This low-carb keto vanilla-vanilla ice-cream is just like your favorite soft-serve fresh out of the ice-cream maker. With just two net-carbs per serving, enjoy it as it is or add berries or toppings.
Want a savory low-carb alternative to bread? Try my simple cheesy chaffles-low-carb waffles.
Delicious Homemade Ice-Cream Without the Carbs
I have been following a sugar-free, low-carb diet now for many years and, besides feeling much healthier, switching to a keto food plan also stopped sugar cravings that had taunted me since I was little kid.
While my food preferences have switched from sweet to savory, there is one thing I really miss sometimes. Yes, you guessed it: ice-cream.
I’m not an ice-cream fanatic like some people I know, but every once in a while you just need that perfect cup of homemade ice-cream.
I call this recipe vanilla-vanilla because I gave it an extra boost of vanilla deliciousness.
When this recipe is fresh out of the ice-cream maker, if your conditions are like mine, it will be a thick, soft-serve ice-cream.
I like mine with a low-carb dessert waffle.
Any leftovers can go in the freezer where it will harden up considerably. After time in the freezer, it will need some thawing time to be soft and scoopable once again.
The recipe indulges in delicious vanilla flavor but you could, of course, venture on to turn this recipe into any flavor you like including keto cookie-dough, double chocolate, or raspberry swirl. The possibilities are endless.
But for now, it’s vanilla all the way.
Watch How to Make Keto Ice-Cream
This quick video gives a good overview of how this sugar-free ice-cream is made. And yes, it’s this easy.
Testing Keto Ice Cream Recipes
To create my favorite recipe (below), I tested and adapted a number of recipes found online.
I’m not saying this will be your ultimate vanilla vanilla ice-cream, but it definitely ticks all the boxes for me.
What makes an ice-cream keto or low carb?
Ice-cream is generally some combination of fat, milk solids, sugar, some sort of stabilizer, eggs, and flavoring.
For a low-carb diet, we need to substitute or remove any ingredients that crank up the carbs (sugars).
My personal preference is to use as few ingredients as possible, keeping it simple and easy on the digestion.
The main difference between keto ice-cream and regular ice-cream is the choice of sweeteners and stabilizers (if any).
For the recipe here, I used erythritol. It serves the dual purpose of sweetening the recipe and somewhat stabilizing it.
Erythritol is a low-carb sweetener shown to have little or no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels.
Made from fermented corn or cornstarch, erythritol (a sugar alcohol) comes in granulated and powder forms suitable for both baking and ice-cream.
If you are substituting erythritol for regular refined sugar, the package says to use 1.5 cups for every 1 cup of sugar. In other words, 50% more.
If it’s your first time using a sugar substitute, test it in a small recipe to determine your preference.
I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t tasted anything really sweet in years or just my own taste buds, but I find the 1.5 substitution ratio too much. The recipe uses the lesser amount that I like.
I do find this sweetener has an after-taste: nothing horrible but a definite something. Lots of other people do not seem to notice it. Perhaps I’m a sugar snowflake!
I have also made the recipe without sweetener and used some crushed strawberries for flavor and sweetness instead. Berries do have carbs but a small amount is still low-carb, so consider that possibility if you want to switch it up.
Also, without the sweetener the consistency changes: in my case it came out more like a fluffy whipped cream than ice-cream.
I suggest starting with one batch of the basic recipe and adapting from there.
Ice-Cream Making Steps
The timing may vary depending on the instructions for your ice-cream maker.
One of the most popular ice-cream makers is the Cuisinart 2-Quart machine which retails for approximately $100 US.
I have a Ricardo 1.6QT(1.5L) Electric Ice Cream Maker. It’s not the workhorse I wish it was, but it was the only one available so I got it.
I previously used the Kitchen-Aid mixer ice-cream bowl but mine never got cold enough in the freezer to make good ice-cream. Perhaps it was a dud as many people seem to like them.
1Chill insulated bowl in freezer for at least 12 hours.
2Prepare the ice-cream mixture 4 hours ahead and chill in fridge.
3Churn chilled mixture in insulated bowl until ready. My machine takes 20 minutes.
Serve immediately. You could also use chilled bowls if you want to slow the melting.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
Keto Low-Carb Vanilla Vanilla Ice-Cream
- 5 large Egg yolks
- 3 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Erythritol
- 2 cups Heavy cream or whole whipping cream (35%)
12 Hours Ahead
- Chill insulated ice cream maker bowl in freezer for 12 hours (or as directed on your product instructions).
4+ Hours Ahead
- Whisk together egg yolks, vanilla extract, salt, and erythritol until thoroughly combined.
- Pour whole cream into saucepan on low heat.
- Gradually whisk in egg mixture and whisk continually on low heat for 10 minutes. Mixture should be warm to touch but not hot or eggs will clump.
- After 10 minutes, if eggs have clumped, pour mixture through strainer to remove any bits.
- Cover mixture and place in fridge for at least four hours. Stir occasionally to ensure even chilling.
- Add chilled mixture to ice-cream maker following product instructions. Ice-cream should be ready in 20-40 minutes.