If you are looking for a delicious sugar free ice cream recipe for diabetics with a smooth and creamy texture, this is the one to try. It is a low-carb and keto-friendly frozen treat that tastes similar to premium brands.
It's no secret that regular ice cream is loaded with sugar. A single serving can contain up to 26 grams of the sweet stuff! That's more than the recommended amount that most diabetics should consume in an entire day.
For people who are watching their sugar intake, traditional frozen treats can be a problem. But thankfully, there are easy homemade sugar free ice creams hat taste just as good as the real thing.
This diabetic ice cream recipe is made with low-carb sweeteners which keeps both carbs and sugar to a minimum. Plus, it is has a smooth and creamy texture that you don't get with other keto ice cream recipes.
Here's what you'll need to make this sugar free vanilla ice cream:
- Milk - To keep carbs low, you'll want to use either almond milk or coconut milk. Other milk substitutes work well to.
- Cream cheese - The small amount of cream cheese used in the recipe is key for getting the best texture. You can use a non-dairy cream cheese alternative if you want a dairy-free ice cream.
- Heavy cream - High fat content is the secret to getting a homemade ice cream that has the taste and texture like high end premium brands. Heavy cream adds loads of fat into the mixture. Coconut cream is a great alternative for dairy-free.
- Low carb sweetener - The sweetener that you use is totally up to you. However, you'll want to avoid erythritol as it tends to form ice crystals. I recommend using allulose, inulin, or Bochasweet in a keto ice cream recipe. Blending in stevia or monk fruit will result in a better taste.
- Vanilla - I like to use a vanilla bean pod for the best flavor. But the pods can be expensive so you can use vanilla extract instead.
- Xanthan gum - To prevent ice crystals from forming, I like to add in a stabilizer like xanthan gum.
- Salt - Just a pinch of salt enhances the overall taste.
Making ice cream at home is super easy, especially if you have an ice cream maker. All you do is prepare the base mixture, allow it too cool, churn it in the machine, then freeze until firm.
If you like soft serve ice cream, you can enjoy it right after churning!
Prepare ice cream base mixture
In a large saucepan, combine the milk, cream, sweeteners, and vanilla bean seeds. Cook over medium heat until the mixture steeps, about 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the xanthan gum. If using vanilla extract instead of seeds, add that in too.
The cooked cream mixture is then slowly mixed into a small amount of softened cream cheese which enhances the taste and texture.
The hot mixture is cooled down in a water bath for 20 minutes before processing in the machine. I just set a smaller bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice water.
As its cooling, you need to stir it every few minutes to ensure a skin doesn't form on the top. I found the mixture to be really thick. Perhaps I should cut back on the xanthan gum next time.
Churn ice cream mixture
Processing the ice cream with the gelato paddle of an ice cream maker results in a denser ice cream. This is because the regular paddle allows more air to be incorporated into the mixture when churning.
This was my first time making a sugar free ice cream recipe using a gelato paddle versus the regular ice cream paddle. I did notice that it resulted in a texture similar to a smooth gelato.
After about 40 minutes of churning in the ice cream maker, the mixture should look similar to a very thick soft serve ice cream. When you reach that point, you can stop churning.
Scrape the ice cream off the paddle with a slim rubber spatula. Then I transferred it to a freezer safe container. I like to use an ice cream tub container specifically made for storing homemade ice cream.
Place the container in the freezer until it is firm enough to scoop. It is best to cover the top of the homemade sugar free ice cream with plastic wrap so it will freeze without touching any air.
Ice cream make without sugar tends to freeze harder than regular ice cream. You may need to let it sit out about 5 to 10 minutes to let the ice cream soften before scooping.
- Change the flavor. You can easily make keto chocolate ice cream by adding unsweetened cocoa powder. Or stir in some nuts or sugar free chocolate chips. You can also swirl in low-carb chocolate syrup for a fudge swirl.
- Use a gelato paddle for churning. The gelato paddle incorporates less air so you'll get a rich dense ice cream.
- Store in an airtight container. It's important to keep air from reaching the ice cream to keep it fresh and prevent freezer burn.
️ Serving suggestions
Homemade sugar free vanilla ice cream is a delicious and healthy treat for any occasion. It can be served as a dessert, snack, or even breakfast!
There are many ways to serve this delicious frozen treat. I like to enjoy with strawberry sauce, blueberry syrup, or chocolate chips. Caramel sauce tastes great on top too.
For a delicious low-carb ice cream sundae, just add some keto whipped cream over your topping of choice.
The mixture can also be frozen into popsicles then dipped into melted chocolate for keto ice cream bars. It also makes perfect milkshakes and smoothies.
Before getting to the homemade sugar free vanilla ice cream recipe, I wanted to go over some of the questions people often ask.
Yes, diabetics can eat sugar-free ice cream. However, they should be aware that not all sugar-free ice creams are created equal. Some sugar-free ice creams contain artificial sweeteners, which can cause blood sugar spikes in some people. Diabetics should choose an ice cream that is sweetened with a natural sweetener, like Stevia, if they want to avoid blood sugar spikes.
There are many diabetic friendly ice creams on the market. Some popular brands are Halo Top, Enlightened, and Arctic Zero. These ice creams have lower sugar content than traditional ice cream, and some are even sugar free.
There are a few ways to make ice cream creamy without sugar. One way is to use cream cheese or mascarpone cheese. Another way is to use keto condensed milk, which is very sweet and high in fat.
Yes, you can substitute Splenda for sugar in homemade ice cream. However, you may need to adjust the recipe depending on how sweet you want the ice cream to be. It's also not the best choice for low-carb as the granulated version uses maltodextrin as the filler.
This homemade sugar free ice cream is perfect for diabetics. It reminds me of the very expensive premium ice creams sold at the local seasonal shops in our area.
If you're looking for more low-carb ice cream recipes, be sure to check out some of these:
- Sugar Free Butter Pecan Ice Cream
- Keto Frozen Custard Recipe
- 3-Ingredient Protein Ice Cream
- Almond Milk Ice Cream
- Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
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Vanilla Sugar Free Ice Cream
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 ½ ounces cream cheese softened (3 tablespoons)
- 2 ¼ cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup allulose or ¼ cup Sweetener with Inulin
- ½ teaspoon stevia extract powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons allulose syrup or additional allulose powder
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth.
- In a large saucepan, combine the almond milk, heavy cream, allulose powder, stevia extract powder, allulose syrup, and vanilla bean seeds. Bring the milk mixture to a boil and cook over moderate heat about 4 minutes. Stir in xanthan gum.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pack the ice cream into a plastic container.
- Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid. Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.
Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 672 [carbohydrates] => 7 [protein] => 6 [fat] => 70 [sodium] => 327 [fiber] => 1 [saturated_fat] => 44 [polyunsaturated_fat] => 4 [monounsaturated_fat] => 18 [cholesterol] => 216 [potassium] => 192 [sugar] => 6 [vitamin_a] => 2814 [vitamin_c] => 1 [calcium] => 232 [iron] => 0.2 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on February 17, 2015. Post updated on July 1, 2022, with new images, tips, and updated recipe.
I have been making my own ice cream for 20 years because of various things I can't have. One thing I learned recently that may appeal to some, you can mash up an avocado and blend that into your mixture, then replace some heavy cream with plain milk, thus making it healthier. This has worked very well in the cooked recipe I use.
I really want to try this but what can be used in place of the vitafiber powder and syrup, because I don’t have either? Also, is the cooking process only to release the vanilla bean flavor?
Thank you for you help.
I'd recommend allulose in place of the Vitafiber powder. You could use the vanilla ChocZero syrup for the syrup. Other low-carb sweeteners might work as well, but these would be the closest substitutes.
Hi, Lisa. Could I substitute regular milk for the almond milk? Did you use almond milk to eliminate some carbs from Jeni's recipe? I am REALLY looking forward to making this because store-bought light, lower-sugar, or sugar-free ice cream can be SO expensive. Thank you for sharing!
If you don't mind the extra carbs, you can use regular milk. I use almond milk or coconut milk beverage to reduce carbs.
Edi @ SunCakeMom
I've been making ice creams without any additional sweeteners as I always pick the fruity one. I'm stuck with the vanilla and chocolate though as those have no natural sweetness. I must have a look at these stuffs you have been using!
I do find the fiber sweeteners work best for scooping.
This recipe seems like a tremendous amount of work for just three servings. How about a simpler recipe that will make 6 quarts in an old fashioned "real" ice cream freezer?
There are some simpler recipes that you can make with only a few ingredients. However, I find it freezes very hard and isn't creamy like this one.
I have been experimenting with low sugar ice creams for some time, and I also use Jeni's cookbook. 1 tsp is WAY too much xanthum gum. I'd try 1/4 tsp. Otherwise you get pudding.
Thanks for the tip! Will try less next time.