This Ice Cream Machine Makes Incredible Homemade Scoops

published Jul 25, 2023
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someone holding small bowl of homemade strawberry ice cream with blueberries and raspberries on top
Credit: Lizzy Briskin

Two things I’ve always loved are ice cream and kitchen appliances. And when the two meet, I become one happy camper — especially when that kitchen appliance is a hard-working, durable ice cream machine that produces some of the silkiest homemade dessert I’ve ever had. 

Quick Overview

What’s to Love About the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker?

The Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker can make two quarts of creamy, homemade ice cream whenever you want. There’s only one button so it’s super easy to use, and there’s no need to babysit it while it works its magic. At under $100, it’s also a reasonably priced appliance that will get so much use during the summer — and beyond.

Credit: Lizzy Briskin

I found such a match years ago in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker — a classic summertime hero that I always recommend to anyone who wants to get in on homemade ice cream. I’ve tried many ice cream makers, from the most basic manual hand cranks to nearly instantaneous whizzing blender-style machines. But nothing beats the one-speed automatic churning of the Cuisinart if you’re after a super-creamy texture that doesn’t require elbow grease or babysitting, and if you’re looking to get experimental with ice cream flavors.

What’s So Great About the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker?

The most ingenious thing about the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is the freezer bowl. Inside the mechanical housing sits a two-quart insulated bowl that becomes exceedingly cold and stays that way. I keep the bowl in my freezer at all times so I’m always ready to churn up a fresh batch of whatever flavor is calling my name. But if you value your freezer space for other items, you can stick the ice cream bowl inside for just a few hours before you’re ready to churn.

Credit: Lizzy Briskin

Once your bowl is frozen, you pop it onto the base of the machine, add the churning paddle, put the lid on, and flip the one and only switch. The Cuisinart will immediately start churning and you can watch your liquid base turn into pure, scoopable gold through the clear lid.

My only complaint about the Cuisinart ice cream maker is that the bowl only holds about two quarts of ice cream (which might sound like a lot, but is it really?). I quickly solved that issue by investing in a second bowl. That way, I can make a double batch of my ice cream base and churn one right after the other. My freezer is always full, and my sweet tooth is always satisfied.  

Credit: Lizzy Briskin

If you like some texture in your dessert like I do, Cuisinart has you covered, too. Once the ice cream is mostly frozen, towards the end of the churning time, just pour in chocolate chips, fresh fruit, nuts, sprinkles, candies — you name it — and let the machine mix them in for you. And once that’s done, you can transfer everything into a container to put into the freezer for later, or just dole it out into a bowl for now. 

What’s the Best Way to Use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker?

I prefer ice cream made with a custard base that’s chock-full of as many egg yolks as possible for the most luscious texture. Making a custard requires heating milk and tempering in yolks, so you end up with a pretty warm base before it’s churned. The great thing about the Cuisinart bowl is that it’s so cold that it can turn room-temperature custard into spoonable ice cream in about half an hour. 

Credit: Lizzy Briskin

To get you started, the machine comes with a handy little book of recipes (Cuisinart’s strawberry ice cream is especially tasty). But you can really use any ice cream base you love — it doesn’t have to be custard, and even dairy-free ice cream will churn up beautifully. 

Over the years that I’ve been using my Cuisinart, I’ve tried recipes from dozens of cookbooks, blogs, and recipe developers. In the summer, I’ll turn my family’s haul of pick-your-own strawberries or raspberries into the prettiest blush-colored dessert. The rest of the year, my go-to is this absolutely crowd-pleasing recipe for salted caramel ice cream. No matter the flavor, though, I’ll be using my beloved machine for all of them.