These 14 no-churn ice creams are summertime magic

No machines, no sweat

Published August 14, 2021 1:30PM (EDT)

Prop stylist: Molly Fitzsimmons. Food stylist: Ericka Martins. (Rocky Luten / Food52)
Prop stylist: Molly Fitzsimmons. Food stylist: Ericka Martins. (Rocky Luten / Food52)

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Sure, you could go buy a pint of ice cream at the store — but we all know nothing beats homemade. Ideally, sprinkled with your favorite toppings or a dollop of whipped cream. Don't worry: You don't need to pull out the pots or turn on the stove to enjoy a frozen treat. In fact, you don't even need an ice cream machine. It's basically magic. Yes, you'll still have to be patient. But when making ice cream is this easy, a couple of hours of inactive thumb twiddling is a small price to pay. Here, we've gathered 14 of our simplest no-churn ice creams guaranteed to cool you off this summer.

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No-Churn Ice Cream Recipes

1. Nigella Lawson's One-Step, No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

The one that won our hearts and opened our eyes. This four-ingredient, one-step wonder needs no cooking, and no churning. And yet, this recipe makes an ice cream with an almost buttery smoothness.

2. Dori Sanders' No-Churn Fresh Lemon Ice Cream

Hello, new Genius graduate. This sweet, bright lemon ice cream comes from Dori Sanders, a now 84-year-old peach farmer, novelist, and cookbook author, and might be one of the best no-churn treats we've tried yet.

3. Peaches and Sour Cream Ice Cream

If you're looking for a simple, sweet summer treat, go ask Alice Medrich: "Somewhere between ice cream and sherbet, it's neither as creamy-rich as the first nor as icy as the latter. By using sour cream in place of a custard base, you'll get a dessert that's colder and more refreshing in your mouth than classic ice cream, with a cleaner and tangier fruit flavor."

4. Totally Homemade, Ridiculously Easy Hot Fudge Sundae

Why just make ice cream when you can have a whole dang sundae? OK, OK — you will need your stove to make the hot fudge sauce, which is a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

5. No-Churn Coffee-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce

Heavily inspired by Nigella's masterpiece, this recipe comes from Izy Hossack, who adds a dash of cinnamon. Again, the sauce needs a stove . . . but the ice cream is so good, it doesn't need the sauce.

6. Mrs. Owen's Unchurned Ice Cream Cake

What's more impressive than no-churn ice cream? A no-churn ice cream cake (duh). It's easy to make and even easier to eat. But what really impressed our testers was something else: "The part to shout from the rooftops is the use of cream cheese and crème fraîche. I think all ice cream should include cream cheese!"

7. No-Churn Ice Cream with Vanilla Bean and Scotch

This recipe has an ingredient list you can count on one hand, and one step to boot. Single-malt scotch keeps the ice cream creamy as can be, and enhances the caramelly vanilla.

8. No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream

For Thanksgiving. Or for when it's summer and you wish it were Thanksgiving. By ditching the usual pumpkin pie spice, you can appreciate pumpkin's squashy flavor even more.

9. No-Churn Tortilla Chip Ice Cream

Tortilla chip! Ice cream! Need we say more? OK, well, we will: This recipe is an excellent way to give stale, sad tortilla chips new life.

10. No-Churn Chocolate Soft-Serve

A generous pour of booze ensures that this ultra-chocolatey ice cream stays silky and scoopable. The magic chocolate shell is optional but, you know, not really.

11. No-Churn Avocado Ice Cream with Lime and Coconut

Buttery from avocado, rich from coconut milk, sweet from mango, zingy from lime. Where the heck do we sign up?

12. No-Churn Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Double the butter, double the pecans. This Big Little Recipe is just as welcome in summer as it is in fall and winter.

13. No-Churn Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Goat cheese in ice cream? Yeah! Why not! If you're skeptical, don't take our word for it. As one commenter put it: "Turned out INSANELY good, and it was really easy to make."

14. No-Churn Mango Sherbet

OK, not technically an ice cream. But no-churn, you bet. All you need is mangoes, milk, sugar, and limes. (Psst: Swap out the milk for yogurt if you want something tangy.)

By Katie Macdonald

MORE FROM Katie Macdonald

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