This no churn graham cracker ice cream is made by soaking graham crackers in heavy cream, whipping it up, and swirling in sweetened condensed milk. It's infused with all the warm, honey cinnamon graham cracker flavor we know and love and couldn't be easier to make.
Making ice cream at home doesn't have to be intimidating or require a bunch of of special equipment! This graham cracker ice cream is just as creamy and delicious as any store-bought ice cream out there with no churning or cooking involved. I've included a bunch of tips in this recipe so you can make it perfectly on the first try!
Store-bought ice cream is typically churned. Churning ice cream does many things. It speeds up the freezing process (resulting in less ice crystals), breaks up the ice crystals into smaller ones for a smooth texture, and incorporates air into the mixture.
A good no churn ice cream recipe will have steps to do all the same things. In this recipe, adding condensed milk to limit ice crystals and whipping cream for aeration creates a smooth, creamy ice cream with no ice cream maker required!
How are we getting that delicious, cinnamon-y graham cracker flavor? We're soaking a whole sleeve of them in heavy cream! The flavor infuses with the cream, kind of like cereal milk. Once the cream is whipped, sweetened condensed milk and leftover soaked graham crackers are folded in for the best flavor ever.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Graham crackers- Any brand of graham crackers works for this recipe. My favorite is Honey Maid cinnamon grahams, but choose whichever tastes best to you!
- Heavy whipping cream- Whipping heavy cream creates that soft, scoop-able, indulgent texture that the best ice creams have. Make sure to use cold heavy cream, not half and half, milk, or anything else! The high fat content of heavy cream creates the best texture.
- Vanilla extract- Use high quality, real vanilla extract instead of intimidation vanilla for the best flavor. It makes all the difference!
- Salt- Salt keeps the ice cream from tasting too overly sweet. Make sure to use finely ground salt so it mixes in well and doesn't add extra texture.
- Sweetened condensed milk- This is folded into the whipped cream to add sweetness and keep the ice cream smooth and creamy. Sweetened condensed milk is milk with 60% of its water content removed. Less water creates less ice crystals, which is why condensed milk is perfect for making no churn ice cream.
- Graham crackers: You can substitute a different cookie to mix up the flavor, like Nilla wafers, Biscoff cookies, or even cereal like Lucky Charms!
Helpful Equipment and Tools
- Make sure to have a large mesh sieve or another sifter on hand to pour the graham cracker infused cream through.
- A 5-quart stand mixer with the wire whip attachment is perfect for whipping cream. You can also use an electric hand mixer with a large mixing bowl. This recipe is written for a stand mixer, but you can follow the same directions with a hand mixer.
- Once you make the ice cream, you'll need a container to store it in. I usually use a 9x5" loaf pan covered with plastic wrap, but I opted for a 9x9" square pan this time. An 8x8" pan, glass bowl, or another freeze-safe container work too.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you start, chill your mixing bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes. This little tip makes the cream easier to whip.
STEP 1: First, add your graham crackers to a large mixing bowl. Pour the heavy cream over the top. Then place the bowl in the refrigerator, letting the crackers soak for at least 20 minutes.
STEP 2: Place your strainer over the bowl you're going to whip the cream in. Pour the cream and soaked crackers through the strainer. Set the strainer containing the soaked crackers aside.
STEP 3: Next, place the bowl of cream into the base of a stand mixer and pour in the vanilla and salt. Then, whip the cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form. This'll only take a couple minutes, so don't get distracted or your whipped cream will get clumpy!
STEP 4: Next, fold the sweetened condensed milk and soaked graham crackers into the whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Make sure to fold everything gently so the cream stays aerated.
STEP 5: Pour the ice cream mixture into a pan (lined with plastic wrap or unlined). Swirl in more crushed graham crackers and any other toppings you like. Freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
STEP 6: When you're ready to enjoy, let the ice cream sit on the counter to soften for about 5 minutes before serving in a cone or dish.
- Don't overwhip the heavy cream. If you overwhip the cream, it'll get clumpy and won't freeze into a soft ice cream. If you do overwhip it, try adding a little more heavy cream to fix it as the mixer runs on low.
- Fold gently. Folding your ingredients in gently is crucial because it helps preserve the air we've added to the heavy cream. When you fold something in, take your spatula and gently move it along the side of the bowl, along the bottom, and over top of the mixture. This gentle motion keeps all the air in!
- Add graham crackers on top AFTER the ice cream is frozen. If you add graham crackers on top before freezing the ice cream, they'll get soggy. Add them right before serving for the crunchiest results.
Additions and Variations
You can add whatever mix-ins you like to the graham cracker base. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Chocolate- Swirl in some chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. You can use white, dark, or milk chocolate.
- Marshmallows- Add chocolate and mini marshmallows or marshmallow fluff to make s'mores ice cream!
- Brownies- I love how chewy brownies get when they're frozen! You can whip up a small batch of brownies or buy them at the store, chop them up, and swirl them into the ice cream before freezing.
- Honey- Swirl in a little honey before freezing to complement the graham flavor or drizzle a some on top when you're ready to serve.
- Hot fudge or caramel- Serve your ice cream with a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce.
- Jam or fruit compote- Try folding in some strawberry filling, cherry filling, or blueberry jam for tartness and extra sweetness.
- Nut butter- Swirl in some creamy peanut butter or almond butter for a nutty flavor.
How to Store
Freeze leftover graham cracker ice cream in the same container you originally froze it in. Make sure the container is wrapped tightly in plastic or is airtight so ice crystals won't form on top and throughout the ice cream. It should stay fresh for about 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
That unfortunately won't work because of the condensed milk.
By the time the ice cream has frozen, the graham crackers pretty much dissolve into the cream. You're left with a super flavorful ice cream with a little extra texture from the crackers, but it doesn't have a soggy feeling at all. It's more thick and creamy!
There's so many different ways you can serve it! You can serve it in a cup, a cake, sugar, or waffle cone, in between chocolate chip cookies or brownies as an ice cream sandwich, on top of a cookie skillet, or topped with hot fudge and marshmallows for a s'mores sundae! Feel free to get creative.
More Summer Desserts to Try
No Churn Graham Cracker Ice Cream
- 1 sleeve graham crackers
- 2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk 1 can
- Add the graham crackers and heavy cream to a large bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the crackers soak for 20 minutes.1 sleeve graham crackers, 2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- Place a large strainer over the bowl of your stand mixer and pour the cream and soaked graham cracker through it. Set the soaked graham crackers aside in a separate bowl.
- Pour in the vanilla and salt into the cream and whip it cream on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.1 tablespoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon salt
- Gently fold the sweetened condensed milk and soaked graham crackers into the whipped cream with a rubber spatula until well combined.14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- Pour the ice cream mixture into a pan. Swirl in any extra mix-ins you like and freeze for 6 hours or until firm.
- Let the ice cream soften on the counter for 5 minutes before serving in a cone or a dish. Enjoy!