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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

We don't want to brag, but as far as vanilla ice cream recipes go, this one is the best. And with only four ingredients, it just might be the easiest, too. No ice cream maker? No problem. Just follow the directions below to learn how to make homemade ice cream by hand. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 5 min. Process: 20 min. + freezing
  • Makes
    1-1/4 quarts


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Combine all ingredients, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Fill cylinder of ice cream maker no more than two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer's directions. (Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Serve immediately or store in covered containers in freezer.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Tips

How do you make homemade ice cream creamy and not icy?

To ensure your homemade ice cream will come out creamy, use heavy cream, half-and-half or milk with a higher percentage milk fat, such as whole milk. If the ice cream is made with a lower percentage milk fat, it has the potential to become icy.

How should I store homemade ice cream?

Store homemade ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed directly onto the surface. This will prevent ice crystals from forming.

How do you make homemade ice cream thicker?

Thicker ice creams usually involve the addition of eggs, egg yolks or cornstarch as stabilizers or thickeners. The ice cream “base” is basically a cooked custard that, when chilled very well, spins up into a creamy, but firmer ice cream. Try our creamy vanilla ice cream, Thomas Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream, old-time custard ice cream or homemade frozen custard if you're aiming for ice cream with some thickness to it.

How do you make ice cream without an ice cream maker?

No ice cream maker, no problem! To make ice cream without an ice cream maker, pour the ice cream mixture into a shallow container (glass or metal work best) that you've popped in the freezer previously to get nice and chilled. Store in the coldest part of your freezer until almost firm, but still soft enough to be stirred. For the next three hours, check the ice cream every 30 minutes and stir or mix with a hand mixer to keep it aerated and creamy. You can also make ice cream in a coffee can!
Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup: 308 calories, 22g fat (14g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 37mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Nepta
    Jun 19, 2020

    Loved them! <a href="">Vanilla Ice Cream</a>

  • angela32
    May 21, 2020

    So good and easy!

  • nanvo69
    May 7, 2020

    I have a similar recipe from years ago only it's for lemon ice cream. Only I always left the lemon out. It's a great recipe. I made it froze it like halfway then added a pumpkin pie to it n cut in whipped cream. Then put back in freezer. We all loved it.

  • Eddie
    Apr 23, 2020

    I just tried it but as I mixed it it got thick and junk of what looked like butter started forming I don’t know if it’s because the half and half but I put it in the freezer and am waiting to see the results

  • Dawn
    Mar 11, 2020

    OMG! SO much fun to make and even more fun to eat. The possibilities are endless! You can adjust this recipe and make just about any flavor or color you want! So happy that I have passed this on to my family and friends! Thank you we are really enjoying it here in New York!

  • Catharina
    Dec 25, 2019

    I made this ice cream and we fell in love . It’s so easy to make and delicious too .it is a favorite go to meal. I will definitely be making it my go to recipe for ice cream. 5 stars.

  • Linda
    Aug 4, 2019

    For those who want a less like whip cream. Use only 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream 1 1/2 cups of half and half 1c. Of whole milk It works quite well

  • Holly
    Jul 30, 2019

    It was very good and i will be making it again

  • meeerylou
    Jul 20, 2019

    Tasted like whipped cream. Very fluffy and fatty. I will look for a different recipe for ice cream.

  • Kathleen
    Jul 17, 2019

    The first time I made this, I had some vanilla bean. Which I used in conjunction with the extract. What a beautiful rich and creamy ice cream. All the family raved.