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Frozen Custard vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

BurgerFi Shakes

Maria Alaniz

Maria is a Miami-based foodie who brings her passion for culinary exploration to her role as a monthly contributor at Breathe Media. With an adventurous palate, she loves uncovering new and exciting food experiences in the city.

Both delicious and creamy frozen treats, ice cream, and frozen custard are often mistaken for one another. However, there is a crucial difference between them — the ingredients in the two products are subtly different. The addition of eggs and a slower churning action would turn ice cream into dense and creamy frozen custard. 

In 1919, when ice cream sellers Archie and Elton Kohr added frozen custard to their ice cream stand in Coney Island, New York, they brought to the masses a sweet treat that had been enjoyed since the 1690s.


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What is Frozen Custard?

A sweet, rich, and creamy treat. Frozen custard is a frozen dessert containing milk, cream, sugar, flavorings, and egg yolk. Adding egg yolk to ice cream recipes and using a different churning method created a completely new experience. 

Creamier, smoother, and richer in flavor than ice cream, frozen custard can be served in a soft serve form or a firmer, more frozen texture. 

The History of Frozen Custard

Frozen custard had been made in homes across the US since the 1690s. After causing its first commercial stir on the boardwalks of Coney Island, New York, frozen custard made its way to the World’s Fair in 1933. 

From there, it continued changing frozen treats throughout the Midwest. With the most frozen custard shops per area, Wisconsin has made frozen custard a regional favorite through the years.

Over time, frozen custard has remained popular in the Midwest, where many farmers struggling with the changes in agriculture began manufacturing sweet treats. 

Recently it began a new resurgence across the US. It even began finding a following in other countries as far away as Japan. Making its way into new and trendy restaurants and dessert shops, featuring gourmet mix in’s, toppings, and serving suggestions. 

The Ingredients in Frozen Custard vs Ice Cream

Ingredients of ice cream and frozen custard are the same but with one exception — the addition of eggs in frozen custard. To adhere to US regulations, ice cream and frozen custard must contain a minimum of 10% milk fat in their recipe. On top of this, frozen custard requires at least 1.4% egg yolks. 

Adding egg to a traditional ice cream recipe does more than simply change the texture and flavor of the dessert. Adding egg yolk allows frozen custard to be served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. The egg helps it to keep its shape and to be served in a soft-serve form. 

The Churning Process: Why Frozen Custard is Creamier

Churning is done by mixing air into a product to change its properties. Historically done by hand, in modern times, we use machines to churn the ingredients in dairy products like ice cream and frozen custard to create the desired texture.

Ice cream has a lighter, fluffier texture created by churning it fast and for longer than frozen custard. The more churning that happens, the more air is mixed into the product. For most frozen desserts, the goal is to introduce as much air as possible to create a lighter and airier product. 

By churning frozen custard for less time and at a lower speed less air is forced into the mixture. This allows it to keep the thicker, denser, and more creamy texture it is known for. Churning frozen custard is a slower but more deliberate process. It is worth the extra care taken for the flavor and texture benefits. 

Benefits of Choosing Frozen Custard over Ice Cream

Although both sweet treats should be enjoyed in moderation, there is a nutritional difference between ice cream and frozen custard. 

With the addition of eggs to the recipe for frozen custard, this dessert comes with added nutrition that you don’t get from ice cream. With fewer calories per serving and a greater amount of protein and calcium, it’s higher in nutrition and flavor. 

The creamier flavor and denser texture give you more “yum” per bite than other frozen treats. 

BurgerFi’s Irresistible Frozen Custard Shakes: A Flavorful Delight

When it comes to frozen custard delights, BurgerFi has you covered with our delectable shakes. While we focus on the delightful world of shakes in this article, it’s important to mention some of the mouthwatering flavors that you can enjoy. Treat your taste buds to the rich and indulgent taste of our Vanilla, Chocolate made with Ghirardelli, Strawberry, Cookies + Cream with Oreo®, Coffee Mocha, and Banana Churro shakes. Please note that flavor availability may vary by location, so make sure to visit your nearest BurgerFi to experience this incredible frozen custard shakes firsthand. Get ready to savor the flavors that will leave you craving for more!


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Making Frozen Custard at Home: Tips and Tricks

Frozen custard has a lot in common with ice cream, making it very easy to create at home. If you have an ice cream maker in your home, then you can make frozen custard. Only one ingredient and the churning speed need modifying to turn your favorite ice cream recipe into an amazingly rich and creamy frozen custard. 

This simple recipe uses a standard home kitchen ice cream maker. 

For best results, place the ice cream maker bowl into the freezer 24 hours before you intend to start making your frozen custard. If you want to add tasty mix ‘ins during your churning process, make them smaller than the size of chocolate chips. You can use larger treats as toppings when serving your frozen custard. 

The Delicious History of Frozen Custard vs Ice Cream

Extra creamy texture, rich flavor, and better nutrition than ice cream. Frozen custard is ready to level up your dessert game. 

Bring it into your kitchen by making your own at home today! Or, if you’re not a DIY fan, BurgerFi’s got you covered. Give their decadent delights a chance to show you what frozen custard is all about!


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