How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

This homemade Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream made with fresh cherries, Madagascar vanilla, heavy cream, milk and sugar is super creamy and delicious.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Ever since I got an Ice Cream Maker, my family has been spoiled rotten. No more trips to the store for last minute ice cream cravings; especially since I’ve been making homemade ice cream now for weeks.

The family absolutely loves it! I try to use up ingredients I have on hand. This time, a bunch of fresh cherries were on the chopping block when I created this homemade Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

How do you make Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream?

To make this recipe you’ll need milk (I used 2%), sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract (I used Madagascar) and cherries. You can use fresh when they’re in season and pit them or use the frozen kind.

First, combine the milk and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved; then add the heavy cream, vanilla and cherries and mix well.

Pour the mixture into your pre-frozen ice cream maker insert, turn on the machine and churn for approximately 30 minutes until the mixture thickens.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Transfer the ice cream into an airtight freezer safe container place in the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

I have to say, even though I’m not a huge fan of ice cream, this Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream was INCREDIBLE! I have tried to cut back on the heavy cream by substituting with more milk or half and half and it didn’t come out so well.

This recipe is super simple to put together, makes 12 half cup servings and you’ll love it.

Before you begin, make sure your ice cream maker insert is frozen ahead of time! It needs to be completely chilled, so freeze overnight if you can.

Heat the Half and Half

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

The first step in making two quarts of vanilla custard ice cream is heating 2 1/2 cups of half and half. Only heat until there are bubbles around the edge of the pan. Remove from the stovetop and set aside.

Mix Egg Yolks and Sugar

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on low to medium speed, beat together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until thickened. This will take less than a minute.

Add Half and Half

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Gradually add the warmed half and half and cream to yolk mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

Heat Combined Mixtures

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Heat the combined mixture only until bubbles form around edge of pot and liquid is steamy, stirring constantly.

Step Six – Combine Warm Mixture With Cold Cream Mixture

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

In a large resealable container or bowl, combine the heavy or whipping cream with the vanilla and salt. Mix well. Gently pour the warm half and half mixture into the heavy cream mixture. Combine completely.

Cover the Ice Cream Mixture and Refrigerate

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Place a lid on the container and refrigerate overnight. If you've noticed some lumps in your half and half mixture, use a sieve to pour the mixture through into the container.

Follow Your Ice Cream Maker Instructions

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

After you have chilled the ice cream mixture, get ready to run your ice cream maker. Be sure to follow your own particular ice cream maker's instructions. Most call for running the machine as you add the cream mixture.

Is It Done Yet?

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

While the ice cream is processing, put the container that you are going to use to store the ice cream in the freezer to pre-chill it. Once the ice cream is made, remove it from the machine. Place in the chilled container and store in the freezer at least 2 hours before serving.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

For decades, my father-in-law “Paul T.” has made this homemade vanilla ice cream for our family. He and my mother-in-law “Mimi” live at Lake Martin, and for years this ice-cream has been one of our summertime traditions. After lunch and plenty of water time, we all sit on the porch and wait for what we call “Paul T.’s famous homemade vanilla ice cream.”

What difference do eggs make in homemade ice cream?

Thicker ice creams usually contain eggs or egg yolks to act as thickeners. Recipes using eggs make an ice cream “base.” An ice cream base is essentially a cooked custard that turns into creamy ice cream when it is chilled and churned in a freezer.

How do you make homemade vanilla ice cream creamy and not icy?

The key to homemade ice cream that will come out creamy is fat. Use heavy cream, half-and-half, or whole milk. If you use skim or low-fat milk, the ice cream will likely become icy.

This ice cream tastes like Chick-Fil-A Ice Dream

I promise you that I think this ice cream tastes almost identical to Chick-Fil-A’s ice dream. The main difference is it is not quite as thick as ice dream. Paul T.’s is not “icy” per se, but it is not as creamy as some versions. As it melts, it is like the best milkshake you have ever tasted:-)

What is the best large electric ice cream machine?

You will want a large electric ice cream machine that will make at least one gallon of ice cream. This is the least amount you would want if you are making for family gatherings. All of the machines below make at least one gallon. NOTE: These are “old-timey” in the sense that each one has the gallon insert around which you pack ice and ice cream salt. In the photo below, you’ll see Paul T. and Mimi making this in their freezer for Memorial Day.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Mimi helping Paul T. make his famous homemade vanilla ice cream.

I searched online to find Paul T.’s ice cream machine and did not find it. The ones below are similar and certainly will do the job.

Do you have an ice cream freezer? If so, I hope you will give this recipe a try. Let me hear from you if you make it:-) As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy.

This vanilla ice cream recipe is the base of all the other delicious ice cream flavors! Which, is why we have a collection of different ice cream flavors like our favorite Cookies N’ Cream ice cream or homemade Chocolate ice cream! Once you get the base down you can make any flavored ice cream for those hot upcoming summer days!

The Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need!

A classic custard is a base to any ice cream flavor! All you need is milk, cream, and eggs to make it happen and it’s so EASY! Not too heavy or light! And the custard doesn’t call for egg yolks, you use all the eggs but transform them in a creamy miraculous non-cooking way! I used an ice cream maker attachment to my Kitchen Aid Mixer but any electric ice cream maker like this Cuisinart one will work! The rule of thumb for creamy ice cream is the heavier you go with heavy cream the richer! The lighter the ice cream you want then use milk. It’s simple really, and you only need a few ingredients!

So, that brings me to some of the homemade ice creams that I’ve tried. Although a no-churn ice cream recipe sounds like a deal-breaker, I’ve found the texture to be completely off. It’s not going to deliver that ice cream flavor you get from a tub of store-bought ice cream. As of a result, an eggless version seamed to melt too fast and also lacked in the richness factor. And a custard-based recipe that you have to cook in the summer? Forget it, wasn’t one I was willing to work around. However, I still wanted the addition of eggs since I do believe it adds that oomph to the cream, so I was on the search to make the perfect ice cream.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Best Vanilla Ice Cream

My search is over for the best vanilla ice cream recipe! My favorite reason that I absolutely love this version of homemade Ice cream is that it was a special creation in taking a big shortcut for an egg custard! I wanted the addition of eggs in my ice cream for richness and my way of doing that was to whip the eggs but not cook them. It’s the BEST formula for an egg-based ice cream recipe without the cooked custard! Once you master your vanilla ice cream game the add-ins come in easily. The cream and milk churn to a soft-serve ice cream that you can enjoy immediately or freeze for later to replicate a tub of store ice cream. It’s simply divine and is likely to receive comments!

Discover how easy it is to make delicious homemade ice cream that rivals what you’d stand in line for at the best ice cream shops.

Once you learn the basics, you can turn out your own small-batch artisanal frozen desserts (you could totally call it that) in any flavor imaginable. Get ready, here's how to make ice cream at home.

Types of Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream comes in two basic styles: Custard-style (also called French) and Philadelphia-style (also called New York or American).

  • Custard-style ice cream starts with a cooked base enriched with egg yolks, sugar, and cream. This style of ice cream has the smoothest, creamiest, richest texture and flavor.
  • Philadelphia-style ice cream contains no eggs, eliminating the need to cook a base. The texture is lighter and more delicate than custard-style ice cream. It's also faster to make because there's no cooked base to cool before churning, although you do want to make sure the mixture is quite cold before it hits the ice cream machine.

How to Make Custard-Style (French) Ice Cream

Get the recipe for a classic cooked custard Ice Cream Base.

What Do You Need to Make Homemade Ice Cream?


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)


  • Bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • Freezer container


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cream, half-and-half, salt, and remaining sugar. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring often, until it comes to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium.

3. Add about 1/2 cup of the cream mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly (this helps prevent the eggs from cooking). Repeat with another 1/2 cup of the cream mixture.

4. Using a heatproof spatula, stir the cream mixture in the saucepan constantly as you pour the egg mixture into the pan.

5. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and mixture coats the back of the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

6. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract. Set the bowl in an ice bath and stir the base occasionally until it's cooled to room temperature. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 to 4 hours or overnight before churning, either in an ice cream machine or by hand (see below for tips on how to churn ice cream).

VIDEO: See how to make Maple Ice Cream

This creamy maple-sweetened ice cream tastes like it came straight from the sugar house. It's a simple custard-style ice cream recipe that just replaces refined sugar with maple syrup for a just-sweet-enough maple-y treat. Feel free to dress it up with mix-ins or toppings or just enjoy it plain.

Top-rated French custard-style ice cream recipes to try:

How to Make Philadelphia-Style Ice Cream

Philadelphia-style ice cream contains no egg yolks and does not require cooking. It's based purely on cream and sugar. You simply mix the ingredients in your recipe, chill, and churn in an ice cream machine or by hand. Tip: Chill the ice cream mixture for 1 to 2 hours before churning.

Top-rated Philadelphia-style ice cream recipes to try:

How to Churn, Ripen, and Store Ice Cream

You can churn, ripen, and store French custard- or Philadelphia-style ice cream recipes using the same method.

Churning: Churning (by hand or in a machine) prevents large ice crystals from forming in the ice cream and produces the smooth texture that makes ice cream feel so rich and luxurious when you eat it. Ice cream churned in a machine will generally have more air whipped into the mixture than hand-churning can achieve.

  • If you're using an ice cream machine, churn following the manufacturer's instructions. When the mixture has thickened and is hard to stir, remove it from the ice cream maker and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. (You might like this top-rated ice cream maker from Cuisinart.)
  • If you don't have an ice cream machine, pour the chilled ice cream mixture into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer. After an hour, stir vigorously (spatula, whisk or electric hand mixer) in order to break up any hard ice crystals. Repeat every 30 minutes for the next 2-3 hours or until frozen. If not eating immediately, cover until ready to serve.

Ripening: Freshly churned ice cream will have the loose consistency of soft serve ice cream. To get a more scoopable texture, you'll want to "ripen" the ice cream by storing it in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Your patience will be rewarded. Tip: To keep your ice cream from becoming super-hard as it ripens in the freezer, make sure both the ice cream maker and the mixture are kept ice cold as you're making the ice cream.

Storing: To store leftover ice cream in the freezer, place it in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed onto the surface to prevent it from absorbing odors or forming ice crystals.

Adding Flavors to Homemade Ice Cream

Popular add-ins include ripe summer fruits, chocolate, and toasted nuts. Other good choices? Vanilla beans, lavender, green tea, fresh peppermint, and candied ginger.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

A homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe that everyone will love! It’s amazingly rich and creamy, perfectly refreshing and so much better than store-bought! This classic ice cream takes just a few ingredients and makes enough to serve a crowd.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

The Best Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Let’s just start by saying there’s nothing “vanilla” about this recipe. If you’re one of those that think vanilla ice cream is too boring of a flavor, I’m about to change your mind with the best vanilla ice cream recipe.

This easy homemade ice cream recipe is a sweet and creamy delight that tastes as it came right out of an old school ice cream parlor. It’s perfect to eat as is, or you can use it as a base to dress up with all of your favorite toppings and sauces.

Take it over the top and make an ice cream sundae with sweet sliced bananas, crunchy nuts and the best hot fudge sauce and salted caramel sauce. Then crown it with whipped cream and a colorful maraschino cherry if you can’t resist!

Photography credit: Jenn Davis of Two Cups Flour.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients

  • Heavy cream and whole milk – the cream and whole milk help make the soft creamy texture we all love. You can also replace the whole milk with 2%, it just won’t be as creamy.
  • Granulated sugar – The sugar helps sweeten the ice cream and actually helps the mixture as a whole become easier to freeze. Sugar lowers the freezing point making the freezing process easier the more sugar you put in.
  • Salt – The salt doesn’t take any sweetness away from the ice cream, it’s there to help bring out all of the rich flavors for an amazing taste you’ll love.
  • Egg yolks – egg yolks are another vital ingredient that keeps the ice cream soft and creamy. You can make recipes without the yolks, but if you really want that professional grade ice cream, use egg yolks.
  • Vanilla extract – What would vanilla ice cream be without some real vanilla?

Equipment Needed to Make Ice Cream

You’ll also need an electric ice cream maker. I have this one HERE. It’s lasted years and years and it’s been used a lot. It’s not a bad price either!

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

How to Make Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. Pour heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Whisk egg yolks until well blended. While whisking egg yolks, slowly pour some of the hot milk mixture into yolk then pour egg yolk mixture into saucepan while whisking the mixture in saucepan.
  3. Cook mixture over medium-low heat until mixture reaches 180 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature stirring occasionally.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly against the surface of the custard mixture to prevent a skin from forming on top. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill.
  6. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until thickened.
  7. Transfer ice cream to chilled container from the freezer. Spread even. Place in freezer and freeze until firm

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Our Favorite Ice Cream Toppings

I think the real question here is, what toppings don’t go with vanilla ice cream? Really though, have you ever had any topping that you thought didn’t go with the amazing summer treat?

When it comes to mix ins for this one, go as simple or as crazy as you want with it. Some of my favorite toppings include:

  • Cookies and cream with caramel sauce
  • Chopped chocolate bits and raspberries
  • Fruit sauce, blueberry syrup, or strawberry syrup
  • Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate sauce and edible cookie dough
  • Chopped candy bars

If you have a crazy and fun topping combos you love, let me know if the comments below! I love trying new options and I’m always looking for suggestions.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Do I Need an Ice Cream Maker to Make Vanilla Ice Cream?

For this homemade vanilla ice cream recipe, yes. There are other ice cream recipes out there that don’t require an ice cream maker. Those recipes usually say “no churn” in the title. So, you can make ice cream without the ice cream maker but I will admit, it’s just not the same.

Purchasing an ice cream maker is so worth every penny. Once you use one just once and taste the difference you’ll understand. It will be like you transformed your kitchen into your own personal scoop shop.

How Long Does Homemade Ice Cream Last?

Unfortunately homemade ice cream doesn’t last quite as long as store-bought ice cream. When stored properly in the freezer it will keep for 1 – 2 weeks for best results (much longer and it starts forming ice crystals).

With a recipe this good, I don’t think you’ll have any problems getting rid of it all in less than a week.

When I say this is seriously the best homemade vanilla ice cream recipe ever I really mean it.

This is my Nana’s recipe and it’s so much better than any store bought ice cream.

This is a super refreshing treat that’s just perfect for the hot summer weather.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

What I really like about this ice cream recipe is the texture.

It’s not super creamy.

I’m just not a fan of a super creamy ice cream.

I feel that a lighter texture is much more refreshing and delicious.

I’m so glad my grandmother gave me this recipe.

I remember being frustrated that I could never find a store bought ice cream that tasted like hers.

They were all too heavy for my preference.

Now I can have my favorite ice cream whenever I want.

This recipe requires no cooking!

That’s the best part!

It can be whipped up in less than an hour.

I’m not into ice cream recipes that require making a custard base as that just gives me more dishes to wash when I’m finished.

Luckily this recipe is quick, easy, delicious and doesn’t dirty up a lot of dishes.

Now this recipe does contain raw eggs therefore I ONLY recommend using pasteurized eggs as the pasteurization process will destroy salmonella.

How much ice cream does this recipe make?

This recipe makes 4 quarts of vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla ice cream ingredients

In addition to the ingredients you will also need a 4 quart ice cream maker.

This recipe contains simple ingredients that should be easy to find. Here they are:

  • Pasteurized eggs
  • White sugar
  • Milnot
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk
  • Ice
  • Ice cream salt

If you can’t find Milnot you can just use evaporated milk. It will work just fine!

How to make homemade ice cream

Crack the eggs into a large bowl. We will be using the whole egg.

Beat with a mixer for a couple of minutes until foamy.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Then slowly add in the sugar while continuously mixing.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Next add the Milnot and vanilla while continuing to mix.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Pour the mixture into the ice cream canister.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Then add in the milk and insert the dasher.

Then put on the canister lid.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Put the canister inside the ice cream maker.

Now it’s time to add the ice and salt to the ice cream maker.

Start with a layer of ice then do a generous layer of ice cream salt.

Continue until you get to the top of the canister.

You should have between 4-6 layers.

Then put the lid on and turn on the machine and the ice cream will be ready in about 30 minutes.

If you’re making this ice cream inside make sure you’re doing it over the sink as the ice cream maker does have holes in the side in order for the melted ice to drain.

Add more ice and salt as needed to keep the canister cold.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

The ice cream will be a soft serve texture but it will get firmer after freezing for a few hours.

Freeze leftover ice cream in a freezer safe container.

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

This is my favorite ice cream recipe ever.

Store bought doesn’t even come close.

This ice cream is always a hit at any get together.

It’s perfect for July 4th and backyard barbecues!

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Tips for making homemade ice cream

  • Keep the canister in the freezer for a few hours before you start making the ice cream. This will help to prevent the ice from melting too fast.
  • Keep the ice cream maker over a sink if making inside so the water will drain into the sink.
  • Add more ice and salt as needed.
  • Substitute with evaporated milk if you can’t find Milnot.
  • Only use Pasteurized eggs for this recipe as there is no cooking involved in this recipe.

I really hope you enjoyed today’s recipe!

It’s one my family really enjoys and it really is in my opinion the best homemade vanilla ice cream recipe ever!

Making ice cream at home is really simple so don’t be intimidated.

You won’t regret it!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Let me know in the comments below.

Vanilla has always been my favorite

Thank you so much for visiting.

Please don’t forget to leave this recipe a rating down below, see you soon!

How to make homemade vanilla ice cream

Serving Size 1/2 cup, 1/14 of recipe
Calories Per Serving 230
Total Fat 16g
Calories From Fat 140g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 55mg
Sodium 85mg
Carbohydrates 18g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugar 17g
Protein 3g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%, Calcium 10%, Vitamin C 0%, Iron 0%.


COMBINE sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, vanilla and salt in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until blended.

BEAT heavy cream in separate large bowl with same beaters until stiff peaks form. Add to sweetened condensed milk mixture, folding in until completely blended.

POUR mixture into 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or other 2-quart freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze 6 hours or until firm.

To customize basic vanilla ice cream, add one or more favorite stir-ins prior to freezing. Soft stir-ins such as ice cream topping or jam may be blended into the sweetened condensed milk mixture in step 1, or for a “ribbon” effect, may be swirled in by spooning between layers of the ice cream mixture prior to freezing. Hard stir-ins, such as nuts, chopped candy bars, baking chips and toasted coconut should be folded in with the whipped cream in step 2. Use a 2 1/2- to 3-quart freezer-safe container for storage.


Serving Size 1/2 cup, 1/14 of recipe
Calories Per Serving 230
Total Fat 16g
Calories From Fat 140g
Saturated Fat 10g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 55mg
Sodium 85mg
Carbohydrates 18g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugar 17g
Protein 3g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%, Calcium 10%, Vitamin C 0%, Iron 0%.