6 Best Ice Cream Makers

With summer in full swing, we’ve rounded up the best ice cream makers and best frozen dessert makers to help you stay cool during the heatwave.
 
Temperatures are soaring, the skies are blue and one-time sun-worshippers have inevitably started complaining that it’s all a bit too much. Summer is here, and most of us are wondering how to make the most of the heat without burning up.  
 
Ice cream makers will definitely help you chill out, and fortunately you can pick one up from just £25. They’ll keep the entire family happy, churning out cold, sweet batches of the creamy stuff that will soothe your parched throat.
 
If you’re vegan, or merely after a healthier, low-calorie ice cream alternative, we’ve also included a machine that turns frozen fruit into healthy, refreshing desserts that should keep you equally satisfied, without any of the guilt.
 
The cheap ice cream makers in our round-up are straightforward to use but require you to pre-freeze the mixing bowl, while the more expensive models offer a multitude of features that enable you to make ice cream, gelato, sorbet, frozen yoghurt and icy drinks.

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Key features:

  • Makes 1.5 litres ice cream
  • Built-in freezer
  • Ice cream and gelato paddles
  • 240 x 300 x 420mm

The Cuisinart Gelato & Ice Cream Professional is the daddy of ice cream makers. It produces outstanding ice cream and gelato in crowd-pleasing 1.5-litre batches, and comes with a host of scrummy recipes that even include frozen yoghurt and icy drinks.

With a convenient built-in freezer, there’s no need to squeeze the mixing bowl into your freezer for pre-freezing. The digital timer automatically switches off when done, and the mixing bowl comes out to make clean-up a breeze.
 
Features-wise, it’s a simple yet effective machine, making the process of whipping up ice cream at home fuss-free and enjoyable. Plus, with its high-end metallic finish, it looks a beauty on your worktop. If you can afford it, the Cuisinart Gelato & Ice Cream Professional is the ultimate ice cream wizard.
 
At the time of the review the Cuisinart Gelato & Ice Cream Professional was available for £250

Read the full Cuisinart Gelato & Ice Cream Professional review

Judge Fro Fru

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Key features:

  • Instantly grinds frozen fruit
  • Makes healthy desserts
  • H295 x D160 x W215mm

Okay, it’s not technically an ice cream maker, but the Judge Fro Fru still makes excellent frozen desserts – and healthy ones at that. It works its magic by grinding up frozen fruit, then churning them out in frosty, fruity ribbons ready to eat. It’s like a Play-Doh factory with the added bonus of being able to actually eat your wacky creations.

There’s no bowl to pre-freeze, and the Fro Fru is compact and looks eye-catching, clad in bright red. It’s a fun, simple and rewarding way to make iced desserts at home, and enables parents to cunningly disguise their child’s five-a-day as something a little different and intriguing.

At the time of the review the Judge Fro Fru was available for £62.50

Read the full Judge Fro Fru review

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Key features:

  • Makes 1 litre ice cream
  • Built-in freezer
  • Multiple intelligent modes
  • 230 x 390 x 260mm

The expensive yet brainy Sage Smart Scoop makes superb ice cream, with the ability to sense its consistency and automatically stop mixing when it’s at its prime. It will even keep it cool your ice cream cool after it’s been prepared so it’s ready for you to eat whenever you’re ready.

Our biggest criticism is that it only makes one litre of ice cream at a time, but its excellent features more than make up for this. Handy tips from Heston Blumenthal are included, along with tasty 16 recipes. The built-in freezer means there’s no need to pre-freeze the mixing bowl, which makes prep time much easier.

Possibly the most exciting part? It plays the music of an ice cream van when it’s done. Amazing!
 
At the time of the review the Sage Smart Scoop was available for £349.99

Read the full Sage Smart Scoop review

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Key features:

  • Makes 2 litres ice cream
  • Light and easy to use
  • 285 x 220 x 240mm

The Swan Come Dine With Me Ice Cream & Gelato Maker is perfect if you’re after an affordable model that churns out good-quality ice cream. Its removable bowl does require pre-freezing, but on the upside, it can produce a hefty two litres of ice cream from just a litre of mix.

The Swan is easy to use, with simple instructions and seven bundled recipes to get you started. Conveniently, the lid remains open during the ice cream making process, so you can easily see what’s going on, as well as have a sneaky taste of the mixture (that’s a given) and add more ingredients if you need to. It’s lightweight and there’s neat storage underneath for the power cable and plug, too.
 
At the time of the review the Swan Come Dine With Me Ice Cream & Gelato Maker was available for £39.99

Read the full Swan Come Dine With Me Ice Cream & Gelato Maker review

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Key features:

  • Makes 1.1 litres ice cream
  • Compact, freezer-friendly mixing bowl
  • 240 x 185 x 185mm

It might not be the most high-scoring machine in this round-up, but the Kenwood Ice Cream Maker IM200 makes the cut because it’s ridiculously cheap. One standout feature in particular is its short, wide mixing bowl, which should fit nicely onto most freezer shelves.
 
A bundled instruction manual offers up six recipes to get you started, and it takes between just 30 and 40 minutes to whip up a batch of the creamy stuff. Sure, it can be a little noisy at times, and there are other machines out there that produce much better ice cream. But do they cost the same as a round of drinks at the pub? No, they don’t. At just £25 a pop, the IM200 is a fun buy for aspiring ice cream connoisseurs who aren’t fussed about making the fancy gormet stuff.
 
At the time of the review the Kenwood Ice Cream Maker IM200 was available for £25

Read the full Kenwood Ice Cream Maker IM200 review

Key features:

  • 1.5-litre capacity
  • 12W
  • 2 insulated bowls
  • Paddle
  • H24 x Dia20cm

 The Andrew James Ice Cream Maker is a simple, straightforward solution for fussy families who tend to squabble over which flavour to crack open. It comes with two bowls for double the fun, meaning you can have one batch in the freezer while the machine churns up another scrummy mixture.
 
It’s a compact, clean-looking machine that’s available in either white or a pleasant baby blue colour. It’s small enough to store easily in the cupboard, and the bowls take up minimal room in the freezer, with a height of 15cm.
 
To get making tasty ice creams and frozen desserts, you have to freeze the bowl before placing it inside the machine. After that, it’s a simple case of letting the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker take over stirring up your mixture with its sturdy paddle. There’s no timer on the machine, which is a blessing if you want fuss-free ice cream making without the clock-watching. The machine comes with a few recipes to get you started, ranging from ice cream and sorbets to frozen desserts and yoghurts.
 
The only negative we found was that it’s a little noisy in operation. It’s not loud per se – clocking around 65dB, which is the level of normal conversation – but it’s a noticeable sound, so you’ll probably want to leave the kitchen while it’s running. In all, though, this is the ideal budget Mr. Whippy maker for beginners and keen cooks alike.

A the time of the review the Andrew James Ice Cream Maker was available for £29.99.

Read the full Andrew James Ice Cream Maker review

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