2-Ingredient ice cream – On the power of whipped cream

2 ingredient vanilla ice cream - made with only condensed milk and whipped cream

Ice cream with 2 ingredients? Real ice cream? Yes, it really is ice cream and it really is just two ingredients (cream + condensed milk). It shows how easy cooking (and ice cream making) can be. All you need besides two those ingredients are a bowl, a whisk, a container and a freezer.

It so happens that this recipe is also great to explain the science of ice cream. The easier the recipe, the easier it is to extract the science without being distracted by all sorts of extra ingredients and process steps. We can properly zoom in on the role of all (in this case just 2) ingredients and see how these two ingredients fulfill all the different roles within an ice cream.

What is ice cream again (from a scientist’s perspective)?

When we talk about ice cream on this blog we tend to talk about a creamy ice cream, generally scooped in balls onto a cone or in a cup. As opposed to popsicles (which are essentially frozen lemonade), these ice creams contain fats, sugars, often proteins, water and most importantly air!

A more ‘scientific’ analysis of the ice cream will see that there’s the following phases:

  • Water ice crystals (you want these to be small and well spread out to prevent those crispy bits; these ice crystals are what make the ‘ice’ in ice cream)
  • Sugar syrup (not all the water actually freezes, some might stay liquid and will have plenty of dissolved sugars inside, we discussed the important of sugars before when discussing the freezing point depression)
  • Solid fat (the fat will have solidified at the low temperatures ice cream is stored)
  • Air bubbles (oh so important to make a light, well melting and soft ice cream)

These three phases are all mixed together and separated (and stabilized) by proteins and in commercial ice creams other stabilizers to improve shelf life.

2 ingredient vanilla ice cream - top viewTop view of the 2-ingredient ice cream, even though you don’t see all those different phases, there are ice crystals, sugar syrup, solid fats and plenty air bubbles in there.

What happens when making ice cream?

This two-ingredient recipe really limits ice cream making to its two most important steps:

1. Aeration: we have to make sure those air bubbles are formed inside the chocolate. For that to happen we have to whip something that can actually hold on to those air bubbles. It needs to be able to hold on to the air bubbles long enough for the ice cream to freeze in the freezer. Once it’s frozen everything around the air bubbles will be so hard the air won’t be able to escape anymore. However, up to that point the air bubbles might still move and disappear.

2. Mixing: all the ingredients have to be mixed together homogeneously. We have to make sure the sugar dissolves well in the water, that the air bubbles are spread through evenly and that the fats are spread out evenly.

2-ingredient ice cream – Role of ingredients

In this 2-ingredient ice cream we use only two ingredients that again contain all the components we need! You will see that the ingredients both fulfill several roles at the same time to still make this complex ice cream structure.


The first is cream, more specifically cream suitable for whipping, it’s called different everywhere, but contains at least 30% fat. By whisking this cream you can create a foam and thus the air bubbles we need for making the ice cream. The reason cream can hold on to air bubbles pretty well is its high fat content. This fat, together with the proteins in the cream, will stabilize the air bubbles and prevent them from merging immediately.

The cream thus contributes the air bubbles, fat and part of the moisture and proteins.

Side note: Why you shouldn’t boil cream meant for whipping

If you decide to infuse some flavour in the cream (e.g. vanilla or coffee), make sure you do not actually boil the cream. Instead, only heat it up slightly (max. 40C). Cream that has boiled will have denaturated proteins. These aren’t good anymore in stabilizing the foam that is formed by the cream. Instead, you might not end up with a foam, but with butter! Any cream can be whipped too much resulting in butter instead of whipped cream. However, this boiled cream never got foamy but immediately switched over to the butter stage.

Condensed milk

The other ingredient we’re using here is condensed milk. Condensed milk is boiled down, thickened milk with plenty sugar. In a sense it is a pre-mixed version of sugar + water + dairy. Since the sugar is already dissolved in the condensed milk there’s no need to heat up cream or milk to dissolve the sugar. Instead, all we have to do is gently pour it in the whipped cream (making sure to break as little bubbles as possible) and gently fold it through. Easy as that!

Wondering why we need sugar at all in ice cream? It’s to make a soft ice cream. Imagine freezing a cube of water. It will become rock hard. However, if instead we dissolve in sugar not all the water will actually freeze due to a phenomenon called the freezing point depression. This will make the ice cream softer. Combine this with some air and fat in the ice cream and it will result in a smooth silky ice cream!Aerat2. MxingThe otherThe

2 ingredient vanilla ice cream

2-ingredient ice cream recipe

This 2-ingredient ice cream recipe makes a very smooth ice cream. However, I personally find it overly sweet (although opinions differed). You can reduce the condensed milk content, as stated in the recipe, that will affect the softness of the recipe as well (see explanation above in the condensed milk section), but might make it more agreeable to your taste.

2-Ingredient ice cream – Still ice cream?
Author: Science Chef
Recipe type: Ice cream
Prep time:  15 mins
Total time:  15 mins

Serves: 10 portions

  • 250 ml cream (non sweetened, at least 30% fat)
  • 200g condensed milk (this makes a pretty sweet ice cream, use 150g for a less sweet version

  1. Whip the cream until a firm foam has formed. Be sure not to overwhip to prevent butter from forming.
  2. Pour in the condensed milk, try to pour all in at one spot to prevent the foam from collapsing.
  3. Gently fold in the condensed milk, try not to break too many air bubbles.
  4. Pour the mixture in a container suitable for the freezer and leave in the freezer (-18C) for at least 10 hours (over night).
  5. Enjoy!
  6. The ice cream might be hard to scoop straight from the freezer, place in the microwave at 360W for 20s to soften.


Want to try somewhat more advanced ice cream recipes? Try out our semi freddo (pretty similar to this one, but slightly more refined flavours), our vanilla ice cream or our eggless ice cream (using custard!).

The post 2-Ingredient ice cream – On the power of whipped cream appeared first on Food Crumbles – The Food Science Blog.

How To Make An (Ice Cream!) Flag Cake

At Food52, we are big fans of the first Flag Cake we first baked up 3 years ago. But we’re not big fans of turning on our ovens in July. Enter: flag ice cream cake! The cake is constructed the same way as the traditional flag cake, just substituting ice cream for the layers (vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry, in case you were wondering). The process is a bit time-consuming because it’s important to let each layer set before you build the next. But the end result is as impressive as it is delicious (not to mention wicked cool).

Here’s what you need to know to get the prettiest flag cake ever:

How to Make a Flag Cake for the Fourth of JulyHow to Make a Flag Cake for the Fourth of July
by Erin McDowell


I use the outer ring of a springform pan to build this cake. For maximum impressiveness, make each ice cream layer about 1/2 inch high. If your springform pan is shorter than 3 inches, you can easily make it taller by constructing a ring out of parchment or wax paper and taping it to the upper lip of the pan. You’ll need a small offset spatula to smooth the ice cream in each layer, as well as a guide for the blue layer (more on that to come). Find a small baking sheet or cutting board (one that fits your springform ring fully) and line it with parchment paper. Make sure you have room in your freezer for it to fit (even at its tallest!) before you begin.

We went with vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry.

We went with vanilla, strawberry, and blueberry.
Photo by James Ransom

Allow enough time.

For the cleanest, sharpest layers, you’ll want to freeze the cake each time you apply a layer. There’s 7 layers in all, so it’s not a bad idea to start this project a day or two before you want to serve the cake. Aside from the time issue, this cake couldn’t be easier. You can use whatever flavors of ice cream you want (as long as they represent the colors of the flag to your satisfaction.). Feeling particularly ambitious? Bonus points for homemade ice cream!

Start with soft ice cream.

It’s much easier to spread the ice cream into smooth, even layers if it’s softened. Let it soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before scooping it into the cake. Yes, you’ll likely need to chill the cake even longer to ensure it’s properly set, but it’s worth it!
(Some people soften ice cream in the microwave, but I find it makes the outside soft but the inside remains rock hard.)

For clean, sharp layers, freeze the cake each time you apply a layer.

For clean, sharp layers, freeze the cake each time you apply a layer.
Photo by James Ransom

Who needs fire works when you have ice cream?

Who needs fire works when you have ice cream?
Photo by James Ransom


To build the flag cake, follow the same assembly as our original, but with ice cream. Start by fully covering the base of the pan with white. Next, cover the white layer with a layer of red. You’ll repeat this process until you have four layers: white, red, white, red. The blue layer is the wildcard. To get the square just on the edge of each slice, you have to apply the blueberry ice cream in a ring around the outer edge of the cake. I use a smaller springform pan ring (6 inches) to help provide support as I make this ring, then apply heat to the ring (using a torch or a hot wet kitchen towel) to remove the ring once the blueberry ice cream is set. Ideally, the blueberry ring should be about 1 inch tall and about 2 inches wide (from the edge of the pan). Once the blueberry layer is set, you fill it with another layer of white and red (smaller this time) to create the final flag look.

Count your scoops.

It can be tough to ensure even layers of an ice cream cake, but I have a helpful tip. Choose one ice cream scoop and count the number of scoops you use when applying the first layer. Use this same number of scoops for the next layer, and so on. Since the blue layer is supposed to be thicker, you can use the same number of scoops as you did for the base layers. The final layers that fill in the blue ring are smaller, so use half of the number of scoops you used for the base layers.

Once the blue layer is set, fill it with another layer of white and red (smaller this time) to create the final flag look.

Once the blue layer is set, fill it with another layer of white and red (smaller this time) to create the final flag look.
Photo by James Ransom

Removing the outer ring.

If you used a parchment or wax paper “extender,” simply tear it away from the cake. At this point, I find it best to remove the base parchment paper. Lift the cake (including the parchment) off of the pan/cutting board you were freezing it on. Peel the parchment paper away, and place the cake (still in the springform mold) on a cake stand or serving platter (again, make sure it fits in your freezer!). Then, apply heat to the outer ring using a kitchen torch for short 30-second bursts or a hot wet towel wrapped around it until it’s no longer warm (repeat as needed), release the springform buckle, and lift the ring up and off the cake.

Frosting the cake.

Freeze the cake for at least 1 hour before you frost it to make sure you don’t muck up your pretty layers. Whipped cream (sweetened with powdered sugar and flavored with a little bit of vanilla) tastes best—just be sure to apply with a small offset spatula for swirls.

Unity and ice cream for all!

Unity and ice cream for all!
Photo by James Ransom

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American Flag Ice Cream Cake

By Erin McDowell

  • 2
    quarts vanilla ice cream

  • 2
    quarts strawberry ice cream

  • 1
    quart blueberry ice cream (this one is really nice and blue: https://food52.com/recipes/30270-blueberry-ice-cream)

  • 2
    cups heavy cream

  • 1/3
    cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2
    teaspoon vanilla extract

View Full Recipe

The 12 Best Ice Cream Truck Treats, Ranked

When I was a little girl, I remember standing at the end of our driveway, dollar bills in hand, waiting anxiously for the ice cream truck to make it to my house. What could be better than prepackaged cool treats delivered right to your driveway every night? I feel like the ice cream truck jingle used to be the soundtrack of my summers.

As nostalgic as I am, I only remember the best of treats (probably because every treat was amazing). Here are some classic ice cream truck treats ranked from least awesome to the best of the best. 

12. Snow Cone

Instagram post by DTan

A favorite at festivals and carnivals, these icy mounds covered in sweet syrup instantly cool you down on a sweltering day. However, they’re best when they’re made fresh, so I wouldn’t go for these pre-packaged ones.

 11. Push Up Pops

Instagram post by AMC

Who could forget the fun of these orange-y, creamy pops, pushing them up from their tube until all you had left was wet cardboard. Beware: These melt so quickly in the hot summer sun that they either have to be eaten immediately, or skipped for a longer-lasting treat.

10. Fudge Bar

Instagram post by Dennis the Foodie

Fudge bars are a classic ice cream pop, with everyone’s favorite ice cream flavor made handheld for easy eating. They’re a bit boring, but if you’re craving chocolate, this is the perfect treat.

9. Strawberry Crunch Bar

Instagram post by Thelma V. Chavez

Made to resemble strawberry shortcake, the crunchy crumb coating covers a vanilla and strawberry center in a pretty pink color that is totally ready for Instagram.

8. Chocolate Crunch Bar

Instagram post by Melissa.R

In the world of ice cream, chocolate always beats out strawberry. These bars provide the perfect crunch of chocolate combined with smooth chocolate and vanilla ice cream to cool you down and satisfy your taste buds.

7. Bomb Pop

Instagram post by Original Bomb Pop

Patriotism never tasted so sweet with these popsicles, which consist of cherry, lemon, and blue raspberry flavors. Now that you’re an adult, you can enjoy these popsicles as shots instead at your next patriotic holiday.

6. Ice Cream Sandwich

Instagram post by FoodField

Over-the-top ice cream sandwiches using cookies or waffles may be a new trend, but this ice cream truck staple remains a classic. With chocolate wafers that always stuck to your fingers and plenty of vanilla ice cream inside, these sandwiches are beloved by all. Try using them to make an ice box cake for your next summertime party!

5. Chipwich

Instagram post by 2 Girls 2 Cones

The best thing to ever happen to ice cream sandwiches — it combines ice cream with chewy chocolate chip cookies, all coated in crunchy mini chocolate chips. The ratio of cookie to ice cream is exactly enough so that you feel satisfied and chilled on a long hot day.

4. Screwballs

Instagram post by libby

These icy cones are filled with a sweet cherry ice, and at the bottom hides not one, but two gumballs. They’re loaded with sugar, so they were perfect for fueling games of kick the can or hide and seek back in the day.

3. Malt Cup

Instagram post by @raph_drastic

These are basically big cups filled with ice cream, and they definitely gave you the most for your money. The other flavors, like cookies and cream, are also delicious.

2. Choco Taco

Instagram post by Joshua Czerkies

I have an undying love for tacos, and these dessert tacos are a brilliant variation. The crunchy waffle shell, soft ice cream, and crispy chocolate coating all combine to make an ice cream truck favorite.

1. SpongeBob Ice Cream Pops

Instagram post by Ajin Sivalingam

The undisputed king of the ice cream truck, these fruit punch and cotton candy flavored pops were the favorite of every kid on my block. And the gum ball eyes were the perfect addition to it’s ridiculous (ridiculously awesome) shape.

So the next time you hear that iconic music coming down your street, grab your wallet and go get a cool treat. You can reminisce about your days spent running around in the summer sun while enjoying a delicious (and probably nostalgic) ice cream. Your inner kid will thank you!

How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream

Here are over 8 methods you can use to make soft low carb ice cream at home!

How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream - over 8 methods to try!

The following post contains affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you I can make a tiny bit of money to help support this blog. Thank you!

Have you ever tried making a homemade ice cream that is rock hard straight out of the freezer? I notice this all the time when my family enjoys an ice cream together – their high carb version is soft enough to scoop straight away, but I have to wait ten minutes before I can get a decent scoop!

So I decided to do some research into what makes ice cream soft – and there are a surprising number of ways! In some cases a combination of methods of ingredients are successful, with others you only need to try one thing.

The methods can broadly be separated into three categories: The NON low carb methods, The not for home cooks methods, and the low carb home chef methods.

Let’s get the first two categories out of the way first.

Non low carb methods: Sugar (you saw that coming, right?), milk powder, evaporated or condensed milk, cornstarch, trimoline (a thick syrup made from half glucose, half fructose), fruit preserves, corn syrup, honey, glycerine

Professional chef methods: blast freezer / flash freezing, professional ice cream machine, liquid nitrogen, dry ice

Two theories came up many times: that the ice cream needs AIR – so whether that’s whisking or churning, it helps keep it stay soft. My low carb almond semifreddo is more like a mousse than an ice cream, although it is frozen – but it is REALLY soft straight out of the freezer due to all the air that was whisked in before freezing.How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream - over 8 methods to try!

And the second is the fat content. 100% fat doesn’t freeze, so the higher the fat content in your ice cream, the softer it will be, with less ice crystals. For most people, this is an issue, but for anyone following a LCHF (low-carb-high-fat) diet or similar – it is perfect!

So let’s look at some specifics for making soft low carb ice cream.

Heavy cream – as mentioned above, the high fat content makes it the perfect ingredient. Try it in my “instant” raspberry ice cream!

Cream cheese – you’ll have better results if you don’t use the reduced fat versions. I’ve used cream cheese in recipes like low carb lemon ice cream, strawberry cheesecake ice cream and frozen chocolate chip balls.

Egg yolks – if you want to cut back on the fat, try egg yolks instead. The common method is to make a custard first, like in this raspberry and mascarpone ice cream recipe.How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream - over 8 methods to try!

Gelatin – although not as efficient as the options above, the gelatin in Jello powder can help make a smoother ice cream. Check out these two-ingredient chocolate pudding pops!

Alcohol – alcohol can definitely keep an ice cream from freezing too hard if used in a good quantity. But that might not always be what you had in mind of a sweet treat! Also, you’re better off using grain alcohol, which is 95% proof, because regular spirits contain water – and as we know, water = ice crystals.

Extracts – flavored extracts provide flavor and alcohol but are only used in small amounts. On their own they won’t produce soft ice cream, but try combining it with other ingredients that I have already suggested. In my mint chocolate ice cream I used peppermint extract and chocolate extract, but also heavy cream and ricotta.

Pectin – did you notice on the list of non-low-carb methods I included fruit preserves? This is because the pectin content will help keep the ice cream soft. Most fruit preserves are off limits because of the sugar, but try adding zero-carb pectin instead. I haven’t tried this yet – I’ll let you know when I do!

And lastly…

Stabilizers and Thickeners – these can often be found in commercial ice creams and you may prefer to stay away from “chemicals”. However, they are easy to obtain. A thickener called guar gum is often used, and I have yet to try this. My latest discovery (and actually what prompted me writing this post) is a stabilizer called xanthan gum. I’ve used it before as a low carb addition to sauces, but I recently used it in my chocolate hazelnut ice cream. Along with heavy cream, it really helps to keeps the ice cream soft!

How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream - over 8 methods to try!

Now that you’re really in the mood for ice cream, don’t forget the toppings! Here’s a list of over 25 low carb ice cream toppings for you to try!

How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream – over 8 methods to try! #lowcarb
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The post How To Make SOFT Low Carb Ice Cream appeared first on Step Away From The Carbs.