Skip to Content

Easy No-Churn Ice Cream (Vanilla or Chocolate)

This Easy No-Churn Ice Cream is the creamiest, most delicious homemade vanilla and chocolate ice cream I’ve ever made. The best part? There’s just 3 simple ingredients (4 for chocolate), and no ice cream machine is required!

Did you know that making homemade ice cream without the machine can be just as easy – actually easier – than making it with one? Yes, it’s true! And it just might be the most decadent, smooth-and-silky, super creamy ice cream you’ve ever had!

That’s right, my friends. You don’t need an ice cream maker to make some of the best ice cream you’ll ever eat. And even if you have a machine, after trying a bowl of this totally awesome deliciousness, you may never want to bring it out again!

Now, there are certainly some really good store-bought ice cream brands out there. So why make your own homemade ice cream? Because, honestly, nothing beats the flavor and creaminess of this easy homemade ice cream.

Yep, that’s the third time I’ve mentioned how creamy this ice cream is, because I’m kind of obsessed with it. It’s such a treat, and you’ve got to try it!

I’m not quite sure who originally developed this recipe, but my mother-in-law gave it to me many years ago from a Woman’s Day magazine, and it’s been a favorite in our house ever since.

All you need to make this no-machine ice cream is 3 ingredients for the vanilla version (heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract), 4 for the chocolate version (add cocoa powder), and an electric mixer (either a stand mixer or a hand mixer will work).

And since there are no eggs in this recipe, there’s no cooking and cooling involved (Yay!). Just put the ingredients in a bowl and whip ’em up, freeze ’em, and enjoy!

The hardest part will probably be waiting for it to freeze (it does take at least 8 hours).

Well, that and trying to decide which one you like better…vanilla or chocolate. I can never decide, so I usually just make a batch of both!

two bowls of easy no-churn ice cream, one vanilla and one chocolate, with glass loaf pans full of ice cream in the background and 2 spoons in the foreground

Ingredients you need:

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder (for the chocolate version)

Here’s a look at how to make Easy No-Churn Ice Cream (Vanilla or Chocolate):

electric stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment with heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl

Place the heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer (alternately, you can use an electric hand mixer and a mixing bowl). If making chocolate, add the cocoa powder as well.

electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment with the heavy cream mixture whipped to stiff peaks

Beat the mixture just until stiff peaks form (this will take about 3 to 5 minutes).

whipped cream mixture in a glass loaf pan with a spoon on the side

Transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe airtight 1½-quart (6 cup) container.

image of a stainless steel refrigerator/freezer

Cover with plastic wrap and then a tight-fitting lid. Put in the freezer and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.

frozen vanilla ice cream in a glass loaf pan with a scoop of ice cream being taken out and bowls and spoons on the side

Your yummy homemade ice cream is now ready to enjoy!

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Cream whips better when it’s cold, so make sure you start with cold heavy whipping cream straight from the fridge. If you want, you can chill your bowl in the fridge before starting (although I never do that, and it always seems to work fine for me).
  • Use any airtight freezer-safe container to store your ice cream (make sure it is airtight so your ice cream doesn’t pick up any off flavors from the freezer). You need one that holds 1½ quarts (6 cups). I use a 9×5-inch glass loaf pan that comes with a lid, and it’s the perfect size.
  • To prevent ice crystals from forming on top, keep the surface of the ice cream covered with plastic wrap (make sure it touches the surface of the ice cream) before adding the lid.
  • To make sure the ice cream doesn’t become grainy, get it back in the freezer asap once you serve it up. The more it melts, the more susceptible it is to ice crystals forming after you put it back in the freezer.
  • Store ice cream in the back of the freezer where it won’t be as affected by temperature changes from opening the freezer door.
  • You can use the vanilla or chocolate ice cream as the base to make lots of different flavors. If you want add-ins (such as berries, nuts, cookies, edible cookie dough, etc.), gently fold them into cream mixture after it has been whipped.
  • When properly stored, the ice cream should last up to 2 weeks in the freezer (that is if you don’t eat it all within the first few days!).

This ice cream is a perfect summertime dessert, of course, but we make it all year long…because we sure don’t stop eating ice cream in the winter!

Enjoy your ice cream as-is or add your favorite toppings, put it in a cone, make it a sundae or a milkshake, turn it into ice cream sandwiches, or serve it alongside pie, cake, cobbler, crisps, or crumbles.

I hope you try this recipe for Easy No-Churn Homemade Ice Cream and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature
image with text that says more recipes you might like
image that states follow now cook this on pinterest for more simple and delicious recipes, click here
image that states if you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and comment below, thanks

Easy No-Churn Ice Cream (Vanilla or Chocolate)

This Easy No-Churn Ice Cream is the creamiest, most delicious homemade vanilla and chocolate ice cream I've ever made. The best part? There's just 3 simple ingredients (4 for chocolate), and no ice cream machine is required!
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 (½ cup each; recipe makes about 6 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 243

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Version:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Version, add:

  • ½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

Instructions

  • Place the heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and the vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or you can use an electric hand mixer with a mixing bowl).
    Note: If making the chocolate version, add the cocoa powder as well.
  • Beat on high speed just until stiff peaks form (when you pull the whisk/beaters straight up and out of the mixture, it will form peaks that stand up straight and don't droop over). This should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
    Notes: I like to start on a lower speed for the first 30 seconds or so just so that the cream (and cocoa powder if making chocolate) don't splash all over the place. Once it begins to thicken slightly, I then increase the speed to high.
    If making the chocolate version, it will seem like the cocoa powder isn't going to mix in with the cream, but it will!
  • Transfer the mixture to a 1½-quart (6-cup) airtight freezer-safe container with a lid (I use a glass 9×5-inch loaf pan that came with a lid; it's the perfect size). Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap first and then the lid to prevent ice crystals from forming on top.
  • Freeze for at least 8 hours or until firm. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Using an airtight freezer-safe container is important so that your ice cream doesn’t pick up any off flavors from the freezer.
  • Keep the surface of the ice cream covered with plastic wrap before putting on the lid to prevent ice crystals from forming on top. 
  • To make sure the ice cream doesn’t become grainy, get it back in the freezer asap once you serve it up. The more it melts, the more susceptible it is to ice crystals forming.
  • Store ice cream in the back of the freezer where it won’t be as affected by temperature changes from opening the freezer door.
  • When properly stored, the ice cream should last up to 2 weeks in the freezer.
  • Estimated calories shown is based on a serving of ½ cup of vanilla ice cream. The chocolate version is about 250 calories per ½ cup. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating