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How to Make the Best Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

How to Make the Best Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Particularly velvety smooth and light ice cream that bursts in your mouth in a deluge of dairy-good comfort, not overwhelmingly sweet but with a nice vanilla kick to keep things lively. 

I only recently caved and bought an ice-cream maker, after years of making ice cream the good old-fashioned way and what a revelation. 

Instead of a slow process spread out over hours and hours, in which I had to set frequent alarms to remind me to take the ice cream out and beat it as it froze, I was able to make a batch of ice cream in less than an hour from start to finish. 

Did someone say game-changer? 

These days I’m like the genie of ice creams. My wish is my command. A deep and unctuous rum and raisin ice cream? Done. My favourite salted caramel ice cream? All. Freaking. Over. It. 

That said, it’s also given me the chance to really work on creating the perfect homemade vanilla ice cream and to say I’m happy with the result may well be the understatement of the year. 

Enough talking already, let’s get to it. 

Practical Tips for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 

Use Good-Quality Vanilla 

If you’re making vanilla ice cream, it makes sense to get your hands on the best-quality vanilla that you can right? 

That means either buying vanilla pods and scraping the seeds from them, buying good quality vanilla seed paste or, at a push, vanilla extract. 

Stay away from vanilla essence, which weirdly, isn’t generally made from vanilla at all and is chemically created to just taste like vanilla. 

Don’t Be Tempted to go Overboard on the Cream

It’s called ice cream, so the best ice cream will be made with just cream right? Wrong. 

If you’ve ever tasted ice cream that’s been made solely from cream, you’ll know that it tastes greasy and heavy, like an oil slick that coats your mouth with an unpleasant texture. 

The high fat content and cold temperatures also makes it difficult for flavours to come through. So, not that great then. 

Even though it’s counterintuitive, I’ve found that the best ice creams contain more milk than cream – that’s why I’ve kept the amount of cream in this recipe relatively low. 

Can I Make This Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker? 

Yes, absolutely – you can try your hand at homemade vanilla ice cream without an ice cream maker. 

You will have to take the ice cream batter out of the freezer every 20-30 minutes for the first three hours (or until it is frozen) and mix it manually to stop ice crystals forming as it freezes. Don’t be gentle, really break apart any clumps or lumps in the ice cream – the end result will be a lot smoother and lighter.

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Yield: Serves 6

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Deceptively simple, smooth and creamy, this vanilla ice cream recipe is going to become your go to for homemade ice cream. Try it and see.


  • 150ml double cream
  • 300ml whole milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste / seeds of one vanilla pod
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 egg yolks


  1. Mix the whole milk, cream and vanilla paste / seeds together. Add to a pan on a low heat and heat until it’s on the cusp of coming to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
    Once the vanilla milk has warmed, slowly pour it in a thin stream into the eggs and sugar, whisking all the while until it forms a thin custard.
  3. Continue whisking as you slowly pour the remainder of the liquid into the eggs.
  4. Leave to cool, (you can speed this process up by putting the bowl of custard into an ice bath).

If you’re using an Ice Cream Machine
Once the custard has cooled, transfer it to the pre-chilled bowl of your ice cream maker and churn for 40 minutes until you reach the desired consistency.

If you want to harden the ice cream up a bit more, transfer the bowl to the freezer for a little more time once the cycle has finished.

If you’re Making the Ice Cream by Hand
Transfer the custard to a freezable bowl or tub and place into the freezer.

Remove the tub every 20-30 minutes for the first three to four hours and beat the custard to break up any clumps and ice crystals before returning to the freezer. Freeze until firm.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g

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