Ice cream is synonymous with summer, but that doesn't mean you should only be able to enjoy frozen treats a few months out of the year! Sweet, delicious frozen goodies like ice cream, sorbet and gelato are the perfect way to end any meal, no matter the month. But if you want your dessert to be ever better, try making it from scratch. Making your own ice cream at home is easier than you might think, and with a trusty ice cream maker, you can whip up a batch of your favorite flavor whenever you like.
While ice cream makers are all quite handy, each gadget will be a bit different from the next, so it's important to think about your skill level, budget, and how often you plan to use it before making your purchase. The good news? There are plenty of options to choose from. We've done the digging for you and rounded up the best ice cream makers for every skill level.
Best Compressor Ice Cream Maker: Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor
Best Value Ice Cream Maker: Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker
Best Single Serve Ice Cream Maker: Chef n' Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker
Best Frozen Bowl Ice Cream Maker: Cuisinart Cool Creations Electric Ice Cream Maker
Best Attachment Ice Cream Maker: KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment
Best Kid-Friendly Ice Cream Maker: Dash Everyday Ice Cream Maker
Best Healthy Ice Cream Maker: Yonanas Classic Original Healthy Dessert Fruit Soft Serve Maker
Compressor Ice Cream Maker
The gold standard of at-home ice cream makers, the Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor mixes up everything from hard or soft serve ice cream to sorbet to gelato in less than an hour. The compressor machine works completely automatically or manually depending on your preference, and it allows you to choose from 12 different consistency settings. Our favorite part? The smart machine tells you when it's time to add your favorite mix-ins. The takeaway? This option is an investment, but it's a fantastic choice for everyone from newbies to avid ice cream makers alike.
Shop Now: Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor, $499.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Frozen Bowl Ice Cream Maker
Portable and easy-to-use, the Cuisinart Cool Creations Electric Ice Cream Maker utilizes an insulated freezer bowl to churn gourmet ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or gelato in minutes. With a two-quart capacity and cycle time of 25 minutes, this handy machine makes creating perfectly creamy treats simple. We love that the auto-shut off feature knows exactly when your ice cream is done, so it delivers perfectly decadent desserts every time.
Shop Now: Cuisinart Cool Creations Electric Ice Cream Maker, $139.99, target.com.
Affordable and Durable
Looking for a durable option that won't break the bank? The compact Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker boasts an impressive bang for your buck, coming in at under $70. With options for ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, and frozen drinks, this machine is sure to be your best friend all summer long. The portable design is easy to maneuver, and the large capacity bowl means you can make over a quart of treats in just 20 minutes.
Shop Now: Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker, $69.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Want to whip up a sweet treat for one? The Chef n' Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker utilizes a frozen dish to cool and mix sweet ingredients for perfect batches of ice cream for one. It's so easy to use, too: Just freeze the bowl ahead of time, pour in ingredients. and mix. This hands-on gadget requires no electricity and delivers individual servings of sweet treats in minutes.
Shop Now: Chef n' Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker, $59.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Ice Cream Maker Attachment
KitchenAid lovers, rejoice: You can use your countertop mixer to make ice cream! This KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment has a frozen bowl and dasher that attach right to your mixer, adding one more thing to your ever-growing list of KitchenAid achievements. The bowl can accommodate two quarts of perfectly mixed ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet in just 25 minutes.
Shop Now: KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment, $99.80, amazon.com.
To add a little more fun and creativity to your at-home ice cream project, consider the Dash Everyday Ice Cream Maker. This two-in-one gadget makes both homemade ice cream and fruity popsicles. The simple and efficient design makes it easy to use and the versatility of the machine makes it perfect for kids.
Shop Now: Dash Everyday Ice Cream Maker, $34.50, surlatable.com.
Looking to add some more nutrients to your dessert menu? A fruity soft serve maker is the way to go. This Yonanas Classic Original Healthy Dessert Fruit Soft Serve Maker takes frozen fruit like bananas, strawberries, or mango and churns them into smooth, decadent desserts, free of added sugar, fat, or preservatives.
Shop Now: Yonanas Classic Original Healthy Dessert Fruit Soft Serve Maker, $99.87, amazon.com.