An all-natural, all-amazing no churn ice cream.
For those wondering if you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker, the answer is yes! A good no churn ice cream recipe is the way to go. Trust me. This homemade strawberry ice cream recipe tastes creamy, sweet, and fresh, is 100% natural, and needs no ice cream maker.
How Does No Churn Ice Cream Taste?
This homemade strawberry ice cream recipe employs a no-churn technique. I have seen no-churn ice cream recipes around for a while now, and have always been dubious.
“How can it be so easy?” I wondered. I assumed it was some kind of trick. Or that it tasted ice cream-adjacent, but was certainly not actual ice cream.
I was wrong. No churn ice cream tastes just like — and is! — real ice cream. It tastes like gelato, actually: a little softer than hard-packed ice cream. But every bit as satisfying.
How to Make No Churn Ice Cream
It makes sense, scientifically, that no-churn ice cream tastes like “regular” ice cream. Traditional ice cream (say, vanilla) is made from sugar, cream, egg yolks, and vanilla. This custard then gets put into an ice cream maker, where it is simultaneously frozen and aerated via churning.
The aeration from the ice cream maker’s churning mechanism gives the finished ice cream a creamy texture — as opposed to being a big block of cream-based ice.
No-churn ice cream employs the same principals, in a different method.
- First, combine the ingredients into the bowl of a mixer: heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and (here) freeze-dried strawberry powder.
- Whip to soft peaks.
- Pour into a loaf pan. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Scoop, serve!
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream: No Churn Recipe Tips
This strawberry ice cream is almost too easy to need recipe tips, but there are a few:
- Whip the cream to soft peaks using a whip or whisk attachment. Kick the mixer up to high. Make sure it does not splash, though! Soft peaks will look fluffy and very soft. When you pull the whisk out, the peak created in its wake should lop over and lose its shape.
- Freeze the strawberry ice cream fully. This quantity will fill a standard loaf pan about halfway, and needs about 6 hours to fully chill, but I prefer overnight.
- I love to weave some strawberry jam into the ice cream base for a little extra color, flavor, and texture. Use a regular teaspoon to add small dollops to the whipped ice cream base. Swirl it in a bit with a butter knife. Cover and freeze.
Can I Substitute the Freeze-Dried Strawberry Powder?
Sorry, but no. Freeze-dried strawberry powder is the key ingredient, responsible for all the flavor and color. Freeze-dried strawberries are fairly easy to source, though. Many grocery stores sell them in the snack aisle (for less money than you find on Amazon). Just pulse them in the food processor into a fine powder, reserving a few for garnish. You can also buy pre-ground strawberry powder and use the extra for smoothies, marble pound cake, or other projects.
Fresh strawberries just would not work here. (But they are a lovely garnish!) Their high moisture content would make the ice cream watery, and potentially cause ice crystals to form. Plus, by removing the liquid, freeze-dried strawberry powder is highly concentrated in both flavor and color.
I’ve seen recipes use puréed or crushed, macerated strawberries. But again, I find freeze-dried strawberry powder to have a more concentrated flavor that gets the creamiest result.
Can I Leave the Strawberry Powder out and Make No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream or Other Flavors?
Yes! Absolutely. For an easy no-churn vanilla ice cream, leave out everything strawberry, and add an additional two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Alternatively, a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste would be lovely here and you’d get those great flecks.
They use a different base recipe, but this Food52 article on no-churn ice cream has other great ideas for making your own flavors.
Love this homemade strawberry ice cream? You’ll also love these recipes:
- Strawberry Shortcakes With Cream Biscuits
- Strawberry Marble Pound Cake
- How to Arrange a Fresh Fruit Plater
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (No-Churn!)
- 1 1/4 cup very cold heavy whipping cream
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup (60 grams) freeze-dried strawberry powder, from about two 1.2-ounce containers
- 1/8 cup strawberry preserves (optional)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pulse the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder in a blender or food processor, reserving about 8 or 10 for garnish (optional).
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. When the splashing subsides and the mixture looks slightly thickened, add the strawberry powder and vanilla extract. Continue to whip until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.PRO TIP: Heavy cream whips better when very cold. Many pro pastry chefs chill their mixing bowls first, to keep the cream extra cold while whipping.
- Pour the strawberry ice cream mixture into a standard loaf pan. Use a teaspoon to drop small dollops of strawberry jam all over the surface. Swirl it into the ice cream base a bit with a butter knife. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
- Serve with the leftover freeze-dried strawberries or fresh strawberries to garnish. Tip: Serve the ice cream right away from the freezer. This is a little more aerated than hard-packed ice cream, so will melt a little more quickly, like gelato.