Vanilla Ice Cream (And Variations)

Vanilla ice cream is the very first recipe I tested when I got my ice cream churn. It took me 3 tries to get the right one. This recipe is adapted from the booklet that came with my churn, and it’s the perfect balance of creamy and smooth.

On the stovetop, combine in a large pot and heat to a simmer:

2 ¼ c. whole milk

2 1/4 c. heavy cream

Meanwhile, beat together until creamy and pale:

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 1/8 c. sugar

To temper the egg mixture, slowly drizzle in 1 c. of the hot dairy while the mixer runs on low. Pour the tempered egg/dairy mixture into the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

Pour the mixture* into a large bowl and stir in:

2 t. vanilla

Let the mixture cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before covering and putting it in the fridge to chill completely. Most recipes say this will take at least 4 hours. Overnight is also fine if you have the time.

*If you’re worried about pieces of cooked egg, you can strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Churn the ice cream until it reaches soft-serve consistency. Then, add any mix-ins (see below). You may also freeze the ice cream so it’s completely hard (4 hours). I like my vanilla ice cream somewhere between soft-serve and completely solid, so I freeze it for 2 hours before digging in.


Cookie Dough: Use ½ pkg. of refrigerated cookie dough. (Pillsbury makes one that is completely safe to eat when raw.) Shape small pieces of cookie dough into balls (about 1 ½ c. of dough balls total). Add to the ice cream 5 minutes before churning is done.

Cookies and Cream: Add 12 crushed Oreos in the last 5 minutes of churning. Freeze the ice cream for at least a few hours so the cookies can soften.

Find more delicious ice cream recipes here.

vanilla ice cream
cookies and cream

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