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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

We don't want to brag, but this vanilla ice cream recipe really is the best ever. And with only four ingredients, it just might be the easiest, too. No ice cream maker? No problem. Just follow the directions below. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 5 min. Process: 20 min. + freezing YIELD:10 servings


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


  • 1. 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. Yield: 1-1/4 quarts.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: For raspberry or strawberry ice cream, substitute 2 cups fresh or frozen berries for 1 cup of half-and-half. Puree berries in a blender or food processor; stir into the other ingredients before freezing.
Editor's Note: To prepare recipe without an ice cream maker, place a 13x9-in. dish in freezer until cold. Prepare cream mixture as directed; transfer to prepared dish. Freeze until edges of mixture begin to set, 20-30 minutes. Using a hand mixer, beat mixture until smooth. Freeze, covered, until firm, about 3 hours longer, beating again every 30 minutes.

Nutritional Facts

1/2 cup: 308 calories, 22g fat (14g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 37mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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Angel182009 User ID: 6228642 256764
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2016

"This recipe was great to make since it used so little ingredients. Turned out perfect and creamy!"

shannondobos User ID: 5115022 252533
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2016

"I just got an ice cream maker and tried this as my first ice cream. I am so pleased with it! This recipe is simple, and SO delicious and creamy. I'll be hesitant to try any other recipes since this one was such a winner. I can't wait to try the fruit versions suggested here, and I think I'll try switching up the extract to coconut and adding some toasted coconut as well to make a coconut ice cream."

Ice cream Fan User ID: 8891988 250304
Reviewed Jul. 11, 2016 Edited Jul. 14, 2016

"Tried making this with a traditional ice cream maker and it never froze, however after freezing it in the freezer it was the perfect consistency. The thought of having only four ingredients was appealing and it looked easy, so based on the reviews I thought I would try it. Both times the mix never did set up and freeze in the ice cream maker the way it should. I let it run for 3 hours with the ice and rock salt but it wasn't freezing. Great flavor!! Will make again."

Mombo1022 User ID: 7341837 18564
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2014

"Made as a fast, super easy ice cream for a chocolate cake I made for my hubby's birthday!!! Everyone loved it & couldn't believe how SUPER SIMPLE it was & the ingredients couldn't be any simpler!!! Soooo much better than store bought!! YUM!!"

Worshipguy User ID: 6391761 45596
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2014

"This ice cream disappeared fast when I made it over Memorial Day. Love the smooth creaminess of it! We added M&M's for the kids and they loved it!"

heart4asia User ID: 4883587 43047
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2014

"love this recipe. super easy and very good!!"

lvarner User ID: 35803 17736
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2014

"This recipe is very easy to put together and makes a nice smooth, creamy ice cream. Quite delish!"

meganshakes User ID: 4295286 39045
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2014

"I made this for the Fourth of July and used it for root beer floats. It was a huge hit! My husband, who doesn't like homemade ice cream, really liked it. I agree with the reviewer who said it tastes like the soft-serve from McDonald's. Super creamy and very easy to scoop after sitting in the freezer for five hours. I'll definitely be making this again!"

Xena7751 User ID: 5742608 72752
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2014

"This was very smooth and creamy. Used for root beer floats, Yum!"

cuzpaulasaysso User ID: 7788745 18561
Reviewed May. 3, 2014

"I just made this ice cream, and then I made some more! It is so good. I baked some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to make sandwiches with later! YUM!"

workinmomTX User ID: 742853 42861
Reviewed Aug. 18, 2013

"For such a simple recipe, this was delicious. Very creamy and doesn't have that grainy texture that some homemade ice creams have. Instead of vanilla I used 2 tsp. of Amaretto. Will make again and again!"

SRockley User ID: 2166472 18556
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2013

"This recipe is awesome! It is requested by friends every summer for our annual pool party. I love the fact that it doesn't have to be cooked first."

Relinda User ID: 7367556 45592
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2013

"Made the vanilla and strawberry also. Made a double batch on both recipes, a day ahead. Put in freezer safe bowl, froze for ice cream social the next night. Was creamy and delicious, not icy. Excellent. Used Mexican vanilla and had excellent vanilla flavor."

tbearmom03 User ID: 503950 16208
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2013

"I prefer vanilla ice cream with a custard base, but didn't have the time nor the refrigerator space to chill, so I gave this a try. I doubled the recipe to make 3 quarts, as I have a 4 quart freezer. It comes out of the ice cream freezer a very soft serve, but very tasty ice cream. Since only 5 of us were eating ice cream along with homemade peach pie, I put the remainder in containers in the freezer. After several hours it was firm enough that I needed an ice cream scoop, but not, as I would have thought, icy and rock hard. It had the perfect "scoopabililty". 4 days later it is still great. I like this recipe so well I may try it again, only heating part of the mixture enough to temper some eggs and and them for a more custard taste, but this is an outstanding recipe on its own."

wmssquad User ID: 2540812 43977
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2013

"This is so simple, and yet quite yummy. I was looking for something that didn't require stove top preparation, and skipped the raw eggs. I doubled the recipe for my four-quart ice cream maker."

BlondeBrownie99 User ID: 7249619 72751
Reviewed Jun. 5, 2013

"Very creamy and yummy. The best part is that you can do whatever you want with it! I added some crushed up Oreos to make Cookies 'N' Cream, and it was delicious. Very simple and easy to make."

smoes User ID: 3698334 43045
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2012

"Got a new ice cream maker for my kitchen aid artisan. Wanted to try something easy and this sure was. Tastes great!!!! Reminds me if the ice cream cones you get at McDonalds"

gwashington1961 User ID: 6420190 16125
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2012

"This is a tasty recipe - yet a very expensive recipe! 2C. Heavy whipping cream + 2C/ 1/2 & 1/2 is a very rich combination. It will serve well for the family, but usually is best mixed with fruits to stretch the quantity yielded!"

aneciap User ID: 6786741 42860
Reviewed Jul. 23, 2012

"Oh, and this recipe makes 1.5 quarts. My machine makes 4 quarts, so I doubled the recipe and made 3 quarts. Just thought I'd point that out."

aneciap User ID: 6786741 13526
Reviewed Jul. 23, 2012

"Yum!!! We make homemade ice cream every Summer but I've never tasted vanilla ice cream as good as this! It's better than commercial brands! I can't wait to add strawberries, etc. Its creamy with a good texture and it freezes perfectly! I was amazed that it was even better the next day. NO ice chunks, etc. it came out of the tub just as smoothly as it went in! In fact, ours was a bit mushy when it was done, (maybe because we ran out of ice,) but it set up perfectly once it was in the freezer a few hours! I don't know why you'd ever buy ice cream again when you can make this! The only downside is that its very fattening, but the tasties food usually is! I wonder if you could try less fattening ingredients and get the same , (or almost the same,) result???"

tomlisahig User ID: 1153019 72750
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2011

"This is one of the best homemade ice creams I have ever had! The best part is there is no cooking and cooling involved. The next day it scooped out of a container beautifully and was not icy textured but very creamy."

lindaksweat User ID: 4108011 201925
Reviewed Jul. 18, 2011

"I made this recipe and it was great. I doubled it and added a 16 ounce bag of frozen strawberries that I had run through the food processor."

Cookie65 User ID: 1332004 41435
Reviewed Jul. 5, 2011

"I have always used an ice cream recipe that had to be cooked in a double boiler, included eggs which had to be tempered before adding, etc. I decided to take a chance on this simpler recipe and am so glad I did. It was creamy and smooth and rich and yummy! I doubled it to fit in my full-size ice cream freezer. It was a big hit along with blueberry sauce at our 4th of July celebration."

madannieroo User ID: 4891887 39044
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2010

"I have used this recipe to make homemade ice cream before & it's great! No cooking involved, just mix & make! :)"

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