A closeup of a scoop of chocolate and strawberry nice cream

How To Make Nice Cream: Recipe and Tips

Homemade fruit-based ice cream, also known as nice cream, is a rich, creamy frozen dessert that you can make in your blender or food processor. With the option to make it sugar-free and vegan, it’s easy to customize the flavors and toppings to create an indulgent treat for even the most discerning palate. Read on to learn more about this healthy plant-based, dairy-free alternative to traditional ice cream and how simple it is to make it.

What is nice cream?

Nice cream is a creamy frozen fruit dessert that is vegan, gluten free and can be made without any added sugar. Think of it as a healthy substitute to classic ice cream. With bananas as the typical base, a nice cream recipe may have a mild banana taste depending on the other flavors you use. Although, you can vary the base ingredient.

Basic nice cream recipe

Homemade nice cream is convenient to make with a KitchenAid® blender or food processor. It’s a versatile dessert that’s highly customizable. You can opt to add dairy and additional sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, or choose to keep it vegan. Simply add the ingredients, mix and enjoy.

Keep in mind that the riper your bananas, the sweeter your frozen dessert. So don’t toss those bananas with brown spots, use them as a base for this delicious treat.

YIELDS

  • 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups bananas (approximately 4 bananas)

  • A splash of plant-based milk, cow’s milk or coconut cream (optional)

  • Frozen fruit such as mango, peach, apricot, pineapple, cantaloupe, berries, cherries, dates (optional)

  • Cocoa, matcha or spirulina powder (optional)

  • Nut butter (optional)

  • Vanilla extract (optional)

  • Herbs such as basil, sage, rosemary, lavender (optional)

  • Sweetener such as maple syrup or honey (optional)

TOOLS 

PREP TIME

  • Approximately 2 hours.

TOTAL TIME

  • Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.

A pineapple and bananas on a kitchen counter

Step 1: Slice and freeze fruit

Peel and slice the bananas and/or other fruit you will be using in your recipe into 1-2 inch chunks. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper, add the fruit and put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove your frozen fruit from the freezer and thaw it for about 5 minutes before mixing your ingredients.

A woman adding blueberries to a KitchenAid® blender that has a variety of fruit

Step 2: Add ingredients

Combine your frozen fruit and other ingredients by adding them to your blender jar or food processor work bowl.

A KitchenAid® blender with a blended fruit mixture

Step 3: Blend ingredients

Process the mixture on high until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. If your mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk or other liquid.

A dish of raspberry ripple nice cream next to an ice cream scooper

Step 4: Serve nice cream

Serve immediately for a softer nice cream, or transfer to an air tight, freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 1 hour for a harder ice cream dessert.

Shop KitchenAid® blenders and food processors for preparing nice cream

Can you make nice cream with a blender?

A quick and easy way to make nice cream is by using a blender. It can blend the ingredients to the smooth consistency ideal for this frozen dessert. Select KitchenAid® models have a 3-part blending system that can help you easily blend even the toughest ingredients to achieve an ultra creamy texture. Explore more ideas on how to make ice cream in a blender.

Can you make nice cream with a food processor?

A food processor can be a convenient kitchen tool to effortlessly create a delicious, thick and creamy nice cream. The multipurpose blade can purée a variety of ingredients to your desired consistency with ease. Discover more tips on making a smoothie in a food processor.

Which fruits make the best nice cream base?

Custard-like fruits with a lower water content, such as bananas, mangoes, honeydew melon or even avocados, can make a creamy base. You can add in other fruits for complex flavors. For instance, experiment with this versatile recipe banana ice cream–3 ways that includes classic strawberry, vanilla or chocolate flavors.

How do you create different nice cream flavors?

With nice cream, you can make a frozen desert as simple as one ingredient or include a depth of enticing flavors. Using additional fruits, herbs, nut butters, powders, sweeteners and adding toppings like cocoa nibs, coconut flakes or salted caramel made of dates can delight a variety of tastes.

Flavor combinations are only limited by your imagination. Design your own unique recipe or create a healthy, delectable dessert with pineapple coconutraspberry ripple and toasted coconut ice cream. Use vegan alternatives to dairy like coconut milk and cacao butter to make it extra creamy and decadent.

How can you thicken nice cream?

Nice cream right out of the blender or food processor tends to have a texture similar to soft-serve ice cream or custard. If you prefer a harder consistency like a scoop of traditional ice cream, put the mixture in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will create a firmer consistency.

Other helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Freeze your bananas for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Keep additional liquids, like milk, to a minimum. 
  • Use higher fat dairy alternatives like coconut cream or cacao butter.

  • Avoid using watery fruits.
  • Be careful not to over-blend your ingredients.  
  • Consider mixing a large batch of bananas if you’re using a blender.

How long can you freeze nice cream?

Savoring the flavors of freshly made nice cream is easy with the convenience of a blender or food processor. If you’re saving your treat for later, put the mixture in an air-tight container in the freezer. It may last a couple of months, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t develop freezer burn. 

Once you take your nice cream out of the freezer, you may find that it’s frozen solid. Let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping it. For more ideas on storing food, explore tips and tricks for how to prep healthy meals.

Other vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free frozen dessert ideas

If you have a KitchenAid® stand mixer with shave ice attachment, you can create a variety of vegan frozen desserts. Explore how to make Hawaiian shave ice, and try other delicious flavors like blackberry kiwi and pom mango

Sorbet is another delectable frozen dessert that is easy to customize, similar to nice cream. Expand your sorbet recipe options with a variety of flavors such as spicy strawberry, coconut ginger basil and coconut banana with mango sauce. Discover more vegan alternatives for ice cream and milkshakes.

Explore KitchenAid® food processors and blenders

Creating mouthwatering nice cream combinations is convenient with a KitchenAid® food processor or blender. With a variety of colors, sizes and models to choose from, you can discover the right fit and style for your kitchen.

Discover new tastes with KitchenAid brand