Easiest Homemade Gelato Recipe, in three flavors, side-by-side.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Have you ever had gelato? Somehow, this magical iced dessert can launch a person at unimaginable speeds to a quaint seaside town in Italy with just one lick! Or, at least, that’s how good Homemade Gelato should make you feel. 

Somehow this gelato recipe creates an even creamier treat than traditional ice cream, and it has two major bonus points for me. First, this is a no gadget gelato recipe. That means no ice cream machine is needed! All you need is an electric mixer! 

[ Try my Strawberry Gelato recipe here! ]

Secondly, and more importantly, it’s customizable. Maybe one weekend, you’re craving a salty but sweet gelato — you can add a salted caramel sauce to the base recipe! Next week, maybe you absolutely need a chocolate fix, using the same recipe, fold in some chocolate ganache, and chocolate chunks. Maybe another day you want something tangier to balance out the sweet gelato, what if you just add some cream cheese and blueberries?

Keep reading to learn how I make my Homemade Gelato, and how easy it is to make it into Salted Caramel Gelato, Blueberry Cheesecake Gelato, and Triple Chocolate Gelato.

Ice Cream Vs. Gelato 

Gelato is more rich and creamy and ice cream, with a more intense flavor. Instead of a scoop of ice cream, gelato forms beautiful folds that are impossible to pass up. 

But they’re made with all the same ingredients, so what’s up with that?

The only difference between ice cream and gelato is that ice cream has a much higher fat percentage than gelato. Typically, you think more fat from milk and cream would mean a tastier dessert, but cold fat tastes pretty bland. Because the fat coats your tongue, you end up tasting less. With gelato’s lower fat percentage, you get all the delicious flavors!

Easiest Homemade Gelato recipe in Blueberry Cheesecake, topped with Graham cracker.

What You Need to make Homemade Gelato

  • Heavy Bottomed, Medium Saucepan
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Electric Mixer
  • Wooden Spoon/Spatula
  • Fine Sieve
  • Loaf Pan
  • Measuring cups and Spoons

How to Make Homemade Gelato

Before adding any of your flavoring of choice, you’ll need to make the plain gelato base. Here’s how you do it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer gently.
  2. While you are waiting for your milk to simmer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Add some of the hot milk to the egg yolks and whisk, this is called tempering. Then, pour the egg and milk mixture into the saucepan with the other milk.
  3. Cook over low heat for 6-8 minutes, frequently stirring with a wooden spoon. The custard will start to thicken and will coat the back of the spoon. Do not bring to a boil; it will begin to curdle. (If it has started to curdle, see in my tips below how to fix it!)
  4. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl to cool down to room temperature. Stir every 5 minutes or so and add in the salt and vanilla. 
  5. Once the mixture is cooled completely, cover and refrigerate until it is very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. 
  6. Once the mixture is very cold, whip the cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. 
  7. Now, gently fold the cold custard base into the whipped cream until it is smooth. You want to avoid beating as that will deflate the whipped cream. 
  8. Now it’s time to add in your flavoring, which I will detail below!
  9. After adding your ingredients, pour the gelato into a loaf pan (or any freezer-safe container) and place it in the freezer. After 30-60 minutes, whip it up to break the ice crystals. Do this roughly 2-3 times until it thickens up. 
  10. Once thickened, leave in the freezer for another 4 hours or until frozen before scooping and serving.

How to Make Salted Caramel Gelato

  1. Follow the above instructions, simply stir in the salted caramel sauce, tasting as you go for the perfect amount, before continuing to step 9.

How to Make Blueberry Cheesecake Gelato

  1. Whisk softened cream cheese into the gelato base.
  2. In a small bowl, stir crushed graham crackers and butter together, then add into the base.
  3. Stir in the blueberries, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to step 9 above.

How to Make Triple Chocolate Gelato

  1. Swiftly fold in the chocolate ganache into the gelato base, making sure it is not too hot, otherwise, it will set when it hits the cold base.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chunks and drizzle on the white chocolate. Continue to step 9 above.

Salted Caramel Gelato recipe, topped with Salted Caramel sauce.

Gemma’s Pro Tips for Making Homemade Gelato

  • Cook the custard low and slow otherwise, it can curdle.
  • OH NO, it DID curdle! Using a blender or an immersion blender, blend your custard for around 20 seconds, and it will be good as new.
  • Use full-fat milk for the best flavor. Also, please use good quality chocolate when making Triple Chocolate Gelato!
  • Use my salted caramel sauce!
  • Make chocolate ganache!
  • You can swap graham crackers with plain vanilla cookies or even digestive biscuits, and you can swap the blueberries with any kind of fruit for a different cheesecake gelato flavor! 
  • Make your plain gelato base up to 2 days in advance. Letting it age will give it more flavor!

How Do I Store Homemade Gelato?

Homemade gelato can be stored in your freezer for up to 6 weeks! Which means you can take an imaginary vacation to Florence anytime you want. 

Triple Chocolate Gelato recipe, on a cone.

Make More Ice Cream!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

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