Homemade Ice Cream

Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you make homemade ice cream that’s tastier and healthier than any you’ve made before. With wholesome ingredients and handy tools, you really can make ice cream at home! Healthy Homemade Ice Cream l Homemade ice cream tips, troubleshooting and a secret ingredient l Homestead Lady.com

To learn a few more kitchen tricks and tips, be sure to check out The Homestead Kitchen chapter of our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead. We can even teach you how to make your own sprinkles to top all the fabulous ice creams you’re going to make. With over 400 pages of homesteading information on eight different topics, presented on four different levels of homesteading experience, you’re bound to find something you can do!

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Make Healthier Homemade Ice Cream

Making homemade ice cream is a great opportunity to de-junk a favorite treat. Have you ever read the back of a box of ice cream? Uh, please do. Even if you don’t believe The Healthy Home Economist when she tells you that there’s anti-freeze in your ice cream, it would still be nice to be able to pronounce all the words on the box. Besides, why ingest corn syrup and natural flavors if you don’t have to?

Use rich, raw milk (or pasteurized if you prefer) or any alternative milk of your choice sourced from a place you trust. Use raw egg yolks, but only from pasture raised hens you trust. I would never add raw, store-bought eggs to anything.

Switch out the typical corn syrup and Sorbitol in commercial ice creams for better sweeteners. Try raw sugar, sucanat, raw honey, maple syrup or even agave. (Agave isn’t really the healthiest thing, but this is the treat section, right?)

Just by doing these few things, you’ve taken a store bought nightmare indulgence into the realm of whole foods, won’t-go-out-of-it’s-way-to-kill-you-young. We’ve even switched out the sugar for raw honey and had this stuff for lunch! Yes, I am the best mother in the world.

Of course, to go with that healthier ice cream, you may want to learn to make rich homestead cakes. Click below to learn more:

Tips for Making Perfect Homemade Ice Cream

Its probable that the less sugar you use, the more firm your ice cream will be once its frozen. To counteract this, be sure to add lots of healthy fat to your ice cream base. Use egg yolks, whole milk and even added cream. Oh, and the most important thing: add one tablespoon of organic beef gelatin. The gelatin will provide you with a smooth, creamy texture.

Also, include your kids or grand-kids in this homemade ice cream making process. It’s super simple to do and will give you an opportunity to talk to your kids about healthy treats and why we take time to make them. The more involved they are in the process of making this healthy ice cream, the more inclined they’ll be to eat it and brag about it to their friends.

Homemade Ice Cream Equipment

You really don’t need any fancy equipment to make homemade ice cream. All you really need are the ingredients, a bowl and a whisk. A freezer is a must, too. You can learn how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker here.

Ice Cream Makers

There are several kinds of ice cream makers designed for home use. There’s this classic one that most of use are familiar with. Or, for a slightly more nostalgic look, you can get the wood barrel one here. These ice cream makers create great ice cream and they’re easy to use. The units usually come with a recipe book and all those recipes can be fun to try.

The downside of these models is that they require you use ice and rock salt to freeze the ice cream. I never have ice on hand (no room in my freezer) and I only ever kept rock salt to make ice cream.

So, I decided to try this Cuisinart counter-top ice cream freezer. I have to admit it was a birthday gift to myself since I don’t normally spend money on something so not-necessary-to-the-homestead. In the time we’ve had it, we’ve certainly gotten our money’s worth.

The unit comes with its own freezer bowls that take care of freezing your ice cream. True, you have to  have room in the freezer for the bowl to freeze 12-24 hours before you want to make ice cream. However, for the ease of use of these ice cream makers, I’ll take a 24 hour inconvenience.

How to Use a Counter-top Ice Cream Freezer

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use a counter-top ice cream freezer. These are a bit different from the ice cream makers of my youth, but certainly not complicated. Homemade Ice Cream Like a Boss - Countertop Ice Cream Maker Parts - www.homesteadlady.com

A Simple Ice Cream Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time-ish
35 mins
Total Time-ish
40 mins

Use this simple raw milk ice cream recipe for your counter top ice cream maker.  Pick which healthy sugar you'd like and add the special ingredient!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: raw milk ice cream
  • Four cups of whole raw milk
  • One cup of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of organic gelatin
  • Start with 1/2 cup of some kind of sweetener - honey, sucanat (which will give a caramel flavor to your ice cream), raw sugar, rice syrup, whatever - to taste
  • One to three farm fresh egg yolks - optional, but don't use store bought (my advice)
  • Any kind of flavor or additive - like 1/2 cup of cocoa or 1 tablespoon of vanilla - optional
  • You can also add bits of fruit chocolate shavings and more; put these in a few minutes before the freeze cycle is complete to avoid them becoming too hard to eat
  1. Warm milk and gelatin together until gelatin is dissolved.  You do not need to heat the milk very high.  We use raw milk to make our ice cream so we watch the temperature closely.  Usually around 100 F is enough to dissolve the gelatin.  The gelatin will help you ice cream be smooth.

  2. Mix the milk and all the other ingredients well (I use my blender).
  3. Pour the mixture into the previously frozen bowl that fits into the unit.  The unit that sits on your counter.  The unit that does not require bags of ice or boxes of salt.
  4. Put the paddle inside the bowl, place the lid on top and turn the unit to on.
  5. Wait about twenty minutes, or until you hear the unit start to slow down its rotations.  You'll be able to see through the top to determine if the ice cream is frozen to your satisfaction.  Put in your additives, if you have them and allow them to mix in for a few minutes.
  6. Remove the ice cream immediately from the bowl or you'll have a layer of ice cream freeze hard to the side of the bowl.  Use a soft saptula so you don't scrape the sides of your bowl.
  7. If you need to store your ice cream, line a bread pan with parchment paper and empty your ice cream bowl into it.  Freeze the ice cream in the pan.  Pull the parchment paper out with your frozen ice cream inside, wrap up and put into a freezer bag or suitable container.  I have some glass containers I use when I store my ice cream.  Honestly, we eat it up right away most of the time.
  8. Remove the ice cream from the freezer about fifteen minutes before you need to eat it so it can start to soften.

Recipe Notes

See notes below in post.

A Few Notes on Homemade Ice Cream

Like I said, you have to place the bowl to the unit in your freezer so make sure you have freezer space for that – it’s a 2 qt., 7 inch bowl.

Homemade Ice Cream Like a Boss - Don't forget the lid for your countertop ice cream maker! www.homesteadlady.com

You can’t use the same bowl twice in a row. The best you’ll get the second time around is milkshake consistency. You’ll need to completely re-freeze the bowl to make another batch. That’s why we have two bowls and always freeze both ahead of when we’ll need to make homemade ice cream. You can’t really ever have too much ice cream, after all. Too little can cause fist fights at family night. If you have more than four people you’re making ice cream for, I recommend getting an extra bowl because it only makes two quarts tops.

If you’d like to add sprinkles made from natural dye, you can try these. Or, like I said above, grab our book and learn to make your own.

If you’d like to learn how to soak and crisp nut to add to your homemade ice cream, try this.

If you’d like to make your own mint ice cream with real mint, you may want to grab out book Herbs in the Bathtub. With this book, you can learn to grow culinary and medicinal herbs wherever you live.

Favorite Flavors of Homemade Ice Cream?

What are our favorite flavors? That’s a very relative question. I am really not respecter of ice creams; I love them all.

We turned a kefir, Marionberry smoothie into ice cream by adding enough cream to get to four or five cups and 1 cup of raw sugar and that was simply divine. It tasted a bit like a sherbet because the kefir gave it a little kick.

Our rose petal ice cream was divine – like eating a fairy. To see that recipe, click here.

Want to sneak veggies into your ice cream? Here’s our recipe for sweet potato ice cream.

Another tasty invention was salted vanilla. Simply a regular vanilla ice cream recipe with sea salt added – start with one teaspoon of sea salt and add or subtract according to taste.

Salted caramel is probably our favorite of the recipes we’ve tried. It’s made with sucanat, with all that natural caramel flavor infusing your ice cream with wonderfulness. Experiment with new flavors as often as possible!

Cover photo gratefully attributed to this Pexels user.

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17 thoughts on “Homemade Ice Cream

  1. Oh wow, Tessa, this sounds so fabulous. We have a Cuisinart ice cream maker, but I think it’s just a 1 qt. version. I wonder if I could use any kind of milk in that one (plus your other instructions)? That would be so so great, and yep, I’d make it in the winter too!

    Sharing this on my page! 😀


    1. From the recipes I saw, Kristi, you really can use just about anything – raw milk, dead milk, coconut milk, rice milk. The more fat, the smoother the ice cream’s texture but with a little fiddling you’ll find a combo you like. I mean, it’s ice cream, how bad can it be, right? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Visiting from the linky @ a mama’s story. This looks delicious. My husband keeps asking me what I want for Christmas and I really don’t want anything but you just planted a seed in my head with this icecream maker that does not require salt… 🙂

  3. You mentioned making salty caramel. We use coconut sugar (which flavors similar to sucanat). How much salt do you put in with it to give it a proper salty flavor? Is it the same basic recipe listed above (with sucanat as the flavoring)?

    1. Great question, Darcy! I’ll go back in the post and clarify but yes, same basic recipe with coconut sugar or sucanat as the sugar plus about 1 tsp of salt. The problem with sweet, salty, sour is that they’re all so relative. Start with a teaspoon and increase or decrease as needed. The best batch we had of salty caramel was this recipe with the 1 teaspoon of salt PLUS a honey caramel sauce over the top and coarse sea salt sprinkled on top. It was like a sweet, melted pretzel.

  4. saying there is antifreeze in commercial ice cream sounds a little extreme, but i take your point. i made some chai tea ice cream tonight, custard base didn’t seem like it was gonna set so i added some gelatin. we’ll see how it goes, i’ll update.

    1. It is extreme! Sadly, it’s also true – just check your brands, not all of them use it.

      Custard ice cream requires commitment – good for you! It’s my favorite. Chai is a great idea for flavoring! I hope the gelatin helps with a soft set. Nothing will prevent you from having to pre-soften homemade ice cream entirely, but the gelatin sure gives it a silky texture.

  5. Your ice cream looks delicious! I have a small electric ice cream maker that is just about the right size for my small family. I like making my own because it reduces the packaging we throw away, and I can reduce the sugar and pick my own flavor. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! The hop is open for this week’s party!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa! We had our countertop ice cream maker die this year and I need to replace it ASAP! It’s not like we can actually go through summer without homemade ice cream, right?

  6. I made this into a ‘keto’ icecream..half cream and milk…added 1/4 teas xanthum gum powder and natvia and xylitol…otherwise the same as your recipe.Turned out beautifully using kitchenaid attatchment on mixer…took 10 mins to churn. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Oooh, what a great improvement! So glad the recipe was helpful and thank you for sharing your modifications. Yum!

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