The internet is awash with no-churn ice cream recipes. This is good news for people who don’t have an ice cream maker. But are these ice creams as good as those that are made with an ice cream maker? I recently performed an experiment to find out the answer to this question.
I made three different no-churn ice creams. The first used Cool Whip, the second used real whipping cream, and the third used real whipping cream plus cream cheese. Each of these ice creams also used sweetened condensed milk. (You will find that almost all recipes for no-churn ice cream use sweetened condensed milk).
- Recipe number one consisted of a container of Cool Whip, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and mint extract. When I made this ice cream, it never got hard in the freezer, and the consistency in my mouth was like eating Elmer’s Glue.
- Recipe number two consisted of peanut butter, whipping cream, and sweetened condensed milk. While the texture still seemed “off,” it was definitely better than the recipe that used Cool Whip.
- Recipe number three consisted of roasted strawberries, cream cheese, whipping cream, and sweetened condensed milk. I found it uncommonly sweet, and the texture again was too smooth. I know that sounds weird, but all the ice creams did not have the texture that one associates with ice cream made in an ice cream maker.
I do not wish to offend anyone who loves no-churn ice creams. I just have to say, as an ice cream snob, that churned ice creams are far superior in flavor and texture. I think what causes the strange texture in the no-churn ice creams is the sweetened condensed milk. It also adds too much sweetness (in my opinion) to most no-churn recipes.
If you think that making churned ice cream requires ice and salt and a large ice cream maker, I am here to tell you that those days are gone. Modern ice cream makers are small, require no ice or salt, and can give you soft-serve ice cream in 30 minutes or less. I highly suggest you read the articles, Do You Really Need an Ice Cream Maker? Yes. Yes You Do and Three Reasons Making Ice Cream is Easier Than You Think.
If you do decide to purchase an ice cream maker, please be aware that all ice cream makers are not created equal! I have purchased and tested three different brands, and I can tell you that you will be wasting your money if you buy anything other than a Cuisinart. I recommend the Cuisinart 1.5-qt. Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. (Stay tuned for my in-depth review of all three ice cream makers). Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it!