Incredible Ice Cream Without A Machine

no-machine ice cream

Update: See the Chocolate Chip No-Machine Ice Cream version, too!

I guess I’m a little late on the bandwagon of “magic” ice cream, but I’m in love with the ease and results of this method, so I have to share! You won’t believe the rich, smooth ice cream that results from a few minutes in the kitchen and a few hours in the freezer.

In fact, I still can’t believe it. To think we spent $50 on a Kitchen Aid Ice Cream maker attachment a couple years ago. I’ve never been happy with the results, by the way, and it’s a bit of a pain…unlike this recipe.

And I must say that I really hated making an egg custard base. Really did not like it. And I’m not some purist that believes eggs have to be included for it to be “real” ice cream. I’m SO happy to find an alternative.

In a trial issue of Cook’s Illustrated Entertaining magazine I read a few weeks ago, they ran their 2009 recipe for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream. While I’ve gotten a lot of good recipes from them, I usually have to adjust for “real life” as they tend to add steps or odd things in their quest for the “perfect” way to make something.

And you know we’re not about perfection here at An Oregon Cottage. *smile*

The original recipe in CI was no exception, as the recipe called for 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk. One half cup…what was I supposed to do with the rest of the can? So I adjusted it to used the whole can, which also increases the yield to about 2 quarts of ice cream.

Here are the simple steps I took to create a smooth, incredibly rich chocolate ice cream (see the recipe at the end for more variations!):

Every once in awhile I have to include an ingredients picture just to show how few are needed to make a much better product than the store-bought versions with their looooong lists of ingredients.

This isn’t really a mocha flavor- I just used a small amount of espresso powder to highlight the chocolate. I like this with bittersweet chocolate (I found this fancy chocolate at Grocery Outlet), but semisweet would also work.

Dissolve the coffee powder in a tablespoon of water.

Combine the can of condensed milk, coffee mixture, vanilla, and chocolate in a microwavable bowl. Alternately, melt the chocolate in the milk over a low flame or double boiler.

Cook just until the chunks are mostly melted (45 seconds in the microwave- they won’t be melted, but as you stir for the next minute, they will melt completely). Remove from heat and stir until smooth.

In the bowl of a mixer, whip the cream until there are soft peaks.

Mix some of the whipped cream into the cooling chocolate mixture.

Then add all of the chocolate-milk mixture into the rest of the whipped cream. Fold until there are just a few streaks left.

Pour into a freezable container, cover, and freeze for at least 6 hours- it’s better overnight unless your container is shallow.

This is really like a frozen mousse or gelato- which I’m totally OK with. And it means it’s RICH, so a small scoop goes a long way.ย And when you serve it to guests- be prepared for ooh’s and aah’s.


Incredible Chocolate Ice Cream Without A Machine (Plus Variations)

  • 1 tsp. espresso powder (or instant coffee)
  • 1 TB. hot water
  • 8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. Dissolve the coffee powder in a small cup with the hot water.
  2. Combine the milk, chocolate, vanilla, dissolved coffee, and salt in a glass bowl or 4-cup measure. Microwave for 45 seconds and stir for up to a minute to completely melt the chocolate (alternately, cook over a double boiler or low flame, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted). Set aside to cool.
  3. Whip the cream with a mixer until soft peaks form. Add a portion of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold in. Then pour all the chocolate into the remaining whipped cream, folding with a spatula until mixed with very few white streaks left.
  4. Pour into a freezable container, cover, and freeze for at least 6 hours- better is overnight.


  • Vanilla Bean: Omit coffee, water, and chocolate- add another teaspoon of vanilla, plus a vanilla bean that’s been chopped fine in a processor.
  • Chocolate Chip: Omit coffee, water, and chocolate; increase vanilla to 2 tsp. and add 1/2 cup (or more…) chocolate chips after folding milk mixture into whipped cream. Update: see Incredible Chocolate Chip Ice Cream post for specific instructions – this is Brian’s favorite!
  • Mint Chocolate Chip: same as chocolate chip, but replace vanilla with 1 tsp. of pure peppermint extract.
  • Peanut Butter-Chocolate: Mix about a 1/2 cup of peanut butter with a tablespoon of honey and swirl it in when folding (I haven’t tried this yet- it might be best to do this after it’s been frozen for a bit so the peanut butter doesn’t fall to the bottom). If you don’t want swirls of peanut butter, but just the flavor, mix the peanut butter into the condensed milk with the chocolate.
  • Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip: Omit coffee, water, and chocolate (melted in); mix in 1/2 cup peanut butter to the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips after mixing into whipped cream.
  • Mocha Almond: Increase coffee powder to 2-3 tsp. (depending on strength desired) and water to 2 Tb. and fold in swirls of chocolate syrup and chopped almonds after mixing milk mixture and whipped cream.
  • I also found a Lemon Ice Cream version on this website where the author uses lemon juice and powdered sugar instead of condensed milk – a bit different, but worthy of a try, I think.

Makes about 2 quarts (for about $5.00- a little more than cheap store bought, but less than the good stuff, which this definitely resembles)


Have you tried this ice cream? What versions would you like to make?


This is linked to Finer Things Fridays, Fun w/Food Fridays and Best Desserts of 2011.


  1. says

    Oh my goodness! Yep, I’m gonna have to pin this immediately. I’m a sucker for any chocolate-peanut butter combo, but they all sound yummy.

    As a side note, how do you like that Grocery Outlet? I’ve never been.

  2. Anonymous says

    YUMMERS!!! I can’t wait to try it. I see chocolate cherry in my future. ๐Ÿ˜€
    “how do you like that Grocery Outlet?” Love it. Has a mix of brand names, off brands. Prices are good as long as you know what the groceries are pricing at. Do check the sell by expiration dates. Some are close or slightly over, plan accordingly.

  3. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Mindy- I echo C8: check the expirations. But I love it for cheese, wine, and vitamins and I always check to see if they have organic tomato products. I go monthly only, though- it’s hard to come out of there with just a few things, as you know they won’t be there the next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Run- Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  4. says

    YUMMY :) :) I don’t have an ice cream maker, so easy recipes like this are perfect. I made avocado ice cream not too long ago and blogged about it. If you want/need the link, let me know. I’m trying to better organizie my tags, so thing are easier to find there. It uses half-and half as the base and tastes AWESOME…Now I’ve got another recipe to try :) :) Thank you :) :) Have a lovely weekend. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  5. says

    What a wealth of decadent variations! This one got printed…and once I burn off my McD’s Frappe I had tonight, I just might have to make some ice cream.

  6. Gina says

    I love this recipe too – but I’m trying to adapt it so that I don’t need to use sweetened condensed milk. Have you ever tried that?

  7. Mrs. Wilson says

    I made the chocolate chip version yesterday. It was REALLY good, except the chocolate chips were too big. So, it was almost like having chocolate rocks in my ice cream, because they were frozen. I think next time I will use chocolate shavings or much smaller chocolate chips. My husband said it was too rich, too and that I should try making it with milk instead of cream. Do you think that would work ok? Oh, and is there a difference between heavy whipping cream and whipping cream? I used heavy whipping cream, because that’s all my store had.

  8. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Mrs. Wilson- Yes, I use mini-chocolate chips in things like this. Shavings would be a good idea, too. It is rich (one of the reasons we like it!) and so it’s easy to just be satisfied with a little. :-) Alas, it can’t be made with milk- it’s the whipping that gives it the nice smooth texture. Using just milk would give you that “icy” texture.

    And I use whipping cream and heavy whipping interchangeably as well- although I do think heavy has a higher fat percentage.

  9. Anonymous says

    Just tried this for the first time…another five hours in the freezer and I can taste the results properly, but the unfrozen mix alone is divine. I reckon just fridge chilling the mix would make an awesome mousse-y dessert too.

  10. Tami says

    Yum yum!! I added a 1/2 cup whole milk as the cream was a little too creamy and it was a little too sweet. Also instead of chocolate chips or chunks I added 1/3 cup cocoa powder. SOOO yummy!!

  11. says

    Thanks for all these great ice cream recipes. They sound delicious. I just made a mango sorbet in my small ice cream machine (haven’t used it for years) so I don’t know if it’s going to turn out or not! Like that your recipes don’t need a machine.

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