Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream Maker: Is It Worth The Hype?

We investigate if the viral kitchen appliance is worth the premium price.

Ninja Creami feature image

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

There's been a bit of a buzz circulating around the Ninja CREAMi lately - with frozen cottage cheese trends going viral on TikTok to nutrient-dense ice-cream recipes circulating on Instagram's reels. All with the same appliance at the forefront - this innovative ice cream maker from Ninja. Using a unique approach to ice cream making, this gadget has been turning heads and has become a topic of interest among food enthusiasts and curious onlookers alike. From tubs of homemade sorbet to velvety smooth ice cream - the Ninja CREAMi has been making quite the splash - compelling us to put it to the test.

The conventional use of heavy cream and refined sugar has often undermined the potential of ice cream as a healthier sweet treat. However, with the rise of 'clean eating' and mindfulness around healthier ways of eating, the CREAMi inspired us to experiment with healthier alternatives to these traditional ingredients. This Ninja appliance contains six sweet treat settings (plus the mix-in function), delivering an array of frozen desserts that give us the potential to try out healthier versions of our favourite frozen treats from home.

A Modern Kitchen writer and health enthusiast, Ellen Kinsey tests the ice cream machine to see whether it lives up to social media's expectations and her healthy living aspirations. The goal was to create frozen treat concoctions using organic cream and replace refined sugars with healthier, unrefined variants such as coconut sugar, maple syrup, and honey. Also, to transform frozen fruit into simple sorbets, all without adding sugar. To take it to the next level, you can even whip up your own plant milk from home - just like writer Natalie Knowles in her Salter Plant M!lk Maker Review. With these objectives in mind, let's take a look at whether the Ninja CREAMi lives up to the hype.

Pros

  • Straightforward to set up and use
  • Makes ice cream in minutes after pre-freezing overnight
  • Creates seven frozen desert types
  • Adjustable for dietary requirements and preferences

Cons

  • Requires overnight to 24 hours freeze time
  • Can only make small amounts at one time
  • Very large appliance

Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Maker: Summary

The Ninja CREAMi, has been a dream test subject for me as, for years, I have been attempting to make variations of ice cream at home. From frozen banana ice cream to coconut cream ice cream - every attempt was met with disappointment as my tired little blender couldn't create the healthier ice cream of my dreams. All until I met the Ninja CREAMi.

This unique ice cream maker turns the conventional dessert-making process on its head. With a freeze-then-churn method, the CREAMi enables you to create a whole range of frozen treats in your vision, using high-quality ingredients you love and significantly less time than standard machines.

Its unconventional yet intriguing design might be a tad bulky. Yet, the CREAMi's ability to whip up everything from ice cream and gelato to smoothie bowls and milkshakes swiftly makes it a fantastic addition to any kitchen - granted, you have space to store it.

CREAMi

As an ice cream enthusiast trying to make dairy-free alternatives for years, I've often grappled with the challenges of preparing the perfect coconut ice cream. The task is far from straightforward, given the complexities of achieving that creamy texture and robust flavour without relying on traditional dairy ingredients. The Ninja ice cream maker presented an exciting challenge and an opportunity to fulfill a personal culinary mission - and it passed with flying colours.

An essential element of the Ninja CREAMi is its user-friendliness. The parts lock into place easily, ensuring a seamless assembly process every time. The touch-sensitive control panel is straightforward, making it easy for everyone to navigate through its various options. Plus, cleaning is also a breeze as all removable parts are dishwasher-safe, making it an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy homemade frozen treats without the hassle of cleaning up.

Also, Ninja offers a 2-year guarantee upon registration with Ninja for your peace of mind (UK and Republic of Ireland only).

Price

Retailing at £200, the CREAMi puts itself in the luxury segment of the ice cream maker market. This premium price sets it apart, considering it's a high-powered, high-performance machine that enables you to create healthier, nutrient-dense sweet treats of your choosing.

At the lower end of the market, you have models such as the Lakeland Stainless Steel Digital Ice Cream Sorbet Frozen Yogurt Maker (RRP: £74.99) that churns ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt in 25 minutes but is not as powerful as the Ninja model. The mid-range Cuisinart Ice Cream Deluxe (£98.95) is a close contender, and at the top of the market, there is the Cuisinart Ice Cream and Gelato Maker (RRP: £300). All these, however, require at least 25 minutes of churning compared to the instant results of the Ninja CREAMi.

CREAMi 3

Features

Equipped with motorised blades, three pint-sized tubs, and a recipe guide with over 30 recipes to start your dessert-making journey, the CREAMi pairs convenience with cleanliness, as all removable parts are dishwasher-safe.

The front panel features touch-sensitive buttons, each corresponding to a unique recipe. Also included are a countdown timer and a safety alert for improper bowl or blade installation, ensuring safety alongside style in your kitchen. Here is the low-down of the features of this Ninja appliance:

Seven preset programs – Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Smoothie Bowl, Light Ice Cream, Milkshake and Mix-Ins.

Mix-in setting: You can make rich, indulgent ice cream with mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or biscuits.

Suitable for dietary requirements: The CREAMi isn't only about indulgence. It also caters to the health-conscious and those with specific dietary needs. Along with 'light ice cream' and fruit sorbets, there are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan deserts to recreate in the recipe book.

Easy to clean: All parts of the Creami are dishwasher-safe.

Straightforward settings: After freezing the ingredients, you can make a homemade dessert that is speedy and uncomplicated.

Room for experimentation: With limitless possibilities in flavours and textures, you can get creative with this machine. Not to mention, kids will love the opportunity to mix up ingredients and sample their tasty creations.

Creami build

Performance

I put the CREAMi to the test in three ways to see whether it could adapt to different dietary requirements and preferences.

Test 1: Ice Cream

I decided to make traditional ice cream for my first attempt to get to grips with the appliance. I used milk, double cream, vanilla extract, and honey - a fool-proof combination. The CREAMi churned the mixture perfectly, delivering smooth, creamy ice cream with a creamy smooth consistency. It was a great experience to create such a delicious result and have all the ingredients be organic and to my liking.

Continuing the experiment, I left the ice cream to freeze overnight to see how it would hold up. The following day, the ice cream still retained its rich and creamy texture, testifying to the CREAMi's efficiency in preserving the integrity of the frozen treat.

Ice cream

Test 2: Vegan Coconut Ice Cream

The second test was a fun mission. I froze a tin of coconut milk and added coconut sugar for sweetness to make this dairy-free, vegan-friendly coconut ice cream. Upon the first churn, the mixture came out slightly powdery. I added a splash of oat milk and put it back into the CREAMi on the re-spin setting, and it came out whipped, creamy and perfect.

The re-spin worked wonders. The result was a beautifully textured coconut ice cream that tasted lovely but held its structure well. I was even able to serve it on a cone without any issues. The CREAMi's capacity to transform simple, vegan-friendly ingredients into a decadent frozen treat was genuinely impressive.

Ice cream

Test 3: Sorbet

Lastly, I decided to test the CREAMi's ability to whip up a refreshing sorbet without adding sugar. Using frozen berries straight from the bag, I added them to the tub for the first spin. The result could have been smoother. However, recalling the success of the re-spin function with the vegan ice cream, I gave it another go.

Once again, the re-spin function saved the day. The sorbet came out perfectly smooth and deliciously sweet - it was pretty much a smoothie bowl with no chunky bits left over that you often get from the blender.

This test proved that the Ninja CREAMi could effortlessly turn frozen fruit into a sugar-free sorbet. These tests are a testament to the CREAMi's versatility, underlining its abilities as a tool that can cater to various dietary preferences and requirements.

Sorbet

Although it may take a few attempts, the ice cream and sorbets were amazing - no disasters or waste. It was fun to have the opportunity to experiment with flavours, textures, and desserts that will keep you coming back for more.

What ultimately sold it for me was the convenience and speed it offers. From whipping up the ingredients in no time to choosing the preset options for various desserts, and finally, the breeze of clean-up with a dishwasher (if you have one) – it's all extraordinarily fuss-free and enjoyable.

Build

The CREAMi weighs nearly 6.4kg and measures 16.5 x 27 x 40.5cm (WDH), so it demands quite a bit of space. This Ninja model is a sophisticated ice cream maker with a sleek black and grey design.

It comes with three pint-sized tubs, each with a capacity of 500ml and dimensions of H10.8 x W11.4 x D11.4 cm, perfect for preparing delicious, homemade frozen treats. Allowing you to make just the right amount of your favourite frozen delights while not clogging up your freezer.

With an 800W motor, this machine doesn't skimp on power. All components are dishwasher-safe, easing the clean-up process. Plus, it has seven programs, including Ice Cream, Light Ice Cream, Gelato, Sorbet, Smoothie Bowl, Milkshake, and Mix-In, catering to your every dessert whim. The CREAMi comes with a 2-year guarantee, ensuring peace of mind with your purchase.

Ninja Ice Cream Maker

OUR VERDICT: Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Maker

Score: 4.5/5

The Ninja CREAMi is a dream come true. Sure, it's steeply priced, and yes, the operation noise and the requirement of pre-freezing ingredients might take some time and adjustment, but what you get in return is speed, ease of use, a unique design, and the freedom to make ice cream just the way you like it.

So to us, yes; it is worth the price. The excellent appliance is a great piece of kit for your kitchen arsenal for ice cream enthusiasts. So whether you're a dessert-making beginner or an experienced ice cream-making fanatic. It's your fast track to homemade frozen treats - how you like it.

FAQs

Is It Essential To Freeze The Ninja CREAMi Tub For 24 Hours?

The answer, according to Ninja Kitchen, is a resounding yes. A full 24-hour freeze ensures the mixture attains an even freeze throughout. However, we personally found that freezing overnight worked well for us.

How Much Time Does The Ninja CREAMi Require To Make Ice Cream?

The magic happens in under three minutes with the Ninja CREAMi, transforming your base into ice cream or sorbet.

Can You Use Frozen Fruit In The Ninja CREAMi Tubs?

Yes, we tested this out at found that the Ninja appliance worked well with frozen fruit - making it a sweet treat you can make on the spot. Unlike many domestic ice cream makers that require pre-freezing a bowl or insert, the CREAMi only needs your liquid base to be frozen.

What Is Unique About The Ninja CREAMi?

The Ninja CREAMi stands out with its reverse churning process, where it requires the ingredients to be frozen before churning, unlike traditional ice cream makers.

How Noisy Is The Ninja CREAMi During Operation?

The Ninja Creami can be quite loud during operation, averaging around 86dB when measured from a metre away.

Are The Parts Of The Ninja CREAMi Dishwasher-Safe?

Yes, all removable parts of the Ninja CREAMi are dishwasher-safe, making cleaning convenient and effortless.

Ellen Kinsey is a senior health and wellness product writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in sustainable living and healthy cooking. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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