Get all the steps, tips, and techniques to making the perfectly creamy and irresistible no churn keto ice cream recipe! Mix and match to make all your favorite flavors and ice cream treats (from cones, to cakes, to affogatos and more)!
Sugar free ice creams on the market may be a little easier to come by thee days, but not all are created equal. In fact, there are only a few brands I genuinely enjoy, but often they aren’t widely available for purchase at most grocery stores. Ultimately, making it unreliable and inconvenient when I really need that keto caramel sundae fix or plan on using in other recipes.
The fact that this recipe is a few ingredients and takes a little time (most of which is hands off) and needs no ice cream machine to work makes it a done deal in my book. If you plan on making these keto ice cream cones, these keto ice cream sandwiches, or even this keto dalgona affogato, then you NEED this easy recipe to go with it.
From basic vanilla bean to all your favorite flavors (I love me some mint chocolate chip), this guide to making a rich and cream ice cream with ease that the whole family will be requesting (keto or not). Below I break down basic tips for creating your ice cream base, ways to prevent crystallization, storage tips, and of course how to create all your favorite flavors too!
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- Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
- Rubber Spatula
- Measuring Spoons & Cups
- Ice Cream Container (notes below)
- Plastic Wrap
Ok, let’s chat about no churn ice cream, how to make it keto friendly or sugar free, options for dairy free alternatives and beyond! I got all your questions covered, so keep scrolling, reading, and get ready to dive in!
How to make creamy keto ice cream without an ice cream maker?
Part of what I love about being a culinary educator is sharing the different ways in which foods can rise. I’ve taught many units on these topics over the years and this is definitely my favorite method.
That my friends, is with whipping.
Whipping and incorporating air to be exact! Air is a crucial component in so many recipes, it’s what helps make our eggs fluffy in our omelettes and what takes liquid cream to a delectable topping (aka whipped cream) when whipped to infinity and beyond.
Because we are making a “no churn” ice cream recipe (where the machine essentially incorporates air and chills at the same time), we have to add the air first and the chilling after! Very cold heavy whipping cream is an essential component to this recipe and is one of the main ingredients to this base.
With whipping cream being so light an airy, the base needed something else to give the ice cream some depth, body, and weight to balance it out. My favorite addition is to actually add in mascarpone cheese.
The two whipped separately then folded together, mixed with low carb sweeteners and vanilla extract creates the perfect basic vanilla ice cream. Mix in some cocoa powder and now you have the perfect chocolate ice cream! See where I’m going with this?
What are the best sweeteners to use if on a keto or low carb diet?
That’s a good question and you have a few options to help prevent those pesky blood sugar spikes and still get a great tasting ice cream.
The first, is to use your favorite powdered sweetener (I like swerve for this) and to sift it into the whipped cream and mascarpone mixture. Powdered works best to create a smooth texture and overall it is what I prefer here!
Other options are sweeteners like allulose that often mimic the qualities in regular sugar. I talk about this thoroughly and rave about it as a base for my keto simple syrups and for my keto caramel (also great on this ice cream for the record).
At the end of the day, feel free to use the sweetener that you prefer (maybe that’s refined sugar free option like maple syrup, coconut sugar, or honey. Though these aren’t keto I like to recognize that there are so many different ways to accommodate different lifestyles using the same recipe.
Can I make this dairy free?
I haven’t tested it out personally (don’t worry I’ll get to it) but I do know that whipped, full fat coconut milk can sometimes mimic whipped cream as a dairy free option.
The trick is making sure the coconut is cold (refrigerate the can) as whipped coconut at room temperature doesn’t fair as well. I also would suggest chilling your mixing bowl here as well to help with thickening. Because I don’t have a great idea for replacing the mascarpone, try just doubling up on your coconut instead.
If you attempt a dairy free version, let me know! I’d love to hear how it goes!
How do I prevent crystallization?
If you purchased a low carb ice cream in the past or made your own, you know that after its frozen, it can often form freezer burn or ice crystals over the top.
This ultimately makes it hard to scoop and impacts the overall texture and mouth feel. Making your own no churn ice cream is bound to still have some of these factors, but you can greatly minimize it in two ways.
Adding a neutral spirit i.e vodka or using xanthan gum! Both of these work in some capacity (vodka helps prevent it from fully freezing and xanthan gum absorbs extra moisture). Add a little of both and you’re able to minimize the impact of this issue to some extent.
So, how does this ice cream freeze without an ice cream maker?
Magic! Just kidding…
After you fold your whipped cream and whipped mascarpone together to form your ice cream base you need to freeze it! This process combined with some occasional mixing over the course of an hour or so and it freezes up to a perfectly servable ice cream!
How to make different flavors and add mix in’s?
If you’re planning on changing the flavor profile of the vanilla base, be sure to do this when whipping in the mascarpone filling. If you plan to add cocoa powder, peanut butter, espresso, etc mix it in and whip it with the cheese, then fold that all together into the whipped cream. This includes extracts (vanilla, almond, mint, etc).
Any added mix in’s (fruit, your favorite chocolate chips, nuts) should be added in and folded by hand at the end. Sprinkle some on top too or halfway through for more even mixing!
What are the best storage options?
For the photos and a quick, “make, eat, and its all gone” type deal, the bread pan pictured (layered in parchment) works great. Long term storage options are a little different however.
I’m an ice cream lover from way back and have a fancy machine, so I also love these smaller quart and pint containers for long term storage. It helps prevent some of that freezer burn I mentioned earlier.
If you don’t plan on buying something extra (totally makes sense) try just using a plastic container that seals well. Add a layer of plastic wrap flush across the top and seal it without any air inside if possible and refreezing.
You may have to plan on letting the ice cream thaw for 15 minutes or so on the counter after it’s been in the freezer a while. But it works!
Ways to use this ice cream (in everything… duh)?
Do I really need to add ideas here? Probably not…
But, I figured you may want to check out some other keto friendly ways I incorporated this into recipes!
Check out these ice cream goodies-
- Keto Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Keto Ice Cream Cones
- Add some Keto Caramel Sauce
- Add some with a Keto Turtle Brownies
- Or over this Peanut Butter Skillet Cookies
- Finally you better try this with Keto Samoas or Keto Thin mints!
Share all your wonderful keto ice cream creations with me here below in the comments, over on Instagram and pin for later too!
A Guide To Making Easy Keto Ice Cream
- 8 oz. Heavy Cream
- 8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
- 1/2-3/4 cup Low Carb Powdered Sweetener
- 2 tbsp Vodka
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- Mix In’s-
- 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Espresso Powder
- 1/4 cup Peanut Butter sugar free
- Low Carb Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 tsp Mint Extract
- [Thin Mint Cookie Crumbles]
- [Keto Brownie Bits]
- [Keto Caramel Sauce]
- 1. In a mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form and set it aside.
- 2. Combine the mascarpone, low carb sweetener, vanilla, vodka, salt and xanthan gum. Whip this until combined then add in the whipped cream.
- Note: if adding cocoa powder, other extracts, peanut butter, or espresso powder, mix in with the mascarpone first. Add mix ins (chocolate chips etc) by folding it in after the whipped mixtures are both combined.
- 3. Pour the mixture into a parchment lined container and cover tightly and place in the freezer. Stir the mixture every 20 minutes for up to an hour before serving. Serve with your favorite toppings over over your favorite dessert.