anise?

        • Gemma Stafford on July 12, 2019 at 9:00 am

          Hi Fiona. Hm. I have not tried adding star anise. As far as I know, kulfi is flavored with cardamom and, when you’re feeling fancy, saffron. If you’d like to experiment, you can give it a go. Or post the question to our Indian Bold Bakers. Gemma ????

  4. Tracey on October 30, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Great recipe ???? for a quick version could I just mix in the saffron, nuts and cardamom into a good quality vanilla ice cream? Would that still work?

    • Gemma Stafford on November 1, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      oh yeah absolutely that would work. it would taste delicious 🙂


  5. Trice on August 17, 2018 at 10:50 pm


    I just made this recipe and once I added the condensed milk, it would not whip to stiff peaks and was runny. Could it be possible that I added too much condensed milk? Will the result still be okay even though it’s a bit runny?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 20, 2018 at 4:57 am

      Hi there,
      The cream which I use for most of my recipes is fresh dairy cream. This needs to be at least 35% fat content to whip well. This is from cows milk. It is a liquid product found in the chill cabinet in your store. It will spoil in a few days, even when refrigerated. It has no additives, it is just natural cream, skimmed from milk.
      In some places, where there is no dairy industry, there are manufactured products, usually made with milk powders and fats. These are good for some applications, but they are not fresh cream, and I think this is what you used. This product will collapse when added to the condensed milk.
      Freeze it now, as it freezes whisk it, and return to the freezer a few times to break up ant ice crystals, and all may be well.
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Mark on July 27, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Hi Gemma,

    So glad I found your site. I always have trouble making ice cream with my big ice cream maker, the type that uses ice and salt. The ice cream always seems to come out too icy and not creamy.

    I made this Kulfi flavor with your base. I added some rose water to it and doubled the cardamom because I like that flavor, and cold tends to kill flavors. It was scrumptious. Everyone I served it to, was raving about it. The entire batch disappeared. I’ve been told that I will be required to make it again and maybe some of your other flavors as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Hi Mark,
      I am delighted that you like this ice cream, and the idea of adding extra extra cardamon is genius! Thank you for sharing this idea with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Ali on July 24, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Thanx for the recipe, I was wondering if I can use cardamom extract instead of cardamom powder and how much i need of cardamom extract.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Ali,

      Maybe add just a pinch, or 1/4 of a teaspoon. Then taste and see if you want to add more.


  8. Ali on July 24, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Thanx for the recipe, I was wondering if I can use cardamom extract instead of cardamom powder, in this case how much extract i need.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 24, 2018 at 3:10 am

      Hi Ali,
      I never though of cardamon extract! how lovely, I am going to make this!
      I have never used it, so I would box clever, add 1 teaspoon at a time, and taste as you go. Get it right for you, you have given me an idea!
      Thank you for being here with us,
      Gemma 😉

  9. Janice on June 17, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Hi just to say thank you for making an 8year old boy very happy!
    He loves kulfi ice cream but its hard to find in Indian supermarkets or even restauants here in Scotland.
    So….I tried your recipe last night and it worked!!
    So thank you for making me best Granny ever !!! xxx ( now to try the chocolate !)

    • Gemma Stafford on June 18, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Hi Janice,
      I bet you were already the ‘Best Granny’!
      Is there anything nicer than the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren, so rewarding.
      Thank you too for this very kind review of this recipe, I love it too,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Corina on June 10, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Hello Gemma, thank you so much for the amazing kulfi recipe. I have not made it yet, looking forward to. For the pistachios do you toast them yourself or do you buy already toasted? Also salted or not salted? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 1:51 am

      Hi Corina,
      Either way will be good, generally I get them already slightly salted and ready to go. The salt may not be to everyone’s taste, and if you can get them fresh and toast them yourself they will be amazing!
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Prabhleen Kaur on June 7, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    ohh yeah kulfi is actually d best and d only ice cream famous from past many years in d culture of india…..and this reciepe turned out heaven ???? ….thank u

    • Gemma Stafford on June 7, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      I am so glad to hear that! This is one of my favorite flavors too 🙂

  12. PadmajaPaul on March 3, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Relished the kulfi to the core. Wonderful Holi dessert for the family.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 4, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Delighted to hear that. glad you liked this recipe.


  13. Jelena on February 22, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Hi Gemma, I am new here and not much of a baker, but hey, if you try hard enough it should work out. I tried green tea ice cream two times. First one was a disaster as the wiping cream didn`t contain enough fat and my condensed milk was not sweetened ehhmmm… Second time I mixed this low fat wiping cream with double cream and gotten the sweetened condensed milk, it was much better. Now I want to try Kulfi Ice Cream. When it comes to shelled pistachios, they are usually salted. Is this a problem? Also would it be OK to use pure double cream and not mix it with low fat wiping cream? This double cream that I can buy in Germany has 40-45% fat. I am not sure if this one is “wipable.” 🙂 Many thanks for your help! By the way, you are the first person in the “web world” that I am writing a question/comment. That is how good I think you are!

    • Gemma Stafford on February 22, 2018 at 1:37 am

      Hi Jelena,
      It is good to have you with us in Germany.
      I am delighted that you are baking with us.
      1. There is no such thing as low fat whipping cream. At 30% dairy cream will whip, at 49% it will whip in seconds. The higher the fat content the better the cream, and the better it will work in my ice cream recipes. Lower fat creams will have a higher ‘water’ content, and thus will freeze harder, like ice! You are lucky to have this cream, here in the US it is usually 35% fat, my mum in Ireland can get that very heavy one too.
      2. There is no such thing as unsweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk is a step on the way to caramel, if you take it further it will be Dulce De Leche, it is the sugar which thickens it.
      3. Use the salted pistachio. These have been roasted, easy to shell, and taste like they should!
      So, back to your question, use the heavy cream, you can use a lighter one if you wish, you should find two grades, fresh cream at 35%, and double at 49% ish.
      The recipe here for condensed milk will teach you about the process: (
      Thank you for this question, it will help other Bold Bakers,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Jelena on February 22, 2018 at 5:28 am

        Lovely! Thanks Gemma! I will let you know how it went 🙂

      • Jelena on February 26, 2018 at 9:40 am

        Hi Gemma, my green tea turned out great, although it is a bit too rich mostly in sweetness. Kulfi didn’t turn out good and I did use the same base for both. First day it was good though, but after sitting for two days in the freezer it became very hard. Not sure what went wrong ☹️

        • Gemma Stafford on February 27, 2018 at 4:36 am

          Hi Jelena,
          I am happy you tried these recipes. I am sorry you had some issues.
          I think this was an issue with the cream! Can you tell me about this?
          Gemma 🙂

          • Jelena on February 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm

            Hi Gemma, not sure if it is the cream although from everything I’v learned so far from you it sounds like it is. Shame you can’t upload a picture here in the comments section. It is Crème Double from Dr. Oetker with 42% fat. It is not liquidish it’s the one you need to grab with the spoon. Condensed milk is from Nestle, Milch Mädchen. Thanks for being so helpful!

            • Gemma Stafford on March 1, 2018 at 7:48 am

              Hi Jelena,
              I do not get this product here in the US, but I think it is Creme Fraiche!
              This is a different thing, a bit like a sour cream really.
              I have tried to research this, but really I have failed. I think you are in Germany, and there should be a strong dairy industry there, but I do not know!
              What you need is Fresh Dairy Cream, nothing added, nothing taken away. To whip up it needs to be 35% or so fat content, this is a double cream.
              This will always be in the chill cabinet in your store, and has a very short shelf life.
              I hope this is of help. Another German bold baker may leap in to help us,
              Gemma 🙂

          • Jelena on March 1, 2018 at 12:18 pm

            Hi Gemma, I guess I’ve spammed too much as there is no option to reply to your last comment. Hopefully you’ll see this one. It is not creme fraiche. I used this one to make my salted caramel and it works perfectly. Problem here in Germany is that you can’t get wiping cream wit higher percentage than 30 which is not enough. Hmmm….I guess this one is tough ????

            • Gemma Stafford on March 2, 2018 at 6:02 am

              Hi Jelena,
              I though I replied to you! I remember doing the research into the Dr Okter product, which said it was Creme Fraiche!
              Perhaps there is a fresh cream version too.
              30% cream is light, but I have been told that it works for ice cream, I do not get this one to try it.
              I do not regard your posts as spam! not at all, we try to figure things out together, and it helps others too.
              I hope you find a solution, one of our other Bold Bakers may pop in with a suggestion,
              Gemma 🙂

          • Jelena on March 2, 2018 at 11:36 pm

            Hi Gemma, I was joking with spam comment. You are very dedicated and passionate about this, it is wonderful. Looks like after certain number of comments word press doesn’t give you the option to reply on the last one, instead you need to find the option above in your previous comments to hit the reply. I’m in IT, sometimes I can get a bit too precise about these things ???? Back to the cream, 30% tried and didn’t work. Actually what I found last night is, if I let it stand a bit longer on the kitchen counter it becomes softer and you can nicely scoop it. I guess the last attempt did work but just needed a bit more time than a “normal” ice cream to sit outside of the freezer. Problem solved! Today I’m trying your chocolate fudge cake! ???? Have a great day Gemma!

            • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2018 at 6:46 am

              Hi jelena,
              Thank you for taking the trouble to follow this up.
              It is the higher ‘water’ content in the cream which causes this issue, the hard freezing I mean.
              I am impressed that the 30% cream is whipping though, I do not get that one here, and other people will find that useful.
              good to have such a dedicated follower here with us too,
              Gemma 🙂

  14. Murtaza yusufali mamujee on September 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    In Kenya we don’t have whip cream that ships well any suggestions

    • Gemma Stafford on September 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Hum that’s a tough one because to make this ice cream you need to use a cream that whips. Sorry if that’s not much help. 🙁

  15. Peenal on July 29, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Hey Gemma,
    My family and all my neighbours have asked me to give you a lot of love for such a beautiful ice cream recipe. It was a super cool easy and tasty recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2017 at 3:50 am

      We are delighted to get lots of love from you, it is always welcome Peenal.
      Yes, you can make nutella with other nuts, or a selection of them.
      Toast them on a hot pan for a few minutes, stay with them and keep them moving, do not burn them. Pour them on to a cool board, allow to go cold, then grind them, in a processor if you have one, or in a pestle and mortar, then away you go! You can experiment with the nuts, and find your favorite!
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Peenal on July 30, 2017 at 6:30 pm

        Hey Gemma,
        Thanks for all the beautiful recipes and lots of love. I know that you are on a tour so try to visit India and in India try to visit Ootacamund it is a hill station and is known as Queen of hills. This is the place where I live,would love to see you and will wait for your reply .❤️

        • Gemma Stafford on July 31, 2017 at 1:58 am

          Hi Peenal.
          I am back in the US now, and back to work for the moment. I hope I will do a wider tour next year, but we have a lot of planning to do around that, and we will keep you guys informed. It is great to have such lovely followers from all over the world. I appreciate your input here, and how you help each other too. I cannot know everything about every cuisine, but I am learning, with the help of your ideas and suggestions. Thank you for being with us here on BBB,
          Gemma 🙂

  16. Linda on July 1, 2017 at 11:31 am

    How can I substitute the cardamom for mastic

    • Gemma Stafford on July 1, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Linda,
      this just does not sound right to me! Cardamom is a spice, and mastic is really more like a jelling agent, as far as I know, and I cannot see how one would be used in the place of the other. I may be misunderstanding you!
      Gemma 🙂

  17. Linda on June 29, 2017 at 12:19 am

    How can I substitute mastic instead of cardamom in the Kulfi ice cream

    • Gemma Stafford on July 2, 2017 at 4:59 am

      Hi Linda,
      I think I responded to this, but just in case!
      I do not think one is a substitute for the other, they are different things, with a different purpose. Mastic is a little like a natural jelling agent, and cardamom is a spice.
      Maybe i am not understanding you,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Deborah Searson on May 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Gemma, do you have any more Kulfi recipes for those of us allergic to nuts? It would be great to see more nut-free alternatives given within some of your recipes, as this is the fastest growing allergy on the planet. Love your recipes

    • Gemma Stafford on May 25, 2017 at 3:20 am

      Hi Deborah,
      Yes, nut allergies are a scourge! A great food if you can eat them, but a disaster if you cannot. I will try to focus on this too, I have some ideas.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Kathleen on May 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I am so happy aka ecstatic to have discovered your website. I have always wanted to make fresh home made ice cream and donuts but I don’t have the space to store gadgets I only use a few times a year or the money. Thank you so much for the awesome recipes and for the fantastic tricks on how to make condensed milk, lemon curd and all the extracts!! So exciting.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Kathleen,

      I am so delighted you like my recipes. Make sure you share photos with me when you have your final results.


  20. Khadija Khalid on May 9, 2017 at 6:06 am

    I lived in pakistan and i tried the ones they sell their. but it is more secuer to make it at home

    • Gemma Stafford on May 10, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Good, I am happy to hear that you will try this recipe. I really loved it,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Lola on May 7, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Can I half this recipe?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Lola,
      Yes! that will not be a problem for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  22. Manmeet on May 7, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Glad to see recipe on kulfi?

  23. Declan on May 6, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    I would love to try this but I can’t get saffron. Can I omit it? Or can I have it with something else?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2017 at 2:13 am

      Hi Declan,
      Saffron is an exotic thing, very North African/Indian, the most expensive food substance by weight! Not available everywhere to be sure.
      Yes, you can try this without the saffron, but I do not know that there is a substitute for this,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Swati on May 5, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Hi Gemma,
    So happy to see that you included an Indian Kulfi… TRUST ME it tastes heavenly…

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2017 at 1:33 am

      Hi Swati,
      Yes, it really does. Kevin eat almost all of it, I found it hard to get a taste. I have had so many lovely comments too from so many Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern followers, I am happy I got to this one!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Swati on May 6, 2017 at 1:44 am


  25. Smitha on May 5, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Thanks a ton Gemma ? for this awesome recipe.. Cant wait to try it ?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 5, 2017 at 3:07 am

      Thank oyu for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

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