Ninja Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Maker Review | The Sun UK

DURING school holidays in a summer defined by record-breaking temperatures, there surely can’t be a gadget as exciting as an ice cream machine. We’ve put Ninja’s Ice Cream Maker, the CREAMi, to the test to see if it’s worth the price tag.

It certainly sounds intriguing, but how easy is it to achieve tasty results? As an ice-cream lover with young kids, I was more than happy to put this latest Ninja gadget through its paces; here’s everything you need to know.

  • Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker, £199 at Amazon – buy here

Overall rating: 4/5

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Makes ice cream in minutes (after pre-freezing)
  • Creates a range of frozen desserts and drinks
  • Recipes to cater for restricted diets

Cons

  • Requires 24 hours freeze time
  • Can only make small amounts at one time
  • Takes up space in your kitchen

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Ninja ice cream and frozen dessert maker: quick summary

  • Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker, £199 at Amazon – buy here

The Ninja CREAMi is a really clever and useful appliance for a whole range of reasons.

It’s really quick and easy to create the base and there’s a great range of recipes to choose from, including ones for gelato, sorbets and smoothies as well as traditional ice cream. There are also plenty of healthier options and nut, gluten and dairy-free varieties.

On the downside, having to pre-freeze your base for a minimum of 24 hours does require some pre-planning (and wouldn’t work if your kids are demanding ice cream NOW) but you could always have one in the freezer ready to pop in your maker whenever you need it.

The tub size is also quite small (serving four people) so it would make sense to order extras and have a few in your freezer if you have a bigger group to cater for.

I was sold on the speed and simplicity of the process, the great-tasting results and the scope to be creative and have fun with the recipes.

Ninja ice cream and frozen dessert maker: full review

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The machine comes with a short set-up guide and recipe booklet

Getting started

I was excited to open the box and unwrap my ice cream maker, which looks very sleek; I’d happily showcase it on my kitchen worktop.

The machine comes with a very short and simple product guide and a recipe booklet.

Plus, you can scan a QR code on the machine to find everything online, including FAQs and links to order more tubs if needed.

Unlike some other ice cream makers, the Ninja CREAMi requires you to make your base first and freeze it for 24 hours before you make your dessert with the machine.

The recipes are quick and easy to do (just make sure you have all the ingredients); follow the steps to mix or whisk the ingredients together, before popping the mixture into one of the tubs that come with your ice cream maker.

Frozen dessert recipes include traditional ice cream, gelato, sorbet and smoothies. Plus, you can make milkshakes that require no freezing time.

Once you have your frozen base, I found setting up and starting the machine to be super straightforward — and I’m generally not good at following lengthy instructions.

Plug the machine in, install your frozen tub (lid off) in the outer bowl, attach the paddle to the outer bowl lid and then install the outer bowl, which means twisting it until you hear a click. Now you’re good to go.

The machine is quite loud when the programme is running but it takes a matter of minutes to produce your chosen dessert.

Key features

  • Range of recipes: Choose from ice cream (with mix-ins such as chocolate chips, nuts and biscuits) or gelatos, such as salted caramel or coffee. There are also recipes for fresh fruit sorbet, smoothies and smoothie bowls.
  • Healthy and restricted diets: As well as healthier ‘light ice cream’ and fruit sorbets, this is a great product for people with dietary restrictions. There are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and vegan options available in the recipe book.
  • Dishwasher friendly: This is a huge plus point for me; all parts are dishwasher safe, so simply pop them in the dishwasher after use. There’s no washing up needed.
  • Quick and easy: The whole process, from mixing the ingredients for the base to creating the dessert using the machine, is super speedy and simple.
  • Experimental and fun: The options are endless and experimenting with flavours and textures is all part of the fun – plus the kids will love getting involved with mixing up ingredients and trying the results!

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Home taste test

I decided to go for something fairly straightforward for my first attempt and was pretty pleased with the results.

I followed the recipe for the ‘no cook strawberry ice cream’, which meant mashing up strawberries with sugar, golden syrup and lemon juice, before mixing in some double cream.

The strawberry mix had to sit for 10 minutes before adding the cream, which added some time but otherwise, it was very quick and easy.

I then popped it in a tub and into the freezer for 24 hours. When I took it out, I followed the simple set-up guide and chose the ‘ice cream’ programme.

It tasted delicious, but I did initially find it to be a bit crumbly, so I selected ‘re-spin’ and then it was creamy and just right. It’s highlighted in the recipe guide that a ‘re-spin’ may be required to get the texture right.

What other ice cream makers can I buy?

Want to get into ice cream making but not convinced by the Ninja? Here are six alternatives, at a range of price points.

  • Duronic Ice Cream Maker, £39.99 – buy here
  • Magimix Gelato Expert Ice Cream Maker, Silver, £500.00 at John Lewis – buy here
  • Cuisinart Iced Dessert Maker, £140.00 at Fenwicks – buy here
  • Buffalo Upright Ice Cream Maker 2Ltr, £299.98 at Nisbets – buy here
  • ICE CREAM MAKER 5KICA0WH, £79.20 at Kitchenaid – buy here
  • Automatic Electric Ice Cream Maker with 3 Modes, £138.95 at Castaway – buy here

Ninja ice cream maker review: the verdict

Although the Ninja CREAMi is re-inventing what an ice cream maker is, it works and achieves great tasting results.

The price tag is a factor (it’s mid-range among other ice cream makers, and some also include a freezing feature) and 24 hours minimum is a long time, but for me, the system works to pop it in the freezer a day or two before I need it.

The small tubs could also be an issue for some but again, this worked fine for me — it was plenty to provide desserts for my family and I liked the idea of having different flavours in tubs in the freezer, ready for me to whip up some gelato or a smoothie whenever I felt like it.

I think perfecting the texture probably takes some practice and ensuring you follow the recipe accurately but I loved how experimental you could be with the flavours and textures of desserts — as your confidence grows, it could be quite addictive to come up with new and inventive flavour combinations.

Overall, I was won over by how quick and convenient the process was, from mixing up the ingredients in minutes, pre-set options for the different desserts and then popping all the parts in the dishwasher at the end — job done.