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Adjusting the recipe

Adjusting the recipe

Let’s assume you have prepared the mix properly and your ice cream still is not perfect. Here are some pointers on how to adjust the recipe.


Probably the most common problem with homemade ice cream. Iciness usually means you have too much free water and too little total solids. You should add more solids like milk powder, fat or sugars. You can also cook the mix longer to evaporate water. Also make sure you prepare the mix properly, let it rest in the fridge and that everything is as cold as possible when churning. The shorter time the ice cream spend in the machine the smaller ice crystals you will have. Smaller ice crystals gives you a less icy and smoother ice cream. Commercial machines can make a batch of ice cream in under 10 minutes, many home ice cream machines needs 30-40 minutes, so it is important to make sure you chill the mix and the bowl before churning. If you have a compressor machine you should start it 10-15 minutes before to let it cool down before adding the mix.


This is usually not a problem. The mix will freeze in the freezer after you have churned it. If it still too soft the recipe probably has a too low freezing point due to too much sugar, salt or alcohol.


For homemade ice cream you usually have to take it out of the freezer and let it warm up in room temperature or in the fridge before serving. Normal serving temp should be -12C to -18C. If it is still too hard you have a too high freezing point usually due to too little sugar or milk fat. You can also have to much other fats from chocolate or nuts. This fat freeze really hard and should be accounted for. To fix you can add more sugars, salt or a little alcohol.


Well add or remove sugar. For best control you can use different sugars like sucrose, dextrose and fructose or glucose syrup etc. The different sugars have different sweetness and affect the freezing point differently.


To much fat. Try to decrease the amount of cream and add more milk. If adding ingredients with fat like chocolate or nuts you also need to decrease the cream.


If your ice cream has a sandy texture you have to much lactose from skim milk powder that has crystalized. SMP should not be added to more than 10%.
If your ice cream has buttery lumps referred to as buttering you either have to much fat or run the mix too long in the ice cream machine. Try to reduce the fat and make sure everything is as cold as possible to reduce the time the ice cream spends in the machine. If adding acidic ingredients to you ice cream (PH below 5) they should be added when the mix has cooled to avoid the milk from curdling.


If your ice cream melts to quickly you might have too little fat, air, solids, emulsifiers or stabilizers. Homemade ice cream contains less air (overrun) than commercial ice cream, and ice cream with more air melts slower. An ice cream with more fat and emulsifier (egg yolks) can hold more air. More solids also makes the ice cream melt slower. So to improve melting you can add more eggs, more fat, more solids from skim milk powder and more stabilizer.


Probably too much stabilizer

4 thoughts on “Adjusting the recipe”

  1. Hello, what is importance of milk (butter) fat ratio although total fat is satisfied? For example I use %50 vegetable oil and 50% milk fat in 13% in total fat ratio, is this milk fat ratio acceptable for ideal ice-cream?
    Thank you for all given information.

    1. Hi,
      I think you should be ok.
      Here is a link to a comprehensive post on different fats in ice cream.

      One more thing to consider.
      Milk and cream adds milk solids and the MSNF helps control the water in your ice cream. Usually you balance this by adding skim milk powder.
      So, by using less milk and cream you also will have less milk solids if you do not add skim milk powder.

      1. Thank you very much for answering. This is where I can find anything about ice-cream. I have question in my mind about glycerin. I want to use glycerin to increase P.A.C value, is there a limitation of amount it in terms of ice-cream chemistry and should I decrease amount of stabilizer and emulsifier when I use it?
        Thank you again, have a nice days.

        1. It has a PAC of 372 so I guess you really can’t add that much.
          I have never used it but seen it in some recipes.
          It sounds to me that it is similar to adding alcohol. You will depress the freezing point a lot without adding much solids.
          I don’t know that much about low-fat/low-sugar ice creams so I guess you have to google and try to find more info.
          Sorry I can’t help more.

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