This recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is smooth, creamy and not too sweet. It features a rich, egg yolk custard base and is great in ice cream sandwiches, or on its own as a dessert.
What is the difference between ice cream vs. ice milk
The difference between ice cream and ice milk is that ice cream is made with heavy cream (with at least 10% milkfat).
Ice milk, on the other hand is made with milk and has a milkfat of less than 10%.
The texture of ice cream is undoubtedly more creamy and smooth than ice milk.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream is easy to make as long as you have an ice cream machine or ice cream maker, and can be adapted into homemade ice cream bars..
If you don't have an ice cream maker, I've got easy no-churn recipes using condensed milk below:
It's not too sweet and has a rich, creamy and custard-y flavor.
The ice cream tastes way better than store-bought, without all those gums, preservatives and stabilizers.
Using homemade vanilla extract gives it an undeniable vanilla flavor.
It only takes 6 quality ingredients to make homemade vanilla ice cream.
Ingredients you'll need
- heavy whipping cream: also known as double cream; cold, with at least 36% milkfat (MF)
- egg yolks: large egg yolks give the ice cream its rich custard flavour
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness to the ice cream
- vanilla extract: use the highest quality vanilla extract for the best flavour;
- vanilla bean paste or vanilla pod: optional, but adds even more vanilla flavour with its tiny black specks
- fine sea salt: balances the sweetness
- whole milk: I recommend using whole dairy milk for rich flavour and not skim or 2% milk
How to make the ice cream
Pour the cold heavy cream into a large bowl or jar. Set aside (Step 1 below).
Separate 6 egg yolks from the egg whites and place the egg yolks into a heat-safe bowl (Step 2 below). (Refrigerate or freeze the egg whites for later use).
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste (if using), pinch of salt and set aside (Step 3 and 4 below).
Add the milk to a medium saucepan or pot and simmer over low heat until scalding hot (Step 5 below).
While whisking the egg mixture, gradually pour in the warmed milk (known as tempering the eggs) (Step 6 below).
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low-medium heat, until the custard thickens. When you can draw a line on the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, the ice cream mixture is ready (Step 7 and 8 below).
Pour the custard mixture through a sieve into the cold heavy cream (Step 9 below).
Give the mixture a stir and cover with a lid/plastic wrap.
Place the ice cream mixture into the refrigerator to chill for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight.
The next day, churn the mixture according to your ice cream manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container and place into the freezer.
Freeze the ice cream for at least 6-8 hours, or until firm.
How to serve
Scoop the Vanilla Ice Cream and serve in Homemade Ice Cream Waffle Cones, or simply in a bowl.
Place a scoop on a warm chocolate brownie.
Or try it on crumble or pie.
Add it to a root beer float, or Matcha Cream Soda.
Blend it with strawberry milk to create a milkshake.
Use the Vanilla Ice Cream base in Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches.
How to store
Keep the Vanilla Ice Cream in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve.
Flavour ideas and add ins
Have fun and customize the ice cream with additional flavours and mix-ins such as:
- chocolate: cocoa, chocolate chips
- fruit: raspberry, strawberry, cherry, blueberry
- tea: matcha, hojicha
- candy: Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, M&Ms, etc.
- cookies: Oreo
- brownies: cheesecake
Other ice cream recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these ice cream dessert recipes:
Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches
Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream (No-Churn)
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Vanilla Ice Cream
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
For key visual steps, refer to photos in the body of the post.
- 500 ml heavy whipping cream (at least 36% milkfat) cold
- 6 large egg yolks
- 120 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract high-quality
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean pod) optional
- pinch fine sea salt
- 250 ml whole milk
- Pour the cold heavy cream into a large bowl or jar. Set aside.
- Separate 6 egg yolks from the egg whites and place the egg yolks into a heat-safe bowl. (Refrigerate or freeze the egg whites for later use).
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste (if using), pinch of salt and set aside.
- Add the milk to a medium saucepan or pot and simmer over low heat until scalding hot.
- While whisking the egg mixture, gradually pour in the warmed milk (known as tempering the eggs).
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low-medium heat, until the custard thickens. When you can draw a line on the back of a spatula or wooden spoon, the ice cream mixture is ready.
- Pour the ice cream mixture through a sieve into the cold heavy cream.
- Give the mixture a stir and cover with a lid/plastic wrap.
- Place into the refrigerator to chill for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight.
- The next day, churn the ice cream according to your ice cream manufacturer's instructions.
- Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container and place into the freezer.
- Freeze the ice cream for at least 6-8 hours, or until firm.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Ben | Havocinthekitchen
While I enjoy condensed milk ice cream every now and then, honestly you cannot beat a traditional custard ice cream. This looks so creamy and dreamy!
Always like rich and creamy vanilla ice cream!!! Nice treat!
This was amazing and such a treat! Thank you! Everyone in my family loved it.
Thanks for giving the recipe a try, Shadi! Glad your family loved it 🙂
I haven't made real ice cream like this in so long! I can't wait to try this recipe. It's so rich.
Absolutely delicious dish; thank you for this fantastic recipe! I will make it again!!
Thanks for trying out the recipe, Suja!! 🙂
I always love making ice cream at home, and this recipe turned out so well. Everyone in the family loved it. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much, Savita! Glad your family enjoyed it!
I love homemade ice creams especially those that are made with a custard base. It makes the ice cream much creamier and delicious!
You can't beat a classic vanilla ice cream and this was amazing. So easy to make too.