“You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream and that is pretty much the same thing,” goes the saying, except when the store is literally out of ice cream and you are forced to return home to a disappointed and ‘hangry’ bunch of family members.


The day this happened to me, I recalled a colleague who had been ‘humble bragging’ incessantly about the quality of his homemade ice-cream machine. The latter made beautiful ice-cream in all the flavours you could dream of but they had one major drawback: one component had to be refrigerated the night before – not great for those with a short attention span or a hungry belly.

I decided to turn to my favourite YouTube gurus to discover if preparing creamy, soft ice-cream at home was possible without the use of an ice-cream maker and I found not one but many lovely recipes, all of which looked melty soft and luscious as they oozed over vintage jars or formed delicate swirls on cones. 

I found one recipe that had just three ingredients, all of which I happened to have at home, so I went for it. Our regular readers know I wouldn’t dare recommend something that was a waste of time so I hope you trust me when I tell you that this recipe is definitely worth trying. 

Imagine taking just five minutes to make a massive bucket of ice-cream that your family can enjoy for various days. I added a fourth ingredient just because I felt like it – unsweetened cocoa powder, the kind that usually goes into chocolate cake. The result was a creamy treat that only requires around half an hour to soften up before being served. Therefore, the one proviso is that you will need to pull it out of the freezer at the start of lunch or dinner. By the time you are ready for dessert, it will be ‘just right’.

So, let’s get to the recipe. This one serves around four but you can make double if you want a nice bucket you can dip into for a few days.


2 cups of heavy cream
1 cups condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
Optional: ¼ cup cocoa, unsweetened (I used the Valor brand)

Ensure your heavy cream and condensed milk are very cold before you start. Place the heavy cream into the bowl and whisk. If you have an electric whisk or mixer, all the better. When the cream forms soft peaks, add the other ingredients until stiff peaks are formed. Placed into a tray or glass storage unit with a seal and freeze for around four hours. If you want to serve the ice-cream as soft-serve, place it into a piping bag and do your magic.

Optional Ingredients

You can add nuts, marshmallows, fruits and other ingredients once the ice-cream is ready (not before, especially with fruits, since these will release moisture and make your dessert form ice crystals).

A Cool Variation

If you know how to make lemon curd, you can add this to the ice-cream base mentioned above instead of cocoa powder. I tried this variation and the result was a rich, beautiful dessert that is ideal for a special lunch or dinner.

Giving it a Miss

If you don’t feel like making ice-cream yourself but you are after a luxury treat, why not head to Loco Polo at the Puerto Deportivo de Marbella (Avda. Duque de la Ahumada s/n, Lote 9)? This is an über cool ice-cream bar featuring so many ice lolly varieties you won’t believe it. These lollies have something special: a generous portion of fillings like strawberry, lemon and Nutella, as well as a host of coverings and sprinklings! See what they’re all about on www.thelocopolo.com