Soft Serve Ice Cream Recipe For Machine

Soft Serve Ice Cream Recipe For A Machine: Full Guide

Last Updated on June 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

The delight I find in savoring homemade soft-serve ice cream is immense. Being an enthusiast of frozen delights, gaining knowledge on the use of a machine to create soft serve has thoroughly enhanced my pleasure.

Today, I’ll show you the best soft-serve ice cream recipe for machines I’ve discovered. Read on.

My Favorite Soft Serve Ice Cream Recipe For Machines

Person Holding Soft Serve Ice Cream on a Cone


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Mixing the Base: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, whole milk, and salt until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the Cream & Vanilla: Slowly mix the heavy cream [1] and the vanilla extract until everything is well combined.
  3. Chill: Cover the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. This step is crucial as a colder mixture will churn better in the ice cream machine, leading to a smoother texture.
  4. Prepare the Ice Cream Machine: Ensure your machine’s bowl is fully frozen. Assemble your ice cream machine as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Churn: Pour the chilled mixture into the ice cream machine. Churn for about 15-25 minutes or until the consistency resembles soft-serve. The exact time can vary depending on your specific machine and the temperature of your mixture.
  6. Serve or Store: You can serve the soft serve immediately, or for a firmer consistency, transfer it to an airtight container and freeze it for another 2-4 hours. If storing longer, ensure it’s covered to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  7. Enjoy: Scoop out your homemade soft serve and enjoy with your favorite toppings or on its own.


Soft Serve Machine vs Regular Ice Cream Maker

A soft serve machine differs primarily from a regular ice cream maker in its functionality and end-product consistency. 

“I wish I was more like my character. In character, I am the queen. I am strong. I am confident, sometimes cocky. I’m hard to beat. Out of character, I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a best friend and just the girl next door that likes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.”

– Charlotte Flair, American Professional Wrestler

While both machines churn mixtures to incorporate air and prevent ice crystals from forming, a soft-serve machine operates at a higher temperature, resulting in a softer, creamier texture. 

Additionally, soft serve machines have a unique mechanism that continuously dispenses the ice cream, allowing it to be served directly from the machine in swirled peaks. 

In contrast, traditional ice cream makers usually require the ice cream to be frozen further post-churning to achieve a firmer texture before serving.

Can I Add Mix-Ins Like Chocolate Chips Or Fruit To My Soft Serve?

Soft Serve Ice Cream with Sprinkle

Yes. Soft-serve ice cream is versatile and can be enhanced with various mix-ins. Here’s a list of popular choices:

  1. Chocolate Chips or Chunks: A classic choice, they add a delightful crunch and rich flavor.
  2. Fruit Bits: Small pieces of fruits like strawberries, blueberries [2], or mango can infuse the soft serve with a burst of natural sweetness and flavor.
  3. Nuts: Chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts provide a nice contrast in texture and a nutty flavor.
  4. Cookie Crumbs: Crushed cookies like Oreos, graham crackers, or chocolate chip cookies can be sprinkled in for a nostalgic treat.
  5. Caramel or Chocolate Swirls: Drizzling these throughout your soft serve can create a delightful marbled effect.
  6. Sprinkles or Jimmies: These can be mixed in or added on top for a touch of color and fun.
  7. Toffee Bits: These add a delightful sweetness and crunch.
  8. Coconut Flakes: For those who love a tropical touch.
  9. Mini Marshmallows: These can provide a chewy contrast to the creaminess of the soft serve.
  10. Candy Bits: Think M&Ms, Reese’s pieces, or crushed candy bars.

However, when adding mix-ins to soft serve, ensure they are small and evenly sized to prevent clogging the dispenser. 

It’s also a good practice to add them towards the end of the churning process or as a topping to maintain the smooth consistency of the soft serve.

“Whisk, churn, and savor; every soft serve swirl is a journey from machine to masterpiece.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

How To Store Leftover Soft-Serve Ice Cream

  1. Airtight Container: Transfer the leftover soft-serve into an airtight container. This will help prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface of the ice cream.
  2. Level and Cover: Once transferred, level the surface with a spatula. You can also place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the ice cream before sealing the container. This additional layer acts as a barrier against ice crystals.
  3. Freezer Location: Store the container in the coldest part of your freezer, typically the back, to ensure it solidifies quickly. A rapid freeze will help maintain the smooth texture.
  4. Consume Quickly: Soft-serve ice cream has a different shelf life than regular ice cream due to its lower fat and higher air content. For the best quality, consume your leftover soft serve within a week.
  5. Serving Tip: When you’re ready to enjoy your stored soft serve, allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping. This will make it easier to serve and bring back some of its creamy texture.


u003cstrongu003eHow long does it typically take to churn soft serve in a machine?u003c/strongu003e

Typically, it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to churn soft serve in a machine, depending on the machine and the recipe used.

u003cstrongu003eCan you use soft-serve mix in an ice cream maker?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, you can use a soft-serve mix in an ice cream maker, but the texture might be denser than when made in a dedicated soft-serve machine.

Final Thoughts

Crafting the perfect soft-serve ice cream using a machine is an art that combines the right ingredients with the correct churning method. 

Whether you’re diving into this world for the first time or are a seasoned pro, understanding the nuances of the soft serve mixture, the potential for delightful mix-ins, and the mechanics of your machine will ensure you achieve that silky, smooth texture every time. 

Embrace the process and enjoy the delightful melt-in-your-mouth results.


Shari Mason

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