Don’t Shoot The Ice Cream Maker – a troubleshooting guide

Don't Shoot The Ice Cream Maker - a troubleshooting guide

You just bought your brand new ice cream maker. With super excitement, you head off to make your first ever homemade ice cream. You stick the removable freezer bowl in the freezer, find a recipe and follow the steps to prepare the ice cream mixture. 

When ready, you switch on the machine, pour the ice cream mixture into it and wait. Thirty minutes later the ice cream is soupy. You decide to wait a little bit longer. But no matter how long you wait, the ice cream looks pathetic. You decide to turn the machine off, put the ice cream in the freezer and wait. Depending on how long you wait, you either end up with a frozen block of ice; or a liquid mass, the consistency of a Slush Puppy. Tough luck!

Now you are ready to blow it and join the rest of the angry reviewers on the outlet (damn, why didn’t you read the reviews?). 

But before you do so, give yourself some time and read the most common failures and how to fix them. Chances are that your ice cream machine is performing just fine and you are about to become the super star of all the gatherings to come with your homemade ice creams. Why miss the chance?

Homemade ice cream is the best thing one can make and no store-bought ice cream can compare to it. All you need is someone to point you to the right details and a few reliable recipes.

So here is all you need to know when taking your first steps in ice cream making at home.

credit for cover photo: Hal Gatewood

Before we start, take a peek to the terms used in the article:

• Ice cream Mixture: it is the ice cream in its liquid form, before it is churned and turned to ice cream.

For Ice Cream Makers with a Removable Freezer Bowl:

• Machine: the part of the Ice Cream Maker which connects to the power

• Paddle: the machine attachment which agitates (churns) the ice cream

• Removable Freezer Bowl: the bowl which freezes the mixture while it is being churned


To assemble, you attach the paddle to the machine; then the machine to the freezer bowl and you turn it on. Then you pour the ice cream mixture in the freezer bowl and let it churn.

The Most Common Mistakes When Using An Ice Cream Maker
How To Avoid Them

What you should know:The removable freezer bowl is not auto-freezable. It contains water and salt and you have to freeze it by putting it in the freezer, usually for 24 hours.

Most common mistake: Not leaving the removable freezer bowl in the freezer for long enough. Or not putting it in the freezer at all, thinking that it freezes when connected to power.

How to avoid it: you have to leave the removable freezer bowl in the freezer for.the.whole.time. advised by the manufacturer, no shortcuts allowed. This is usually 24 hours, but you can check the manual.

Hint: keep the removable freezer bowl in your freezer at all times. It is useful to always have it handy. And it is safe, but do check the manufacturers instructions, in case there are additional instructions for long term storing in the freezer .

What you should know: The ice cream mixture must be COLD, at the moment you pour it in the freezer bowl. When we say cold, we mean fridge temperature, which is around 4º C ( about 39º F ).

If your ice cream mixture is tepid, or not cool enough, a standard domestic ice cream machine will not be able to churn it. The removable freezer bowl will get warm before it has the chance to churn the ice cream, resulting in a sloppy liquid, instead of a fluffy ice cream.

Before going through the churning process, all ice cream mixes should:

go through an overnight stay in the fridge till cold, which is 4º C ( about 39º F ) temperature, should you have a thermometer


go through a thorough ice bath, by putting the ice cream mix in a sealable bag and submerging it in ice, till cold, which is 4º C ( about 39º F ). This may take 3 hours at least.

Important: before chilling in the fridge or ice, make sure that your ice cream mix has come to room temperature. If it is still warm, neither of those two methods may be sufficient to chill it.

What you should know: It may take longer for the ice cream to come to its maximum volume possible than the manual or the recipe suggests. In my ice cream maker, it takes 40-50 minutes for the ice cream to fully churn.

Most common mistake: Unplugging the ice cream maker too early.

How to avoid it: Watch over your ice cream while it is being churned. Check it every 10 minutes; you will see that the ice cream’s texture changes during churning. When it reaches the stage that the texture doesn’t appear to change anymore and its volume has stopped increasing, wait for a full 5 minutes and then unplug the machine.

What you should know: Not all ice cream recipes work. Ice cream recipe development requires deep knowledge of ice cream making. Each ingredient plays a vital role and all details matter.

If the ice cream recipe you used does not contain the right ingredients in the right quantities, the result will be a disaster.

Most common mistake: Choosing random recipes on-line

How to avoid it: When choosing a recipe, play it safe and stick to websites which are specialised in ice cream recipes or which you know you can rely on.

All ice cream recipes in Biterkin are precisely calculated to give you the best ice cream possible. There are also resources included at the bottom of the post, should you like to buy a book or find reliable websites online.

What you should know: in a perfectly balanced ice cream formula, all ingredients are essential.

Most common mistakes: 

• increasing or decreasing the quantity of an ingredient in a recipe

• using other ingredients than those the recipe asks for

• using calorie-reduced ingredients, like low-fat dairy products or sugar substitutes

For example:

Too much sugar or alcohol and your ice cream will not churn or set.

Less sugar than needed and your ice cream will be icy. Same goes with fat, so do not use low-fat products.

Using sugar substitutes in place of sugar. This is a big no-no. Sugar plays a vital role and is not interchangeable with sweeteners.

How to avoid it: just stick to the recipe and do not attempt to “improve” it to your liking.

What you should know: external heat can seriously affect the outcome of the recipe. When making ice cream during a heat wave, all things are off: from the temperature of the fridge, which affects the temperature of the ice cream mix, to the temperature of your kitchen, which may make the ice cream maker’s task impossible.

Most common mistake: making ice cream during a heat wave, without taking into consideration the high temperatures.

How to avoid it: The rule of thumb is that you should take extra care that:

1) the ice cream mix temperature is at 4º C ( about 39º F ) before pouring in the ice cream machine (yes, we have said it before. But now it is more important to check if the ice cream mix is actually cool after staying in the fridge overnight, as the fridge’s contents may suffer from the heat)

2) the ice cream maker is in a cool environment when your ice cream is churned. If your house is air-conditioned, put it in the coolest spot.

Important: for the same reasons, avoid placing your ice cream machine during churning near a hot spot, like a hot oven, or under direct sunlight.

What you should know: When the ice cream is churned, the whole point is that air is incorporated into the mixture. This is what will make your ice cream nice and fluffy.

To do so, we need to take advantage of all the paddle’s dynamics. But, what does that mean?

To determine the minimum volume of the ice cream mix, when your ice cream maker has a paddle like this:

Meet Your Paddle

if the level of the ice cream mix is below the •Optimal Level•, you are losing its dynamics. The paddle just goes round and round, without actually incorporating air into the ice cream mix. As a result, the ice cream mix does not increase in volume and the result, if eaten, is a frozen block with ice crystals

For this reason, we aim for the level of the ice cream mix to be above the optimal level. When the ice cream mix is above the middle spoke, it will eventually fluff-up, reach the upper spoke and then fluff up more, reaching its maximum potential volume as the two spokes work together to incorporate the air needed.

However, not all paddles are the same. Technically perfect paddles have sideway spokes vs. horizontal ones, in which case you will not need to worry about the optimal level.

As for the maximum volume of the ice cream mix you can churn, this should be no more than the 4/5 of the ice cream bowl. This in a 1.5 litre/quart ice cream maker, is around 1,200 ml.

Do not go nuts, though, over finding the perfect maximum quantity for your ice cream maker. The only problem you may encounter will be that as the ice cream expands in volume, it may escape from the canister and land onto the floor. This can be easily prevented if you stay around with a spoon and an eager mouth.



If you have a question, do not hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below. Questions are food for thought and I love food in all forms.

And, as promised, here are some useful links:

Favourite websites for ice cream recipes:

David Lebovitz : second to none.

Stella Parks from Serious Eats  : I do not know about the other recipe developers over at Serious Eats; but Stella Parks is claimed to be a Pastry Wizard for a reason. Same goes for her ice cream recipes.

Favourite ice cream books: 

The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz. If you need to buy just one book for ice cream making, this will be it.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at home . Although I prefer custard based ice creams, this is a really good book for egg-less recipes.

And if you are a pastry chef and you want a professional book, this is the one to go: Frozen Desserts.


77 Responses

  1. I forgot to put outside cover on.
    What can I do.will it still make ice cream?

    1. What do you mean outside cover? Of the ice cream maker? If so, depending the ice cream maker, if the paddle stays in place it should be ok. Otherwise, you’d better pour the ice cream, recompose the ice cream maker and start again.

  2. One of the best ice cream cookbooks is Ben & Jerry’s homemade ice cream & dessert book. Not only do they have recipes for their usual flavors such as Cherry Garcia and New York Fudge Chunk, they have other ice cream flavor recipes too. They also include some bakery items like brownies. In the front of the book, it includes a history of how Ben & Jerry started making ice cream and how they opened their first scoop shop.Their French vanilla ice cream recipe is always my “go to” although I have much better luck with it when making it in a 1 gallon ice cream machine (with the wooden tub) than using the 1 quart freezable bowl. The recipes listed make 1 quart but if I triple the recipe, it will work with my 1 gallon freezer.

  3. I finally gave up making Cusinart ice cream after four very frustrating trues. I am not beyond asking for help. So here goes.
    First :After looking at the above photos of the freezer bowl and paddle I am sure I have one of tahe very first machines made. The paddle has a circular top that fits into the cover and into the bottom of the freezer bowlthus making it go around to make the ice cream. This goes as it should without the cover but as soon I put on the cover ,lock it in start the machine and pour in the ice cream mix the paddle stops. I have examined every why. started over from the VERY beginning..same problem!. I have checked the parts illustration..I have the Motor base/the freezer bowl /the paddle /and the cover….Could I be missing something ? I am exhausted. This is long and I apologize but the machine is too nice just to toss. I do thank you so very much

    1. I am so sorry to hear that! As for the ice cream maker, actually, the Cuisinart ice cream maker and particularly the one you have described, is a very good one; I have one too and I am sure you will love it as soon as we can figure out what is wrong. So, unless there is some major malfunction with the particular ice cream maker, my first guess is that maybe the ice cream mixture is too thick, causing the machine to stop. Ice cream mixtures should be of pourable consistency in order for the machine to work. However, if this is not the case with the ice cream recipe you are trying to make (meaning if it is not thick), I would recommend contacting Cuisinart as it may there be something wrong with the one you have. It would be a shame to miss the joys of making ice cream at home, just because of a malfunction. In any case, do feel free to contact me for more information, I will be happy to have a look at the recipe you have used and tell you what might be wrong.

    2. I don’t think the paddle is supposed to move; the bowl spins and the paddle stays in place, churning the mixture.

      1. You are so right; only now, the way you put it, does it make sense: the paddle stays in place and the bowl is the one which actually spins. Thank you!

        1. The paddle with the circular top does not spin. The freezer bowl does. The paddle scrapes the frozen ice cream back into the mixture.

    3. I have the same one. The cover prevents the paddle from moving because it is the bowl that turns and the paddle stays in place.

  4. Lisa,
    Thank you for your reply . I used the recipe in the manual…the first one for vanilla ice cream, It poured fine (and it was cold as was the paddle and the freezer bowl) The problem was not the paddle going around . it is that it will not move when I put on the cover..take off the cover and around it goes.I have tried every position ….I have a feeling the answer is right before my eyes…..just too simple to work. What could keep the addition of the cover which is necessary, from stopping the paddle from rotating? That is the problem..vexing isn’t it? Thank you and if all of a sudden the answer comes to you (as answers usually do ..mostly in the middle of the night) just email…I tasted the is delicious!!
    PS> I will be 94 on the 21st and am a terrible typist..but still love to cook , and maybe make ice cream.

    1. Sorry for the long reply, but I wanted to put my own ice cream maker to the test, to try to figure out what might be going wrong with yours.
      So, upon doing it, I realised that it had never occured to me that with Cuisinart ice cream maker, it is not the paddle which goes round and round, but the bowl. The paddle stays locked in place when you put the cover-this is true. But the bowl is the one which goes round, and actually causes the agitation and churning. Is that the case with your ice cream maker, too? Or when you put the cover, everything stops, both the bowl and the paddle?
      Sorry if it is nonsense, but it is the first thing that occured to me when I put it on test with your description in mind.

  5. Omg I’m a menopausal crybaby and after two whole days of prepping ingredients for this ice cream and trying twice, I threw the mixture, well, half of it, out! Frustrated and defeated. I am the polar opposite of anyone who successfully does anything in the kitchen. A culinary derelict even. So, I automatically assumed I did something wrong. Or that the freezer bowl is defective. But now, you’ve given me hope.
    So the recipe I used was one for Milky Way Ice Cream from Creations by Kara. Everyone else seemed successful so should be easy for me, so I thought. I put the freezer thing in the freezer and made the milky way mixture. Then waited for it to be room temp and mixed the second half, and put it in the fridge. I waited a few hours and tried to make it last night. Well it never even got an ice chunk. My daughter said I probably filled it too much. (I totally did. I filled it to the vvveeerrryyy top.) Or it was too warm still. (It was 110 here yesterday so the kitchen may have still been warm).
    So, this morning I got up, its nice and cool out, 78 I think when I tried. I put only half the mix in and let it do its thing. Except it didn’t! 😩😩 It was still a liquid. So, I figured I made it wrong and dumped out the mixture that was in the freezer bowl thing. But when I looked at the recipe, it seems I actually did it right! So, I’m at a loss, and don’t have the very most basic culinary skills to figure it out.
    It seems as though I’ve checked off most of your boxes. I guess I can check the temp of the mix. Actually I’m going to go do that now with the mix I have left!
    Ok, 4C or 39F. That’s exactly what you said it should be!

    Do the freezer bowls go bad ever? I have a Cuisinart 21 but I did buy it used. Is there a “sure fire never fail” recipe I can try?


    1. Hey Kim!

      I checked the recipe you have tried and my first impression is that it has waaaayyy too much sugar; too much sugar prevents the ice cream mixture from churning successfully, resulting to a liquid vs. fluffy ice cream. However, this is a guess, as I cannot calculate the exact total sugars of the recipe and tell you if this is the problem, because I live in Europe, where some of the products may be different in sugar content and size (particularly can of sweetened condensed milk and Milky Way).

      As per the freezer bowls, they do indeed sometimes “go bad”. Let me explain: inside the freezer bowl there is a liquid consisting of water and salt (or something similar). If there is a considerable loss of this liquid (because of breakage or sometimes leakage), the bowl may stop churning efficiently. If you have a kitchen scale, you could e-mail Cuisinart and ask them how heavy your freezer bowl should be. Then weight it to check if it is of the right weight; if it is not, there may have been a leakage of the liquid which causes the problem.

      Update: the recipe below does not work for everyone, so please hold and do not use it, until I find a foolproof one.
      But before doing so, you can try a “sure fire never fail” recipe, which is very simple and will remove any doubts about your ice cream maker:
      2 cups milk, whole (470 gr; 16.5 oz)
      2 cups heavy cream, 36-38% fat (470 gr; 16.5 oz)
      3/4 cup regular sugar (150 gr; 5.3 oz)
      note: prefer to use a kitchen scale, but if you do not have one: 1 cup=235 ml (US cup)
      To make it:
      Warm half of the milk (1 cup) with the sugar over medium heat, until the sugar fully dissolves, stirring often to prevent the milk from curdling.
      Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
      Remove from the heat and pour into a large bowl. Add the rest of the milk (1 cup) and the heavy cream; stir well and chill overnight, until thoroughly cold.
      Churn in your ice cream maker until nice and fluffy; this may take up to 50-60 minutes, depending the ice cream maker.
      Leave in the freezer for 3-4 to set; enjoy.

      This is a simple but lovely ice cream and if it does not churn until nice and fluffy, then there might actually be a leakage of the freezer bowl’s liquid.
      Hope this works, and yes, please do let me know how it went, I would love to hear from you!

      1. Hi,

        Thank you! I will absolutely try your recipe and see what happens! I left the freezer bowl in for another 36 hours and tried it again, and after 30 min all I got out of it was a milkshake. I have the Cuisinart Ice-21 and I only filled the bowl up halfway. And then I have to freeze it again!? For another 24 (or 36?) hours!? I will try your recipe tonight. Well, I’ll prep it tonight. Lol. I just don’t know if I’m going to be a fan of this type of ice cream making! I was remembering when I was a kid and we’d decide to make ice cream, and get enough for everyone to have about a cups worth. (There were 6 of us.). Maybe I should get the old kind and try it. With the rock salt and ice. We’ll see what happens after I try your recipe. (And yes, this was a lllooootttt of sugar!) I’ll be back to let you know! THANK you for such a detailed reply!

        1. Hope this will work for you!! Let me know how it went! And I have never tried the rock salt and ice thing, it sounds really fun to make ice cream like this. 🙂

  6. I tried to make the Cuisinart pumpkin ice cream recipe last night. I ended up with a liquid, not anything solid. After reading your notes above, I think one of the problems was that I mixed up the ingredients and put it right into the ice cream machine without letting it sit in the fridge overnight. Is if there is any way to fix the soupy mess I now have in two different plastic containers in my freezer? Thanks for your help.

    1. Yes, sure there is! Just defrost in the refrigerator and when it is back in its liquid form, it will be perfect for churning. Also, if I were you, I would give it a good, thorough blend just before churning.
      Extra tip for defrosting: as defrosting in the refrigerator may take 2-3 days, you can first leave the containers on the counter for up to 2-3 hours (but no more than this, especially if the ice cream mixture contains dairy). This will help it defrost faster in the refrigerator.
      If you encounter any other issues let me know, I would love to help!

  7. I poured the ice cream mix into the Cuisinart ice cream maker but had forgotten to put the tub in. How do I get the bottom cover off now to clean the motor part out

    1. Sorry for the late reply. If the motor part was wet, best practice is to contact Cuisinart technical support team and ask for advice. Hope everything goes well!

  8. I’m trying the Cuisinart ice cream maker for the first time. The ice cream is starting to form but I cannot get the paddle out. It seems to be frozen. Had this happened to anyone else that you’ve heard? Thanks!

    1. Right after making the ice cream, the paddle should be easy to remove, as the freshly churned ice cream is still soft.
      After this, when you put the removable freezer bowl in the freezer to set, then the longer it sits, the harder the ice cream gets and the more difficult it is to remove both the paddle and the ice cream. In this stage, you can leave it for a few hours in the refrigerator for the ice cream to soften enough so that you can remove it. This can take around 6-8 hours, depending how hard the ice cream is. If the ice cream is set, then you should first remove the ice cream and transfer to another bowl, before pulling out the paddle.
      In any case, there is no problem on leaving the paddle in the ice cream until you are ready to wash the freezer bowl. Personally, I always just leave it there.

  9. Do you have any tricks to getting the icecream out of the bowl after it is made and ready. It is a job getting it out.

    1. It is indeed a trick, thank you for asking!
      For all my experience, it all comes down to the utensil you will use.
      Say definitely no to metal utensils which will scratch the bowl.
      My favourite option is a hard, plastic spoon which came together with my rice cooker: this is rigid enough to scrape out all the ice cream, it is curved, which makes it easy to pull it out and it is plastic, so it doesn’t scratch the bowl. If you have anything similar, try with this.
      The next best option is a rubber spatula, preferably one which is rigid (not flexible). This may not be good on taking out the ice cream, but at least it can help on detaching the ice cream mixture from the sides and the bottom of the bowl, so that you can scoop it out easier using a spoon/scoop.
      Hope this helps.

  10. i have the Demi 500 model ice cream maker and can not get the paddle to stay in. i push the push button but will not stay in any advice as to why or what is wrong.

    1. I am sorry, but I cannot help with this. I have no experience in the Demi 500 model ice cream maker. May be you could search for a video with this model to see how the paddle is attached?

  11. i got question abaut ice cream makers i got non-stick & easy-to-clean and quick-freezing aluminum bowl but the proplem is it has scratches and i’m not sure weather its safe to use anymore should i trow it away or is it ok to use it

    1. I cannot tell for sure, this is a matter of the material used to make the bowl. I would contact the manufacturer and ask, just to be on the safe side.

  12. I put the ice cream mixture into the cuisinart ice cream maker and didn’t turn it on until it was in the maker. It’s was in bold writer to add mixture after turning it on. What should I do?

    1. Try to turn it on and see if the paddle turns smoothly. If it doesn’t and the machine seems to stick or come to an halt, stop it immediately to avoid any damage.

  13. I love my Cusinart and make about 6 kinds of ice cream every summer. BUT the ice cream builds up on the side and we have to chip it off. Is this normal?

    1. Unfortunately, this is an issue my own Cuisinart ice cream maker has, too. I guess it is a drawback which is a result of how fast and strong it is. The Cuisinart ice cream maker does indeed churn the ice cream in half the time than other ice cream makers do, but it creates this layer on the side that others don’t. I have tried to eliminate it by changing the formula of the ice cream (by adding corn syrup etc), but none of my efforts have made a difference so far. So yes, it is normal for this particular ice cream maker to create a layer, but no, this issue does not necessarily occur with other ice cream makers.

  14. I have a cuisinart ice 21. As the mix is thickening it crawls up the paddle and out the top. Any suggestions?

    1. Maybe the ice cream mixture is not enough in terms of quantity? If the ice cream mixture is less than 1.1 -1.2 qrt/ltr in an ice cream maker of 1.5 qrt/ltr capacity, like Cuisinart’s ice 21, the ice cream mixture tends to accumulate around the paddle.
      If this is not the case, you could send me the recipe you are using, to see what else could be wrong.

  15. My cuisinart-21 ice cream maker isn’t working. I followed the recipe exactly and started the process, but after 30 minutes it was still like milk. Is the inner pot supposed to sound watery inside or solid? We’ve only used it 2 times and it was perfect those times. Thanks

    1. The inner pot should sound solid and feel very cold to the touch. If it sounds watery, it hasn’t been frozen at all/long enough.
      If it indeed sounded solid and you have put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer, there is little chance that the problem is in the ice cream maker. Another common culprit is that the freezer doesn’t work efficiently, this may occur during a heatwave. Or that the ice cream mixture may not have been cold enough, again because of a refrigerator not working efficiently . Or that the sugar content in the ice cream mixture may have been too high. Does any one of these may have been the case for you?

      1. Thank you. I ended up leaving it in the freezer 2 full days and used a thermometer, but still not solid. I finally called Cuisinart and they replaced the inner pot. I put it in the freezer for 2 days again and this time is was solid when I shook the base… yay! So, I tried again and now the ice cream is still like milk. Ugh! Maybe I used too much sugar? Maybe the contents weren’t cold enough? Maybe it’s too hot in my kitchen? I’m so disappointed because the first time it worked very well and I can’t get it firm.

        1. Hi Lynn! Is is great to know that your ice cream maker works well now!
          May I ask if you have used the same recipe as in the first time that it worked well?
          If yes, did the ice cream mixture come at fridge-cold temperature before it was churned in the ice cream maker? This is around 4ºC–8ºC / 39ºF-46ºF (although for a Cuisinart up to 10ºC / 50ºF should be fine, too). Sometimes our refrigerators do not work well in the summer, especially if it is too hot outside and the refrigerator is full.
          If you are not sure for the recipe you have used and you want a foolproof recipe using the least ingredients possible to test your ice cream maker, this recipe is the one to go . It is easy, yet extremely delicious even though it contains only three ingredients: milk, cream and sugar. In the ingredients notes, you will also find instructions for a smaller batch in case you do not want to use the whole amount of heavy cream asked in the recipe (as it is intended for your testing) – but I should inform you that ice cream makers churn best when they work with the maximum quantity they can take.
          One last advice is using a scale to measure the ingredients, instead of cups.
          Let me know how it went! 🙂

  16. Hi. I’ve made your root beer sherbet recipe, then when I go to pour it into the cuisinart ice cream maker, it goes straight through. Mess everywhere. This happened twice now. Do you have any idea what I’ve done wrong.

    1. I am sorry, I am not sure if I understand how the ice cream mixture goes straight through. If you want, send me a short video of this via e-mail in [email protected], maybe I could understand better if I see it.

      1. Hi,
        Why is it, Ice cream mixture freezes around bowl, and machine stops, leaving liquid mixture.
        Thank you,

        1. It is either the recipe’s fault or something to do with the ice cream machine. If you can send the recipe and which ice cream maker you use, we may be able to help.

  17. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for the helpful hints. I’ve made two attempts at making a vanilla ice cream which both times was soupy. After reading your article, I think I may have discovered the problem. The recipe I was using was Alton Brown’s Serious Vanilla Ice Cream. I think the problem is that the ice cream mixture level is too low and not reaching the first horizontal spoke. My particular ice cream maker’s metal cannister can make up to 6 quarts.
    So my question is, is it safe to take my AB recipe and double it? Or should I just look for recipes that contain higher liquid ingredient content?

    1. Hi Suzi! I checked the recipe on Alton Brown’s website. The quantity of the ice cream mixture is too low, even for my 2-quart ice cream maker. Try to increase it to reach the paddle’s spoke.
      That said, I also have some concerns about the quantity of the sugar; I think it is on the edge of being too much, which may also be a culprit. But this depends on your ice cream maker:
      – if you have a compressor ice cream maker, you shouldn’t have a problem with the sugar.
      – if you have an ice cream maker with a removable freezer bowl, the sugar in this recipe may not allow it to churn
      If in doubt, check my Vanilla Ice Cream recipes; they are all Serious, too. 😉
      Thank you for asking, and feel free to come back for more; I love questions!

  18. Thanks Lisa for your speedy response….you’re awesome! I have an ice cream maker with a removable stainless steel cannister. Do you have a recommendation of which of your vanilla recipes to try first? 😉

    1. This Vanilla Philadelphia-style ice cream is perfect for testing your ice cream maker. You only need milk, heavy cream, sugar to make it (and vanilla extract, but you can omit it, and the ice cream will still taste so good). You can also double (or triple) the recipe to reach your ice cream maker’s minimum capacity.:)

  19. Hi Lisa,
    I think my response got lost somewhere in cyberspace 🤔. Again, thank you so much for your speedy reply.
    I have a stainless steel removable cannister which makes up to 6 quarts.
    Looking at your vanilla bean ice cream, with egg yokes recipe, I’m concerned that I’ll run into the same problem with the ingredients not reaching the paddle’s bottom spoke. So I’m wondering if it would be safe to double the recipe. I look forward to your reply.

  20. Hi Lisa,
    Update on my recent ice cream debacle 🤨. I actually made the Rocky Road (my favorite) recipe that came with the ice cream maker. It contains mini marshmallows and chopped almonds. I again ran into the same “soupy” problem. I again noticed the ice cream mixture on the side of the cannister was frozen, which prevented the paddle from spinning. At about the 30 minute mark, the machine just stopped functioning….which I understand is an intended result when the ice cream is ready….but it wasn’t.
    So disappointing.

    1. I am so sorry to hear this. I recommend you to try my Vanilla Ice Cream | Philadelphia style, which is easy and foolproof. The recipe you have used may contain too much sugar for the ice cream to churn (and yes, I have seen this problem even in recipes written by the manufacturer of the ice cream maker). If the sugar in the ice cream is too high, the ice cream mixture will never churn.
      If you make my foolproof Vanilla Ice Cream | Philadelphia style, make sure that you:
      1) prefer to weigh the sugar on a kitchen scale (instead of measuring it by cup)
      2) make sure you use the recommended amount of salt asked by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker if it is the traditional “add salt and ice” kind
      3) if the ice cream maker stops midway through churning and before having reached the desired fluffy consistency, try to switch the ice cream maker on again
      4) if you want to add nuts etc. into the ice cream, do so towards the end of churning and AFTER the ice cream has reached fluffy consistency.
      And yes, I would love to know how it went! 🙂

  21. Yes I did try turning the ice cream maker on again, but it wouldn’t go on or turn. The “frozen” layer of ice cream on the sides of the cannister prevented the dasher from turning. I even tried removing the electric motor drive and replacing it with the hand crank. It still wouldn’t turn.
    That’s a great point about adding the nuts, etc. towards the end of churning. It makes perfect sense. Too bad the manufacturer didn’t see it that way :(.
    My next attempt (and hopefully not my last) will definitely be your vanilla ice cream Philadelphia style recipe. I will keep you posted!

  22. Hi I bought the cuisinart cool creations 2-QUART and i’m beyond frustrated. I leave the freezer bowl in my freezer for more than 2 days and I follow the cuisinart recipes and no matter what my machine wont make ice cream. It remains liquid. Can you please help!! Its very upsetting.

    1. Hi! Is your ice cream mixture cold right before churning it? When I say cold, I mean fridge-cold.

  23. Hi, Yes I have a scenario
    I have a Cuisinart pure Indulgence machine
    2 days in the freezer, no liquid with shaking. I followed THEIR recipe for strawberry ice cream to a T.
    all dairy was cold from fridge, the sugar was 1 1/2 cups.
    after 20-25 min I added rest of the fruit. ( I churned for 10 more mins, It never got thick! Ever!!
    I’m freezing the mess.
    After reading all directions, what went wrong? What did I do wrong?

  24. Hello. I am new to Cuisinart and using the ice cream maker for the second time. I am wondering, since the ice cream maker is so cold, if you can make another batch of ice cream after the first one is done?. In other words, after it’s already finished it’s first 20 minute batch.

    1. It is not recommended to do so, the removable freezer’s bowl may seem cold after churning the first batch, but it is not frozen enough to churn another batch of ice cream right after.

  25. I have just bought a Hamilton Beach ice cream maker and was so excited to try it!! Well I have had two failed attempts at making easy vanilla ice cream using the manufacturer’s recipe – just 4 ingredients: Whipping cream, half and half, vanilla and 1/12 cup sugar (I used Stevia which they said was fine). The bowl was in the freezer for 2 days, the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours. I put the bowl on the base, put the paddle inside and turned the machine on. I then poured the mixture in the bowl. In both attempts the cream froze to the sides and bottom of the bowl after 2 minutes which froze the paddle to the bowl. The bowl just reverses back and forth and makes a loud banging noise.. I get about 1/2 inch frozen to the bottom and sides and the rest stays liquid. I have to turn the machine off as it’s jumping all over the counter. I bought a new machine. The same thing happened. I’m so frustrated and hoping someone can help.

    1. Without sugar, you can’t make ice cream at home. Sugar slows down the freezing of the ice cream mixture. Without it, the ice cream mixture is just fat and water; and it freezes hard quickly. Try this recipe instead; it is just milk, cream and sugar: all the ingredients in this are in balance, so it is foolproof.
      One more tip: after taking out the bowl from the freezer, leave it at room temperature for 4 minutes (set a timer) before you assemble the ice cream maker and pour in the ice cream mixture. That will reduce the formation of frozen walls even further.
      Let me know how it went!

  26. When I pour my ice cream mixture into the bowl after I put it on the machine, the mixture runs right through to the drip pan. What is wrong

    1. It may be something to do with the ice cream maker or the procedure; we suggest contacting the manufacturer and describing the problem.

  27. Hi, does it matter if I keep the freezer bowl right side up or upside down in the freezer? I like to keep it upside down to ensure it stays clean.

    1. I am not sure if it matters; I guess the liquid in the removable freezer bowl will freeze on the upper side of the bowl, and this may affect the churning. But this is not 100% sure; maybe it works this way, too.

  28. Hi Lisa,
    My cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker is acting up. I don’t know what to try because I don’t know what is happening but it keeps making this repeated clunking noise that sounds like it’s coming from the center. What should I do?
    P.S. No pressure but I kinda need a speedy reply

  29. Hi –
    I have a Kitchenaid ice cream attachment and the instructions say to let it run on low speed for 20 to 30 minutes. When I put my mixture in and turned it on it froze into a hard mass in 2 minutes. It tasted ok, but there was no way I could add extra ingredients. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey Bob!

      The first thing I can think of is not using the right paddle for the ice cream maker. The ice cream attachments come with a specially designed paddle, which prevents the ice cream from freezing into a mass.

      The second thing is that the ice cream recipe is totally off. Some examples of wrong recipes that may cause what you described:
      1) not enough sugar
      2) too much water (we also mean the water that dairies like milk and cream contain)
      3) too many solids (solids are fat, proteins etc.) or
      4) the ice cream mixture was too thick before churning it.

      If it is your first time in ice cream making, you could try this recipe: which is super easy and uses only milk, cream, and sugar.
      Or a similar one with less heavy cream:

      Feel free to ask us anything!

  30. I have a Cuisinart Model L: ICE -20R ice cream maker. I have read all the comments and I think I have possibly figured out why my ice cream freezes to the bottom and sides leaving a soupy mixture. I didn’t properly chill the mixture to 40 degrees. I used room temperature egg yolks and slightly warm heavy cream. I used no sugar. I added 1 TBSP. of Vanilla and a pinch of Redmond’s sea salt. I don’t want to add sugar because it triggers my sugar addiction. I have seen this exact recipe done on YouTube by Dr. Kiltz. His turned out, but mine didn’t. He used a different model ice cream maker. Based on his recipe explanation, sugar is not required. I’m wondering if I needed to use more salt than one pinch? Is salt critical to the freezing process? Could it be that the bowl was too frozen? I have heard that the machine should be turning when adding the mixture. I did that tonight, but same problem. Frozen sides and bottom and soupy mixture. What is really odd is that I made this exact recipe 6 months ago and it turned out OK. I did something slightly different, but I can’t remember what it was. Any advice? Thanks in advance!

    1. I think that the main problem is that the ice cream mixture was warm. Salt in these quantities do not make any difference, but sugar does, so it only makes sense that the recipe didn’t turn out well. Sugar is very important in ice cream making. I cannot understand how this recipe may work in general, but if you really like the combination of the ingredients, I would suggest to skip the ice cream maker and do this: make the ice cream mixture as described in the recipe, freeze it in ice cubes and then pulse until smooth in a food processor.

  31. Thank you for that interesting ice cube solution! I may try that. I’m wondering if sugar is really necessary, however, because Dr. Kiltz (on YouTube) makes his ice cream without ANY sugar at all, not even sugared vanilla paste. So how does he make perfect ice cream without ANY sugar? I was thinking that Redmond’s sea salt might be the problem, but you say that salt “in these quantities” doesn’t make a difference. I will chill my mixture overnight and try that. If that doesn’t work, I’ll add a TBSP of monk fruit and see it that works. I think that’s what I used last fall and it turned out perfectly. I don’t have any granulated sugar in my kitchen because I’m battling sugar addiction. Eventually I would like to phase out all sugar substitutes as well. Thanks for this trouble shooting guide! It’s taught me a lot.

    1. First of all, thank you for bringing this subject up. The ice cream maker incorporates air into the ice cream mixture, so as far as Dr Klitz’s ice cream mixture has enough fat, it does incorporate air into the ice cream mixture and makes it fluffy. On the other hand, sugar prevents the ice cream from getting icy, so prefer to enjoy this ice cream soon after churning because if you keep it in the freezer for longer, the texture and mouthfeel will suffer. Also, you may still have problems with ice cream stuck on the walls of the ice cream maker’s bowl during churning because the sugar prevents the ice cream from freezing quickly, so without it, there may be a layer of ice cream; but other than that, I think that with a chilled ice cream mixture, you will be able to churn and enjoy a sugar-free ice cream!

      1. OK, Lisa, thanks! I will give these suggestions a try and report back in a couple of weeks.

  32. I have a cuisinart 2 qt icecream maker, just lately it won’t make the icrcream firm. I have 2 inserts one works but the other just makes the icecream Soupy. So than I have to transfer to the other insert to finish it. I usually like to make 2 batches that is why I have 2 inserts. I have had it for about 2 years. It worked fine until now. I keep the inserts in the freezer so when I want to make icecream I have them ready. So they are always frozen.

    1. I have had the same problem with two of my bowls until now. The first time it happened, I thought the bowl had some damage, and some of the liquid it contained had escaped so it couldn’t churn to its fullest potential anymore. So after that, I started weighing the bowls I was buying, so the second time it happened, I could tell that no liquid was lost; it just stopped churning as it did. I sent an email to the company but got no response. I don’t know why this happens, but they do go off sometimes. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced the same issue.
      The one thing that I have changed since then is that I have bought an infrared thermometer and always check the temperature of the ice cream maker bowl & the ice cream mixture before I churn it. I do it just in case the temperatures are off, which they sometimes are, especially during summer when the heat may affect the chilling of the refrigerator and freezer. Since then, I have experienced no problem, but this may be a coincidence.

  33. I have an older Krups ice cream maker that didn’t freeze when I used it. The bowl was cold as well as the ice cream. It was churning as normal, but the ice cream never got hard. I used an old fashioned recipe with eggs, milk and cornstarch.

    1. The ice cream doesn’t get hard during churning, but after it sets up in the freezer. Watch this video to see the stages of the ice cream’s consistency.
      However, KRUPS ice cream makers result in a softer texture, but the ice cream should still fluff up and gain volume. They also take longer to churn, usually 70 minutes. If, after fully churning it, the ice cream is sad, without volume and like a slurry, there may be a problem with the recipe (usually too much sugar); or with the temperatures, especially if you are making ice cream during a heatwave, which affects the temperature of our fridge.

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