Easy Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe | Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Homemade | Ice Cream

A Homemade Kitchen: Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

By Tessa Arias
May 28th, 2011
4.60 from 5 votes
4.60 from 5 votes

Homemade Easy Vanilla Ice Cream tastes a heck of a lot better than any ice cream from the freezer aisle!

Yield: 10 1/2-cup servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook: 5 minutes

Homemade Easy Vanilla Ice Cream tastes a heck of a lot better than any ice cream from the freezer aisle!

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

Homemade Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

A Homemade Kitchen series includes recipes that feature homemade versions of your favorite store-bought meals, snacks, treats, condiments and more. Homemade is better for your budget, body, and taste buds.

Have you ever tasted homemade ice cream? If not, you’re truly missing out. The simple, unadulterated flavors of homemade ice cream are almost sinful. Not as sinful as store-bought ice cream though, which offers wonderful ingredients such as mono and diglycerides, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and a bunch of others I don’t even know how to pronounce.  This homemade ice cream, however, only has 4 ingredients. And best of all, you get to choose what they are and where they came from. If you wanted to get real naturale on me, you could even substitute something like maple syrup for the granulated sugar. My favorite part of this recipe is how dirt cheap it is to make, no eggs or vanilla beans, but all the flavor.

P.S. –  I’m not trying to claim this ice cream recipe is healthy. I’m just saying it’s not full of creepy ingredients and it tastes a heck of a lot better than any ice cream from the freezer aisle. As with any treat, moderation is key!

P.P.S. – You will need an ice cream machine to make this recipe. If you don’t have one, buy one! Or borrow one. I use mine at least once a month.

4.60 from 5 votes

How to make
Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

Yield: 10 1/2-cup servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Homemade Easy Vanilla Ice Cream tastes a heck of a lot better than any ice cream from the freezer aisle!


  • 1 cup whole milk, chilled
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon high-quality pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer on low speed, whisk the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and vanilla. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and let thicken, following manufacturer's directions. Freeze for 2 hours until firm before serving.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Megan Thomas — August 16, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Loved how simple it was! A great introduction for those learning how to make ice cream. I dressed it up a little with some vanilla bean paste instead of extract. My little toddler and hubby licked their bowls clean

    • #
      Emily — August 17, 2021 at 9:21 am

      LOVE vanilla bean paste, so happy your ice cream was such a hit! Glad to hear this recipe was easy to follow and make 🙂

  2. #
    RRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEe — July 25, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    WHy yOu hav too mak dis in ise crwem macinnee???!!

    • #
      Chad Zubberman — July 25, 2021 at 6:07 pm

      Good question

    • #
      Emily @ Handle the Heat — July 26, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Click here to learn How to Make Ice Cream Without A Machine 🙂 That post includes a great vanilla ice cream base to use. As we have quite a few other ice cream recipes on the site, if you look at the pink tip box above each recipe on the recipe’s blog post, we will note if it can be made without an ice cream maker or not (this recipe cannot). Hope that helps!

  3. #
    Blog Confeitaria Em Casa Lucrativa — January 12, 2021 at 11:41 am

    I love vanilla ice cream. Thanks for sharing.

  4. #
    Kavindra — April 22, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    Made this with the kids using the bag method. They loved it! This COVID-19 social distancing has us making all kinds of recipes that we were buying out of convenience. They are ready to try making other flavors like chocolate and strawberry.

  5. #
    Michelle — July 13, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I would have rated it a 5. Everyone loved it freshly made and frozen for 2 hours, but what about after it has sat overnight and is one huge block of hardness? Everyone said it tasted like Wendy’s frosty. They enjoyed it. I’m having to let it set out just to get a spoon in it.

    • #
      patricia K deaton — July 1, 2020 at 9:18 am

      You can put a small amount (tbsp) of vodka into the mixture and it won’t freeze into a solid block. You can’t taste the vodka.

  6. #
    Rochelle — June 1, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    I made this with my daughter is added a little more milk and cocoa powder it’s so good and creamy. My family ate it all☺
    Thanks for shareing

  7. #
    Jenna — January 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Hello, Tessa!! I have a question about your french vanilla ice cream recipe (in your “Cookies and Cream” book). I’d love to make it, but is there a way to substitute the vanilla bean?

    I’ve only made one ice cream recipe in my new Cuisinart, yet it flopped. 🙂 After reading your tips + tricks, I’m ready to give homemade ice cream another go!!!

    Thank you so much!


    • #
      Tessa — January 22, 2017 at 11:54 am

      You can use vanilla bean paste! Regular vanilla extract will work too, it just won’t provide the same intensity of flavor.

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  12. #
    adrian — July 2, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Thanks to you, i just might win the ice cream contest i'm in this month!!!

  13. #
    Colleen Dawson — February 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Hi, i bought a Nordic ware, supremer ice creamer, at a discount store, and it came with NO booklet, or recipe or instruction book. the cat number is:08000.Is there any place i could find the instructions and recipe book for this machine, thanks, Colleen Dawson , fort erie ontario

    • #
      handleheat — February 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Hi Colleen. I'm sorry to say I've had no experience with any Nordicware ice cream makers. I was able to find this website though – http://www.ehow.com/how_7323266_nordic-ware-ice-c… – not sure if that matches the machine you have but I hope it helps.

  14. #
    handleheat — June 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hannah – I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand your question. Substituting lower fat milk for the whole milk is possible – your final product might not be very creamy though. You could also substitute whole milk or half and half for the heavy cream, but again your final product's texture will be changed. As for using yogurt – you might have better luck finding a frozen yogurt recipe! This one looks like it might produce a nice result (with adaptions made from comments) – http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/creamy-vanilla-froze

  15. #
    hannah — June 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    can you substitute the whole milk for fat free and then the heavy cream for low-fat milk? Or could you use greek yogurt instead of the cream?

  16. #
    [email protected] — June 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

    4 ingredients?!?! this looks awesome! i'm making this as soon as the bowl of my ice cream maker is frozen 🙂

  17. #
    Erin — May 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Goodness, I want homemade ice cream right now. This post comes in perfect time with Memorial Day and summer. I have a good feeling that once I get settled in my new home (and get that ice cream maker attachment to my blender) that this ice cream is going to become a staple in our home.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. #
    Claire K Creations — May 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Ooh this does look good and I love that there's no egg-cooking or custard making!

  19. #
    maris — May 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    No comparison to store bought ice cream! This looks awespme

  20. #
    kennith — May 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    this was fast&eazy thanks!

  21. #
    Emily — May 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I've been dabbling with new ice cream recipes this week (first time to make homemade!), so this post came at the perfect time! And I love that there aren't any eggs – I've been heating all of my ingredients and then chilling, and then churning. That takes a while! Thanks for sharing, and I'm loving your blog – wonderful recipes and insights! 🙂

  22. #
    Marti — May 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I make mine with fat-free greek yogurt and lots of fruit. But every once in awhile, I have to have a little vanilla. This looks great!

  23. #
    Jenn — May 29, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Nothing compares to homemade ice cream. My grocery store just got in a bunch of ice cream makers and every time I walk by them, I am so tempted to buy one, but if I did, I know I would be making ice cream constantly.

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