How to Make Ice Cream

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Ice Cream Making Process

Ice Cream Making Process

How Ice Cream Machine Works

For fans of ice cream or frozen yogurt, surely you want to know how ice cream was made and how ice cream machine works and components or other things related to ice cream or frozen yogurt, like ice cream machine, ice cream ingredients, and other accessories such as ice cream topping, ice cream cone, wafer ice cream, and also flavors of ice cream.


There are five components to make ice cream: Cream, Skim, Water, sugar, and Stabilizer. The water level should be about 60%-62%, too much water, and ice cream will become rough, too little and ice cream will be much denser. To get the creamy texture, 60%-62% is most suitable according to experts in ice cream literature because it is already been tested. Then it can be concluded the composition of non-liquid ingredients or dry ingredients made up about the other 38%-40%.


As we know, the cream is the component that contains most fat on milk. To know about cream, you can heat a cow milk to pasteurization temperature at around 80 C, then let it cool for sometime until grainy lumps formed and get thicker. These lumps are the one called cream, and it won’t be much formed when you heat the milk, because it only make up about 3.5% of cow milk. Cream functions to give milk flavor and avoid excessive crystallization. Basically cream is fat, so the cream can be obtained from ingredients other than dairy milk, like coconut milk or egg.

But, using cream obtained from other sources than milk, will result in changed flavor from milk to coconut or egg. For those who want to experiment creatively, you can combine these three kinds of cream to suit your desires and needs.

Not all fat can be used as ice cream ingredients, i.e. butter can ruin the ice cream quality and cream from soy milk can actually be used but will make a bit weird flavor. It is recommended to use cream from dairy milk fat, egg fat, coconut milk fat. Because of this, it is better to just use fat from milk, even just a little. And also worth to mention, fat in ice cream is about 8%-16%.


When cow milk is heated and the cream has been taken out, what is left is water and other solid ingredients made up of protein, carbohydrate, and mineral. If water is drained, what is left is what we called skim. It is a solid ingredient that made up cow milk without the fat. Skim is used as the main component to make ice cream to have creamy textures. without skim, ice cream can be made but with texture like whipped cream, soft but light, exactly like cream.

In essence, this skim is a solid material consisting of protein, carbohydrates, and minerals, so it can be taken from eggs or coconut milk. The level of skim in ice cream is the same as cream, ranging from 8% to 16%.


Aside to give sweet taste in ice cream, sugar also functions to lower the freezing point of the dough, so the dough will not easily freeze when processed. This is important because, with a lower freezing point, more air can enter the dough and make the texture smoother.

The sugar level in ice cream should be about 10% to 15% depending on your taste. aside from that, experts said that sugar in ice cream making process functions as a stabilizer to facilitate water content to be bound with fat in other ingredients. Sugar mentioned here is Sugar that is widely available in the market and not Sodium Cyclamate, Saccharin or Aspartame.


In ice cream making processes, ice cream should be mixed really well with other components, if not when ice cream dough is frozen, these components will slowly separate themselves back to their normal state.  This happened because of the difference between the freezing point of water and a freezing point of fat. Fat will harden and solidify when water turns into an ice crystal.

To prevent this, a stabilizer is needed to functions as an emulsion, which makes micro lumps bind the molecules of fat, water, and air. Then, water will not crystallize and fat will not harden or solidify. Stabilizer also functions to thicken the dough, to stabilize the micro lumps. Stabilizer in ice cream made up about 0.2% to 0.3% of the total of liquid ingredients.


From the description above, it can be concluded that composition consists of fat/cream, water, stabilizer, and other contents, which amount cannot be extremely shifted from set numbers if we want to make good ice cream. Because of that, the composition of each ingredient needs to be determined for our personal recipe (secret for the creator). If we want to make a recipe, we need to first determine this.

As example: Cream 10% , skim 14%, sugar 15%, and stabilizer 0.3%; made up a total of 39.3%. Or if we want low-fat ice cream, the composition can be made as Cream 8%, skim 16%, sugar 15%, dan stabilizer 0.3%; and made up the same total of  39.3%. The non-liquid or dry ingredients already at 39.3%, this is match the general reference. If the cream set at 0% is desired, this can be done to make frozen yogurt but need to use fermented milk. As of how to do fermentation process on milk to be used as frozen yogurt ingredients can be found on another source.


Ice cream can be made by mixing directly water and full-cream milk. Full-cream milk already contains fat, skim, and sugar. The amount of the content can be seen in its package. So we can measure it by ourselves how many sugars needed or that suits our taste. As a substitute, sweetened condensed milk can also be used. The most important thing is knowing how many creams, skim, water, and water contents from ingredients used. Then we can measure how many ingredients used and how many products can be produced with those ingredients.

As for cow milk, as stated, cow milk contains 3.4% cream, 8.6% skim, the rest is water at  88%. But the composition of cow milk has too much water content, this can be reduced by heating the milk in pasteurization temperature at 60%-62%. Or, you can just simply add to its density, something like whipped cream or egg yolk. Do not use the white part of the egg, because it contains 87% of water, while egg yolk only contains 50%.

It’s just that we need precision to prevent mistakes in choosing ingredients component of ice cream, so we need to know exactly how many egg yolk needed to be mixed with the milk. If more skim is needed to be added into the mixed ingredients, skimmed milk powder can be added. For stabilizer, a variety of it can be chosen, from animals or plants. In animal, its gelatin; and for plants, it could be jelly or cellulose. Not every jelly can be used, the cheapest can be done by using cellulose powder sold by many cake ingredients shop, or specially packed products sold in


This can be tailored as you see fit, keep in mind that dough should be clean, eggs need to be cooked, and milk needs to be pasteurized. It is not easy to heat dough that has been mixed with egg yolk, it needs to be stirred continuously.

Dough that has been cooked and mixed can be cooled in the fridge, the duration depends on stabilizer used, animal-based will take around 24 hours, while plant-based can take only 4 hours. This time is needed for the stabilizer to form lumps and bind molecules. Do not straight placing the dough into the ice cream machine, because the molecules have not bonded.


The dough that has been cooled, is ready to be placed into the ice cream machine. Basically, the ice cream machine will freeze the dough and slowly stirred with a preset and constant rotation. It is done so that the whole dough can come in contact with the evaporation cylinder wall of the ice cream machine.

So stirring here functions as keeping the dough from crystallizing, the unstirred dough will make water molecules to get closer and form a crystal, but continuous stir with fast rotation will not facilitate the molecules to bond.

While stabilizer already at 0.2% – 0.3 %, the mechanical process is still needed to help maintain the density, because the dough can still crystallize even when lumps have been formed by the stabilizer. The mechanical process is done through stirring. we can simply add more stabilizers to help to freeze without stirring in the freezer, but too many stabilizers will cause the dough to be thick, as for an example; pondan.

Pondan products were made without an ice cream machine and can prevent crystallization with lots of stabilizers, but it makes the final product become too thick. Keep using the ice cream machine to prevent crystallization, to keep the stabilizer at 0.3%. The second function of the stirrer is to facilitate the whole dough to come in contact with ice cream machine wall alternately and periodically, FYI to freeze the dough, the temperature should be around -4C to  -18C, under -18C and dough will harden and less than -4C and dough will easily melt.

The cold temperature can be reached from the refrigerant system (around -15C) or lower, depends on the refrigerant or melting ice cubes that are rubbed with salt (-7C), how do you transfer the temperature into the dough? by using the best heat (cold) conductor temperature, namely stainless steel or aluminum. The dough must be directly in contact with the conductor in order to get cold temperatures quickly. That is the function of the stirrer.

Without stirring and freezing can only be done to parts of the dough that is are in contact or close to the wall of the ice cream machine, and leaving the middle part not frozen. This is why dough placed in the freezer takes a long time to be frozen, around 12 hours when you can reduce it to 30-45 minutes. The third function is, by stirring the dough inside the ice cream machine then it will allow air to slowly yet gradually enter the dough, and will make ice cream soft and smooth.


Do not make ice cream by mixing repeatedly, because it will not produce ice cream, but something like shaved ice. Shaved ice forms in small pieces. this happens because water, cream, and air molecules bonded inside the lumps formed in micro size, and if it is bitten it doesn’t sound at all, except only the sound of teeth clashing.

And if mixed/blended/froze repeatedly, the crystal will be formed, no matter how strong the mixer is. The crystal formed is not micro-sized crystal, yet crystal that melts and becomes liquid, and if froze in the freezer, a bigger crystal will be formed. It is impossible to make ice cream as smooth and as soft as ice cream sold in the shop by doing mixing and freezing repeatedly.

If you do not have an Ice Cream Machine,  you can leave your dough to be made by traveling ice maker. Or you can make it yourself, get a small plastic bucket, get a container made from aluminum or stainless-steel that can be placed inside the bucket with a 5cm gap between the bucket and container, to be filled with ice. Place the container in the center of the bucket, fill the gap between the container and bucket with toe-sized ice.

Sprinkle salt evenly above the ice. Put the dough into the container, stir slowly, and make sure the whole dough comes in contact with the container’s side. Keep in mind! the ICE is should be the one with -7C temperature, not the salt; even the coldest part is the melted ice that sprinkled with the salt. The melted ice that stuck to a container is the one transferring cold to the dough. If you are running out of ice, throw the water away, then add more ice and salt while keep stirring. With the temperature around -7C, the dough will become ice cream in 45 minutes.


Homemade Ice Cream does not mean the ice cream was made in a home, but it was made with an ice cream machine that relies on stirring and freezing. While manufactured ice cream, there is an air pumping process to pump the air into the dough while stirring is done. The dough then processed by homemade contains less air and dough will only expand around 30%, while manufactured that uses the pump can expand the dough up to  80%. If you compare 1 liter Diamond with 1 liter, Ben & Jerry, Diamond will be lighter.

Good luck with creating an ice cream recipe and creating an Ice Cream Maker.

If seen from how it serves, the ice cream machine divided into two: soft dan hard serve.

HARD Ice cream

After ice cream stirred for 30-45 minutes, move it to a container, and place it on the freezer. in 3-5 hours, ice cream in the container is ready to scoop by using a scoop in ball shapes, like the ones on Ice Cream Cafe. If after stirred it is immediately scooped, it will not be hard enough and cannot form a good ball-shape.

Hard Ice Cream Machine’s cooling available in using ice and salt. With general capacity around 4-10 liters, prices around hundreds of thousand IDR. The cheapest is around 300.000 IDR. There is also a machine that uses freezer storage for 24 hours as its cooling, and there is another that uses a compressor. Usually, for houses use the one with a 1-liter capacity that costs around 1.5-2 million IDR. The information above was gathered when I visited Xiamen city and visited a factory that manufactures ice cream machine. I bought the one with ice and salt cooling, with 4 and 6 liters capacity.

As for businesses, the minimum capacity should be around 8 liters. I found out about this in a city located in east java province, Malang. This machine class does not consume a lot of power, just around 1000 watt. It produces a limited amount of ice cream, which can complicate things if our shop or cafe gets too crowded because customers need to wait a bit long. Then there is Ice Cream Machine owned by big businesses such as Ragusa (Jakarta), Zangrandi (Surabaya), etc., and can cost hundreds of millions of IDR.

On more how to determine and choosing machine that suits the business we are about to start can be seen by clicking: Cara Menentukan Mesin ice cream

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