Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

5 from 4 votes

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This Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is sweet, creamy and so easy to make. There is nothing like cold homemade ice cream on a hot day summer day.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and strawberries in a glass.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

When the heat is on, this Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream recipe is the perfect way to cool down. I recently got a new ice cream maker and have been making ice cream of all flavors non-stop. After several attempts to find the PERFECT vanilla ice cream, I finally found one I absolutely love. It’s an easy and simple base recipe that is perfect to add any kind of mix-in that you would like. This recipe is one I adapted from the Food Network (I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t).

Ingredients in Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This homemade vanilla ice cream recipe is so easy to make and comes together with just a few simple ingredients! No eggs, no custard, no messing with complicated temperatures. Just easy, creamy goodness. Here’s what you need:

  • Half-and-half – for this recipe you’ll need about two cups
  • Heavy whipping cream – one cup of heavy cream. You stir in whole milk if the cream mixture seems to thick.
  • Sugar – you’ll need three quarters of a cup + 2 tablespoons.
  • 2 tablespoons of peach preserves –  not jelly. It adds such a lovely dimension of flavor to the ice cream.
  • Vanilla bean – one vanilla pod, split and scraped. You can also use vanilla bean paste and a little extra vanilla extract for deeper vanilla flavor.
  • Dash of salt – optional

Getting the Ice Cream Mixture Ready

  • Before you start to churn the mixture in the ice cream maker, you’ll need to spend a little time at the stove. In a medium saucepan combine all the ingredients and start whisking over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a low simmer.
  • As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat. Do NOT let it boil.
  • Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  • Remove the hull of the vanilla bean pod, pour the mixture into a lidded container and refrigerate overnight to mellow the flavors and texture.

Instructions for the Ice Cream Maker

Any ice cream maker works for this recipe. Just make sure to follow the unit’s instructions. A couple of notes to remember:

  • The mixture will not freeze completely hard in the machine.
  • Once the volume has increased by about half and reached a soft serve consistency, scoop into a bowl with a lid or a loaf pan and harden in the freezer.
  • Try to freeze it for at least an hour before serving. We did ours overnight and it was perfect.

Adding Flavors and Mix-Ins

Although this vanilla ice cream stands on its own, you can always add a variety of mix-ins to, well, mix it up. Crushed up cookies, pieces of candy, fruit, you name it. When it comes to adding them in, there’s really no right amount of specific items to add. Experiment. Have fun. You’ll find the flavors that are right for you and your family. Try some of these add-ins:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Oreo cookies
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce

Frequently Asked Questions about Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Is homemade ice cream better with or without eggs?

This recipe is delicious and doesn’t require eggs at all! A lot of recipes call for eggs because egg yolks are mostly fat, which freezes differently and makes ice cream soft and creamy.

How can I make ice cream fluffier?

If you don’t think your ice cream has enough bulk, you can add more fat by substituting full fat cream for half-and-half in this recipe.

Why is my homemade ice cream still runny?

I’ve never had trouble with this using an ice cream maker, but if it’s not thickening up after about an hour, your mixture may have not been cold enough. If you’re using a machine that needs ice and salt, you may need to add more ice and salt.

READ NEXT: 50+ Picnic Food Ideas

What to Serve with Ice Cream

Try using homemade ice cream over brownies or inside these Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches for a delicious flavor and texture. The next time you make Traditional Homemade Apple Pie or our Pecan Pie, why not serve it a la mode? And when you enjoy the rich flavor of this Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake, ice cream on the side makes it even better.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and strawberries in a glass.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

5 from 4 votes
This Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is so sweet and creamy. There is nothing like cold homemade ice cream on a hot day summer day.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Freeze 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 6



  • Combine all ingredients (including the bean and its pulp) in a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture just barely to a simmer. As soon as you see a bubble hit the surface, remove it from the heat (do not let it boil) and allow to cool slightly. Remove the hull of the vanilla bean, pour mixture into lidded container and refrigerate mixture overnight to mellow flavors and texture.
  • Mix ice cream in ice cream maker* according to unit’s instructions. The mixture will not freeze hard in the machine. Once the volume has increased by ½ to ¾ times, and reached a soft serve consistency, spoon the mixture back into a lidded container and harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving (we did ours overnight and it was perfect).

Nutrition Information

Calories: 436kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 51mgPotassium: 154mgFiber: 1gSugar: 71gVitamin A: 419IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 124mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. Hi, we made this for the 4th of July and it was way too sugary. After we realized something was wrong, we checked Alton Brown’s recipe on Food Network, the one this was adapted from, and the sugar in your recipe is about double his. I wonder if it’s a typo on your recipe? Food Network says 1 cup minus 2T sugar, and yours, if it was going to match that would say 3/4 cup plus 2T sugar, not 1 3/4 cup plus 2T sugar. Just wondering if it was a typo or if it is intentionally an extra cup of sugar?

    1. Yes this IS a typo! Thanks for chatting that! I am so sorry it was so sugary for you. We will get that fixed ASAP.

  2. 5 stars
    I was surprised by the peach preserves in here, but the amount is so small I really couldn’t taste it! It just tastes like perfect and delicious vanilla ice cream!

    1. You could mix in fruit or candy to taste. I would do it individually, like toppings. There’s no right or wrong way or set amount. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    any ideas who how many cups this makes and if it doubles well?? I want to make it for a family reunion and there will be 19 people there. Does the ice cream taste like peach at all? I see the peach preserves in it and got curious. Let me know! Love your website, you are all so talented!

    1. It probably makes about 3 cups worth of ice cream. The ice cream itself doesn’t taste like peach. It only does it you bite right into one of the peach preserves. You can blend the preserves up in a food processor and it won’t taste like peach at all. Thanks for the nice comment! Let me know how it turns out!