Best Ever Vanilla Ice Cream

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Process: 25 min./batch + freezing


4-1/2 cups

Updated: Nov. 27, 2023
This ice cream is technically a custard since it contains eggs. After lots of testing (and tasting), I've found that eggs are the key to making a smooth and creamy treat that rivals what you can get at a premium ice cream shop. —Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 6 large egg yolks


  1. In a large heavy saucepan, combine cream, milk, sugar and salt. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife, scrape seeds into pan; add bean. Heat cream mixture over medium heat until bubbles form around side of pan, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook over low heat until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and temperature reaches 180°, stirring constantly. Do not allow to boil. Immediately transfer to a bowl.
  3. Place bowl in a pan of ice water. Stir gently and occasionally for 2 minutes; discard vanilla bean. Press waxed paper onto surface of mixture. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  4. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Transfer ice cream to a freezer container; freeze until firm, 4-6 hours. Repeat with remaining mixture.

Best Ever Vanilla Custard Ice Cream Tips

Can I make this without an ice cream maker?

Yes, after chilling the custard overnight, pour into a frozen 13x9-in. dish. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth; return to the freezer. Repeat the process, beating every 30 minutes or until desired consistency.

What other variations can I make?

  • Cookies & Cream Ice Cream: After freezing in an ice cream freezer, layer 1 cup crushed Oreo cookies with ice cream in a freezer container; freeze until firm.
  • Chocolate Ice Cream: Melt 2 cups semisweet chocolate; cool to room temperature. Whisk melted chocolate into egg yolks before whisking a small amount of hot cream mixture into yolks. Proceed with recipe as directed.
  • Strawberry Ice Cream: In a small bowl, crush 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar. Stir into cooked custard as it cools in a pan of ice water. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 310 calories, 23g fat (14g saturated fat), 188mg cholesterol, 78mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.