You only need 5 ingredients to make the most delicious sugar free ice cream at home! This easy low carb vanilla ice cream recipe tastes unbelievably creamy – a dessert staple for any time of the year.
Do you love ice cream? I can seriously eat it all year round and I think it’s a great dessert when I’ve got friends over. There are not many people who’ll pass on a scoop of ice cream after dinner, especially when it’s decorated with a decadent chocolate drizzle!
I have yet to find a sugar free ice cream in the shops that I like to eat. All brands use either sweeteners such as maltitol which raise your blood sugar levels or contain artificial ingredients which makes them taste strangely fake.
It boils down to this: if you want to eat an ice cream made without sugar containing real, simple ingredients, you’ve got to make it yourself.
The good news is, homemade low carb ice cream tastes incredible delicious AND it’s easy to make!
You need a bit of patience – it needs a few hours to cool and set – but it’s well worth the wait.
It is completely possible to make great-tasting no-churn sugar free ice cream, as I have done with this chocolate avocado ice cream (it uses a mix of coconut milk and whipped cream).
However, the result will never be as smooth and creamy as ice-cream made in an ice-cream maker. Also, it’s a LOT more involved. You’ll have to stir it in regular intervals whilst it’s chilling in the freezer to break up the ice crystals.
This recipe is designed to be used with an ice cream maker. I know an ice-cream maker takes up space and you might not be keen on yet another kitchen appliance. But if you love sugar free ice cream and have enough people about the house who’d like to eat it on a regular basis it’s definitely a worth-while investment.
The ones that require pre-freezing of the mixing canister are really reasonable (we used one like this in the video). If you don’t mind spending a little more, invest in a machine with a compressor like this one – it makes restaurant-quality gelato on demand.
How to make sugar free ice cream – step by step:
1.) Split the vanilla pods lengthways with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds.
2.) Pour the cream and almond milk into a saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds and the scraped pods and bring to a low boil.
When you see the edges start to bubble remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly so it doesn’t form a skin.
3.) While the cream mix is cooling, put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add the erythritol or sweetener of choice and a tiny pinch of salt and using an electric whisk beat until pale in colour. This takes about 2 minutes.
4.) Remove the vanilla pods…..
5.) …. and slowly whisk the cooled cream mix into the eggs using a hand balloon whisk.
Now pour your sugar free ice cream mix back into your pan. Keep the heat on low and stir regularly for about 8 -10 minutes until it thickens. Do not boil!!!
At the first sign of bubbles, remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool for about an hour at room temperature.
Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
6.) Churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions on your ice cream maker. Mine took about 20 minutes.
For a soft serve enjoy it straight away. For a scoop-able ice cream, pour into a loaf pan, cover with cling film and freeze for 1- 2 hours, or until fully set.
Top tips for perfect homemade sugar free ice cream
It is possible to use regular vanilla extract in this recipe, but it’s the vanilla bean that takes the recipe to the next level. Trust me – try and get hold of a couple of pods. You can find them in the baking section of good supermarkets.
There are Keto ice cream recipes out there that use only heavy cream or even butter. I find that too much fat in ice cream can leave a slimy taste on the tongue (which you can guess I’m not fond of).
The additional almond milk in this version makes the ice-cream a touch lighter and airier without losing its decadent creaminess.
Experimenting with low-carb sweeteners will give different textures to this sugar- free vanilla ice cream. If you’re using erythritol it will set hard once it’s been in the freezer overnight. Xylitol and allulose produce great results for keto ice cream, keeping it a touch creamier than erythritol.
Whichever sweetener you use, make sure it is powdered – low carb sweeteners tend to re-crystallise when they cool and you don’t want any crunchy bits in your ice cream!
Extra creamy sugar free ice cream
Another tip to make your sugar free ice cream even creamier is to add MCT oil. This is a high grade coconut oil that remains liquid even when cold. I have not tried it in this particular recipe, but 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) should do the trick.
Eating raw eggs has been declared as safe in the UK, as long as they carry the “lion stamp” (virtually all eggs produced in the UK do). If you live in a country where salmonella is still a worry, you can pasteurise your eggs at home.
Here’s how to do it: Heat water in a saucepan to 60 Celsius / 140 Fahrenheit. Lower the eggs into the saucepan and make sure they’re submerged in water. Leave them in there for 3 minutes. Make sure they’ve cooled down before you use them in the ice cream recipe!
It is possible to make this recipe without an ice cream maker (but it will NOT be as creamy).
If you want to give it a go, I suggest you whisk the cream until it’s firm (but not totally stiff) before you combine it with the rest of the ingredients. That way you get more air and lightness into the mix!
Also, add some MCT oil as suggested above. Then, take it out of the freezer every 1/2 hour to 1 hour and stir to break up the ice crystals.
Update: I’ve just come across the fact that you can also use xanthan gum to make low carb ice cream creamier if you don’t have an ice cream maker. Try 1/4 tsp for this recipe!
We topped this sugar free ice cream with melted chocolate and chopped nuts. Use a sugar free chocolate such as Lily’s or a dark chocolate with a minimum of 85% cocoa solids (I like 90% Lindt).
Other toppings/swirls that would work well:
- 2 Ingredient Sugar Free Caramel Sauce – a no-brainer with vanilla ice cream
- Sugar Free Blueberry Jam – this is GREAT as a fruity sauce
- Sugar Free Lemon Curd – for some serious zing!
- Vegan Keto Caramel Sauce – super smooth!!!
Tried this low carb ice cream recipe? Give it a star rating below!
Sugar Free Low Carb Ice Cream (Vanilla Flavour)
- Pre-freeze the canister of your ice cream maker for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Split the vanilla pods lengthways with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds.
- Pour the cream and almond milk into a saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds and the scraped pods and bring to a low boil. When you see the edges start to bubble remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly so it doesn’t form a skin. Remove the vanilla pods.
- Meanwhile, put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add the erythritol and a tiny pinch of salt. Using an electric whisk, beat until pale in colour (about 2 minutes).
- Slowly whisk into the cooled cream mix into the beaten eggs using a hand balloon whisk. Then pour back into your pan. Heat on low and stir regularly for about 8 -10 minutes until it thickens. Do not boil. At the first sign of bubbles, remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool for about an hour at room temperature.
- Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions on your ice cream maker. Mine took about 20 minutes. For a soft serve you can enjoy straight away.
- For a scoop-able ice cream, pour into a loaf pan, cover with cling film and freeze for 1- 2 hours, or until fully set.
The post sugar free low carb ice cream was first published in June 2019. It was re-published with more details in May 2020.
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