Classic Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

A timeless treat, classic vanilla ice cream is creamy, rich, and infused with the aromatic essence of vanilla. This recipe ensures a smooth and delightful ice cream that’s perfect on its own or as a base for various toppings and mix-ins.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Prepare the Ice Cream Base:
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it is hot but not boiling.
  1. Whisk the Egg Yolks:
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of salt until the mixture is pale and slightly thickened.
  1. Temper the Eggs:
  • Gradually add a small amount of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Continue adding the hot cream mixture slowly until the egg mixture is warmed.
  1. Cook the Custard:
  • Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.
  1. Add Vanilla:
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  1. Chill the Mixture:
  • Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any cooked egg bits. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until the mixture is completely chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  1. Churn the Ice Cream:
  • Once the custard is chilled, pour it into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually about 20-25 minutes, until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.
  1. Freeze the Ice Cream:
  • Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream, then cover with the lid. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
  1. Serve:
  • Scoop and enjoy your classic vanilla ice cream on its own or with your favorite toppings!

This recipe yields about 1 quart of classic vanilla ice cream, perfect for a small gathering or to enjoy over a few days.

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