How to Make Ice Cream Without Cream

Have you ever wanted to make ice cream at home but realized you’re out of cream? Fear not, because it’s possible to create a delicious frozen treat without this typical key ingredient. This article will guide you through an alternative way to make ice cream that still satisfies your sweet tooth and maintains a creamy texture.

By using a few substitutions, you can still achieve the desired consistency and flavor of traditional ice cream. For instance, using full-fat coconut milk, yogurt, or even whipped frozen bananas can provide a smooth and creamy base for your homemade ice cream. Additionally, combining some creative ingredients can elevate your frozen dessert to incredible heights, all while keeping it cream-free.

As you follow the steps outlined in this article, you’ll find yourself creating a delightful and satisfying ice cream alternative that caters to varying dietary preferences, without compromising on taste or texture. So let’s get started and explore the art of making ice cream without cream.

Ice Cream Recipe Without Cream

Ingredients and Substitutes

To make ice cream without cream, you can use a variety of substitute ingredients that will still deliver a delicious frozen treat. These alternatives will cater to dietary restrictions and preferences, while maintaining that smooth, creamy texture you crave in your homemade ice cream.

One common substitute for heavy cream is sweetened condensed milk. This ingredient provides sweetness and a creamy texture without the fat content of cream. As a base, mix one can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk with 2 cups of milk of your choice. Although it contains less fat than heavy cream, the resulting ice cream will still have a satisfying richness.

Another option is coconut milk, which is naturally creamy and can give your ice cream a tropical twist. Use full-fat coconut milk for a smooth, dense texture similar to traditional ice cream. Combine two cans (13.5 ounces each) of full-fat coconut milk and your desired flavorings; this versatile ingredient works well with a wide array of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, and fruity options.

For a lighter, dairy-free alternative, try using whipped aquafaba. Aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas, can be whipped up just like heavy cream or egg whites, creating a light and airy texture. To prepare, whip the liquid from one can of chickpeas with a pinch of salt until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold in your preferred flavors, like vanilla extract or cocoa powder, and sweeten to taste with sugar.

Don’t forget to add a little salt to your ice cream recipe, which helps bring out the flavor and improve texture. Adjust the sugar levels according to your desired sweetness, and always taste as you go.

When it comes to adding flavors, feel free to get creative with extracts, such as vanilla extract, or mix-ins like chocolate chips, fruit, or nuts. An ice cream maker or ice cream machine will help achieve the best consistency, but you can still make your treat without these appliances by stirring the mixture at regular intervals while freezing.

Here is a simple table to help you evaluate cream substitutes:

SubstituteQuantityAdditional IngredientsTextureDairy-Free?
Condensed Milk1 can (14 oz.)2 cups milkCreamyNo
Coconut Milk2 cans (13.5 oz.)Dense, creamyYes
Whipped AquafabaLiquid from 1 can chickpeasPinch of saltLight, airyYes

To sum it up, making ice cream without cream is not only possible but also opens up a world of new flavors and textures. Choose the substitute that best suits your dietary needs and preferences, and enjoy the process of creating your unique frozen treat.

Dairy-Free and Vegan Alternatives

Making ice cream without cream is easier than you might think, and there are plenty of dairy-free and vegan alternatives available to satisfy your cravings.

First, consider using a base of frozen bananas. This popular method creates a creamy consistency similar to traditional ice cream. To make banana ice cream, simply peel and freeze ripe bananas, then blend them until smooth. You can add your favorite mix-ins like nuts, chocolate chips, or fruit to create your desired flavor.

Another option is using coconut milk as a base for your dairy-free ice cream. The richness and natural sweetness of coconut milk make it an ideal substitute for cream. To make coconut milk ice cream, mix it with your choice of sweetener, such as coconut sugar, and add flavorings like vanilla or cocoa powder. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker or freeze in a container, stirring occasionally to maintain a smooth texture.

Here are a few additional dairy-free and vegan alternatives for making ice cream without cream:

  • Almond milk: Like coconut milk, almond milk is creamy and can create a delicious base for dairy-free ice cream.
  • Cashew cream: Blend soaked cashews with water to create a rich and creamy substitute for cream in your ice cream recipe.
  • Soy milk: As a more neutral option, soy milk can replace cream in ice cream recipes but may require thickeners like cornstarch to achieve the desired texture.

Don’t hesitate to experiment with different flavor combinations to suit your taste buds. Many popular ice cream flavors can easily be adapted to dairy-free and vegan versions, ensuring you don’t miss out on your favorite treats. Enjoy the process of discovering new ways to indulge in delicious, dairy-free, and vegan ice cream at home.

No-Churn Ice Cream Methods

When making ice cream without cream, there are several no-churn methods you can explore. These methods are not only easy to follow but also don’t require the use of an ice cream machine, making them perfect for anyone looking to make a delicious dessert with minimal equipment.

One popular no-churn method involves making ice cream in a bag. To try this technique, you’ll need whole milk, ice, and your desired flavorings, such as chocolate or strawberry. Start by mixing your milk and flavorings in a small Ziploc bag before sealing it tightly. Then, fill a larger Ziploc bag halfway with ice and add a pinch of salt. Place the smaller bag with your ice cream mixture inside the larger bag, seal it, and shake vigorously for about 5-10 minutes. Once the mixture reaches the desired consistency, carefully remove the ice cream from the bags and enjoy your homemade, no-churn, creamless creation.

Another user-friendly no-churn technique utilizes a food processor or blender. For this method, gather your ingredients – which may include fruits like strawberries for strawberry ice cream or cocoa powder for chocolate ice cream – and mix them with your preferred milk choice. Puree the mixture until smooth, then transfer it to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld before pouring the mixture into a metal loaf pan or other freezer-safe container. Freeze the mixture for several hours, occasionally stirring to create a creamy texture. When you’re ready to serve, simply scoop out your delightful homemade ice cream.

In addition to these methods, there are countless no-churn ice cream recipes available that incorporate a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. Many recipes call for the use of heavy whipping cream instead of regular cream or milk to achieve a creamy texture, while others involve incorporating non-dairy milk alternatives, such as almond or oat milk. By experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, you’ll soon be able to craft your unique flavors and enjoy a satisfying ice cream treat whenever the mood strikes.

Remember, making ice cream without cream doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. By utilizing these simple no-churn methods, you can create your favorite flavors from the comfort of your own home, all while keeping things clean and simple.

Storage and Equipment

To make ice cream without cream, you’ll need some essential equipment. First, use a loaf pan for shaping and storing your ice cream. Cover the pan with parchment paper before pouring in the ice cream mixture. This will prevent sticking and make it easier to remove the frozen ice cream. Wrap the pan with aluminum foil to protect it from freezer burn.

Whisk your ice cream mixture thoroughly to achieve a smooth consistency. You can make ice cream without a machine, and using a whisk is a simple but effective way to incorporate air into your mixture. This will create a lighter, fluffier texture, similar to what you’d get with an ice cream maker.

When it comes to flavorings, get creative with your ice cream. Throw in some nuts for added crunch, or mix in mini chocolate chips for a classic chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Even without cream, you can achieve rich flavors like peanut butter, dulce de leche, or cheesecake. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite.

For liquid ingredients, use half-and-half as an alternative to cream. This will still provide a creamy texture and rich flavor without the added fat of heavy cream. Other alternatives include coconut milk or cashew milk. These choices can provide a similarly rich taste with a slight twist on traditional flavors.

Always store your homemade ice cream in an airtight container to maintain its freshness. Freezer-safe plastic containers with airtight lids are an excellent choice for storage. This way, you can enjoy your ice cream at its peak flavor whenever you’re in the mood for a frozen treat.

Popular Flavors and Add-Ins

When making ice cream without cream, you can still achieve a variety of delicious flavors using alternative ingredients. Here are some popular flavor options and add-ins to consider when crafting your ice cream.

Vanilla Bean: Instead of using cream, use a plant-based milk like almond or coconut milk infused with whole vanilla beans. This will give your ice cream a classic, rich vanilla taste.

Caramel: Create a caramel ice cream base by simmering your sweetener of choice, such as sugar or maple syrup, until it reaches a caramel-like consistency. Combine this with your favorite non-dairy milk or vegan creamer for a luscious, velvety caramel ice cream.

Tiramisu: For this coffee-flavored dessert, mix in brewed espresso and finely crushed ladyfinger cookies into your non-dairy ice cream base. Optionally, you can add a splash of coffee or almond liqueur for a more indulgent treat.

Peppermint Extract: Infuse your non-dairy ice cream base with a few drops of peppermint extract along with chocolate chips or crushed candy canes to create a refreshing, minty treat.

When it comes to add-ins, there is no shortage of options to elevate your ice cream without cream. Here are some recommendations:

  • Fresh fruit: diced strawberries, blueberries, cherries
  • Nuts: crushed almonds, walnuts, pecans
  • Cookie crumbles: chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, graham crackers

There are also plenty of regional and international flavor inspirations to consider. For example, you can make a French-style ice cream using lavender or herbs de Provence, or try creating a New York-inspired cheesecake ice cream using vegan cream cheese and crushed graham crackers.

Ultimately, preparing ice cream without cream lets you explore a range of flavors and add-ins to suit your preferences. By selecting the right combination of ingredients, you will delight in your creative, delicious, and dairy-free frozen desserts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some 2-ingredient recipes for ice cream without heavy cream?

One popular 2-ingredient recipe is banana ice cream. Simply blend frozen bananas with a bit of milk or a milk substitute until smooth, then freeze. Another option is using sweetened condensed milk mixed with pureed fruit, like strawberries, freeze that mixture and enjoy a fruity ice cream.

How can I make ice cream using only milk?

To make ice cream using just milk, use whole milk for a creamier texture. Combine 2 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of sugar, and your choice of flavorings, then chill this mixture well. You can then use an ice cream maker to churn it, or put it in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes to break up ice crystals until the desired consistency is achieved.

Can I make homemade ice cream without heavy cream and a machine?

Yes, you can! One approach is to use sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping. Combine a can of sweetened condensed milk with your choice of flavorings. Gently fold in 2 cups of whipped topping, then pour the mixture into a container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

What is a recipe for ice cream using milk and eggs?

To make a custard-based ice cream that uses milk and eggs, start by whisking 4 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar. In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of milk until simmering but not boiling. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Chill the custard, then churn in an ice cream maker or freeze using the stirring method mentioned earlier.

How can I make ice cream with sweetened condensed milk and whole milk?

Combine 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 cups of whole milk and any desired flavorings, like vanilla extract or cocoa powder. Whisk until well combined, then pour into an ice cream maker and churn until the desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, freeze and stir the mixture every 30 minutes until it sets.

What are the alternatives to cream when making no-churn ice cream?

Several alternatives can be used, like whipped topping, evaporated milk, whole milk, or milk substitutes such as coconut milk or almond milk. These can impart different flavors and textures, but they can also result in ice cream that is less rich and creamy than using heavy cream. Be sure to select a complementary ice cream base to your choice of flavorings for the best results.

Ice Cream Recipe Without Cream

Gluten-free: Yes
Dairy-free: Yes
Suitable for nut allergies: Yes
4.95 from 67 votes
Prep Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 175 kcal


  • Ice cream maker
  • Bowl
  • Whisk


  • 2 cans of full-fat coconut cream. These should be about 14 ounces
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod (optional)


  • Place a mixing bowl into the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
  • Remove the bowl and add in all of your ingredients. Blend together until fully combined.
  • Pour your mixture into an ice cream maker. Begin churning until the mixture resembles a soft serve consistency.
  • Remove your ice cream from your ice cream maker and add into freezer safe containers.
  • Place your ice cream into the freezer for 4-6 hours before serving.


Calories: 175kcal
Keyword Ice Cream Recipe, Ice Cream Recipe Without Cream
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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