Homemade ice cream sandwiches on a plate with two at the front on the table
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13 Frozen Treats To Make At Home With No Special Equipment
by Cat Bowen
Originally Published: 

I love baking, but in the summer, I hate turning on my oven. I find myself looking to to create fun frozen desserts, but I don't always have what the recipe requires. That's why I've compiled a great list of frozen treats you can make at home without any special equipment.

Sure, most of us have popsicle molds somewhere in our houses, but I'll be darned if I can find them when I need them. Either I have the mold and none of the caps, or the caps and no molds. Well, my friends, I always have little cups for mouthwash, and bigger cups for cocktails, and a whole bunch of reusable straws and plastic cutlery from delivery orders, and those work just as well. As far as making your own ice cream? Psh, there are a ton of amazing no-churn recipes out there that are just as good — or better — than what you'd make if you had a machine. It is just a matter of trying them out. Luckily for you, I have a sweet tooth.

And pro-tip, if your kids are bored, zip-top bag ice cream is a thing, and it keeps them busy for at least five minutes, which is just long enough to brush my teeth or re-scrunch my curls.


No-Churn Peach Ice Cream

Have you had the peaches this year? They are phenomenal. I literally made this recipe for peaches and sour cream no-churn ice cream from Food52 last night after seeing the recipe on Instagram, and reader, my family finished the whole batch in one sitting. It tastes like summer in the best way.


Ice Cream Sandwiches

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I'm a huge fan of Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches, but they sell out in a hurry. Thankfully, the bakery up the road always has fresh cookies, and Carvel has ice cream. Put it together and give the kids bowls of toppings, and you've just earned yourself 10 minutes of blessed peace and an ice cream sandwich. Sure, you can make the ice cream and bake the cookies, but why do that when you can just assemble?


Mango Paletas

One of the saddest parts of the summertime quarantine is that my paleta lady is not opening back up, and actually relocated to Puerto Rico. I mean, I'm happy she's spending time in paradise with her family, but sad for the lack of mango paleta. Thankfully, there are many recipes on the interwebs for the deliciousness — like this one from Food and Wine and they can be made in any container that will allow them to freeze. (Shot glasses would not be enough paleta, though.)


No-Churn Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream

If you don't love this no-churn chocolate ice cream from The Minimalist Baker, I don't know what to tell you. It's a perfect ice cream. All of that dense coconut fat really makes the chocolate pop. Pro tip: sprinkle some flaked sea salt or crushed potato chips on top for a lovely taste surprise.



My son's number one all-time favorite summer treat is the chamoyada. It's a layered treat of mango sorbet, chopped mango, Tajin seasoning (or Chili-lime from Trader Joe's), and chamoy sauce. If you don't have chamoy sauce, you can use a combo of lime juice, sugar or mango nectar, and chipotle powder. Then, just layer it up and go to town like this version from Mexican and Meatless.


May As Well Make Your Own Sorbet

This recipe for mango sorbet (no-churn) from Food52 also works with strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, and papaya. I know this because these are what I've made in the last few weeks using this recipe. And before you knock them, cantaloupe and honeydew sorbet are so delicious it will make you wonder where it's been all your life.


Homemade Fudgesicles

Did you know that you can make homemade fudgesicles? You can, and they're wonderful. The blog Chocolate, Chocolate and More has the simplest recipe ever. Whether you choose to put it in cups, an ice cube tray, or you find those popsicle molds, you'll want these in your freezer.



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I am a diehard spumoni fan. Don't know what that is? It's somewhere between an Italian ice and ice cream, and it's heaven. It's usually chocolate, vanilla, and pistachio, but other flavors have made an appearance. I live near the original restaurant for spumoni, L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, New York, but my friend Allison Robicelli makes a great version over at The Takeout.


Italian Ice

Oh sweet mystery of life, at last I found thee, and it's lemon Italian ice. There is no more refreshing summer treat than this. It's also dead easy to make. My favorite recipe (non-alcoholic) is on The Spruce Eats, but my favorite adult version is this one by Giada De Laurentiis. (True story, I use gin instead of vodka.)


Frozen Hot Chocolate

Made popular by the famous restaurant Serendipity 3, the frozen hot chocolate is a classic for a reason. That reason is that you can make it at home for almost free instead of schlepping all the way to New York City and shelling out a ton of cash to eat it in a tiny basement restaurant. You're welcome.

The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa, who we all know is the kitchen goddess.


Yogurt Drops

OK, so throw the toddlers a bone. This recipe for frozen yogurt drops will get your toddlers through the summer with glee. It's also healthy, but they truly don't give a darn. They're just happy for icy sweet goodness.

Plus, teething toddlers love these more than any other demographic loves anything. I know this because my children both chewed on them like it was their job when they were teething.


Frozen Chocolate Dipped Bananas

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I love frozen dipped bananas. I'm practically a Bluth at this point, and I have no shame. I could eat one every day and be perfectly content. Do I dip them in peanut butter? I do. Sometimes, I dip them in nutella. It depends on my mood, and I am not mad at it.


Dole Whip

Did you know that Disney released their Dole Whip recipe? They did, and I could not love it more. It's ridiculously simple, and it will make your entire summer.

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