Easy Lemon Ice Cream {Skinny}

This Easy Lemon Ice Cream is made without a machine and it can be made SKINNY. It’s pretty much a miracle.

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Skinny Lemon Ice Cream

I do not like the cold. Not. At. All. This is probably because my fingers turn purple as soon as the temps drop below 70 degrees and, for most of Winter, I cannot feel my feet. I’ve been skiing once, and it was in the middle of a storm. Bad idea. Big. Huge. The second I walked out those doors onto the mountain I immediately lost all feeling in all of my extremities, my nose, and my ears.

The only time I’m not cold? During the night. No, during the night I transform from an ice cube into hot lava, the core of the earth. My husband has affectionately nicknamed me his “little heater” during the night. It’s the kind of heat that makes you get up from bed to cool off…only to be followed by being frozen from the cold air in the room.

I know it’s the middle of Winter and ice cream is something one shouldn’t crave. But I do, often. Of course, I hold the bowl with gloves on, but I still eat it.

{I joke…but I’ve thought about it.}

Eating ice cream in the middle of the night isn’t acceptable…but I’ve thought about that too. It would certainly cool me off.

Skinny Lemon Ice Cream

What better ice cream to eat in January when it’s dark and dreary outside? Lemon! Yellow and pretty and it makes you think of Spring.

{Although I kind of don’t want Spring to get here. That means Summer is around the corner and my A/C bill…*shudder*}

I received two huge bags of lemons over Christmas. One bag was, I think, Meyer lemons. Ohmigod those smell gooooood.

I’ve been craving lemon ice cream for awhile. It seems almost a contradictory flavor, all that dairy with the tartness of the lemon. But the sweetness from the ice cream is a wonderful combination with the lemon flavor.

I made this the “easy” way without an ice cream maker, AKA No Churn Ice Cream. I used a can of sweetened condensed milk and a container of Cool Whip. Normally, this kind of ice cream is done with whipping cream, but Cool Whip is easier, the extra sweetness pairs really well with the lemon, and I can make it fat-free. Really! It’s skinny ice cream!

Fat-free sweetened condensed milk, fat-free Cool Whip, and lemon. So, so easy. And so, so good.

Skinny Lemon Ice Cream

A perfect way to cool off during those hot flash moments!

Did you make this recipe?

Easy Skinny Lemon Ice Cream

This EASY Lemon Ice Cream is skinny! No ice cream machine is needed – just a few ingredients you stir together and freeze to make a rich and decadent, creamy lemon ice cream. Make “skinny” by using low-fat ingredients!


  • 1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 2 containers fat-free Cool Whip (8 ounces each), see note
  • 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract


  1. Stir together sweetened condensed milk,  zest and juice from 1 large lemon (or 2 small ones), and lemon extract. (You can skip the lemon extract and use vanilla instead, but to give it that punch of lemon flavor you need the extract.) Fold in Cool Whip.
  2. Place in an airtight container and freeze until hardened, at least 6 hours or overnight.


If you don’t want to use Cool Whip, you can start with 2 cups of cold heavy whipping cream and beat it until stiff peaks form, then substitute it for the Cool Whip in the recipe. However, this makes it no longer a “skinny” recipe.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Skinny Lemon Ice Cream

Like Lemon? Check out some of these other sweet and tart treats:

Lemon Pie Pops

Lemon Pie Popsicles (4 of 7)

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake (10 of 11)

Lemon Meringue Pie Dip by Something Swanky
Orange, Lemon, and Lime Citrus Cookies by Shugary Sweets
Cream Cheese Lemon Cake Bars by Crumbs and Chaos

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  1. Mm, I friggin LOVE lemon anything. I hope you know this for my birthday in two weeks, hint hint 😉 hehe, I kid, but still, this ice cream looks fab. I actually ate ice cream last night with my hands wrapped in a towel because the bowl was far too cold, but my desire to eat ice cream was far too strong. Problems.

  2. First, your pictures are BEAUTIFUL. They look as if they have come right out of a magazine. Stunning. Second, your description of winter and being cold, oh my…you made me laugh and I had to nod in agreement. I wish my 4 year old felt the same but she loves to be outside even when it is freezing out. Third, your ice cream recipe looks refreshing and delicious.

  3. I agree with Amy; great pics! Glad you enjoyed the lemons. I thought they smelled wonderful when I was picking them (I just don’t like lemon flavored desserts).
    Love, Mom

  4. Oh lemon, how I love thee. This looks so good Dorothy! I’ve never made icecream this way, but think it’s time to try!!

  5. Oh my gosh – I have the same problem! My fingernails are constantly purple during the winter! Then at night I feel like swamp thing. This ice cream looks amazing though! I am SUCH a fan of these quick and easy ice creams. Delicious!

  6. Dorothy, your pictures are SO GOOD. Seriously, girl, these are amazing! And so is this ice cream!

  7. Dorothy, this sounds fabulous! We’re supposed to get up to 70 degrees on Thursday I think. If I make this tomorrow I can sit out on the back deck in my shorts and pretend it’s summer while eating a bowl of Skinny Ice Cream!

  8. I go for popsicles when the hot flashes hit. They work fabulously!

    Lemon ice cream sounds a little odd but I bet it’s fantastic~

  9. OMG, I am totally trying this, like tomorrow! You don’t want to be living near me. It is only 30 degrees and I have a foot of snow in the yard. I could only wish for a 70 degree day, but we won’t be seeing that in Buffalo until June, ugh!

  10. Dorothy, we are like long lost twins! I am always cold (except when I am pregnant, and even now I am just comfortable instead of numb), except at night my husband calls me a radiator. And I eat ice cream ALL THE TIME. We have been known to do Carvel runs when it is snowing.

  11. I just ate some ice cream and shivered the entire time. I love ice cream and I won’t give it up in the winter. I’ve got to get my ice cream maker into the freezer soon! I miss my FULL FAT homemade ice cream!

  12. that is some pretty ice cream; although, currently I cannot feel my fingers, so i would definitely need gloves

  13. Yum.. I have fat free sweetened condensed milk just begging to be used!
    You know, I get really hot when I sleep too. Glad to know I’m not the only one! (However, I’m sure it’s the mark of some deadly disease…)

  14. I haven’t made homemade ice cream in years because I don’t have an ice cream maker anymore. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will have to try it the next time I’m in the mood for ice cream. Great pictures!

  15. You had me at lemon! I love lemon anything! This sounds very good, and I love the fact that it is skinny! Does that mean I can eat the whole bowl in one sitting?? LOL!

  16. oh that does sound good, we are planning on going snow boarding in a few weeks, and I am already cold just thinking about it. I hate being cold, I should have been born in Florida, not Canada.

  17. What a neat way to make ice-cream! I’ll definitely have to be trying this one out, especially since I love all things lemon. Yummers!

  18. I’m game for ice cream any time of year! Love how easy this is!

  19. You had me at Lemon. My mouth is puckering just thinking about this wonderful dessert. I don’t often crave ice cream in the winter either, but I have to say, I’ll make an exception for this, XOXO

  20. What a lovely recipe! I am wild about these E-Z – P-Z recipes. Sounds wonderful.

  21. Oh how I LOVE lemon ice cream!!! Well, I’ve only ever had lemon gelato– but that was incredible 🙂 And I’m sure this is too!! Can’t wait to try it (because, helloooo? I’m a total two-ingredient ice cream addict)!

  22. I love love love lemon!
    I can’t believe I’ve never used it to flavor ice cream before, though. Pinning and definitely want to try soon.

  23. This is awesome! I love homemade ice cream, but still have not invested in an ice cream maker. I’ve tried making frozen yogurt with Chobani but it didnt turn out quite how I wanted it to. I’m definitely trying this recipe. And the flavors you could add are endless!!

  24. Wow wow wow. This looks and sounds amazing! I’m definitely pinning it and trying it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Oh my goodness! It’s as if you read my mind…at this very moment I have a bag of unused lemons and a brand new container of cool whip in the fridge. I have been perusing different lemon recipes online and now I know for sure what to make. I love that it is a healthier version too! Pinning this. 🙂

  26. Ooooohhhhhhh this sounds fantastic! Thank you for sharing! I bet if served with some shortbread, it would be like those delicious lemon cookies that the Girl Scouts used to (possibly still do, I’m out of the G.S. loop) sell??? *drools*

  27. I HATE the cold too…and went out in it last night to get frozen yogurt! My husband wouldn’t hear me complaining about how cold I was the rest of the night 🙂 Love the lemon flavor in your ice cream…a little bright citrus burst is always what I need in January.

  28. This looks so delicious Dorothy! It also has my head spinning with delicious variations!

  29. I’m the same when it comes to cold. I’m naughty though. I crawl into bed with the hubs and put my ice cold feet on his to warm them up. He screams like a lil’ girly girl. LOL You had me at lemon. Me loves lemon! Yum yum yum!

  30. I truly love all things lemon (especially Meyers!). This looks so refreshing and could seriously brighten up any (cold) day. Popped over from Buns in my Oven/What’s Cooking Wednesday! Glad I did 🙂

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  32. Oh 2 ingredient ice cream how I adore you!!! I really do need to try this skinny version the next time I am craving ice cream….doesn’t happen to me often, but when it does look out!!! Your pics look awesome!!!

  33. I’m the exact same too! I walk around all day in big heavy jumpers and still have cold feet, nose and hands going red and purple (yet the fella and kids walk around half nekkid complaining they’re hot!) But as soon as night falls and it’s bedtime, that’s it.. lava time! I wake up sweating even though the heating’s off during the night and even when half of my body in uncovered too. Can’t understand it.

    I so need to make this ice cream and maybe eat some in the middle of the night too. Or if all else fails, smother it on me to keep cool! 😆 I love lemon desserts soooo much. Just need to find an alternative to the cool whip. Hmm…

  34. I really don’t know why I’m so intimidated by making ice cream. This looks fantastic and easy! I must try it!

  35. This looks AMAZING! Pinning. Thanks for linking up at One Creative Weekend! Enjoy your weekend.

  36. Visiting from the “Chocolate, Chocolate & More” party – and I’ve already told you how yummy this looks!! Cannot wait to try this recipe but your “recipe dance card” is getting full… I’ll be making “Crazy For Crust” recipes until 2014 at this rate… 🙂
    – Claire

  37. WOW, this looks so refreshing! {middle of winter or not}. Know what I like about this? NO ice cream maker! I have never had any luck with those things. And who wants to have THAT much salt around, anyway? And hey, it’s ‘skinny’, so who cares if you eat it in the middle of the night? I won’t tell.

  38. How yummy looking! I love lemons & that lemon cream pie sounds amazing.

  39. Ohhh my this looks DELISH!! I’ll be making this for my b-day Sunday. It’ll be my own special no-fat treat. 😉

    While living in Chicago I took the kids out for ice cream. We were the only ones in the place. Maybe because it was in the dead of winter and we had to eat our hot fudge brownie sundaes with our gloves on. lol Of course, now I blame gaining some weight on being able to eat ice cream year round – we relocated to Orlando Florida. LOL

  40. 4 ingredients???? I’m pinning this one for sure! I love lemon in the winter! We all need a little taste of summer in the middle of January! I can’t stand any temperature below 75! And my husband calls me his “furnace”. Thats probably why my dog sleeps snuggled up against me, so I can keep her warm! Thanks for sharing at Once Creative Weekend!

  41. This sounds really easy and looks delicious!
    Thank you for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza – Hope to see you there again next week with more deliciousness 🙂

  42. I’m all for blasting the heater and settling down with a bowl of ice cream! This lemon ice cream looks super, luckily for me my husband doesn’t like lemon so I can have this all to myself…

  43. Mmmm, this looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Ugh, I’m the same way at night. I hate being hot when I’m sleeping! Ice cream would definitely help cool things off.

    Thanks for linking this up to What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

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  46. Oh my gosh! You have sold me! Getting my gloves out and making lemon ice cream ASAP. Already pinned the recipe. If I had the ingredients, I would make it now. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures.

  47. Oh my this looks awesomely delicious, I am you newest follower on FB

  48. So pretty! Meyer lemons sound amazing right now.

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  53. Is creativity your middle name? I’m thinking so because this looks incredible. Now that it is actually warming up, I have an acceptable reason to make this! Pinned!

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  55. Hi, my country does not sell cool whip. I’m not sure what is it? Is it cream block?

    • It’s a fake whipped cream – I like to use it because you can buy it sugar-free or fat-free. You can substitute whipped cream instead: take 2 cups of cold heavy whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form, then fold it in in place of the cool whip. It won’t be skinny, but it’ll be just as good!

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  59. I was looking for ice cream recipes and came across this one. I love lemon, and I love ice cream, so perfect combo! To my dismay I discovered that this is NOT ice cream! The title is so misleading. 🙁 There’s not even cream in it. Disappointed! Maybe it should be called frozen lemon dessert?

    • Just saw your notes for a cream version. Excellent! We don’t eat the artificial toxic stuff that is Cool Whip here!

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  62. Thank you sooo much for this machine-not-required recipe! I have been searching for ways to make ice cream since my husband and I have moved to Germany and (sadly) had to leave the ice cream maker behind. This recipe turned out surprisingly creamy and a fun variation I discovered…adding blended basil leaves…weirdly herby, yet refreshing! Thanks, again!

  63. Is it okay to use 2 lemons without Lemon Extract ? if its not, any substitution for lemon extract? 🙂

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  66. How many carbs are in the recipe?? Love,love your ‘re pies, and pictures. I just found you and love everything but I had to ho on this low carb diet. Thanks, Leslie

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