Difference Between Ice Cream and Custard

Ice Cream vs Custard

We all love desserts made of dairy products and kids are especially crazy about them. Ice Cream is the most popular of all desserts and of the total sales of desserts, ice cream amounts to 87% of them all. Others like gelato, frozen custard, and frozen yoghurt also sell in small quantities, but it is ice cream that takes the cake in sales all over the world. Many people confuse between ice cream and frozen custard owing to similarities in looks and taste, but there are differences between the two that will be highlighted in this article.

There are millions who have never even tried frozen custard thinking it to be some sort of pudding that has been frozen. If you have ever been to Culver’s, you must have eaten their frozen custard. It is a dessert that looks just like an ice cream but yummier perhaps, because of more cream and thicker texture. Those who have this dessert without being told it is custard take it as another ice cream that is very tasty. However, feel the taste in your mouth, you will find that custard is smoother and gives almost silky feeling in mouth while ice cream has ice chips and is sweeter than frozen custard.

There are so many artificial flavors in ice cream that linger on in taste buds long after you have eaten them. On the other hand, cream, egg yolk, and butterfat are the main ingredients of frozen custard, and they do not contain additives and preservatives the way they are added to ice creams.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is regulated by United States Department of Agriculture standards. Any food or dessert labeled as ice cream in US must have 20% milk solids by weight and 10% milk by weight. Any less, and dessert does not qualify to be an ice cream. Some of the costlier brands contain a lot more fat, containing 14-18% of milk fat. In an ice cream, both ingredients need to be present. Another important ingredient is sugar without which ice cream does not become yummy for all. Around 15% by weight in an ice cream is sugar. Ice cream is full of air that is pumped inside when the ingredients are mixed and whipped. This air increases the volume of ice cream. FDA requires that there should be at least 4.5 pounds/gallon of ice cream, to ensure manufacturers do not pump in excess air and cheat customers.

Frozen custard

Frozen custard makes use of cream and milk just like ice cream, but there is additional ingredient in the form of egg yolk. According to FDA, any dessert that contains at least 1.4% egg yolk by weight is frozen custard. If this percentage of egg yolk goes down, the dessert qualifies to be an ice cream. It has milk and cream, and the addition of egg yolk make frozen custard thicker and creamier. Frozen custard is prepared fresh and not sold as ice cream.


What is the difference between Ice Cream and Custard?

• Whereas milk and cream are main ingredients in both ice cream and frozen custard, there is an additional 1.4% of egg yolk by weight in frozen custard.

• Presence of egg yolk makes frozen custard to be thicker and creamier than ice cream.

• Much air is pumped inside when whipping up ice cream to increase its volume. On the other hand, addition of air in frozen custard is natural and much less than ice cream.

• Frozen custard contains no or very little additives and preservatives while there are lots of them in ice cream.