This easy vanilla rainbow ice cream with sprinkles is a fun and nostalgic treat. All the colors of the rainbow and no ice cream maker needed!
This rainbow vanilla ice cream is a simple, no-churn recipe that's easy to make and lots of fun to eat! With just five ingredients your kids will be asking you to make this all summer long!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Fun, colorful rainbow color.
- Easy no churn ice cream recipe.
- No ice cream maker needed.
- Crowd-pleasing vanilla flavor.
- Perfect for kids and kids at heart.
Cream: I use thickened cream which has a fat content of about 34%. You could also use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream which is similar.
Sweetened condensed milk: The sugar and other ingredients in the sweetened condensed milk mean no additional sugar is needed and helps keep a smooth texture when the ice cream is frozen without the need for an ice cream machine. This is not the same as evaporated milk and you can not substitute with it.
Food coloring: gel food color will give a good intensity of color compared to regular water-based color.
Vanilla extract: sometimes also called vanilla essence, depending on where you live. You can use either, or imitation vanilla essence, depending on your preference and budget.
Glucose syrup (optional): also called confectioner’s glucose. You can get in from specialty baking shops, online and some supermarkets. A small amount of glucose syrup helps lower the freezer point of ice cream and improves the texture and scoop-ability of the ice cream.
You can substitute with the same amount of light corn syrup or powdered dextrose. Measure carefully, preferably using a digital kitchen scale, and don't add too much or your ice cream will melt in a red hot minute!
How to make rainbow ice cream
See the full recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient amounts and instructions.
Put your storage container in the freezer to chill.
Add about two tablespoons of the cream and the glucose syrup to a small microwave bowl or pot on the stove. Heat for several seconds until warmed. Mix well so the glucose syrup is thoroughly mixed in, then allow to cool.
Divide the sweetened condensed milk evenly between six bowls (about X grams each if you're into weighing your ingredients!).
Add a different food color to each bowl. Mix well. Add enough food color to get the depth of color you want, keeping in mind the color will get diluted when you add the cream.
Put the rest of the cream in a mixing bowl. Add the flavoring of choice and glucose syrup and cream mix. Whip the cream until firm peaks form.
Divide the whipped cream between the bowls of colored sweetened condensed milk. Carefully mix in the whipped cream, taking care to knock as little air as possible out of the cream.
Layer the two colors in the chilled storage container. I find a vaguely checkered pattern works well. Cover and freeze for at least four hours or until firm.
How to serve
To serve this rainbow colored ice cream remove it from the freezer, scoop, cover with rainbow sprinkles and enjoy! If you have not used the optional glucose syrup you may need to leave it out for a few minutes before it becomes soft enough to scoop.
How to store
Like most homemade ice creams this rainbow vanilla ice cream will store well in a covered container in the freezer for up to two weeks. After this it may start to go a little icy, but it will still taste delicious!
Recipe tips and frequently asked questions
What flavor is rainbow ice cream?
That depends on the brand. The venerated Wendy's rainbow ice cream is good old-fashioned vanilla flavor. Perhaps a little plain but nonetheless a perennial crown pleaser.
Peter's original rainbow ice cream on the other hand, is caramel flavor. Tip Top rainbow ice cream is different again, with swirls of yellow banana, pink strawberry and blue bubblegum flavor!
Is rainbow ice cream gluten free?
Again it depends on the brand. At the time of writing Wendy's, Peter's and Tip Top all say their rainbow ice cream is gluten free. And this homemade version generally is. But always check the label of your particular produce or ingredients if this concerns you.
Can I make this with more natural colors?
You can certainly try, but the colors likely won't be as vibrant. You can buy some brands of natural colors but these tend to have a more pastel hue. You could also try mixing in natural fruit powers such as strawberry, blueberry or passionfruit but again the colors won't be as vibrant.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more delicious ice cream recipes?
Why not try making
Rainbow Ice Cream
- Electric hand beaters or stand mixer
- 1 x 14 oz (397 gms) tin sweetened condensed milk
- several drops food coloring to make rainbow colors
- 2 cups (500ml) thickened cream
- ½ tablespoon (15gms) glucose syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Divide the sweetened condensed milk into six bowls. Add different food colors to each bowl to make red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple and mix well until the desired intensity of the color is reached, keeping in mind the color will be diluted when the whipped cream is added.
- Put the glucose syrup in a small microwave-proof bowl with two tablespoons of cream. Warm in the microwave for ten to fifteen seconds. Stir until well combined. Allow to cool.
- Put the rest of the cream into a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Beat on low while slowly add the glucose syrup mix. Increase the speed and beat with a hand electric beaters or in a stand mixer until firm peaks form.
- Divide the whipped cream between each container of colored condensed milk. Gently fold the cream into each of the different colors, taking care not to knock the air out of the cream. Layer the different colors into a loaf tin or shallow container.
- Cover and freeze for at least four hours or until firm.
- To serve remove from the freezer, add some sprinkles and enjoy!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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