4.33 from 46 votes

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is so much better than store-bought! Just 4 ingredients come together to create a rich, smooth, creamy ice cream with the perfect amount of vanilla flavor.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Homemade is the BEST way! This four-ingredient ice cream is the perfect touch of vanilla.

I didn’t know ice cream could get better until I started making it homemade. Seriously. And this Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is the perfect introduction into the world of homemade ice cream.

This recipe is as simple as can be, requires just a couple of basic ingredients, and takes almost no hands-on time. It’s so much better than store-bought and just about as easy as running to the store to grab a carton!

Why You’ll Love Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Simple and quick. You need 4 basic ingredients and a few quick minutes to whip this ice cream up.
  • Perfect flavor. This homemade ice cream is rich, sweet, and creamy and infused with just the right level of vanilla flavor.
  • Customizable. Serve this ice cream plain or add in your favorite mix-ins.
recipe binder image


  • Milk and Cream: We’re using a combination of whole milk and heavy cream as the base for our ice cream. I don’t recommend any milk or cream substitutes. You need all of that fat to create the richest flavor and creamiest texture.
  • Sugar: To sweeten, of course!
  • Vanilla Extract: I recommend pure vanilla extract to keep it simple but still add authentic vanilla flavor. If you’re looking for a recipe using whole vanilla bean, check out my vanilla bean ice cream recipe instead.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This homemade ice cream takes just a few minutes to mix up! The hardest part is waiting for it to freeze! Here’s a summary of the recipe:

  • Step One: Combine milk and sugar using your mixer at low speed. Stir in table cream and vanilla.
  • Step Two: Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, then churn for 25 minutes.
  • Step Three: Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Homemade is the BEST way! This four-ingredient ice cream is the perfect touch of vanilla.

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    What to Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream

    While you can totally serve this vanilla ice cream plain, it sure is fun to dress it up with all your favorite toppings! Try it topped with hot fudge sauce, butterscotch sauce, chopped nuts, whipped cream, fresh berries, strawberry sauce, chocolate shavings, you name it.

    It’s also perfect served plain next to a warm serving of winter cherry cobbler or apple crisp or in a rootbeer float! 

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Use full fat ingredients. Full fat milk and cream are key for the best texture. I don’t recommend subbing them out for anything else.
    • Churn it well. Plan for 25 minutes of churning time so the ice cream is nice and creamy.
    • Leave plenty of time to freeze. I list a minimum of 2 hours, but I recommend longer to make sure the texture of the ice cream is just right. I usually shoot for 6 hours of freezing time before serving.
    • Store in the back of the freezer. Ice cream stored in the back of the freezer tends to last longer since it’s not as affected by the temperature changes as you open and close the door.
    Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Homemade is the BEST way! This four-ingredient ice cream is the perfect touch of vanilla.


    I love to keep this vanilla ice cream plain and simple, but you can totally customize and play around with add-ins and flavors. Here are just a few ideas:

    • Brownie bits
    • Chopped cookies or Oreos
    • Chopped candy bars
    • Sprinkles
    • M&Ms
    • Chocolate chips

    Really though, the possibilities here are endless! 

    Storage Instructions

    Homemade ice cream can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

    When you’re ready to serve, set the ice cream out on the counter for 10 minutes or so to let it soften just a bit.

    Does Vanilla Ice Cream Need Eggs?

    Nope! While there are a lot of recipes that create a custard base using egg, I don’t find it necessary. This homemade vanilla ice cream comes out perfectly rich, smooth, and creamy without the added ingredient. 

    More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes You’ll Love

    You’ll also like this Ice Cream Pie and Orange Sherbet.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!

    4.33 from 46 votes

    Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 6
    Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
    Homemade is the BEST way! This four-ingredient ice cream is the perfect touch of vanilla.


    • 1 ½ cups whole milk
    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • 1 ½ tbsp vanilla extract


    • Beat milk and sugar on low speed with a mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in table cream and vanilla.
    • Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. Turn the machine on and let mix for 25 minutes.
    • Transfer ice cream to freezer proof air tight container. Freeze for at least 2 hours or longer.


    Serving: 1g | Calories: 639kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 65mg | Sugar: 54g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Desserts
    Cuisine American
    Keyword Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Do you really need an ice cream churn? Can you use an alternative?

    2. I like the recipes that you are posting they look so delicious and I want to try the ice cream recipe

    3. I love it I’m going to try it thank you

    4. Teresa Quill says:

      Do you have to use an ice cream maker or can you mix and freeze?

    5. Edith Cox says:

      I love recipes and all kinds. Thanks for sharing

    6. I love ice cream, but need a low carb, sugar free recipe.

    7. How much icecream does it make.?

    8. Are you using ice and salt with the ice cream maker or just letting it churn for 25 minutes without anything?

      1. No ice or salt in the ice cream maker! Just the ingredients and let it churn. I used a Cuisinart ice cream maker.

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