Is Ice Cream Gluten Free?

Is Ice Cream Gluten Free? Not always. The good news is, gluten-free ice cream does exist, or you can make it yourself! Below, we cover how ice cream is made, which brands are safe to eat, and what ingredients to avoid. Plus, 14 no-churn gluten-free ice cream recipes that you can make at home!

Ice cream being scooped out of a metal pan on a green and white background with text overlay that says "Is Ice Cream Gluten Free?"

Ice Cream Can Be Gluten Free

In its purest form, ice cream is made from ingredients that are naturally free from gluten: milk, water, and sugar. For this reason, single-flavor varieties like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry are more likely to be gluten-free. However, many commercial ice cream brands also add wheat-based additives like fillers, thickeners, and stabilizers. Gluten can lurk where you least expect it!

Of course, then there are add-ins like cookies, fudgy brownies, cake chunks, and more. As a result, not all ice cream flavors are safe for people who are avoiding gluten. If you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, choosing the right ice cream can seem like a challenge. Ice cream is one of those foods with gluten that can take you by surprise.

So, if you’ve recently gone gluten-free and find yourself staring, perplexed, into the frosty glass of your local freezer aisle, don’t worry. Most major grocery stores carry gluten-free ice cream, or you can make it yourself! But first, let’s dive into the details.

Related: Is Peanut Butter Gluten Free?

An ice cream scoop scooping cookies and cream ice cream from a tub.

How Is Ice Cream Made?

So, let’s start with how it’s made. Ice cream relies on the creaminess of cow’s milk or a non-dairy milk alternative (like coconut milk) as its base. The fat in the cream helps keep ice cream from freezing solid.  

When it comes to making store-bought ice cream, the cream is combined with sugar, pasteurized, homogenized, cooled, and finally churned, aerating the cream to create a soft, smooth texture. 

Which Flavors Are Gluten Free?

I touched on it earlier, but most popular single flavors, such as chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, are typically gluten-free. Meanwhile, add-ins like cookie dough, brownies, or baked goods often contain wheat flour, and as a result, are not gluten-free. Always refer to a product’s labels to be sure, and keep an eye out for sneaky gluten-containing ingredients (see the next section).

Which Ingredients Should I Look Out For?

Gluten-containing ice creams can be obvious flavors, such as birthday cake or cookie dough ice cream. They can also hide in plain sight due to additives like thickeners and stabilizers that are sometimes derived from wheat. Unless a brand specifically states that a product is gluten-free, it’s safest to assume that it may contain gluten. 

When checking labels, look out for mentions of wheat flour and barley malt syrup, as well as starches, and flavorings that contain gluten or derivatives of gluten.

Some manufacturers may use gluten-free flour so that add-ins like cookie dough are safe for those with gluten intolerances. These products are almost always labeled, so keep an eye out, and see the section below for some popular gluten-free ice cream brands.

glass dish of melting mint chocolate chip ice cream topped with whipped cream and a cherry

Which Ice Cream Brands Are Gluten-Free?

So, which ice cream brands are safe for celiacs and gluten-free diets? When it comes to dairy-based ice creams, Ben & Jerry’s now makes many flavors of ice cream that are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). You’ll find other brands like Turkey Hill, Breyer’s, and even the store brand from Wegman’s are starting to label their products. But since they are not always certified, do always check with the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, plant-based ice cream by brands like Coconut Bliss and So Delicious also offer gluten-free options, too. Here are some more brands to consider when shopping for ice cream:

  • Alden’s Organics
  • Talenti Gelato
  • Whole Foods Organic Ice Cream
  • Straus Family Creamery
  • NadaMoo! (dairy-free)
  • Cado (dairy-free)

Avoiding Cross-Contamination

Sometimes, even though a product is free from gluten-containing ingredients, it’s produced in a facility that handles other gluten-containing products. This is where cross-contamination becomes a risk.

If you’re particularly sensitive to gluten, or if you’re celiac, it’s best to look for certified gluten-free labels. Ice cream that is certified is made on production lines that are free from cross-contamination.

Of course, always read the labels to make sure that the ice cream you’re buying is, in fact, safe to eat. If you’re still unsure, your next best bet is to make it yourself! Homemade ice cream is way easier than you might think, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. I’ve included my best no-churn gluten-free ice cream recipes below!

Ice Cream filled with rainbow sprinkles in a green polka dot bowl with the ice cream container and more bowls and spoons in the background.

14 Homemade Gluten-Free Ice Cream Recipes

There’s nothing quite like rich and creamy, homemade ice cream. Below, I’ve rounded up my favorite no-churn ice cream recipes for you to try:

An ice cream scoop scooping cookies and cream ice cream from a tub.

No-Churn Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Make your own cookies and cream ice cream that's jam-packed with crushed chocolate cookies, and totally gluten-free. This recipe comes together with minimal ingredients, without an ice cream maker!
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No-churn Reese's ice cream is scooped from a loaf pan with a large ice cream scoop.

No-Churn Reese’s Ice Cream

This homemade Reese's ice cream is filled with everyone's favorite peanut butter cups, and so delicious. It's the ultimate dessert for the gluten-free peanut butter lover in your life.
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An ice cream scoop serves chocolate chip cookie dough no-churn ice cream from a metal loaf pan, topped with chunks of cookie dough and chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough No-Churn Ice Cream

Make this easy no-churn cookie dough ice cream with tender chunks of gluten-free edible cookie dough! This luscious homemade ice cream recipe is extra crave-worthy. You'll want to devour the whole tub, I can almost guarantee it.
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No-Churn Birthday Cake Ice Cream in a green polka dot bowl on top of a colorful striped cloth napkin.

No-Churn Cake Batter Ice Cream

Who's ready to celebrate? Because this birthday cake ice cream recipe is sure to be a hit. The best part is, you don't need an ice cream maker. This is a festive frozen treat filled with creamy vanilla cake batter flavor, and lots of rainbow sprinkles!
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Graham Cracker Chocolate Chunk No-Churn Ice Cream

This is my homemade copycat of our family-favorite Graham Central Station Ice Cream from Bruster's! You need only 4 ingredients, and the flavors come together perfectly, tied in with crunchy graham crackers and chocolate chips.
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No-Churn Ice Cream with Nutella and Toffee Bits in a large white bowl.

No-Churn Nutella Toffee Ice Cream

You're going to go crazy for this easy ice cream recipe with crunchy toffee and Nutella swirled throughout. It's the most delicious frozen dessert that you can make, no churning needed.
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small metal cup of muddy buddy ice cream on top of a blue cloth napkin next to colorful spoons in front of the loaf pan with the rest of the ice cream

No-Churn Muddy Buddy Ice Cream

Turn your favorite Chex cereal snack mix into a rich and creamy homemade ice cream flavor! This recipe combines chocolatey muddy buddies (you might know it as puppy chow) and a silky peanut butter swirl in a soft, creamy no-churn ice cream base.
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Mint ice cream with chocolate chunks and pieces that was scooped out of a loaf pan into a glass bowl

No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Skip the ice cream parlor. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is insanely easy to make at home! With zero churning and just 4 ingredients, you can have this classic ice cream flavor ready for the freezer in minutes.
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two bowls of nutella brownie ice cream with a pan of brownies in the background

Nutella Brownie Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream

This no-churn ice cream filled with crumbled gluten-free brownies, globs of Nutella, and chocolate swirled throughout is the ultimate frozen treat! Did I mention it has a cream cheese ice cream base? Heaven on a spoon!
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Caramel Apple Swirl Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream

No-Churn Caramel Apple Cheesecake Ice Cream

This apple cheesecake ice cream is one of my must-make fall recipes when fresh apples are in season. Sometimes I'll even whip it out as a Thanksgiving dessert! It's that good. No churning, filled with gooey chunks of caramel apples in a tangy cheesecake-inspired base.
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No-Churn Caramel Toffee Chip Cheesecake Ice Cream in a paper bowl

No-Churn Chocolate Chip Toffee Caramel Cheesecake Ice Cream

I've taken my favorite no-churn cheesecake ice cream recipe and loaded it up with toffee, chocolate chips, and buttery caramel. It's honestly so simple, and the combination of flavors will blow you away!
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Nutella Pumpkin Ice Cream

No-Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream with Nutella Swirl

Why sacrifice frozen desserts in the name of fall? This pumpkin ice cream recipe has plenty of pumpkin spice to warm you up, and it's studded with enough chocolate to satisfy any sweet tooth.
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Easy No-Easy Cheesecake Ice Cream with two silver spoons

No-Churn Cheesecake Ice Cream

This no-churn cheesecake ice cream tastes like a slice of tangy vanilla cheesecake wrapped up into a cool and creamy scoop. You can make it with only 4 ingredients. It's amazing on its own, or use it as a base for even more delicious gluten-free add-ins!
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Salted Ripple Chip No-Churn Ice Cream

Creamy salted dulce de leche ups the wow factor in this easy no-churn ice cream recipe! It's loaded with chunks of chocolate, rich caramel, and a decadent fudge ripple. Seriously indulgent, and completely gluten-free!
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Check out my recipe finder for even more homemade gluten-free desserts and treats!

Sources: Healthline,