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Creamsicles and Dreamsicles
I love orange and vanilla in just about any form. Zingy citrus tempered by creamy vanilla? That’s a total win in my book.
I even wrote a whole post about Creamsicles and Dreamsicles and if there is a difference between the two.
The short answer: Creamsicles™ is a trademarked brand name owned by the Popsicle people, and it’s the actual ice pop itself.
Dreamsicle, on the other hand, refers to any orange and vanilla combo. The trademark on that name actually refers to the color and not the flavor.
Why Make This Ice Cream?
In a word (or 3 words): Orange. Juice. Concentrate.
This is the magic ingredient that provides concentrated orange flavor but not a lot of extra liquid.
And that means creamy, not icy, ice cream.
Other recipes call for orange juice, but all that does is add a ton of water and just a touch of orange flavor.
If you want full-on orange flavor that cuts through the cream, the concentrate is the way to go.
Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect No-Churn Ice Cream
Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to share with you some things I’ve learned from making many different flavors of no churn ice cream.
- Chill your sweetened condensed milk in the fridge overnight. Having the cream and the sweetened condensed milk at the same temperature makes for a more stable foam when you whip it.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk and the heavy cream to your mixing bowl at the same time. Whipping to stiff peaks and then folding in the sweetened condensed milk takes extra time and is not necessary. The cream will whip just fine with the condensed milk in it.
- Whip just until the mixture is about the texture of melted ice cream. The cream should just barely mound up in the bowl before sinking back in and the whisk should leave tracks in the cream. Whipping any more than that means that your no churn ice cream won’t melt the same way traditionally churned ice cream melts. Personally, I like a little pool of melted ice cream at the bottom of my bowl!
- Stir mix-ins (if any) in by hand. Your ice cream base will be thick enough to suspend anything you want to mix in, and you don’t need to use the mixer. Just fold in whatever you’re mixing in-candy pieces, crumbled cookies, etc-evenly by hand and then pour into your container.
Do I Need a Stand Mixer for This?
No, you don’t. I use mine because it makes short work of the mixing, but I have also used a hand mixer. It works out just fine.
Be aware that the mixing will take more time than it will if you use a stand mixer. Keep an eye on the texture and all will be well!
Making This Creamsicle Ice Cream Step by Step
This is a pretty easy ice cream to make. As you can see, it’s a swirled ice cream. For no churn, this means that I:
- mixed together a base
- removed a portion of that base and added additional ingredients to it
- swirled the two ice cream bases together in the container
It’s a short list! Here we go:
- heavy cream: no substitutes here. This provides the fat and the body for the ice cream
- sweetened condensed milk: a reader substituted evaporated milk and sugar for the sweetened condensed milk, and she said it worked really well. I have not tried it, but this is definitely an option if you don’t have sweetened consdensed milk on hand
- orange juice concentrate: provides a ton of orange flavor with minimal additional water, so it’s perfect for this ice cream. DO NOT substitute regular orange juice
- salt: brings out all the flavors and counteracts any bitterness you might pick up from the concentrated OJ
- vanilla: since creamsicle is vanilla plus orange, the vanilla rounds out the flavor profile. You could potentially leave it out, but I love the creaminess and floral notes vanilla brings
- orange food coloring (optional): not strictly necessary, but using some orange food coloring will make it look more like store-bought creamsicle ice cream
As most no-churn recipes are, this one is pretty easy to make. There are just a couple of extra steps you need to take to make the swirl.
- Whip together the heavy cream, most of the sweetened condensed milk, a little orange juice concentrate, salt and vanilla until the consistency of melted ice cream.
- Remove about half of the mixture to another bowl.
- Whisk in additional orange juice concentrate and orange food coloring (if desired) into that portion.
- Alternate adding the two bases to your container.
- Swirl together with a knife.
- Freeze at least 6 hours. Overnight is even better.
Leaving Out Some Sweetened Condensed Milk
The only difference between making a regular no-churn ice cream and this version is that I didn’t use a whole can of sweetened condensed milk.
Why? OJ concentrate contains a lot of sugar, and adding more sugar to an already sweet base could potentially affect how firmly the ice cream sets up in the freezer.
Or worse yet, it might not freeze all the way at all.
So, to compensate, leave out a little of the sweetened condensed milk, replacing it with a portion of orange juice concentrate to keep the sugar more or less in balance.
Why Use Orange Juice Concentrate?
The main issue is water content, but there’s another issue to consider as well.
Orange juice concentrate, by its nature, has much less water than “whole” orange juice and more intense orange flavor.
Using whole orange juice wouldn’t provide enough orange flavor alone, so you’d have to amp that up by using some extract, orange oil, or maybe adding a bunch of orange zest.
Using those additional flavorings isn’t the end of the world, but the more vital issue is the water content. Whole orange juice is mostly water, and adding a lot of water to a creamy ice cream base would result in too hard a set and an icy mouthfeel. And we don’t want that. We want creamy.
Obviously, this ice cream is wonderful on its own in a bowl or nestled into a waffle cone.
But up the orange-vanilla ante by serving it with some of my blood orange caramel sauce poured over it. You won’t be sorry!
Plop a scoop or two on top of a whipped cream pound cake. Perfect birthday party fare!
Orange juice concentrate doesn’t get a lot of love these days, but in this case, I encourage you to buy some. It’s the perfect, intensely orange, low-water orange flavoring!
If you have questions about this post or recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.
If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.
A Note About Measurement
NOTE: Most of my recipes are written by weight and not volume, even the liquids. Even though I try to provide you with volume measurements as well, I encourage you to buy a kitchen scale for ease of measuring, accuracy, and consistency.
This is the scale I use, love, and recommend. If you’re unsure, please read my post about how to use a food scale.
Thanks for spending some time with me today friends!
Take care, enjoy the orange vanilla goodness of this no-churn creamsicle ice cream!
Take care, and have a lovely day!