How to Make Ice Cream

How to Make Ice Cream
How to Make Ice Cream

For fans of ice cream or frozen yoghurt, surely you want to know how ice cream was made and how ice cream machine works and components or other things related to ice cream or frozen yoghurt, like: ice cream machine, ice cream ingredients, and other accessories such as: ice cream topping, ice cream cone, wafel ice cream, and also flavors of ice cream.


There are five components to make ice cream: Cream, Skim, Water, sugar, and Stabilizer. Water level should be about 60%-62%, too much water and ice cream will become rough, too little and ice cream will be much more dense. To get the creamy texture, 60%-62% is most suitable according to experts in ice cream literature because it is already been tested. Then can be concluded composition of non-liquid ingredients or dry ingredients made up about the other 38%-40%.


As we know, cream is the component that contains most fat on a milk. To know about cream, you can heat a cow milk to pasteurization temperature at around 80 C, then let it cool for sometime until grainy lumps formed and get thicker. These lumps are the one called cream, and it wont be much formed when you heat the milk, because it only make up about 3.5% of a cow milk. Cream functions to give milk flavor and avoid excessive crystallization. Basically cream is fat, so cream can be obtained from ingredients other than dairy milk, like: coconut milk or egg.

But, using cream obtained from other sources than milk, will result in changed flavor from milk to coconut or egg. For those who wants to experiment creatively, you can combine these three kinds of cream to suit your desires and needs.

Not all fat can be used as ice cream ingredients, i.e. butter can ruins the ice cream quality, and cream from soy milk can actually be used but will make a bit weird flavor. It is reccomended to use cream from dairy milk fat, egg fat, coconut milk fat. Because of this, it is better to just use fat from milk, even just a little. And also worth to mention, fat in ice cream is about 8%-16%.


When cow milk is heated and the cream has been taken out, what is left are water and other solid ingredients made up from protein, carbohidrat, and mineral. If water is drained, what is left is what we called skim. It is a solid ingredients that made up cow milk without fat. Skim is used as a main component to make ice cream to have creamy textures. without skim, ice cream can be made but with texture like a whipped cream, soft but light, exactly like cream.

In essence this skim is a solid material consisting of protein, carbohydrates and minerals, so it can be taken from eggs or coconut milk. The level of skim in ice cream is the same as cream, ranging from 8% to 16%.


Aside to give sweet taste in ice cream, sugar also functions to lower freezing point of the dough, so dough will not easily froze when processed. This is important, because with lower freezing point, more air can enter the dough and make the texture smoother.

Sugar level in ice cream should be about 10% to 15% depending on you taste. aside from that, experts said that sugar in ice cream making process, functions as a stabilizer to facilitate water content to be bound with fat in other ingredients. Sugar mentioned here is Sugar that is widely available in the market and not Sodium Cyclamate, Saccharin or Aspartham.


In ice cream making processes, ice cream should be mixed really well with other components, if not when ice cream dough is froze, these components will slowly separate themselves back to their normal state.  This happened because the difference between freezing point of water and freezing point of fat. Fat will harden and solidify when water turns into ice crystal. To prevent this, stabilizer is needed to functions as emulsion, which makes micro lumps to bind the molecules of fat, water, and air. Then, water will not crystallized and fat will not harden or solidify. 
Stabilizer also functions to thicken the dough, to stabilize the micro lumps. Stabilizer in ice cream made up about 0.2% to 0.3% of total of liquid ingredients.


From description above, can be concluded that composition consists of fat/cream, water, stabilizer, and other contents, which amount cannot be extremely shifted from set numbers, if we want to make a good ice cream. Because of that, composition of each ingredients need to be determined for our personal recipe (secret for the creator). If we want to make recipe, we need to first determine this.

As example: Cream 10% , skim 14%, sugar 15%, and stabilizer 0.3%; made up a total of 39.3%. Or of we want low fat ice cream, composition can be made as: Cream 8%, skim 16%, sugar 15%, dan stabilizer 0.3%; and made up the same total of  39.3%. The non-liquid or dry ingredients already at 39.3%, this is match the general referrence. If cream set at 0% is desired, this can be done to make frozen yoghurt but need to use fermented milk. As of how to do fermentation process on milk to be used as frozen yoghurt ingredients can be found on another source.


Ice cream can be made by mixing directly water and full-cream milk. Full-cream milk already contains fat, skim, and sugar. The amount of the content can be seen in its package. So we can measure it by ourselves how many sugar needed or that suits our taste. As subtitute, sweeten condensed milk can also be used. The most important thing is knowing how many cream, skim, water, and water contents from ingredients used. Then we can measure how many ingredients used and how many products can be produced with those ingredients.

As for cow milk, as stated, cow milk contains 3.4% cream, 8.6% skim, the rest are water at  88%. But composition of cow milk has too many water content, this can be reduced by heating the milk in pasteurization temperature at 60%-62%. Or, you can just simply add to its density, something like whipped cream or egg yolk. Do not use the white part of the egg, because it contains 87% of water, while egg yolk only contains 50%.

It's just that we need precision to prevent mistakes in choosing ingredients component of ice cream, so we need to know exactly how many egg yolk needed to be mixed with the milk. If more skim is needed to be added into the mixed ingredients, skimmed milk powder can be added. For stabilizer, a variety of it can be chosen, from animals or plants. In animal, its gelatin; and for plants it could be jelly or cellulose. Not every jelly can be used, the cheapest can be done by using cellulose powder sold by many cake ingredients shop, or specially packed products sold in


This can be tailored as you see fit, keep in mind that dough should be clean, eggs need to be cooked, and milk need to be pasteurized. It is not easy to heat dough that has been mixed with egg yolk, it needs to be stirred continously.

Dough that has been cooked and mixed can be cooled in fridge, the duration depends on stabilizer used, animal-based will take around 24 hours, while plant-based can take only 4 hours. This time is needed for stabilizer to form lumps and bind molecules. Do not straight placing the dough into the ice cream machine, because the molecules has not bonded.


The dough that has been cooled, is ready to be place into the ice cream machine. Basically, ice cream machine will freeze the dough and slowly stirred with a preset and constant rotation. It is done so that the whole dough can come in contact with evaporation cylinder wall of ice cream machine. So stirring here functions as: keeping the dough from crystallizing, unstirred dough will make water mollecules to get closer and form crystal, but continous stir with fast rotation will not facilitate the molecules to bond.

While stabilizer already at 0.2% - 0.3 %, mechanical process is still needed to help maintain the density, because the dough can still crystallized even when lumps has been formed by stabilizer. The mechanical process is done through stirring. we can simply add more stabilizer to help freezing without stirring in the freezer, but too many stabilizer will cause the dough to be thick, as example; pondan.

Pondan products were made without ice cream machine and can prevent crystallization with lots of stabillizer, but it makes the final product become too thick. Keep using the ice cream machine to prevent crystallization, to keep the stabilizer at 0.3%. Second function of the stirrer is to facilitate the whole dough to come in contact with ice cream machine wall alternately and periodically, FYI to freeze the dough, the temperature should be around -4C sampai -18C, under -18C and dough will harden and less than -4C and dough will easily melt. The cold temperature can be reached from refrigerrant system (around -15C) or lower, depends on the refrigerant or melting ice cubes that is rubbed with salt (-7C), how do you transfer the temperature into the dough? by using best heat (cold) conductor temperature, namely stainless steel or aluminum. The dough must be directly in contact to the conductor in order to get cold temperatures quickly. That is the function of the stirrer.

Without stirring and freezing can only be done to parts of the dough that is are in contact or close to the wall of the ice cream machine, and leaving the middle part not frozen. This is why dough placed in freezer takes a long time to be frozen, around 12 hours, when you can reduce it to 30-45 minutes. Third function is, by stirring the dough inside the ice cream machine then it will allow air to slowly yet gradually enter the dough, and will make ice cream soft and smooth.


Do no make ice cream by mixing repeatedly, because it will not produced ice cream, but something like shaved ice. Shaved ice forms in small pieces. this happens because water, cream, and air molecules bonded inside the lumps formed in micro size, and if it is bitten it doesn't sound at all, except only the sound of teeth clashing.

And if mixed/blended/froze repeatedly, crystal will formed, no matter how strong the mixer is. The crystal formed is not micro-sized crystal, yet crystal that melt and become liquid, and if froze in freezer, bigger crystal will formed. Its is impossible to make ice cream as smooth and as soft as ice cream sold in shop by doing mixing and freezing repeatedly.

If you do not have Ice Cream machine,  you can leave your dough to be made by travelling ice maker. Or you can make it yourself, get a small plastic bucket, get a container made from alumunium atau stainless-steel that can be place inside the bucket with 5cm gap between the bucket and container, to be filled with ice. Place the container in the center of the bucket, fill the gap between the container and bucket with toe-sized ice.

Sprinke salt evenly above the ice. Put the dough into the container, stir slowly, and make sure the whole dough come in contact with container's side. Keep in mind! the ICE is should be the one with -7C temperature, not the salt; even the coldest part is the melted ice that sprinkled with the salt. The melted ice that sticked to container is the one transferring cold to the dough. If you are running out of ice, throw the water away, then add more ice and salt while keep stirring. With temperature around -7C, dough will become ice cream in 45 minutes.


Homemade Ice Cream does not mean the ice cream was made in a home, but it was made with ice cream machine that rely on stirring and freezing. While manufactured ice cream, there is air pumping process to pump the air into the dough while stirring is done. Dough then processed by homemade contains less air and dough will only expand around 30%, while manufactured that uses pump can expand the dough up to  80%. If you compare 1 litre Diamond with 1 litre Ben & Jerry, Diamond will be lighter.

Good luck on creating ice cream recipe and creating Ice Cream Maker.

If seen from how it serves, ice cream machine divided into two: soft dan hard serve.

HARD Ice cream

After ice cream stirred for 30-45 minutes, move it to a container, and place it on the freezer. in 3-5 hours, ice cream in the container is ready to scooped by using scoop in ball shapes, like the ones on Ice Cream Cafe. If after stirred it is immediately scooped, it will not be hard enough and cannot form a good ball-shape.

Hard Ice Cream Machine's cooling available in using ice and salt. With genearl capacity around 4-10 litres, prices around hudreds of thousand IDR. The cheapest is around 300.000 IDR. There is alo machine that uses freezer storage for 24 hours as its cooling, and there is another that uses compressor. Usually, for houses use the one with 1 litre capacity that cost around 1.5-2 millions IDR. Information above was gathered when I visited Xianmen city, and visited a factory that manufactures ice cream machine. I bought the one with ice and salt cooling, with 4 and 6 litres capacity.

As for businesses, minimum capacity should be around 8 litres. I found out about this in city located in east java province, Malang. This machine class does not consume a lot of power, just around 1000 watt. It produces limited amount of ice cream, which can complicate things if our shop or cafe get too crowded, because customers need to wait a bit long. Then there is Ice Cream Machine owned by big businesses such as Ragusa (Jakarta), Zangrandi (Surabaya), etc., and can costs hundreds of millions IDR.

On more how to determine and choosing machine that suits the business we are about to start can be seen by clicking: Cara Menentukan mesin ice cream