The Best (and Easiest) Ice Cream You’ll Ever Make

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Homemade Ice Cream is the quintessential summer treat, isn’t it?

This homemade ice cream recipe can also be called the easiest (and best!) ice cream you will ever make or taste. I’ve been making this ice cream at least once a month for over 5 years now.

The BEST and easiest vanilla ice cream you will ever make! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Can anyone ever turn down a scoop of rich and creamy vanilla ice cream? This ice cream recipe is the easiest once I make and it’s adaptable for whichever add-ins you’re craving.

I try to keep a stash of crumbled cookies, brownies, and other treats in the freezer so that I can toss in a few handfuls whenever I’m making a fresh batch of ice cream.

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HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

While ice cream is a staple in our freezer year round, the add-in potentials for this particular ice cream are endless. I’ve filled this ice cream with chunks of brownies, bits of cookie dough, pieces of oatmeal cookies, and swirls of salted caramel sauce.

I’ve also topped this ice cream with warm chocolate sauce, and my favorite of all this simple berry sauce. There has yet to be a combination that we didn’t love.

I probably don’t even need to mention it, but this Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is a pretty much dream come true for topping Southern Peach Cobbler, Grandma’s Cherry Flop, an Old Fashioned Apple Crisp, or this Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch.

You only need FIVE ingredients to make the best and easiest homemade ice cream! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

How To Make Homemade Ice Cream

With just five simple ingredients, you can have this smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream at your fingertips as well.

When I first started making homemade ice cream, I initially followed the recommended recipes and tried several custard-style ice creams. Traditionally, many ice creams begin with an egg custard.

While a custard base does make for an amazing ice cream, don’t get me wrong, custard ice cream is rich as can be and I quickly found that it just isn’t my thing.

Besides, I’ll be honest, I like to make things simpler and not more complicated in the kitchen wherever possible.

When I discovered Philadelphia-style ice cream, it was a complete game changer. Philadelphia style ice cream is simply ice cream made with no eggs.

I’ve played with the basic ratios and the method over the past few years and I’m telling you now that this recipe is hands down, the BEST simple vanilla ice cream I have ever made.

Homemade Ice Cream is like no other! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This ice cream is dead simple. Stir everything together in a saucepan, simmer, Stir, Chill and Freeze; less than 10 minutes of actual prep time.

If I put the mixture together in the morning, refrigerate it, and then churn it in the afternoon, we are easily having this for dessert the same evening.

However, if you are in a rush, you can simply stir everything together cold and pour it into the machine. I can’t deny that simmering it just long enough to dissolve the sugar and then cooling it again does makes it even better.

Truthfully though, I’m impatient about half the time, so I skip the simmer step frequently. This is fantastic ice cream however you make it.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is like no other! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

This ice cream works beautifully in every ice cream maker I’ve tried. Hand crank, electric crank, freezer bowl, and ice cream compressor. Homemade Ice Cream turns out great in each one!

(And yes, I may have a wee bit of a thing for ice cream, because I have each of those machines and love them all!)

Ice Cream Recipes

Once you have an ice cream maker in your kitchen, get ready for all the ice cream recipes you can handle.

These recipes for Rocky Road Ice Cream, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream, and Cafe con Leche Ice Cream all need to be on your list to try.

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream by The View from Great Island and Peanut Butter Ice Cream by Pint Sized Baker both look delicious as well.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

  1. Pour 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan and add the sugar, salt. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and then add the vanilla pod to the pot.
  2. Warm the mixture over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.
  3. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod, whisk mixture again and pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve.

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The Best and Easiest Ice Cream Recipe

The Best (and Easiest) Ice Cream You'll Ever Make

4.63 from 232 votes
Rich and creamy homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that only requires five ingredients!
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 6 servings (about 1.5 quarts)

Ingredients 

  • cups heavy cream
  • cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise or
  • Optional: 2 cups of add-ins - soft brownies, cookies, and blondies work great

Instructions

  • Pour 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan and add the sugar, salt. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and then add the vanilla pod to the pot. Warm the mixture over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cream, milk, and vanilla extract (if using extract). Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod, whisk mixture again and pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to skip the simmer step and simply whisk everything together, then pour directly into the ice cream maker. The ice cream is absolutely delicious this way, as well as when simmered and chilled first.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal · Carbohydrates: 30g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 27g · Saturated Fat: 17g · Cholesterol: 100mg · Sodium: 97mg · Potassium: 119mg · Sugar: 28g · Vitamin A: 1103IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 103mg
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The Best and Easiest Ice Cream Recipe you will ever make! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Henry Weisshaupt says

    I need to make 4 qts and doubling the recipe will only make 3 qts do you know how much of each ingredient i should put in here the recipe I already tried and it is delicious so i would like to stick with this one.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Henry! If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card (6 servings is typically about 1.5 qts) you can slide the toggle to the number of servings you want to make and it will adjust the ingredient amounts. I’m glad you like the recipe!

  2. Ellen says

    If you want to put fruit (strawberries or peaches) in this mixture, how much and when do you add it? Do you need to do anything special to the fruit?

    • Mary Younkin says

      You’ll want to smash the fruit into a puree first. If you add chunks of fruit, it will harden into bits of ice when it freezes. There are some fruit ice cream recipes here too that you might want to try!

  3. Donna B says

    You are SO on the money with this one, Mary. Absolutely delicious ice-cream to accompany the baked apples with caramel sauce I’m making for my Dad for Father’s Day tomorrow (in Australia). And SO, SO easy. Easier than getting in the car and going into town to buy an average one! This one’s a definite keeper. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. 🙏5 stars

  4. Chan A. says

    Hy Mary.
    This was good and simple. I made this, without warming the cream to dissolve the sugar. Used my Ninja to combine all the ingredients. Only changes I made was to the amount of sugar increased from 3/4 c. to 1 cup. I added 2 cups of strawberries. Used my Kitchenaid Icecream maker attachment. The results were delicious
    The results were delish.4 stars

  5. Anna Maria Venturini says

    Amazingly delicious and now a family favorite. I absolutely love this recipe! BEST vanilla ice cream ever. It goes wonderful with bits of peanut butter cups and snickers with caramel and chocolate sauce! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!5 stars

  6. Matt says

    Been churning for 2.5 hours and still very liquid. The mixture will not thicken. Not my first time making ice cream, but this is my first time not having it thicken…..1 star

  7. Tami says

    I found a Nostalgia ice cream maker at Walmart for $29. I’m 46 and had never made ice cream in my life. I bought and brought it home. My husband rolled his eyes like “you shouldn’t be allowed in Wal-Mart by yourself”. Jokes on him because we have made this recipe doubled every other weekend. It is delicious! We freeze it in plastic to go cartons I found on Amazon and he gets a bowl every evening.
    If you were to add crushed Oreo cookies, would you churn first for a little while before adding the cookies? I feel like the cookies might get soggy if mixed in with the ordinal mixture. Thanks for the awesome recipe!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I love this so much, Tami. I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the ice cream maker. When I make cookies and cream ice cream, I stir in the crushed Oreos at the end after churning.

  8. Rick says

    Geez, ramble much?!? Just searched for best recipes and didn’t want to look for a needle in the haystack after so much rambling!

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Rick, The recipe and the full ingredient list is always provided at the bottom of the page, as is standard with every free recipe website these days. Just scroll down to the bottom of the post, if that’s all you need. And if you aren’t interested in scrolling through the post, feel free to make use of the handy “jump to recipe” button at the top of the post. In the past, when I’ve tried providing the recipe at the top of the page, the number of people asking questions about the recipe multiplied exponentially, as most never scrolled down to see where things had already been answered. I do my best to provide as much information as possible to avoid the multitude of questions that tend to be inevitable for many recipes, this also helps tell Google and other search engines that all relevant information has been provided – sometimes even more than some people might need/want.

    • Madi says

      You can very easily scroll or use the jump to recipe button. Lots of free websites only get revenue from word count and ads, and usually add tips for people interested in learning more work as FAQs about the recipe.

      Don’t blame others for your own laziness, lol.

  9. Jennifer says

    I made this over the summer and it was DELICIOUS! Definitely my new go-to vanilla ice cream recipe! I saw you have a recipe for cinnamon custard-style ice cream, but want to avoid using egg yolks.. does it work to just add cinnamon to this vanilla ice cream recipe?5 stars

  10. Dinah says

    Sorry, but I just got an ice cream maker and a novice. If you add things like brownies, cookie dough, etc. , When do you add it?

    • Mary Younkin says

      You’ll want to stir the add-ins into the churned ice cream after it is done churning, Dinah. I typically layer them in as I’m transferring it to a freezer-safe container.

  11. Gretchen Horn says

    Always look for a simple but great recipe and this is it! Found a. Old crank freezer in ou basement and made a double batch. It would hold a triple, Im sure. Had some Grandkids come to crank and it rurned out great. Cant wait to do it again. Thanks from a 78 year old barefoot Granny.5 stars

  12. Catherine says

    Added oreo bits and my kids say it’s better than Baskin Robbins!! Can I make this into chocolate ice cream? When do I add the melted chocolate?5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Catherine! I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the ice cream. I’d recommend checking out one of the chocolate ice creams here on the site for the best options for chocolate ice cream. Enjoy!

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