Are you making homemade ice cream? One of the most important things you’ll want to know before you get started is that you have the proper ingredients on hand. Without them, that dish of ice cream isn’t going to be filled with a sweet treat for family and friends to enjoy.
Let’s talk about some of the ingredients for ice cream maker that you’re going to want to keep on hand. Ice cream fans, we recommend that you consider stocking up on some of these if you love ice cream, because once you dip your spoon into homemade ice cream that’s what you’re going to crave – not those tubs found at the grocery or convenience store. So you’ll want to keep “the basics” that form most ice cream recipes and then some of your favorite ice cream ingredients so it’s easy to make those favorite flavors.
Basic Ice Cream Ingredients
- Eggs – Many ice cream machine recipes call for about 5 to 9 egg yolks. So keeping an extra dozen eggs on hand is an excellent idea. If you have a large family (3 or more kids) or you do regular entertaining then you might consider keeping 2 dozen on hand sometimes. Note: if you are a savvy cook (and most of us are) then you can save the egg whites for another recipe that day, such as an egg white omelette.
- Half and Half – No you aren’t going to be adding this to your coffee, it’s an important ingredient you’ll see in many homemade ice cream recipes. The half and half gives your ice cream a rich texture and flavor. Most recipes call for between ½ a cup to up to 3 cups.
- Heavy Cream – Yes, this is similar to the half and half but it is a different ingredient. The heavy cream adds a rich texture and a creaminess to your ice cream. Most ice cream recipes call for between 1 to 2 cups if they need heavy cream.
- Condensed Milk – This is an ingredient you’ll see in some ice cream recipes. It’s a classic kitchen staple, so keeping a can of this on hand can be helpful for other purposes as well. Condensed milk not only has a richness like heavy cream but also a sweet flavor, almost like caramel.
- JELLO ® Pudding (different flavors) – Now this is an ingredient that some who make homemade ice cream consider their “secret” one! Adding JELLO ® Pudding can give your homemade ice cream an extra silkiness and a smooth texture, just like that pudding you’ve come to know and love. It is also a budget friendly ingredient.
- Low fat or 1% Milk – While many recipes you see call for heavier fat milk products, you will sometimes see those that seek out low fat or 1% milk. Remember if you create homemade ice cream with low fat or 1% milk it is going to have the benefits of being made with low fat but also may sometimes be a bit less rich and creamy tasting, depending on the recipe and the other ingredients.
- Vanilla – This is a very common flavoring in most homemade ice cream recipes. You’ll see the recipe request ½ tsp or up to 2 tsp of vanilla. It’s the perfect of the ice cream ingredients when making vanilla ice cream flavors.
Other Ingredients for Ice Cream Maker
- Cocoa – This is a classic ingredient, especially if you are making chocolate ice cream. You’ll use the unsweetened cocoa powder most of the time. Remember if you like a specific type of chocolate such as dark chocolate then choosing a dark chocolate cocoa powder is a great way to customize this.
- Fruit – Ice cream fans, we highly recommend you look at ways to add especially seasonal fruit to your ice cream as well as year-round favorites. This is a great way to introduce picky eaters to fruits they may have otherwise pushed away, to see it in a tempting homemade dessert. Fresh – or even frozen – fruit makes your ice cream light, sweet and refreshing. This is a true crowd pleaser in every way.
- Nuts – You’ll find many varieties of nuts to try adding to your ice creams. From peanuts, walnuts and hazelnuts to name a few. Nuts are indulgent and a terrific way to make your ice cream have an indulgent taste. If you are hosting a dinner party or special celebration and want the ice cream to be fancier than ever, trying a recipe with nuts can be an ideal choice. But use caution – some have nut allergies to it is important to ask about this before serving.
- Seasonal Ice Cream Add-Ins – One of the best things about having your own ice cream machine is you are never going to be frantic about the grocery store running out of your favorite peppermint ice cream during the winter holidays. You don’t have to buy it super early and then hide it from the kids, so you can serve it at holiday dinner time as a special treat. A few seasonal add ins you can keep on hand for terrific ice cream recipes include peppermint sticks and peppermint oil flavoring, pumpkin spices and pumpkin and red & blue food coloring (to make red, white and blue ice cream for 4th of July).
- Chocolate chips – This is a classic ingredient that many ice cream recipes call for. You can customize your ice cream by changing this ingredient to something a little different such as butterscotch chips, not the chocolate ones or even bigger, chocolate chunks for a fun “mouth feel” that so many enjoy.
While these name some of the most popular ice cream ingredients, don’t neglect the most important ones – those to create those quirky, even a little “wacky” ice cream flavors that your kids, family and friends adore. So if avocado ice cream is a huge hit in your house – then you know, certainly you’ve got to stock up.
Remember that some ingredients have an expiration date (like dairy and eggs) and will last a week perhaps 2. Others will last longer such as the fruit but still must be used within a certain timeframe. Then there are others – like chocolate chips – where you can keep them on the shelf for months and they will still taste fresh.
So get started creating your best, homemade ice cream pantry with items you’ll use to make delicious frozen treats for everyone!