You only need 5 ingredients to make the most delicious homemade sugar free ice cream recipe! This easy low carb vanilla ice cream tastes unbelievably creamy – a dessert staple for any time of the year.
Do you love ice cream? I can eat it all year round, summer or winter. I think it’s a great sweet treat when I’ve got friends over. There are not many people who’ll pass on a scoop of ice cream after dinner, especially when it’s decorated with a decadent chocolate drizzle!
I have yet to find a sugar free ice cream in the shops that I like to eat. All brands use either sweeteners such as sorbitol, maltodextrin or maltitol which raises your blood sugar levels or contain artificial ingredients which makes them taste strangely fake.
It boils down to this: if you want to eat an ice cream made without added sugar containing real, simple ingredients, you’ve got to make it yourself.
The good news is, homemade low carb ice cream tastes incredible delicious AND it’s easy to make!
You need a bit of patience – it needs a few hours to cool and set – but it’s well worth the wait.
Incredibly, you only need 5 ingredients for this recipe! It is packed with the most beautiful vanilla flavor.
1. Dairy Cream
2. Almond Milk
3. Egg yolks
It is possible to use regular vanilla extract in this recipe, but it’s the vanilla bean that takes the recipe to the next level. Trust me – try and get hold of a couple of pods. You can find them in the baking section of good supermarkets.
Some Keto ice cream recipes use only heavy cream or even butter and forego the traditional route of making a custard with the milk and eggs. Whilst this is an easy solution to increase the fat content and therefore creaminess, I simply do not like their texture. I find that too much fat in ice cream can leave an unpleasant taste on the tongue.
By adding in the almond milk, you’re keeping the calories lower at 330 per serving. The net carbs are only 2.3g per portion!
Which sweetener is best?
Different low-carb sweeteners will give different textures.
Allulose is hands down the best sweetener for sugar-free ice cream. It is not a sugar alcohol, but a rare sugar that is not metabolized, making it zero carb. It does not recrystallize, keeping the ice cream lovely and soft.
Sugar alcohols such as erythritol can be used, but need to be powdered. Low carb sweeteners tend to re-crystallize when they cool and you don’t want any crunchy bits in your ice cream! So take note: Erythritol blends that also contain the natural contain monk fruit extract or stevia taste great, but they will set hard once the ice cream has been in the freezer overnight.
Bocha Sweet produces great results for keto ice cream, keeping it much creamier than erythritol. Personally, I have not tried Splenda as it contains the artificial sweetener Sucralose which I’m sensitive to.
This recipe is designed to be used with an ice cream maker. I know an ice-cream maker takes up space and you might not be keen on yet another kitchen appliance. But if you love sugar free ice cream and have enough people about the house who’d like to eat it on a regular basis it’s definitely a worth-while investment.
The ones that require pre-freezing of the mixing canister are really reasonable (we used one like this in the video). If you don’t mind spending a little more, invest in a machine with a compressor like this one – it makes restaurant-quality gelato on demand.
It is completely possible to make great-tasting no-churn sugar free ice cream, as I have done with this chocolate avocado ice cream (it uses a mix of coconut milk and whipped cream).
However, the result will never be as smooth and creamy as ice-cream made in an ice-cream maker. Also, it’s a LOT more involved. You’ll have to stir it in regular intervals whilst it’s chilling in the freezer to break up the ice crystals.
How to make sugar free ice cream
(This section contains step by step instructions and photos that show how to make this recipe. Find the recipe card with ingredient amounts and nutritional information at the bottom of the post.)
1.) Split the vanilla pods lengthways with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds.
2.) Pour the cream and almond milk into a saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds and the scraped pods and bring to a low boil.
When you see the edges start to bubble remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly so it doesn’t form a skin.
3.) While the cream mix is cooling, put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add the erythritol or sweetener of choice and a tiny pinch of salt and using an electric whisk beat until pale in colour. This takes about 2 minutes.
4.) Remove the vanilla pods…..
5.) …. and slowly whisk the cooled cream mixture into the eggs using a hand balloon whisk.
Now pour your sugar free ice cream mix back into your pan. Keep the heat on low and stir regularly for about 8 -10 minutes until it thickens. Do not boil!!!
At the first sign of bubbles, remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool for about an hour at room temperature.
Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
6.) Churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions on your ice cream maker. Mine took about 20 minutes.
For a soft serve enjoy it straight away. For a scoop-able ice cream, pour into a loaf pan, cover with cling film and freeze for 1- 2 hours, or until fully set.
For the pictures, I topped this sugar free ice cream with melted chocolate and chopped nuts. Use a sugar free chocolate such as Lily’s or a dark chocolate with a minimum of 85% cocoa solids (I like 90% Lindt).
More topping or swirl ideas:
- Cookie dough – add my Sugar Free Cookie Dough
- Peanut butter
- Sugar free sprinkles
- Berries such as strawberries or raspberries
- Keto Strawberry Sauce
- Sugar Free Blueberry Jam – this is GREAT as a fruity sauce
- Sugar Free Lemon Curd
- Keto Caramel Sauce – super smooth!!!
- Keto Sugar Free Chocolate Chips – my homemade, cheap version.
PEPPERMINT: Add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract for a mint ice cream.
CHOCOLATE: Add ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate ice cream.
BUTTER PECAN: Brown 2 tablespoons of butter with ½ cup of crushed pecans and 1 tablespoon allulose in a saucepan. Toast the nuts until golden, then let cool. Stir into the ice cream.
PEANUT BUTTER CUP: Break chunks of my Keto Peanut Butter Cups into the mix.
SALTED CARAMEL: Stir in my 2 Ingredient Sugar Free Caramel Sauce.
Tips for soft sugar free ice vanilla cream
Commercial brands use corn syrup, sugar, honey or stabilizers to keep their ice cream at a soft consistency. All ingredients we want to stay away from! Here are my tips for soft low carb ice cream:
SHALLOW CONTAINER: Store homemade ice cream in a shallow container and not a in deep one. Always cover the ice cream with cling film. This prevents ice crystals from forming.
ALLULOSE. My top tip for cream keto ice cream is to use allulose as a sweetener. Other sweeteners do work as well, as long as they are powdered. However, in terms of creaminess, allulose will give you a silky ice cream that is scoopable.
VODKA. Another tip is to add 2 teaspoons of vodka or another spirit with a high alcohol content.
MCT OIL. This is a high grade coconut oil that remains liquid even when cold. I have not tried it in this particular recipe, but ¼ cup (4 tbsp) should do the trick.
XANTHAN GUM. Try ¼ tsp for this recipe!
Is this an ice cream for diabetics?
I am not a medical professional and cannot give you advice on which diet is right for your personal needs. My mother in law is a diabetic and my husband reversed his pre-diabetes by following a low carb diet, so I can only speak from personal experience here. They enjoy this low sugar ice cream regularly and it does not spike their blood sugar levels.
Can I make this recipe without an ice cream maker?
It is possible to make this as a no churn vanilla ice cream recipe (but it will NOT be as creamy).
If you want to give it a go, I suggest you whisk the cream until it’s firm (but not totally stiff) before you combine it with the rest of the ingredients. That way you get more air and lightness into the mix!
Also, add some MCT oil as suggested above. Then, take it out of the freezer every ½ hour to 1 hour and stir to break up the ice crystals.
Is it safe to eat raw eggs?
Eating raw eggs has been declared as safe in the UK, as long as they carry the “lion stamp” (virtually all eggs produced in the UK do). If you live in a country where salmonella is still a worry, you can pasteurise your eggs at home.
Here’s how to do it: Heat water in a saucepan to 60 Celsius / 140 Fahrenheit. Lower the eggs into the saucepan and make sure they’re submerged in water. Leave them in there for 3 minutes. Make sure they’ve cooled down before you use them in the ice cream recipe!
More low carb ice cream recipes
Here are more keto friendly ice cream recipes. From creamy scoop-able ice cream to easy popsicle and ice cream bars, I’ve got you covered!
Tried this sugar free ice homemade ice cream? Give it a star rating below!
Sugar Free Low Carb Ice Cream (Vanilla Flavour)
from Sugar Free Londoner
This sugar free low carb ice cream is decadently creamy! Learn how to make restaurant quality Italian gelato at home – it’s really simple. You’d never guess this is a keto ice cream recipe. It tastes just as delicious as the sugar-laden original.
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary. ***As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Pre-freeze the canister of your ice cream maker for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Split the vanilla pods lengthways with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds.
Pour the cream and almond milk into a saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds and the scraped pods and bring to a low boil. When you see the edges start to bubble remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir regularly so it doesn’t form a skin. Remove the vanilla pods.
Meanwhile, put the egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add the sweetener and a tiny pinch of salt. Using an electric whisk, beat until pale in colour (about 2 minutes).
Slowly whisk into the cooled cream mix into the beaten eggs using a hand balloon whisk. Then pour back into your pan. Heat on low and stir regularly for about 8 -10 minutes until it thickens. Do not boil. At the first sign of bubbles, remove from the heat. Pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool for about an hour at room temperature.
Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions on your ice cream maker. Mine took about 20 minutes. For a soft serve you can enjoy straight away.
For a scoopable ice cream, pour into a loaf pan, cover with cling film and freeze for 1- 2 hours, or until fully set.
You can store the ice cream in the freezer for 3 months. Allow to stand at room temperature for about an hour before scooping or carefully microwave at 10 second intervals until it reaches your desired consistency.
The recipe makes eight ½ cup servings.
*If you are using vanilla extract you do not have to heat the cream. Simply skip this step and just combine the cream, almond milk and vanilla extract.
Calories: 330kcalTotal Carbohydrates: 2.4gProtein: 3.1gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 20.1gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1.9g
The post sugar free low carb ice cream was first published in June 2019. It was re-published with more details in June 2022.
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