No special equipment necessary for no-churn ice cream that yields premium flavor: Taste
I’ve been accused of having too many kitchen gadgets.
I admit, I do have quite a few, but one thing I don’t have and have never really found necessary is an ice cream maker.
Mostly because, why pay more to make my own ice cream when there are hundreds of options available at the grocery store?
But in recent years, no-churn ice cream recipes have been popping up on the internet.
The exact origins are unknown, but they likely come from the same place as a lot of our great 20th century recipes: a brand’s recipe lab.
Sweetened condensed milk is the reason no-churn ice cream works. The high levels of sugar plus a lower amount of water create an environment that helps prevent crystals from forming when freezing.
Whipping the cream before adding the sweetened condensed milk adds the air that churning usually does, which results in soft ice cream.
An unflavored, sweet and creamy ice cream can be made with just these two ingredients, but what fun is plain ice cream?
I have a birthday coming up, and my favorite ice cream flavor from college is Coldstone Creamery’s cake batter ice cream, so I sought out a birthday cake flavor. Cue the Funfetti cake mix!
I also added a few more sprinkles because I found that the cake mix didn’t add sufficient sprinkles to convey the birthday cake flavor of the ice cream.
This ice cream turned out fantastic. Better than most standard ice creams in the freezer section.
Part of that can be attributed to the higher amount of fat in the no-churn version — there are 13 grams in a roughly half-cup serving. Store brand vanilla bean ice cream has nine grams of fat in a two-thirds-cup serving. The serving size with no-churn is based on 1/16 of the final product, rather than a specific volume measurement.
That got me thinking — could this be duplicated with yogurt as a one-to-one substitute for the cream?
One of my favorite treats is Yasso bars. They’re made with Greek yogurt and they’re pretty delicious, but also a little pricey. Combine that with the nostalgia of the early 2010s and the prevalence of frozen yogurt shops everywhere, and I wanted to dabble in making my own frozen yogurt using the no-churn method.
One snag is that Greek yogurt, even whole milk Greek yogurt, just doesn’t whip up the same way as cream. There’s nowhere near enough fat in the yogurt.
Whole milk Greek yogurt has 18.7 grams of fat in two cups. Heavy whipping cream has 160 grams of fat in two cups.
Whipping the yogurt adds some air, but not as much as whipping the cream. After I added the sweetened condensed milk and the cake mix, whipping the mixture did start to add some volume.
After time in the freezer, the frozen yogurt wasn’t quite as fluffy as the ice cream, but the texture was still very smooth with an added tanginess from the fermented milk. That’s a flavor I miss from all the frozen yogurt shops.
Overall, I would make both of these again. There are recipes on Pinterest for any flavor of ice cream under the sun using the no-churn method.
I want to experiment a little more with the frozen yogurt. It’s almost there.
Some of the no-churn ice cream recipes include two tablespoons of spirits to keep the ice cream from getting too hard in the freezer. This might help the yogurt version. Also, just whipping the mixture longer, or even subbing a little bit of whipping cream before adding the yogurt, might add enough air to produce a fluffier base.
Using this method to make ice cream is like getting premium ice cream quality without the premium ice cream price.
No-churn birthday cake ice cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream.
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk.
- 1 cup Funfetti cake mix.
- Jimmy-style sprinkles.
- In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Blend in sweetened condensed milk and cake mix until completely smooth/dissolved.
- Pour into loaf pan, freeze for a few hours or overnight until set.
Recipe adapted from Julie Blanner at https://julieblanner.com/cake-batter-ice-cream-recipe/.
The stories of local people and their recipes are featured in Taste. If you have a great recipe or story idea or have a question about cooking and baking, contact columnist Katherine Grandstrand at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @AberdeenTaste on Twitter or Instagram.