Soft-serve Ice Cream

Soft-serve Ice Cream

Soft-serve ice cream is that delicious soft, creamy goodness that has a rich texture and is tastier than the rest. Ok, tastes are better left un-debated but we seriously prefer this type of ice cream than any other.

Why is that? Well, first of all, soft-serve ice cream has a richer taste than any other ice cream. It is also loaded with more fat and sugar than your regular bowl of ice cream. Granted, this does not make it a super healthy option, but then again, what is healthy today, right?

This type of ice cream is usually made with a soft serve ice cream machine. These machines are expensive as heck, especially the commercial versions that need to be more heavy duty and churn out tons of ice cream on a daily basis.

However, there are ways you can make soft serve ice cream even with your regular ice cream machine. The point here is to make it on a higher temperature than you would regular and to try and whip in more air into it that way.

Difference between regular and soft serve ice cream​

The difference is small and subtle, but it accounts for the creaminess and richness of texture. It is primarily in the way that ice cream mixture is made. This is what you need to pay attention to when making soft serve.

  • Soft serve ice cream is produced and served at a temperature of - 4 C as opposed to regular ice cream that is chilled to -15 degrees and only then served.
  • It also has a higher content of butter in it, at least in some pre-prepared mixtures you can find on the market.
  • On the other hand, it has lower contents of milk fat, usually ranging from 3 to 6%. Regular ice cream has 8 to 10 % of milk fat incorporated into the mixture.
  • The biggest difference is the amount of air that soft serve ice cream has. Ideally, this will be anywhere between 35 to 40%. The amount of air is also called overrun and ice cream with more overrun is creamier and has richer texture.

Types of soft serve ice cream mixtures​

There are different types of soft serve mixtures you can use. They all taste pretty much the same but there is some difference in how they should be stored.

  • Fresh liquid requires around the clock refrigeration until needed. You can store it for 5 to 7 days before it goes bad and develops a bacterial contamination. Quality will be really compromised by bacterial contamination so you have to be careful when handling it.
  • A powdered mix is a dried out version of the above mentioned liquid mix. It is easily distributed and you can store it for longer periods of time without it going to waste. You must add water before you churn and freeze it.
  • Ultra heat treated mix is a sort of a liquid that was sterilized and packed in sterile bags. It will last for a very long time and does not need refrigeration; you can pour it into the soft serve freezer as soon as you open it.

Making soft serve at home​

The reality here is that you can’t really make proper soft serve ice cream at home unless you have a real soft serve ice cream machine. However, you can totally hack your regular ice cream maker to churn out some great soft serve and this is how you do it.​

  • Prepare a mix for soft serve – remember, you will need more butter and less milk fat in this case – you will find a couple of soft serve mixture recipes’ at the bottom of this article.
  • If you have an electric ice cream maker that has its own refrigerator unit make sure to raise the temperature as far up as it will go.
  • Churn the mixture for twenty minutes on high speed – the goal here is to whip in as much air as you possibly can.
  • After 20 minutes take out the mixture and churn it for additional 10 minutes with a wooden spoon or a whisk – this will increase the overrun.

And there you have it! It might not be perfect, but you got yourself some homemade soft serve ice cream!

Popular soft serve recipes​

We’ve included 2 of our most popular soft serve recipes right here. For more delicious mixtures you can visit this page. Let us know about your favorite flavors if you decide to try any of these at home!

Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream

Milk, whole

1 kg


225 g

Heavy cream

100 g

Nonfat dry milk powder

95 g

Vanilla extract, pure

12 g


3.5 g

  • Combine all ingredients in the pitcher of a blender.
  • Blend to combine ingredients, about one minute.
  • Cover and reserve in the freezer until you’re ready to churn.

Mint Soft Serve Ice Cream

Vanilla bean seeds, optional

2 g


600 g

Heavy cream

600 g


200 g

Xanthan gum, optional

1 g

Mint, leaves, whole

75 g

Egg yolk

185 g


5 g

Dark chocolate 70%

150 g

  • Place whole mint leaves in a bowl.
  • Add milk, cream, and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and pour over mint leaves.
  • Let it steep for about a minute. Strain and remove the leave and toss them into the trash.
  • Combine all ingredients in the pitcher of a blender.
  • Blend to combine ingredients, about one minute.
  • Cover and reserve in the freezer until you’re ready to churn.