Magic Vanilla Ice Cream

What? Huh? Homemade vanilla ice cream without an ice cream maker? No way, you say.

Yes way, I say!

And it still manages to be creamy, light (in texture, people, not calories!) and absolutely delicious.

Just wait until tomorrow when you see what I served it with. Heavenly summer dessert.

Magic Vanilla Ice Cream

One Year Ago: Baked Oatmeal
Two Years Ago: Sticky Coconut Chicken

Magic Vanilla Ice Cream

Yield: Makes 1 quart of ice cream

Magic Vanilla Ice Cream


  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ounce white chocolate chips (for best result use Ghirardelli or Guittard brand – white chocolate varies greatly from brand to brand!)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream


  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the sweetened condensed milk and the white chocolate until the chocolate melts, about 1 minute on 50% power. Stir. If the chocolate isn’t completely melted, microwave for 20 second intervals at 50% power until the mixture is combined. Set aside and let the mixture cool. When cooled, stir in the vanilla, salt and sour cream. Blend well.
  2. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the rest of the whipped cream into the white chocolate gently until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Place the mixture in an airtight container and freze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 2 weeks. If you are going to store the ice cream for several days before serving, press plastic wrap or wax paper directly on the surface of the ice cream before freezing it.

Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country June/July 2010

31 Responses to Magic Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. Karen says:

    Using this recipe as my base, I’ve made several different flavors with great success, including mint chocolate chip, coconut, pumpkin spice, and pineapple cheesecake. I used cream of coconut in place of part of the liquid ingredients, although I can’t recall the exact proportions. I also replaced the vanilla extract with coconut extract, but I didn’t add shredded sweetened coconut, although you certainly could. And for the pineapple cheesecake, I added softened cream cheese to the hot sweetened condensed milk/melted white chocolate chips mixture (again, I don’t remember how much I used-sorry!) and stirred until the cream cheese melted, then proceeded with the recipe as written. After folding in the whipped cream, I also folded in crushed pineapple that I had drained and then squeezed dry by wringing in a paper towel. The pumpkin spice was made by adding canned pumpkin to the mixture, along with the usual spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves, etc. Very important though: the excess moisture must be removed from the canned pumpkin before it is added. This is done by following the technique created by the folks at Cooks Country (&/or ATK) for their pumpkin spice cheesecake. If you perform a search for cooks illustrated pumpkin cheesecake, you’ll find the recipe, a video, and an article on NPR’s website that outlines the technique.

  2. Army of 7 says:

    Hey Mel! Do you still make this recipe or do you have any new ice creams to try?? It’s so hot here- I need to make ice cream ASAP πŸ™‚

    • Mel says:

      I actually do make this ice cream and we love it but I also have some fun new ice cream recipes to post, too. It’s hard because I want to post ice cream, like, every day but a lot of people don’t use or like ice cream recipes so I try to keep it in moderation. πŸ™‚

  3. Teresa says:

    This looks amazing. I do love a pure vanilla ice cream. Will have to try it soon. I just made the dark chocolate sorbet from King Arthur Flour website tonight. You should try it. Fabulous.

  4. Kath says:

    I have not tried this vanilla version yet, but I will soon. For those wondering about add-ins, I make the Chocolate Magic Ice Cream often and I usually add chopped almonds and mini marshmallows for a decadent rocky road. I also triple the recipe using a whole can of condensed milk and a whole quart of whipping cream. Because really, what does one do with a partial can of condensed milk? By tripling the recipe and making it rocky road, it makes just about a gallon of wonderful ice cream. Enjoy!

  5. Holly says:

    I made this sweet treat with my little guys as part of our summer bucket list. Then we ate the ice cream that night for our family night treat. It made plenty for our family of five. (We didn’t have the white chocolate so we subbed in dark chocolate and it was delicious!) This recipe was easy, fun for us to make together, and oh so yummy! My kiddos think I’m the coolest mom on the block. Thanks!

  6. Judy Gibson says:

    I love this recipe. I make this delicious ice cream year-round and during the holidays, I make hands down, the best egg nog ice cream by substituting egg nog for the heavy cream, omitting the chips, and adding Myers Dark Rum, more vanilla, and nutmeg. I serve it garnished with pieces of torched Sugar in the Raw (like for creme brulee) It is ohhhh soooo gooood!!!

  7. Alli says:

    I subsituted unsweetened plain yogurt because I didn’t have any sour cream and it worked out great. Delicious!

  8. Sally Walter says:

    Truly magical and yummy!! Thanks!

  9. Annika says:

    I made this last night and used all whipping cream (my sour cream turned “too sour”) without any problems. It was rich and delicious!

    • Mel says:

      Annika – thanks for letting me know this worked out well with all heavy cream. That should help those worried about the sour cream factor. Glad you liked it!

  10. Amber says:

    I made this last week, and it was definitely a hit. We did use Nestle Tollhouse chips, and I thought it tasted just fine. I’m making a huge batch for my son’s birthday party this weekend. Thanks for sharing and allowing me to stop wanting to buy an ice cream maker!

  11. liz says:

    i made this today. For me, the heavy flavor was definately not the sour cream but the condensed milk/white chocolate (which ended up tasting pretty similar). It was the perfect consistency for ice cream, which was really cool! But it was way to sweet to eat more than a couple of bites. I think it shouldn’t be a stand alone dessert, but served with fruits or berries or something to cut the sweetness. But still…very successful replacement for those of us who don’t have an ice cream maker and very easy/quick! THANKS!

    • Mel says:

      liz – yes, this is a pretty rich vanilla ice cream, although, I have to admit that I didn’t have too hard of a time eating a big bowl of it. Glad it worked out ok!

  12. ingrid says:

    Interesting recipe. I have an ice cream maker but am thoroughly intrigued by the addition of white chocolate chips and sour cream so I’ll have to give this a try.

  13. Sierra says:

    i made this the other night and it tasted very much like sour cream. the texture was great, but when i finally nailed down why it tasted a little off, it made sense. is there anything i could substitute (or add) that might work to reduce the sour cream taste? i love not having to have an ice cream maker!

    • Mel says:

      Sierra – this recipe is a tested recipe from Cook’s Country and the reason they use sour cream is to aid in the creamy texture (without using an ice cream maker). I didn’t notice a strong sour cream taste when I made it, and I’m not sure what you could substitute that would achieve the same results. Perhaps increasing the heavy cream by 1/4 cup and omitting the sour cream?

  14. This recipe is absolutely terrific! And easy. I love that no ice cream maker is involved. I’m definitely going to try this.

  15. grace says:

    with all those creamy, white ingredients, how can the result NOT be completely decadent? this is a new method for me, melanie, and i like what i see!

  16. Norah B says:

    Holy crap how did I miss making this with tomorrows treat! I can’t wait to try this one too.

  17. TaLaisa says:

    Yum, love a good semifreddo!

    And thank you Melanie for suggesting specific brands of white chocolate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given out my chocolate chip cookie recipe and had people use hershey’s or nestle white chocolate and say I must’ve left something out of the recipe because theirs didn’t taste like mine. I adore guittard chocolates. Yes. All of them. It’s the only kind I’ll use in my fudge (partially because ghiradelli processes with peanuts) the texture is far superior to any store bought chocolate I’ve used.

  18. Jeanette says:

    we are in the process of moving right now, so i am without a kitchen. but i cannot wait to try this as soon as we get moved in. really excited about this one! thanks!

  19. Memoria says:

    It looks great. If only I were okay with sour cream. I guess I could sub heavy cream.

  20. Kim in MD says:

    Wow…who knew? If it is from Cook’s Country (and has your stamp of approval), I know it must be fantastic! I can’t wait to hear what you served it with! πŸ˜‰

  21. Jenn says:

    Heaven in a bowl…I’m sure of it! I can’t wait to try it out πŸ™‚

  22. Kelly says:

    Wow, this is neat, I don’t have an ice cream maker either. Have you tried it with add-ins? (chocolate chips, crushed oreo cookies, etc.?). My son has a peanut allergy, and while they make peanut-free ice cream, it’s usually just in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry. I’ll probably invest in an ice-cream maker eventually, but until I do it would be neat to be able to make him some “fancy” flavors now and then.

    • Mel says:

      Kelly – I haven’t tried it with add-in’s. I suppose you could stir them in at the last minute and it would probably work out just great.

  23. Amber says:

    wow! I can’t wait to make this!!!!

  24. I don’t have an ice cream maker, so this is perfect for me!

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