This Easy Homemade Ice Cream is a simple, four-ingredient recipe for perfectly light and creamy vanilla ice cream. Serve it as-is or load it up with your favorite mix-ins! Just 5 minutes to prep!
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This Homemade Ice Cream recipe is the perfect easy vanilla ice cream!
It calls for just four simple ingredients, and requires just a few minutes of hands-on time.
Tomorrow I’ll be bringing you a Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream ice cream with a custard base. The recipes are very similar, but this one is a little easier and doesn’t have any eggs. It’s a no cook ice cream recipe!
The Frozen Custard recipe does need to be cooked and includes eggs. It has a richer flavor and is more stable (meaning it won’t melt as quickly), but does require a little more time and effort.
If you’re feeling adventurous and you’re not sure which one you’ll like better, make both!
It’s fun to try both ways so you know which one to make for next time. Interestingly enough, my kids prefer this method while my husband and I prefer the custard method. Both are delicious, but it just depends on your preferences!
Keep your eyes peeled because I’ll be bringing lots of homemade ice cream recipes this summer! In the meantime, check out my No Churn Turtle Ice Cream, Easy No Churn Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream, and No Churn Oreo Ice Cream Cupcakes!
- Cream: heavy whipping cream is a must for a rich and creamy homemade ice cream!
- Milk: again, whole milk gives the creamiest texture. You can try using a lower fat milk, but your ice cream will be more icy.
- Granulated Sugar: you can use anywhere from 1/2-¾ cup of sugar depending on how sweet you like your ice cream to be. If you like desserts less sweet, err on the lower end.
- Vanilla Extract: just a splash to add some flavor depth. You can also substitute with vanilla bean paste or real vanilla bean seeds.
How to Make Homemade Ice Cream
- Chill the bowl: Stick the bowl of your ice cream maker into the freezer as instructed in the manual. This usually requires 24 hours, so please plan ahead.
- Combine and churn: Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then pour into the ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes. It should reach soft serve consistency.
- Freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.
Ice Cream FAQs
Totally! To make this homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker, simply pour the ice cream base into a freezer-safe bowl. Place the bowl into the freezer to chill. Every 30-60 minutes, remove the ice cream from the freezer and beat it with an electric mixer. This helps break up the ice crystals for an extra smooth and creamy ice cream.
You can. Just make sure whatever you use has a high fat content. Lactose free milk and cream would both work great. I haven’t tested this recipe using non-dairy milk but it should work as long as there’s enough fat. I recommend trying coconut cream or high fat non-dairy milk.
Homemade ice cream will last in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 weeks.
Tips and Notes for Homemade Ice Cream
- Freeze the bowl. Keeping the ice cream maker bowl cold helps it freeze quickly for a better texture.
- Use full-fat ingredients. Stick to the heavy whipping cream and whole milk. Anything with less fat won’t be nearly as rich or creamy.
- Before serving, let the ice cream sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes or so to let it soften a bit. This makes it creamier!
- Play with sweetness. I list a range of amount of sugar for this recipe so you can play around with it. If you like a sweeter ice cream, add more. If you prefer it less sweet, use less.
Ice Cream Add-In Ideas
- Candy. Mix in your favorite variety of M&Ms, pieces of chopped up candy bars, or mini marshmallows.
- Cookies. Feeling inspired? Whip up a batch of your favorite homemade cookies to chop up and mix into the ice cream. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookies, or Chocolate Chip Cookies would be delicious.
- Brownies. Bake up some homemade brownies to slice up and add to your ice cream. try my classic Homemade Brownies, Triple Chocolate Raspberry Brownies, or Cherry Cheesecake Brownies.
- Sauces. Swirl in chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or Homemade Strawberry Sauce.
- Nuts. Add in chopped walnuts, pecans, slivered almonds, or even a swirl of your favorite peanut butter.
More Ice Cream Recipes
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Easy Homemade Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cups whole milk
- ½-¾ cup granulated sugar (use more or less according to your tastes)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Freeze ice cream maker bowl as instructed in the manual.
- Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour into ice cream maker and churn for 20-30 minutes, until it resembles soft serve.
- Pour into a freezer-safe container (i.e., a loaf pan or baking dish works great) and freeze until firm.
- I recommend letting the ice cream sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving for creamier ice cream.
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