Why do some people put milk in their ice cream?

Ice cream is one of the most popular desserts in the world. It’s the perfect treat for hot summer days or when you need a little pick-me-up.

But have you ever heard of people putting milk in their ice cream? It might sound strange at first, but it’s a practice that has been around for a long time.

In this blog post, I’ll explore why some people put milk in their ice cream, the benefits of doing so, the history of this practice, and how to add milk to your ice cream.

In addition, also check out this post and get to know the difference between ice milk vs ice cream.

Why do some people put milk in their ice cream?

Milk is a common ingredient in ice cream, and for good reason. Here’s why some people put milk in their ice cream:

  1. To create a smoother texture: Milk contains fat and protein, which help to create a smoother texture in ice cream. It also helps to balance the sweetness of the ice cream, making it less overwhelming to the taste buds.
  2. To make it creamier: Adding milk to ice cream can make it creamier and richer. This is especially true when using whole milk or cream.
  3. As a substitute for cream: In some cases, milk is used as a substitute for heavy cream. This is because heavy cream can be high in fat and calories, while milk is a lighter option that still provides some of the creaminess that makes ice cream so delicious.

What is the history of milk in ice cream?

Milk has been a common ingredient in ice cream for centuries.

In fact, the first recorded recipe for ice cream dates back to the 4th century BC, and it included milk as an ingredient.

Over time, milk became an essential part of ice cream recipes, and it’s still used today in many different forms.

Here are some historical recipes that use milk in ice cream:

  1. Vanilla Ice Cream: This recipe from the 18th century calls for “a pint of milk, a pint of cream, two yolks of eggs, a grated nutmeg, and sugar to your taste.” The milk and cream are cooked together and then mixed with the other ingredients to create a rich and creamy vanilla ice cream. Due to this as many have asked vanilla ice cream remains white in color.
  2. Peach Ice Cream: This recipe from the early 20th century calls for “two quarts of milk, two cups of sugar, one cup of cream, and a quart of mashed peaches.” The milk, sugar, and cream are heated together before being mixed with the mashed peaches to create a fruity and refreshing ice cream.

How is milk added to ice cream?

Adding milk to ice cream is a simple process, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose your milk: You can use any type of milk in your ice cream, but whole milk or cream will give you the creamiest and richest result. You can also use condensed milk or evaporated milk for a thicker and sweeter ice cream.
  2. Heat the milk: Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s hot but not boiling.
  3. Mix in other ingredients: Once the milk is heated, you can mix in any other ingredients you like, such as sugar, vanilla extract, or fruit puree.
  4. Chill the mixture: Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it’s cold.
  5. Churn the ice cream: Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the difference between ice cream and gelato?

Ice cream and gelato may look similar, but they are actually quite different. Gelato is an Italian frozen dessert that is made with milk, sugar, and flavorings, churned at a slower speed by the gelato maker.

This slow churning process gives gelato a denser texture and a more intense flavor. On the other hand, ice cream is made with cream, milk, sugar, and sometimes eggs, churned at a faster speed.

The process by the ice cream maker gives it a lighter texture and a less intense flavor compared to gelato.

So, while both ice cream and gelato are delicious frozen desserts, they have distinct differences that set them apart.

Can lactose-free milk be used in ice cream?

Yes, lactose-free milk can be used in ice cream. Lactose-free milk is milk that has had the lactose removed.

This can be helpful for people who are lactose intolerant and cannot digest lactose, which is a sugar found in milk.

Lactose-free milk can be used in place of regular milk in ice cream recipes, and it will still create a creamy and delicious dessert.

Is it safe to consume raw milk in ice cream?

Consuming raw milk in ice cream is not recommended. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized, which means it has not been heated to kill harmful bacteria.

While raw milk may have a rich, creamy flavor, it also poses a risk of foodborne illness.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that raw milk is responsible for many cases of foodborne illness each year.

It’s always best to use pasteurized milk in ice cream and other desserts to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.


The practice of adding milk to ice cream is a long-standing tradition that has been around for centuries.

Milk is a key ingredient in ice cream, and it serves several important purposes, including creating a smoother texture and balancing the sweetness of the dessert.

While there are alternative ingredients that can be used in place of milk, such as coconut milk or almond milk, milk remains a popular choice for many ice cream lovers.

As an ice cream blogger and enthusiast, I have experimented with various milk-based ice cream recipes over the years, and I can attest to the fact that milk truly does make a difference in the taste and texture of the final product.

Whether you prefer your ice cream to a creamy, full-bodied flavor or a lighter, more refreshing taste, milk can help you achieve your desired outcome.

I hope this post has shed some light on the practice of adding milk to ice cream and why it is such a beloved tradition among ice cream aficionados.

As always, I invite my readers to share their thoughts and experiences with milk in ice cream.

Have you tried making your own milk-based ice cream at home?

What ingredients do you like to use? Let’s keep the conversation going!

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