Easy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker (with fresh strawberries)

You don’t need a fancy machine to make delicious ice cream at home! This homemade strawberry ice cream is creamy, refreshing and made with fresh strawberries. No eggs or ice cream maker required for this recipe!  

scoop of strawberry ice cream on a table with a bowl of strawberries in the background

I really love fresh strawberries, especially when they’re in season! And homemade strawberry ice cream made with fresh strawberries just can’t be beat!  It’s one of my all-time favorites!

This recipe is creamy and packed with delicious strawberries!

Why you’ll love this homemade strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberries

It’s easy.

It’s egg-free.

It’s made without an ice cream machine!

You only need 6 ingredients.

It has a gorgeous, naturally colored shade of pink (without using food coloring)!

strawberry ice cream with a scoop on a pink and white surface with strawberries and cones

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT FROM TRADITIONAL ONES

What really makes this recipe different from most standard no-churn recipes (including my own Easy No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream (+ secret ingredient) is that there are 2 methods I use to prevent ice crystals forming. 

The problem with strawberry ice cream: fresh strawberries create ice crystals when frozen.

First of all, I’ve tried recipes that ask to chop the strawberries and add them to the base, but I found that this creates a lot of ice crystals (especially if the strawberry pieces are big), as strawberries contain a lot of water. 

Other recipes require roasting or cooking the strawberries first. Although this does help to remove a lot of water, I found that it affects the overall flavor and doesn’t create the traditional, fresh strawberry ice cream taste that I love. 

The solution? Macerating the strawberries and then processing the ice cream.

  1. Macerating the strawberries first. 

This simply means mixing the strawberries (in very small pieces) with sugar and a little bit of vodka and letting them sit for about an hour or two. During this time, the strawberries release their juices and create a beautiful syrup (which I drain and reserve to top the ice cream later). So, the result is a lot creamier and tastier, much like regular churned ice cream! 

Why this works

If you’ve ever put vodka in the freezer, you’ll notice that it never freezes! Adding a little alcohol to the base will prevent the ice cream from freezing solid. And although I don’t taste any vodka in this ice cream, I think it enhances the overall texture, making it smoother.

     2.  Pulse the strawberry ice cream in a food processor.

For a creamier consistency similar to gelato, you take pieces of frozen ice cream and put them in a food processor and pulse until really smooth. Then put it back in the container, cover the surface with plastic wrap again and put it back in the freezer. 

Why this works

This method really makes the ice cream easier to scoop because it’s so smooth. I also think that it produces the best overall, ultra-smooth texture, much like real churned ice cream. To me, this was the closest I got to making real churned ice cream at home without an ice cream maker.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT:

Whipping cream: You need whipping cream that’s at least 30%. I use heavy whipping cream for this recipe, which contains 35% fat.

Sweetened condensed milk: I use 1 can.

Vanilla: I use vanilla extract for this recipe, but I’ve also tried it with ground vanilla bean powder, too, which gives it a more pronounced vanilla flavor. I used the powder in my no-churn vanilla ice cream

Sugar: I use regular granulated sugar.

Strawberries: I use fresh, ripe strawberries.

Alcohol: I use a small amount of vodka, because it helps make the ice cream smoother and you don’t taste it at all.

a bowl of strawberry ice cream with a scoop and a bowl of strawberries on a pink and white surface

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is evaporated milk the same as sweetened condensed milk?

No. Sweetened condensed milk contains sugar, whereas evaporated milk does not have any sugar in it, so it can’t be replaced in this recipe. 

Can I use low-fat whipping cream?

No, you won’t get the same consistency and it will create a lot of ice crystals. You need fat to avoid this. The lower the fat, the more ice crystals you’ll get.

How long will it last?

This can be stored in the freezer for about 2 ½ weeks.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

FIRST MACERATE THE STRAWBERRIES & WHIP THE CREAM

strawberry ice cream steps 1-4STEP 1

Finely chop the strawberries, add the sugar and the vodka. Stir everything together and let it sit for an hour or more.

STEP 2

Drain the strawberries. If you want, reserve the vodka syrup to pour over ice cream when it’s done! 

STEP 3

Puree the strawberries in a food processor. You could also mash them with a fork, potato masher or pastry blender. Set aside.

STEP 4

Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

THEN MAKE THE BASE

strawberry ice cream steps 5-8STEP 5

Add the vanilla and sweetened condensed milk to the whipped cream and mix until combined.

STEP 6

Add the puree and mix well. 

THEN TOSS IN THE ADD-INS & FREEZE

STEP 7

Fold in the chopped strawberries or any other add-ins you may be using.

STEP 8

Pour into a freezer-safe container. I use a pyrex pan. 

Spread evenly on top. Then press the surface with plastic wrap and then cover the pan with some foil and freeze for at least 5 hours. 

After that, you can put it in a food processor to make it creamier and then put it back in the freezer.

Ideas for Add-ins & Toppings

If you’d like a flavor boost, here are a few ideas for add-ins & toppings:

Add-ins

  • fresh mint or basil leaves, about 2 tablespoons chopped
  • dark chocolate chips
  • nuts
  • alcohol like brandy, cognac, champagne red wine, rum, grand marnier or even Cointreau
  • small pieces of cheesecake folded into the base for an amazing cheesecake flavor 
  • pieces of your favorite cookies

Also, although I haven’t tried it yet, I think my homemade strawberry jam swirled on top or INTO the base before freezing would be amazing!

Toppings

  • Pour some of the reserved vodka syrup on top.
  • Pipe some extra whipped cream over it!
  • Drizzle some chocolate syrup or caramel over it.
  • Top with sprinkles.
  • Add some Oreo cookies on top.
  • Serve with fresh fruit, jam or this delicious mandarin marmalade!

WHAT ELSE TO MAKE WITH THIS HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

There are lots of different ways you can enjoy this other than on its own. Here are a few other ideas:

  • Make strawberry milkshakes! 

Just blend it with a little milk for a really thick milkshake! If I’m feeling naughty, I’ll add some chocolate sprinkles (and/or whipped cream) on top!

  • Make smoothies! 

Add some fresh fruit and milk and blend it all together.

  • Make sundaes! 

I used to LOVE sundaes when I was a kid! Just scoop some of this yummy ice cream in a bowl and go wild! Add chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and some chopped nuts!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I THINK THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Use ripe strawberries that are in season! It will be much more flavorful! The riper the strawberries, the better!
  • After I wash the strawberries, I put them on a paper towel and then pat them dry to absorb as much moisture as possible.
  • Make sure the strawberries are cut into TINY pieces. Otherwise you’ll be biting into large chunks of frozen fruit.
  • I didn’t add any sugar because my strawberries were very ripe and I felt the sugar in the sweetened condensed milk was just right. If your strawberries aren’t that ripe, though, you may want to add a little sugar, about ¼ cup to the heavy cream while you whip it. I would taste the base before freezing it.
  • Before whipping the cream, put a metal bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes before adding the cream so that it whips faster.
  • You need whipping cream that contains at least 30% fat, otherwise it won’t whip into cream. Heavy whipping cream contains at least 35% fat.
  • Put the can of sweetened condensed milk in the freezer for a few minutes before you start. Alternatively, you could put it in the fridge a day ahead.
  • Store the ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer. I always keep it in the back and I avoid putting it in the freezer door.
  • Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving to soften it up a bit. 

~Voula 😊

MORE ICE CREAM & FROZEN DESSERT RECIPES

Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

Easy No-churn Vanilla Ice Cream (+ Secret Ingredient)

 

Let me know how this easy homemade strawberry ice cream turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Easy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker

You don’t need a fancy machine to make delicious ice cream at home! This homemade strawberry ice cream is creamy, refreshing and made with fresh strawberries. No eggs or ice cream maker required for this recipe!  
Prep Time20 mins
5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade, strawberry, ice cream, no machine, no ice cream maker, fresh strawberries, egg-free
Servings: 1 1/2 quarts / kilos approximately

Ingredients

For the puree

  • 1 pound / 453 g fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, stems removed, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup / 50 g granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup / 60 ml vodka

For the base

  • 2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound / 453 g fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, stems removed and cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 14-ounce (397 g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Instructions

Macerate the strawberries

  • Put the chopped strawberries, sugar and vodka in a small bowl. 
  • Stir everything together and let it sit for an hour or more.

Make the puree

  • Drain the strawberries. (Reserve the vodka syrup to pour over ice cream when it’s done!)
  • Puree the strawberries in a food processor. You could also mash them with a fork, potato masher or pastry blender. Set aside.

Make the base

  • In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the vanilla and sweetened condensed milk and mix until combined.
  • Add the puree to the base and mix well. 

Toss in the add-ins & freeze

  • Fold in the chopped strawberries or any other add-ins, if using.
  • Pour into a freezer-safe container. I use a pyrex pan. Spread evenly on top. 
  • Then cover with plastic wrap and then some foil and freeze for at least 5 hours.
  • For a creamier consistency, take pieces of frozen ice cream and put them in a food processor and pulse until really smooth. Then put it back in the container, cover the surface with plastic wrap again and put it back in the freezer. 
  • This ice cream can be stored in the freezer for about 2 ½ weeks.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

 
  • Use ripe strawberries that are in season for a more flavorful ice cream. The riper the strawberries, the better!
  • After I wash the strawberries, I put them on a paper towel and then pat them dry to absorb as much moisture as possible.
  • Make sure the strawberries are cut into TINY pieces. Otherwise you’ll be biting into large chunks of frozen fruit.
  • I didn’t add any sugar because my strawberries were very ripe and I felt the sugar in the condensed milk was just right. If your strawberries aren’t that ripe, you may want to add a little sugar, about ¼ cup to the heavy cream while you whip it.
  • Before whipping the cream, put a metal bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes before adding the cream so that it whips faster.
  • You need whipping cream that contains at least 30% fat, otherwise it won’t whip into cream. Heavy whipping cream contains at least 35% fat.
  • Put the can of sweetened condensed milk in the freezer for a few minutes before you start. Alternatively, you could put it in the fridge a day ahead.
  • Store the ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer. I always keep it in the back and I avoid putting it in the freezer door.
  • Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving to soften it up a bit. 
Credit for macerating the strawberries goes to seriouseats.com!
 
© Pastry Wishes
 
                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
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