Is there an intelligent commercial machine soft serve calculator? I'm a noob at this, bag powder mixes taste like crap, can't find any fresh dairy mixes here in central Florida.

So far, the best I can find is 6% fat, 12% sugar, 14% MSNF, and 0.1% xanthan gum and .3% lecithin. And some vanilla. I made a spreadsheet to calculate it all based on a gallon of milk as a starting point, but what do I know? (very little...) I'm using milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream, dry skim milk, sugar, and the rest.

I mix it well, put it in the machine. Texture comes out smooth & creamy, but stiff. It won't lay down and curl like soft serve should. It just wants to stick straight out and stack up.

Too much MSNF?

There seems to be a dearth of decent information on the internet for soft serve.

Any help out there?

I've got my calculator sheet on Google, I can share it so maybe someone who knows what they're doing can help point me in the right direction.

  • 1
    Welcome to SA! To get a useful answer to your question, it helps to narrow it down to one specific question, rather than asking 2 or 3 different questions even if they're related. I'd suggest asking for the general ratio formula first, and if that doesn't exist create a 2nd question asking for help troubleshooting the recipe you are improvising.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 9, 2021 at 1:02
  • Regular ice cream is about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, while soft serve is about 21 degrees Fahrenheit. I'd check that first. The old Taylor machine at Denny's sometimes needed resetting after super-firm-serve churned out laboriously.
    – Pat Sommer
    Jul 9, 2021 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


I'd suggest taking a look at the excellent book "Ice Cream" by Goff and Hartel (ISBN: 978-1-4614-6095-4). It covers all aspects of making ice cream commercially, and is very thorough. Chapter 8 is titled "Soft-Frozen Dairy Desserts" and page 252 has a table of example formulas for soft-serve ice creams.

For example, one column of the table shows the percentages to use for 6% milk fat:

Milk fat: 6.0%
MSNF: 12.5%
Sugar: 12.0%
CSS: 4.0%
S/E: 0.4%
TS: 34.9%

(MSNF: milk solids-not-fat, CSS: corn syrup solids, S/E: stabilizer plus emulsifier, TS: total solids.)

To take a guess at your actual problem, I'd say if it's not soft enough, you might try lowering the MSNF and xanthan gum first.

  • 1
    Thanks Russell !! ordered the book and upvoted your answer. Jul 9, 2021 at 12:37
  • @TwistyExpress - Great! Please consider selecting my answer if you think it covers what you asked about. Thanks! Jul 11, 2021 at 23:30

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