What if I told you that you don’t need to buy a fancy appliance to make your own homemade ice cream?? Not only is this simple homemade ice cream delicious, but you can make so many different flavors and it’s just a super fun summer project. This year we took advantage of some of the season’s fresh strawberries to make this dangerously delicious, no-churn strawberry ice cream, and it might be my favorite flavor yet. So make sure to bookmark this recipe for this weekend. You’ll be so happy to have some homemade ice cream stashed away in your freezer later. ;)
What Does No-Churn Mean?
No-churn simply means you don’t need an ice cream maker to make this INSANELY easy dessert. The ice cream base doesn’t need to be continuously stirred as it freezes to stay soft and fluffy, and you don’t need to stand over a stove gently simmering and stirring eggs, cream, and sugar into a smooth custard. Halleloo! Whipping the ingredients together before freezing helps keep the ice crystals small and the ice cream smooth and delicious.
With just five ingredients and a hand mixer, this recipe will give you delectable, velvety results. This ice cream is so good I make a double batch because I know that despite my best efforts, I will devour most of it in one sitting.
How Do You Flavor Ice Cream?
There are two ways to flavor your no-churn ice cream. You can flavor the ice cream base or you can swirl flavorful ingredients into the whipped ice cream just before freezing. To keep this recipe simple, we flavored the base with just a touch of vanilla, then swirled in strawberries and strawberry syrup just before freezing.
If you don’t have fresh strawberries or don’t want to make your own strawberry syrup, you can swirl in a little thinned-out strawberry jam. Simply loosen up the strawberry jam by stirring in a little warm water until it is just loose enough to run off a spoon. Then swirl it in as we did with the strawberry syrup below.
What Keeps No-Churn Ice Cream Soft?
Ice cream made in an ice cream maker is slowly churned as it freezes, which incorporates air into the mixture and keeps the ice crystals really small as they form. With no-churn ice cream, the mixture is whipped before freezing to incorporate the air, and the high fat and sugar content of the base helps prevent large ice crystals from forming as it freezes. It’s so incredibly easy and the results are so fantastic, you’ll be glad you didn’t drop $$$ on that ice cream machine.
Love no-churn ice cream? Try these other no-churn ice cream flavors: Balsamic Peach Ice Cream or Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, divided ($1.99)
- 1/3 cup sugar (granulated) ($0.05)
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract ($0.06)
- 1 pinch salt ($0.01)
Ice Cream Base
- 1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk ($1.59)
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream ($2.39)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ($0.50)
- 1 pinch salt ($0.01)
- Make the strawberry syrup first. Wash the strawberries and remove the green tops. Dice the strawberries into ¼-inch pieces. Reserve half of the chopped strawberries to fold into the ice cream later.
- Add the other half of the diced strawberries to a sauce pot with the sugar. Stir and cook over medium heat until the strawberries release their liquid and form a syrup in the saucepot.
- Let the strawberries simmer in the syrup, stirring occasionally until they break down and lose their shape and the syrup has thickened slightly. You'll know it's ready when you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom center of the pot and the syrup stays parted for a few seconds. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set the strawberry syrup aside to cool.
- While the syrup is cooling, prepare the ice cream base. Add the sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt to a bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy, and has formed soft peaks.
- Fold the reserved chopped fresh strawberries into the ice cream base. Transfer the whipped ice cream base to a freezer-safe container. Drizzle the cooled strawberry syrup over the ice cream and gently swirl it into the mixture.
- Cover the ice cream and freeze for eight hours before scooping and serving.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Strawberry Ice Cream – Step by Step Photos
Make the strawberry syrup first. Wash the strawberries and remove the green tops from one pound of strawberries. Dice the strawberries into ¼-inch pieces. Reserve half of the chopped strawberries to fold into the ice cream later.
Add the other half of the diced strawberries to a sauce pot with ⅓ cup sugar.
Stir and cook over medium heat until the strawberries release their liquid and form a syrup in the saucepot and the mixture comes up to a simmer.
Let the strawberries simmer in the syrup, stirring occasionally until they break down and lose their shape, and the syrup has thickened slightly. You’ll know it’s ready when you drag a wooden spoon across the bottom center of the pot and the syrup stays parted for a few seconds. Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Set the strawberry syrup aside to cool.
While the syrup is cooling, prepare the ice cream base. Add one 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, one pint of heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to a bowl.
Use a hand mixer to whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy, and has formed soft peaks (when you lift the beaters out of the mixture it will form a gentle peak that slumps over to the side).
Fold the reserved chopped fresh strawberries into the ice cream base.
Transfer the whipped ice cream base to a freezer-safe container.
Spoon the cooled strawberry syrup over the ice cream and gently swirl it into the mixture. Don’t over mix it! :)
Cover the ice cream and freeze for eight hours before scooping and serving.
Other Desserts You Can Make For Under $1 A Serving:
Try these wide-open bags of deliciousness without breaking the bank!
I read comments about the chunks freezing together so I made sure to really chop the strawberry down smaller and didn’t have any issue of frozen chunks. This is very sweet so we found eating a little bit was perfect but it tasted so good!
This no churn ice cream is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!! I LOVE this recipe and prefer it over ANY store bought ice cream or even homemade churned ice cream. That’s how good this no churn ice cream is!!
Would there be a way to make this dairy-free and still be creamy?
Hi Rinda! I/m sure there is a way, but we have yet to develop that recipe. When going dairy-free it complicates things a touch, as the results can be icy. I’ll put it on the list of things to try. XOXO -Monti
Absolutely fantastic. It does make a lot to eat. HUGE TIP – skip the part where it says to reserve half the strawberries. Make a double batch of the strawberry syrup instead, and fold the entire batch into your base mixture. If you fold in small chunks of reserved strawberries instead, the icy texture can hurt when you bite into it.
I have an ice cream maker for my KitchenAid mixer and have never made no churn ice cream, but the pics looked yummy. So I decided to give it a try. It was delicious. The flavor reminded me of the strawberry cheesecake ice cream from a local ice cream parlor which used to be my favorite flavor. The only thing I would do different is to skip the strawberries chunks and just stick with the sauce. As others mentioned, the strawberry pieces froze hard and were icy. The strawberry syrup was great.
I made this with my kids last night and got to try it after lunch today. It was decent, although I thought too sweet if the bite was only vanilla without the strawberry syrup. The strawberry chunks froze together in some parts and made ice chunks, which wasn’t great but not a huge deal. Previously, I’ve made custard-based ice cream and done a slow churn freezer method (stirring every 30 mins for a few hours). I did this one as written but in hindsight wish I had stirred it a few times last night even after all the whipping. I’m not sure if I’ll repeat this recipe but it was fun to try a new technique.