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How to Make Traditional Hand-Cranked Ice Cream (With Recipe)

Delicious homemade ice cream without electricity? No problem! Hand-cranked ice cream provides your family with many memories, from having cranking competitions to enjoying family-made ice cream on Sunday night.

Here is a video of three generations of the Lehman family making ice cream in their Amish-made hand-crank ice cream freezer.

Sure, you can run to the grocery store and buy some ice cream. But, it’s not going to beat the taste of homemade ice cream. You can add the absolute best ingredients in your ice cream, and you know exactly what goes in it.

Cream, milk, eggs, sugar, and your chosen flavor. That’s it. Simple ingredients for simple, good food.

The easiest way for a great result is to use Lehman’s homemade ice cream mix, which is what they show you in the video. To this mix add milk, cream, vanilla, and sugar.

  1. Grab your ice cream tub.
  2. Put the canister inside.
  3. Pour the ingredients in, to about 2/3 full. As the ice cream freezes, it expands, so you need to leave some room.
  4. Insert the dasher and make sure it latches in.
  5. Add the crank and use the latch to lock it all together.
  6. Add ice and 2.5 cups of salt, mixed in throughout the ice.
  7. Start cranking!


The benefit of a hand-cranked ice cream maker vs an electric ice cream maker is that the electric version runs at the same speed all the time. You get the best results if you crank it slow at first, and then faster as the ice cream starts to set.

That way, the cream gradually gets into as much contact with the ice as it can, resulting in creamier ice cream.

Now, hand-cranking ice cream can be hard work and takes time. If you prefer an electric version, you can get one of the same brand with the same exceptional quality, also made in the USA. Click here for the Immergood Electric Ice Cream Maker.

Lehman’s shares their traditional Five Star Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe in their blog, see it here! This article also shares extra tips for the best homemade ice cream and their experiences hand-cranking ice cream in Africa.

What’s your favorite homemade ice cream?


  • Jack of all trades, master of some. Wild garden grower. Loves creating stuff. From food forests and survival gardens to soap and yoghurt. A girl on a farm with two kids and one husband (yep, just one - although another one would be handy). Weirdly enjoys fixing fences and digging holes. Qualified permaculture teacher and garden go-to.


Sunday 17th of July 2022

Hand churned butter pecan. We had a great recipe using jello, butterscotch flavor and brown sugar but have lost it. Do you know of a recipe?


Sunday 17th of July 2022

Hi Bill, that sounds delicious! I had a quick look but none I could see use jello - some do look delicious though, like this one. Maybe one of our readers can help? I posted a request in one of the homesteading Facebook groups too - fingers crossed!