The Kitchn's One-Ingredient Ice Cream

By • August 22, 2012 • 30 Comments

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Author Notes: Making one-ingredient ice cream couldn't be simpler. It comes out like the frozen bananas you ate at the boardwalk as a kid, except (thanks to the high pectin content) it whips up like Marshmallow Fluff. Vegan and raw foodists have long known this trick, but a few years ago, The Kitchn published a photo tutorial and one-ingredient ice cream went mainstream. Bloggers spread the gospel and suddenly it wasn't just a workaround for ice cream, but an exciting dessert in its own right, regardless of its pure reputation.Genius Recipes

Serves 4-6

  • 1 bunch bananas
  1. Peel your bananas.
  2. Cut them into small pieces.
  3. Freeze for just 1-2 hours on a plate or tray. (Or leave them in the freezer indefinitely -- just let them thaw a little before making the ice cream.)
  4. Blend, blend, blend in the food processor -- scraping down the bowl when they stick.
  5. Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream! Try mixing in other fruits, nut butters, or chocolate.
  6. Freeze any leftovers and process again when ready to serve.

Comments (30) Questions (1)


21 days ago Eydie Desser

Love that ice cream spoon. Where did you get it?


21 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

It's from Amanda's vintage spoon collection -- the shape is similar to this (sadly currently out of stock) vintage butter spade in our online shop:


about 1 year ago Jesse Raben

This works- wife said to me- ok promise there is nothing else in here?


about 1 year ago Aliwaks

Read this made it 5 min later (had some frozen bananas) added dash of salt & some vanilla, the salt kind of have it some more dimension, stirred in a few dark chocolate chips for good measure. Yum! May heat some peanut butter later to make it over the top. Also thinking it would be amazing with a drizzle of maple syrup & a few toasted walnuts


about 1 year ago Nanny R Molina

Can I just use a blender? I also have a NutraBullet.. this smaller blender is very powerful and fast..


about 1 year ago Rachel McGuire

This sounds soo good. I'm going to try it when I get home tonight!


over 1 year ago Laura Abbasi

Made it. Loved it. Can't wait to make it again!


over 1 year ago dbrowning

sooo good. no need to add anything although melted peanut butter on top and/or drizzle of honey - very good!


over 1 year ago Gill Watson

Tried it and blogged it with pictures. Truly a miracle but as Alain B commented, it goes through a very scary grainy stage. http://gillwatsonlifebites...


over 1 year ago mlledaffodil

thanks to mrs. beeton for her experience with ripe vs. superripe bananas. to gustus who doesn't want to reprocess leftover "ice cream" -- what if you tried adding a dash of alcohol? because alcohol doesn't freeze, this is a common solution for keeping philadelphia-style (eggless) ice cream soft -- it works. Maybe banana rum?


over 1 year ago AlainB

Great ice cream! My daughter loves banana ice cream, so she was begging me to make this all week-end. I finally threw some cut-up bananas in the freezer, waited a few hours, then threw them in my food processor. Well, it was chunking around and didn't look right, so I ran to the iPad to check the recipe, I thought I did something wrong. Looked simple enough, so I went back to the food processor (which I left running) and voila! Ice cream! I missed the turning point, but I have more bananas in the freezer already!


over 1 year ago MrsBeeton

I've discovered that you can really vary this terrific treat with the ripeness of the bananas. A ripe banana will be unmistakably banana-ish. Which is fine, if you really love banana. But a not-so-ripe banana is a great launching ground for other flavors, as the banana flavor is quite a bit less apparent, and the other ingredients can shine: chocolate (we melted down some great chocolate and added it when it had come to room temp), or fruit, or . . . anything. YUM--different every time.


over 1 year ago gustus

Is there something you can add to eliminate the need to process the leftovers again?


over 1 year ago mlledaffodil

I keep blackened bananas in the freezer to add to my dad's ice cream protein shakes (how to hide the nasty liquid supplement? ice cream + frozen banana + protein drink + cocoa powder + emulsion blender = super thick shake). But your photos here show yellow bananas -- preferable? has anyone experimented with degrees of ripeness? I am curious if 1) the pectin breaks down with age; 2) the extra sugar freezes less; 3) the color of the overripe is too unappealing?


over 1 year ago Sara from Brooklyn

I made this last night, using a blender. It was as creamy as ice cream and loved by my whole family, even the non-vegans.


over 1 year ago bjcohan

My mom used to make this for me when I was a kid. (A very long time ago!)
Try adding a bit of cinnamon.
Or rum.
Frozen pineapple (preferably fresh, but even from a can if packed in juice not syrup) also makes up nicely, though I don't know if it does the pectin thing. It surely is delicious. (Yes, with cinnamon and rum too!)


over 1 year ago Yogicfioodie

I would love to try!

Can I use a blender instead of food processor?


over 1 year ago PamCorbett

I added a little bit of Trader Joe's frozen yogurt that I had in my freezer. It was delicious.


over 1 year ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ooooh, yummy! wil be making this VERY soon (like tonight?). It makes my Quick Strawberry Sherbet look difficult!

(How do they do that?)


over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

That sherbet is brilliant!


over 1 year ago stephanieRD

Wondering if it would work to add a little bit of avocado to this to amp up the creamy texture?


over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

It would! And the great thing is you can just keep tweaking to taste. Honey is good with the avocado and banana too.


over 1 year ago annaclarice

When freezing leftovers do you you break it down into smaller amounts for easier processing later?


over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

That's a great idea, but it also doesn't take long for it to melt enough to break up with a spatula or spoon before processing either.