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2 Ingredient Ice Cream | Cookies and Cups

Make easy homemade ice cream with heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk, that’s it! You don’t even need an ice cream maker. This no-churn 2 ingredient ice cream turns out super creamy every time.

If you’re looking to simplify your life with more no-fuss recipes, try my chocolate frosting and these pumpkin brownies, also made with only 2 ingredients!

Three scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce and sprinkles in a glass bowl, with ice cream cones in the background.

Why You’ll Love This 2 Ingredient Ice Cream

We’re making homemade ice cream with 2 ingredients, no ice cream maker, and no custard base. And it’s ready for the freezer in minutes. I didn’t believe it at first either. But here I am, filling my freezer with delicious 2-ingredient ice cream! Here’s why this recipe works so well:

  • Soft and creamy. This homemade ice cream is rich and creamy, almost more so than the ice cream you find in the store, minus any funny ingredients. All it takes is heavy whipping cream and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
  • No-churn. Unlike more traditional ice cream recipes that call for cooking a custard base, or an ice cream maker for freezing, this no-churn ice cream doesn’t need any of that. If you can whip cream, you can make ice cream at home.
  • Family-friendly. 2-ingredient ice cream is actually such a fun activity to do with kids. If they’re not old enough to help with the mixing, you can let them choose their add-ins afterward to DIY their own ice cream flavor.
  • Adaptable. On that note, this simple 2-ingredient recipe leaves loads of room for customizing! Once you have your base, it’s easy to recreate all sorts of gourmet flavors. 
Overhead view of the two ingredients needed to make ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream, with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

What You’ll Need

All you need for this ice cream recipe is 1) heavy cream and 2) a can of sweetened condensed milk. That’s it! You’ll find a printable recipe card below the post with the full recipe details.

Make sure that you’re buying sweetened condensed milk, and not evaporated milk, which is unsweetened. The cans look very similar, and they’re usually stocked near each other in the baking aisle.

You’ll also need a metal bowl and mixer. Or, a good old-fashioned whisk and some elbow grease. Either way, this ice cream comes together quickly enough.

How to Make No-Churn Ice Cream With 2 Ingredients

I first learned about this ice cream recipe while visiting Smucker’s. Yes, the jam company. It turns out, their genius doesn’t end with jam and preserves. This is the easiest ice cream you’ll make at home and some of the creamiest I’ve ever tasted. Here are the quick steps to make it. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • Combine the ingredients. Whip heavy cream into soft peaks as if you were making whipped cream. Then, fold in sweetened condensed milk. 
  • Freeze. Transfer the mixture to a container and cover it with plastic wrap. Freeze until it’s solid, which takes 4-6 hours. I usually leave it in there overnight.
An ice cream scoop forming a scoop in a pan of vanilla ice cream.

Tips for Success

  • Use full-fat ingredients. Homemade ice cream turns out best with full-fat heavy whipping cream. The higher the fat content, the smoother and creamier your ice cream will be. Avoid low-fat ingredients, as they contain more water and make the texture icy.
  • Chill the mixing bowl. Pop a metal mixing bowl into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before making the whipped cream, and make sure that the heavy cream you’re using is cold from the fridge. Cold tools and cold ingredients are key to successful whipping.
  • Fold in add-ins before freezing. If you’d like to add extra ingredients or mix-ins like cookies, candy, or otherwise, fold these into the ice cream mixture before you freeze it. See below for some ideas.
  • Let the ice cream freeze fully. Make sure to budget at least a few hours for your ice cream to set in the freezer before serving. Otherwise, it will be very soft.
Three scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does 2 ingredient ice cream taste like regular ice cream?

Not exactly, but both are irresistible in their own way. I’m a sucker for my favorite tub of store-bought ice cream. This 2-ingredient ice cream tastes different from traditional ice cream, but it’s just as good! I always find homemade ice cream a bit richer and creamier because of the sweetened condensed milk.

How does this ice cream work?

You might be reading this and thinking, “What sorcery is this?” However, there’s some science behind 2-ingredient ice cream’s success.

Traditional ice cream making uses an egg-based custard that’s cooked to just the right temperature, cooled, and then churned in an ice cream maker. Churning whips air into the ice cream while it freezes, resulting in that soft, scoopable texture we know and love.

Instead of churning, 2-ingredient ice cream takes a shortcut by whipping air into the heavy cream before it’s frozen. Meanwhile, sweetened condensed milk takes the place of the ice cream base or custard. Together, it’s the secret to light, creamy homemade ice cream!

Close up overhead view of three scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce and sprinkles in a glass bowl.

Add-Ins and Variations

What I love most about this ice cream is that you can enjoy it as is, and it’s also super easy to adapt with flavors and add-ins. Here are some ways that I’ve accessorized my ice cream. If you’ll be adding any of these to your recipe, remember to do it before freezing.

  • Vanilla. Add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Chocolate. Make chocolate ice cream by mixing in cocoa powder. You can also stir in chocolate fudge sauce or a swirl of caramel sauce.
  • Fruit. Add fresh strawberries for strawberry ice cream or any chopped fruit you’d like. I’ll sometimes swirl in strawberry syrup, or blueberry pie filling.
  • Nuts. Chopped pecans, walnuts, peanuts, or other nuts. I like to make Rocky Road with cocoa powder, chopped almonds, and marshmallows.
  • S’mores ice cream. Chopped chocolate and graham crackers, plus mini marshmallows. 
  • Cookies. Stir in crumbled Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, or brownie chunks. 
A spoonful of ice cream held over a bowl with scoops of ice cream covered with chocolate sauce and sprinkles.

Serving Ideas

My favorite way to enjoy homemade ice cream is three scoops smothered with hot fudge sauce and decked out with sprinkles. Never gets old. Of course, there’s always the option to turn your ice cream into a brownie sundae, served over a fudgy chocolate brownie, or you can pair your scoops with cakes, pies a la mode… name me a dessert that isn’t made better with a scoop of ice cream!

Overhead view of 2-ingredient ice cream spread into a shallow pan, with an ice cream scoop on one side and ice cream cones and a bowl of sprinkles.

How to Store Homemade Ice Cream

The best way to store ice cream is in a shallow container with a lid (save those empty ice cream tubs!), or a loaf pan also works. To keep this 2-ingredient ice cream from icing over, I like to press a layer of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the ice cream when freezing. It prevents freezer burn and helps the ice cream stay fresh in the freezer for up to 1 month.

More Frozen Desserts


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Make the easiest homemade ice cream with only 2 ingredients! This recipe doesn’t need a custard base or an ice cream maker, and it turns out super creamy every time.

  • 2 cups heavy cream, very cold
  • 1 (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

  1. In your stand mixer with whisk attachment on high speed beat your cream until it becomes stiff, approx 1 minute 30 seconds.
  2. Fold in your sweetened condensed milk.
  3. If you are adding in extras, do that now.
  4. Transfer to a container with a lid and freeze for 6 hours.

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