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Best ice cream makers for summer 2024

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Summer is here. What better way to cool down than having a bowl of homemade ice cream? With the right ice cream maker, ingredients and a little creativity, you can make a sweet treat right at home -- and it will likely be far tastier than anything you'll find in the supermarket freezer.

If you're not sure which one of these kitchen gadgets is best for you, you've come to the right place. The experts at CBS Essentials have you covered with our selections for the best ice cream makers of 2024. These customer-loved ice cream makers all have a four-star rating or higher and include tons of positive reviews. 

Ready to make your summer a lot sweeter? Check out the best ice cream makers of 2024 below. 

Best countertop ice cream makers in 2024

There are many different types and models of ice cream makers available, so how do you choose the best ice cream maker for you? It depends on what features you want: Self-freezing automatic ice cream machines with a built-in compressor require no preparation, while more affordable machines require you to freeze a bowl in the freezer overnight before you make homemade ice cream.

There's a fruit soft-serve machine that can make dairy-free, ice-cream-like treats -- a great option for vegans. And if you want an unusual way to make ice cream while away at the park or beach, check out the ice cream ball that makes frozen desserts while you throw it around.

No matter what your ice cream wants or your ice cream needs are, there's an ice cream machine perfect for you. Here are eight highly-rated ice cream makers, and some delicious recipe ideas to get you started.

Ninja Creami one-touch ice cream maker


With the Ninja Creami, all your ice cream dreams can come true. It takes frozen things and turns them into ice creams, sorbets, sherbets, milkshakes, smoothies, gelatos and frozen adult drinks. There's even a special function for mix-ins.

The kitchen gadget features one-touch pre-programmed technology, has re-spin functionality and it's dishwasher-safe. The Creami comes with a recipe book, but we've also found a dairy-free, vegan Dole Whip copycat recipe you can make -- you know, like the kind famously found at Disney theme parks.

Ninja Creami one-touch ice cream maker, $190 (reduced from $200)

Cuisinart electric ice cream maker

cuisinart ice cream maker
Cuisinart via Amazon

If you're ready to take the plunge and purchase a new kitchen appliance to make sweet treats, this ice cream maker from Cuisinart is an all-around great choice. With a double-insulated freezer bowl, this gadget can make up to 1.5 quarts of ice cream in less than 25 minutes, with no ice required.

The large ingredient spout with an easy-lock lid gives you the ability to add extra ingredients to your homemade ice cream as you go along. However, some planning is required to make the frozen dessert -- the brand recommends keeping the included Cuisinart freezing bowl in the freezer for 16 to 24 hours.

For a recipe that puts the heavy-duty Cuisinart motor to good use, check out this super-rich chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.

Cuisinart electric ice cream maker, $70

Whynter self-freezing automatic ice cream maker

Whynter ICM-200LS Automatic Ice Cream Maker
Whynter via Amazon

Want a machine that can keep up with sudden late-night ice cream cravings? The ICM-200LS automatic ice cream maker from Whynter does just that. With a built-in compressor freezer, you can use this ice cream maker without having to do any pre-planning or pre-freezing, and then quickly make additional batches as well. An extended cooling function prevents your ice cream from melting, and a motor protection function will kick in if the ice cream gets too solid to churn. This stainless-steel, 2.1-quart-capacity maker also has a removable mixing bowl and blade, so clean-up is a snap.

For a machine as convenient as this one, try out a slightly more involved and decadent recipe, such as this luxurious salted caramel ice cream from "New York Times Cooking."

Whynter self-freezing automatic ice cream maker, $283

Elite Gourmet old-fashioned electric ice cream maker

Elite gourmet ice cream maker
Elite Gourmet via Amazon

This pine bucket-styled electric ice cream maker from Elite Gourmet has the look of an old-fashioned ice cream maker, but doesn't require any old-fashioned elbow grease. In under 40 minutes, you can have up to 4 quarts of homemade ice cream by adding ice and salt, and then plugging the appliance in to do all the churning.

"This machine is the real deal," says one Amazon reviewer. "Quality ice cream was made with this... and my 4-year-old had fun helping me. It's now a family fun project."

This old-fashioned-looking ice cream maker calls for a classic ice cream flavor: Take a look at this old-school vanilla ice cream recipe from Add a Pinch.

Elite Gourmet old-fashioned electric ice cream maker, $50 (down from $70)

Yonanas fruit soft-serve machine

fruit soft serve machine
Yonanas via Amazon

Looking to make a refreshing summer treat that's vegan-friendly and healthier than most? This fruit soft-serve machine from Yonanas turns frozen fruit into a dessert-worthy snack in seconds. Simply insert your favorite fruits into the chute and churn out a tasty sorbet with ease. Even the clean-up is relatively simple: The chute, plunger, and blade are top-rack dishwasher-safe.

For this machine, try one of Yonanas' recipes for raspberry soft-serve

Yonanas fruit soft-serve machine, $35 (down from $50)

Yaylabs soft-shell ice cream ball

softshell ice cream ball
YayLabs! via Amazon

This softshell ice cream ball from Yaylabs is designed to turn dessert into an activity that's fun for the whole family -- in more than one way. Add cream, sugar and flavorings in one end and ice and rock salt in the other, and then start throwing the ball around. After about 25 minutes of play, the soft-shell ball produces approximately one pint of ice cream. Easy to clean and transport, this dishwasher-safe, BPA-free ball can go practically anywhere you can bring the necessary ingredients -- it's a fun addition to a picnic or beach day.

For this extra-involved ice cream-making process, try something timeless and simple, such as this mint chocolate chip recipe from Chew Out Loud. When you're ready to serve, just flip back the built-in handles and lay the ball on a flat surface to scoop out the ice cream.

Yaylabs soft-shell ice cream ball, $50

KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment

kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment
KitchenAid via Amazon

Searching for something that will blend well with your existing kitchen appliances? You don't necessarily need a new gadget to make ice cream at home if you have a KitchenAid stand mixer.

This ice cream maker attachment makes up to 2 quarts of ice cream and other frozen desserts in less than 30 minutes. All parts of the attachment, except for the freezer bowl, are dishwasher-safe for minimal clean-up time. For the best results, you'll need to plan on storing the freezer bowl in your freezer for at least 15 hours. 

Next time you're debating making cookies using your KitchenAid mixer, toss on the ice cream maker attachment instead and try out this cookie dough ice cream recipe from Julie's Eats and Treats.

KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, $96

Chef'n Sweet ice cream sandwich maker set

Chef'n Sweet ice cream sandwich maker

Here's a way to take that homemade ice cream to the next level: Turn it into an ice cream sandwich! Just bake some cookie or brownie batter in these silicone trays (a recipe is included), spread on homemade ice cream with the included spatula tool, freeze and enjoy.

Chef'n Sweet ice cream sandwich maker set, $30

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