Here's the scoop.

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Icy. Creamy. Sweet. Are we describing a scoop of ice cream or a cup of frozen custard? The two sweet treats are often mistaken for each other, but there are distinct characteristics to each. Can you tell the difference?

According to The Kitchn, “Ice cream is made from milk, cream, or a combination of the two, while frozen custard is made from milk, cream, and egg yolks.” Preparation for the frozen treats differs too. According to The Kitchn, “While the machine used to make ice cream churns air into it to make it have a light mouthfeel, frozen custard is produced in a machine that barely incorporates air into it, which means it’s way more dense.”

And, for bonus points: How does gelato differ from ice cream and frozen custard? According to The Washington Post, “Gelato […] is more dense, as there is less air whipped into it as it’s churned. Gelato typically has less fat than ice cream, as it is often milk-based (instead of cream) and contains little or no egg yolks.” There you have it—easy ways to distinguish between three of your favorite sweet treats, and a bit of dessert trivia that just might come in handy one day.

With these clues, will you be able to distinguish between ice cream and frozen custard (and gelato!) the next time the occasion arises? Which frozen sweet treat is your favorite? As the weather warms up, be sure to check out some of our favorite homemade ice cream recipes for summertime and beyond. Keep learning (and churning) with 3 Secret Tricks to Making Homemade Ice Cream.

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Custard versus ice cream—which gets your vote? Or do you love them both? Drop us a line letting us know when you find your favorite homemade custard and ice cream recipes.