The Absolute Best Pan For Making Rolled Ice Cream

While you might think of rolled ice cream, also known as Thai ice cream, as a splurge to go out for, it's actually quite easy to make the trendy style of ice cream at home. But beyond following our important prep tip for the best results, it's also helpful if you use the best equipment to make the task easier. Fortunately, every home cook will likely have the pan that is key to rolling the ice cream base into tight cylinders. All it requires is a sheet pan.

Sheet pans are handy for so many recipes (check out 14 of our favorite uses for sheet pans!). But to freeze an ice cream base as it is worked and rolled, a metal rimmed sheet pan will work best. Opting for metal prevents the liquid base from running off of the pan because it will freeze the ice cream more quickly than other materials like glass. Another advantage of using sheet pans is that you can easily slide them into your freezer. The size of the pan you use may depend on how much space you have in the freezer. 

Rimmed sheet pans provide the perfect surface

Though there are rolled ice cream kits available online, a full-sheet pan will work just fine. You can also opt to use two half-sheet pans or even quarter-sheet pans. (We love these that can stand up to high broiler heat.) It's worth noting that quarter-sheet pans will noticeably reduce the amount of surface area you have to work with, though. But despite that, having a rimmed sheet pan gives you an edge to work against. While you should work slowly to avoid breaking the roll, the lip of the pan can prevent a runaway spatula from flying off the pan and ruining your ice cream.

An advantage of multiple pans is that you can easily work in batches, rotating the pans in and out of the freezer to keep them cold as you work to roll multiple servings of the ice cream base. Using multiple sheet pans also enables you to roll multiple flavors of ice cream base — or toppings — if you prefer. 

So, consider how many flavors of rolled ice cream you plan to make or serve before pouring your base onto a single sheet to freeze. If you do choose to make several flavors, having several pans will prevent any muddled flavors.