How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker: 3 Easy Methods

Ice cream is a popular dessert that many people enjoy. However, only some have an ice cream maker at home. In this article, we’ll show you how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker in 3 ways. The three methods described below work well for most people and are easy to follow.


How to Make Your Ice Cream Without a Machine in 3 Methods

There are three basic methods for making homemade ice cream without a machine: the Freezer Bag Method, the Mason Jar Method, and the No-Churn Method. Each one has its convenience and drawbacks that will be discussed as follows.

Freezer Bag Method – A Perfect Activity to Do With Kids

Freezer Bag Method

The freezer bag method works by using a combination of ice and salt to freeze the ice cream mixture. The salt reduces the temperature at which the ice freezes, causing it to melt and absorb heat from the ice cream mixture.

This process, called freezing point depression, allows the ice cream mixture to freeze without needing an ice cream maker.

When shaking the mixture vigorously inside the freezer bag, the ice cream mixture is constantly exposed to the cold temperature, allowing it to freeze evenly and develop a smooth and creamy texture.


  • Heavy cream
  • Sugar
  • Flavorings or mix-ins
  • Ice
  • Salt
  • A gallon-sized freezer bag
  • A quart-sized freezer bag


Step 1: Mix the heavy cream, sugar, and flavorings or mix-ins in the quart-sized freezer bag. You might use an electric hand mixer to save effort and time. If you’re making a large batch of ice cream, a stand mixer will keep your hand free.

Step 2: Fill the gallon-sized freezer bag halfway with ice and add salt.

Step 3: Place the quart-sized freezer bag inside the gallon-sized bag and seal it tightly. Shake the bag vigorously for 5-10 minutes until the ice cream mixture thickens and freezes.

Step 4:

  • Remove the quart-sized bag from the gallon-sized bag.
  • Wipe off any excess salt.
  • Scoop the ice cream into a bowl or cone.


When making ice cream using the freezer bag method, there are a few notes and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to use enough salt to lower the freezing point of the ice and allow the ice cream mixture to freeze properly.
  • Seal the bags tightly to prevent any leaks or spills during shaking.
  • Add food coloring to create fun and colorful ice cream.

Some suitable flavors for the freezer bag method include mint chocolate chip, strawberry, vanilla, cookies, or chocolate peanut butter.

Mason Jar Method – Texture Customizable

Mason Jar Method
Cre: CNN

In this method, the ice cream mixture is poured into a mason jar, which is then shaken powerfully in a container filled with ice and salt to create a freezing environment. The salt diminishes the temperature of the ice and makes it melt slower, which creates a cooling effect.

The shaking action in this method churns the liquid ingredients together to create a creamy texture. This method is excellent for making small batches of ice cream because you only need one mason jar and a few minutes to prepare.


  • Heavy cream
  • Sugar
  • Flavorings or mix-ins
  • Ice
  • Salt
  • A mason jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • A large container


Step 1: Mix heavy cream, sugar, and flavorings/mix-ins in a mason jar, then tightly screw the lid on.

Step 2: Shake the jar powerfully for 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens and freezes.

Step 3: Place the jar in a larger container filled with ice and salt to speed up the freezing process (optional)

Step 4: Remove the lid once the ice cream is frozen; stir in additional mix-ins, such as chocolate chips or nuts.

Useful Tips:

When making ice cream using the mason jar method, it’s essential to use a jar with a tight-fitting lid to prevent any leaks or spills.

You can also speed up the freezing by placing the jar in a larger container filled with ice and salt.

To create a creamy and delicious ice cream, consider using high-quality ingredients such as fresh fruit, pure vanilla extract, or premium chocolate.

Some popular flavor combinations include strawberry and basil, chocolate and sea salt, and mint chocolate chip. Additionally, you can add a salt pinch to enhance the flavor and balance the sweetness.

No-Churn Method – The Easiest

No-Churn Method
Cre: Taste

The no-churn method incorporates air into the heavy cream, creating a light and creamy texture. This method requires more time than others but can yield a lighter texture than those that require churning.


  • Heavy cream
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Flavorings or mix-ins
  • A hand mixer or whisk
  • Two large mixing bowls
  • A container such as a loaf pan or airtight container


Step 1: Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until it forms stiff peaks.

Step 2: Mix sweetened condensed milk with desired flavorings or mix-ins in a separate bowl.

Step 3: Fold the sweetened condensed milk mixture gently into the whipped cream until well combined.

Step 4:

  • Pour the cream mixture into an airtight container or a loaf pan.
  • Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Freeze it for about 6 hours or until the ice cream has become a texture that can be scooped easily.

Step 5: After freezing the ice cream, remove it from the freezer and let it have a few minutes to rest at room temperature before scooping and serving.

Useful Tips:

When making ice cream using the no-churn method, it’s important to carefully whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form to create a light and airy texture. The cream will take approximately 10 minutes to reach stiff peaks. Still, it’s also essential not to overwhip, or the ice cream will become grainy and coarse.

In this method, the sweetened condensed milk acts as a cream base and adds sweetness, helping prevent ice crystals from forming.

The most suitable flavors for the no-churn method call for vanilla, cocoa, or cookies. When it comes to the nuts, they can be added in at the end or sprinkled on top of individual scoops.

Quick Comparison

How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker
Cre: Ohga!

Each of the methods above has its strengths and weaknesses.

The freezer bag method and the mason jar method require some physical effort and can be messy, but they are great options for making ice cream without special equipment.

On the other hand, the no-churn method is the most accessible and versatile, as it only requires a few essential ingredients and tools and can be customized with endless flavor combinations.

The no-churn method produces a creamier texture than the other two methods, sometimes resulting in a grainy texture. However, the freezer bag and mason jar methods can be more cost-effective since they require less heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk than the no-churn method.

Overall, the no-churn method is recommended for home cooks looking for a quick and easy way to make homemade ice cream with endless flavor options. In contrast, the freezer bag and mason jar methods are better suited for those who enjoy a more hands-on approach and want to save on ingredients.


How to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker – Additional Tips

If you’d like to improve the quality of your ice cream, you can do a few things.

Optional Mix-Ins

Adding mix-ins to ice cream is a great way to customize the dessert to your taste and create a unique and delicious treat.

Mix-ins add a crunchy or chewy texture to the smooth and creamy ice cream, creating a more interesting mouthfeel. They can also add a little color and visual interest to the ice cream, making it more appealing and appetizing.

Many popular mix-ins can be added to ice cream to enhance its flavor and texture. Some common mix-ins include crushed cookies, candy pieces, fruit chunks, nuts, and chocolate chips.

To incorporate mix-ins into ice cream, simply add them to the mixture during the last few minutes of churning or folding.

  • For smaller mix-ins like chocolate chips or candy pieces, adding them in the last minute or two of churning is best to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.
  • For larger mix-ins like fruit chunks or nuts, it’s best to fold them in gently with a spatula after churning to avoid overmixing and breaking up the pieces.

It’s also important to note that adding too many mix-ins can cause the ice cream to become too hard and difficult to scoop, so it’s best to use them in moderation.

Freezing and Serving

Freezing and Serving Ice Cream

How to Freeze the Ice Cream Properly

Properly freezing ice cream is crucial to achieving the right texture and consistency. Once you have finished preparing the ice cream mixture, transfer it to a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid.

Ensure that the container is appropriately sized for the quantity of ice cream you have. It should have enough space for expansion but not so much that the container has excessive air.

Using a spatula, smoothen the surface of the ice cream to remove any air pockets. Next, cover the container with a layer of plastic wrap before screwing the lid on top. That will block ice crystals’ formation on the ice cream’s surface.

Store the container in the coldest section of the freezer, typically the back, and allow it to freeze for about 4-6 hours or until it has hardened to a scoopable consistency. Avoid opening the container frequently, as this can cause ice crystals to form.

Finally, when it’s time to serve the ice cream, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping.

Serving Ideas and Toppings

There are several alternatives to serving and topping ice cream. Here are a few ideas:

  • Sundae bar: Set up a DIY sundae bar with bowls of different toppings like hot fudge, caramel sauce, chopped nuts, sprinkles, and whipped cream. Let your guests create their unique sundaes.
  • Ice cream sandwich: Squeeze a scoop of ice cream between two cookies or brownies for a tasty and portable dessert.
  • Waffle cone: Fill a crispy waffle cone with your favorite ice cream for a classic treat.
  • Affogato: Pour a shot of hot espresso onto the top of a vanilla ice cream scoop for a simple yet elegant dessert.
  • Milkshake: Blend ice cream with milk and your favorite mix-ins to create a thick, creamy milkshake.
  • As for toppings, some popular options include fresh fruit, chocolate chips, crushed cookies, candy pieces, and flavored syrups. Don’t hesitate to get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your perfect ice cream serving and topping.


FAQs about How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker
How is ice cream made without a fridge?

Making ice cream without a fridge is possible. One method is to use a container with ice and salt to create a freezing environment for the ice cream mixture. The salt causes the freezing point of the ice to drop, creating a temperature cold enough to freeze the ice cream mixture. In this article, the freezer method bag and the mason jar method work this way.
Another method involves using dry ice to freeze the mixture quickly. The dry ice is broken into small pieces and added to the ice cream mixture, causing it to freeze rapidly. Dry ice is much colder than regular ice, so it can freeze the mixture quickly without needing a fridge.

What can I substitute for cream in ice cream?

There are several substitutes for cream in ice cream recipes. Whole milk is an excellent substitute for heavy cream as it has a similar richness and fat content. You can use whole milk in a 1:1 ratio for heavy cream.
Another option is to use evaporated milk in place of heavy cream. It has a similar consistency and richness to heavy cream and can be used in a 1:1 ratio.
Coconut cream is also a good substitute for heavy cream in vegan ice cream recipes. It has a high-fat content and a creamy texture similar to heavy cream.
Other substitutes for heavy cream in ice cream recipes include Greek yogurt, tofu, and cashew cream.

Which one is the best ice cream maker to buy?

If you make ice cream regularly, considering an ice cream maker is a good idea. There are several highly-rated ice cream makers available on the market.
The best ice cream maker is the one that suits your needs regarding capacity, machine types, and budget. The most famous brands nowadays are known to be Condura, Cusineart, TYLR…, each one has its pros and cons.
You can find detailed information and valuable reviews of the best ice maker Philippines here.


Final Thoughts

Make Ice Cream at Home

With the three easy methods described above, you’ll make homemade ice cream in no time. After discovering each method’s instruction and preparation requirements, choosing your favorite way of making ice cream is simple. It will be a joyful and rewarding experience for you and your family.

We hope you’ve learned some interesting things about how to make tasty ice cream without an ice cream maker. Have you tried one of these methods above? We would love to hear about your experiences!

Did you try the bag method or the jar method? Did you use a substitute for cream or stick to the traditional recipe? What flavors did you make?

Share your tips, tricks, and successes in the comments below. Your experience could inspire others to try making ice cream at home without buying an ice cream maker. Let’s spread the joy of homemade ice cream together!



Karyn is an IIN Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition since 2021, with a passion for cooking and exercise, especially yoga. She brings her expertise in Nutrition and Fitness to Hometoppicks, leading both the Kitchen and Home Gym sections to provide credible product recommendations. Karyn is committed to guiding readers on their healthy living journey with her expert tips and trusted product suggestions. You can find more about her here.

      error: Content is protected !!
      HomeTopPicks Philippines