Recipes, Sweets

No-Churn Vanilla Cream Cheese Ice Cream

August 21, 2017

Homemade ice cream can be finicky, it can curdle, scald, or be too icy. Then there’s the whole ice cream machine thing. You have to freeze the base way in advance in order for it to get cold enough and sometimes even if the base is cold, the machine still doesn’t get the ice cream frozen fast enough resulting in super dense or worse, over-churned ice cream.

For all these reasons I’ve been really intrigued by this very popular no-churn method. Essentially you combine sweetened condensed milk with whipped cream and freeze. So super easy! But when I made it I also found the result to be so super sweet.

To combat the one-dimensional sweetness I added a Jeni’s trick–softened cream cheese. At first just a little but the more I added, the richer, creamier, and more complex the ice cream became until before I knew it, I had added the entire eight-ounce block—without a hint of regret I might add.

Indulgent and tangy this ice cream scoops up in big, milky scoops and is full of luxurious vanilla flavor. The classic vanilla is excellent on its own or topped with sundae essentials like chocolate sauce and M&M’s but I also easily turned this basic ice cream into two other flavors for our Friends Who Fete ice cream social last weekend. The first got a boozy swirl of blueberries and mezcal and the second got a one-two punch of Mexican Hot Chocolate Sauce and crispy churro bites. But really, the options are endless. Other easy mix-ins could be basic childhood favorites like Oreo cookies or chocolate chips or more sophisticated types might like brandied cherries or chopped chocolate truffles or what about both of those at the same time. Oo. La. La.

No-Churn Vanilla Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 quart
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (13.4 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  1. Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for 1 minute until smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add vanilla and salt and continue beating until combined and smooth. Scrape this mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Add cream to the stand mixer bowl (no need to clean it out) and using the whisk attachment, whip the cream to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add a third of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine. Add remaining cream and gently fold until completely incorporated. Scrape into a freezer-safe container with a tight lid and freeze at least 4 hours.

All photos courtesy of This Mess Is Ours

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