It’s never the wrong time for ice cream, in my opinion. It’s the best treat for a hot summer day, but I will gladly have a bowl in the dead of winter, even if it means I have to hide under extra blankets just to eat it. There are a few store-bought keto ice creams out there, but none of them compare to this perfect homemade keto ice cream recipe.
Homemade ice cream is pretty much always the best, in my opinion. Yes, it’s more work than buying store-bought, but nothing compares to the fresh, wholesome ingredients you can only find when you make it yourself. In fact, I have an in-depth article on everything you might want to know about ice cream making over on my other site.
That being said, homemade ice cream often becomes rock hard in the freezer and needs to be kept out on the counter before you can scoop it.
But this is also true for every keto ice cream I’ve bought from the store. The reason for this is that most low carb sweeteners freeze harder than sugar.
But after several (grueling!) rounds of ice cream recipe testing, I’ve found the perfect keto ice cream recipe. It stays soft enough to scoop straight from the freezer. And it doesn’t use any weird gums or additives to do so. In fact, there are only six ingredients.
Perfect Keto Ice Cream
The secret to soft, scoopable keto ice cream is to use allulose. Allulose is a low carb sweetener that acts like sugar but isn’t metabolized and doesn’t raise your blood sugar.
But I don’t use 100% allulose in this recipe. Why? Because it actually makes the ice cream too soft! To the point that it melts before I can finish my bowl. So I mix allulose with my low carb sweetener blend. This also makes it cheaper!
I’m going to show you how to make this using a cooked custard base. This is the safest option when it comes to concerns with raw eggs. That being said, if you’re not worried about that, you can make this recipe much more simply. Just put all the cold ingredients in a blender, blend, and then churn right away.
Cooking the ice cream base
Start off with a medium saucepan. I use a combination of heavy cream and almond milk. Place your cream and milk mixture in the pan and heat just until you see bubbles on the edges. Turn off the heat.
If you’d like to use a vanilla bean (or two!) to flavor your base, add your split vanilla beans to the scalded cream and let steep for 15 minutes. Then remove the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add seeds back to milk mixture. Then heat again just until bubbles appear around the edges.
While your milk is heating (or steeping the vanilla bean) take eight egg yolks, add allulose and powdered low carb sweetener, and whisk until they become thick and lighter in color.
Note: I always measure my sweeteners here by weight. Especially when we’re using a powdered sweetener, the weight by volume can vary wildly depending on how much the sweetener has settled. That being said, I’ve given approximate measurements in cups as well.
Next we must temper the eggs. This means we ladle small amounts of hot cream into the eggs while whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. This is an important step that must not be skipped.
After you’ve ladled about half the cream into the eggs, pour it back into the pan and put it over medium-low heat.
This is the trickiest part of the recipe. You absolutely must not step away from the pan at this point. Stir constantly.
You want to cook the mixture to 170°F (77° C) or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon like you see above. You must be very, very careful not to overheat this mixture or your eggs will scramble and you’ll have a mess that cannot be salvaged.
If you’re new to this type of custard-making, I would highly recommend using a clip-on thermometer to help you keep track of the temperature. If you’re very nervous, you can also cook this in a double boiler (or a bowl set over simmering water) but plan for it to be very slow this way.
Once it reaches the proper temperature, take it off the heat immediately and strain into a clean bowl.
Don’t skip straining. Even with being hyper vigilant, I often have little bits on the bottom of the pan that have cooked a little too far and congealed a bit, or small bits of the vanilla bean pod that snuck in. You don’t want these in your ice cream, so take the extra step and strain it.
Chilling the base
To cool it down, I recommend starting with an ice bath. You could put it straight in the refrigerator, but if you cover it right away you’ll end up with condensation dripping back into the bowl, and that will negatively affect your final product. So start with an ice bath on the counter.
Be very careful that you can put your bowl of ice cream base safely in the ice bath without it tipping over or spilling water into the base. Sometimes this takes a little finagling, but just do it carefully. Periodically stir the base (carefully) to cool evenly.
Once it’s 70°F (21°C) or cooler, you can cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until it’s very cold.
You can make the ice cream up to this point and leave it in the fridge overnight if you like.
Churning the ice cream
You’ll need to churn the fully cooled ice cream base according to the manufacturers instructions on your ice cream maker. I use the Kitchenaid ice cream attachment that goes with my mixer.
You want to get to to soft-serve consistency. Don’t take it past that or you’ll overchurn it and end up with a weird texture.
For best results, place the container you plan to use in the freezer while your ice cream is churning. That way your ice cream doesn’t melt as you’re transferring it. Shallow dishes work best for homemade ice cream.
Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Scoop straight from the freezer and enjoy!
This recipe makes roughly twelve half-cup servings, and each serving is only 2g net carbs.
That means you’re in great shape to drizzle on some low carb hot fudge sauce, or my perfect caramel sauce if you prefer.
But my favorite way of eating this ice cream is to layer it in a parfait with keto hot fudge and peanuts. Because I can never get enough of that combination!
What’s your favorite topping for ice cream?
- 3 cups | 720mL heavy cream
- 1 cup | 240mL almond or cashew milk (or other low carb milk)
- 8 egg yolks
- 4 oz | 113g (about 1/2 cup) allulose
- 3 oz | 85g (a scant 1 cup) low carb sweetener blend
- 1 or 2 vanilla beans, split OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat cream and milk over low heat in a medium saucepan until bubbles form on the edges.
- If using vanilla bean, steep in warm milk mixture for 15 minutes, then scrape out seeds and add to milk mixture. Reheat milk until bubbles form on edges again. (If using vanilla extract, skip this step.)
- While milk is heating, whisk egg yolks with allulose and sweetener until thickened and lightened in color (2-3 minutes).
- Temper eggs by slowly ladling hot milk into eggs while whisking constantly. Ladle half the milk into the eggs, then pour egg mixture into saucepan with the rest of the milk.
- Turn heat back on to medium-low. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture reaches 170°F (77°C) or until it coats the back of the spoon. Heat very slowly. Do not overheat or mixture will curdle and separate.
- Once mixture reaches the proper temperature, immediately remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Add vanilla extract if using.
- Place bowl in an ice bath and cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
- Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, watching closely as low-carb ice cream may churn more quickly than conventional.
- Transfer into a shallow container and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15.6gSodium: 38mgCarbohydrates: 2.1gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1.6gProtein: 3g