Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

ice cream and gelato makerContrary to what many people seem to believe, there is a major difference between Ice Cream and Gelato. To the untrained eye- and tastebuds- both desserts do have a few things in common, especially in terms of taste and texture. Indeed, they are both creamy, cool and delicious. However, the truth is that these two treats are quite different as far as the preparation and main components are concerned.

Scroll down to familiarize yourself with some of the key differences between ice cream and gelato.


A much-loved dessert from all around the world, Gelato first was initially created during the Italian Renaissance. Legend has it that this glorious dessert was invented by Bernardo Buontalenti for the King of Spain, who was quite taken up by the creamy and indulgent texture. Needless to say, this treat quickly spread across Europe and in the rest of the world. Of course, various countries added their own twist to this dessert, but all in all, Gelato did maintain the smoothness and richness for which it’s known for.

In spite of its creamy texture, Gelato has a surprisingly lower fat percentage than ice cream. Consequently, it is often favored by people on a diet. Gelato also tends to be far more intense and dense, because it contains far more milk than ice cream. Contrary to popular belief, Gelato contains very few- or no- eggs at all. Its unique texture is also explained by the fact that this dessert is commonly churned in such a way so as to incorporate far less air. Traditionally, it is served at a slightly warmer temperature instead of straight out of the freezer. It should also be noted that gelato is extremely receptive to new ingredient and tastes, so you can play with the flavors and additions. Again, this is because its low-fat content allows any extras like dried fruit, chocolate chips and the likes to stand out from the other flavors.

Also check out our Ice Cream and Gelato Maker reviews to find the perfect model for your particular needs.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream, on the other hand, tends to be far more calorie-laden than gelato. History shows that it might have been just as popular during the 5th century BC as it is now. At the time, of course, ice cream merely consisted of a mixture of fresh snow with fruits and honey. According to historians, Hippocrates himself encouraged his patients to consume this delectable mixture. As it started to grow in popularity, this snow and honey mixture was gradually modified to become the type of ice cream that we are familiar with today.

The main ingredient to a perfectly fluffy ice cream scoop is air: indeed, the ingredients are often churned for a longer period of time in order to incorporate more air and bring it its trademark texture. With appliances such as ice cream makers, it is entirely possible to make your ice cream at home. With models such as the Nostalgia ICMW400, you simply need to put your ingredients in the machine, treat the canister with a mixture of rock salt and ice and allow it to churn until it becomes soft and creamy.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE Some posts may contain affiliate links. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to