classic vanilla ice cream

here’s the full recipe for classic vanilla ice cream:


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, and granulated sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling (about 170°F to 180°F).
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Once chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Once the ice cream is churned, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer to harden for at least 2 hours.
  6. Enjoy your delicious homemade vanilla ice cream!

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can also place the chilled mixture in a 9×13 inch baking dish and freeze for about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes until the desired consistency is reached.

As for the most popular questions and their answers related to classic vanilla ice cream, here they are:

  1. How do I make homemade vanilla ice cream?
    • Follow the recipe above for a simple and delicious homemade vanilla ice cream.
  2. Can I use low-fat milk instead of whole milk?
    • Whole milk provides a creamier texture, but you can use low-fat milk if desired. However, the ice cream may be less rich.
  3. What’s the purpose of chilling the mixture before churning?
    • Chilling the mixture helps it freeze faster and creates a smoother texture in the finished ice cream.
  4. Can I use artificial vanilla extract?
    • Pure vanilla extract provides the best flavor, but you can use artificial vanilla extract if that’s what you have on hand.
  5. How long does it take to churn the ice cream?
    • Churning time can vary depending on the ice cream maker, but it typically takes 20-30 minutes.
  6. Can I add mix-ins like chocolate chips or fruit?
    • Yes, you can add mix-ins during the last few minutes of churning.
  7. How long does homemade ice cream last in the freezer?
    • Homemade ice cream is best consumed within a week or two for optimal flavor and texture.
  8. Can I double the recipe?
    • Yes, you can double or even triple the recipe to make more ice cream.
  9. Can I make dairy-free vanilla ice cream?
    • Yes, you can substitute coconut milk or almond milk for the heavy cream and whole milk for a dairy-free version.
  10. How do I prevent ice crystals from forming?
    • Churning the ice cream thoroughly and storing it in an airtight container can help prevent ice crystals from forming.
  11. Can I use a different sweetener instead of granulated sugar?
    • You can use alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, but they may affect the texture and flavor of the ice cream.
  12. What if I don’t have an ice cream maker?
    • Follow the alternative freezing method mentioned in the recipe instructions.
  13. Can I use vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract?
    • Yes, you can scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean and add them to the mixture for a more intense vanilla flavor.
  14. Can I make the ice cream without heating the mixture?
    • Heating the mixture helps dissolve the sugar and creates a smoother texture, but you can skip this step if desired.
  15. Can I use a different flavor extract?
    • Yes, you can experiment with different flavors like almond or mint extract for unique variations.
  16. How do I know when the ice cream is done churning?
    • The ice cream is done when it reaches a soft-serve consistency and pulls away from the sides of the ice cream maker.
  17. Can I use this recipe to make other flavors of ice cream?
    • Yes, you can use this base recipe and customize it with different flavors and mix-ins.
  18. Can I add alcohol to the ice cream mixture?
    • Alcohol can affect the texture of the ice cream and prevent it from freezing properly, so use caution when adding alcohol.
  19. How do I prevent freezer burn?
    • Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream before sealing the container to prevent freezer burn.
  20. Can I use this recipe to make gelato?
    • Gelato typically contains less cream and more milk than ice cream, so you may need to adjust the ratios of ingredients for a gelato recipe.

here are 20 secrets to achieving the perfect classic vanilla ice cream:

  1. Use high-quality ingredients, including fresh heavy cream, whole milk, and pure vanilla extract, for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Ensure that your ice cream maker is properly chilled before churning to help the mixture freeze evenly and quickly.
  3. Heat the cream, milk, and sugar mixture until it’s hot but not boiling to dissolve the sugar completely and create a smooth base.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool completely before churning to prevent ice crystals from forming and ensure a creamy texture.
  5. Use a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract for a more intense and complex vanilla flavor.
  6. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor and balance the sweetness of the ice cream.
  7. For a richer flavor, infuse the cream mixture with vanilla beans by splitting the beans lengthwise and simmering them in the cream before straining.
  8. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld and develop.
  9. Be patient while churning the ice cream and avoid over-churning, as this can result in a grainy texture.
  10. Add mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit during the last few minutes of churning for added flavor and texture.
  11. Use a high-fat content cream (at least 36%) for a creamier and smoother ice cream.
  12. If you prefer a lighter ice cream, you can use a combination of heavy cream and half-and-half instead of whole milk.
  13. Experiment with different sweeteners like honey or maple syrup for unique flavor variations.
  14. For a softer texture, add a small amount of alcohol, such as vodka or rum, to the mixture before churning to lower the freezing point.
  15. Avoid using artificial flavorings or extracts, as they can result in an artificial taste.
  16. Strain the chilled mixture before churning to remove any lumps or particles for a smoother consistency.
  17. Freeze the ice cream in a shallow container to speed up the freezing process and prevent large ice crystals from forming.
  18. Store the ice cream in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface to prevent freezer burn.
  19. Allow the ice cream to temper for a few minutes at room temperature before serving to soften it slightly for easier scooping.
  20. Enjoy your homemade vanilla ice cream straight from the churn or use it as a base for creative desserts like sundaes, floats, or ice cream sandwiches.