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Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Modern Honey l

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Is there anything better on a hot summer day than a big bowl of homemade ice cream? My Grandma Faye always had ice cream churning in her large wooden old-fashioned ice cream maker. We loved getting up on a stool and assisting her by adding large pieces of ice and rock salt, hoping that we would get the coveted role as the “taste tester.” We would take our big bowls of ice cream, sit outside with our feet dangling in the sparkling pool and think that being at Grandma’s house was the best.

I believed it then and I still believe it now…there’s nothing better than handcrafted, rich, sweet cream vanilla ice cream made from scratch, using only the freshest ingredients. We are talking ultra simple ingredients – heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, vanilla beans, and sometimes even egg yolks. That’s it. There’s no fillers or extras added. It’s how ice cream should be made.

I am sharing TWO homemade vanilla bean ice cream recipes with you today that will rock your world. It’s a serious bonus. I am giving you two options – a simple one using only cream, milk, sugar and vanilla and one that is a custard base using egg yolks, and is slightly more time consuming. My kids favorite is the simple one which is a win-win for me.  You have never tasted vanilla ice cream like this out of the carton.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Modern Honey l

Tips to make Out of this World Ice Cream:

Use fresh cream. I mean, the good stuff. Don’t even both looking at the fat grams on the label. It’s ice cream and we are going to enjoy every single bite.

If ice cream calls for milk, use whole milk every single time. It has that extra amount of fat that lends itself to a creamier ice cream.

There’s two schools of thought with ice cream and people have some serious strong opinions about it. Eggs or no eggs is the question. Egg yolks add a rich, decadent flavor to ice cream and gives it a custard-like flavor. If you keep it simple and take the no egg yolks route and only use heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, and vanilla bean, then you will get a sweeter, purer vanilla ice cream.  You are getting a 2 for 1 today because I am including my two favorite versions of homemade vanilla ice cream. You are welcome. xo

If you make the vanilla bean ice cream custard using fresh egg yolks, it has to be cooked and is more time-consuming. The mixture is brought to 185 degrees, which means that it needs to be chilled before attempting to freeze it.  The results are mind-blowing good but it does take more time and effort.

Vanilla Beans make all of the difference. They are ridiculously expensive but if you can splurge on one thing, I would say buy 1 vanilla bean. There’s nothing like specks of real vanilla beans in ice cream to put ice cream over the top. You can always substitute pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste as well. Remember to always add it after cooking to ensure best flavor pay off.

There are many ice cream freezer options out there. There is the old-fashioned kind like this one HERE that calls for a lot of ice and rock salt. It can taste incredible but keep in mind that it may take longer than other options. Our favorite way to make this homemade vanilla bean ice cream is to use the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. There are a few models available and sometimes you can even score one on sale at Costco.  We have the model where you keep the ice cream freezer bowl frozen at all times, add the cold ice cream mixture to the bowl, and the machine freezes in less than 20 minutes. No mess. No rock salt. No ice.

Instead of making ice cream once or twice a year with the Big Daddy old-fashioned ice cream maker, I am making it all of the time.

Shoot, maybe that’s a problem.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Modern Honey l

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4.83 from 23 votes

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

By: Melissa Stadler, Modern Honey
Two recipe options for perfect Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6


Homemade Vanilla Bean Custard Ice Cream:

  • 1 1/4 cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 1/4 cups Whole Milk
  • 2 Vanilla Beans or 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Paste or Extract
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks

Quick and Easy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream:

  • 3 cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups Half-n-Half
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar may use only 1 1/4 cups if you want it less sweet
  • 1 Vanilla Bean halved and scraped or 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract or Paste


  • To make Custard Base Vanilla Ice Cream (with egg yolks):
  • Combine the cream, whole milk, and vanilla beans into the medium pot. Start to heat mixture over low heat.
  • Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a small bowl until fully combined.
  • When the cream mixture reaches 95 degrees or feels warm to the touch, remove from the heat. Carefully, add 1/4 of the cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly until blended. Do not add all of the cream mixture at once to the eggs. You want to slowly add heated cream a little at a time to temper the yolks. Whisk the tempered yolks into remaining warmed cream mixture. Return pot to medium-low heat.
  • Cook the ice cream base over medium low heat until it reaches 185 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean pods and scrape vanilla beans into ice cream or add pure vanilla extract. Pour ice cream mixture into a bowl to cool.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice. Place the container of ice cream in the ice bath. Stir often and let cool.
  • When the ice cream base has cooled, pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacture's instructions.
  • When finished churning, transfer to airtight container. Allow ice cream to harden in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Quick and Easy Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Combine cream, half-n-half, and sugar in medium saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring often. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla bean, vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract to taste.
  • Let chill for 30 minutes before placing in ice cream maker.
  • When the ice cream base has cooled, pour into ice cream machine and churn according to manufacture's instructions.
  • When finished churning, transfer to airtight container. Allow ice cream to harden in the freezer for at least 1-4 hours.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Keyword: homemade vanilla ice cream
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Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Modern Honey l

Once you have perfected the Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream base then you can add any topping your little heart desires.

Mix-in Ideas: Strawberries, Bananas, Raspberries, Blackberries, White Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Chunks, Oreos, Candy Bars.

Wait until I unveil what is coming tomorrow….MJ’s Chocolate Chip Cookies that LOVE to be paired with this ice cream more than anything else.

Modern Honey is bringing you the ultimate ice cream sandwich. Giddy up.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream by Modern Honey l

Happy Eating, my friends! xo

Hi, I'm Melissa Stadler!

I am an Award-Winning Recipe Creator. Cover of Food Network Magazine. Two-Time Pillsbury Bake-Off Finalist. I am passionate about sharing the best recipes so you have success in the kitchen!

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  1. I’m so excited to try this! So, to be clear, if I were to opt in for your ‘ad in’s would I actually add any of those IN the fudge or just top the fudge with them like you did the caramel pecan?
    Thank you in advance