You only need 5 ingredients to make the most delicious homemade sugar free ice cream recipe! This easy low carb vanilla ice cream tastes unbelievably creamy - a dessert staple for any time of the year.
Do you love ice cream? I can eat it all year round, summer or winter. I think it's a great sweet treat 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 is topped 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 sorbitol, maltodextrin or maltitol which raises your blood sugar levels or contain artificial ingredients which make them taste strangely fake.
It boils down to this: if you want to eat an ice cream made without added sugar containing real, simple ingredients, you've got to make it yourself.
The good news is, homemade low carb ice cream tastes incredibly delicious AND it's easy to make!
You need a bit of patience - it needs a few hours to cool and set - but it is well worth the wait.
Incredibly, you only need 5 ingredients for this recipe! It is packed with the most beautiful vanilla flavor.
- Dairy Cream
- Almond Milk
- Egg Yolks
Let's discuss the ingredients:
It is possible to use regular vanilla extract in this recipe, but it is 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.
Some Keto ice cream recipes use only heavy cream or even butter and forego the traditional route of making a custard with milk and eggs. Whilst this is an easy solution to increase the fat content and creaminess, I do not like their texture. I find that too much fat in ice cream can leave an unpleasant taste on the tongue.
By adding in the almond milk, you're keeping the calories lower at 330 per serving. The net carbs are only 2.3g per portion!
Which Sweetener Is Best?
Different low-carb sweeteners will give different textures for your sugarless ice cream.
Allulose is hands down the best sweetener for sugar-free ice cream. It is not a sugar alcohol, but a rare sugar that is not metabolized, making it zero carb. It does not recrystallize, keeping the ice cream lovely and soft.
Sugar alcohols such as erythritol can be used, but need to be powdered. Low carb sweeteners re-crystallize when they cool and you don't want any crunchy bits in your ice cream! So take note: Erythritol blends that also contain the natural contain monk fruit extract or stevia taste great, but they will set hard once the ice cream has been in the freezer overnight.
Bocha Sweet produces great results for keto ice cream, keeping it much creamier than erythritol. I have not tried Splenda as it contains the artificial sweetener Sucralose which I am sensitive to.
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 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. It makes restaurant-quality gelato on demand.
It is possible to make great-tasting no-churn sugar free ice cream, as I have done with this chocolate avocado ice cream. This recipe 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.
How To Make Sugar Free Ice Cream
This section contains step-by-step instructions and photos that show how to make this recipe. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities
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 starting to bubble, remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly so it doesn’t form a skin.
While the cream mix is cooling, put the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Add the sweetener of choice and a tiny pinch of salt and beat until pale in colour with an electric mixer. This takes about 2 minutes.
Remove the vanilla pods.....
.... and slowly whisk the cooled cream mixture 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).
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 scoop-able ice cream, pour into a loaf pan, cover with cling film and freeze for 1- 2 hours, or until fully set.
For the pictures, I 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).
More topping or swirl ideas:
- Cookie dough - add my Sugar Free Cookie Dough
- Peanut butter
- Sugar free sprinkles
- Berries such as strawberries or raspberries
- Keto Strawberry Sauce
- Sugar Free Blueberry Jam - this is great as a fruity sauce
- Sugar Free Lemon Curd
- Keto Caramel Sauce
- Keto Sugar Free Chocolate Chips - my homemade, cheap version.
Here are some easy ideas on how you can change up the ice cream flavor:
PEPPERMINT: Add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract for a mint ice cream.
CHOCOLATE: Add ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate ice cream.
BUTTER PECAN: Brown 2 tablespoons of butter with ½ cup of crushed pecans and 1 tablespoon allulose in a saucepan. Toast the nuts until golden, then let them cool. Stir into the ice cream.
PEANUT BUTTER CUP: Break chunks of my Keto Peanut Butter Cups into the mix.
SALTED CARAMEL: Stir in my 2 Ingredient Sugar Free Caramel Sauce.
Tips For Soft Sugar Free Ice Cream
Commercial brands use corn syrup, sugar, honey or stabilizers to keep their ice cream at a soft consistency. All ingredients we want to stay away from!
Here are my tips for soft low carb ice cream:
SHALLOW CONTAINER: Store homemade ice cream in a shallow container and not a in deep one. Always cover the ice cream with cling film. This prevents ice crystals from forming.
ALLULOSE. My top tip for cream keto ice cream is to use allulose as a sweetener. Other sweeteners do work as well, as long as they are powdered. However, in terms of creaminess, allulose will give you a silky ice cream that is scoopable.
VODKA. Another tip is to add 2 teaspoons of vodka or another spirit with a high alcohol content.
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 ¼ cup (4 tbsp) should do the trick.
XANTHAN GUM. Try ¼ teaspoon for this recipe!
I am not a medical professional and cannot give you advice on which diet is right for your personal needs. My mother-in-law is a diabetic and my husband reversed his pre-diabetes by following a low carb diet, so I can only speak from personal experience. They enjoy this low sugar ice cream regularly and it does not spike their blood sugar levels.
It is possible to make this as a no churn vanilla ice cream recipe (but it will NOT be as creamy). For this, use allulose. Whisk the cream until firm (but not stiff) before you combine it with the rest of the ingredients. That way you get more air and lightness into the mix.
Also, add MCT oil as suggested above. Then, take it out of the freezer every ½ hour to 1 hour and stir to break up the ice crystals.
Eating raw eggs is safe in the UK if 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, pasteurise the eggs at home. For this, heat water in a saucepan to 60 Celsius / 140 Fahrenheit. Submerge the eggs in the water for 3 minutes. Let them cool before you use them in the ice cream recipe!
More Sugarless Ice Cream Recipes
Here are more diabetic ice cream recipes. From creamy scoopable ice cream to easy popsicles and ice cream bars, I've got you covered!
Tried this sugar free homemade ice cream? Give it a star rating below!
Sugar Free Ice Cream (Vanilla Flavour)from Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary.
- 2 vanilla bean pods or 1 teaspoon vanilla powder / 2 teaspoon vanilla extract*
- 2 cups / 500 ml double / heavy cream
- 1 cup / 250 ml almond milk unsweetened
- 6 egg yolks large, room temperature
- ¾ cup / 120 g allulose use up to 1 cup / 160g for a sweeter ice cream. Or use your powdered low carb sweetener of choice
- tiny pinch of salt
- 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 sweetener 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 scoopable ice cream, pour into a loaf pan, cover with cling film and freeze for 1- 2 hours, or until fully set.