How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

Nothing beats a scoop of ice cream -- make that homemade ice cream. We show you the ice cream machines, recipes and tips you need to get churning.


ice cream inside scoop

Find the right tools for you.

For the Novice: Pick up a machine with pre-frozen inserts -- it's inexpensive and easy to handle. The inserts must be frozen for about 12 hours before using, but buy an extra one to store in your freezer to avoid the half-day wait in between batches.

For the Entertainer: Consider a rock salt and ice machine, the old-fashioned way to make ice cream. The base is poured into a metal canister set in a bucket, the motor is latched on top, and ice and rock salt are layered in between the bucket and canister. Available in electric or hand crank, this machine is noisy, but fun to watch and perfect for barbecues -- grab an extension cord to take the fun outside.

For the Fanatic: If homemade ice cream is regularly in your freezer, check out a machine with a built-in freezing unit. Though it's on the pricier side, zero forethought is required. Just pour in the custard, turn on the machine and 20 minutes later, your ice cream's done and the machine's ready for the next batch.

For the DIY-er: Put the kids to work outside! Rinse, dry and freeze a 36-ounce and a 10-ounce coffee can along with their plastic lids. Fill the smaller can three-quarters full with the ice cream base and seal; place it inside the larger can and pack the empty space with crushed ice, then cover with a layer of coarse salt before sealing. Roll or gently kick the can until the ice cream is frozen, about 45 minutes.

More: Get the dish on our favorite makers and scoops.

Well Equipped Kitchen: Ice Cream Makers

Well Equipped Kitchen: Ice Cream Scoops


These homemade ice cream recipes and pairings are worth drooling over.

Swirlberry Ice Cream

Raspberry Sauce

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Triple Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream

White Chocolate Mocha Sauce

Candy Jar Ice Cream

Vanilla Cookie Ice Cream Cups

Cinnamon Peach Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

Mint Chip Ice Cream

White Russian Ice Cream

Really Vanilla Vanilla Ice Cream


Put your own stamp on your next batch!

Freeze mix-ins separately while the base is churning. This way, they won't melt the ice cream when folded in.

Flavor your custard with aromatics like fresh ginger or coffee beans. Steep the ingredients in the hot cream base for 15 minutes before straining.

Reduce fat by using more milk and less cream.

Avoid rock-hard fruit chunks by cooking the fruit first: Roast in the oven or stew on the stovetop before adding it to the base.

Toast chopped nuts before folding into the churned ice cream, to maximize flavor.

Use a serrated knife to chop chocolate into shards for mix-ins. (Try your favorite candy bar!)


How to scoop ice cream


There's nothing vanilla about these 3 easy recipe ideas.

Malted Milk Ball Pops: Pack strawberry ice cream into 3-ounce paper cups, then insert a wooden pop stick into each one. Freeze until hard, then unmold and roll in crushed malted milk balls.

Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream Cake: Prepare a brownie recipe, like The Best Basic Brownies, using a springform pan. Pack chocolate ice cream on top and freeze. Slice and serve with Caramel Sauce.

Pink Lemonade Milkshake: Using a food processor, mix together 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream and 1/2 cup thawed pink lemonade concentrate.

The Best Basic Brownies

Caramel Sauce


Get 9 easy ice cream dessert ideas

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