Try this easy recipe for homemade vanilla bean ice cream! With vanilla beans and homemade vanilla extract, this ice cream is much healthier than store-bought! Pairs perfectly with our black bean brownies and our homemade apple slab pie.
With a never-ending stash of homemade ice pops in our freezer, I’m winning the mom of the year award this summer.
They’re absolutely the perfect treat for the kids – easy to make, easy to eat, and 100% fruit.
But they’re nothing compared to homemade vanilla bean ice cream.
There was a time when I didn’t care what brand or flavor the ice cream was. I’d eat it all. Of course, that was when ice cream was made with cream, sugar, truly natural flavors and was actually called “ice cream.”
According to the requirements set forth by the FDA, most ice cream on store shelves doesn’t even qualify as real ice cream. Instead, they’ve been demoted to “frozen dairy dessert” and contain unhealthy ingredients like carrageenan and corn syrup.
Perhaps I’ve just gotten pickier as I’ve gotten older. Maybe I’m more selective because of the ingredients.
In either case, I don’t want cheap ice cream and I don’t want that low-fat/non-fat/double churned stuff that tastes like frozen milk.
Hi, my name is Tiffany and I’m pretty sure I’m an ice cream snob.
The Best Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
With that said, I believe this homemade vanilla bean ice cream is the BEST vanilla bean ice cream I’ve ever had, and that should bear some weight because:
- This ice cream is thick like a custard, but light on your tongue and in your belly.
- There’s both vanilla extract AND real vanilla beans, giving the flavor an enormous depth.
- It’s creamy and rich and worth every step of sweat and muscle soreness that comes from my daily run.
What is vanilla bean ice cream made of?
- Heavy cream
- Whole milk
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, split OR 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
How do you make vanilla bean ice cream from scratch?
If I haven’t convinced you that this homemade vanilla bean ice cream is out-of-this-world delicious, let me tell you how easy it is to make:
Add the ingredients to a pot and stir.
Yes, really – that’s it!
- Note: Most homemade ice cream recipes tell you to temper the eggs. What that usually means is an extra dirty dish and the chance of making scrambled eggs in milk.
- As it turns out, you can skip that whole tempering process AND avoid the risk of scrambled eggs in one fell swoop if you use this recipe (and no, the eggs won’t be raw).
An amazing ice cream recipe that’s easy to make AND tastes divine? Dear summer, you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like.
What goes with this vanilla ice cream recipe?
Have you been looking for a homemade vanilla bean ice cream recipe to love and add to your recipe collection for ice cream sandwiches, banana splits, or fudge sundaes? This is the one.
What about a delicious yet simple ice cream recipe to serve a la mode with slow cooker peach cobbler, berry pie, or a classic yellow cake for a summer birthday? This is the one.
Of course, if you’re like me and just want a single scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream on a sugar cone as a way to end another amazing summer day, this recipe is for you too.
Stop looking for other ice cream recipes. Stop wasting your time and money and energy trying to find the perfect homemade vanilla ice cream recipe – trust me when I say this one is it!
What is the difference between vanilla ice cream and vanilla bean ice cream?
Vanilla bean ice cream usually uses a natural vanilla bean that is split and scraped out with the tip of a knife.
However, you can use vanilla bean powder, and that would still qualify as ‘vanilla bean ice cream.’ Store-bought vanilla ice cream may also use vanilla beans but is more often made with vanilla flavorings that are sometimes artificial. Be sure to always read labels!
Tips for Making Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- Vanilla Beans. Vanilla beans have become expensive. If you’re buying them at the grocery store you’ll get 2 beans for $16 or more, however, you can also buy on Amazon in bulk. These vanilla beans have become very expensive, but the quality is excellent.
- Vanilla Bean Powder. This is my secret ingredient for homemade vanilla bean creamer and if you still have some in your spice cabinet, you definitely substitute for vanilla beans in this recipe. This vanilla bean powder is the best deal on Amazon. It costs a bit more upfront, BUT you’ll get enough to last a very long time and cover all of your vanilla bean needs.
- Sugar. I used granulated white sugar in this recipe. You can substitute for a less-processed granulated sugar like coconut sugar or evaporated cane sugar. But know that they’re not any “healthier” and definitely cost more. My rule of thumb with sugar is to enjoy it in moderation when honey and/or maple syrup won’t work in the recipe. Which may mean less ice cream, or more running – your choice.
- Egg Yolks. This is what gives the ice cream its rich texture. Save the egg whites for an omelet or angel food cake or add to your next batch of the best scrambled eggs ever.
- Salt. This mineral brings out the flavor of all the other ingredients, so don’t omit it. A “pinch” is technically 1/16th of a teaspoon. I have these mini measuring spoons, but you can also eyeball it if you don’t have them. Simply pour salt into the palm of your hand, pretend to pinch it, and release the pinch into the pan.
More Homemade Recipes with Vanilla
- Black Bean Brownies
- White Bean Blondies
- Homemade vanilla bean coffee creamer
- Toasted Coconut and Banana Sourdough Pancakes
- Spiced Carrot Bread
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Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Easy & simple recipe for homemade vanilla bean ice cream! With vanilla bean and vanilla extract, this ice cream is better than store-bought & tastes amazing!
- Prep Time: 40+ mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 1 hr
- Yield: about 1 quart 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt (1/16 tsp with these measuring spoons)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped for the inner vanilla OR 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
- In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Turn the burner on the lowest setting and using a whisk (I have a flat whisk that’s perfect for this), break up the eggs so that the mixture is well combined.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes and cook the mixture on low, stirring about once every minute or two.
- When the timer goes off, cool the mixture thoroughly by placing in the fridge for 20-40 minutes.
- Stir the mixture and process in your ice cream maker per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Seems a previous comment was spot on, instead of LOW to heat/set the mixture, i guessed above medium setting on cooktop, and it was not enough in 10 minutes, needed 13 on ?#7 of 10? to get to 165degrees. I have never owned any cooktop that on low would bring 3 cups of liquid to 100 degrees.
As in Jenni’s post: use a thermometer of some type.
This is the best of the first 5 ice cream recipes i have tried so far. Used a little less sugar than called for, and more vanilla powder.
This was wonderful! My whole family loved it so much! I followed your recipe using scraped vanilla bean. I did simmer the mix longer and stirred more often. I also cooled it longer. It tastes incredible! Thank you!
SJ - Team Crumbs
Yay Alyssa! You’re most welcome <3
I’m one of those girlies who’s an absolute fan of ice cream! And so is my sweet love, Johnny. I’d certainly love to try making a batch right at home. I have a Kitchenaid Classic stand mixer, but I haven’t bought the attachment that turns it into an ice cream machine yet. I’m not sure how much it costs, probably about $100! That’s money I don’t have at the moment. And, since I live in a studio apartment, my freezer isn’t big enough for the bowl attachment, as you have to let it chill for at least 15 hours! As for favorite ice cream flavors, I like anything chocolate. Peanut butter chocolate is a classic combination. I also like coffee ice cream. A couple years ago, I actually had the chance to try homemade ice cream at this place called Red Wagon, here in Eugene, Oregon. I tried coffee and peanut butter chocolate combined! Topped with a little hot fudge and some chocolate sprinkles! Mmmm it was sooooo amazing! I’d certainly love to try your recipe. I wonder what it would be like to make ice cream bars.
Sounds like a lovely ice cream–I’m a huge ice cream fan too, so I appreciate that you’ve tested so many recipes and tweaked to get your perfect vanilla ice cream!
One note: not everyone’s stove heats at the same rate or to the same temperature, so setting a timer might not work for everyone, especially since you want to cook the eggs. I’d recommend your readers get an instant read thermometer and make sure the mixture reaches 160F before chilling and churning. Just a small note for folks who may have health concerns.
Thanks again for the recipe. I love that the vanilla flavor is so multidimensional since you added it three ways. Gorgeous!
These look amazing! I may have to try this for today desert.
What is the ice cube tray and blend method? Where can I find instructions?
It’s a method for making ice cream without an ice cream maker that Tiffany shared in a separate post. Here’s the link for it (it’s a great method and worked perfectly for me):
Thanks Catia! This was a great reminder to go back and update this post!! 🙂
Thanks I’m going to try it right now!
I made ice cream!!! 🙂 I followed your directions for making this recipe using the ice cube tray and blend method……awesome! I’ve been wanting to try making homemade ice cream for a while now but did not want to buy an ice cream maker nor spend the whole day going into the freezer to mix it. This method worked out perfectly! Plus, the ice cream taste great! Win-win! Thanks Tiffany!
Woohoo!! Congrats Catia, and you’re SO welcome!
Why wouldn’t maple syrup work in this recipe? I use maple syrup in all of my ice cream recipies.
Heather (contributing author)
I’m not sure if Tiffany meant it doesn’t work in this recipe, but it may affect the flavor if you want the traditional vanilla bean taste. Let us know how it goes if you try it out! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this. Should I extend cooking time for making 2 quarts?