Best Sugar-free Low Carb Ice Cream Recipe (No Churn) – 4 Ingredients

The best sugar-free low carb ice cream recipe is easy to make with just 4 ingredients & 5 mins prep! It’s delicious keto ice cream you can feel good about.

Before jumping to the recipe card, don’t miss the HELPFUL RECIPE TIPS in the post! I hope you’ll find them useful and will love this low carb recipe!

This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free. (Full disclosure)

Call me crazy, but I don’t eat ice cream very often. Don’t get me wrong – I love it! It’s just that both homemade and store-bought options present issues. At the store, I have yet to find a sugar-free low carb ice cream that actually tastes good, is reasonably priced, and doesn’t contain weird, artificial ingredients. It was time to create a sugar-free ice cream recipe of my own!

Low Carb Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker

What about making my own homemade low carb ice cream? Well, believe it or not, this foodie doesn’t own an ice cream maker! I actually lucked out with a kitchen having an unusually large amount of cabinet space, but somehow it’s all packed full.

So even though I’ve been eyeing this ice cream machine, I simply refuse to buy another large, single-use kitchen gadget that I have to find a spot for. I can’t, I won’t.

Besides, an ice cream maker isn’t the most practical small appliance to own where I live. Unless you’re one of those people who loves to eat ice cream when you’re already struggling to warm up, Minnesota is way too cold for ice cream for much of the year.

Finally, there’s the freezer space problem. I could buy a tub of ice cream or make it in an ice cream maker, and both ways it would take up way more room in my freezer than I have.

Between frozen meats, veggies, fruits, and meals made in advance, there isn’t much free space left in there! And since it takes us, like, forever to get through a tub of ice cream at our house, I just can’t justify giving up the freezer space for it.

The Best Sugar-Free Ice Cream Recipe for Summer

All of that being said, summer has (unofficially) begun, if you go by Memorial Day being the start of the summer season. The super hot days are just around the corner, and for most people, that definitely means ice cream. And oh, do the Minnesota summers get hot! We’re not there yet, but I know it’s coming.

So, when I got a major craving for sugar-free ice cream this week, there was only one thing left to do…

Time to create my own sugar-free low carb ice cream recipe! Of course, it had to be a no-churn recipe. (You know, to accommodate for the lack of ice cream maker and all!)

And, for me to consider it the best, it had to check two very important boxes: amazing taste and super simple, with as few ingredients as possible.

This keto ice cream is also super low in carbs, with only 2 grams net carbs per serving. At the same time, it tastes unbelievably decadent and rich!

If you prefer to lighten it up in calories, you can replace some of the heavy cream with unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk. See the notes at the bottom of the recipe card for details.

Simple Ingredients for Keto Low Carb Ice Cream

I’m super excited about this no-churn keto ice cream! It only has four common ingredients for the base. Chances are, you have them at your house right now, if you make low carb recipes on a regular basis:

  • Butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Powdered erythritol
  • Vanilla extract
  • MCT oil or MCT oil powder (optional)

Okay, I sort of lied… that’s technically 5 ingredients for the best result. (See the recipe card below for the right amounts!)

I highly recommend using the MCT oil or powder so that the ice cream doesn’t harden too much. You can omit it if you don’t have it, but then you have to be extra diligent in stirring the ice cream regularly and it will get harder over time for sure.

How To Make Sugar-Free Ice Cream (with Tips!)

Making sugar-free ice cream isn’t hard, but it does take a little while. The basic steps are on the recipe card, but here I’ll go into some more detail and tips for each:

Make sugar-free sweetened condensed milk.

This is the longest part aside from the freezing. You’ll melt butter in a large saucepan, add heavy cream and powdered sweetener, and simmer for a long time to reduce. Reducing basically means the liquid will evaporate and the mixture will thicken, forming the condensed milk.

The key here is to use a large, heavy bottom pan for even heating. A large pan means more surface area, so it will happen faster. It should be fairly thick and coat the back of a spoon – see the photo below!

Whisk in MCT oil (or MCT oil powder) and vanilla bean seeds, if using.

I highly recommend using the MCT oil or powder if you’re not using an ice cream maker. And honestly, it’s best to include it even if you are. I only made the ingredient optional to make the recipe more accessible, but after numerous tests I can honestly say it improves texture.

Go for MCT oil powder if you have a sensitive stomach, as it’s more gentle than the oil.

Vanilla bean seeds are optional, but I think vanilla bean ice cream is totally amazing!

Beat heavy cream to stiff peaks using a hand mixer.

You can do this while the condensed milk is reducing. Use cold cream to make it easier. You’ll know it’s done when you see a trail from the whisk of the hand mixer as you move it around.

Just don’t over mix – you want barely stiff peaks, so they stand up well, but aren’t super thick. If you overdo it, the sugar-free ice cream may resemble the consistency of butter.

Fold the heavy cream into the condensed milk.

Fold gradually and gently! This is to prevent breaking down the whipped cream you just created. Use a flat, rubber spatula, and fold from bottom to top, until no streaks remain.

Place in a freezer container and freeze.

Transfer the low carb ice cream mixture to a freezer safe container, and freeze! I like to use a glass loaf pan, or two glass meal prep containers like these. The second option means your ice cream will be ready sooner! It also saves me freezer space because I can get rid of one of the containers once we go through half the ice cream, instead of a larger container sitting there half full.

Since this is a no churn sugar-free ice cream recipe, you’ll need to take it out and stir it every 30-60 minutes, especially for the first 2 hours, and every 60-90 minutes for a few hours after that. You can also use an ice cream maker instead and skip the manual stirring process. But if you don’t have one, don’t skip the stirring, because this breaks up ice crystals and prevents the ice cream from becoming too hard or icy.

If it gets too hard after a longer time, like the next day, let it sit on the counter to thaw a bit and then use a wet ice cream scoop to get it out.

…Or Make Low Carb Ice Cream in an Ice Cream Maker.

I designed this as a no-churn keto ice cream recipe, but you can make it in an ice cream maker if you have one. This reduces the need for MCT oil or powder, although I still prefer to include it for the best texture.

To use an ice cream maker, follow all the same steps to make the sugar-free ice cream, but instead of placing into a freezer container, follow the directions for your ice cream maker from that point on.

As promised, here is what the condensed milk looks like when it’s done, before mixing with the whipped cream:

Keto Ice Cream With or Without Mix-ins

As you may know by now, I’m a huge fan of vanilla anything (vanilla mug cake, vanilla birthday cake, or vanilla blueberry pancakes, anyone?). It’s no surprise that my first take on low carb ice cream is simple vanilla.

Don’t worry, I included instructions for adding any mix-ins you like to your sugar-free ice cream. I kept this version simple by just adding the scraped seeds from a vanilla bean, but even that is optional. If you only have vanilla extract, that’s perfectly fine, too.

I can’t wait to experiment with mix-ins and flavor variations in this keto ice cream recipe base. (Yes, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be eating ice cream more often this summer!)

I hope you’ll try the original, and then let me know what other flavors you want to see.

 

 

The best sugar-free low carb ice cream recipe is easy to make with just 4 ingredients & 5 mins prep! It’s delicious keto ice cream you can feel good about.

Don’t worry, the advertisements will NOT show up when you print the recipe.

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 5 hours 35 minutes Servings: 8 1/2-cup servings Author Maya Krampf from WholesomeYum.com

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 cups Heavy cream (divided into 2c and 1c – see notes)
  • 1/3 cup Powdered erythritol
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup MCT Oil (or MCT oil powder; one of these is highly recommended if not using an ice cream maker)
  • 1 medium Vanilla bean (optional; seeds scraped)

US Customary – Metric

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2/3 of the heavy cream (2 cups (473 mL)) and powdered erythritol. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick, coats the back of a spoon and volume is reduced by half. It will also pull away from the pan as you tilt it. (This will go faster if you use a larger pan.)

  2. Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla extract, and seeds from the vanilla bean, if using. Whisk in the MCT oil or MCT oil powder if using – this is highly recommended in general, and a must if you don’t have an ice cream maker.

  3. Meanwhile, beat the remaining 1 cup (236 mL) of heavy cream using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment on High for about 2-3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. It’s ready when you see a pronounced trail from the whisk on the surface of the cream, and the mixture doesn’t pour out when you tilt the bowl. Do NOT overmix, you want barely stiff peaks but not extremely stiff.

  4. Gently and gradually fold the beaten heavy cream into the sweet mixture in the bowl, about 1/2 cup (118 mL) at a time. (Be careful not to deflate the cream too much or overmix.)

  5. Transfer the mixture to a freezer container (like a 9×5 in (23×13 cm) loaf pan) and smooth the top with a spatula. (If you want to add mix-ins, gently stir them in at this step, and also sprinkle some on top.) Line the surface with a piece of parchment or wax paper to keep ice crystals from forming. (You can use an ice cream maker if you have one.)

  6. Freeze for 5-6 hours, until firm. Stir the ice cream during the freezing process, every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours and every 60-90 minutes for 2-3 hours after. (Ice cream will get hard in the freezer after longer periods. Let it soften on the counter for 10-30 minutes before serving, and use a wet ice cream scoop to serve.)

Recipe Notes

  • If you’d like to lighten up the sugar-free ice cream a bit, you can replace some of the heavy cream in step 1 with coconut milk or almond milk instead (it may take longer to reduce). However, you don’t want to replace any of the cream in step 4.
  • Low carb ice cream does harden if it’s in the freezer too long. Using MCT oil or MCT oil powder in the recipe helps. This recipe was updated in June 2018 to increase the MCT oil amount for better texture.
  • After more than 6-8 hours in the freezer, you will likely need to soften the sugar-free ice cream on the counter before serving.
  • This recipe was updated in August 2018 to improve texture.

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Video Showing How To Make Sugar-Free Ice Cream:

Click or tap on the image below to play the video. It’s the easiest way to learn how to make Sugar-Free Ice Cream!

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 345 | Fat: 36g | Total Carbs: 2g | Net Carbs: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Protein: 2g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and we strive to keep it as accurate as possible. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate with this information, but please feel free to make your own calculations.