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What Is The Difference Between Frozen Custard And Ice Cream

side by side of ice cream sundae and iced vanilla custard

Photo: Faith Reynolds / Chef John

Ice cream and frozen custard have a lot in common, but they’re not quite the same. Discover the similarities and differences between the two delicious frozen desserts and get our best tips and tricks for making them at home:


Ice cream versus frozen custard

The difference between ice cream and frozen custard comes down to one ingredient: egg yolks. Ice cream is made with milk, cream and a sweetener. Frozen custard contains the same ingredients, plus egg yolks.

This extra ingredient means that frozen custard usually has a richer, thicker, and creamier texture than ice cream.


What is ice cream?

scoops of chocolate, cherry, pecan and peach ice cream
Meredith

Ice cream is a frozen milk-based dessert made with milk, cream, and some sort of sweetener (typically sugar). US regulations state that ice cream contains between 10 and 16 percent milk fat. The more milk fat an ice cream contains, the smoother and creamier it tends to be.

How to make ice cream

What is the secret to a perfectly creamy gelato? Lots of churning, incorporating air into the cream and milk mixture and preventing a runny, icy texture. Break out your ice cream maker and try these tips the next time you make your frozen treat at home:

  • The first step of making ice cream is to cook the milk, cream and sugar on the stove. Don’t add flavors, such as vanilla extract, until the mixture has cooled so they’re more pronounced.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make your own ice cream using a resealable plastic bag. Find out how with our easy bag ice cream recipe.
  • Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt before the churning stage – it draws out the heat and helps the dessert freeze faster and more evenly.

Recipes

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Strawberry ice cream
  • Chocolate ice cream


What is Frozen Custard?

Frozen custard is a frozen dairy dessert made with milk, cream, a sweetener, and egg yolks. It must contain at least 10% milk fat and 1.4% egg yolk solids, according to US regulations.

Frozen custard is a variation of regular custard, which can be enjoyed on its own or used as a filling in pies, cakes, and more.

How to make frozen custard

Making frozen custard is a slightly more involved process than making ice cream, but it’s easy if you know what you’re doing. Keep these handy tips in mind the next time you make homemade frozen custard:

  • Temper the eggs (dilute them slowly with hot liquid) to prevent them from cooking too quickly. This will ensure a smooth and velvety finished product.
  • Frozen custard takes a while to make, so plan your day accordingly. You’ll want to refrigerate the egg base for at least a couple of hours before transferring it to your ice cream maker—the longer, the better.
  • This goes for ice cream and frozen custard—if your frozen dairy-based desserts tend to get a little too frozenTry adding a tablespoon or two of liqueur or liqueur to the mix before placing them in the freezer. This will help keep the ice crystals at bay.

Recipes

  • Frozen vanilla custard
  • Dark chocolate and cinnamon custard
  • Frozen custard with waffles and bacon

Related:

  • How to make ice cream at home
  • How to make Custard Cake: Step-by-Step Instructions
  • 6 frozen desserts from grandma’s kitchen


Ice cream and frozen custard have a lot in common, but they’re not quite the same. Discover the similarities and differences between the two delicious frozen desserts and get our best tips and tricks for making them at home:


Ice cream versus frozen custard

The difference between ice cream and frozen custard comes down to one ingredient: egg yolks. Ice cream is made with milk, cream and a sweetener. Frozen custard contains the same ingredients, plus egg yolks.

This extra ingredient means that frozen custard usually has a richer, thicker, and creamier texture than ice cream.


What is ice cream?

scoops of chocolate, cherry, pecan and peach ice cream
Meredith

Ice cream is a frozen milk-based dessert made with milk, cream, and some sort of sweetener (typically sugar). US regulations state that ice cream contains between 10 and 16 percent milk fat. The more milk fat an ice cream contains, the smoother and creamier it tends to be.

How to make ice cream

What is the secret to a perfectly creamy gelato? Lots of churning, incorporating air into the cream and milk mixture and preventing a runny, icy texture. Break out your ice cream maker and try these tips the next time you make your frozen treat at home:

  • The first step of making ice cream is to cook the milk, cream and sugar on the stove. Don’t add flavors, such as vanilla extract, until the mixture has cooled so they’re more pronounced.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make your own ice cream using a resealable plastic bag. Find out how with our easy bag ice cream recipe.
  • Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt before the churning stage – it draws out the heat and helps the dessert freeze faster and more evenly.

Recipes

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Strawberry ice cream
  • Chocolate ice cream


What is Frozen Custard?

Frozen custard is a frozen dairy dessert made with milk, cream, a sweetener, and egg yolks. It must contain at least 10% milk fat and 1.4% egg yolk solids, according to US regulations.

Frozen custard is a variation of regular custard, which can be enjoyed on its own or used as a filling in pies, cakes, and more.

How to make frozen custard

Making frozen custard is a slightly more involved process than making ice cream, but it’s easy if you know what you’re doing. Keep these handy tips in mind the next time you make homemade frozen custard:

  • Temper the eggs (dilute them slowly with hot liquid) to prevent them from cooking too quickly. This will ensure a smooth and velvety finished product.
  • Frozen custard takes a while to make, so plan your day accordingly. You’ll want to refrigerate the egg base for at least a couple of hours before transferring it to your ice cream maker—the longer, the better.
  • This goes for ice cream and frozen custard—if your frozen dairy-based desserts tend to get a little too frozenTry adding a tablespoon or two of liqueur or liqueur to the mix before placing them in the freezer. This will help keep the ice crystals at bay.

Recipes

  • Frozen vanilla custard
  • Dark chocolate and cinnamon custard
  • Frozen custard with waffles and bacon

Related:

  • How to make ice cream at home
  • How to make Custard Cake: Step-by-Step Instructions
  • 6 frozen desserts from grandma’s kitchen


Video about What Is The Difference Between Frozen Custard And Ice Cream

What's the difference between custard and ice cream?

Ice cream and frozen custard. What’s the difference? A new business in downtown Holland explains.

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