This post shares an easy tutorial for how to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker using a blender and your freezer. This is called the Freezer Method.

homemade ice cream blender freezer-1

In the heat of summer, I’ve got you covered with this easy post on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker, using a blender and your freezer instead.

I get it. You don’t need another kitchen appliance that you don’t use that often. An ice cream machine is kind of silly, anyway, all it does is stir up your ice cream ingredients in a cold bowl. You can do that yourself and I’ll show you how!

homemade ice cream in white bowl on a plate with gold spoons

Ice Cream Recipes

You can literally make any flavor of ice cream your heart desires at home. The sky is the limit when it comes to flavors. I especially love using fresh fruits to flavor homemade ice cream.

Since I don’t eat dairy for health reasons, I’ve made quite a few dairy-free, vegan ice creams over the years. Some of my favorites include:

Recipe Steps

For this tutorial, I’m showing how easy it is to make ice cream at home without an ice cream maker. You will need a blender or a food processor to make your ice cream mixture. Since I don’t use dairy in my recipes, I almost always use coconut milk as the creamy, dairy-free base of my homemade ice creams.

But, you can also use this tutorial to make regular dairy ice cream as well. Either way, once you’ve decided on a recipe, this is how you make ice cream without an ice cream machine. 

Step One

Once you blend your ice cream mixture, the next step is to pour the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl.

homemade ice cream mixture in a bowl

Step Two

Since you won’t be using a machine to churn the mixture, this is the part that requires some handiwork. You’ll be using a large fork to break up any of the ice crystals over the next 4 hours.

Don’t worry, you only need to do it about 4 separate times, waiting 45 minutes between.

homemade ice cream mixture in a bowl frozen

Step Three

Over the course of the four hours, the ice cream will start to develop ice crystals. Your job is to break those up and help keep the mixture from freezing into an ice cube.

homemade ice cream mixture in a bowl smoothe

I’ve made homemade ice cream with and without a machine, and the final texture is fairly similar. Here are the steps in summary.

  1. Blend your cream or a can of coconut milk with your flavors to make the base.
  2. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl and place the bowl in the freezer.
  3. Use a large fork to stir the mixture about 4 separate times, every 45 minutes.
  4. After about four hours, your homemade ice cream should be ready to serve.
  5. Once the mixture has reached the desired consistency, use an ice cream scoop to serve.
  6. Enjoy! P.S. It’s worth noting that dairy-free ice creams will freeze very hard if left in the freezer for more than 6-8 hours. In this case, you just need to let the ice cream sit on the countertop for about 15-20 minutes before serving.


Can I make dairy ice cream using the freezer method?

Yes! I have not tried it, but you can. I would recommend using cream or full-fat milk.

Can I use frozen bananas to make ice cream?

Yes, but it will be more of a soft-serve texture. Check out my recipe for Coconut Banana Soft Serve

What if I want to use an ice cream maker?

Yes, if you try this method and decide that you’d rather have a machine do the work for you, I recommend a Cuisinart ice cream maker. I got mine as a bridal shower gift years and years ago, and it has earned its spot in my kitchen come every summer.


I hope this tutorial on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker is  helpful for you. If you have questions, just ask me in the comments.

Don’t miss my round-up of the best vegan ice cream recipes!!!

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