/ Food & Drink

Have you ever made your own ice cream?

Can homemade ice cream compete with the ready-made stuff? We’ve tested ice cream makers this summer to see if it’s worth the investment.

We kept ourselves cool this summer by testing self-freezing ice cream makers. Although our tests called for lots of helpings of vanilla and chocolate chip ice cream to be made to assess how well each machine churned the ice cream, I wanted to push these machines to their limits and see what other delicious frozen treats I could make with them.

To accomplish this, I set about making some weird and wonderful frozen dessert recipes. Here are some of my favourites.

My favourite recipes

I used the Sage The Smart Scoop recipes (PDF) as inspiration, but added my own personal twists. I started with a Summer Berries Sorbet, using:

🍨 165g caster sugar

🍨 190ml water

🍨 300g mixed frozen summer berries

🍨 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

🍨 1 small egg white, lightly beaten

I then tried a Mango Frozen Yoghurt:

🍨 Tinned mango slices 425g

🍨 500g unflavoured natural or greek yoghurt

🍨 110g caster sugar

And finally, Pistachio Gelato:

🍨 4 tbsp pistachio spread

🍨 500ml vanilla custard

🍨 600ml double cream

Do you make your own ice cream?

If you’re tempted to pick up an ice cream maker and start trying these recipes out (or make your own!) then you can take a look at our guide to the best ice cream makers here. 

Do you make ice cream at home or do you prefer shop-bought? What are your favourite recipes and flavours?

Let us know in the comments, and share your favourite recipes and tips with us.


Do we know how many people regularly make their own ice cream? Or whether most who buy an ice cream maker stick it in the cupboard once the novelty wears off. There is still, seemingly, quite a bit of work required to produce home made ice cream, not just sticking raw ingredients into a machine and out pops the dessert.

I would think of buying one if it would churn out Cassata, one of my favourite frozen desserts, although even then I wonder whether buying really good quality ice cream and storing it in the freezer is not the best compromise? I see that there are some suppliers online who deliver across the UK. Might be good to test their products and service rather than just compare supermarket and mass-produced branded products.

I own the Sage ice cream machine bought several years ago to make low-sugar, dairy-free ice creams. I didn’t get very good results so gave up especially as many dairy-free ice creams appeared on the market. Ocado currently sell 78 vegan ice creams and lollies, some of which are low sugar. I would still like to make a decent dairy-free coconut ice cream though as the one I produced was hard and watery.

” … as the one I produced was hard and watery.”

That sounds like authentic coconut to me! Try removing the shell and drain off the milk.

The ice cream makers I have seen have been large and heavy and I would not want one taking up space on the worktop or in a kitchen cupboard. In contrast I’m happy to have a coffee machine and breadmaker on the worktop and a spare coffee machine in the cupboard. Priorities. 🙂

I don’t eat much ice cream and it contains too much sugar for my liking.

If we could make something as good as a Magnum we would possibly buy one.

We also adore Cassata and are prepared to make the supreme sacrifice and go to Italy again as soon as circumstances permit so we can also enjoy many other glorious treats.

I have a Buffalo Ice Cream Machine and I like to use Angel Delight to turn it into ice cream. It tastes fantastic !!! Otherwise I use double cream with sugar and vanilla and add chocolate sauce to serve made from cocoa, sugar and powdered milk.

Stephanie Spierling says:
12 September 2021

Home made ice cream is delicious as a friend just reminded me of a mango yogurt ice cream I used to serve her in the days I was in better state of health . The recipe was the same as above but using fresh mango mostly. I also used strawberries as an alternative. I did find that the space and time used by pre-freezing the bowls in the freezer a bit off putting. No workspace for a gelato machine sadly so I have occasionally made no churn ice-cream using Nadiya Hussain’s recipe, not rhubarb (hate it) but other fruit but it needs bit of time to soften at BBC food. At least you know what is in it when you make it yourself.

I found a delicious ‘no churn chocolate ice-cream’ recipe by Tesco. Search online for the recipe. Basically it’s made with double cream, Carnation condensed milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and whatever chocolate pieces you fancy putting in. It’s a rich chocolate ice-cream, but not sickly sweet.