Abi’s easy 3-can ice cream

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Abi’s easy 3-can ice cream

Remember grandma’s condensed milk ice cream? Food editor Abigail Donnelly shares her recipe for the glorious, rich, creamy dessert and shares some tips on how to serve it.

My first ever recollection of eating home-made ice cream was at a family braai when I was a teenager. We usually made everything from scratch, but never ice cream. When it came to pudding time, my boyfriend’s (who is now my husband!) aunt brought out a tub of home-made ice cream. Its texture was glorious, rich and creamy and tasted just as good. The secret? It was an easy no-churn ice cream recipe.

I was surprised at the easy accessible ingredients that went into the recipe (no custard required here!) – and no ice cream machine was required! All it takes are 2 cans of Ideal milk (or coconut cream), 2 cans of condensed milk and 2 large cans of dessert cream. You can double the ingredients if you like – I usually do! The creaminess of the ingredients means that the ice cream won’t crystallise and it freezes without needing to be continuously churned or beaten.

Since then, I have played around with the recipe a lot, adding different things and flavours. Here is the recipe I’m sure many of you will recognise, as it has a unique South African heritage.


Chill the Ideal milk (or coconut cream) and whip it until thick, fold in the condensed milk and cream. Pour into a container and freeze overnight. Add a touch of vanilla extract, if you like. You can also substitute 1 can of condensed milk with a can of Caramel Treat – now we’re talking!

Try this easy no-churn granadilla and raspberry ice cream.


Here are some of my favourite things to add:

– Add a crushed Peppermint Crisp, or turn your ice cream into a stracciatella, by adding chopped dark chocolate.
– You can also serve it with a tot of coffee liqueur poured over.
– Chopped hazelnuts or salted almonds make a nice change, as do puréed raspberries marbled through the mixture.
– Or better still, add chopped Woolworths Chuckles.

I have also made individual ice creams on sticks, smothered in dark chocolate and handed them around instead of dessert. Maybe I should do this at our next braai – your very own Magnums!

Discover more ice cream recipes – and ideas with ice cream – here.

Abigail Donnelly Article by: Abigail Donnelly

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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    Pam Blake
    August 11, 2016

    This recipe is also delicious made with coffee extract to flavour & honeycomb mixed in – yummy coffee crunch ? For those battling with icicles, I find the recipe works better if you replace the canned cream with fresh cream whipped to peaks ?

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    August 11, 2016

    When you say can of dessert cream – do you mean tubs? They vary depending on the brand. So how many ml would that be please?

    Looks delish. A little worried seeing that many comments here said theirs flopped…

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    Clea Dias
    March 24, 2016

    This recipe was a big fail for me. It separated and wasn’t creamy at all, but rather filled with icicles.

  • Jenny Landey
    January 20, 2016

    Hi Abi, I remember this ice cream well and couldn’t wait to try it. First time, it separated so I decided that I must have done something wrong and tried it again. Oh dear. It separated again. Please help as I can literally taste it and it brings back so many childhood memories.

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      Pam Blake
      August 11, 2016

      Use fresh cream rather than canned Xx

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    Patricia Duncan
    October 21, 2015

    3 Can Ice Cream, Sounds absolutely decadent! Can’t wait to make this. This brings back fond memories.. Hmmm….

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    Luisa Combrink
    October 19, 2015

    Hi Abi, your ‘no churn’ ice-cream sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it. I was wondering whether it would be OK to just add one tin of condensed milk/treat instead of two, as I’m not such a fan of very sweet ice-cream and I think that two tins of condensed milk probably makes the ice-cream very sweet? Can you replace the dessert cream with fresh cream?

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      Pam Blake
      August 11, 2016

      I find it works better with fresh cream Xx

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    Michelle Lottering
    October 7, 2015

    Hi… i am jsut checking , does the dessert cream also need to be whipped as does the ideal milk??

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    Lesley Brisco
    October 6, 2015

    This looks & sounds so tasty & easy to make, BUT, & it is a big but, the price of each one of those cans in our local Spar is well over R20 each! That makes it the most expensive ice-cream ever! That is R120 to make the amount you suggest! Even for Home-made ice cream, that is too expensive. Our ridiculous food prices are just so sad…