How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker

Vanilla ice cream in a bowl with scoop
Vanilla ice cream in a bowl with scoop (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Summer is here and it's the perfect time for enjoying delicious ice cream. And if you’ve always wanted to make homemade ice cream but didn’t want to buy an expensive ice cream maker, you can learn how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. In fact, most people prefer the taste of no-churn ice cream as it’s all natural and doesn’t contain any nasty additives found in store-bought products. Plus, it gives you the chance to customize flavors to your tastes.

While there are several methods to making ice cream without an ice cream maker, we’ve found the easiest way. The best thing is, it only needs a few ingredients, you can make it in minutes, and will cost you a lot less than buying a tub from the grocery store!  

So whether it’s vanilla or any other favorite, here’s how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker, and impress your guests.

How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker

1. First, whip up two cups (600ml) of double cream by hand or with an electric mixer on a medium-high speed. Do this for about two minutes until it thickens or forms stiff peaks.  

Mixing cream for homemade ice cream

Mixing cream for homemade ice cream (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Next, slowly drizzle in half a can (397g) of sweetened condensed milk to add sweetness. Then add one tablespoon of vanilla extract (to enhance the flavor of vanilla ice cream), or your preferred flavorings or mix-ins, such as melted chocolate etc.  

Mixing the ingredients for homemade ice cream

Mixing the ingredients for homemade ice cream (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Finally, pour mixture into a small loaf tin, covering with cling film, or in an airtight container and freeze. It’s always best to freeze for at least six hours or overnight for best results. 

ice cream mix in tin

ice cream mix in tin (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. When it’s ready to serve, allow the ice cream to sit for a few minutes at room temperature, before spooning into bowls, dishes or cones. 

Vanilla ice cream in a glass ramekin

Vanilla ice cream in a glass ramekin (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This is generally known as the two- or three-ingredient method. If you don’t have an electric kitchen mixer, one of the best blenders or a handheld mixer works just as well for whipping up a storm. Bear in mind that this type of no-churn ice cream will melt a little quicker than the usual custard based ice creams. But at least this is even more reason to devour it in no time! You can also experiment with other flavors such as chocolate, white chocolate, mint, berries or other delicious mix-ins.

How long can you keep homemade ice cream for?

Bowl of chocolate ice cream on table

Bowl of chocolate ice cream on table (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Providing you have some measure of self-control, homemade ice cream will keep in the freezer for about two weeks, providing it’s in an airtight storage container. Containers like this 28 PCs Large Food Storage Containers with Airtight Lids ($24, Amazon (opens in new tab)), are suitable for freezing ice cream.  While it can last a little longer, the creamy texture can start to become grainy and large ice crystals may form after a couple of weeks.


If you're looking to make other refreshing treats, read our guide on how to make iced coffee in 4 steps, or unleash your inner barista and master how to make an espresso. You can also learn how to cut a watermelon to enjoy a tasty and quick summer snack.

You can also check out this gadget that has us hooked to hot chocolate even in the summer.

Cynthia Lawrence
Homes Writer

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!