Skip to main content

In 1929, Tom Carvel began selling ice cream from a truck in New York. In 1934, his truck got a flat tire, and his ice cream began to soften; he sold it anyway. Two years later, Carvel became the first retailer to develop and market soft ice cream—what we often call soft-serve.

National Soft Ice Cream Day (August 19th) celebrates Carvel's innovative franchise and his patented low-temperature machines that incorporated air into ice cream during the freezing process. Today, most boxed ice creams sold in stores employ Carvel's churning methods. To get it on the fun, we rounded up 8 homemade recipes inspired by the coolest ice cream brands. If you're dairy intolerant or have dietary restrictions, we've got you covered too!

The Master Ice Cream Recipe

Inspired by McConnell's Sweet Cream Ice Cream

McConnell's Fine Ice Creams is a 70-year-old, third-generation, family-run business that also makes what some have called "the best ice cream in the world". McConnell's Sweet Cream Ice Cream is sold in stores and available online, but if you can't get to one of their scoop shops, whet your craving with New York Times' 'Master Ice Cream Recipe'. Enjoy as is or use it as the base for any flavors you can imagine.

Cereal Milk Ice Cream

Original recipe from Milk Bar

No ice cream aficionado's bucket list would be complete without Milk Bar's Cereal Milk Ice Cream by Christina Tosi. You don't have to fly to NYC or ship it to your home for a taste. They've made their Cereal Milk Recipe available online! Use "If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen's" instructions to transform it into Cereal Milk Ice Cream

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Original recipe from Coolhaus

Coolhaus co-founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started selling their creations from a truck in 2009. Today, Coolhaus' treats are available at 10 mobile ice cream trucks and in over 4,000 markets ranging from Whole Foods to Kroger and Safeway, in all 50 states, along with Asia and the Middle East. One co-founder shares their original recipe for Coolhaus' Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream here.

Peach & Cherry Stone Ice Cream

Original recipe from Salt & Straw

No trip to Portland (and now S.F. & L.A.) would be complete without a visit to the inimitable Salt & Straw shop. Their 'farm-to-cone' offerings result in local seasonal flavors like Freckled Chocolate Zucchini Bread or Green Fennel & Maple. While you can spot their "Classic Flavors" on store shelves, you'll only find the unique flavors in their brick-and-mortar shops. You don't have to cross the Oregon Trail to get a taste. Co-founder & creative director Tyler Malek shares their recipe for Peach & Cherry Stone Ice Cream here.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Original recipe from Van Leeuwen

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream took frozen cream to the next level when they started selling small-batch, traditionally made ice cream from a buttery yellow truck in 2008. From their humble beginnings in a Brooklyn apartment, they have grown into a mini ice cream empire with stores and trucks on both coasts and pints available in stores. Their ingenious Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is loved by non-vegans too. Try their original recipe at home and you won't be disappointed.

Paleo Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream"

Inspired by Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Chunky Monkey

Ah, the guys who made crazy ice cream flavors available in our freezer aisles. Since Ben & Jerry began selling their ice creams in 1978, they've expanded their line to include frozen yogurt and non-dairy versions of cult favorites. This Paleo Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Recipe boasts all the banana, chocolate, and walnuts of the original concoction, minus the cow's milk—it calls for coconut milk instead.

Some ice cream makers go for less than $20 (like this one)—which is equal to a couple pints (or scoops) of ice cream depending on where you live. If this is the conely thing stopping you from homemade ice cream, well, now what are you waiting for?