Here’s the scoop—we have nothing bad to say about ice cream. It’s refreshing, tasty and it’s our go-to when we need an instant pick-me-up after frolicking in the scorching sun with the kids. It also doubles as the perfect dessert to make with your toddler, which is another reason it’s high on our list of summer activities. Simply put: Nothing evokes the summer season better than a big bowl of it.

That’s why we gathered the yummiest (and sweetest) easy homemade ice cream recipes to make with your toddler. Try different flavors and different topping combinations. You can even make big batches for summer events because, yes, ice cream is a potluck food. Scroll through for simple ice cream recipes then shop our picks for ice cream makers.

7 easy homemade ice cream recipes

1. Cookies and cream ice cream

Since you control how many cookie pieces go into your homemade ice cream, you can add as many or as little crunchiness as you want. Simply, stir together milk, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric ice cream maker and let the machine do its thing. Crush cookies and them to the ice cream. Once the machine is done running, transfer the ice cream to a bowl and freeze for a few hours.

2. Classic ice cream

This recipe from the New York Times makes a classic ice cream that you can add any kind of flavoring to. In a pot, heat up heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon and milk then remove from heat. Whisk up some egg yolks then add a little of the milk mixture in. Combine it with what’s left in the pot. Heat it up again until it reaches a custard-like consistency. Strain then chill. Transfer to a ice cream machine for churning.

3. Chocolate chip ice cream

We couldn’t have a roundup of easy homemade ice cream recipes and not include a timeless chocolate chip flavor. Stir half and half, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the box directions. Fold in chocolate chips then freeze. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

4. Orange ice cream

Stir half and half, orange juice, lemon juice and orange zest. Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker. Optional: fold in orange chunks. Stick it in the freezer until ready to serve.

5. Mango ice cream

You’ll want to use chilled custard for this recipe. In a blender, pulse diced mangoes and lime juice. If you like a little zing, fold in some Tajín. Transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker. Serve with toasted coconut flakes.

6. Cherry chunks ice cream

Start with a custard base. Macerate the chopped cherries then stir in some lime juice. Pour everything in your ice cream maker. Near the end of the churning, add in the cherries and chocolate chunks. Churn some more and then freeze.

7. Strawberry ice cream

Roughly chop strawberries then add them to a bowl with some honey and lemon juice. Mash them up a bit, you can also use a food processor if you prefer smaller strawberry chunks. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla extract. Pour it in your ice cream maker and let it get to work.

Shop our picks for the best ice cream makers

nostalgia ice cream maker



Old Fashioned Electric Ice Cream Maker

From the vintage wooden look to the easy handy, this electric ice cream maker makes homemade ice cream super simple. The bucket inside is removable making cleaning a breeze. Makes up to 6 quarts.

hamilton beach maker

Hamilton Beach


Electric Automatic Ice Cream Maker & Frozen Yogurt Machine

Using this automatic ice cream machine is as easy as pouring in your ice cream mixture, adding rock salt, ice and plugging it in. Makes up to 4 quarts. It churns for 20-40 minutes and stops when it’s ready.

cuisinart ice cream



Ice Cream Maker

The double insulated freezer bowl holds up to 2 quarts of frozen goodies. Features like the wide mouth spout make it easy to add ingredients with no mess. With a retractable cord, this brushed stainless steel machine will look great without cluttering your countertop.