No Churn Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream: For the chocolate peanut butter lovers in your life, this ice cream is utterly delicious and easy to make without the need for an ice cream maker.
Well well well. Here we are. Nearing the end of August. The kids are back to school or are going back very shortly. And I’ve yet to share an ice cream recipe with you this summer.
Shame on me! Really! Where has my head been this summer?
Seriously though, how does summer fly by so quickly when winter seems to go on FOR.EV.VER.
If you know me, you know that I always have ice cream in the freezer, especially in the summer. I absolutely love to make homemade ice cream and it’s just so incredibly easy to do with the ice cream maker attachment I have for my mixer.
I keep that bowl in the freezer all year long so it’s ice cold and ready when the urge to make ice cream hits. Smarts right there!
And until 2 summers ago, I was completely resistant to the massive surge of the no-churn ice cream movement that had been building over the previous few years. What can I say? I’m not an early adopter.
What Does No Churn Mean?
So a few weeks before Riley came home that summer, I no-churned up a batch of backyard mint chip ice cream. And man! What a treat that was!
Barely any work was required on my part for that ice cream because no churn ice cream means just that: you don’t need an ice cream maker to churn ice cream.
To churn means to mix around with some “oomph.” Butter is churned from cream when mixed or shaken vigorously. Storms over a body of water churn up the seas, creating rough waves and high surf.
One way to churn ice cream – and the more modern way, at that – is to agitate a cold liquid ice cream base in a frozen ice cream maker by turning it long enough so that the chill from the maker transfers to the base and turns it into a soft serve consistency.
Old-school ice cream making methods, which are still used today albeit infrequently, churn ice cream using ice and salt.
So no churn means that you can make ice cream without agitating it, using ingredients that help solidify the ice cream sans a frozen ice cream maker. The appeal of this method of making ice cream is two-fold.
First, you don’t need special equipment to make ice cream. No ice cream maker is required. This is great news for people who don’t have a lot of space for storing infrequently used kitchen equipment!
And second, no churn ice cream is relatively quick to make. Whereas churned ice cream requires you to cook your ice cream base in order to thicken it – sometimes with eggs, sometimes without eggs – before freezing in the ice cream maker, no churn ice cream is also no-cook ice cream. It is thickened using cold ingredients.
The cooking and cooling process for an ice cream base to be churned requires a minimum of 8 hours before freezing in the ice cream maker. And then you’ll need at least 6 more hours for the ice cream to firm up in the freezer since it emerges from the ice cream maker as a soft serve consistency.
Churning ice cream is a process. A labor of love, if you will (without that much labor, of course).
Ingredients for No Churn Ice Cream
What made this ice cream so creamy was the inclusion of sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream in the recipe. These are the 2 components needed for the base of the recipe.
The 3 basic ingredients you need to make no churn ice cream are sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and Kosher salt.
From there, you can add vanilla, chopped fruit, swirls of jam, chopped candy, melted chocolate, or chopped cookies and/or brownies. Or basically anything else you would want in your ice cream!
Now, if you’re thinking, “I’ve made ice cream for years and I’ll swear to my grave and back that only a custard ice cream base can make a creamy ice cream,” I’m going to say you’re wrong.
I was exactly of that same mind-set before I came around to no churn ice cream, too. Yes, custard-based ice creams (or, ice cream made with eggs) are very creamy indeed.
But even without the eggs, this no churn ice cream was some of the creamiest ice cream I’d ever eaten. And that’s because of the silky sweetened condensed milk and smooth and creamy whipped cream that is in these no churn ice cream recipes.
How to Make No Churn Ice Cream
As I mentioned, no churn ice cream is EASY to make!
You’ll simply make some whipped cream until you have stiff peaks. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
Then you’ll mix your other ingredients together in a bowl and fold in the whipped cream. Once the whipped cream is fully incorporated into the ice cream mixture, pour it into a freezer-safe bowl with an airtight lid.
Pop that bowl into the freezer and after about 6 hours of freezing, you’ll have your ice cream!
Here’s the time breakdown for how long you’ll need to make churned ice cream vs. no churn ice cream, keeping in mind that this is mostly inactive time:
- churned ice cream = approx 14 hours
- no churn ice cream = approx 6 hours 15 minutes
That’s a big difference in my opinion!
What I Love About this No Churn Ice Cream Flavor
So this no churn peanut butter ice cream: What can I say about it?
It’s nothing short of just outright outstanding. And if you’re a chocolate-peanut butter lover you will LOVE this ice cream!
Some of my favorite chocolate-peanut butter treats definitely rank right up at the top with this one. Like this peanut butter pie with an Oreo crust. And this forever and always popular fudgy peanut butter cake.
It turned out to be a really sweet chocolate ice cream due to the milk chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, but you can certainly use semi-sweet or dark chocolate in place of the milk chocolate. We loved the super sweet factor but it’s totally your choice!
Lastly, what I truly love about this recipe is how easy and quick it is to make compared to traditional ice cream. From start to finish, this ice cream took less than 7 hours to make of which, only 10 minutes was active prep time. No cooking, no extra chilling. It’s just so easy!
Anyway, I’ll stop blathering now. Just go make this ice cream. You won’t be sorry!
For the ice cream:
- 1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- Heavy pinch of Kosher salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 to 6 oz milk chocolate, melted and cooled (see note below)
- 15 regular size peanut butter cups, roughly chopped and frozen
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract together until well-blended. Whisk in the melted chocolate until the chocolate is completely mixed in. Fold in ⅓ of the whipped cream until it disappears into the chocolate mixture. Lightly fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain.
- Transfer half of ice cream mixture to a freezer-safe, airtight container (or one you can tightly cover with foil or plastic wrap). Scatter half of the chopped peanut butter cups atop the mixture. Layer the remaining ice cream mixture on top of the candy and then scatter the remaining peanut butter cups on top. You can press them down a little and/or swirl a knife through the ice cream and candy to mix them in.
- Cover the container tightly and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.
The sweetness of milk chocolate varies by brand. If you choose a milk chocolate with a lower percentage of cacao which indicates a sweeter chocolate, say around 30%, use only 5 ounces in this recipe. For higher cacao percentages of milk chocolate, use 6 ounces of chocolate. I used Lindt milk chocolate. This is a fairly sweet milk chocolate and it almost made the ice cream too sweet, which I didn't think was even possible. You can certainly use semi-sweet or dark chocolate here in place of the milk chocolate too, in which case, I suggest you use 6 ounces of chocolate.
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