This carrot cake ice cream is creamy, tastes exactly like carrot cake, and you don’t need an ice cream maker! It’s no churn and is full of that warm, fragrant, carrot flavour that a carrot cake has. I added golden oreos and toasted pecans but you can add chocolate chips, raisins, and/or walnuts if you prefer.
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Why you will LOVE this recipe:
- No ice cream maker needed: It’s a no churn recipe so you don’t need any fancy equipment.
- Carrot cake flavour: It has all of those delicious warm spices and caramelized carrot flavour that carrot cake has! The spices are perfectly balanced and not overwhelming at all.
- Cream cheese: The ice cream has cream cheese undertones which help make it taste like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! If you’re not a fan of cream cheese you could omit it.
- Creamy: This ice cream base makes a very creamy and rich ice cream while being so easy to make.
I added toasted pecans and oreos. I tried it with carrot cake oreos but much preferred it with golden oreos. If you want, you could definitely skip them altogether because the ice cream has so much flavour already.
Here are some other mix-ins you could try:
- Raisins soaked in rum
- Toasted walnuts
- Candied nuts
- Mini chocolate chips
- Crushed graham crackers
- Crushed biscoff cookies
Why add cream cheese
A little bit of cream cheese is added to the ice cream base and it helps balance the sweetness with a touch of tang. After all, carrot cake is usually topped with cream cheese frosting! It gives the ice cream subtle cream cheese undertones.
If you’re not a fan of cream cheese, you can just omit it from the recipe. It won’t affect the texture much if it’s omitted from this recipe.
What makes this ice cream work without churning?
The combination of sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream help it set perfectly in the freezer without churning. The sweetened condensed milk has enough sugar to keep it soft when frozen and the proteins help with structure. Protein gives it the desirable “chew” that gives it the perfect texture. Lastly, the whipped cream folded in at the end help give it lots of volume and make it lighter yet creamy.
You don’t have to mix it at all after putting it in the freezer and it will turn out perfectly!
How to get the perfect whipped cream every time
Chill your bowl and beaters (or whisk) before starting. Pop them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before starting. This helps keep the fat content in the cream solid so that it holds its structure well.
You can do this by hand. It might take a while but if you don't have an electric mixer it's definitely doable! You can pop the cream in the fridge when you need to take a break, Once it starts to thicken, it will start whipping up very quickly.
Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below. But read through these for all the tips you will need for success!
Carrots: You'll need about 1 large carrot for this recipe! Peal and shred beforehand. You can buy pre-shredded carrots if you prefer. Don't use chopped carrots, they'll be too chunky.
Brown sugar: This gives the carrots a beautiful caramel flavour. If you don't have brown sugar you could use granulated but it won't taste as rich.
Spices: Ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are all cooked along with the carrots to help them become super fragrant. The heat helps release all the delicious flavour without making them overwhelming.
Sweetened condensed milk: This is essential in giving no churn ice cream the perfect, scoop-able, soft texture. Don't substitute it with anything else.
Heavy whipping cream: It makes the ice cream light and airy, and gives it structure. Use 35% cream or higher for it to whip well. Make sure it's very cold before whipping.
Golden oreos: You can use carrot cake oreos or other crushed oreos you like. They help give the ice cream more texture.
Pecans: Toast the pecans for extra flavour or keep them raw. You can use walnuts instead if you prefer those. Or leave them out.
Step by step
Step 1 - Combine shredded carrots, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-low and cook until carrots are soft and mixture is fragrant. Add a tablespoon of water if needed to help it cook down. The softer they are, the softer they will be inside the ice cream. This will take about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
Step 2 - In a large bowl combine cream cheese and half the condensed milk. Mix well and use a whisk to beat out any lumps. Add the rest of the condensed milk, vanilla, and whisk well.
Step 3 - Whisk cream in a chilled bowl until medium-stiff peaks. You can do this by hand but it may take a while.
Step 4 - Pour condensed milk mixture into whipped cream. Add carrot mixture, pecans, crushed oreos, and any other mix-ins you like into the ice cream. Fold and transfer to a loaf pan. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper if you’d like to remove the ice cream after freezing.
Step 5 - Top with nuts and oreos, cover, and freeze for at least 9 hours or overnight. The ice cream is ready when it’s fully frozen. Scoop and serve! It will keep well wrapped tightly or stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
No they're not the same thing and can't be used interchangeably. You can try using sweetened condensed coconut milk if you like but no other substitutions will work.
You need to make sure the carrots cook down well enough so they're very soft. Add water a tablespoon at a time if you're seeing the carrots beginning to burn. It shouldn't take long because they're shredded into small pieces.
It refreezes pretty well without any ice crystals if you left it on the counter for a little too long. That's the beauty of no churn ice cream.
Check out these other recipes:
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Carrot cake ice cream
- wire whisk or electric mixer
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon ground
- ½ teaspoon ginger ground
- ¼ teaspoon cloves ground
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- 5 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk 300 mL, or 14 oz by weight
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream cold
- ½ cup toasted pecans chopped (optional)
- 6 golden oreos crushed (or other similar vanilla cookie)
- Combine shredded carrots, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-low and cook until carrots are soft and mixture is fragrant. Add a tablespoon of water if needed to help it cook down. This will take about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.1 cup shredded carrots, 2 tablespoons butter, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon cloves, ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- In a large bowl combine cream cheese and half the condensed milk. Mix well and use a whisk to beat out any lumps. Add the rest of the condensed milk, vanilla, and whisk well.5 oz cream cheese, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk cream in a chilled bowl until medium-stiff peaks. You can do this by hand but it may take a while.2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Pour condensed milk mixture into whipped cream. Add carrot mixture, pecans, crushed oreos, and any other mix-ins you like into the ice cream. Fold and transfer to a loaf pan. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper if you’d like to remove the ice cream after freezing.½ cup toasted pecans, 6 golden oreos
- Top with extra nuts and oreos, cover, and freeze for at least 9 hours or overnight. The ice cream is ready when it’s fully frozen. Scoop and serve!
Smooth , silky and DELICIOUS 🤤 I added some crushed pineapple and bits of carrot cake to mine . Thanks for the amazing recipe !
So happy you liked it! I love the addition of crushed pineapple and carrot cake 😀