For Hassle-Free Homemade Ice Cream, Try “No-Churn” Recipes

I yearn, you yearn, we all yearn for no unsubscribe.

OK, so I admit my sloganeering could use a little work. Still, the thought is good.

You shouldn’t need a fancy ice cream maker to whip up this delicious summer treat. Heck, you don’t need anything more exotic than a blender and a loaf pan. These items, along with your imagination, will take you far in the homemade ice cream game.

Here’s how it works.

Most homemade ice cream recipes call for you to make an egg-based custard base. This base must be chilled, churned and then chilled again before the ice cream can be enjoyed.

Churning is necessary because the key to good ice cream is to freeze the custard without allowing ice crystals to grow. These crystals will not affect the flavor, but they do impact the texture. So you have to use electricity – or a lot of elbow grease – to spin this paddle while using a slurry of ice, salt and water to keep the temperature well below freezing.

No unsubscription, on the other hand, skips most of these steps. Instead of making a custard base, no churn relies on an egg-free mix of sweetened condensed milk and flavorings. You can go with vanilla or chocolate or strawberry or whatever your heart desires.

The “cream” component comes from whipped cream which is whipped until peaks form. The aerated cream is then folded into the “flavor” mixture. No churning is necessary.

The whole thing is unmolded into a loaf pan, covered with plastic wrap, then frozen for a few hours until firm. The mixing process takes about 5 minutes, which saves you a lot of time.

Of course, some ice cream purists might object. Is it real ice cream? Maybe not.

Is it cheating? Most likely.

But does it taste good? Absolutely.

Even better, if you add a little alcohol to your mix, the texture will be more like soft ice cream than hard ice cream. how can that be a bad thing?

So if you want to make ice cream but don’t have the time to churn or the money to invest in an ice cream maker, no churn is for you.

Remember: I crave, you crave, we all crave no unsubscribe. I better protect this sentence before it spreads.

Chocolate ice cream without churning

There are many no-churn ice cream recipes spread across the internet. Most are pretty much the same. However, there are some differences here and there.

It was one of those differences that led me to this recipe from Food 52. It calls for the inclusion of a quarter cup of alcohol. The flavor doesn’t matter. It’s up to you. But as I explained above, the liquor is there to help with the texture as well as the flavor. The alcohol will prevent the ice cream from freezing completely, leaving soft, velvety ice cream with an out-of-this-world texture.

If you don’t want to include alcohol, don’t worry. Most of the ice cream will taste the same. It just won’t have the same texture.


  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup liqueur of choice (I used crème de cacao because I thought it would go well with chocolate ice cream; an orange or even raspberry liqueur could also be good)
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Mix sweetened condensed milk, liqueur (if using), cocoa and salt until well blended.

In another bowl, beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks form. Stir about half a cup of the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the cream (this will thin the cream a bit). Gently fold the rest of the sweetened condensed milk mixture into the cream, taking care not to deflate the cream.

Turn your ice cream into a metal loaf pan. Press a piece of plastic wrap on top and freeze for several hours.


Follow the recipe above, but omit the cocoa. In place of Crème de Cacao, substitute a quarter cup of Crème de Menthe. Once you have folded the two mixtures together, gently stir in a few pieces of Andean mint (you can now buy them in the bakery aisle). Continue by inverting into a loaf pan, pressing a piece of plastic wrap up and freezing.

Vanilla ice cream without churn

If you prefer your ice cream non-alcoholic, this vanilla variety is pretty good. It’s pretty much the same as the recipes above, but it uses 2 cups of whipping cream instead of 1. I’m also including some suggested “mixes” at the end of the recipe if you prefer your ice cream with a bit more “crunch”.


  • One can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups whipped cream

In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt. Put aside.

In another bowl, whip the cream over medium-high heat until stiff peaks form (about 2 minutes). Stir about 1 cup of whipped cream into the milk mixture (this will thin this mixture and make it easier to incorporate the remaining cream). Now gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the milk mixture, taking care not to deflate your cream.

Once the mixture is combined, scrape it into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (preferably metal) and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for 2 hours. At this point, you can stir in whatever mixes you like – chocolate chips, candy bar pieces, nuts, Oreo cookie pieces. Replace the plastic wrap and return the ice cream to the freezer for another 3 hours.

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