No-Churn Lemon Swirl Ice Cream

Many years ago my neighbor offered to loan me his ice cream machine.  I happily accepted and soon that machine was a permanent fixture in my kitchen.  It was big and heavy and noisy; the kind of machine with a built -in freezer feature.  You simply poured the ice cream base into the container, flipped a switch, and in about twenty minutes, voila!, ice cream!  When we moved to California, the ice cream machine stayed in Wisconsin.  This recipe is my solution to making fresh, homemade ice cream without a machine.  The process is simple, easy, and fast.  You whip some heavy cream, mix in condensed milk, and add your favorite flavorings.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  You can mix in chopped fruit, crumbled candy, chocolate, or cookies.  Swirl flavored sauces through the ice cream base to create a rippled effect.  I used homemade Meyer lemon curd for my ice cream and I am very pleased with the result.

The swirls and pockets of tart lemon flavor compliment the rich, sweet vanilla base perfectly.  The texture is amazingly soft and creamy for a no-churn ice cream.

A standard 9×5-inch loaf pan is just the right size for this amount of ice cream, but you could use any container with about a 6-cup capacity.  Keep in mind that the ice cream will melt quickly once removed from the freezer, so serve it in chilled cups or glasses.  Tightly cover any leftovers and return to the freezer promptly.

Simple ingredients, a few minutes of prep time, and, after four hours of freezer time, you will be enjoying your own custom-made, fresh, delicious, no-churn ice cream.  Start here with Lemon Swirl, and see if you’re not inspired to create your own family favorites.  Enjoy!

No-Churn Lemon Swirl Ice Cream

A quick and easy recipe that makes delicious ice cream without an ice cream machine.  A rich vanilla base is swirled with flavorful pockets of tart Meyer lemon curd. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Author Donna


  • 2 cups Heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 14-ounce tin Sweetened, condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla paste or extract
  • 3/4 cup Myere lemon curd, or store-bought lemon curd


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until firm peaks form.  Add the condensed milk and vanilla paste and beat to blend. 

  2. Pour a layer of the vanilla base into a 9x5-inch loaf tin or a 6-cup container.  Dollop spoonfuls of the lemon curd over the base.  Repeat the procedure until you have used all the vanilla mixture, and all but a few teaspoons of the lemon curd. 

  3. Insert a thin-bladed knife into the mixture and gently swirl to distribute the lemon curd.  Smooth the top if necessary, then drop the remaining lemon curd atop the ice cream.  Make decorative swirls with the tip of your knife to garnish the top of the dessert.

  4. Place the container in the freezer and freeze until firm enough to scoop, about 4 hours.  Serve the ice cream in chilled cups or glasses and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Return any leftovers to the freezer promptly, tightly covered.  For best texture, use the ice cream within 2 or 3 days.


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