Kitchen Tip: Ice Cream Maker

Last summer I bought a Cuisinart ice cream maker with a gift card I was given.  It is fun and easy to use, so  I was thrilled when I found an identical ice cream maker in excellent condition at the thrift store for only $7.  I snatched it up, and now we sometimes have two running at the same time—one with a dairy ice cream and another with a dairy free version.

Dairy free ice cream can be particularly expensive to buy at the store, but it is so easy to make.  I prefer coconut milk ice cream, but I sometimes use almond milk.

I cream makers  can also be used to make slushies (I use fruit juice) or Italian ice.  One of my favorites is to blend up watermelon chunks, add a little sweetener (I use stevia) and run it in the ice cream maker until thick like Rita’s Italian ice.

Cuisinart 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Makers

The problem I sometimes have with ice cream is that once you stop the machine from turning, the outside layer freezes to the bowl.  Unless you thaw it completely, it can be difficult to scrape out without scratching the inside of the bowl.

What I found works well is to use a wooden spoon or bamboo spatula.  Metal utensils will scratch the bowl, and silicone spatulas or spoons aren’t strong enough.  A wooden utensil seems to do the trick.  My bamboo spatula is pretty thin at the end, though, and I did crack it slightly by using too much pressure, so be careful!

question markDo you have an ice cream maker?

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  1. Angela says

    What recipe do you use for your dairy free ice-cream? My son is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts. He used to love ice-cream and is really missing it. The store bought kinds are hard to find and really expensive.

    • says

      I usually use 3-4 cups of coconut milk (the kind in the cans, full fat), add some sugar or other sweetener (1/2 – 3/4 c.), and cocoa powder or vanilla extract. Mix it together well and put it in the maker for 20 – 25 min. Of course, you can get fancier than that. Try it with whatever milk substitute you use. Milk substitutes work in most ice cream recipes.

  2. Zusiqu says

    I have (and love) a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It is so easy to use and allows us to have summer treats without the extra cost or unwanted additives in commercially made cold treats.

  3. Holly says

    Hmmmm…I do not store the ice cream in the ice cream maker bowl at all. I put a metal container (a metal mixing bowl) in the freezer to chill and when the ice cream is done, I use a silicone spatula to scrape out the new ice cream before the outside freezes and pack it into the chilled metal bowl. Then I cover the top of the ice cream with something to keep the air out (plastic wrap or wax paper are fine). Put it back in the freezer to store and freeze hard scoopable ice cream.

  4. says

    I love my Cuisinart ice cream maker, too. Great find on the used one for $7! I would love to have two or at least a second tub (which you can buy separately, but I have no idea how much they cost).

    I have the same issue. It’s really critical to remove the ice cream immediately, but still sometimes I’m too slow. 😉 Great tip on the bamboo tool if one dilly dallies!


  5. says

    I have two older style ice cream freezers — the kind that use ice and salt. Both are 1 gallon. Have been thinking I would like to try the newer style with the freezer bowl, but haven’t been able to decided on one yet. It would be nice to be able to make smaller amounts, but I would have to reduce my old family recipes. Actually I thought it would be a good way to play around with new recipes as well.

  6. Susan F says

    I just ordered the exact ice cream maker from Air Miles and am so looking forward to getting it. I hope I will get it before the summer finishes. thanks for the tip on the bamboo spatula

  7. Jenny says

    I have the manual version, with the hand crank. I use a plastic rice paddle for scooping/scraping. Mine came with my rice maker, but I know they are available separate. The curve of the paddle matches the curve of the bowl well.

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