The Best Ice Cream Recipes | Ice Cream Sandwich, No-Churn

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Ice Cream Recipes

Here is a collection of the very best ice cream recipes! Whether you make homemade ice cream with an ice cream maker or without one, you’re going to find your new favorite ice cream recipe below.

How to Make Ice Cream

With these how-to articles, you’ll have perfect homemade ice cream every time – whether you’re using an ice cream maker or not!

3 Must-Know Tips


Always use full-fat dairy for ice cream!

Do not substitute low-fat dairy products in ice cream recipes. The fat in the cream and whole milk help give the ice cream its luxurious smooth and soft texture. If you use low-fat dairy products, your ice cream will become hard and icy.


The best vanilla to use in ice cream

The absolute best vanilla to use is a whole vanilla bean pod. Scraping out the seeds and steeping the milk and cream mixture with the vanilla pod ensures maximum flavor. If you don’t have a vanilla bean pod, the next best bet would be to use vanilla paste so you still get those flecks of vanilla seeds. I’d recommend using about 2 teaspoons.

If you’re flavoring your ice cream with another bold flavor, feel free to simply use vanilla extract. This is an easier and more economical option since the other ingredient will likely overpower the vanilla bean anyway.


The best ice cream maker

I love my Cuisinart ice cream machine. I’ve had it for over seven years and used it to literally write a cookbook about ice cream so it’s gotten A LOT of wear and tear. I actually prefer it to the KitchenAid attachment.

If you’re using a similar machine, make 100% sure that the freezer bowl is COMPLETELY frozen before churning, otherwise you’ll end up with soup. That means when you shake the freezer bowl, you should hear absolutely no liquid sloshing.

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How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

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All Ice Cream Recipes

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Ice Cream FAQ Section

French-style ice cream is custard based. This is any ice cream that is made with an egg custard that’s cooked and then completely chilled before churning. It takes more time and effort, but the results are ultra rich, creamy, and delicious. Since homemade ice cream is made without stabilizers and gums to keep it soft when frozen, going through the effort of making a custard base helps to create that velvety texture instead of something that turns into a big ice cube in the freezer.

Philadelphia-style ice cream is typically made by directly mixing together cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings then churning it. Definitely faster, but far less rich in taste and texture. This style tends to harden more quickly in the freezer.

Churning ice cream is simply the process of incorporating air into the custard while it’s being frozen. You’ll notice some brands of ice cream contain much more air than others.

Some cheaper manufacturers intentionally ‘overchurn’ to get more yield with less product at the expense of the consumer’s satisfaction. The wonderful thing about making homemade ice cream is you get to decide how much air you want to incorporate!

First, allow the ice cream to soften by placing it in the fridge 30 minutes before serving. This allows it to soften evenly as opposed to letting it sit at room temperature where it’ll soften most at the edges and remain hard at the center of the container.

Next, get a good quality ice cream scoop like this OXO one or this Zeroll one. It makes a huge difference! Make sure it’s totally dry before using and pack your scoop generously with ice cream.

Once the ice cream is churned, place it in an airtight container, pressing plastic wrap against the surface to avoid having any ice crystals form. For best results, freeze until it is firm, at least 2 hours. The longer you freeze, the more time the flavors will have to ripen.

If you have an issue with ice cream hardening, try adding up to 3 tablespoons of alcohol during the last few minutes of churning. This works since alcohol doesn’t freeze. Vodka will do for vanilla ice cream. For other ice cream flavors, liqueur products like kirsch not only enhance taste but also maintain that creamy texture.

If you prefer not to use alcohol, adding a tablespoon of corn syrup can also help to prevent the ice cream from crystallizing.

The trick to great ice cream sandwiches is to assemble them ahead of time. This makes for more solid, hand-held sandwiches that won’t turn into a soupy mess.

Both the cookies and ice cream should be well frozen before assembling. 

Pro tip: To make the sandwiches neat and pretty, I like to lie out a large sheet of plastic wrap on my work surface. Take a scoop of ice cream and place it on one side of the plastic. Stretch the other side of the plastic wrap over to cover. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to press down on the scoop until it is a perfectly flattened disk that matches the diameter of the cookies. Use your hands to cup the edges to smooth them out. Then unwrap the plastic and place the ice cream disk on a brownie cookie and sandwich.

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