Enjoy the creamy and rich taste of Homemade Gelato. Try these easy step by step instructions to make the easiest gelato without an ice cream machine.

Homemade gelato in a bowl.
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​​Homemade Gelato is very simple to make, and the flavor can’t be beat. The taste and texture are so delicious. I have been making homemade ice cream recipes for years.

From Gelato, Raspberry Sorbet Recipe and No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream, the options are endless for frozen treats.

This recipe is an easy base gelato with creamy texture.

What is the difference between gelato and ice cream?

Gelato has a creamier texture and consistency than ice cream. This is due to the lower fat content and higher milk to cream ratio. It also is slow churned to result in the most wonderful texture.

It is Italy’s version of ice cream.

Ingredients

Directions for gelato - whole milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla.
  • Whole Milk 
  • Heavy Cream 
  • Large Egg Yolks 
  • Granulated Sugar 
  • Vanilla Extract 

Variations

  • Fruit Varieties. Try different flavors of fruit. Try making strawberry gelato.
  • Chocolate gelato. Add dark chocolate or cocoa powder to make chocolate gelato flavors.

Step by Step Instructions

Milk in saucepan.

Step 1. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Heat on low until it starts to simmer.

Mixing bowl with eggs and sugar.

Step 2. Get out a mixing bowl that is heat proof. Combine the egg yolks and sugar together.

Milk mixture added to eggs.

Step 3. Slowly add the milk sugar mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk together constantly until combined. 

Mixture combined and poured into saucepan.

Step 4. After the mixture is combined, pour it back into the saucepan. Heat the mixture until mixture has thickened.  Watch closely and make sure that it does not come to a boil. 

Bowl with vanilla added to mixture.

Step 5. Get out a separate bowl and pour the mixture through a fine strainer.  Allow to cool and then stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and place in the fridge.

Mixer with whipping cream.

Step 6. Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peak forms.  

Mixing bowl with whipped cream and custard combined.

Step 7. Then gently stir the custard into the whipped cream until smooth. Stir carefully so that you do not deflate the whipped cream. 

Loaf pan with mixture spread into it.

Step 8. Spread the mixture into a loaf pan with a spatula and freeze. Every hour, break up the ice crystals and whip the gelato mixture. Continue to do this 3-4 times until the gelato thickens.  

Ice cream scoop in loaf pan.

Step 9. Freeze for 4-5 hours and then scoop.

Gelato in bowls ready to enjoy.

Step 10. Serve and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make gelato without an ice cream maker?

Yes, you can make gelato without an ice cream maker. Just freeze the mixture and break up with a mixer every 30 minutes until desired creamy texture.

Can you substitute reduced fat milk?

While you can, I do not recommend it. The results will not be as creamy.

How to store?

Store the leftovers in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. After this time, the texture may change and become icy.

Homemade gelato in a loaf pan.

More Frozen Treats

It’s your turn to make this authentic Italian gelato recipe. Please leave a comment once you make homemade gelato.

Homemade Gelato

5 from 2 votes
Enjoy the creamy and rich taste of Homemade Gelato. Try these easy step by step instructions to make the easiest gelato without an ice cream machine.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cover and refrigerate then freeze 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 293

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Heat in the milk in a saucepan over low heat until it starts to gently simmer.
  • In a heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
  • Gradually add the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until fully combined.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over low heat.
  • Heat the mixture for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened.  Watch the mixture closely and make sure that it does not come to a boil.
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve or a fine strainer into a separate bowl.  Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Cover and refrigerate for chilled (for a few hours or overnight).
  • Whip the heavy whipping cream with a hand held mixer or stand up mixer until stiff peak forms.
  • Once the custard mixture has chilled, gently stir the custard into the whipped cream until smooth. Stir carefully so that you do not deflate the whipped cream.
  • Pour the mixture into a loaf pan.  Place in the freezer.  Break up the ice crystals and whip the gelato mixture every hour.  Do this 3-4 times until the gelato thickens.
  • Then cover and freeze for 4-5 hours.  Then the gelato is ready to serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Store the leftovers in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 293kcal, Carbohydrates 22g, Protein 6g, Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 6g, Cholesterol 184mg, Sodium 48mg, Potassium 176mg, Sugar 22g, Vitamin A 888IU, Vitamin C 0.2mg, Calcium 142mg, Iron 0.4mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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