Whip out your ice cream machine and make some delicious homemade vanilla ice cream. This recipe makes a super creamy and flavorful ice cream without eggs. You can even customize it with your favorite mix-ins!

scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of ice cream in container.

It recently occurred to me that I’m constantly suggesting vanilla ice cream as a topping to various desserts, but I have yet to share a recipe for it! When it comes to making (and eating) ice cream I need no convincing. I whipped out my machine and made the easiest and best vanilla ice cream you can imagine. It’s just what your pies and crisps need!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Only 5 ingredients. Super easy-to-find ingredients are used to make this recipe.
  • Better than store-bought. When you have control over what’s going in the recipe, it’s bound to taste better than what you’d get at the grocery store!
  • Creamy and flavorful. The heavy cream and vanilla bean paste guarantee a rich and delicious flavor.
  • Versatile. The beauty of the vanilla flavor is that you can customize it with whatever mix-ins you’d like!
  • The perfect topping. Whether it’s warm peach crisp, a slice of apple pie or a skillet cookie, a scoop of vanilla ice cream always makes a dessert better.

Ingredient Notes

bowls of ingredients to make homemade vanilla ice cream.
  • Heavy cream: For a extra rich flavor, heavy cream is used.
  • Milk: Choose whole milk to keep the texture creamy.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is used as the sweetener.
  • Vanilla bean paste: To get the best vanilla flavor, use a paste. I prefer Nielsen-Massey.
  • Sea salt: To offset the sweetness, add a pinch of salt to the mixture.

Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.

Recipe Variations

Add some mix-ins. Before freezing, stir in 1 cup mix-ins. I suggest chocolate chips, chopped nuts, candy pieces or Oreo cookies. You can also stir in fresh fruit, such as strawberries or raspberries.

Get creative with toppings. My go-to is hot fudge sauce with a dollop of whipped cream. You can also add caramel sauce, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, apple compote or a cherry on top!

Make ice cream sandwiches. Use your favorite cookies and sandwich ice cream in the center! I suggest freezing the cookies first so they don’t break when pressed.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

photo collage demonstrating how to make homemade vanilla ice cream in an ice cream maker.
  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.
  2. Transfer mixture to chilled bowl of an ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Ice cream is done churning when it’s reached a soft serve consistency.
  4. Transfer ice cream to a container, press plastic wrap on top and freeze for 3 hours or ideally overnight.

Expert Tips

Remember to freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker. The colder it is, the better the texture of the ice cream will be. I suggest freezing the bowl overnight.

Use full-fat ingredients. This is what makes an extra creamy and rich texture. Don’t skimp here!

Vanilla paste provides the best flavor. You can also scrape the seeds out from a vanilla bean. I do not recommend extract since it won’t provide as strong a flavor.

ice cream scooper in pan of ice cream with scoop next to piece of waffle cone.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

Make ahead the mixture on the stovetop, then let it cool and store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before churning.

Store vanilla ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. After a couple weeks, the flavor won’t be as strong and ice crystals may start to form.

Recipe FAQ

Can I make this without an ice cream maker?

Yes, but it won’t be as creamy. After chilling the mixture, transfer it to a shallow pan and put it in the freezer. Stir it every 20 minutes with a rubber spatula until thickened, then cover and freeze until firm.

Can I double the recipe?

Yes, but check that your bowl can hold that much liquid. It will expand as it churns.

What ice cream maker do you suggest?

I have used the Cuisinart machine as well as the KitchenAid bowl attachment. Both work great!

Can I use regular vanilla extract?

Yes, but the flavor won’t be as strong. I suggest using good quality pure extract if you choose to use it.

Should you use eggs in homemade ice cream?

It depends on personal preference. French vanilla ice cream uses egg yolks to create a rich taste and custard-like texture. American style is eggless and turns out creamier and lighter in texture.

homemade vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone held up in a glass jar.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of ice cream in container.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Try making homemade vanilla ice cream with a machine. This recipe promises a strong vanilla flavor and creamy texture without using eggs.
5 (12 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 ΒΎ cups (420 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 ΒΌ cup (300 ml) whole milk
  • β…” cup (133 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • Generous pinch of sea salt

Instructions 

  • If not frozen yet, place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer overnight.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until warm and sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to a heat-proof bowl, cover and refrigerate for a couple hours.
  • Pour the mixture into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions. It took me 25 minutes to reach a soft-serve consistency.
  • Transfer ice cream to a lidded container (this recipe makes 1 1/2 quarts). Cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. Freeze for 3 hours or overnight for best results.
  • Serve with desired toppings.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Mix-ins: Add 1 cup of desired mix-ins. I suggest chocolate chips, chopped nuts, chopped candy or Oreo cookies.
Vanilla paste is preferred. You can also scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean. I do not suggest using extract since the flavor isn’t as strong.
Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 71mg, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 551IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 0.04mg

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