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.

Don’t miss our Ice Cream Maker Review for all the information you need to find the BEST Ice Cream Maker for your needs! Spoiler alert – our top-rated machine under $50 just might surprise you. It sure surprised me!

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.

The most popular question I get is whether it’s possible to make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine. Find the full directions here!

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 276 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. Rick Faulkner says

    This recipe is excellent and I admit that I do not follow it exactly, but do kind of follow the ratios. I use corn syrup and a very good bourbon. I also will add my chocolate chip and pecan cookies made with almond flour to it at times. The questions and replies are very helpful.5 stars

  2. jenny says

    Looks delicious and I want to try it
    ,Are these American measur s? I am in the UK and would like to be certain I have it right!5 stars

  3. Anonynous says

    Hi, I was wondering how long you have to chill the mixture for before you churn it. Do have a recommended time? Also, should I put it in the freezer to chill or the refrigerator?

    • Mary Younkin says

      I just chill it in the refrigerator until it has cooled from the stove. If you are just stirring the ingredients together and not simmering them, you can churn it immediately.

  4. miranda says

    i don;t’ know but i think that the lack of instructions on the actual ice cream method would be way more better here?!? i got ready to make this and lo and behold i have to have rock salt and ice and freeze the ice cream canister in advance. none of which i have on hand during the corona isolation. what the heck. need to include that part please!

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Miranda, I’ve never heard of a machine that requires both rock salt and a frozen canister. There are countless kinds of ice cream makers and I couldn’t possibly include instructions for each maker. That said, I have used most kinds and would be happy to help you figure it out if you would like to let me know which kind of machine you are using.

  5. Nel says

    Seems easy enough. Mixed ingredients together in a quart container and put it in the fridge to use later. I’m only commenting because it is way too sweet for me. Will try 1/2c sugar next time.4 stars

  6. Amy Moreno says

    I have made this recipe 3 times and I love the simplicity. I don’t cook the sugar and it still taste great. I have played around with decreasing the sugar and it tastes good with a 1/2c of sugar.5 stars

  7. Gretchen says

    Here’s a crazy question. I would love to make lavender honey ice cream (it’s complicated) by using this base….How would I do that? (I have lavender extract, not lavender flowers). Thanks in advance

  8. Anna McCubbin says

    It was ok but it was basically whipped cream I should’ve realized I will not be using this again it tasted good but its nothing like ice cream2 stars

  9. Jill Guest says

    Love how easy it is and how also how playable it is I have made this about a dozen times and love every time how it comes out perfectly I have added peppermint and chocolate chips and coconut right now I am testing out cocoa I had to add a tiny bit more sugar as I added way too much cocoa powder but I will see how it works but also how it worked for my ice cream maker that didnt have instructions lol5 stars

  10. Jonathan Reddish says

    Easy to make in the ice cream maker. Prep time is quick and I like that this recipe doesn’t call for corn starch. Tastes like classic vanilla ice cream.5 stars

  11. Michelle Crispin says

    I use this recipe consistently playing around with the sugar and using half n half instead of heavy cream at times. It’s always good. I also use a heaping tablespoon of condensed milk as well and it makes a wonderful flavor. The vanilla makes a difference as I make my own. Using store bought immatation just doesn’t cut it for me.5 stars

  12. Kay says

    Hey Mary,
    Any way to reduce the carbs in the ice cream recipe? Maybe using coconut milk instead of whole? Just got my ice cream maker yesterday and ready to try it out!

  13. Doris says

    This was the hit of our Mother’s Day dinner, the best! Family and friends are getting anxious about egg recipes, people worry about egg allergies plus I now have a family member who is allergic to eggs. 5 desserts were brought and my ice cream was the only one eaten. Thank goodness I can still be responsible for ice cream. That is my responsibility at every family event and end of school year BBQ. Thank you for sharing. Highly recommended 100%!5 stars

  14. Rob says

    I keep a can of evaporated milk in my refrigerator and the base of my ice cream maker in the freezer. Mix in blender on lowest speed 1 can evap. milk + 1/3 c sugar, pinch salt, whatever flavoring….vanilla, lemon juice, chocolate powder, instant coffee, etc. PLUS 1 Tbsp whatever alcoholic beverage goes with your flavoring (This acts as a sort of anti-freeze so it is not too hard to scoop after final freezing.)

    If you want lumpy things in it, add them as you transfer to container for final ripening.5 stars

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