What’s your favourite? Rum raisin, strawberry or mint chocolate chip? Whatever flavour takes your fancy, scoop up a treat from home with your very own ice cream machine. Gone are the days where you’ll wait for the ice cream van, travel to an ice cream shop or pop into your local supermarket to get your hands on this chilly snack.
Investing in your very own ice cream machine is a tasty way to keep the whole family cool.
There are dozens of different ice cream makers out there to choose from, so we've put some of the best ice cream makers to the test and reviewed them to find out which ones are worth investing in.
Whether you’re looking to recreate a Mr Whippy, experiment with a bubblegum-flavoured ice cream or just want to tuck into a traditional vanilla cone, fresh ice cream is just one gadget purchase away.
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Ice cream makers
1. Lakeland Mini Ice Cream Maker
If you're lacking in counter top or cupboard space, this mini ice cream maker will be perfect for you. It's really simple to use; you remove the bowl from the freezer, attach the mixer, add in your ingredients while it's churning and then you can eat it straight away or pop your ice cream in the freezer to firm up. If an impromptu ice cream date is what you're looking for, this one takes 8-12 hours for the bowl to be ready, so we'd recommend always leaving it in the freezer, ready for when you need it. It comfortably makes three good-sized portions of ice cream, frozen yoghurt or sorbet, is easy to clean and doesn't take up a lot of room. Plus, it's really affordable and comes with four recipes to kick off your ice cream adventure.
2. Cuisinart ICE100BCU Ice Cream Maker
The Cuisinart is a serious ice cream maker for serious lovers of ice cream. It's by far the easiest machine to use; you just plug it in, pour in your ingredients, set the timer, put the lid on, and leave it to work. It'll beep when the ice cream is ready – you can set the timer depending on the texture you want, or whether it's ice cream or sorbet. There's a separate paddle for sorbet, too. There's no need to pre-freeze any of the equipment, so if you've got the ingredients, you can have ice cream in about 35 minutes. The bowl is generous, too, meaning you can make up to 1.5 litres of ice cream. However, obviously there is a cost attached to this, and it's not exactly cheap – this really is an investment gadget. We worked out that if you ate four tubs of ice cream (priced at £4 a tub, which is about average for Ben & Jerry's) every month, the ice cream maker would pay for itself within five years (based on the ingredients costing about £3). So, you have to really, really love making your own ice cream. But, even given the price, this comes really highly recommended. It's so easy to use, you don't have to think about preparing everything a day in advance, and it works effortlessly. Costly, but worth it.
3. Lakeland Digital Ice Cream Maker 1.5L
Lakeland's Digital Ice Cream maker is actually really straight forward to use. You pop the base of the four-part machine in the freezer 12 hours before you want to use it. Pre-make your mixture, pour into the opening at the front, set the timer and leave your mixture to be swirled into a delish ice cream. The digital function on this machine was super easy to use and can be set with just the click of a button.
4. KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
This gadget attaches to your KitchenAid stand mixer, using a special attachment that hooks over the motor head of the beater shaft. The bowl is large – allowing you to make up to 1.9 litres of ice cream. You freeze the bowl in your freezer at least 12 hours before making the ice cream; lock it into place on your mixer, with the paddle (called a 'dasher') in place, and turn on the mixer on the lowest setting. It's great that the bowl is so large meaning you can make a big batch of ice cream; however, this means you do need plenty of room available in your freezer to freeze it beforehand, as it really is bulky (and heavy). Putting the locking mechanism in place on the motor head is quite fiddly, and it doesn't really feel secure when it's in place; it takes more fiddling to get it to line up properly with the paddle. When the ice cream is ready, it makes a loud clicking noise – good for letting you know it's ready, but it does sound like it's about to break – although I'm sure it won't. The ice cream was wonderfully smooth and creamy, with a consistent texture throughout. It takes about 30 minutes to make a batch.
5. Ice Lolly Mold
If you're feeling a little adventurous, choose an ice lolly mold to help you cool down during this heatwave. For a healthier option, cut up your favourite fruit and use a blender to mix it all together. Slowly pour the mixture into the stainless-steel base and leave it in a freezer. Just don't forget to add the stick
6. MikaMax Ice Cream Rolling Pan
You don't have to travel around the world to tuck into your very own rolled ice cream. This frozen dessert might have started out in Thailand, but with this rolling pan you can easily recreate it in your kitchen. Plus, you can save yourself save time researching what to make, as handy recipes are included.amazon.co.uk