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What's the difference between gelato and ice cream?

They're both icy, sweet and perfect on a hot day, but what's the difference between gelato and ice cream? Find out here and get lots of recipes for these icy treats.

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Gelato vs ice cream

The difference between these icy, sweet desserts isn't always obvious from first glance! They start out using similar ingredients and are churned into a smooth, creamy treat, but take a closer look to learn what sets them apart.

 milk, cream, sugar and eggs to make a custard base. They can look very similar and often it is only in the taste where the differences are noticeable. 

What is gelato?

Gelato is originally from Italy. It has a lower fat content than ice cream, because it uses less cream and more milk. Gelato also doesn't contain egg yolks, though sometimes it's made with egg whites. It's churned more slowly than ice cream, resulting in a comparatively denser texture and richer flavour. It's also served at a slightly higher temperature than ice cream, which can help the flavour come through.

What is ice cream?

Ice cream on the other hand has a higher ratio of cream to milk, giving it a higher fat content. It also contains egg yolks for thickness and flavour. Once the custard base is cooled, it is churned at a higher speed which incorporates more air and increases its volume. This gives it a lighter texture and flavour. Ice cream is also served very cold, which can have a numbing effect that can make the flavours less intense.

Frozen dessert recipes

Want to make your own frozen desserts at home? Get recipes for ice cream, semifreddo and easy no-churn desserts that you can make in your own kitchen.

 

Crushed raspberry semifreddo ice cream log

Browned Butter Ice Cream

Hairy Coconut Ice Cream

Frozen Ice Cream Log

Vanilla Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce

Summer Fruit Raspberry Ice-cream Slice

Chocolate Mud Ice Cream

Christmas Cake Ice Cream Bombe

Berry Ice Cream Cheesecake