How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

Ice Cream

So, you want to make one of these but you don’t have an ice cream maker?

Without a doubt, the most popular comments and emails that I receive following an ice cream recipe in the summer is, “I wish I had an ice cream maker so I could make this!” Well folks, if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make homemade ice cream! Much like you can certainly make homemade bread without a bread maker (people were doing that hundreds of years ago!), you can also create delicious homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker. It takes a bit longer, but the results are every bit as delicious! While the majority of makers are relatively inexpensive now (under $50), I certainly understand how things on the kitchen wish list get assigned a very low priority when there are other things to tend to. So, below you will find a brief tutorial (with links to more in-depth tutorials with photos) on how to make ice cream at home without using an ice cream maker.

There are two methods you can use to manually freeze your cream – either with a handheld mixer (method “A”) or completely manual (method “B”). The tutorials linked to below illustrate these different methods.

Making Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker (Method A)

1. Prepare the custard base as directed in the recipe (including chill time in the refrigerator).

2. Remove custard from the refrigerator and stir with a rubber spatula. Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe bowl or container (if not already in one). Cover tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight cover. Place in the freezer and allow to freeze for 2 hours.

3. Remove from the freezer and beat with a hand mixer to break up the ice crystals that are beginning to form. Cover and place back in freezer for 2 more hours.

4. Remove from the freezer and beat again with the hand mixer. The ice cream should be thick but too soft to scoop. If it is not thick enough, return it to the freezer for additional freezing time. Beat again. If the ice cream has thickened properly, stir in any add-ins at this point (chocolate chips, cookie chunks, etc.). Do not beat with the hand mixer after the add-ins have been mixed in.

5. Pour into a plastic airtight freezer container, leaving at least ½-inch space at the top. Cover and place the container in the freezer and allow the ice cream to freeze until firm.

Source: How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker (

Making Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker (Method B)

1. Prepare the custard base as directed in the recipe (including chill time in the refrigerator).

2. Remove custard from the refrigerator and stir with a rubber spatula. Transfer the mixture to a deep freezer-safe bowl or container and place in the freezer for 45 minutes.

3. As it starts to freezer near the edges, remove from the freezer and stir vigorously with a fork or whisk, being sure to break up any frozen sections. Return it to the freezer.

4. Continue to check every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. It is estimated that it will take 2-3 hours for the ice cream to sufficiently frozen and ready.

*Note: David also recommends a hand held mixer for best results, or even an immersion (stick) blender.

Source: How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine (David Lebovitz)

Ice Cream Maker Recommendations

All that being said, if you are looking to invest in an ice cream maker (and if you’re planning on making ice cream on even a semi-regular basis, I would definitely encourage you to invest), below are recommendations:

KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment. ($60)  This is what I use, and if you already have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I highly recommend it. (It also comes recommended from Cook’s Illustrated.)

Cuisinart Automatic Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, and Sorbet Maker. ($42)  This is the other recommended model by Cook’s Illustrated, which is my go-to source for information on kitchen equipment. I always check out their reviews before making a kitchen purchase.

The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. ($13)  Not an ice cream maker, but if you’re going to be making ice cream (either with a maker or manually), I would consider this your bible. Not only awesome recipes, but great information on ingredients, equipment, and processes as well.

Ice Cream Recipes Pictured Above:

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Classic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Pistachio Nut Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Tin Roof Ice Cream
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Espresso Ice Cream
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Rocky Road Ice Cream

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80 Responses to “How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. The Housewife on June 21, 2010 at 5:14 am

    This is a great guide. I’ve been thinking of getting an ice cream maker, so thank you for the recommendations too!


  2. LimeCake on June 21, 2010 at 5:36 am

    I made David Lebovitz’s easiest chocolate ice cream. It’s got mashed banana in it and tastes just as creamy as churned ice cream! no machine, no custard base, no opening and closing the fridge… check it out here:


  3. Amy on June 21, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Thank you for this post. My family LOVES ice cream, and I’ve been contemplating ordering the Kitchen Aid attachment.


  4. Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes on June 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Thank you so much! I want to try this, but I will probably also get an ice cream maker in the near future.


  5. Jenny Flake on June 21, 2010 at 9:20 am

    ooooo, can’t wait to study this post, I will be using this for sure!! Happy Monday, if there is such a thing!


  6. Maria on June 21, 2010 at 9:40 am

    All of that ice cream looks amazing! Which one should I make first? :)


  7. Jason Sandeman on June 21, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Simply awesome. I have a huge cuisinart machine that cost me around 300$, but it makes a mean ice cream. The thing is, it has refrigeration, so I do not have to freeze the bowl. That is all good for my part.


  8. Karla on June 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Like many others, I too have been eyeing the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, and had simply resigned myself to waiting until I made that purchase to make ice cream. Thanks for this tutorial on how to make ice cream without a maker!!! I am loving this! Now, all I need to do is go back through your blog and several others and decide which flavor I will make first!!! :)


  9. Courtney on June 21, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Thank you so much for the ice cream advice! I am a college student living on a tight budget in a tiny, cramped apartment, so an ice cream maker wouldn’t exactly be the most practical purchase for me right now. Ha. It kills me to see so many delicious ice cream recipes and not be able to make any of them. But now I can try one of these methods! I’m so excited! :)


  10. Johanna on June 21, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I can’t wait to try this! I’m very excited.


  11. Eliana on June 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Homemade ice cream is such a treat. And I love that you don’t have to have an ice cream maker to make it. Awesome post Michelle.


  12. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot on June 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks very much! I have been drooling wistfully over so many ice cream recipes recently. Now I can make them myself sans ice cream maker. :)


  13. Anne @ the doctor takes a wife on June 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    This is awesome. Thanks so much!!


  14. Jen @ How To: Simplify on June 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you times a million! I’ve always wanted to make my own ice cream. Over the weekend, I even showed my husband the ice cream maker that I wanted. I’ll have to follow your tips and tricks until I get an ice cream maker!


  15. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    what a great tip! i’m bookmarking this and making homemade ice cream this weekend!


  16. Amanda on June 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Really great tips. I don’t have an ice cream maker yet so “method a” will come in handy for me. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.


  17. Robyn on June 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    um, you just blew my mind. i always automatically skipped posts with ice cream because i didn’t have an ice cream maker! that’s about to change :o) THANK YOU!


  18. Just Food Snobs on June 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for that great summer time ice cream recipe. It is great to know you do need an ice cream maker, looks delicious!


  19. Belinda @zomppa on June 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Maybe one day I’ll be bold and try it!


  20. RLV on June 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Great tips! This is perfect for my friends w/o ice cream makers! Thanks! :)


    • sidney on March 25th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      its a good thing to look at to make home made ice crame


  21. Yvonne on June 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I just discovered you from a comment you left on the Picky Palate, I’m excited to start following you! Ice cream is one of my favorite desserts… and I have always wanted to try to make my own – I will have to try it now :)


  22. Ken on June 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I also love the KitchenAid attachment. Also, for a good frozen yogurt, I highly recommend this:


  23. Fuji Mama on June 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    This is such a great post. Isn’t it funny what we have convinced ourselves of here in the US? Things like the belief that making cream puffs must be hard, or that pasta sauce is hard to make so I should just buy some storebought stuff. Thank you for reminding us that we don’t have to spend a lot of money to be able to treat ourselves to wonderful homemade goodies. When we lived in Japan this is the way I had to make ice cream. We didn’t have enough room in our small apartment from me to bring all of my kitchen appliances, so I had to carefully choose what I knew I couldn’t/didn’t want to live without.


  24. Island Vittles on June 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Ditto on what Fuji Mama said! A great post, and a reminder that we have been cooking for thousands of years…this equipment obsession is a new thing.


  25. Lynn on June 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks so much for this post! I have very little space, so an ice cream maker is out of the question. But knowing I can do it without is awesome!


  26. Mysti on June 21, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this!! i have been wanting to try out so many icecream recipes but they all call for an ice cream making (duh!) until i can get an attachment for my kitchen aid, i think ill give one of these methods a try!


  27. Linda's Yummies on June 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I think my taste buds just fainted… many thanks for sharing! Perfect timing for summer :) Love it!


  28. The Wife of a Dairyman on June 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    The ice cream looks delicious. I’m definitely going to try one of the two methods. I’ll let you know how it goes!


  29. Jean on June 21, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    What a very helpful post. Even though I just used my ice cream maker for the first time, it’s nice to have your post as a go-to–just in case! Thanks so much!


  30. Cookin' Canuck on June 22, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Very informative post, though I must say I am very glad to be the proud owner of an ice cream maker. It’s one of the most well-used appliances in my kitchen.


  31. Cherine on June 22, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Thank you for the tips!


  32. sana on June 22, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Great post!! Now I can make all the ice cream I want at home.. if only I was not on a weight loss mission :(


  33. Helen on June 22, 2010 at 8:45 am

    This is an excellent post, I will be trying both methods for sure.


  34. Andrea on June 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Made home made chocolate icecream with no icecream maker following method B, and it came out AMAZING! The texture is perfect! Can’t wait to try this with other flavors! THANK YOU


  35. Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen on June 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    BLESS YOU for posting this! I’ve been thinking that I can’t make it and ice cream is my favorite. This just about makes my day/week/summer. Thank you thank you!!!


  36. Christina on June 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    My world was turned upside down the day I realized I can make ice cream sans machines!


  37. Sara on June 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Like a lot of folks, I had no idea this would be so straightforward. We eat a lot of ice cream at our house. Seems like this might be a good way to save. $4 for a scoop in my neighborhood!


  38. Laura @ Family Spice on June 22, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I certainly don’t want to buy another kitchen gadget as my kitchen is full right now! I think the kids would totally enjoy making ice cream, but I thought you could only do it with a machine. I think we will attempt to make some without one this summer! Great tips!


  39. Jess @ My Sweet Gems on June 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I will have to try this. Ice Cream is my weakness! Thanks for the instructions.


  40. Stephanie on June 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! Been looking for a tutorial for this for a while! Want to make ice cream but don’t want to buy a maker specifically for it because I wouldn’t use it enough. Thanks again! Great advice!


  41. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron on June 23, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Thank you thank you! I’ve been seeing a lot of ice cream recipes and all requires an ice cream maker. This is great, now I can enjoy the homemade ice cream without having a maker!


  42. Drick on June 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

    very goof tips – sometimes I just don’t feel like getting out the ice cream maker and this is a must try


  43. Katie on June 23, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    What kinds of bowls and containers are freezer safe?


  44. Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) on June 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Will be bookmarking this post. We don’t make ice cream often enough to buy a machine but will be giving this a whirl.


  45. Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on June 24, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t have an ice cream maker, I wish I did! But until then, I am very glad you have written this post. Very helpful!


  46. ivoryhut on June 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Great tips! I do have an ice cream maker now (I have the Cuisinart), but I wish I knew these tips before. Ironically, it was only after I got an ice cream maker that I realized I didn’t need one. Ha! Love your recommendations. I’m definitely getting The Perfect Scoop.


  47. Magic of Spice on June 30, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Great post…so excited and will give it a try:)


  48. Lisa on July 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I linked this post on my site as well as a Facebook post. Good thinking.


  49. Patty on August 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Awesome tutorial. Bookmarked. Thanks for sharing!


  50. Codee Jean on February 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    So hello, :)
    I’ve never made homemade ice cream before due to no machine and when I came upon this the other day I just had to try it.
    I did it manually with a wooden spoon lol and going kind of by these guidelines but since I had nothing in the fridge except bacon I made some Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream. Where I found the recipe online and well it turned out amazing!
    Thank you for letting me discover this.
    My parents were very proud that their 16 year old daughter is turning into a little Suzie Homemaker. :)


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