Donvier Ice Cream Maker - Retro Review
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Retro Review: Donvier Ice Cream Maker

I love going thrifting. Beyond salvaging sewing machines, I also love examining household products, the more retro the packaging the better. When I came across this Donvier Ice Cream Maker for just $2.99 at Value Village, I had to try it out.

Donvier Ice Cream Maker - Retro Review

Donvier Ice Cream Maker Parts

I opened the packaging in the store and thought it was all there, but unfortunately it was missing one part. The Donvier should come with the following pieces:

  • The Case (essentially the outer plastic shell)
  • The Chillfast Cylinder
  • The Blade
  • The Ring
  • The Lid
  • The Handle
  • The Cap

Mine was missing the ring, which is used as a seal between the case and the lid and prevents the inner Chillfast aluminium cylinder from moving around while you crank the handle. Luckily, it will still operate somewhat fine without it. I was able to successfully make ice cream without buying the missing part, but it’s definitely not easy to turn.

I did some research online and found that there is thriving market for replacement parts for the Donvier on eBay, although they can be a bit pricey for shipping. Since the unit will operate without the ring, I’m personally holding out until I find another full unit in a thrift shop.  If some miracle happens, maybe I’ll find just the ring.

If you don’t hunt eBay or similar second handsites for parts, be sure to watch out for the sizes. There are 1 pint and 1 quart models available.  You don’t want to purchase the wrong size component.

How to Use the Donvier Ice Cream Maker

I’ve filmed a demonstration with step-by-step instructions of how to use the Donvier Ice Cream Maker that you can watch on the Craftcore YouTube channel or embedded here for you:

I also included bonus footage of my toddler son trying out the ice cream I made at the end, which I think is hilarious.  You can find that clip at around 3 minutes in. 🙂

Donvier Ice Cream Maker Recipes

I included the recipe for the basic vanilla ice cream in the video above, but you can find recipes for the Donvier in these PDF guides available online:

Keep in mind that most of the recipes are for the full quart version so if you have the pint version like I do you’ll need to halve the recipes, or make two batches.

Donvier Ice Cream Maker - Retro Review

Donvier Ice Cream Maker Tips

The Donvier is easy to use if you keep these tips in mind!

Don’t turn the handle more often than necessary. This actually buy priligy in Melbourne slows down the freezing process.

Don’t touch the Chillfast aluminium cylinder with any dampness on your hands. You’ll have a Christmas story situation happening.  Eek!A Christmas Story: tongue sticking to ice scene

Don’t use metal tools to scrape the ice cream out. This can scratch your Donvier.

Donvier Ice Cream Maker - Retro Review
Note how I’m using a metal scoop. WRONG. That is bad. This can scratch the aluminium ChillFast cylinder. Now I always use a plastic spoon.

Similarly, don’t use scrapers or scrubbies when washing the parts; use a mild detergent and a soft cloth. Never put the parts in the dishwasher.  It’s super easy and fast to clean by hand anyway.

Store your Chillfast cylinder in the freezer so you are ready at make ice cream anytime.  I wasn’t doing this and then the desire for ice cream would hit and I’d have to wait until the next day.  However, don’t store the plastic pieces in there.

Overall Review – There are Pros and Cons…

I’m loving the Donvier, although because I’m missing the ring gasket piece, it’s difficult for me to turn.  My husband has an easier time with it so I’m leaving the ice cream making to him, and I’ll just reap the delicious benefits.

I like that I can make ice cream whenever I want with a custom flavour profile, but one downside is that it seems more expensive to make than it is to just by a tub of ice cream.  I don’t keep table cream in the house (we’re not daily coffee drinkers), so unless we are sacrificing the consistency of the ice cream by using just homo milk, we are going out to purchase a specialty item.  (We’ve done this without cream, just 3% homogenized milk) and it’s runnier but still generally ice-creamy.) It can be more expensive than or similarly priced to bought ice cream – with the benefit of not having to turn the container.

Relevant Craft Meme: Why buy it for $7 when you can buy it with $92 worth of craft supplies?!
#crafterlife Why buy it for $7 when you can buy it with $92 worth of craft supplies?!

The situation reminds me of that popular craft meme that describes the relatable issue of how creating something from scratch is not cheaper or even comparable in price to just buying it new.  Crafting can be very expensive.

Making ice cream is expensive (somewhat).  But it’s also rewarding.  Deliciously rewarding.

Donvier Ice Cream Maker - Retro Review
Sprinkles are my fave ice cream topping.

I’m excited to try different recipes.  Do you have a Donvier?  What recipes have you tried so far and what do you want to try next?


  • Catherine

    It’s not expensive at ALL! You get a quart of better-than-Haagen-Dasz for … lessee… 2 cups of milk (Aldi’s price) $0.12 (Canadian price around $0.60), 1 cup of cream (Canadian price) $1, 2 eggs (Canadian price) $0.35, 2/3 cup of sugar (at $0.50 per pound, there’s a lot less than a pound there), a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla… So more or less $2 for the equivalent of about two cartons of Haagen Dazs which would set you back almost $8 at American Walmart (or $11 at my local grocer because I never go to Walmart either side of the border). I have a batch of French Vanilla, my grandchildren’s favourite flavour, in the Donvier right now — the same machine I’ve been using since the mid-1980s. Their mother forbids me to make them chocolate because she has vivid memories of bouncing off the walls till very late evening when I made it during her childhood.

    • Angela Welsh

      You’re so right, it’s MUCH cheaper than Haagen Dazs! I usually only buy the 2L ice cream packs when it goes on sale for $2.00 a carton. If I kept cream in the house, it would definitely be comparable to the sale price for me, but it’s a special purchase for me since I don’t make coffee at home. The cost per serving on the cream is the one that gets me – especially since the grocery store in walking distance of my house sells its 1L cream for $4.99. It’s crazy. However, that’s not stopping me from making ice cream from time to time when I plan ahead and buy from a different grocery store.

      I have to try the French Vanilla flavour soon.

      I actually just upgraded to the 2 pint model of the Donvier and I’m making ice cream tonight, whoohoo!

      That is so funny about the chocolate! I love that. Sounds like ice cream is a great family activity in your home.

  • T in Boston

    I have my original unit from the mid ’80’s, including the ring. The ring is impossible to fit correctly so even with the ring I’m having trouble. So don’t sweat getting a ring!

  • Ria

    My retro Donvier ice cream maker had never been used but now I want to make ice cream I’ve found out my housemate had annoying lost the aluminium cylinder! I might try making without. Thank you for your information and video.

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