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Ice Cream Calculator

Ice Cream Calculator

Last Updated on January 14, 2024 134 Comments

Below, you'll find the ice cream calculator I use to balance my mixes. It's very much a work in progress. And may well contain mistakes!

If you do spot any mistakes or have any suggestions of things you'd like to see added, please let me know.

How it works

Hopefully this is pretty obvious. Add your data and measurements to the green cells. This should update the pink cells.

Once you've added your information, compare the numbers in the "Total %" row to the guidelines I've added below the calculator. If your numbers are way off, then your mix is probably unbalanced and you're likely to have problems!

"Relative Sweetness" is a measure of how sweet the mixture is. It's relative to the sweetness of Sucrose. So if you only have Sucrose in your mix, Relative Sweetness will be equal to the percentage of Sugar in the mixture.

"Overrun" is the amount of air that the ice cream maker has added to your mixture, as a percentage.

If you're adding fruit to your mixture, check out the Sugar and Other Solids percentages for loads of different fruit at the bottom of the page. You'll need to add these values at the top of the calculator before you add your fruit weights.

The calculator

Mix Composition Guidelines

The approximate compositions of commercial ice creams (taken from the book Ice Cream by Goff & Hartel)...

Ice cream

Fat %

MSNF %

Sugars %

Stabilizers %

Total solids %

Nonfat ice cream

< 0.5

12-14

18-22

1.0

28-32

Low-fat ice cream

2-5

12-14

18-21

0.8

28-32

Light ice cream

5-7

11-12

18-20

0.5

30-35

Gelato

4-8

11-12

16-22

0.5

36-43

Reduced fat ice cream

7-9

10-12

18-19

0.4

32-36

Standard ice cream

10-12

9-10

14-17

0.2-0.4

36-38

Premium ice cream

12-14

8-10

13-16

0.2-0.4

38-40

Superpremium ice cream

14-18

5-8

14-17

0-0.2

40-42

Frozen yogurt: regular

3-6

9-13

15-17

0.5

30-36

Frozen yogurt: nonfat

< 0.5

9-14

15-17

0.6

28-32

Sherbet

1-2

1-3

22-28

0.4-0.5

28-34

Useful data

Egg Weights

Egg

Small

Medium

Large

X-Large

Jumbo

Yolk

13 g

15 g

17 g

19 g

21 g

White

25 g

29 g

33 g

37 g

42 g

Composition of Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit

Water %

Sugar %

Other Solids %

Total Solids %

Fat %

Apple

85

11

4

15

Apricot

85

10

5

15

Avacado

68

1

31

32

24

Banana

74

19

7

26

Blackberry

85

9

6

15

Blackcurrant

81

10

9

19

Blueberry

77

20

3

23

Cherry (Morello)

85

11

4

15

Cherry (Sweet)

83

13

4

15

Clementine

87

10

3

13

Coconut

45

5

50

55

36.5

Cranberry

87

8

5

13

Currant

16

66

18

84

Date (dried)

20

65

15

80

Elderberry

81

7

12

19

Fig

80

13

7

20

Fig (dried)

25

54

21

75

Gooseberry

87

10

3

13

Grape

81

16

3

19

Grapefruit

89

9

2

11

Greengage

81

14

5

19

Guava

81

7

12

19

Jackfruit

73

15

12

27

Kiwi

84

10

6

16

Lemon

90

3

7

10

Lime

91

2

7

9

Lychee

82

17

1

18

Mandarin

87

10

3

13

Mango

82

13

5

18

Medlar

87

4

9

13

Musk Melon

87

12

1

13

Nectarine

88

9

3

12

Orange

86

10

4

14

Papaya

88

2

10

12

Passion Fruit

77

13

10

23

Peach

88

9

3

12

Pear

84

10

6

16

Pepper

91

3

6

9

Persimmon

81

16

3

19

Pineapple

85

13

2

15

Plum

84

12

4

16

Prune

24

55

31

86

Pumpkin

91

3

6

9

Quince

83

8

9

17

Rasberry

84

6

10

16

Redcurrant

85

8

7

15

Rhubarb

94

2

4

6

Star Fruit

91

4

5

9

Strawberry

90

6

4

10

Tomato

94

3

3

6

About the author 

Carl

Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for the perfect ice cream. The "dream scoop". I document my findings, my successes and failures here...

  • There are absolutely beneficial to read, yet I’m still wondering, what are counted as “Total Solid.” They are sugar, fat and MSNF, aren’t they?

  • I am just beginning with ice-cream for my own use and I feel passionate about doing it well from the beginning. I live in Spain so I prefer recipe books with measurements in grams, after hours of looking I bought 2 books, the English one is titled “Hello My name is Ice Cream, the art and Science of the Scoop” by Dana Cree and “Helados Caseros, la guía definitiva hacia el helado perfecto” by María José Mancebo.
    In my obsessive understanding about ice cream recipes without eggs, yesterday I came across your site. Thank you so much is very valuable and your charts…I bless you for it.
    I have an orchard with about 60 varieties of fruit trees, specially citrus type. Where can I find the need information about the fruits which are not on your list? I have tried without success. I see there is some significant differences amongst lemon, lime, orange and will love to know the contents of bergamot citrus fruit, o please recommend me which one in your chart to use as a substitute.
    I will also love to obtein the values of
    Green or black Zapote (Pouteria sapota, I believe)
    Feijoa fruit
    Fresh ginger

    About your charts, where do I put the amount of Lecithin in the calculator?
    To make any citrus ice cream I figure I have to put the juice not the pureed pulp, so this will not affect the solids

    Many thanks for all plus for your attention

    • Hi Pilar,

      Sorry about the delay getting back to you!

      I’ve also got the Dana Cree book and I think it’s really good with some interesting stuff on the science which I hadn’t thought about.

      I’m not sure where you’d get the information on fruits that aren’t on my list. I copied the list from Ices: The Definitive Guide.

      This site could be useful:
      https://www.eatthismuch.com/

      It suggests Bergamot Oranges are:
      87% Water
      9% Sugar
      4% Other Solids
      https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/view/bergamot-oranges,139827/

      As for the Lecithin, I would combine it with any other Stabilizers and put it in the Stabilizers cell.

      I hope that helps!

      Carl

  • hello! i’m experimenting with creating healthy ice cream for my nieces and grandparents and am wondering if you have a downloadable excel sheet for your ice cream calculator as my internet connection isn’t too fantastic and having it will make things a whole lot easier by being able to perform the adjustments using my laptop in the kitchen even without internet.
    much appreciated!!

    • Hi Callie,

      I think if you click on the icon in the bottom right hand corner, it will open the spreadsheet in another window and you should be able to download it from there.

      I hope that helps!

  • I love your site – it has just the right combination of science and help for the home ice cream maker. I just got the Musso ice-cream maker the 1.5 quart version based on your review and already love it.
    Is it possible to download a copy of your calculator? I have no idea how to build it in excel and it would be a great help. I don’t mind paying either, after all, you put in all the work.

  • Hi Carl,

    Many thanks for this great content.

    What about other ingredients that also contain fat and other solids? For example, if you are making chocolate ice cream, which requires chocolate, and cocoa powder, how do we account for the fat and snf (protein and carbohydrates), in these two ingredients (which is substantial)? Shouldn’t they also form part of the base mix calculation, as they will influence the overall texture, and viscosity of the end product?

    Shouldn’t all ingredients be analyzed for the fat/snf/and sugar compositions/contributions, and not just the ingredients that make up the base (cream, milk, sugar, eggs)?

    Thank you in advance!

    Luke

    • Yes chocolate ice cream is particularly difficult for this very reason. I’ll see if I can update the calculator to accommodate chocolate and cocoa powder…

  • Hello, may i know “Recommended MSNF” number is? For Relative Sweetness to you usually what number will be too sweet and freezing point be too low? PAC usually which number will reflect too soft ? looking forward to hear from you

    Thank you!

  • Hi, thanks for the calculator it’s excellent.. I’ve noticed that increasing sugar reduces fat percentage. Could you explain the correlation please.

    • Hi Keelan,

      It’s just that as you increase the amount of one ingredient, the percentage of the other ingredients will decrease as there as less in proportion to the total.

      I hope that explains it!

  • Hi Carl,

    U have a great spreadsheet. I am from Singapore and crazy for durian ice cream. Which is quite a unique fruit, in asia we call it king of fruit. It will be a great help if you are able to advise on a formula to create the Durian gelato. I am crazy enough to buy a gelato machine without even knowing the recipe. I just manage to get 4 recipes from the maker. A pistachio, chocolate, coffee, green tea. Thanks in advance.

    • How about this:

      340g Milk
      150g Cream
      100g Sugar
      25g Dextrose
      30g Skimmed Milk Powder
      5g Stabilizer
      350g Durian

      • I realised that Durian itself has solids and fat content.
        Perhaps we can omit the cream and go 490g milk?
        BTW what are the fat and solid content of durian anyway?

        • Hi Gibs,

          I haven’t tried (making or eating!) Durian ice cream. From what I can work out, Durian have a fat content of 5% and a solid content of 35%.

          Hope that helps!
          Carl

      • I am 2 years late but durian is a very pasty fruit. I think it may be possible to scale the stabilizer to 0.2-0.3%

  • Hi Carl,
    Do you think that it is possible to download the spreadsheet as I would like to adapt it to vegan Ice cream?
    Thanks Tika

    • Hi Tika,

      If you view the full size workbook by clicking in the bottom right hand corner can you not download it from there? It’s online online so I’m not sure how to make it downloadable if not!

      What do you want to add? Maybe I can add it to the existing one…

      Carl

  • Hi Carl I would like to add cashew milk, coconut milk and coconut oil and cocoa butter. Mostly out of curiosity

      • Hi Carl, I am also very curious how this works for a vegan product. Can you add coconut milk to the spreadsheet or should I just leave milk as 0 and sub coconut milk in the cream field?
        Also, this is an amazing resource. SO much gratitude for all the work you have put into creating and maintaining it!!!

  • I downloaded it but part of it goes funny when I open it on google docs
    If i want to use glucose syrup what is the kind of sugar I have to fill in?
    Thanks

  • Hi Carl, I’m using guar gum as my stabilizer. it’s only 5 gram with the total of 1kg ice cream. The end result was too thick. I can’t even barely put it in my ice cream machine because the bottom part freeze quickly. Maybe you can help me with some advices, would be really appreciate it!

    Thanks

    • Hi Allif,

      Was it very thick before you put it in the machine? In which case try less guar. If it’s thickening up too much in the machine then maybe you dont have enough sugar?

      Carl

  • Hi! i was wondering, i am making dairy free ice cream and sugar free. i want to use guar gum, since i dont have locust bean gum where i am. how much would i use?

    • Hi Ana,

      Usually the gums would make up 0.1 – 0.5 % of the total weight. You can use the ice cream calculator to work out the weights and percentages. Be careful with the Guar though as too much will give the ice cream a very chewy texture!

      Thanks,
      Carl

  • Hi Carl,

    I’m deep into the literature, trying to find a way to understand stabilizers as percentage of my gelato base. Please forgive my ignorance, but if I’m using a combo of LBG and guar as my stabilizer, is it the total weight of ALL my ingredients (in a vanilla gelato, for instance, milk, cream, sugar/dextrose, milk powder) that I am basing my .5% on, or just the DRY ingredients? Second, would a 50/50 LBG/guar mix be best, or some other ratio?

    Again my apologies,
    Anne

    • Hi Anne,

      It’s the total weight of all your ingredients. Just add everything to the calculator and it should do the rest.

      50/50 LBG/Guar is a good place to start. If you find the ice cream is a bit chewy, reduce the Guar.

      And let us know how you get on!

      Thanks
      Carl

  • Hi Carl, thanks for providing so much useful information! I am creating my first recipe for chocolate gelato and just have a couple of questions.
    According to the table of Mix Composition Guidelines for gelato my recipe is balanced. Fat is 4.4%, MSNF is 11.3%, sugar is 17.9%, total solids is 49.3%.The calculator is telling me that the recommended MSNF is 10%. Can you tell me why this is recommended when the guideline for gelato is 11-12% MSNF. Will such a small difference be noticed and should I go with the calculator recommended MSNF or the gelato guidelines?
    Also, do you have any information on recommended PAC and how additions such as alcohol will affect this? I haven’t tried my recipe yet, but I’m thinking that it may be too hard due to the low fat percentage of gelato, I’m looking at adding alcohol to make it softer but don’t know how much to add. Is there any way to work this out or just trial and error?

    • Hi Toni,

      Yes the recommended MSNF in the calculator is a bit vague (and imperfect) and should only be used for general guidance. Your 11.3% will be fine.

      There is a way to work out the effect of alcohol on the PAC but I haven’t done it yet. I will definitely be adding to the calculator once I have!

      Spirits will have a considerable effect on the PAC though, so for now I’d try adding a tablesppon at a time and see how you go.

      I hope that helps!
      Carl

  • Carl,

    Thanks so much for the site and the calculator! They have been invaluable! I am new to the world of stabilizers other than eggs and am trying to work on some texture and iciness issues in some of my ice creams. I have a question about egg yolks and your calculator…since they are stabilizers, is there a way to figure them in to the stabilizer formula? And if I add one of the gums, should I pull back on the number of eggs I use?

    Also, what about alcohol in ice cream? While I am not trying to make alcoholic ice cream, I know adding some in changes the PAC, but will it also affect the sugars and other factors? I am experimenting with sherbets and sorbets in particular and they seem to be really hard.

    Thanks again.

    • Hi Byron,

      You mean add the eggs to the stabilizer column?

      Yes you can definitely cut back on the number of eggs you use if you add gums. In fact you could get rid of them altogther. The gums can stabilize (but not emulsify) as well or better than the eggs.

      The only reasons to use use eggs are for their flavour, richness, particularly egg like texture, or emuslfying qualities (although you can use Soy Lecithin instead here).

      There are plenty of superbly stabilized ice creams that don’t use eggs at all.

      Regarding alcohol and sugars, I’m not sure what you mean. Adding alcohol or increasing the sugar will help make you sherbets and sorbets softer. Sorbets in particular usually have very high sugar levels to keep them soft.

      Thanks
      Carl

  • Dear Carl
    Thank you for maintaining a very useful website. I’m totally new in gelato making and would ask you some questions.
    1. I’ve researched on internet that gelato makers make the same milk base mix for all flavors in their pasteurizer then add the gelato paste or grinded fruit to each portion of milk base mix to make gelato. Does it affect to the balance? and should i do that way for all flavors or make every single flavor following the recipes created.
    2. What is the difference between sucrose and dextrose as i can see in the calculator excel file, sucrose contains 100% sugar and dextrose contains 96% sugar. Its silly question but can i just use sucrose as it is popular?
    3. I can see in your durian gelato recipe, the skimmed milk powder and durian are not in the list of ingredients of the calculator? Do we need to add everything we use in the calculator to make the recipe? Is the milk powder used when we want to increase the Fat and MSNF but doesnt want to use milk ( that significantly affect to the balance of the mix?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Mark

      1. I’m not sure I understand the question. But the order you do things in won’t affect the balance. The balance is just about the proportions of different ingredients you use.

      2. Dextrose is less sweet than sucrose and also lowers the freezing point more than sucrose. You can substitute sucrose for dextrose but the ice cream will be slightly sweeter and slightly harder.

      3. Milk powder is used to increase the solids and the proteins. This reduces the proportion of water (and therefore ice) and aids the structure of the ice cream.

      I hope that helps!
      Carl

  • Do the calculated percentages account for water being cooked off while making the custard? I have been assuming that is does not so I add water back in after cooking to get it up to the weight before cooking, which should account for any water lost. Is this the correct mentality?

    • Hi Ryan, we should always be trying to get rid of as much water as possible. So I’d recommend never adding water to a recipe. You increase the likelihood of an icy end result…

      • I guess my question is, say the calculator says your solids and fat% are right at the upper limit. Now say you cook the custard and evaporate 200g water. Unless you add water back in, the fat and solid % will be over the recommended amounts but by adding water back in, it would return the fat and solid% back to what was calculated originally? Or is the calculation assuming some water is being evaporated and accounts for that in the percentages. I apologize if this is confusing, it sounded better in my head.

        • Now that I think about it, I think a better way to word the question is, If say 200g of water was evaporated out ( I am not sure if this is a reasonable amount or not but just assume its the case for the example) would adding 200g of water back in result in the same %’s as the original calculation provided?

          • OK so to answer the question: no the calculator doesn’t take account of the evaporated water.

            So I suppose you’re right, to make the mixture reflect the original calculation you’d need to add the water lost through evaporation.

            You’d have to cook the mixture for a long time though to make the loss worth rectifying.

            As I say, I’ve never heard of anyone adding water to a mixture!

  • Why does adding fruitmix effect the pac value dramatically? Even without adding sugar content or solids in the fruitmix using it as a source of adding ”water”. I hope you understand my question.

    Also Would be great having an alcohol-column as it effects the softness greatly.

    Thanks for a great site!

  • Hi,
    I would like to tweak a recipe that I have and would like to know the following:

    * Can I take out condenced milk out of my recipe or should I replace it with something else when I do that?

    * I also want to replace the egg and gelatine in my current recipe with other stabilizers. Which stabilizers would you recommend? I would like the end product to taste like real Ice cream and have a creamy mouth feel.

    If you can please help me to imporve my recipe I would appreciate it very much 🙂

    • Hi Ann,

      Most ice cream recipes are carefully balanced and everything is there for a reason!

      So while you could take the condensed milk out and it might be OK, equally you might find that removing the sugar, solids and proteins that are in the condensed milk makes the ice cream harder, icier, and thinner tasting.

      The best idea is the experiment! I would try and replace it with a little extra sugar and some skimmed milk powder.

      You could try replacing the eggs and gelatine with Locust Bean Gun (my favorite) which gives a similar creamy mouthfeel but you wont get the same richness that the eggs gives. The Carrageenans are also good “egg replacers”.

      Check out the stabilzers page for more details.

      Hope that helps and sorry about the late reply!

      Carl

  • Hello

    Thank you for putting this website together! It gives folks like (first time ice cream makers) a bit more confidence. I manufacture Kulfis – Persian decent ice creams. It is more dense and typically has less air. Traditionally, we add south Asian milk solids (Khoa) to give this dessert a more stronger and heavier mouth feel. Our Milk solids have 29% fat and 31% moisture. How do I account for these in the ice cream calculator?

  • hi, if i am using powdered milk where would i add that on the calculator?
    also if i want to make super-premium ice cream would i be able to use powdered milk along with the milk and cream? if so what measurements would you suggest using? and if not, do you have a good recipe for super premium ice cream? i’m looking for one that will store well in the freezer. thanks!

  • Hi there,
    and thx for a brilliant info, I wonder however, if using lactosfree milk/cream, does that change anything, using your calculator?

    Looking forward to your answer…
    //Tom

  • Greetings Carl,

    I started making my own calculator, then I found yours. Wow, you just saved me a lot of work.. many thanks! 🙂

    I have been testing the gelato recipes in Morgan Morano’s book (The Art of Making Gelato). She uses 2 ingredients which are not in your calculator: tapioca starch and milk powder. I entered tapioca starch under stabiliser. Would this be correct?

    You mention in your glossary that we can increase the proportion of MSNF in a mix either by reduction through heating or by adding Skimmed Milk Powder. Would you know by what percentage does 10 grams of skimmed milk powder increase the MSNF?

    BTW I find your website very informative and interesting.
    Thanks in advance for your response!
    Lisa

  • Hi Carl,
    Your calculator is wonderfully helpful. Thank you so much for sharing!
    However I cannot figure out where to plug in the skimmed milk powder in my recipe.
    Can you please let me know?
    Many thanks,
    Lisa

  • What a great website and calculator, thanks! For liver health I need to eliminate sugar, so I have been trying to make ice cream with stevia. What stabilizer would you recommend? First batch was block of ice (250gr milk 3.8%,500gr cream 35%, 1tsp stevia, 2 tsp vanilla). Just melted that and added 7gr pwdr gelatin), waiting to see if it will be softer. Next I’ll try with MCT oil. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

  • Brilliant! I just made a very similar spreadsheet for my homemade recipe ratios. I understand spreadsheets but am new to ice cream…For the sugar and Total % sugar, why don’t you include the sugar from the milk and cream? Eg, whole cream has about 12% sugar which would affect the Total % sugar. Or is this already included in the MSNF? Thanks!

    • Hi D,

      I’m not sure where you’ve got the 12% from. As far as I understand it, the amount of naturally occurring sugar (lactose) in cream is much lower (around 3%).

      And I think (it’s been a while since I wrote the formulas) that the calculator already takes account of this!

      Thanks
      Carl

  • joeyprats@gmail.com

    Hello!

    I love this Website, especially the Ice Cream Calculator. I have a question… I make ice cream using a very rich base:

    500 grams whole milk (3.5% fat)
    500 grams whipping cream (35% fat)
    200 grams sugar
    200 grams egg yolks

    It produces a really delicious product, but I find that it doesn’t keep long, even in freezer temperature of – 25 Celsius.

    My questions…

    1. Would you recommend using non-fat milk solids? If yes, what would be the ideal amount?
    2. If I used gelatin as a stablizer (other types of stabilizers are difficult to get in my area), what would be the ideal amount?

  • Hi Carl,

    I tried using the calculator but got too confused understanding it! I started making homemade ice cream for fun and barely understand the technicality behind it. I’m currently using the two ingredient recipe (cream, condensed milk) and found that it was too buttery/greasy. I was considering including milk/half and half into the recipe but I didn’t know how to deal with the proportions and how much milk to include. I currently am using 4 cups of cream + 4/3 condensed milk. Thank you so much for your help!!

  • Hi, Carl thank you for the great guide, im using ready mixes from well known italian brands to get my business going, but im at the point of switching to my own gealto base, and your articles did help alot in understanding the science behind every ingredient. While not all the stabilizers are available where i live and im in the process of getting most of them to start testing, can you please recommend a recipe for a gelato base, that can work with a professional batch freezer and pasteuriser.
    Thankyou in advance.

  • Carl,

    According to the file, it is impossible to make a gelato that would have a NSMF% within the limits you set in your table, if I’m only using milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks. Am I missing something?

    Thank you

  • Hi Carl,

    Im learning making my own recipe ice cream now and using your ice cream calculator. I fund out this very helpful. but if you don’t mind could you please add some wine and whisky on this calculator please?

  • Hi Carl,

    I imagine alcohol (such as Marsala wine or Bailey’s Irish cream for example) will modify the mix. How/where would you consider this in your calculator?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Lulu,

      Yes unfortunately alcohol is missing from the calculator! And yes it can have a significant impact on the freezing point (and therefore the softness of the ice cream).

      I will be making loads of changes to the website in October and that will include adding alcohol among other things to the calculator. If you can just wait until then!…

      Thanks
      Carl

  • Any idea/update how to add Alcohol. I note in 2018 you had planned to add this.

    I’m using 2 t vanilla extract and 1T vanilla vodka to 1cup heavy cream and 1.5 cups milk. 25 g whey isolate which I entered as SMP.

    Thanks for the site. Very helpful.

  • Hi Carl,

    If I want to add a fruit to my ice cream how to I know how much extra cream or SMP to add to compensate for the water in the fruit? Is there a formula for this?

    Thanks

  • hi carl,

    im newbie on ice cream business.. im using a premix powder based for hard ice cream. and it was ussually packed as 1 kilo to be dissolve on 3 liters of water. May i ask how many amount of xanthan gum will i put to make it not icy and became soft or smooth texture.
    thank you.

    • Stabilizers are usually between 0.1 and 0.5% of the weight of the base mixture. So if your total mix is 4 kg, then you’d add between 4 and 20 grams of stabilizer.

      However you won’t get good results if you only use Xantham Gum as used by itself in high quantities it will give the ice cream a unpleasant slimey texture.

  • Really spectacular contribution to the world of “homemade ice cream”! Thank you!!!

    Understanding the amount of work you have already put into this project to benefit us all, I would encourage everyone to take the time to read all of your articles, links and the comments before asking questions. They will find many of their questions already answered.

    Thank you again.

  • Hi Carl,

    I’m wondering if something is off with your MSNF calculation. For my base recipe of essentially three cups, it says I would need about a half cup of milk powder to reach 10% milk solids, which I think is incorrect. I use a 2-1 ratio of cream to milk. I also input Dana Cree’s recipe in here, which she showed is 9% MSNF but when put into this calculator shows closer to 7%. Same would apply with the similar ratios of Tyler Malek’s recipe.

  • Hi, Very nice calculator.
    But I don’t understand the total solids for egg yolk.
    Putting in 100g of egg yolk you get 33g fat and 17g other solids.
    The total solids sums up to 17g? Shouldn’t it be 50g?

  • Hello- your website and calculator are great- thank you! I’m very new to the ice cream making world and would like to make vegan ice cream. For the MSNF since I won’t have “milk” solids what should I be using?

    I’d like to use homemade almond or oat milk as my base. I understand that I’ll need to add in fat so I’m planning on some mixture of oil. Then I’d like to primarily make chocolate or vanilla so I have cacao nibs and vanilla. I’ve purchased locust bean gum and guar gum to use for my gums. Then I have various types of sweeteners like coconut sugar, granulated sugar and maple syrup. So really I’m just not understanding what MSNF would mean to me. (And I really don’t seem to do well with coconut which is a bummer as it’s in a lot of recipes and seems to be the go-to for vegan ice cream). Thanks so much in advance for any advice and thanks again for such great explanations!

    • Hi Heather,

      Yes the calculator doesn’t really work for vegan ice cream. I think I need to make a vegan version!

      But also I don’t have a lot of experience with vegan ice creams.

      What I’d suggest is trying some Inulin. Maybe 3 – 5 % of the mix. It will act as a stabilizer and a bulking agent.

      I haven’t tried it yet. So let us know how you get on with it!

      Thanks

      Carl

  • Hi Carl,

    I think I realized what the issue is. Right now you calculate cream’s MSNF as something lower than 9%. Should it have the same MSNF as milk?

    Thanks so much for this amazing tool.

    Greyson

    • Hi Greyson,

      Sorry about the delay getting back to you!

      The MSNF of cream isn’t the same as milk. And for cream it depends on the fat content. For 32% cream I think it’s around 5.7% for example.

      I’m not sure if it changes dynamically when you change the fat content of the cream in the calculator though.

      So that could certainly be an error!

      Cheers

      Carl

    • OK I’ve fixed one issue at least.

      I was using a static value for the MSNF in the cream (I think 5.8).

      Now the value will change according to the fat % of the cream.

  • Hi! Great website. I am lactose-intolerant, so in order to get something more than just vanilla and a couple of other flavours available commercially in a dairy product, I make my own. One issue I have is sometimes the ice cream is sandy, and I was reading your troubleshooting page. You talk about how the lactose can crystallize. Is this also true for the lactose-free dairy products? I use Natrel lactose free whole milk (3.5%) and heavy cream (35%). Assuming that they contain mostly glucose and galactose, is it the galactose that is crystallizing? If so, is that more likely to happen than lactose crystallization? What could I do to minimize this?
    Many thanks!

  • Hi there Carl and thanks a lot for your help!

    Got a question about allulose… would it give a weird end result on your table and calculations? If not, where should I put it?

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Pete,

      Yes at the moment there’s no specific place for allulose in the calculator.

      However I think it’s got more or less the same freezing point depression and relative sweetness as Dextrose.

      So you could just add the allulose to the Dextrose cell.

      Let me know how it turns out!

      Thanks

      Carl

  • Hi there! Loved this article! I´ve learned a lot with it!

    Is it a formula to get solids, pod and pac of different ingredients…?
    I need it for a balance sheet…

    POD looks something like artificial sweetener molecular wight / sucrose molecular weight is it…?

    I´m planning to use Stevia, Glycerine, Inulin and E410.

    Thank you so much!

  • Hi Carl,

    I noticed on the calculator the NSMF for Milk is a tenth of what I think it should be.

    I was loading a recipe from Gelato Messino and for the milk, the Messino recipe for Fior di latte shows 650 grams of 3.5% whole milk, the NSMF = 58.5 grams but the Dreamscoops Calc comes up with 5.59 grams.

    Note everything else matches up.

  • Hello and thank you so much for all this information. I have been looking at starting an Ice Cream business and have been experimenting at home first to try to find a good Philadelphia style base to work from. I want to be in the super premium category using only organic cream, milk, sugar, vanilla as a base. My problem is all my finished product leaves behind a greasy film and texture in your mouth. Using your calculator I have made base from 13% up to 20% and every batch tastes that way. I have been doing small sample combinations of Milk and Cream totaling around 2 cups of liquid with 1/2 cup of sugar. I would love your input and any suggestions you would have to help guide me in the right direction.
    Thank you

    • Hi Troy,

      You mean 13 – 20% fat? At the lower levels this shouldn’t leave a greasy film. Have you tried adding some Skimmed Milk Powder?

      This will improve the texture and may as a side effect, get rid of the greasiness.

      Thanks
      Carl

      • Hello Carl, thank you so much for your quick response. I have not tried anything else in the mix. I am really hoping to stick with as pure and basic ingredients as possible. Here are the exact specs for the lowest butterfat recipe I made that still had the greasy issue.
        Based on the calculator this should put it at 12.7% butterfat.

        3/4c Heavy whipping cream (36%)butterfat
        1 1/4c Whole Milk
        1/2c granulated sugar
        2tsp pure vanilla

        The base was chilled to 38 degrees then was placed in the ice cream machine. The base took 28 minutes to setup to a firm soft serve consistency. I then put in a -10 degree freezer. After one hour the base was at 18degrees, 2hr was 9degrees, 3hr was 0degrees, and 4 hour was -4degrees.

        Ice cream machine is the Whynter ICM-201SB 2.1 Quart
        The machine was running about -15 to -20 degrees

        I am not sure if it is accurate but from what I was able to find the overrun on this machine is between 8 to 10 percent, which comes out pretty close on my finished product. I am also curious if the low overrun would contribute to the greasy texture? Once I get my business started I am looking at using an Emery Thompson Batch Freezer which would obviously improve things. But for now I am trying to nail down my base as close as possible. The end result I am trying to achieve is between 15-16% butterfat, and around 20 to 25% overrun, only using cream, milk, sugar, vanilla. Possibly looking into substituting all or part of the sugar with honey to help soften the mix? Thank you again for your help and feedback it is greatly appreciated.
        Troy

        • Sorry about the late reply Troy, I lost track.

          The recipe looks fine. And the overrun wouldn’t be an issue.

          How does the mixture taste before you put it into the ice cream maker?

  • Hi!
    Great website!

    1) Where do I put in the powdered milk?
    2) What are benefits using condensed milk?
    3) How do I calculate overrun?

    Thanks!!!
    D

    • Hi Darren,

      1. SMP in the calculator (Skimmed Milk Powder)
      2. It’s just another way of adding milk solids with less water.
      3. If you weigh a cup full of the mixture before you churn it and then a cup full after it’s been churned and then add those weights to the calculator (bottom right corner) it will give you the overrun. More details here.

      Cheers!
      Carl

  • Love the spreadsheet! I have a question. I want to make peanut butter ice cream. How would I add peanut butter into the spreadsheet ?

    • Hi Courtney,

      You can’t at the moment I’m afraid. I get so many requests for different ingredients it’s impossible to add them all.

      What I’m going to do this week is to add a “blank” ingredient, with various fat, solids, sugar fields that you could fill in yourself.

      You’d just need to look at the back of the jar, find out the relevant values, and then add them yourself.

      I’ll do it this weekend for sure!

      Cheers

      Carl

  • Dear Carl
    Excellent calculator and very practical! I have benefited from this multiple times.

    However, I did note an issue when I add fruits (fruit 1 & fruit 2). By adding some fruit content, the PAC jumps from a reasonable 28 value to somewhere over 50. That wasted one of by batches as I was following the calculator and I know something went wrong but couldn’t figure. The ice cream came out very hard as the actual PAC must have been under 20. I noticed that when you add total fruit in the spreadsheet (like 500gm for example), the PAC is being calculated not on the total sugar content (for example 50gm fructose in 500gm fruit) but it considers it as 500gm of fructose (thats why very high PAC value). I verified this in a sample spreadsheet. Please correct it in your sheet and thanks again for an excellent tool here.

  • Hey Carl,

    Absolutely loving this, thank you for the effort you’ve put into this site. I got my first machine a few weeks ago and this site has been a godsend.

    With a lot of the recipes I’m playing around with I keep ending up with a MSNF % higher than the suggest amount in the table above. Are there any negative side effects to an increased MSNF if everything else is in the right ballpark? I’m struggling to find a definitive answer through google!

    • Hi Jack,

      The Recommended MSNF is just to give you a rough idea. It should be fine going a little under or over. But yes, often it seems a little low to me too.

      I’ll have another look at the formula.

      Too much MSNF (> 16%) will usually come about through too much Skimmed Milk Powder. And that can result in sandy textures. More details here.

      I hope that helps!

      Carl

  • Hello there! hope someone can jhelp me. I’m trying to make dairy free egg free ice cream, 3 attempts so far, last one better than the others, used xantan gum and soy lecithin, natural coconut cream, unfortunately doesn’t contanin the fat that canned ones, I prefer it because has no preservatives, but apparently I need more fat for the ice cream and I’m not so sure how to make it happen using this calculator, but, I’m understanding the total of ingredients have to sum up 100%, so how do you calculate the ammount of fat, starches (are those accounted as solids?[) on a batch?
    Thanks for your help!

  • Hey Carl,

    Another question on your calculator. I’m using invert sugar in my ice cream recipe and noticed that the sugar content is 77% of what I enter. If I enter 10 g of inverted sugar I get 7.7 grams added to the Sugar total.

    If on a relative sweetness scale where sucrose = 1 and invert sugar = 1.23 if I add 10 g of invert sugar shouldn’t your calculator show 12.3 grams of sugar?

    Thanks

    • Hi DDG,

      Sorry about the late reply!

      No I don’t think so. How could 10g of invert sugar contain 12.3g of sugar?

      There was a mistake in the calculator (the relative sweetness of both invert sugar and honey were lower than sucrose). I’ve just corrected it.

      However, I’m still not sure it’s correct! Because the relative sweetness (at the bottom of the spreadsheet) is based on the grams of sugar in the invert sugar (7.7), not the grams of invert sugar (10).

      Which makes 10g of invert sugar less sweet than 10g of sugar.

      I don’t think that’s right.

      So I need to look into that!

      Thanks for the spot!

      Carl

      • Yeah, I’m still a little confused. There are two types of inverted sugar: 50% invert and 100%. 50% is roughly 20% sweeter than sugar (1/4 fructose, 1/4 glucose, 1/2 sucrose) and 100% is the same sweetness as sugar since it breaks the bonds of all fructose and glucose molecules.

        I guess it comes down to the Brix % as in a measure (in degrees) of the amount of dissolved solids in a liquid via its specific gravity; used especially to measure dissolved sugar in fruit juice and wine.

        For example, Golden syrup-like Tate and Lyle Sugars are invert, 50% sucrose, 32% ash, 1.4%, and solids 82.6%.

        Golden syrup has a high-Brix 77–82 °

        Your calculator is using 77% for the weight based on the invert sugars total solids which is going to depend on the type of inverted sugar you’re using.

        The relative sweetness is going to have to be changed to reflect the sweetness of the inverted sugar used. For example, 50% invert sugar is going to have a relative sweetness of 1.23 (seems no can agree on the exact relative sweetness but it falls between 1.2 and 1.3) and that’s what needs to be taken account in your calculation.

        • OK, I’ve corrected it so that I´m using the total weight of the “sweet ingredient” (invert syrup, honey, karo) to work out the Relative Sweetness.

          This means 10g of honey will now add more sweetness to the ice cream than 10g of sucrose.

          Regarding the different types of invert sugar, I´m not sure what I can do. (It’s set at 1.25 at the moment).

          With the Excel format I’m using, I’m limited with how much extra stuff I can add without the calculator becoming too complicated and intimidating.

          It’s really meant to help home cooks rather than be exhaustive.

          I think, I’ll add some blank wildcards so people can add their own stuff though.

          Cheers!

          Carl

  • Hi! I’m wondering if I can use your calculator for non dairy recipes? Could I use coconut milk numbers for your milk numbers and then coconut oil for your cream numbers? As long as I add the correct percentages for my substitutes, would it work?

    • I’m not sure that would work Charles. As they are quite different. I suppose it would give you a rough idea of percentages though. No harm in trying it out!

      I have been thinking of making a non-dairy version but I’m not sure when I’ll find the time.

  • Hi! This is so helpful and I have a question. My recipe calls for both sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. How would I add that (I see condensed milk on the list but not necessarily sweetened and I don’t see evaporated milk at all)?

    Thanks!

    • Hi S.i.

      I think you’d need to put the total of the two milks in the condensed milk cell (it´s sweetened condensed milk in the calculator), work out how much less sugar there really is (from the back of the labels). And then remove that from the sugar cell (presuming the recipe calls for sugar too).

      Not an ideal situation, but it should work.

      Or, actually, I’ve just though a better idea would be just to change the recipe. Just use the condensed milk and then add proportionally less sugar to the mix.

      Cheers

      Carl

  • Thank you so much for this excellent resource. I’m wondering if you can recommend any sources to find the water content of each ingredient? Or is it as simple as subtracting the MSNF, fat, sugar, etc. from the total weight? I see that is the case for egg yolks in your comment above.

  • Hi There, I really like your calculator, but can I ask if this calculator being considered for the heat reduction, as after heating, the weight of the mixture would be reduced, what should I do to maintain the same weight as before heating? Should I add milk or just water? Thanks!

  • Hi there,

    I am starting up an ice cream business (very small and part-time). I have the Lello Musso Pola 3050. I am really struggling with the buttery feel in some of my recipes. My base recipes are from Dana Cree’s book: Hello My Name Is Ice Cream. I entered my vanilla recipe into your calculator and come out in the right area of percentages for each of the contents for super-premium ice cream. The butterfat is at 15%, the lower end. I cook the custards fully, and refridgerate them overnight. I use tapioca starch as a texture agent. Should I try aiming for Premium ice cream percentages instead, to reduce the buttery feel?

    Thanks in advance!
    Amanda

    • Hi Amanda,

      I’m so sorry about the delay getting back to you.

      Can you describe the buttery feel in more detail? Are there noticeable buttery solids (lumps)? Or does it just taste fatty?

      Lumps could mean you’ve over churned it. Or perhaps the Tapioca starch has not been incorporated properly. I would recommend trying a different stabilizer that’s a bit easier to work with.

      If it just tastes too fatty, just reduce the butterfat (although 15% should be fine)

      Thanks

      Carl

  • Hi there,
    i recently got into icecream making and so far ive tried vanilla and coffee which were relatively simple ingredients, however once i incorporated strawberries the water in it messed up my mix making my icecream too soft, ive tried playing with the sugar level and adding more cream. but i still cant seem to get it down to scoopable consistancy. may i know how do you extract the water from fruits?

    i couldnt use the excel sheet as a benchmark cause there isnt any “water” variable 😀

    • Hi Nigel,

      In the calculator, when you add fruit, anything that’s not sugar or solids is considered water. So it is in there. But it’s just part of the weight of the fruit.

      When you say it’s too soft with strawberries, are you talking about straight from the ice cream machine or after it’s been in the freezer (after the ice cream machine)?

      Try reducing the amount of milk to accommodate the extra water in the strawberries.

      Thanks

      Carl

  • Hey Carl, I m trying to make pistachio ice cream.. how should I calculate the fat percentage.. is pistachio fat need to be included while calculating milk fat percentage..

    • Hi Renu,

      Pistachios are 45% fat so you would need to reduce your butterfat levels to accommodate this.

      Thanks

      Carl

  • Hello, is the sugar mentioned in the vegetable and fruit table as in sucrose or fructose? This is important because of effecting on POD and PAC values of ice-cream. I think they correspond sucrose level, according to my trial of ice-cream with strawberry. Thank you very much.

  • Fantastic website and very nice calculator! Just made my first-ever ice cream using your calculator and it came out really nice. I made a cinnamon-flavored ice cream and although the sugar percentage I used was only 12%, it came out (much) more sweet than I desired and I guess that is due to the cinnamon which, I suspect, enhances the perceived sweetness of the ice cream. Anyway, still very happy with my first results and this could be the start of a very rewarding hobby.

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