No-Churn Ice Cream Recipe

No-Churn Ice Cream in a baking dish and in bowls

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Freeze Time: 5 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 5 to 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
279 Calories
18g Fat
25g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 60mg 20%
Sodium 78mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 153mg 12%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 204mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you've wanted to try making ice cream but don't have an ice cream maker, this no-churn ice cream recipe is a great place to start. This basic recipe calls for just four ingredients and an electric mixer, whisk, spatula, and a few bowls. It's a creamy, delightful ice cream that can be embellished with any swirl-ins you might like. 

There's no cooking required, so it takes just a few minutes to put together. You can keep the ice cream plain vanilla or add chunks of chocolate, cookie crumbs, or chopped toasted nuts. The flavor possibilities are endless with this recipe, so feel free to use your imagination.

"No-churn ice cream is such a wonderful recipe to have in your back pocket for those hot summer months. This quick and easy recipe yields a perfectly sweetened, lush, and creamy ice cream that is delicious on its own or can easily be customized with your favorite mix-ins, flavorings, and toppings." —Kayla Hoang

No-Churn Ice Cream/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled

  • Chocolate chunks, optional

  • Cookie crumbs, optional

  • Coarsely chopped toasted nuts, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Place a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan in the freezer.

    No-Churn Ice Cream ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. Whisk or stir the mixture until thoroughly blended.

    Sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the chilled heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.

    Whipped heavy cream in a bowl, next to a hand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add about 1 cup of the whipped cream to the sweetened condensed milk mixture and stir gently until well blended.

    Condensed milk mixture combined with the whipped heavy cream mixture in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Pour the condensed milk mixture into the remaining whipped cream and fold with a spatula or spoon until no streaks remain.

    Ice cream mixture in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Pour the ice cream mixture into the chilled loaf pan and spread it evenly. Return the pan to the freezer.

    Ice cream mixture in a loaf pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Mix in additional ingredients after 1 3/4 to 2 hours (the ice cream should be firm, but soft enough to easily mix in the ingredients, if using). Swirl to distribute the add-ins and return the pan to the freezer. Freeze until very firm, 3 hours or more.

    Ice cream mixture with cookies and nuts on top

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it stand for about 10 minutes to soften slightly.

    No-Churn Ice Cream in a loaf pan, with an ice cream scoop

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

How to Make Perfect Chocolate Chips for Ice Cream

Place a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper on a baking sheet. Melt 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spread it thinly. Chill the chocolate and then use a knife to chop it into small chocolate pieces. Stir the chocolate pieces into the ice cream.

Recipe Variations

  • No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream: Whisk 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder into the sweetened condensed milk along with the vanilla and salt.
  • No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream: Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Add the coffee mixture to the sweetened condensed milk along with the vanilla and salt.
  • No-Churn Irish Cream Ice Cream: Omit the vanilla and add 2 tablespoons of Irish cream liqueur and a dash of ground cinnamon to the sweetened condensed milk along with a pinch of salt.
  • No-Churn Lemon Ice Cream: Reduce the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of finely grated lemon zest to the sweetened condensed milk along with a pinch of salt.

How Does No-Churn Work?

It may seem unlikely that you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker, but there are certain ingredients and techniques that make it work. In an ice cream maker, the mixture is simultaneously churned while it freezes; the churning incorporates air into the ice cream which in turn increases the volume, making a light, airy, and smooth consistency. In a no-churn recipe, the volume is increased by whipping the heavy cream into stiff peaks, creating a light, airy mixture. The other factor that allows a no-churn recipe to work is using sweetened condensed milk. This ingredient has both a high sugar content and a low water content. The sugar lowers the freezing point, preventing the ice cream from becoming too hard, and the small amount of water prevents the formation of ice crystals. The result is a smooth, creamy ice cream that tastes and feels just like it was made in an ice cream maker.