Making Mr Whippy | My Homemade Screwball Ice Cream

As a child excited by the arrival of an ice cream van to our quiet cul-de-sac, whether I ordered Flake 99 in a cone or a bubble-gum toting Screwball in moulded plastic, I knew that at the heart of both was pale-as-snow, smooth-flowing, soft-serve, vanilla-flavoured Mr Whippy ice cream.

There were actually two variations of Screwball that Pete and I remember โ€“ the ready-filled ones with raspberry ripple ice cream under a cardboard lid and the Mr Whippy one, but when I decided to recreate a Screwball, it had to be Mr Whippy. I quickly realised that making ice-cream-van dispenser-style soft-serve ice cream at home is not as straightforward as it might seem. But I found an online recipe that seemed doable and, with Peteโ€™s help, had a go.

To our surprise, the strange recipe worked!

In the absence of suitable plastic moulds (I considered finding and cannibalising a model dalek but decided that might be a bit expensive), I served my upside-down Screwball in a pretty glass instead.


Screwball Featuring Homemade Mr Whippy Ice Cream

Servings 4


  • 170 ml double cream
  • 160 ml full fat milk
  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 leaf gelatin (and cold water to soak)
  • 4 bubblegum balls


  • Soak the gelatin leaf in a bowl of cold water.
  • Combine double cream, milk and vanilla extract in a pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring constantly and checking that the mixture doesnโ€™t boil.
  • When the mixture reaches simmering point, retrieve the gelatin from the water, squeeze excess water out (and discard) and add to the saucepan.
  • Once the gelatin has dissolved, add the sugar.
  • Continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken a little.
  • Once the mixture has thickened sufficiently to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool and then refrigerate for an hour.
  • After chilling, whisk for 5 minutes using an electric whisk at full power.
  • Decant into ice cube trays and place in the freezer to set solid.
    Note: itโ€™s very difficult to remove the set ice cream from regular plastic trays. We found ice cube bags the easiest but silicone ice cube trays may also be OK.
  • Once the cubes have frozen solid, remove and place into a (powerful) blender or food processor and blitz until reduced to a frozen paste.
  • Transfer into a piping bag and pipe into cones or serving dishes.
  • Add a bubblegum ball to each serving.



Happy ice cream making!

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22 Comments to "Making Mr Whippy | My Homemade Screwball Ice Cream"

  1. kaveyeats

    I was going to halve the gelatin but as I’d used less cream, I found it didn’t thicken, so added the other half of the sheet as well!

  2. Dom

    Ahhhh memories of childhood… I think we only had screwball ice creams at the cinema… Not sure why I’d remember it that way but I do… Clever to make a soft ice cream like this too x


    Dom, I used to order them from the ice cream van in the local park! It’s an interesting recipe, nothing like normal ice cream, but it was certainly reminiscent of Mr Whippy!!

  3. Kathryn

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a screwball but I certainly had my share of Mr Whippy ice creams when I was younger. This is an intriguing recipe and I would never have guessed that that texture could be recreated at home!


    Yes I’m curious on whether the real stuff uses gelatin or something different to create the texture? X

  4. Hannah

    Amazing! I remember the raspberry ripple ones with the cardboard top (and how the bubblegum ball at the bottom was tooth shatteringly cold and hard until it had warmed up a bit in your mouth before you could chew it). Your homemade Mr Whippy looks so good!


    Yes yes that’s exactly it! And these gumballs did the same thing, the surface shattered from cold but the texture was once warmed up and chewed! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What Kate Baked

    With the raspberry ripple screwballs of old my brother and I had a pact that I’d get to eat the ice cream then he’d enjoy the bubblegum! We both felt like winners and I suspect the deal would still stand twenty odd years later!

  6. Urvashi

    I’ve literally just had one of these with Amber and Amy. What a treat to make it at home. I’m sure they’d love to have a go. What could I use in place of the gelatin though as it’s pork based?


    I’m not sure, can one get beef based gelatin? I don’t think agar agar works similarly! ๐Ÿ™


    Use pectin, it is basically gelatine but instead of being made from pork it is made from various fruits.


    Good idea though don’t know without experimentation how much I’d need to use. Agar agar might work too.

  7. TK

    Makes nice ice-cream but no mention of adding the sugar in the method, you need to add it after the gelatine has dissolved !!
    A little bit on the rich side but tastes lovely. Also a little bit heavier than normal ice-cream. Will try again adding some whipping cream to see if that helps to thicken it.


    Oh gosh, well spotted and yes you are right, it is added just after the gelatin dissolves in the mix. I’ve edited to correct the ommission.
    Ours was rich, but not heavier than the usual Mr Whippy type ice cream from the ice cream vans, but Iโ€™m sure you could experiment to adjust the texture to suit your taste!
    Thanks so much for your comment!


    Thanks for the quick reply. When I buy a Mr Whippy it only fills the top part of the cone with ice cream and I (like a child) still bite the bottom of the cone and suck the ice cream down, so the cone is not dry when I finish the ice cream on the top (yes, i know I should get out more).

    Maybe it was because the ice cream that piped out of the bag was much thinner than the ice cream van’s nozzle that it may have caused it to completely fill the cone but still it tasted amazing !!

    I am hoping that adding the whipping cream will make the ice cream lighter and slightly less rich, with a side effect of having much more ice cream to enjoy !

    Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚


    Loving the mental image of your wonderful screwball eating method!


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