As warmer days approach, ice cream is on the mind. Who wouldn’t want to devour a huge cone right now? But with stay-at-home measures in place and supermarket stashes in flux, grabbing a pint or bar of ice cream isn't as easy as it once was. But fear not, my ice cream-loving friends: you can still make your ice cream dreams a reality, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker to do so. (Of course, if you do have an ice cream maker then the world is your oyster.)
We love ice cream for its smooth, creamy texture; its sweet and varied flavors; its many shapes and forms. But ice cream also brings with it a sense of nostalgia, a longing for the ease of childhood. While most of us are stuck inside and unable to fully enjoy these warmer months, we can still make new memories with ice cream, be it with our kids, our roommates, our partners, or all on our own. These memories may look different than other ones, but they can still spark moments of joy during times of hardship.
So go ahead and bring the ice cream truck to you. If there's ever been a time to experiment in the kitchen, it’s now. From classic flavors like chocolate and vanilla, to frozen pies and pudding pops, we’ve got 10 recipes for no-churn ice cream that will surely bring out your inner child.
It doesn’t get much simpler than a scoop of sweet, sweet vanilla ice cream. Just five ingredients come together in this no-churn recipe to make a classic vanilla flavor profile that everyone will love. While many ice cream recipes use canned milk, this one opts for heavy cream in order to create a fresh dairy flavor. And thanks to Stella’s method of egg whipping, you won’t need as much cream to achieve a light and silky texture. Whether you eat it with a spoon or scooped over a slice of pie, the overall result is pure and simple—and sometimes that’s all you need.
Since the chocolate flavor in this recipe comes from cocoa powder alone, it’s important to reach for the good stuff. Dutch-process cocoa styles will give you a deep, dark flavor and color, while using natural cocoa will result in a lighter color and fruitier profile. Meanwhile, ingredients like instant espresso powder, brown sugar, and spirits or liqueur help create a complex and distinct flavor. If chocolate ice cream is your go-to, you’ll enjoy scoop after scoop of this creamy, custard-style dessert.
Our no-churn vanilla ice cream recipe gets taken up a notch with the addition of mascarpone, which creates a complex dairy flavor and velvety texture. Just a small amount of brown sugar really helps bring out mascarpone’s distinct flavor. The ice cream is delightful on its own, but it becomes an even sweeter treat when paired with fresh fruit like strawberries or cherries. The mascarpone flavor also makes it a natural match for any Italian dessert, and we particularly like to serve it with a shot of espresso poured on top, for a riff on the affogato.
Freeze-dried fruit is always there when we need it most. Here, it comes to the rescue in creating an ultra-fruity ice cream with a beautifully vibrant color. This version uses blueberries, but any good-quality freeze-dried fruit can help you achieve your fruity ice cream dreams. Since the fruit contains zero moisture and can be ground into a fine powder, it achieves a more concentrated flavor and a creamier consistency than fresh fruit allows. So all that’s left to do is let ice cream be your blank slate and let the array of freeze-dried fruits open up your world of possibilities.
The flavor combinations for this ice cream pie recipe are truly endless. This version features a vanilla-flavored filling, but can easily be customized with other extracts like lemon, orange and mint. The filling is as light and fluffy as a cloud, thanks to a mixture of Swiss meringue and whipped cream. As for the crust? We went for a chocolate cookie crumb, but you can try making it with graham crackers or even Biscoff cookies instead. So why not try out different flavors together? Permission to play around with your food: granted!
Think of this as key lime pie’s cooler, more refreshing cousin. The filling’s smoothness comes from the use of sweetened condensed milk, while lime juice and zest give it a tart lime flavor. Once you pour the filling into your prepared pie crust, all it needs is a few hours in the freezer and then it’s ready to serve. How’s that for a low-maintenance pie?
What would you do for a Klondike bar? Thankfully, you don’t need to churn ice cream for one. But what’s the secret to the fluffy filling inside the bar? Truth be told, it’s Swiss meringue! Cutting the meringue with milk and cream makes it light and airy enough to cut into squares before dipping. We turn to coconut oil for the milk chocolate coating, which makes it thin, glossy, and crisp. The result is a creamy and crunchy Klondike bar that just might be better than the original.
The chipwich is arguably the best ice-cream sandwich in the game. A slick slab of ice cream between two tender chocolate chip cookies and rolled in even more chocolate chips? Iconic. Delicious. Incredibly easy to make at home. Best of all, you can assemble it with any cookie and no-churn ice cream combo of your choosing. Chocolate chip cookies (we have more than a few) with vanilla ice cream? Yes, please. Or how about fruity ice cream between two brown butter shortbread cookies? Go for it!
Perhaps one of the more iconic childhood treats, these ice cream bars are vibrant and flavorful. Swiss meringue once agains serves as part of the base for the filling, cut with milk and cream and flavored with both vanilla and freeze-dried strawberries. The coating consists of more freeze-dried strawberries and crispy puffed-rice cereal, which sticks beautifully to a thin glaze of white chocolate without turning soggy. It’s a delightful treat with an intense flavor that will surely bring a sweet smile to your face.
As the name suggests, this recipe calls for pudding (yes, we know, it's not technically ice cream...but neither are the rest of these recipes if you're being picky)—in this case, a simple mixture that incorporates tapioca starch in order to keep it silky and thick, even after spending some time in the freezer. If you prefer a simple pudding pop, you can enjoy them after about six to eight hours in the freezer. But the kid in some of us sees a plain pudding pop as a blank canvas. So whip out some homemade magic shell and let the pops go for a dip, adding some sprinkles for good measure. Just a little bit of time in the kitchen and a few patient hours of waiting will leave you with a rich and refreshing treat to relish in, and a fun project to make with those around you.
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