4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (2024)

4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (1)

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Cuisinart ice cream makers have topped our list of the best ice cream makers for more than a decade now. The brand offers a variety of styles at different price points, and the machines are easy to use. And, most importantly, they make delicious ice cream that’s thick and creamy (and churned in less than 30 minutes!). They’re the perfect tool for making a no-bake summer dessert, and they allow you to create the flavor of your dreams.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab has been testing ice cream makers for years, and we have been impressed with the eight options we've tested from Cuisinart. Depending on the model, you can make ice cream, gelato, sorbet and even soft serve. You can also make a healthier frozen dessert like frozen yogurt.

Our top picks:

Read on for further info on how we tested these ice cream makers and what to look for when shopping for one.


Best Overall Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker

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  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (7)Produced rich ice cream and smooth sorbet in Lab tests
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (8)Built-in countdown timer
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (9)Somewhat noisy during use

Our recent round of testing put the latest model — Cool Creations — on top. It's similar to previous models but includes a built-in LED timer that counts down the minutes until your dessert is ready. It is a freezer bowl model that uses an internal motor to spin the bowl against a paddle. The company says it has improved the paddle with this version. The lid has an opening so you can easily add mix-ins during churning, and the cap for the opening includes measurement markings. The cord tucks into the base for compact storage. We found that the two-quart capacity bowl yielded about six cups of ice cream.

We loved the ice cream and sorbet we made. Both were creamy and smooth. The appliance may be on the loud side, but our Lab pros loved the resulting ice cream and sorbet too. We did find all the picks somewhat loud but on par with other ice cream makers of this style. If you choose a freezer bowl style, be sure you have enough freezer space (at least temporarily) to store it for freezing.

TypeFreezer bowl
Dimensions9.74" x 8.62" x 13.22"
Capacity2 quarts
Types of frozen dessertIce cream, gelato, sorbet


Best Value Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker

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4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (11)

  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (12)Great results in testing
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (13)Simple controls
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (14)No settings for different desserts

The classic Cuisinart Pure Indulgence is our pick for best overall ice cream maker because it's a reliable and straightforward machine. It received high marks in our Lab tests, thanks to its rich vanilla ice cream and smooth, flavorful sorbet. It has a large opening on top so that you can add mix-ins during churning, and the cord tucks into the base when it's time to store the unit.

We like the simple controls — just on and off — but that does mean you can't choose settings for different textures, like ice cream versus gelato. It yielded about six cups of ice cream in our test. Like the others on this list, it's also somewhat noisy during churning.

TypeFreezer bowl
Dimensions8.25" x 8" x 11.25"
Capacity2 quarts
Types of frozen dessertIce cream, sorbet


Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for Soft Serve

Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker

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  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (16)Allows you to mix in small toppings
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (17)Built-in slot to hold cake and sugar cones
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (18)Did not perform as well with sorbet

Soft serve at home! This fun maker uses a freezer bowl with a hole in the bottom that lets you dispense your ice cream with the pull of a lever. Our testers (and lucky tasters) were really pleased with the soft serve ice cream: It swirled into cups and cones just like it would at your favorite shop. Take note that you have to get a feel for when it’s ready to serve and that you’ll have a limited window for keeping it soft. But no worries: If it churns longer, you can just scoop it out of the freezer bowl like a traditional ice cream! In our tests, the sorbet was delicious but more like a slushie than a soft serve sorbet. But it dispensed smoothly and was a refreshing option.

This eye-catching machine has three chambers designed to hold small mix-ins, and they add some color to the experience. We loved adding texture like sprinkles and mini chocolate chips to our soft serve, but the mix-ins didn't always dispense smoothly (it sometimes took several tries to get the toppings to leave the hopper). The machine also has a built-in slot for cones (we found cake cones worked better than sugar cones, but it can hold either) so you have a receptacle at hand when you're swirling.

TypeFreezer bowl
Dimensions9.75" x 9" x 18.2"
Capacity1.5 quarts
Types of frozen dessertIce cream, sorbet

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Best Compressor-Style Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

Cuisinart Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker

4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (19)

  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (20)No need to freeze the bowl
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (21)Simple controls
  • 4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (22)Large and a bit louder than the other models on this list

Ice cream makers with a built-in compressor are so simple to use: No need to freeze the bowl ahead of time. Just pour in your ice cream base and turn the machine on. It functions via an internal cooling mechanism — the compressor — that chills the ice cream as it churns. Cuisinart's model got a near-perfect score for ease of use: It's easy to set up, and testers found the controls intuitive. It includes a countdown timer so you can check how much churn time is left. The company notes that it comes with separate ice cream and gelato paddles.

Our pros were also happy with the texture of the ice cream but did find the texture of the sorbet more pleasing on initial tasting than after freezing. You do pay for the convenience of the compressor, so this model is a bit pricier. And the compressor does tend to be a little louder than the freezer-bowl models on our list.

Dimensions16.73" x 12" x 9.33"
Capacity1.5 quarts
Types of frozen dessertIce cream, gelato, sorbet

How we test the best ice cream makers

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The experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab have tested more than 20 ice cream makers over the years. For each, we make a classic vanilla ice cream and a peach sorbet. We of course eat the ice cream and sorbet to assess the flavor and texture. But we also evaluate the ease of setup, intuitiveness, noise level during operation, ease of cleaning and helpfulness of the manual.

For the soft serve test, we loaded each chamber of the toppings holders. We followed the recipes in the manual for a basic vanilla ice cream as well as a lemon sorbet. We then swirled ice cream with mix-ins into a bowl to check distribution and served up an ice cream cone without mix-ins to determine speed and control. We timed how long it took to reach a soft-serve consistency as well as how quickly it became too firm to dispense.

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What to look for in a Cuisinart ice cream maker

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    ✔️ Type: Cuisinart makes three basic styles of ice cream maker:

    • The classic-style ice cream maker with freezable bowl requires you to freeze a bucket-like bowl before churning. You then pour your chilled ice cream base into the bowl, which spins against a paddle, creating the frozen texture of ice cream. Most home models use this method, and it makes the machine reasonably affordable. The downside is that you must sacrifice some freezer space when freezing the bucket.
    • The compressor-style ice cream maker is designed with an internal cooling mechanism (a.k.a. compressor) that chills the ice cream while it churns. The overall machine is generally a bit larger, but you do not need to freeze any parts before using.
    • The soft serve machine ice cream with freezable bowl and dispenser we've recommended uses a freezer bowl that has a hole in the bottom to allow you to dispense the ice cream before it is fully set.

    ✔️ Price: Cuisinart models run from $70 up to $300, so consider what features are must-haves when choosing your maker.

    ✔️ Machine footprint: Cuisinart's compressor machine takes up more space horizontally, but the bowl-style machines require more vertical height. You particularly want to be able to see into the top of the soft serve machine to determine when to dispense.

    ✔️ Batch size: All Cuisinart ice cream machines make either 1.5 or 2 quarts of ice cream. For those we chose, the compressor and the soft serve make 1.5 quarts, while the other two make 2 quarts.

    Why trust Good Housekeeping?

    4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (27)

    Sarah Wharton is a deputy editor in the Good Housekeeping Institute. She is a trained cook and regularly makes ice cream at home. She led the testing for these ice cream makers. She has also written about other fun products like hot chocolate makers, milk frothers and fondue pots.

    4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (28)

    Sarah Gregory Wharton

    Deputy Editor, Testing & Research

    Sarah (she/her) is a deputy editor in the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she tests products and covers the best picks across kitchen, tech, health and food. She has been cooking professionally since 2017 and has tested kitchen appliances and gear for Family Circle as well as developed recipes and food content for Simply Recipes, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Oxo and Food52. She holds a certificate in professional culinary arts from the International Culinary Center (now the Institute of Culinary Education).

    4 Best Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers (2024)


    What is the best Cuisinart ice cream maker? ›

    We've tested 21 ice cream makers over the years, and our favorite is the Cuisinart ICE-21. With a bit of prep and practice, this machine is easy to use and to clean. And it churns out creamy, rich ice cream—no elbow grease required.

    What is the best homemade ice cream maker? ›

    Ease of Use
    Best Overall: Ninja Creami Deluxe 11-in-1 Ice Cream Maker$223 at Amazon5
    Best Budget: Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, & Sorbet MakerSee price at Amazon4.9
    Best Splurge: Breville The Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker$484 at Amazon5
    Best Old-Fashioned: Nostalgia Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker$48 at Amazon4.5
    4 more rows
    Jan 25, 2024

    Which is better Cuisinart or Magimix ice cream maker? ›

    The verdict: Ice cream makers

    Ultimately our best buy went to Cuisinart's ice cream and gelato professional, because it did everything well at a palatable price. But the Magimix gelato expert only very narrowly missed out to the top spot due to the higher price.

    Does the Cuisinart ice cream maker work? ›

    this machine makes excellent ice cream. It's very easy to use and it comes with a few recipes. to work it, basically, there is an "on" and "off" switch and that's it. the reason why I gave it 4 stars is because of the NOISE!!

    How to choose an ice cream maker? ›

    When buying the best ice cream maker, it's important to consider how often you will be using it and how big your batches will be. If you have a big family or want to make ice cream for entertaining purposes, you may want to consider a large-capacity maker.

    Is it worth buying an ice cream maker? ›

    Cost Saving & Value for Money

    Even though the initial cost of an ice cream machine is high, the cost you save in the long run compared to that of store-bought ice cream is far less for the quality of the finished ice cream and the convenience of purchasing in store or online.

    What milk is best for ice cream maker? ›

    This is usually due to either not freezing fast enough, or too much water forming large ice crystals. When making ice cream, you want to use whole milk and cream, rather than 2% or skim milk, because it has more fat contributing to smaller ice crystals and a better/creamier texture.

    Can I use snow instead of ice in my ice cream maker? ›

    It is perfectly safe and just uses the snow to chill the ice cream.

    Is it worth it to make your own ice cream? ›

    It's all about the flavor. Homemade ice cream, without artificial ingredients, fake thickeners, or unnatural stabilizers to keep it "fresh" for weeks (or months!) in the grocery store freezer, is amazingly flavorful and actually fresh tasting. It's true.

    What brand of ice cream maker do they use on MasterChef? ›

    The Cuisinart Ice Cream & Gelato Professional arguably sits within an elite category of ice cream makers: it often makes an appearance on cheffy TV shows like MasterChef and is a favourite in commercial kitchens and among ice cream enthusiasts. We took it for a test run and found it ticked plenty of boxes…

    What ice cream machine does McDonald's use? ›

    McDonald's buys ice cream machines from Taylor, a restaurant equipment manufacturer, and Taylor is the only one allowed to fix these machines thanks to copyright law. When a Taylor ice cream machine breaks, it displays nonsensical error messages to confuse third parties.

    How long should I churn ice cream in my Cuisinart ice cream maker? ›

    Turn the Cuisinart® ice cream maker on; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.

    Do you have to freeze the bowl in the Cuisinart ice cream maker? ›

    The freezer bowl must be completely frozen before you begin your recipe.

    What is the liquid inside a Cuisinart ice cream maker? ›

    The liquid within the freezer bowl is a non-toxic saline solution.

    What is the difference between Cuisinart ice 70 and 70c? ›

    no difference: ice 70 is US model and ice 70c Canadian.

    What is the best Cuisinart cookware line? ›

    Find the Best Cuisinart Pots, Pans, & Cookware for You
    • Cuisinart Round Fry Pan With Helper.
    • Cuisinart 12-Piece MultiClad Pro Stainless Cookware Set.
    • Cuisinart 12-Piece SmartNest Nonstick Aluminum Cookware Set.
    • Cuisinart Chef's Classic 1.5-Quart Saucepan and 3-Quart Saucepan.
    • Enameled Cast Iron 5-Quart Round Casserole.
    Jan 29, 2024

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