Do you love soft serve ice cream? Now you can make soft serve ice cream at home- soft and smooth just like from the ice cream parlor!

My son has aspirations to to go to culinary school when he gets older. He’s been baking his entire like and as he’s gotten older (now a teenager) he has gone through different phases in what he loves to make.

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He’s been making homemade ice cream for a few years now. But his current obsession- making soft serve ice cream!

His first try making homemade soft serve ice cream, didn’t turn out all that well. We thought we broke the machine! But since then he’s perfected the recipe- so here’s how to make soft serve ice cream that turns out perfect every time!


 Learn how to make soft serve ice cream at home- the PERFECT, smooth soft serve that your kids and family will love.


How to Make Soft Serve Ice Cream at Home


To make homemade soft serve ice cream you need:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 Cup Milk

3/4 cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Dry Milk Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Extract (keep reading for other flavor options)


Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat just until the sugar has dissolved.

Chill until completely cool- up to 24 hours.

Set up your soft serve ice cream maker. Turn on the machine and pour your soft serve mix into the machine.

Churn for about 30 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached (see tips below)



Homemade Soft Serve Flavor Alternatives:


To Make Chocolate Soft Serve: Add 1/3 cup cocoa at the time of cooking.

To Make Lemon or Lime Soft Serve: Add 1/2 cup fresh lemon/lime juice, plus the zest when you add your mix to the soft serve machine.

To Make Coffee Soft Serve: Add 1 T espresso or instant coffee powder and increase sugar to 1 cup (optional) at the time of cooking.

To Make Cookies and Cream Soft Serve: Add 1 cup of crushed (almost dust) Oreo crumbs 5 minutes before dispensing.



To Make Peanut Butter Cup Soft Serve: Add 1/4 cup peanut butter at the time of cooking, Optional: Add chopped peanut butter cups 5 minutes before dispensing. If you chop small you can still dispense, otherwise you will have to use a spoon to serve since the soft serve machine will get clogged with the peanut butter cups.

Chocolate or Caramel Swirl Soft Serve: Add 1/4-1/2 cup of caramel or fudge sauce 1 minute before dispensing.


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The Best Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker for At-Home Use


We have a Cuisinart Soft Serve Machine that we use for all of our homemade soft serve.  We’ve had an electric churner by Cuisinart for year, so it was a natural step to get the same brand in a soft serve machine.

This soft serve ice cream maker offers:

A heavy duty motor for mixing and dispensing soft serve ice cream

A locking lid with window- to pour in ingredients and watch for the right consistency

A double insulated, 1 1/2 quart mixer bowl- this bowl is placed in the freezer for at least 24 hours (we keep ours in the freezer full time)

A dispensing bracket with handle- which gives you control when dispensing the soft serve ice cream

3 condiment dispensers- for dispensing fun extras like sprinkles to be swirled in the soft serve or on top


This soft serve maker is affordably priced and a ton of fun. Sure it’s a novelty, but what’s more fun that making your own soft serve ice cream cones at home?! You can find it on online– and it goes on sale often.



Tips on Making Soft Serve Ice Cream


Don’t skip the dry milk powder!  Really- it’s like the secret ingredient to silky smooth, soft serve ice cream!

Watch for consistency. There’s a magic moment when soft serve is the perfect consistency for dispensing. Too early- and it’s a little runny. Too late- and it won’t come out as smooth and make pretty cones!

Don’t use egg-based ice cream recipes. We love using custard ice cream recipes in our standard ice cream maker, they are smooth and creamy and don’t taste as icy as recipes without eggs. But these ice cream recipes  just don’t work for soft serve and they get too stiff for dispensing with the machine.

Rinse the freezer bowl and let air dry immediately after use. Place back in the freezer once it is completely dry.


Read Next: How to Make a Homemade Ice Cream Cake

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