We Reviewed the Cuisinart Gelateria Ice Cream Maker (and Suddenly Became Very Popular)

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Coco Morante)
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Cuisinart Gelateria Ice Cream Maker (Image credit: Coco Morante)

Item: Cuisinart Gelateria Ice Cream Maker
Price: $119.95
Overall Impression: Well-designed and so simple to operate, the Cuisinart Gelateria is a great option for making generous batches of customized frozen treats.

Sometimes, all of the popsicles, slushies, and granitas in the world just don’t cut it. What you really want is a bowl of silky-smooth, soft and melty ice cream or frozen yogurt. With the Cuisinart Gelateria on the counter and its churning bowl tucked away in the freezer, it’s easy to whip up a batch whenever a craving hits.

Oh, and homemade ice cream does something to people. I’m telling you, I’ve never had so many of my friends and family excited to come over. It turns out one of the most enticing things you can say is, “You wanna come hang out for a bit? I made some ice cream.”

Cuisinart Gelataria Ice Cream Maker: A Quick Summary

Characteristics and specs: A little bit bigger than the popular ICE-21 model, the Cuisinart Gelateria measures 12.5″ x 12.88″ x 18″ and makes up to two quarts of ice cream. It has different churning speeds for ice cream, gelato, and sorbet (the ice cream setting works for frozen yogurt, too). The casing is made from BPA-free plastic, with stainless steel accents.

Favorite details: It’s very easy to use. Even someone who has never made ice cream before can churn out a beautiful product. I also love that I can make up customized recipes — coconut cream-based ice cream has been a revelation! For being a large appliance, its clean design and soft, rounded corners help it blend into just about any kitchen aesthetic.

Potential problems: If you’re impatient, you may be disappointed that you can’t make ice cream right away. The freezer bowl has to hang out in the freezer for 12 hours (24 is better) first.

Splurge-worthy? If you are interested in making ice cream at home, definitely! Not only is the Gelateria a lot less expensive than compressor models, it’s considerably quieter during operation.

Good for small kitchens? Only if you are a true homemade ice cream devotee. It’s a fairly big machine, and the bowl will take up considerable space in your freezer.

Remove the lid to test taste or pour in mix-ins. (Image credit: Coco Morante)

My Review of the Cuisinart Gelataria Ice Cream Maker

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream (Image credit: Coco Morante)

Operating the Cuisinart Gelateria

Using the Cuisinart Gelateria is very, very simple, as you can see in the step-by-step slideshow above. Just be sure to plan ahead a little — you’ll need to freeze the bowl for a day or so, make your ice cream base, then chill it very well for the best results. Additionally, freshly churned ice cream is quite soft straight out of the machine, and takes at least a couple hours to firm up in the freezer.

The Results

I tested out a few recipes, and every time the machine excelled at turning out well-churned ice cream and frozen yogurt. My first frozen yogurt attempt did turn out a little icy, but that was my own fault for using too much liquid and not enough sugar. Stick to the frozen yogurt recipes in the accompanying manual (or use similar ratios when you’re deviating from the manual), and you’ll get great results.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

Perfect Banana Gelato

To try out the Gelateria’s gelato function, I made a batch of the Banana Gelato from The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book by Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough. This machine churns gelato at a slower speed than ice cream, so it ends up denser than ice cream, yet still soft straight out of the freezer. Now I have a new favorite use for leftover, ripe bananas. Banana bread, move aside!

A Surprising Vegan Discovery

To my surprise, the hands-down favorite ice cream I made was this vegan coconut vanilla bean number. It turned out so well — fluffy and creamy with a hint of dark rum and just enough salt to heighten the vanilla and coconut flavors. I can’t wait to experiment with other flavor combinations using this killer base recipe.

For ease of use, nice looks, and dependable results, I’m giving the Cuisinart Gelateria a big thumbs up. My only caveat would be that it’s a large machine, and you’ll need freezer space to store that bowl, too. My kitchen isn’t all that big, but I’m willing to carve out some square footage for such a fun pursuit.

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.