There's nothing better than eating a refreshing scoop (or two!) of ice cream on a hot summer day. You may be loyal to a particular flavor at your local ice cream shop, but we swear you'll enjoy it even more if you make it from scratch. Although creating your own ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt might seem intimidating, all you need is a simple ice cream machine.
Ice cream makers give you the opportunity to make healthier, homemade ice cream right from your own kitchen. You can control the ingredients, whether they be organic, sugar-free, gluten-free or all-natural — the possibilities are endless when it comes to making your own desserts!
While ice cream makers can definitely get pricey, we compiled a list of the best budget-friendly options on the market, so there's no need to break the bank!
From electric ice cream makers to fun kid-friendly options, here are 11 homemade ice cream makers to help you experiment in the kitchen this summer.
If you're working in a smaller kitchen, the Dash Electric My Pint Ice Cream Machine is a great option. It weighs less than a pound and disassembles easily for convenient storage and a quick clean-up. It turns on with just the push of a button and can make up to 1.6 cups of fresh ice cream, gelato, sorbet, or frozen yogurt in less than 30 minutes. Plus, it's Amazon's No. 1 bestseller!
For a cost-effective and portable pick, consider this bucket-style ice cream machine made by Nostalgia. It can make up to 4 quarts of ice cream that can be stored in the plastic bucket it's made in. The electric motor on top of the unit and does all the work for you. This ice cream maker is extremely well-loved as Walmart's bestseller and has over 1,000 verified reviews on Amazon.
This Amazon Basics ice cream maker can make up to 1.5 quarts of ice cream with little to no effort. It's fully-automatic and takes less than 30 minutes to produce a refreshing treat. It also comes with a lock-lid so it eliminates messes and has a large spout to make it easy to add ingredients while the ice cream is churning.
This soft-serve ice cream machine from Cuisinart features a pull-down handle to dispense smooth ice cream directly into cones or bowls. It can make 1.5 quarts of ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt in as little as 20 minutes.
Another fun perk is the three built-in condiment dispensers, which you can fill with delicious toppings. Its operation is fully automatic, so all you need to do is simply pour in the ingredients and turn the dial!
This trendy and retro ice cream maker not only looks cute, but it works great too! It makes up to 2 quarts of delicious ice cream with an electric motor that does all the work for you. This machine features a candy crusher to break up your favorite mix-ins and customize your dessert however you please.
Calling all mini chefs! For those trying to find a kid-friendly ice cream maker, look no further! The Chef'n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker is great for children who want to be part of the process (without using a machine).
All you need to do is freeze the dish for 24 hours and then pour your base on the flat surface and work the mixture until ice cream forms. As the cream starts to freeze (almost instantly!), you'll use the paddles to scrape and scoop your dessert to the perfect consistency.
This ice cream maker isn't just for kids though — you can also use this to create frozen margaritas and refreshing slushies.
The YayLabs Soft-Shell Ice Cream Ball is another fun option for kids. Instead of sitting around and waiting for your ice cream to churn, you can toss your frozen dessert to perfection.
This innovative kitchen gadget is shaped like a ball and was created to be thrown around during the churning process. You simply add cream, sugar and flavorings in one end and add ice and rock salt in the other end. After 25 minutes of playing toss, your little ones will be rewarded with a quart of ice cream.
If you already own a KitchenAid mixer, then all you need to make ice cream is this attachment. It's easy to connect to your mixer and rotates inside the freeze bowl to spread, scrape, and mix to perfection.
For those who want to make both ice cream and ice popsicles, you'll totally love this two-in-one product. This multi-purpose machine from Dash allows you to make tons of fun desserts like smooth ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, popsicles, yogurt pops and more.
It makes 1 quart of ice cream and the bonus popsicle insert produces seven pops. Plus, it's made with a double-walled insulated freezer bowl to keep your ice cream and popsicles chilled when it's not in the freezer.
If you're a fan of frozen yogurt, consider this machine specially made for your favorite dessert. It has a double-insulated freezer bowl to eliminate the need for ice and cleans up easily in the dishwasher. The Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt Sorbet Maker produces 1.5 quarts of frozen dessert and is fully-automatic — all you need to do is add your ingredients and flip the switch for yummy frozen treats.
If you prefer a snow cone instead, this Hawaiian Shaved Ice Snow Cone Machine might be what your kitchen is missing. It comes with a stainless steel blade that ensures the finest and fluffiest snow for every serving. Plus, it comes equipped with flavored syrups, bottle pourers, snow cone cups, spoon straws and even party hats for your next socially distant celebration.
For more recommendations, check out:
- 21 fun summer activities for kids to enjoy all season long
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- 35 Instagram-worthy pool floats to enjoy this summer
- From sprinklers to splash pads, these water toys are perfect for backyard fun
- Create a fun staycation with these kid-friendly swimming pools