The Ultimate Guide to Making Ice Cream

From professional tips to the sweetest recipes on the block, get ready to scream for ice cream! We cover everything you need to know about making this indulgent treat.

Say hello to the coolest treat around. Sweet and creamy ice cream is beloved by all ages—and there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy it. Read on to learn everything (yes, everything!) you need to know about ice cream; including recipes, products and tips for mastering it at home.

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How to Make Ice Cream: Methods

Making homemade ice cream is not as complicated as it sounds. And, while you definitely can invest in gear and gadgets to streamline the process, it’s not necessary. We’ll show you how to make ice cream a myriad of ways—you just pick the one that works best for your family.

How to Make Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker

To make ice cream without an ice cream maker, you’ll need a handful of common kitchen tools, including a mixing bowl, 13 x 9 pan and a spatula. Time and patience are other key ingredients, since this method relies on a slow, meticulous churning process.

How to Make Ice Cream with an Ice Cream Maker

If you plan on making a lot of frozen treats, it’s worth it to invest in an ice cream maker. These sleek machines yield professional-quality results and less hands-on time. You’ll still need to prep your ice cream base and, in some machines, the maker’s canister before reaching for the scoop. (Impress any guests with this coconut-lemon ice cream cake.)

How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

Do memories of summer camp come flooding back at the mere mention of making ice cream in a bag? You’re not alone. This kid-friendly, hands-on approach uses salt and muscle power to create silky smooth ice cream.

How to Make Ice Cream in a Coffee Can

Similar to the bagged method, coffee can ice cream relies on rock salt and movement to yield a frozen treat. Except instead of mixing with your hands, you can roll or even (gently!) kick the can around. This method is great if you want to get a little exercise in before indulging! (Check out more clever coffee can hacks.)

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Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream

Just like any skill, practice makes perfect. But we have a few ice cream-making tips to get you started, including:

  • Reach for quality ingredients: A basic ice cream base has very few ingredients, so make sure you’re including top-notch items, like fresh cream and pure vanilla extract. Trust us—you’ll be able to taste the difference!
  • Ward off ice crystals: One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when making homemade ice cream is ice crystal formation. These mini ice pieces can ruin the texture of your ice cream and affect the flavour. Keep them at bay by sticking to your recipe’s sweetener amounts and taking steps to store the ice cream in an airtight container.
  • Experiment with flavours: Feel free to go wild with your ice cream flavour choices. You might just create a new favourite! (You’ll love this cherry and chocolate ice cream pie.)

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Ice Cream-Based Desserts

A scoop tastes delicious on its own (or packed into a cone), but you can also use ice cream to make next-level desserts.


The 1950s called—and they said this sweet sipper is never going out of style. A classic milkshake blends milk, ice cream and your favourite mix-ins until smooth, then is topped with whipped cream. (Learn how to make the best milkshake ever!)

Sundaes and Splits

Another classic treat, ice cream sundaes are laden with sauces, fresh fruit, nuts and other tasty toppings. We love an old-fashioned banana split, as well as this decadent turtle sauce that blends smooth chocolate and sweet caramel. And, to make your sundae even sweeter, serve it in a homemade ice cream bowl.

Ice Cream Cakes

For a show-stopping dessert, you can’t go wrong with an ice cream cake. These novelties combine all of the good stuff—ice cream, cake, cookies, whipped cream, sprinkles and more—into an easy-to-slice dessert. (Try this nostalgic recipe for strawberry crunch ice cream cake.)

Next, check out this collection of 20+ refreshing ice pop recipes to make this summer.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home