Suns out, cones out. That's how the saying goes, right? While our summer dreams of sitting in an ice cream parlor with a high-piled waffle cone aren't exactly coming to fruition just yet, you can absolutely recreate the experience at home with your own ice cream maker. In fact, when you go the DIY route, the world of flavors and toppings at your fingertips opens up tenfold, so we say set up shop right in your own kitchen and start churning out summertime treats, stat. Who knows, you might end up loving your own creations just as much as the ones you'd find at any creamery. Here, six top-reviewed ice cream makers to get you started.
1. Cuisinart Gelateria Ice Cream Maker
Whip up two quarts of ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt or sorbet in just 20 minutes with this easy-to-use ice cream maker. You can control churning speed and texture with presets on the control panel, and the churning chamber is BPA-free. One reviewer who awards it five stars says: "Used this in a cooking class at Sur La Table two times, and after seeing how simple it was to make great gelato, we purchased one. Have made six different flavors so far and we will never purchase store-bought gelato again! We also bought an extra insert so that we always have two ready and frozen solid in our freezer. Used some of the recipes from Cuisinart, but also settled on our own (custard with egg yolk is my favorite)!"
2. Cuisinart Ice 100 Compressor Ice Cream Maker
It's fully automatic, it's always ready to use (thanks to the compressor freezer) and it keeps your creations chilled for ten minutes after they're done. "This product is amazing. No messing with a freezer for 24 hours or fussing with salt. So much better than any machine I’ve used in the past, and the ice cream it makes is DELICIOUS," one reviewer glowed. "Love this ice cream maker, it makes small batch ice cream making simple. I can make two to three servings of high-quality ice cream in about 25 minutes. The kids love it too as we experiment with flavors," raved another.
3. Breville the Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
Do we love all things Breville? We do. Are we psyched to learn that they have their own ice cream maker? Sure are. Not only does this appliance keep your cold treats frozen for up to three hours, it's also the first ice cream maker to automatically sense the hardness of the mixture based on your selections. An impressive feat, since there are twelve settings in total. By the way, if you're vegan, you're in luck, because this machine can accommodate non-dairy ingredients too: "We read an article in Sunset Magazine about The Best Ice Cream Makers, and they rated this as the BEST! We decided to splurge and couldn't be happier! We made a few of the recipes that came with it and all were good, however we have since gone VEGAN! We now make THE BEST Vegan Ice Cream with coconut milk or almond milk! It's so nice not having to deal with ice and salt like our old machine, or with having to remember to pre-freeze something that never really works! With this machine, you can decide you want yummy ice cream in an hour or so, put the ingredients in, push the button and wait for the 'Ice Cream Man' song to play and ENJOY!"
4. Cuisinart Electric Ice Cream Maker, Ice 70
If experimentation is your game, then look no further. This ice cream maker features a spout with an integrated measuring cup on the lid so you can expertly drop in all your creative mix-ins. Here's what one super fan had to say: "Ice cream maker is fantastic! You can use your own recipes using all natural ingredients, controlling sugar content, etc... and make it as healthy as you would like. Ice cream and other frozen treats can be made very quickly and are delicious. Ice cream is usually ready as soft serve in 20 minutes and can be frozen for harder ice cream. The parts are easy to clean as well. Great ice cream maker!"
5. Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker Ice 21
"This is so easy to use, and the ice cream just comes out nice, rich and creamy. I am never buying store-bought again. Def must have!" raves one reviewer about this candy apple red model. Not only will it look fun on your countertop, it'll churn out ice cream concoctions with the finesse of a seasoned ice cream shop employee, only in your own house, and in twenty minutes flat.
6. Cuisinart Mix It In Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker
And if you're in it for the soft serve and only the soft serve, you've got to get your hands on this adorable option. It's fully automatic and effortless, but you get to swirl your own cone using the handle bar in front. And how cute is the built in cone holder? One grandma can't get enough of it, saying, "I love this ice cream maker. It does exactly what it is suppose to do. I purchased for my grandkids. They love it. It's better than anything you can buy & so easy to make & I don't have to have salt or ice. As long as I keep my dish in the freezer, I am always ready to go."