How To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

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The most popular question I’ve ever received on this website is whether you can make ice cream without a machine.

The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine.

How To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

Homemade Ice Cream Without A Machine

With 70+ ice cream recipes to choose from, that question comes up a few times a week, if not daily through the warmer months.

While I’ve described this method repeatedly in comments and emails through the years, it was past time to shoot some step-by-step photos and explain in detail in one post that can be easily referred back to.

Homemade Ice Cream Made Without An Ice Cream Maker

Besides, who would ever turn down the chance to make some more ice cream, right?

There are a LOT of photos provided here to illustrate what the ice cream should look like at each step of the process.

If you aren’t here for the full tutorial, make use of that handy “Jump To Recipe” button at the top of the page.

How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

Stir together your ice cream mixture and chill it if it isn’t cold already. Pour it into an 8-10 inch square baking dish.

I typically use this metal pan (because it freezes so quickly) however a glass pan will also work.

First freeze - ice cream without a machine

Place it in the freezer for 90 minutes. Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture, scraping the sides of the pan and breaking up any frozen chunks.

Return the pan to the freezer.

Second freeze - ice cream without a machine

Continue freezing the mixture, checking it again after 45 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture again, scraping the sides of the pan well. Use a sturdy whisk to whip the mixture a bit as it begins to freeze.

Make sure you’re scraping the edges completely every time. Return to the freezer as quickly as possible after whisking the mixture.

Third freeze - ice cream without a machine

Continue freezing the mixture, checking it again after 30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture, scraping the sides of the pan well. I use a sturdy whisk to whip the mixture a bit as it begins to freeze.

Make sure you’re scraping the edges completely every time. Return to the freezer as quickly as possible after whisking the mixture.

Repeat this process 2 more times, every 30 minutes.

After a couple of hours, it should begin thickening to a slushy soft-serve consistency.

You can continue breaking it up and stirring for as long as you like.

The longer that you whisk the ice cream and continue breaking it up as it freezes, it will create an airier or fluffier final product.

Ice cream made without an ice cream maker typically takes 3-4 hours to freeze to a soft-serve consistency.

Once it reaches that stage, you can serve it or cover it with a lid and return to the freeze until firm and scoopable.

You can make amazing homemade ice cream without an ice cream machine!

Just a note: Ice cream made without a machine will freeze to a very firm consistency after a day or so in the freezer. However, it will thaw nicely at room temperature after 10-15 minutes and will be perfectly scoop-able.

Once you’ve made ice cream this way a few times, you’ll have a feel for how long it should take and how often it needs to be stirred.

All you need is a whisk and a baking pan to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream machine!

I’ve provided the best and easiest ice cream recipe in this post. This is the recipe that gets solid five-star reviews from everyone who tries it. It’s as easy as can be and absolutely delicious.

However, there are countless variations you can make and additional ice cream recipes to try once you’ve mastered the freezer method for making ice cream.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Adding in a generous pile of chopped Oreos and some warm Chocolate Sauce will deliver the best Cookies and Cream Ice Cream you’ve ever tasted.

If you’re a fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream might be your new favorite.

Are you a fan of fruit-filled ice cream? Mixed Berry Ice Cream is incredible and it’s made even more fantastic with warm Berry Sauce poured on top.

Homemade Berry Sauce

If after making your first batch of homemade ice cream without a machine, you love the ice cream but don’t want to spend your time whisking it in the future, check out the Ultimate Ice Cream Maker Review.

Some of the best machines I tested might be less pricey than you think!

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How To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

4.60 from 22 votes
The most popular question I've ever received on this website is whether you can make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine.
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Freezer Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • cups milk
  • cups heavy cream
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Stir together your ice cream mixture and pour it into an 8-10 inch square baking pan.
  • FIRST FREEZE: Place it in the freezer for 90 minutes. Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture, scraping the sides of the pan and breaking up any frozen chunks. Return the pan to the freezer and continue freezing.
  • SECOND FREEZE: Check it again after 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture, scraping the sides of the pan well. Use a sturdy whisk to whip the mixture a bit as it begins to freeze. Make sure you're scraping the edges completely every time. Return to the freezer as quickly as possible after whisking the mixture each time.
  • ADDITIONAL FREEZING STEPS: Continue freezing the mixture, checking it again after 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and whisk the mixture, scraping the sides of the pan well. Use a sturdy whisk to whip the mixture a bit as it begins to freeze. Make sure you're scraping the edges completely every time. Return to the freezer as quickly as possible after whisking the mixture. Repeat this process 2 more times, every 30 minutes. After a couple of hours, it should be thickening to a slushy soft-serve consistency.
  • Continue breaking the ice cream up and stirring it for as long as you like. The longer that you whisk the ice cream and continue breaking it up as it freezes, it will create an airier or fluffier final product. Ice cream without a machine typically takes 3-4 hours to freeze to a soft-serve consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 335kcal · Carbohydrates: 27g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 24g · Saturated Fat: 15g · Cholesterol: 88mg · Sodium: 98mg · Potassium: 125mg · Sugar: 26g · Vitamin A: 973IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 108mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 9/30/20 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/20/22}

How To Make Homemade Ice Cream without an ice cream machine

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. LEILA COLEMAN says

    Can you do these different kinds without the machine my husband loves Rockie roads an cookies and cream my mother-in-law loves strawberry I love lemon my son loves any kind as well as my husband and mother in law

    • Mary Younkin says

      Leila – You could, but I would encourage you to do some experimenting at home to figure out the timing of adding your extra ingredients. Lemon for example you would probably be able to add in early but mix-ins for a Rocky Road you might want to wait until one of the last mixings. Good luck as you perfect your favorite ice cream.

  2. Daniel joy says

    It fantastically amazing I wish you can do the free video to make it more easier and fun thank you for reading my comment I really appreciate and respect your great work . You are so amazing5 stars

  3. Daniel joy says

    It is very good and fantastic but can please and other recipe to it I love strawberry cake my brother love chocolate cake my little brother love banana cake my sister,mom and dad love any recipe apart from peach cake5 stars

  4. Genie says

    This is the first time I’ve tried homemade ice cream – I used my normal metal kitchenaid bowl and so I could just use the mixer. It was wonderful, better than any store-bought ice cream I’ve had. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  5. Bryan Eddy says

    I had a machine and did it (real vanilla beans are better) and did it …costs a lot when you get done …tastes like breyers .
    Easier to buy breyers . But I like ice cream for coffee in the morning.
    Now I’m using smidge of instant ..and a shot or two of TEZO decaf Chai Tea ..splash of milk .spoon of ice cream…yummy shorter drink of goodness.4 stars

  6. Elle says

    Ive tried this three times using organic milk and cream. Its just too frosty more like an ice . 🙁 i followed instructions and even purchased a special homemade ice cream holder from amazon which promises frost free ice cream storage but sadly no. Its too crunchy. Refrigerator less than a year old. I want this tp work but it just doesn’t.1 star

  7. Wu Yanni says

    Can l not follow this recipe but use this method instead of an ice cream machine for any recipe? Then l can use the Chocolate ice cream recipe and add peppermint extract.
    I am a great fan of the Chocolate peppermint combo.