Easy Homemade No-Machine Ice Cream (Dozens of Flavors & Fat-Free Option!)

This super duper simple recipe makes creamy, dreamy ice cream in no time and with only a few simple ingredients! 

This recipe is for a vanilla ice cream base that you can add your favorite flavorings or toppings to.

Today's most common way of making ice cream is by using an ice cream maker, however this is not an everyday appliance everyone has laying around their kitchen. So, instead of investing in an ice cream maker I wanted to offer a recipe that uses a simple alternative that uses only a few ingredients. 

The only equipment you need to make this ice cream is a bowl, a spatula, a tupperware and a freezer... no machine needed! And the ingredients are so simple! The base for this recipe is sweetened condensed milk and whipped topping. I like to add a little vanilla and salt for extra flavor, but that is as complicated as this gets.

It creates a rich and creamy vanilla base that you can mix practically any kind of mix-in into, like crused cookies, chocolate chips, nuts, caramel sauce or hot fudge topping.... anything you can imagine!

I like to drizzle some of my Homemade Chocolate Syrup on top!

Add the finishing touches and dig in!

Or create your own flavors!

Leave out the toppings and let everyone create their own sundae!

Vanilla Ice Cream Base 

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts

  • 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk (regular, low fat or fat-free)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 16 oz. tub whipped topping; original, lite or fat-free, thawed in the refrigerator (May substitute 2 cups heavy cream, whipped up to stiff peaks)
  • flavor mix-in of choice below

In a small bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt, and any additional extracts or mix-ins. Gently fold in the whipped topping or whipped cream, followed by any additional mix-ins.

Pour into a 2 quart container, cover and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. Store covered in the freezer.

Flavor Mix-Ins
  • Vanilla Bean: Mix vanilla beans from one pod in with the sweetened condensed milk. 
  • Chocolate: Mix 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Strawberry: Mix 1 cup mashed or pureed strawberries and a few drops of red food coloring in with the sweetened condensed milk OR 1/2 cup strawberry gelatin (jello) mix powder or strawberry drink mix powder.
  • Cookies & Cream: Gently fold in 1 cup coarsely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 9 cookies) just before freezing.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip: Mix 1 teaspoon mint extract, a few drops green food coloring (optional) in with the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in 1 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate just before freezing. 
  • Peanut Butter Cup: Mix 1/2 cup (slightly melted) peanut butter in with the sweetened condensed milk. Add 1 cup chopped chocolate peanut butter cups and gently ripple 1/2 cup chocolate fudge ice cream topping just before freezing.
  • Coffee: Mix 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder in with the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Caramel Fudge Swirl: Gently ripple in 1/3 cup of unheated fudge ice cream topping and 1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping, just before freezing.
  • Cake Batter: Mix 1 cup white or yellow cake mix powder in with the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles just before freezing.
  • Chocolate ChipFold in 1 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, just before freezing.
  • S'mores: Mix 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in with the sweetened condensed milk.Gently fold in 1/2 cup chopped chocolate, 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers, and ripple 1/3 cup Marshmallow Cream, just before freezing.
  • Strawberry Cheesecake: Reduce whipped topping to 8oz. and with an electric mixer, beat an 8oz. brick of cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, and 1 tbsp lemon juice in with the sweetened condensed. Gently ripple in Strawberry Pie filling or strawberry preserves and 1/2 cup crushed vanilla wafers, just before freezing.
  • Nutella: Mix 1/2 cup (slightly melted) nutella in with the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Cinnamon Bun: Mix 3 tablespoons melted and cooled unsalted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon in with the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Peaches and Cream: Reduce whipped topping to 8oz. and with an electric mixer, beat in an 8oz. brick of cream cheese, and 3 tablespoons softened butter with the sweetened condensed. Gently ripple in a 21oz. can Peach Pie filling, just before freezing.
  • Salted Caramel: Gently ripple in 1/2 cup caramel sauce/ice cream topping, and 1 teaspoon sea salt, just before freezing.
  • Greek Yogurt: Add about 16oz. flavored greek yogurt and 1 cup of chopped fresh fruit if desired (may omit sweetened condensed milk)
  • Butter Pecan: Replace vanilla with 1 teaspoon maple extract, and mix 1/4 cup melted and cooled unsalted butter in with the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in 1 cup chopped toasted pecans, just before freezing.