I scream, you scream, we all scream for easy ice cream. 

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Credit: Jaime Milan

This is Obsessed: my weekly column devoted to sharing all the things I'm loving right now—from unique food and gift ideas to travel destinations and beauty products—plus some tips and tricks for living your best life.

My husband and I both love going out for ice cream, but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re trying to hunker down as much as we can. While this is a small price to pay to keep everyone safe, we miss our ice cream. So I decided to make our own at home.

I’ve made ice cream from scratch before, and it was absolutely delicious. But the process is kind of a pain in the you-know-what. And sometimes you just need ice cream ASAP and don’t want to heat milk, crack eggs and cool everything down before putting it into your ice cream machine.

If you’re like me and don’t want to deal with all the fuss (and dirty dishes), you need to try Williams Sonoma’s Flour Shop Vanilla Ice Cream Starter— it’s a total game-changer. All you need are three ingredients: heavy cream, half-and-half and your starter. You just whisk your starter (which is made from sugar, sea salt and natural vanilla) into your dairy and pour the mixture into your machine. No heating, no cooling and just three ingredients required. (All huge wins in my book!)

Nutrition-wise, a half-cup serving is about on par with a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream. It’s definitely not “healthy,” but it’s a delicious treat to enjoy (and much healthier than the oversized waffle cones we normally get at the ice cream parlor). 

For my husband’s birthday this week, I made some vanilla ice cream using the Flour Shop starter and added some of his favorite things: roasted, salted pecans and chopped-up peanut butter cups. Then I topped it with chocolate shell and sprinkles because I like to live on the edge. He said it was some of the best ice cream he’s ever had (and that’s saying a lot, because as I mentioned, we LOVE ice cream).

I used this Breville ice cream maker, which is a total beast. It whips up perfect sorbet, soft serve, gelato and ice cream in no time at all. Plus, I love that it’s electric, so there’s no messing with rock salt or ice—you just add your ingredients, plug it in and go. The only downside? It’s pretty big. If you have the countertop space (or can justify the space in your kitchen by how much you love ice cream, like us), rock on, but if you want something a little smaller or less expensive, I’ve also heard amazing things about this electric ice cream machine from Cuisinart.

Here’s the thing: I’m not usually one to wax poetic about premixed ingredients or kitchen gadgets—but these two things will save you time on your ice-cream-making journey and make it *actually* enjoyable. My only suggestion? Stock up on some reusable ice cream pint containers for sticking in your freezer or gifting friends, because if you’re anything like me, once you start making ice cream, you won’t be able to stop.

Jaime Milan is EatingWell’s digital editor for all things newsy and trending. She’s always on the hunt for the latest and greatest things to share with EatingWell’s readers. In her spare time, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, tackling home projects with her husband or taking pics of her very photogenic American Eskimo Dog, Grits. Follow her on Instagram at @jaimemmilan.