How To Make Ice Cream Without Cream – Gluten Free on a Shoestring

Here are the top best Ice cream without heavy cream voted by users and compiled by us, invite you to learn together

Video Ice cream without heavy cream

Discover how to make ice cream without cream and even without sweetened condensed milk, and enjoy smooth, creamy treats all year long.

Hot fudge sauce pouring from a small glass jar onto vanilla ice cream scoops in small pink bowl

Can you really use milk instead of heavy cream for ice cream?

Yes, you can make ice cream at home without heavy cream. And it will still have the proper dreamy ice cream texture you love.

You can’t leave out the heavy cream in a classic ice cream recipe, or just replace it with milk, though. You need a different recipe, and now you have it!

Vanilla ice cream in a spring-loaded ice cream scoop resting in a green rectangular freezer container with more ice cream

What ingredient makes ice cream soft?

There are lots of ingredients that can help keep ice cream soft. As long as your recipe has some of them, in the right amounts, your ice cream should still be scoopable and creamy.

There are two main factors that make ice cream soft. Part of that soft texture is the creaminess we all love. And part of it is ingredients that don’t become completely solid in your freezer (by lowering the freezing point of the churned mixture).

The potential ingredients that don’t freeze solid in ice cream, and help keep it soft, are:

  • Sugar
  • Fat
  • Alcohol

Here, we’re using sugar and fat. In our recipe for 3 ingredient no-churn vanilla ice cream, we get the sugar from sweetened condensed milk, and fat from the condensed milk and the heavy whipping cream.

Both evaporated milk and cream have water, which does freeze solid. But they also both have enough fat and sugar to interrupt the formation of ice crystals.

You’ll also find that ice cream that has too much water is less fun to eat because it will taste colder in your mouth. That’s what made the “ice milk” of my youth, part of the war against fat in the 1990’s, a poor substitute for the ice cream I really wanted!

4 cup pyrex measuring cup filled with tan liquid with a flat whisk on white table

Can I make this recipe for ice cream without cream, without evaporated whole milk, too?

No, you can’t make this ice cream without cream and without evaporated milk. Evaporated whole milk is just milk that they have reduced to contain less water.

I did try making this recipe without evaporated milk, and only with whole milk in its place. I also tried making it with lowfat milk and lowfat evaporated milk.

Without the fat and with more water, the results were all icy and extremely cold. The taste was good, but the texture was like cold sand.

Small glass jar filled with brown hot fudge sauce with some dripping down the side

How do you make hot fudge sauce from scratch to serve on your homemade ice cream?

Hot fudge sauce is made easily from scratch by simmering some milk gently with granulated sugar to create a simple syrup. Adding some cocoa powder and melting in chopped chocolate (even chocolate chips will work in a pinch) creates a rich chocolate flavor.

The butter helps to make the sauce richer and thicker. We have a whole set of recipes for homemade ice cream toppings. Hot fudge sauce is just one of them, so feel free to experiment with your favorite toppings—or enjoy this creamy no-cream ice cream plain.

Side view of a small pink bowl with 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce on top and in a jar in the background

How to make ice cream without cream: Ingredients and substitutions

Can you make ice cream without cream and without dairy?

No. This is an all-dairy-all-the-time recipe. If you’d like a dairy-free ice cream recipe, which is also without cream, I recommend trying our recipe for dairy free no churn ice cream.

For a full explanation of why you need whole milk and why you need evaporated milk, please scroll up.

The dairy in the hot fudge sauce is in the whole milk and in the butter. You can replace the whole milk with coconut milk or another unsweetened nondairy milk with fat, and the butter with vegan butter.

Can you make ice cream without cream and without guar gum?

You can make this ice cream without guar gum, and it will still taste great. It will, however, be a bit icier. A little bit goes a very long way.

Guar gum is similar to xanthan gum, which is used frequently in gluten free baking. It’s made from guar beans, and unlike xanthan gum, is not the product of bacterial fermentation.

Guar gum is a very common stabilizer in ice cream. It thickens the mixture, and helps create a smooth mouth feel.

Ice cream with cream already has the creamy, velvet mouth feel we expect from ice cream. Guar gum is an optional ingredient here, but it significantly improves the texture of this ice cream without cream.

Xanthan gum is another common thickener, particularly in gluten free baking. But it is much more effective in baking; guar gum is the right choice for cold recipes.

Vanilla ice cream in a green freezer container with more ice cream

How to make ice cream without cream, step by step

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