This summer treat yourself to the best homemade blueberry ice cream. Featuring vanilla ice cream with delectable swirls of cozy cinnamon-scented blueberries and crunchy graham crackers, this 15-minute no-churn blueberry ice cream recipe is the frosty, creamy post-dinner dream you’ve been missing!
Featured comment: I love this ice cream so much! Seriously, the blueberries with graham crackers and cinnamon is such an amazing combination. I would totally serve this in my ice cream shop if I had one!” – Maya
Update: This recipe was originally published in August 2015. I made tweaks to the recipe and updated the article below to include more information about making no-churn ice cream with blueberries at home.
Hi, friends! I hope you are in the mood for some seriously creamy-dreamy ice cream, because that’s exactly what I’m delivering today.
About this blueberry ice cream recipe
When it comes to summer, I loath turning on any device that will make my kitchen any warmer. That means pies, cakes, cookies, and the like are DEAD TO ME until cooler weather returns. (Unless, of course, they’re no-cook, like this delectable key lime pie, tiramisu, and banana pudding, in which case, we’re buddies.)
That’s why, when hot weather appears, frozen desserts are my jam. From boozy milkshakes and milkshakes with alcohol, to frosty popsicles, homemade Dole whips, to berry-licious smoothie bowls, anything that can give me a brain freeze is 100% welcome.
This particular blueberry ice cream recipe (without an ice cream maker) might just be one of my most brilliant hacks yet. Granted, there’s a brief 6-minute window when you’re simmering homemade blueberry compote on the stovetop, but the giant flavor payoff is totally worth it.
Why you’ll love this homemade ice cream
Aside from tasting like a frozen dream from simpler times, this ice cream blueberry deliciousness is ALSO:
- Quick & Easy – It’ll be ready for packing into the freezer in just 15 minutes.
- Amazing Flavor – With warming cinnamon, flavorful graham crackers, and a juicy berry swirl, this ice cream recipe has amazing sweet, inviting blueberry flavor.
- Doesn’t Require An Ice Cream Maker – While I’m something of an appliance hoarder, I recognize not everyone has the space or patience to deal with overflowing cabinets. Ice cream makers aren’t the smallest, and unless you make a LOT of ice cream, you may not want such a space hog! Luckily, this no-churn cinnamon ice cream with blueberries and graham crackers requires little more than a hand or stand mixer and a loaf tin to freeze it in.
- Made With Fewer Than 10 Ingredients – Just simple ingredients, and no eggs! I mean, who’s got time for a long grocery list when there are pools, lakes, and oceans to sit by?
- Cheaper & BETTER Than Store-Bought – Not sure when it happened, but $8 for a 14oz “pint” of ice cream is just insulting. This nom-nom berry ice cream not only tastes better than what you’d get at the store, but it’s also way more budget-friendly. Huzzah!
What is no churn ice cream?
No-churn ice cream is basically a super cool (pun intended) way to make ice cream without needing an ice cream maker. It’s my go-to shortcut to frozen deliciousness! Trust me, once you try this amazing hack, you’ll be hooked.
Instead of churning the mixture in a bulky machine, you whip up a magical combo of creamy ingredients like condensed milk and whipped cream. Then, you can put your own spin on things by adding all sorts of yummy bits like chocolate chips, crushed-up cookies, chopped-up candy, fruit crunch crumbles, fruit sauces (like our blueberry compote), fruit chutneys, or even edible cookie dough.
Pop your personalized concoction the freezer, give it some time to chill, and ta-da! You’ve got your very own velvety smooth, scoop-able goodness ready to devour. So, next time you’re craving ice cream but don’t have an ice cream maker (or the stomach to spend $8+ on a teensy weensy container), no-churn is the way to go!
Ingredients for blueberries ice cream
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this recipe for blueberry ice cream:
- Heavy Whipping Cream – For all that rich, unctuous goodness.
- Feel free to swap in slightly lighter whipping cream (30-36% milkfat), or use your favorite vegan whipping cream alternative.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – With both sugar and milk in the mix, this pantry powerhouse means you don’t have to cook an ice cream base. Plus, it acts like an invert sugar and prevents ice crystals from forming too easily!
- Nowadays, there are multiple plant-based versions on the market. Feel free to use whichever you prefer!
- Vanilla Bean – For that rich, cozy flavor we all know and love.
- For a cheaper version, swap in 2 teaspoons of either vanilla extract, vanilla paste, or vanilla powder. You can also use 1 teaspoon of ground vanilla bean.
- Unsalted Butter – For giving your compote an extra boost of numminess.
- Alternatively, use salted butter if you like salty sweets! You can also use vegan butter or coconut oil.
- Fresh Blueberries – a.k.a. Summer’s candy.
- Feel free to swap in frozen blueberries if needed!
- Light Brown Sugar – For sweetening the compote with a touch of molasses-y, caramelly sweetness.
- Other varieties of brown sugar like dark brown sugar, muscovado, jaggery, or piloncillo can also be used.
- Cinnamon – I love the hint of warmth this gives the berries.
- Feel free to omit it, or swap in other warming spices like ginger or cardamom.
- Honey – For a slight touch of sweetness.
- You can also use agave nectar or maple syrup if you need.
- Graham Crackers – I used honey grahams, but cinnamon will also work!
- Or, swap in the crunchy bits of your choice.
Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
Just because the Boy and I are obsessed with this particular blueberry ice cream recipe doesn’t mean it’s perfect for you and your fam. Here are a few ways you can customize it to your exact specifications:
- Dairy-Free or Vegan – To make the best blueberry ice cream a dairy-free delight, simply swap in vegan whipping cream, plant-based sweetened condensed milk, and vegan butter instead. To make it vegan, swap the honey for a vegan alternative like maple syrup, and ensure your grahams are also vegan-friendly.
- Gluten-Free – Use GF grahams, swap in your favorite GF cookie or cereal, or omit the crunchy swirl altogether.
- Use Different Berries – Try another purple berry! Blackberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, or bilberries are all equally delightful here. It’s basically an any-berries ice cream recipe, when you think about it. 🤔
- Swap Out Graham Crackers – The graham cracker swirl gives this homemade blueberry ice cream recipe a quasi-cheesecake vibe. Feel free to use other yummy crunchy things like crushed shortbread or gingersnaps, or your favorite cereal instead.
Expert tips for the best homemade blueberry ice cream
- Make sure your cream and canned milk are COLD. I also like to pop my mixing bowl and beaters in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before I get started.
- The quickest way to cool your blueberry mixture (compote) is to pour it out onto a parchment-lined tray. (This gives the blueberries plenty of space to cool down.)
- Invest in freezer-safe storage for your homemade ice cream.
- Store your blueberry icecream in the coldest part of your freezer to prevent crystallization.
FAQs: homemade ice cream recipes
How long does it take to make homemade ice cream?
While I can’t speak for all blueberry ice cream recipes, my speedy no-churn version takes just 15 minutes of active prep time. After that, I recommend giving it at least 4-5 hours to freeze for the perfect scoop-able consistency.
Why does homemade ice cream freeze so much harder than store-bought?
First off, store-bought ice cream often contains stabilizers and emulsifiers, like guar gum or carrageenan, which help prevent ice crystals from forming and keep the texture smooth. Secondly, professional churning equipment is much more powerful than homemade, meaning more air gets pumped in.
Finally, professionally made ice cream is usually kept in super cool environments the whole time, even when transferring from the churner to the freezing container. This means less melt happens, which means more air stays in the mix, which leads to softer ice cream.
On the other hand, homemade ice cream typically lacks these additives and is also made under less stable conditions with less powerful equipment. All this means the homemade stuff can freeze into a slightly harder consistency. But don’t worry, it’s still delicious! (Plus, don’t you prefer it when you can pronounce all the ingredients??)
All that said, homemade ice cream is just as (if not MORE) delectable than the store-bought stuff. Plus, you can always let your homemade ice cream soften at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping to make it easier to serve and give it that scoop-shop quality.
So, while your homemade blueberry ice cream might end up freezing a little harder than store-bought, the love and creativity you put into making it truly make up for it. And hey, a little extra effort in scooping is totally worth the delightful flavors and the satisfaction of saying, “I made this myself!”
What can I add to homemade ice cream so it doesn’t freeze solid?
AIR! By incorporating air into your ice cream mixture, either through traditional churning or whipping the cream to stiff peaks in the case of no-churn recipes, you can help keep it from freezing rock solid.
Here are a couple of other ingredients that can help:
Sweetened condensed milk not only adds yummy caramelized milk flavor but also helps maintain a softer texture. Its high sugar content helps lower the freezing point of the ice cream, preventing it from becoming overly hard.
Alcohol (think vodka, rum, or bourbon) can also help keep your ice cream softer. Alcohol has a lower freezing point than water, so it helps inhibit the formation of ice crystals, resulting in a smoother consistency. Plus, it can add a fun flavor twist!
Corn syrup adds extra sugar that helps lower the freezing point and keeps the texture more scoop-able. Alternatively, a drizzle of honey can have a similar effect.
Friends, you don’t need anything fancy to serve this frozen blueberries ice cream. Just you, a spoon, and whatever container you froze it in is MORE than sufficient for a moment of bliss. But, since I know you’re all overachievers (bless you!), here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Blend it up into a milkshake. Once frozen, add a few scoops of homemade blueberry ice cream to a blender with a splash of milk. Top with homemade whipped cream and some sprinkles for a 1950s soda shop experience at home! Or, get naughty and add some booze.
- Make a stellar sundae. Split open a banana, add a few scoops of ice cream, drizzle on caramel and chocolate sauce, add whipped cream, candy nuts, and jimmies, then top it all off with some cherries.
- Try a Jamba Juice-style smoothie. (In case you didn’t know, most of their smoothies have either frozen yogurt, which, for all intents and purposes is just ICE CREAM.) Toss a few scoops in a blender with extra frozen berries and a frozen banana, plus just enough milk or juice to get it to blend into a cyclone.
- Turn it into ice cream sandwiches. Sandwich a scoop between your favorite cookies (oatmeal seems perfect here, but that’s just me), then roll in sprinkles and freeze until solid.
- Or an ice cream pie. Pour the ice cream mixture into the prepared crust of your choosing (e.g. graham cracker, pretzel, or oreo). Freeze until solid, then decorate with rosettes of buttercream and extra fresh berries.
Storing blueberry ice cream recipes
- Transfer your no-churn blueberry ice cream to a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Smooth the surface of the ice cream with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper directly on the surface of the ice cream. Then, seal the container with the lid, making sure it’s airtight. (Once it’s frozen, you can also store the ice cream upside down in the container to help keep the air out.)
- Put the container in the coldest part of your freezer, towards the back. DO NOT STORE IT IN THE DOOR OF YOUR FREEZER. This is the warmest spot.
- Serve. When you’re ready to indulge, remove it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly and make scooping easier. Alternatively, you can thaw it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
NOTE: Try to avoid repeatedly taking the ice cream out of the freezer and returning it, as this can affect its texture and lead to ice crystal formation. Nobody wants that!
Since homemade ice cream doesn’t have the same preservatives and weird chemicals as store-bought ones, so it’s best to enjoy it within a month after freezing for the best taste and texture.
Get ready to go berry crazy for this no-churn blueberry ice cream! Whether you’re serving it up in a cone or a bowl, this fruity frozen delight will have you shouting, “I scream, YOU scream, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!!!” So grab your scoop and let’s dive into a world of creamy blueberry bliss. Remember, when life gives you blueberries, make this no-churn magic! Until next time, stay scoop-er cool.
More recipes with fresh blueberries!
More ice cream recipes!
- Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes
- Key Lime Pie Milkshake
- Strawberry Milkshake Cocktail
How to make homemade ice cream with blueberries and cinnamon👇
Homemade Blueberry Ice Cream (no-churn recipe!)
- 1 Medium Saucepan (for the blueberry compote)
- 1 Stand Mixer with Whisk Attachment (to make no-churn ice cream)
- 1 Rubber Spatula (for folding ice cream)
- 1 Loaf Pan (for storing and freezing ice cream)
Blueberry Compote Sauce
- Make blueberry sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-heat on the stove-top. Once the butter melts, add the blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, and honey. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the blueberry mixture is boiling, immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer the blueberry sauce, stirring occasionally, for 4-6 minutes, or until the blueberries are burst and the mixture resembles a chunky sauce. Remove the compote from the stovetop. Set aside and allow the blueberries to cool completely.
- Start Ice Cream – whip cream: Add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until the cream ALMOST reaches stiff peaks.
- Add milk and vanilla: Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract to the bowl with the whipped cream. Whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks, about 1 minute.
- Fold in crackers and blueberries: Add the crushed graham crackers and the cooled blueberry sauce to the vanilla ice cream and use a rubber spatula or fork to gently swirl and fold the ingredients together.(Note: Try to avoid aggressively stirring the ice cream.) (Tip: If you prefer a layered ice cream, skip this step, and simply do a few layers of everything in the pan, starting with the vanilla ice cream, followed by graham crackers and blueberries. Repeat!)
- Add to ice cream container or loaf pan: Use a rubber spatula to carefully transfer the blueberry ice cream to an ice cream storage container or loaf pan. Cover the ice cream with a large sheet of wax freezer paper, gently pressing to adhere the paper to the top of the dessert.
- Freeze: Place the container of ice cream in the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours, or up to 2 weeks.
- Serve: For the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream, let the container thaw for 5-10 minutes on the counter before scooping and serving. Enjoy!
- Vanilla: For the best ice cream, use the seeds from a real vanilla bean! I typically use a Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean if I have them on hand.
- Graham Crackers: Use whatever you love; I typically use honey flavored graham crackers. However, Teddy Grahams, Golden Oreos, and other flavorful cookie crackers can be used here! Or you can leave the crackers out all together. I will always recommend using what you have and what you love!
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