Traditional recipes

Creamy gelato recipe

Creamy gelato recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Frozen desserts
  • Ice cream

The following recipe will show you how to make the basic gelato (Italian ice cream). Add vanilla beans, ground hazelnuts, unsweetened cocoa or coconut flakes - the choice is limited only by your imagination.

129 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 475ml milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g sugar

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:3hr ›Extra time:8hr chilling › Ready in:11hr20min

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm until foam forms around the edges. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until frothy. Gradually pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. If small egg lumps begin to show, remove from heat immediately.
  3. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
  4. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a sealed container and freeze until firm. If the gelato is too firm, place it in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(95)

Reviews in English (81)

by naples34102

Gelato differs from ice cream in that it has a lower fat content (higher ratio of milk to cream) and less overrun (volume of air) which makes it denser and creamier than ice cream and mimics the higher quality, more expensive commercial ice creams. This recipe, with its higher milk to cream ratio and the deliberate omission of vanilla, is an authentic recipe for Italian "Gelato di Crema." To omit eggs, or to reverse this lower fat, cream to milk ratio in this recipe, effectively makes this ice cream, not Italian Gelato. The only flaw here, and certainly no fault of this recipe, is that our home ice cream makers cannot duplicate the slow churning necessary to create less overrun (air) which results in the creaminess and density gelato is known for, so this was a little on the grainy or icy side. This is just delicious, and truly Italian! If you think this would be missing something without adding vanilla, just give it a try!-21 Jun 2008

by weatherman

This recipe tasted pretty close to the gelato I enjoyed in Rome. It was perhaps (as one other person suggeted) a little eggy, but it wasn't too bad and the texture was devine. I used a 1-quart ice cream maker, and the recipe yielded about 3/4 of a quart, so in the future I will likely increase the recipe by 25% except for the eggs, which I think should balance the taste better. To flavor this recipe I used about 7 oz of Nutella, which gave it a delicious hazelnutty flavor, and I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup because the Nutella is pretty sweet on its own. It came out pretty nice.-05 Jun 2006


Wow, I feel kind like a trailblazer!ostaff1, thanks for sharing this basic recipe.We changed it up a bit since I had a LOT of half and half on hand we used that instead of the milk and added 2 teaspoons of real vanilla(accept no substitutes on vanilla in my book), but we missed a step and forgot to strain the mix before refrigerating it overnight.It took least than 20 minutes in the ice cream freezer and will double this next time because it wasn't enough for the beaters to really work on. If not for the straining issue, this would have been velvety and smoooth from beginning to end of taste, but because we forgot a film develops on the roof of your mouth and the spoon after eating this for a bit.Still delicious, but DON'T FORGET TO STRAINTHIS!-11 Oct 2003

How to Make Real-Deal Italian Gelato at Home

Matt Taylor-Gross

Yes, it’s a dessert, but at this point in the collective American unconscious, it’s also an idea. An aspiration. Gelato is the sophisticated European answer to everything crassly American. More pure. More worldly, yet too good for this world. Gelato is everywhere now, but the mystique remains. The idea of the perfect gelato experience still feels rare. And actually making it? Unattainable.

I admit to being a perpetrator of this magical thinking. Despite owning three ice cream machines and spending my Friday nights churning up new flavors on a whim. I’ve made soft serve. Sorbet. Frozen yogurt. Midwestern custard. But gelato’s always seemed out of reach.

Truth is, this has more to do with the Italian delight in yelling at other people for screwing up their food—see: Entire Town Mad at a Chef for Putting Garlic in His Pasta Sauce—than any innate difficulty making gelato. Gelato is just the Italian word for ice cream, and if you can make boxed brownie mix, you can make ice cream.

The key to making great gelato? Knowing what it is and how to overcome its limitations.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Prepare an ice bath, and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the milk, cream, and cocoa to a simmer over medium-low heat. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until pale yellow and very thick, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add half the milk mixture to the yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Stir combined mixture back into remaining milk mixture. Add the chocolate, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Pass the mixture through a very fine sieve into a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath, and chill completely. Freeze in an ice-cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions, until gelato just holds its shape. Transfer to a metal loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

Basic Vanilla Gelato

Drizzle in melted chocolate for a decadent stracciatela gelato.



3 cups whole milk, divided

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon liquid pectin

Nutritional information

Nutritional information per serving (based on ½ cup):
Calories 211 (46% from fat) &bull carb. 26g &bull pro. 3g &bull fat 11g &bull sat. fat 7g
&bull chol. 43mg &bull sod. 61mg &bull calc. 106mg &bull fiber 0g


1. In a medium saucepan, combine cream and 2 cups of the milk.Set over medium/medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.

2. While cream/milk mixture is heating, put the remaining milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla into a small-medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

3. Once milk/cream mixture comes to a simmer, add the milk/sugar mixture and stir until fully combined. While still set over medium/medium-low heat, continuously stir until mixture boils and thickens to where it can coat the back of a spoon (this will take about 15 minutes, depending on the stove being used).

4. Remove pan from heat, stir in pectin, strain and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of at least 2 hours, or overnight. Whisk mixture together again before pouring into the ice cream maker.

5. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl of the Cuisinart® Ice Cream and Gelato Maker fitted with the gelato paddle. Turn unit on, set Timer and press Start. Let mix until thickened, about 40 minutes. The gelato will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

*This can also be frozen in a regular ice cream maker, according to the model's instructions. It will not have the exact texture and density as if made in the gelato maker, but it will still be delicious.

Gelato Ingredients

Gelato is made with only a few ingredients, so it is important to use the highest quality. Horizon® Organic whole milk and cream combine to make this beautiful, creamy gelato.

Horizon® Organic milk comes from cows that did not receive synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Cows receive certified organic pasture and feed, both of which are grown without the use of toxic persistent pesticides or GMOs. I give my family Horizon® Organic products with confidence that I am buying the best quality milk available.

By the way, because mangos are naturally sweet this recipe doesn&rsquot have as much added sugar as other gelato recipes. I love making gelato and this popular blueberry gelato recipe is a reader favorite every year.

As mentioned, the ratio of milk to cream is what sets gelato apart from ice cream. Here we&rsquoll use one and a half cups of Horizon® Organic whole milk and a half cup of Horizon® Organic heavy whipping cream.

You&rsquoll need these ingredients to make mango gelato:

  • Yellow mango
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice

While we believe ice cream can be enjoyed 365 days a year, it feels extra right come summer. There's nothing like cooling off with a double (or triple) scoop in a cone topped with hot fudge sauce, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. Here, we're serving up all kinds of flavors that range from traditional churning methods to no-churn, delicious dairy delights and vegan recipes, as well as sorbet, sherbet, and gelato iterations. You'll find classic ice cream recipes for old-fashioned scoops like vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream, and coffee, as well as seasonal spins such as pumpkin and peach ice cream. It's time to put your ice cream maker to good use.

If you need to follow a dairy-free diet, know that you can still enjoy ice cream. We have recipes including vegan ice cream made from a coconut milk base (as opposed to the usual heavy cream, whole milk, or condensed milk). Plus, all of our sorbet recipes—which run the gamut from Meyer lemon to mixed berries to grapefruit—are dairy-free and are made just with a few ingredients (usually puréed fruit, sugar, and lemon juice).

Along the way, our recipes will teach you how to prevent ice crystals from forming when churning ice cream and achieve a smooth, luscious texture. If you're short on time, we also have quick ice cream recipes that come together in less than one hour and chill in a flash.

On a hot day, grab an ice cream scoop, your favorite toppings, and prepare a delicious bowl (or cone!) of ice cream, sorbet, sherbet, or gelato using these sweet recipes. Make them ahead so that you can enjoy them at the drop of a hat on a beautiful summer day.

A lot of people think that they can’t make ice cream because they don’t have an ice cream machine, but that isn’t true! Just follow these super-simple steps (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Combine 1/2 cup of milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl, mixing until the lumps are gone.
  2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and salt. You could also add a vanilla pod now, if you are using.
  3. When that begins to steam, pour in the milk/cornstarch mixture and whisk for 4-5 minutes. You will notice it will now begin to thicken.
  4. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Let it cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  5. When you’re ready to make the gelato and the mixture is cold, remove the vanilla pod from the mixture and place the bowl in the freezer.
  6. Every 4 or 5 hours, vigorously stir the mixture, making sure to scrape the frozen bits to the center until it is all incorporated and then return to the freezer.
  7. Once the gelato remains incorporated, it is done! Cover and store the bowl in the freezer for up to one week.

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural (see Note)
  • 2 14-ounce cans “lite” coconut milk (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Put cocoa in a medium bowl and whisk in enough coconut milk (about 2/3 cup) to make a smooth paste. Stir in vanilla.

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the remaining coconut milk. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until the mixture begins to barely simmer around the edges. Then, stirring constantly and scraping the sides and corners of the pan to prevent scorching, let the mixture simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to fully cook the cornstarch. Scrape the hot mixture into the bowl with the cocoa mixture. Whisk until well blended. Let cool, undisturbed, for about 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

Pour the gelato mixture into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 refrigerate for up to 1 day. Store gelato in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week. For the best texture, let soften slightly before serving.

Equipment: Ice cream maker

Note: Cocoa powder comes in two styles: natural and Dutch-processed. Dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with alkali, or "Dutched," to neutralize the natural acidity of cocoa, while natural has not. For this recipe, we prefer the taste of natural cocoa powder, although either type can be used.


Although it’s called Fior di latte, every recipe I’ve ever seen contains some amount of cream. And as I mention above, with too little cream it starts to taste a little “hard” to me.

There is in fact a variation called Fior di panna (“flower of cream”, obviously). But it’s not clear to me at what point the amount of cream means it’s a Fior di panna rather than a Fior di latte!

Anyway I’m using 36% fat cream. You can of course use cream with a different fat content. Just be aware that you won’t get the 7% fat that I’m aiming for without adjusting the recipe.

Cinnamon Gelato

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 7 H
  • Serves 8 | Makes 1 quart

Special Equipment: Ice cream maker

Ingredients US Metric

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk and cream and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to appear around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F (77°C).

Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously.

Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F (85°C). Do not bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. (To hasten the cooling process, place the bowl of custard in an ice bath and stir until the custard has cooled.) Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or overnight. Originally published June 09, 2010.

Gently whisk the vanilla and cinnamon into the custard. Pour the mixture into the container of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon into an airtight container to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

An Elegant Scoop

For a beautiful presentation, try scooping your gelato into oval shapes called quenelles. First, soften the gelato slightly and have ready a bowl of hot water and two large dessert spoons. Dip one of the spoons in the hot water, scoop out the gelato, then use the second spoon to form it into an oval shape, transferring the gelato back and forth between the two spoons until the scoop is evenly shaped and perfectly smooth.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

For some reason, I thought gelato was much too hard to make at home. It turns out the hardest thing is separating the eggs. Yes, it’s rather time consuming—making the base custard can be a slow process thanks to slow heating and even slower chilling—but it’s worth it. This cinnamon gelato is rich and creamy, brimming with spicy cinnamon. I’m already making up excuses to make this again.

Creamy and delicious, with loads of cinnamon flavor! These are easy-to-follow steps, but keep a watchful eye while the milk and cream simmer, and later when you add the egg yolks. I might add another 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla to pump up that flavor note, but otherwise, I didn’t alter the recipe.

Leave it to upscale, innovative Ciao Bella to deliver the goods to those who want to make fabulous gelato at home. This frozen treat will both cool you down and spice things up. The custard base has a higher milk-to-cream ratio than many of my other favorite ice cream recipes, but a lot less sugar and fewer egg yolks (enough to convince me I can indulge a little more often).

The headnote is right on in calling this gelato both simple and sophisticated, and the “warmth” of the cinnamon also means that this is a frozen dessert for all seasons: imagine it paired with apple or pear pies in the colder months. For summer, it’s fabulous on its own, topped with berries, or served affogato-style with a shot of hot espresso. And don’t be fooled into thinking this is just for adults, either. On a scale of 1 to 10, my 7-year-old son gave this “a million.”

This gelato was rich in flavor, creamy in texture, and simple to make. I followed the directions exactly and it came out perfect. The recipe states to stir occasionally to prevent the skin from forming, and you do want to watch that—maybe stir a bit more then suggested, because it will create a skin pretty quickly if you’re not careful. I served this over an Apple Brown Betty and the cinnamon nicely complimented the spice in the topping of the brown betty.

I was so excited when I saw this recipe. One of my favorite local ice cream shops from time to time has cinnamon ice cream, and it’s always my first choice. Now, when they don't have it, I can turn to this wonderful recipe. This gelato was so nice and creamy with just the right amount of cinnamon.

It was a hit served alongside of the peach cobbler. I didn’t make any changes to this recipe, as it resulted in a perfect gelato without having to make any adjustments. This cinnamon gelato is a winner in my book.

This is the easiest gelato recipe I’ve ever made. The base is wonderful and I plan to include other add-ins to give it wonderful flavors. The bitter cinnamon flavor is great with the creamy vanilla. It’s simply heaven in a bowl.

I even made this recipe using lactose-free milk instead of the whole milk, and it still was very creamy. The key while spinning the gelato is to not stop too early, or else you won’t get a smooth creamy texture—you’ll have a gritty texture with ice crystals.

I chose to use Ceylon cinnamon since I’ve recently been playing around with it and wondered how it would play in the gelato. The overall flavor was mild but pleasant, with nice depth. The directions were easy to follow and I didn’t run into any problems. I appreciated the included temperatures—I wouldn’t normally be that precise—but the extra information should be beneficial to beginners. If you like cinnamon, you’ll like this gelato.

This cinnamon gelato is everything a winning ice cream should be—rich, creamy, and smooth on your tongue. The warm spice of cinnamon is the star ingredient. Each melt-in-your-mouth bite is filled with notable flavor, making it the perfect accompaniment to apple crisp or a chocolate brownie.

This gelato is easy to make but can’t be rushed. I made the base a day ahead of time, and it took me awhile to heat the custard to 185°F on my stovetop. I eventually had to increase the temperature to medium-low and stir the base constantly so it wouldn’t boil and curdle. The custard thickened as it chilled, which made for easy processing in the ice cream maker.

After 24 hours in the freezer, the gelato had hardened well. It made approximately 3/4 of a quart and formed solid scoops, which featured its distinct sandy color. I recommend making two separate batches of this gelato, because just one is sure to disappear quickly.


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Oh, gasp! Ciao Bella? The-most-wonderful-ice-cream-sandwiches-ever Ciao Bella? Don’t think they make their ice cream sandwiches anymore, as of a few years ago, but, they were key lime ice cream with graham crackers. Unbelievably blissful. My heart gets a little crimp in it every time I pass the frozen case, hoping against hope that they will materialize before my eyes. sigh.

Okay, well, then, this cinnamon gelato must be made then if it’s Ciao Bella. Sounds more like an ice cream with the custard base. Thanksgiving’s around the corner. . .would be outstanding with a pear and cranberry pie with a gingersnap crumble topping!