Looking for a way to make ice cream with a blender, but not sure how to make it?
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Summer is just around the corner and ice cream is the perfect treat to cool off when you’re in the hot summer heat.
Being able to make ice cream from a blender is convenient and super easy to do, which means you don’t have to go to a busy ice cream shop when you can make it from home.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- The benefits of making ice cream with a blender
- The different ways to make ice cream with a blender
- And more!
What's in this Guide?
What Are The Benefits of Making Ice Cream with a Blender
There are a ton of benefits to making your own ice cream. You have a lot more control over the texture for one thing.
More importantly, making your own ice cream lets you choose the ingredients. You can control how much sugar and fat is in your final product. That means more control over calorie counts.
Keeping calorie counts low is also easier since you can control how much ice cream you make at once. You can also substitute the most calorie rich ingredients for more diet friendly options.
It’s also a lot more affordable to make your own ice cream than to buy ice cream at an ice cream shop or at a grocery store. A typical pint of ice cream ranges from $3-$5, whereas the items in this guide only require few ingredients from each so you can use them again (you may even have some of the ingredients in your kitchen already).
While ice cream machines can be expensive, you can easily make ice cream with a more affordable blender and you can use it for other things because blenders are so versatile.
Making ice cream at home also lets you use higher proportions of fruits and other healthy ingredients. That adds fiber, minerals, and vitamins while reducing calories and refined sugar.
You can even make sorbet instead of ice cream by replacing all the dairy with fruit. It’s still high in sugar, but you’ll cut out a lot of the fat by getting rid of the dairy.
Making ice cream with a blender opposed to buying it from an ice cream shop allows you to tailor the ice cream flavor to your liking. The combinations of ice cream flavors you can make are unique and endless such as peanut butter chocolate, chocolate banana split, and honey pistachio ice cream.
Another advantage of making ice cream with a blender is your family can make it together.
Making ice cream is extremely easy and quite fun to make. Instead of going to an ice cream shop, your family can bond over making your own. It allows your family to get creative with their ice cream and they are able to customize it to their liking.
Plus, making your own ice cream is a great science experiment for little kids. Talking about temperature, and solids and liquids can be a fantastic lesson, and your kids are more likely to remember since they get a tasty treat at the end!
By making your own ice cream, you give it a personal touch and can feel proud of the creations you made, compared to buying mass produced ice cream from a store.
Making homemade ice cream lets you know exactly what is in your frosty treat. Store bought ice cream is filled with preservatives and packed with unnecessary sugar. There are different types of ingredients in store bought ice cream like guar gum and xanthan gum, which helps the prevention of ice crystals, increasing the viscosity of the ice cream.
Unfortunately, those same ingredients are controversial. There is still some debate whether it’s safe to consume xantham gum and guar gum on a regular basis, or if it’s healthy even if it’s technically safe..
Those ingredients are added because over time, ice cream hardens and develops ice crystals. Guar gum keeps the ice cream soft and also helps it resistant melting.
Your homemade ice cream will still be creamy at first, but over time it will harden. If your ice cream becomes hard in the freezer, stick it in your fridge for a bit before you serve it.
You can also add guar gum to your homemade ice cream to make it creamier and last longer. I’ve excluded this step from my list below because adding guar gum to homemade ice cream is something that has to be tailored to your recipe and has to be tested out to your liking. Too much and some mixtures can become a little too gummy.
It’s also not necessary to add guar gum if you’re planning to eat your ice cream the same day you make it.
Layer the ingredients into the blender starting with the milk, gums, protein powder, and then the ice. Start the blender on low, then slowly increase the speed. If it still seems too thick you can add more ice. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Pull the mixture out and serve. Some protein powders already have a small amount of guar gum or xanthan gum, so you may need to play around with the recipe to find the right consistency.
Check out this video to learn how to make strawberry ice cream in a blender with only 3 ingredients:
What You Need To Know About Making Ice Cream with a Blender
With making ice cream from the blender, it’s important to have a strong blender that can completely crush ice. The ice needs to be fully blended for the ice cream to be creamy and smooth.
Your blender needs to be more than powerful enough to crush through ice from a tray or from an ice maker. It won’t be able to cut through huge blocks of ice so you should try to keep the sizes relatively small.
However, using your blender to break up ice might not be the most efficient option. Crushing your ice in a bag with a rolling pin takes a lot of pressure off the blender. It also lets you get smaller pieces of ice which helps get a smoother ice cream.
Crushing the ice yourself also helps the blender add more air to your ice cream mixture. Air is key to getting the right texture. The more air in your mixture the lighter your ice cream will be when it freezes.
The problem is that too much air in your ice cream thins out the flavor. That’s one reason there are weight regulations for ice cream. Basically the government mandates a certain weight per gallon of ice cream to make sure consumers aren’t sold ice cream that’s mostly air.
Why does all of this matter for homemade ice cream?
Because you need some air for a creamy texture. But if you notice that your first ice cream attempt seems a little bland the answer might be too much air. Adding more flavoring ingredients can help but won’t completely fix a mixture with too much air.
If you suspect you have too much air in your mixture try blending the mixture less before you freeze it. There’s a balance between combining all the ingredients and whipping too much air into the mixture.
Read More >> Top Blenders for Shakeology
Supplies You’ll Need For Making Ice Cream with a Blender
To make ice cream with a blender you only need a few items. More than likely, you may already have these items in your kitchen. I’ve also included the amounts for a single serving of ice cream in parenthesis:
- Milk (1-1½ cups)
- Sugar (2- 4 tablespoons, feel free to add more or less depending on your tastes and dietary needs)
- Crushed ice (1 cup)
- Vanilla extract (½ teaspoon)
The best part about ice cream is that it’s extremely versatile and customizable. There are several different ways to make ice cream in a blender. Once you have the vanilla ice cream recipe down pat, you can add fun flavorings to switch it up.
The amount of each ingredient you need depends on your taste. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth you might enjoy ice cream that doesn’t have much sugar. If you love vanilla, you may want a little extra vanilla flavoring.
If you want a slightly more indulgent treat you can also add a little cream to your mix. It adds calories but also improves the texture of the ice cream significantly.
You can also replace sugar with other sweeteners like honey, agave syrup, or even artificial sweeteners. However, sugar helps ice cream achieve its creamy texture, and alternatives have slightly different textures and effects.
You can also add toppings on your ice cream like chocolate syrup or fresh berries. There are countless amounts of exciting and delicious ice cream combinations and flavors you can make. I’ve put together a short list of other ingredients you may want to play with for your homemade ice cream.
Experimenting is half the fun of making your own ice cream at home. As long as you stick to flavors and ingredients you enjoy you should be good to go.
- Fresh fruit, diced
- Frozen fruit or berries
- Cocoa Powder
- Brownie Bits
- Sugar Cookie Crumbles
- Instant Pudding Mix
You’ll also need some kitchen equipment to make your own ice cream:
- A Blender
- A freezer-safe container with a lid
- A mixing bowl for add in flavorings
- A spatula
Read More >> Top Blenders for Milkshakes
How To Make Ice Cream with a Blender (7 Step Guide)
- Plug in the blender and measure your ice and place it in the blender
- Measure out your sugar and vanilla extract and put them in the blender
- Measure out the milk and add toss it into your blender
- Turn the blender on and blend the mixture for approximately 1 minute
- Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze it for about 2 hours
- Taste the ice cream if it’s too soft put it back into the freezer
- Serve your ice cream when the texture is to your liking
Step 1: Plug in the blender and measure your ice and place it in the blender
Plug your blender in and measure out 2 cups of ice (preferably crushed) and place it in the blender.
If your blender struggles with ice cubes, and that’s all you have, you can crush the ice ahead of time. Measure 2 cups of ice (or slightly more, since ice cubes are larger than crushed ice), into a ziplock bag. Then use a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or even a small fry pan to crush the ice in the bag.
Crushing your own ice is loud, and can be messy if your bag breaks, so I recommend using relatively thick freezer bags, or doubling up to make sure you don’t split the plastic. You can reduce the noise slightly by surrounding the bag with a thick towel while you work.
Step 2: Measure out your sugar and vanilla extract and put them in the blender
With your measuring spoon scoop out 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and pour both into the blender.
If you’re adding different flavors to your ice cream, reduce the vanilla extract by half. You may also want to change how much sugar you’re adding, but the proportions vary depending on your flavoring.
Step 3: Measure out the milk and toss it into your blender
With your measuring cup, measure ¼ cup of milk and add it to the blender. You can also add a small amount of cream to your milk for a thicker texture.
tep 4: Turn the blender on and blend the mixture for approximately 1 minute
Carefully, turn the blender on and blend the items for approximately 1 minute or until it turns to a smooth and creamy ice cream texture. The speed you use largely depends on your blender. Most blenders will need high speed to effectively crush ice, but then you can reduce the speed to medium after the first 30 seconds or so, to mix the ice cream.
If your blender has a soft-serve setting, use that setting the whole time.
Step 5: Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze it for about 2 hours
Pour your ice cream mixture into a freezer-safe container and stick it into the freezer for at least 2 hours. If you want, you can dip a spoon in the mixture and taste your ice cream. The texture won’t be right, but you can see if you like the flavor.
If you think the flavor is too subtle, or not sweet enough, put the mix back in your blender and tweak it until you like it. I like to start with less sugar than I think I need since I don’t like overly sweet ice cream. Tasting at this phase, before it’s frozen, let’s me make slight adjustments until the flavor is just right.
Step 6: Taste your ice cream and if it’s too soft place it back into the freezer
With a spoon, taste your ice cream mixture. If your ice cream is still too soft, then place it back in the freezer for a little longer. Check back on your ice cream in another 25 minutes.
Step 7: Serve your ice cream when the texture is to your liking
When your ice cream is ready, scoop it into a bowl and add your favorite toppings. A few examples include sprinkles, caramel, and chocolate syrup.
Try not to make more ice cream than you’ll eat that day. Leaving your ice cream in the freezer overnight will make it harden and ice crystals will start to form that can make it feel grainy.
My Final Thoughts on Making Ice Cream with a Blender
Making ice cream at home is a fun activity for the whole family. It’s a great way to make a sweet treat together and have fun doing it.
Making ice cream with a blender is a quick, easy, and convenient method. After you’re done making your ice cream be sure to clean your blender right away to make sure it’s ready to go the next time you need it.
Remember you can always experiment with your ice cream to find different fun and unique flavors and toppings everyone will enjoy. Plus, you can create your own flavors that no grocery store or ice cream shop offers. Enjoy your fresh ice cream!