How to make Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

There is nothing better than having a frosty scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream pulled right from your freezer on a hot day or just to satisfy your cravings. But unraveling the mystery behind making homemade vanilla ice cream can be daunting. I know what’s going through your mind. Making ice cream is hard! It takes too much time! I can’t afford an ice cream maker!

To quell your worries, if you can bake a cake or bun, you can make homemade vanilla ice cream from scratch. You may even have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now, who knows? Lol. And though yes, ice cream does require a piece of special equipment (or not), it will be an investment that’ll last you endless summers of frozen dessert bliss.

The complaint from most beginners is that most homemade vanilla ice cream recipes are more technical and difficult to understand than they need to be. The writers throw around technical terms like “ribboning” and “tempering,” use half a dozen bowls and pots, and demand ice baths and an expectation for perfect ice cream intuition not minding if the readers are completely oblivious to those terms.

The most common question often asked is whether one can make ice cream without a machine and the answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine and I will lay out the procedure below as you read on.

Gaining mastery on how to make a basic homemade vanilla ice cream will serve you well in life. It is what makes a slice of birthday cake, a wedge of Thanksgiving pie or even a simple banana split on a hot summer night feel extra special and extra memorable. Additionally, once you master the recipe, you’re well on your way to inventing your own flavors and making the ice cream of your dreams on a constant basis.

Recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This is a homemade vanilla ice cream version without eggs (‘American’ or ‘Philadelphia-style’) has a brighter, more pronounced vanilla flavor.


  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Step 1: Stir sugar, cream, and milk into a saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Heat just until the mixture is hot and a small ring of foam appears around the edge.

Step 2: Transfer cream mixture to a pourable container such as a large measuring cup. Stir in vanilla extract and chill mix thoroughly, at least 2 hours. (Overnight is best.)

Step 3: Pour cold ice cream mix into an ice cream maker, turn on the machine, and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 4: When ice cream is softly frozen, serve immediately or place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the ice cream and place in the freezer to ripen, 2 to 3 hours.

And your homemade vanilla ice cream is ready.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 425 calories; protein 5.8g; carbohydrates 45.8g; fat 24.7g; cholesterol 92.5mg; sodium 79.1mg.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without a Machine


2 Ingredient Method

  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, chilled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


2 Ingredient Method

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. On low speed, mix in the condensed milk, vanilla, and any flavorings.

Pour into a resealable container, cover the surface with plastic wrap, then seal. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or until firm. Keep stored in the freezer.

Freeze & Stir or Plastic Bag Methods:

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, vanilla, and salt until combined. If the mixture isn’t cold, place in the refrigerator until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

For the freeze & stir method:

Place the mixture in a deep stainless steel baking dish and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir vigorously with a spatula. Return to the freezer.

Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have a handheld mixer or blender, use one of those. Repeat this process for 2 to 3 hours, or until frozen.

Plastic bag method:

Place the ice cream mixture in a quart-size resealable bag, squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Place this bag inside another quart bag, again squeezing out as much air as possible and sealing tightly. Put the bags inside a gallon size resealable bag and fill with about 4 cups crushed ice then sprinkle with 4 tablespoons coarse salt. The salt lowers the freezing point of the ice and creates an extra cold environment that absorbs heat, causing the ice cream base to freeze.

Squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Wrap the bag in a towel or put gloves on before shaking vigorously and massaging the bag, making sure the ice is surrounding the ice cream mixture constantly. Shake for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the ice cream is frozen. The more vigorously you shake, the smoother your ice cream will be.

Want to learn more, find out how to make granola bars here


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