I tried the sellout Ninja Creami ice cream maker - and I can't stop recommending it to my friends

It would be no understatement to say that the Ninja Creami ice cream maker has become my new secret weapon in the kitchen

Ninja Creami with ice creams
(Image credit: Ninja)
Ideal Home Verdict

If you love getting creative in the kitchen, the Ninja Creami should be on your wishlist. It isn't cheap at under £200, but it is easy to use and produces incredible creamy gelato. I'm already planning to get one for my Mum for Christmas

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Easy to use

  • +

    Make multiple flavours at a time

  • +

    Customise with mix-ins

  • +

    Slim size

  • +

    Quick mix time

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Noisy

  • -

    Long pre-freeze time

  • -

    Occasional icy shards

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Last week, my friends and boyfriend had to stage a mini-intervention as I would not stop raving about the Ninja Creami. I'd been testing the TikTok famous Ninja ice cream maker for a couple of months, and honestly, now I can't remember what my weekends were like without it. 

Until about June, I'd never heard of the Ninja Creami, until a press release pinged into my inbox hailing it as TikTok's latest obsession. While I do rate the best Ninja appliances, I was suspicious of yet another TikTok trend, but after testing it for myself and tasting the rich and creamy homemade ice cream I was a convert. 

On the surface, everything about the Ninja Creami shouldn't work as an ice cream maker, and I'll admit it does still have a few glitches to work out. But if you come with me on my own testing journey, you'll see how the ease of use won me around and transformed my dessert game. Plus I'll help explain how this kitchen appliance is still selling out.

Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker: Product specs

Ninja creami

(Image credit: Very)
  • Wattage: 800W
  • Pre-freeze or self-freezing: pre-freeze
  • Accessories: three one-pint pots with lid
  • Functions: ice cream, gelato, sorbet, smoothie bowl, light ice cream, milkshake
  • Dimensions (cm): H30 x W24 x D42
  • Bowl capacity: 0.56ml (one pint)

First impressions

Black Ninja Creami in kitchen

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

I'll be honest, my first impressions of the Ninja Creami were not good. It looked nothing like the boxy ice cream makers I'd seen before. Instead, it resembled a cross between a stand-mixer and a SodaStream in the signature glossy black Ninja design.

However, I was impressed at how slender the appliance it was. While it was very tall (it only just fit under my kitchen cupboards on the countertop) it slotted in easily to my appliance cupboard for storage. 

My Ninja Creami came with three pint-size containers for mixing up the ice cream, however, Ninja also offer versions with up to 7 tubs for the true ice cream obsessed. They sit inside a larger container, that you slot into the machine using a clever twisting lock function. 

The interface is incredibly easy to use, Ninja has taken out any guesswork by labelling every button with the style of frozen dessert you want. It has seven functions including: smoothie bowl, light ice cream, ice cream, gelato, sorbet, milkshake and mix-ins. The is also a re-spin button if you haven't reached the desired creaminess with the first function. 

Using the Ninja Creami

Black Ninja Creami in kitchen

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

This is where things with the Ninja Creami start to get weird (culinary speaking). The overarching process of how the Ninja Creami makes ice cream simply shouldn't work. Unlike most ice cream makers, rather than churning during the freezing process, you need to freeze the mixture in one of the containers for at least 24 hours before it churns it. 

This should be a fast-track to gritty ice cream, but instead it works a miracle by breaking up the ice crystals enough that you're left with one of the creamiest homemade ice creams I've had.

Making ice cream

The Ninja Creami has three versions of ice cream you can make: light ice cream, gelato and ice cream. Each setting is designed for slightly different mixtures and different textures. To be honest, I tried all three of them and found the gelato setting to be my favourite. 

I used the vanilla gelato recipe from the Ninja recipe book which involves making a custard on the hob first before chilling it. After running the ice cream through the gelato spin once, it was crumbly at first so I put it on a quick respin and the finished result put my usual shop-bought ice cream to shame. 

I tried the other functions with a sugar-free vanilla ice cream on the light ice cream, this came out delicious, but with a thin layer of ice around the edge. Then I tried the ice cream function with a chocolate ice cream recipe, I'll be honest and say this was a bit of a failure ending up more crumbly than creamy, but I think my cocoa powder was more to blame. So I tried it again with a vanilla ice cream recipe and found the results much better, but there were still a few more slivers of ice around the edge than in the gelato. 

Ninja Creami

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

Making sorbet

One of my favourite discoveries with the Ninja Creami was using it to turn leftover fruit into delicious sorbet. I used a glut of rhubarb from my garden to make a rhubarb and gin sorbet from a BBC Good Food recipe and the results were unbelievably creamy and delicious. I don't think I've ever had sorbet which such an incredible texture. 

Blue bowl of ice cream

Vanilla gelato and rhubarb sorbet

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

Other functions

The Ninja Creami does have a couple of other functions including the mix-ins which is largely behind its popularity on social media. I tested adding in Oreos for homemade cookies and cream ice cream and also adding in chocolate chips, and I'll say now I don't think I'll ever buy another pot of Ben and Jerry's again with this in my kitchen. 

There were a couple of functions I was a little unimpressed by such as the smoothie bowl and milkshake. Yes, they worked, but they didn't achieve much more than the best blenders would be able to do. However, if you are trying to roll all your frozen desserts into one appliance I can see the appeal of having these two options. 

Blue bowl of ice cream in window

(Image credit: Future / Rebecca Knight)

While I've probably made using the Ninja Creami sound very easy (and it really is) I need to stress that it does take longer than many other ice cream makers due to the 24 freezing time. Plus you have to ensure the mixture freezers completely level, to avoid disaster (or so the instructions warned me). 

Then there is the one other huge drawback - the noise. The Ninja Creami makes an almighty racket, which you'd kind of expect from a paddle churning through rock solid ice. The programs don't last for long, around 5 minutes at most, but the sound was deafening in the kitchen during those few minutes. 

But, I quickly got over it when I tasted the vanilla gelato and discovered recipes adding in kinder bueno chocolate bars as mix-ins. However, if you're noise-sensitive the Ninja Cream might be too much for you. 

Should you buy the Ninja Creami?

So I am a little obsessed with the Ninja Creami, it's made it so much easier for me to create unique and fun ice cream and sorbet flavours at home. Plus unlike other ice cream makers, it fits into my small kitchen and doesn't take up loads of space in my freezer. 

However, at just under £200 it sits at the more expensive end for ice cream makers. But if you often add ice cream to your weekly shopping list or enjoy hosting dinner parties the initial outlay could save you money in the long term. 

Since testing my version of the Ninja Creami, Ninja has released the Ninja Creami Breeze which includes a new space-saving design. It is retailing at the same price as the original, but is currently on sale at Ninja for £149.99 at the time of writing, so that is the version I'm currently recommending to most of my friends. If you're considering either, it's also worth checking if there are any Ninja discount codes to help lower the cost.

Ninja CREAMi Breeze Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker NC201UK | Was £199.99

Ninja CREAMi Breeze Ice Cream & Frozen Dessert Maker NC201UK | <a href="https://www.awin1.com/awclick.php?awinmid=8059&awinaffid=103504&clickref=hawk-custom-tracking&p=https%3A%2F%2Fninjakitchen.co.uk%2Fproduct%2Fninja-creami-breeze-ice-cream-frozen-dessert-maker-nc201uk-zidNC201UK" data-link-merchant="ninjakitchen.co.uk"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Was £199.99, Now £149.99 at Ninja

The updated version of the Ninja Creami includes 7 functions to make ice cream, gelato, milkshakes, sorbets and even smoothie bowls. It comes with three 1.4L tubs to make a mix of different flavours at once. It is currently reduced by £50, making it a bargain price.

However, since that one doesn't appear to be widely available yet if you can't wait for your own custom ice cream fix I could recommend the original Ninja Creami enough. 

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.