Ice cream is a staple summer treat, though honestly, we enjoy this frozen confection year-round. But it’s not always convenient or easy to leave the house to visit your local ice cream shop or pick up your favorite pint at the grocery store. Sometimes it’s raining, sometimes it’s snowing, and other times we just want to enjoy a night in. And, at the same time, there’s nothing like a fresh batch of homemade ice cream. That’s when it pays to make ice cream right from the comfort of home.
There are a number of (supposedly) “easy” ways to make homemade ice cream; these existing techniques require ice cream-making ingredients, a healthy dose of muscle, and some patience. Read on to learn more about making homemade ice cream - or skip to the end for the easiest and fastest way to make ice cream at home!
“Easy” Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
How do you make homemade ice cream? There are actually a few ways to whip up this frozen treat in your kitchen. Here are a few methods you can try:
Ice Cream In a Bag
How do you make ice cream without a machine? All you need are a couple of plastic resealable bags and classic ice cream ingredients. This recipe from Delish explains how to make ice cream with ice cubes and salt (along with half and half, sugar, and pure vanilla extract).
Combine the half and half, sugar, and vanilla in a small resealable plastic bag, making sure to push out any excess air. Then, in a larger resealable bag, combine the ice and salt. Place the smaller bag inside the larger bag and shake vigorously until the ice cream has hardened (typically 7-10 minutes). Alternatively, you can place the smaller bag of ingredients in a container (i.e. coffee can) with ice and salt and have the kids roll it down hills or toss it around for some added fun!
The science behind this method is that the salt effectively lowers the temperature at which water freezes. So the salt ice will melt even when the temperature is below the normal freezing point of water, resulting in creamy ice cream to be enjoyed with your favorite ice cream toppings.
This homemade ice cream making method is great for teaching kids about science and allowing them to have a hand in the process, however, it does have its drawbacks. Using two plastic bags per batch isn’t exactly eco-friendly - and there is a concern that the bags will rupture, resulting in a messy kitchen or worse, salty ice cream. It also requires some trial and error and can take a lot of time, only to result in an end product that is typically more like a soft-serve consistency rather than a hard scoop. And, of course, it can be kind of exhausting...
Classic Ice Cream
Ice cream is traditionally made in three distinct steps that you can also complete at home. This method is much more time-consuming and requires a watchful eye and the right timing - otherwise you risk curdling or burning your base! It begins by heating milk, cream, and sugar until the sugar dissolves and then allowing the mix to cool. For a richer-tasting ice cream (French-style), the hot cream-sugar mixture can be whisked into egg yolks.
With the liquid cool and any flavors added (i.e. vanilla) it’s time to freeze. An ice cream machine is ideal for this method as long as you are looking to make a large batch and thought to freeze the bowl. You can also use a freezer and hand mixer to whip up a fluffy ice cream over the course of a few hours. (Make sure you warm up your muscles because it’ll get progressively more tedious to mix!) After the hardening process, you will have ice cream that is ready to scoop and enjoy - a well-deserved treat after all that work!
Ice Cream Maker
Making homemade ice cream is easier when you have an ice cream maker on hand. With this method, all you need to do is combine heavy whipping cream, half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract and let the machine go to work.
Of course, this method only works if you have an available ice cream maker and are making a large batch of one flavor. You’ll also need to plan in advance by freezing the bowl and equipment, plus be prepared to clean up a sticky mess at the end of it all. Not exactly ideal for a quick and easy homemade ice cream recipe.
Enter the ColdSnap™ Machine
While the above methods are tried and true, they have their drawbacks (prepping ingredients, waiting for hours, messy clean-ups, and physically tiresome).
We at ColdSnap thought it was time to bring ice cream making into the 21st Century home. Using the ColdSnap™ system, you can make single-servings of your favorite frozen confection in approximately two minutes - with no preparation, ingredients, or clean-up required! It’s certainly the fastest and easiest homemade ice cream method of them all, complete with the added benefit of variety.
While standard ice cream machines are a one-trick pony, our soon-to-be-released rapid freezing appliance produces a variety of frozen confections and frozen beverages so you can feed all of your frozen treat cravings in no time. Whether your perfect night in requires a bowl of chocolate ice cream or a boozy frozen cocktail, the ColdSnap Machine can churn out a selection of frozen goodies all night long.