Which Milk Should I Use for Ice Cream?

Here are the top best Half and half for ice cream voted by readers and compiled and edited by our team, let’s find out

Have you ever made homemade ice cream? Do you know the best milk to use when you make ice cream? Get our tips, and find out why the milk you use matters!

Which Milk Should I Use for Ice Cream? from My Fearless Kitchen. Have you ever made homemade ice cream? Do you know the best milk to use when you make ice cream? Get our tips, and find out why the milk you use matters!

Which Milk Should I Use for Ice Cream?

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We love to make homemade ice cream. It’s ready in a snap (seriously, faster than I can get to the store and back again), and you can customize with whatever flavors you like. You can also change up the types of milk you use to get a little different consistency (or calorie count).

One of the questions I get asked regularly is “can I substitute this milk for that milk in this ice cream recipe?” The answer – almost every single time – is yes! As long as you end up with the same total amount of milk, you can usually substitute any kind of milk for any other kind of milk in an ice cream recipe. Just know that the consistency and texture of the ice cream might change. Why, you ask? I’m so glad you did!

Which Milk Should I Use for Ice Cream? from My Fearless Kitchen. Have you ever made homemade ice cream? Do you know the best milk to use when you make ice cream? Get our tips, and find out why the milk you use matters!

Does It Matter What Milk I Use for Ice Cream?

Let’s make sure we’re all starting on the same page first. I’m talking about “real” milk. Dairy milk. Cow’s milk. I have not tried making ice cream with any other kind of milk. I don’t know how it would work, I don’t know how it would taste, and I don’t know what the consistency would be like. I do know that using almond milk, soy milk, or any other kind of “pretend” milk will make a very different ice cream. So we are sticking with cow’s milk for this discussion.

Which Milk Should I Use for Ice Cream? from My Fearless Kitchen. Have you ever made homemade ice cream? Do you know the best milk to use when you make ice cream? Get our tips, and find out why the milk you use matters!

More Fat in Milk Makes a Creamier Ice Cream

The only thing you really need to know about the milk you’re using is how much fat it has. The higher the fat content, the smoother and richer the ice cream will be. (Also, the higher the fat content, the higher the calorie content… but we don’t eat ice cream because we’re watching calories!)

Skim milk is fat-free milk. You absolutely can use it to make ice cream. But your ice cream won’t be very creamy – it will have a little more crystal-ly texture, more like an “ice milk” than an “ice cream.” It also won’t give you as strong of a “milky” flavor.

On the other end of the spectrum we have heavy whipping cream. This is my absolute favorite for making ice cream. One cup of heavy whipping cream has 80 grams of fat. When you churn it up to make ice cream, that fat helps the ice cream texture develop into a thick and rich ice cream. I love using heavy whipping cream to make simple ice cream flavors. It’s perfect for vanilla ice cream, you get a thick, creamy, rich vanilla-flavored ice cream that has just the perfect consistency.

Whole milk and half-and-half are also good choices. Whole milk has 8 grams of fat in 1 cup, and half-and-half has 24 grams of fat in 1 cup. When I use whole milk or half-and-half, I’ll often use some heavy whipping cream with it. That gives me an extra “boost” of creaminess in the ice cream, without all the calories that come with only using heavy whipping cream.

Free Printable for Which Milk Should I Use for Ice Cream?

Want to keep a handy cheat sheet in your kitchen? Click here to download and print your copy of this free printable!

How Do I Make Homemade Ice Cream?

There are plenty of no-churn recipes out there. But I haven’t bought into them. Sure, you don’t need an ice cream maker, but you still need a hand mixer or a stand mixer. And no-churn ice cream has to sit in the freezer for a few hours before you can eat it, while churned ice cream is ready in minutes! I love our Cuisinart Counter Top Ice Cream Maker when I’m just making enough for our small family. But when the whole extended family comes over, I get our White Mountain 6-Quart Ice Cream Maker out. That puppy makes some serious ice cream! If we have leftovers, I use these Glide-A-Scoop tubs to keep the ice cream fresh in the freezer.

Once you have your equipment, all you need to do is pick your recipe (I’ve listed a few of my favorites below), choose your milk, and get to mixing!

Enjoy!

3 Ways to Take the Fear Out of Your Kitchen

  • What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt?
  • How Much Fat is in Milk? – free printable!
  • Can I Freeze Milk?

3 Recipes to Try

  • Homemade Peach Ice Cream
  • Homemade Blackberry Ice Cream
  • Easy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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