Rainbow Sparkle No Churn Ice Cream

Throughout the summer, my daughter and I made various kinds of ice cream but as the end of summer approached, I asked her what we should do as a last hurrah. Her answer? Rainbow sparkle ice cream. Of course. But before you think I steered her in a different direction, scroll through the step-by-step photos of our glorious ice cream adventure! And it's all easy, as long as you start with the following basic recipe for the ice cream base:

Basic No Churn Ice Cream Base

  • 2 cups heavy cream (1 pint)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or another extract of your choice)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

In a stand mixer, whip heavy cream and vanilla together for a few minutes until stiff peaks form.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until combined.

Add additional flavorings, food colorings, and/or mix ins. Spoon the ice cream mixture into a metal pan.

Freeze for several hours or overnight until fully frozen, covering the top with aluminum foil.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus freezing time

For this version, I used lemon extract instead of the more traditional vanilla extract. After all, end of summer ice cream wants to have you wistfully recalling pitcher after pitcher of tangy homemade lemonade. Once the base was made, we separated it into 6 more or less equal portioned bowls and squeezed a bit of gel food coloring in 6 different rainbow colors on top.

You can use liquid coloring, but the colors will be less vibrant. Powdered colors will be more vibrant, but also more difficult to fully incorporate into the ice cream base. My compromise was using gel colors, which are simple to stir in and make pretty bright pastel colors.

After you've made your colored ice cream base variations, carefully spoon them into a metal square pan. I put 3 along the top and 3 along the bottom, as pictured below.

Once in place, I took a couple of teaspoons of edible glitter and sprinkled it evenly over the top of the piles of ice cream base. Save more glitter for sprinkling on the top and, if you'd like, sprinkling lightly over each serving when it's time to eat!

After you've glittered your ice cream base, using a table knife, carefully drag it through the pan. You want to swirl the colors through one another without mixing them and making a grey mess. Once there's a rainbow swirl happening, stop mixing and add a bit more edible glitter. Then carefully cover the pan with aluminum foil and freezer for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours.

Allow the pan to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before scooping the ice cream and serving it. And let me assure you that this rainbow sparkle ice cream wows more than just the kids at the table!

Thanks for all the memories, summer!

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