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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

We don't want to brag, but as far as vanilla ice cream recipes go, this one is the best. And with only four ingredients, it just might be the easiest, too. No ice cream maker? No problem. Just follow the directions below to learn how to make homemade ice cream by hand. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
  • Total Time
    Prep: 5 min. Process: 20 min. + freezing
  • Makes
    1-1/4 quarts

Ingredients

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

Directions

  • 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.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Tips

How do you make homemade ice cream creamy and not icy?

To ensure your homemade ice cream will come out creamy, use heavy cream, half-and-half or milk with a higher percentage milk fat, such as whole milk. If the ice cream is made with a lower percentage milk fat, it has the potential to become icy.

How should I store homemade ice cream?

Store homemade ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed directly onto the surface. This will prevent ice crystals from forming.

How do you make homemade ice cream thicker?

Thicker ice creams usually involve the addition of eggs, egg yolks or cornstarch as stabilizers or thickeners. The ice cream "base" is basically a cooked custard that, when chilled very well, spins up into a creamy, but firmer ice cream. Try our creamy vanilla ice cream, Thomas Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream, old-time custard ice cream or homemade frozen custard if you're aiming for ice cream with some thickness to it.

How do you make ice cream without an ice cream maker?

No ice cream maker, no problem! To make ice cream without an ice cream maker, pour the ice cream mixture into a shallow container (glass or metal work best) that you've popped in the freezer previously to get nice and chilled. Store in the coldest part of your freezer until almost firm, but still soft enough to be stirred. For the next three hours, check the ice cream every 30 minutes and stir or mix with a hand mixer to keep it aerated and creamy. You can also make ice cream in a coffee can!
Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup: 308 calories, 22g fat (14g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 37mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.