Homemade vanilla ice cream is the ultimate in decadence. And guess what? You don’t need any special equipment to prepare this rich, creamy no-churn version. It’s also egg-free which means there’s no cooking involved. You basically whisk everything together, stick it in the freezer and give it an occasional stir. In no time, you’ll be enjoying an amazing homemade vanilla ice cream recipe.
I share a lot of homemade ice cream recipes, and one of the most frequent questions I get is “how can I make this without a machine?” If you’re not planning to make ice cream from scratch on a regular basis, I understand why it might seem silly to buy another gadget that could possibly wind up collecting dust in the corner. We all have one of those.
I have good news! You can prepare any of my ice cream recipes without a machine following the freeze and stir method below. However, this particular ice cream recipe is very different than what I typically share; it’s not custard-based. There are no eggs involved.
This is the easiest ice cream recipe you’ll ever make, and it’s great for beginners. At the end of the day, I personally prefer custard-based ice creams, but this is a worthy substitute and I certainly enjoyed my fair share of it!
How to make homemade vanilla ice cream without a machine
You’ll find a lot of no-churn homemade vanilla ice cream recipes online, and in my opinion most of them are cloyingly sweet and over-the-top rich. I say this as someone with a major sweet tooth. The base is typically sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream, which is what I’ve used. However, I cut the sweetness and heaviness with evaporated milk.
To prepare this recipe, all you do is whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and a bit of salt, until frothy. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until you get stiff peaks.
Gently fold the whipped cream and liquid ingredients together, taking care not to deflate the cream since this is what gives the ice cream its bulk in place of the custard.
Pour the mixture into a loaf pan (or a container with a minimum capacity of 8 cups), cover, and place in the freezer. Stir every 45 minutes, making sure to scrape along the sides, until the mixture is frozen but scoopable. This will take around 5-6 hours, making this a good weekend activity.
No-Churn Ice Cream Tips
- After the ice cream has been sitting untouched in the freezer for a few hours (post-stirring), it will firm up slightly more than a custard-based ice cream. Before serving, let it sit for a couple minutes on the counter and/or run your ice cream scoop under hot water.
- Adding 2 teaspoons of vodka to the recipe along with the other liquid ingredients can also help keep the texture more scoopable, since alcohol lowers the freezing point. You can’t taste the vodka.
- You can add optional extras like chopped cookies or peanut butter cups (or whatever you like). I’d aim for around 2-3 cups of chopped ingredients, but eyeball out what looks right to you. Wait until the ice cream has been chilling for at least 2-3 hours before adding extras, otherwise they’ll sink to the bottom. As you can see from the photos, this filled my 9×5-inch loaf pan to the top, so you’ll want to use a larger pan or divide the ingredients between two pans in you add extras.
More Ice Cream Recipes
Want to try this technique with some of my custard-based ice creams? You can find all of the recipes in my ice cream archives. A few of my favorites include mint chocolate chip ice cream, buttermilk ice cream, Bailey’s ice cream, and cookies and mascarpone cream. I also love this Vietnamese Iced Coffee Ice Cream from Love and Olive Oil!
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract, or seeds from 2 vanilla beans
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups (473 ml) heavy cream, cold
- See notes about optional add-ins
- Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated vanilla and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
- Using a bowl and whisk, electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip the cream or it will lose its smooth, shiny appearance.
- Mix 1 cup of the whipped cream into the liquid mixture with a rubber spatula until combined, then gently fold the lightened mixture into the whipped cream until evenly combined.
- Pour into a chilled 9x5 loaf pan (or any pan with a minimum 8 cup capacity), cover, and place in the freezer. Stir every 45 minutes, making sure to scrape around the edges of the pan since that’s the area that will freeze first. Ice cream should be solid and scoopable after around 5-6 hours.
You can add optional extras like chopped Oreos. Wait until the ice cream has been chilling for at least 2-3 hours before adding extras, otherwise they’ll sink. As you can see, this filled my loaf pan to the top, so you’ll want to use a larger pan or divide the ingredients between two pans.
This stirring technique will also work with custard-based ice creams. Cover, freeze, and stir every 30-45 minutes until scoopable.
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