From the smarty-pants test cooks at America's Test Kitchencomes this sneakily simple recipe for delicious vanilla ice cream, with a list of slightly unconventional ingredients, but without the use of specialized ice cream-making equipment. This recipe comes from the book “Kitchen Hacks,” which is full of many more handy tips and tricks like this one.

The front cover of the book Kitchen Hacks, from America's Test Kitchen.
This how-to guide is a much fun as it is functional.
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Happy National Ice Cream Month!

Magic Vanilla Ice Cream from the book “Kitchen Hacks” from America’s Test Kitchen


Making ice cream at home is a fun and delicious undertaking, but it has one giant drawback: It requires a bulky, kitchen-cluttering ice cream maker. In order to find a way to make ice cream at home without that technology, we had to figure out how to replicate the taste and texture created by the machine. The magic ingredients turned out to be sweetened condensed milk and folded-in whipped cream; these kept our ice cream light but velvety, even after freezing. We also added a surprising ingredient — sour cream — for richness and tartness to counter the sweetness of the condensed milk. This recipe makes 1 quart.


  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ounce white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, chilled


  1. Microwave sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate in large bowl until chocolate melts, stirring halfway, about 30 seconds. Let cool. Stir in sour cream, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream on medium-low speed to soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Whisk one-third of whipped cream into white chocolate mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until incorporated.
  3. Place in airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 2 weeks. Serve.