Easy Ice Cream Recipe Without An Ice Cream Maker

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Easy Ice Cream Recipe

You don’t need an ice cream maker for this easy ice cream recipe. Make a batch at home with just a few simple ingredients and a quart jar!

I love ice cream, but the commercial brands have so many questionable ingredients. Items like thickeners, preservatives, and some things that I just don’t know what they are! Making your own ice cream can be fun, but then you need the machine. I don’t have room for one, but I do have quart jars!

Easy Ice Cream Recipe

Easy Ice Cream Recipe

5 from 2 votes

You don't need an ice cream maker for this easy ice cream recipe. Make a batch at home with just a few simple ingredients and a quart jar!

Prep Time
10 minutes
Shaking and Freezing Time
2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time
2 hours 40 minutes
2 people
Estimated Cost



  • 2 cups heavy cream (also known as whipping cream)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fruit (or fruit puree)


  1. Begin making this easy ice cream recipe by pouring the cream into a jar.
  2. Place the lid on, making sure it is very tight. Shake it! Keep shaking it! Shake it some more! Eventually, the cream will thicken and essentially become whipped cream.
  3. Carefully open the jar and add your fruit and sugar. How much? That’s up to you and what you use. Peaches are in season here now, so I used a half a cup of chopped and mashed peaches plus a Tablespoon of raw sugar. If you use an alternative sweetener, like stevia, you’ll probably need a lot less. Start with a small amount and taste it before adding more.
  4. Cover it again and pop it into the freezer. It’ll take a few hours to freeze, but you’ll end up with a great tasting ice cream!


This easy ice cream recipe is the full-fat version because lower fat milk doesn’t work the same. I’ll provide some alternatives later in the article, but we strongly recommend following the recipe.

When the fat mixes with air, it helps create small pockets in the ice cream. It makes the texture smoother. In fact, a scoop of ice cream is about half air.[1]


Serving: 12ounces | Calories: 859kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 88g | Saturated Fat: 55g | Cholesterol: 326mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3624IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 1mg
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Alternatives to Cream and Sugar

Cream Alternatives

If you don’t want to use cream in your easy ice cream recipe, try lower-fat milk like 2%, or even coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew milk. You may need to use a stick blender, aka immersion blender, to get some frothiness. I’ve found that with thinner milk alternatives, adding the fruit and sugar or sugar substitute after the freeze works much better. Most milk alternatives will work, but you will also get larger crystals of ice because they contain more water. If this happens, remove the lid, scrape with a fork to break up the crystals, and freeze again. You may need to do it a few times, but the end product is so worth the effort!

Sugar Alternatives

Instead of sugar, you can use any sugar substitute in this easy ice cream recipe. Keep in mind that some sweeteners, like stevia, are a lot sweeter than sugar. Using the same amount could lead to a bitter mess. Start with a small amount, taste it and add more if needed. One of my favorite sweeteners in ice cream is molasses. I freeze the ice cream first, then swirl in a good size spoon of molasses. If you don’t mix it in completely, it will end up like a ribbon of caramel, but with a different flavor. Goes great with coffee! Coffee ice cream, that is. Add a tablespoon or more of brewed espresso to your cream and blend well.

Add Herbal Extracts To Your Ice Cream Recipe

Ice cream is one way to sneak herbal extracts, like tinctures or glycerites, into your diet. Some, like yellowroot, thought to help enhance the immune system, are very bitter. Mixing it into the ice cream recipe will help to disguise the flavor. Alcohol extracts should be added to frozen ice cream and in small amounts, as the alcohol could inhibit freezing. Glycerites, such as lemon balm, one of my favorites, can be used as a sugar substitute. Vegetable glycerin is very sweet on its own and often needs no other sweetener.

Did you try this easy ice cream recipe? Tell us about it!

Tip: now go learn how to make soap!



  1. Dr. Universe. How Ice Cream is Made. Accessed Aug 2019.

About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor, and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon!

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  1. LeAnn says

    I like this recipe and I can’t wait to try it. I’m surprised she doesn’t mention transferring this to a freezer safe container before putting it in the freezer. The one and only time I placed a mason jar in the freezer it exploded.

    • Amanda S. says

      Sorry for the explosion! Mason jars are absolutely freezer safe, but use wide mouth jars and leave the lid loosened until contents are hardened, then tighten. Just a couple of things I’ve learned along the way!

  2. Eileen says

    I love your posts, but this one really got my attention. Can’t wait to try this and am very grateful to you for keeping us as ‘NATURAL’ as possible. Great work !