Skip Nav

What's the Difference Between Ice Cream and Frozen Custard?

How Do Ice Cream and Frozen Custard Differ? There Are 2 Big Differences

Girl holding three ice cream cones with chocolate and strawberry creams.

If your go-to summertime treat (OK, anytime treat) is a creamy, delicious ice cream cone, then you know that it doesn't really matter what it's made of — it usually still hits the spot. But if you ever find yourself forced to choose between ice cream and frozen custard, you should know that there actually is a difference between the two treats. Though custard and ice cream are both made with the same three ingredients (milk, cream, and sugar), custard has a little something extra.

What is that extra something, you ask? The answer: eggs. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the major difference between frozen custard and ice cream is that — while both contain at least 10 percent milkfat — custard also contains 1.4 percent pasteurized egg yolk. The addition of egg gives custard that richer, creamier texture than ice cream, and though some ice cream may also contain egg, it's still considered ice cream as long as the formula contains less than 1.4 percent egg yolk.

Frozen custard also tends to be much denser than traditional ice cream, and that's due to the amount of air that's used to create each dessert. While ice cream has plenty of air churned into the base to make it light and airy (with air usually making up 30 to 50 percent of the total volume), a custard machine works as little air, or overrun, as possible into the base. As well, ice cream is usually completely frozen before it's served, while custard is typically served immediately from the machine.

Despite the differences, the taste is still pretty similar, as is the nutritional content. The addition of egg yolk may boost the amount of protein and calcium found in custard, depending on the recipe, but we wouldn't recommend convincing yourself that custard is healthy (though it is, perhaps, a healthier alternative to ice cream). Choosing between the two is really just a matter of texture, whether you prefer the pudding-like consistency of custard or the firmer texture of traditional ice cream. Either way, it's a win-win.

More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
How to Fall Asleep When It's Too Hot
Best Gel Blushes
Best Maxi Dresses From Free People
Best Packable Beach Hat For Moms
Halima Aden Sports Illustrated Miami Swim Week Dress
Gigi Hadid Michael Kors Dress and Seashell Bag 2019
Swimsuit Brands to Know 2019
Swimsuit Brands to Know 2019
Rowan Blanchard Neon Makeup
Beauty Products to Take to the Beach
Olive and June Nail Stickers Review
Kendall Jenner's Ralph Lauren Wimbledon Outfit July 2019
Latest Food
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds