Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream ~ 3 Ingredients ~ No Machine

I just ate a bowl of vanilla ice cream. This hasn’t happened in over three years because my body gets mad at me now when I eat much sugar. But let me say it again: I just ate a bowl of ice cream. Happy, happy, happy, happy!!

Low Sugar Ice Cream

I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make low sugar ice cream (for three years), but I had two hang-ups:

  1. I was feeling pretty lazy about pulling out my ice cream freezer.
  2. I wasn’t confident that cutting the sugar in ice cream would taste good and I didn’t want to waste ingredients.

So I started doing some looking online. There are plenty of recipes for “no churn” ice cream so I could avoid the trouble of getting out my ice cream machine, but they all call for sweetened condensed milk. Nope. That wouldn’t make it low sugar.

Other recipes took way too many steps, at which point I figured I might as well suck it up and get out my ice cream freezer.

Finally, I decided to try the “no-churn” method I’d read about – but with healthier ingredients I feel good about instead of condensed milk – and just see what would happen. I decided if it didn’t turn out – at the very least I could re-purpose the cream mixture into a smoothie.

When you see this recipe you will wonder (like I am wondering) why it took me so much research and time to figure this out.

Three ingredients. Three. They are so obvious. (Cream, maple syrup, vanilla. See? Why did I make this so hard?)

The trick is to whip the ingredients together just long enough that they thicken, but don’t turn into whipped cream. This isn’t hard as long as you’re watching carefully. I put the ingredients into my Blendtec, whipped for 15-20 seconds, poured the mixture into a dish, froze it, and boom. I had Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream.

Low Sugar Vanilla Ice CreamYum

5.0 from 3 reviews
Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream ~ 3 Ingredients ~ No Machine
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Blend ingredients together with a hand mixer or in a high power blender until they have thickened - but have not yet turned into stiff whipped cream. (The mixture should still be runny.)
  2. Pour mixture into a small casserole dish.
  3. Cover and freeze for about three hours.
  4. Scoop and serve right away.
  5. If ice cream is left in the freezer overnight, you may need to let it sit on the counter a few minutes before serving!

Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream

A key player in this recipe is Homemade Vanilla Extract. I decided “why just add one teaspoon when I could add two?” This, of course, makes the ice cream much, much better tasting. (Ironic, isn’t it, since I was just saying that you can use half the amount called for in recipes since this vanilla is so potent? Use less vanilla in this if you like, but I am loving the strong vanilla punch of two teaspoons in this vanilla ice cream!)

I learned that if you freeze this for less than 3 hours, the ice cream will be too liquidy. But if you freeze it for more than 3 hours it becomes a bit hard. The solution for “too hard” ice cream? Simply pull it out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving. It’ll soften just enough for you to scoop it out.

low sugar icecream5low sugar icecream4

Want your ice cream to be not-so-low in sugar?

My kids agree. Simply add a little more maple syrup until you have reached your desired sweetness level. You might also try adding a few drops of liquid stevia.

Because we have the whole summer ahead of us, I will now spend time creating variations of this Low Sugar Homemade Ice Cream. I’m thinking peach, strawberry, chocolate, mint, chocolate mint, and whatever other ideas you have for me.

Go make yourself some ice cream!!


  1. Jen says

    Our ice cream recipe is the same but we add one cup of milk to the cream. It is our absolute favorite!!! It even stays scoopable after many hours in the freezer. Also have you looked in to the ice cream makers that have the bowl you put in the freezer? Then you just pour your mixture in and turn it on and walk away. One of our best investments!


    Laura Reply:

    I’ll have to try it with milk. I was wondering if that would be a good addition!


  2. Megan says

    Excited to try this!! We don’t have an ice cream maker, so I’ve been buying Breyers, but wish I had a better option.

    If I’m using store bought vanilla extract, should I increase it to 4 teaspoons to get the same flavor as your homemade?


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I’d probably add 3-4. :)


  3. Gina says

    You’ve made ice cream with just frozen bananas, right? Freeze ripe bananas cut into chunks for at least 3 hours, blend in blender & soft serve style ice cream! You can add cocoa, frozen blueberries, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, vanilla…. whatever. No sugar added ice cream….my family makes this often. :)


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, and I wish I liked bananas but I just don’t. Silly, isn’t it?! :)


  4. says

    Oooo! I’m not a chocolate ice-cream fanatic (although I bet homemade would be delightful), but I definitely AM an ice-cream fanatic! Before we were married, my husband knew he was the one for me when I gave him a card that read, “I love you more than ice-cream!” I have chocolate mint growing this year, and I just wonder if that would make a delightful flavor in ice-cream???

    I haven’t yet invested in an ice-cream maker, which now that I think of it is quite surprising with my obvious affection for ice-cream, so I will definitely try this!

    We do live very close to a dairy who’s homemade ice-cream is to die for, and of course it’s much more “natural” than most that you find in the supermarket. You can usually spot the lack of fake ingredients by how fast it melts.



  5. kentuckylady717 says

    This sounds easy enough and looks good, anxious to try it, can you ruin it if you whip it too long and it gets too thick ?

    I am not a banana fan either Laura…I try to eat them tho because of the potassium in them and I need that….I mix it with yogurt and I can eat it that way…don’t like bananas in any kind of smoothie because it always taste like a banana smoothie no matter what else you put in them…..

    Wonder if there is a way to make a smoothie and still put a banana in it and not have it taste like banana ? Does anyone know ?


    Laura Reply:

    I don’t think you’ll ruin it if you get it too thick, it’ll just turn into whipped cream!


  6. Debbie says

    I have chocolate mint also. How would you add it to the ice cream? This sounds so good. I can’t wait to make the coffee shake.


    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure how to add it – I’d have to look into it. It sounds like it would make delicious ice cream though!


  7. says

    I got some fresh mint leaves the other day and I really want to try to make chocolate mint ice cream! Also, with so many fresh berries I am excited to try blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry! Yum!


  8. Helen says

    The flavor was great; however the texture was horrible. The next day, even after leaving it out at least 20 minutes, was NOT scoopable. It just crumbled.


    Laura Reply:

    When I made this with only cream, I had a nice texture. When I tried adding milk, I thought that would make it better but it did just crumble for me too that time. Glad it still tastes good!


  9. Pam says

    I recently heard about adding about 1 tsp. arrowroot powder per 2-3 c. milk cream. It makes the homemade ice cream less icy when its stored in the fridge. Tried it once – major improvement in texture. We keep arrowroot powder on hand anyway for wheat-free baking.


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