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Vanilla ice cream in a blender

Here is how to use a blender to make ice cream. Did you know that homemade ice cream can be made without an ice cream machine? This no-churn technique requires only a blender and an ice cube tray. Use this simple method with any homemade ice cream recipe to make ice cream in a flash.

Last week, several individuals asked how they could make ice cream without a machine after I posted the recipe for my homemade vanilla ice cream. After some trial and error, I discovered that using a blender and an ice cube tray is the best and simplest method. 

Using an ice cream maker will always produce the best results, but after comparing both, the ice cream made with a blender is pretty darn close! Making vegan ice cream at home saves money and tastes MUCH better than store-bought ice cream. I’m obsessed!

How to make Vanilla ice cream in a blender

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Chilling time: 12 hrs
  • Total Time: 12 hrs 10 mins


  • 1 recipe homemade ice cream base I used my vegan vanilla ice cream recipe.
  • splash plant-based milk (if needed)


  1. Prepare your ice cream base according to the instructions provided in the recipe. Ensure that the recipe’s yield does not exceed the capacity of your blender. I used my vegan vanilla ice cream recipe. Yum!
  2. The ice cream base is poured into ice cube trays. You may require multiple ice cube trays.
  3. Overnight, freeze the ice cream cubes.
  4. Once the ice cream cubes are frozen, pop them out and place them in a blender. Pulse the blender multiple times (I used the crushed ice setting), stopping to scrape down the sides and pushing the ice cream cubes towards the blade if necessary. This may require some time and effort. If necessary, add a splash of plant-based milk to the mixture, but be careful not to add too much, or your ice cream may become too thin.
  5. Continue blending until you reach a soft serve consistency. 
  6. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate to make scoopable ice cream. Spread the ice cream into a freezer-friendly container, and freeze for a few more hours to firm it up more. You can optionally stir in any add-ins you like, such as crumbled cookies, chocolate chips, or nuts, or swirl in peanut butter, almond butter, or strawberry jam.

Vanilla ice cream in a blender - FAQs

It’s easy! Simply make any ice cream recipe base, pour the ice cream base into an ice cube tray, and then freeze overnight. The next day, add the ice cream ice cubes to a blender, and pulse to blend until you reach an ice cream texture.

4 Easy Ways to Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine
  • Use a Food Processor or Blender. Kim’s Cooking Now! Try this recipe: Five-Minute Ice Cream. 
  • Use a Mason Jar. Here’s what you’ll need: 
  • Use a Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer. Erin Vasicek. 
  • Use a Plastic Bag. Try this recipe: Fresh Fruit Ice Cream in a Baggie.

All you need is 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a bowl of ice cubes. Blend all the ingredients using a hand blender until they have a creamy and velvety texture.

Simply whip 2 cups of cream, by hand or with an electric mixer, until stiff peaks form. Slowly drizzle in a chilled can of sweetened condensed milk. Add your desired flavorings or mix-ins. Remove to an airtight container and freeze.

Unless you have a high-powered blender that’s up to the challenge, putting ice cubes in your blender can dull the blade. Ditto for big chunks of frozen fruit.

Cornstarch becomes an ice cream-thickener by mixing together cornstarch and sugar before adding the cold liquid, whisking it together, and slowly heating to a boil. Cooking this with cream and milk makes a pudding-like ice cream base the same way cornstarch creates a thickened sauce or gravy.

Don’t worry too much if you don’t have whole milk or heavy cream. Nearly any milk will work, and you can substitute half-and-half for the cream. Ideally you want ingredients with a high fat content because these will create a creamy texture when cooled.

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