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This banana ice cream is one ingredient and tastes like a dream! Here’s how to make it: no ice cream maker required.

Banana ice cream
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You’ve probably heard about one ingredient banana ice cream: and we’re here to tell you it’s worth the hype! Imagine: creamy, tropical-scented ice cream that requires no ice cream maker or ingredients other than the blackening fruit on your countertop. When you’ve got ripe bananas, this is one of the best ways to use them! It’s a fun recipe for kids that doubles as a grown up treat (especially with mix-ins). Here’s how to make this simple and wholesome banana ice cream recipe!

How to make easy banana ice cream

The traditional way to make homemade ice cream is to heat heavy cream and sugar on the stovetop to make a custard, then chill the custard and churn it in an ice cream maker. But this banana ice cream hack has been internet-famous for a while: it’s “ice cream” that’s made by blending frozen bananas (also called “nice cream”).

Can it truly be as good as it sounds? We thought we’d put it to the test. Turns out, it actually comes out sweet, frosty, and creamy: the very best one ingredient hack we know! Here’s how to make banana ice cream:

  • Start with very ripe bananas. That’s right, the ones that are turning brown on the counter. The browner the better! Avoid perfectly yellow bananas: the ice cream won’t be sweet enough.
  • Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch rounds, then freeze for 2 hours. Place them on a baking sheet so they don’t freeze into a solid block. The 1/2-inch size makes them easier to blend than larger pieces.
  • Use a food processor to blend until smooth, or a high speed blender. We prefer the food processor because it’s easier to blend and comes together quickly: it takes about 1 minute. A high speed blender works, but it takes longer, with more times to stop and scrape down the bowl. You’ll likely have to use the tamper, which can be tricky if you’re not used to using one.
  • For hard ice cream texture, freeze for 2 hours. You can eat it right away for soft serve texture, and depending on your bananas it might be fairly thick right away. It’s easier to form into scoops after freezing (this is called “ripening” with a standard ice cream).
Banana ice cream

Tips and tricks

This banana ice cream recipe is not like a standard ice cream made with dairy: there are a few downsides and things to know about this recipe hack! Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Blending can take a while: be patient. It will take several minutes to bring the frozen bananas to an ice cream-like texture. It’s helpful to add 1 tablespoon milk of choice, which makes it easier to blend.
  • Taste and adjust flavors as necessary. If you’d like, you can add a little sugar or honey to make it slightly sweeter.
  • Freezing overnight makes it become very hard and icy. The texture becomes like a block of ice. It’s best served the day it’s made.
  • If too hard, allow to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. This applies to when you’ve stored it for a few hours in the freezer.

Mix-ins and variations for banana ice cream

This banana ice cream recipe is so easy that it’s fun to try different variations! Here are a few ideas for ways to change up the base recipe, and some mix-ins to make it chunky:

  • Chocolate banana: Add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and additional honey, maple syrup or sugar to taste if necessary
  • Peanut butter banana: Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter to the base, or swirl it in
  • Chocolate chips or chunks: Add 1 handful chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks
  • Chocolate ribbon: Stir in a half recipe of the chocolate from this Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream
  • Nutella: Swirl in a spoonful of Nutella
  • Cookie dough: Add small balls of dough from this Cookie Dough Ice Cream

What else would you add to this banana ice cream recipe? We would love to know your suggestions.

Banana ice cream recipe

More ice cream recipes

This banana ice cream recipe is by far the simplest ice cream recipe we know! Here are a few more classic ice creams you’ll love:

This banana ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Banana ice cream

Easy Banana Ice Cream


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This banana ice cream is one ingredient and tastes like a dream! Here’s how to make it: no ice cream maker required.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon milk of choice or water (optional)
  • Mix ins: mini chocolate chips or chunks, peanut butter, Nutella swirl, cookie dough, etc (see Notes above)

Instructions

  1. Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch rounds, then freeze them on a baking sheet for 3 hours.
  2. Place the bananas in a food processor (or high speed blender*) and process until smooth, stopping and scraping the bowl as necessary. It will take a while for the bananas to become fully smooth, so keep stopping and scraping until it comes together. It’s easiest to add 1 tablespoon milk of choice or water to help things blend, or you can wait a few minutes for the bananas to thaw a bit. Taste, and if you’d like it a bit sweeter you can add a few teaspoons of sugar or honey and blend again.
  3. Eat immediately, or freeze up to 2 hours for an even more scoopable texture. Keep in mind the ice cream is best the day it is made. If you store overnight, the ice cream becomes very icy: make sure to allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

*A high speed blender is best; it can be difficult to get the bananas to blend using a standard blender.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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2 Comments

  1. Linda says:

    absolutely fantastic i was astonished by the complexity of flavors and the saltiness contrast with the sweet berry flavor and i especially liked the add of beef stock which is such a creative twist on the classic banana ice cream recipe. I used to use the recipe passed down from my ancestors from the ice age where wed use the chill of our own hands to freeze the concoction made from milk of a yetti which roamed across the icy landscape ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’•

  2. Sabrina says:

    good hack, thank you, nice when you don’t want to deal with an ice cream maker and also a good way to use bananas on the verge of spoiling, thank you!