Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep time
10 mins
Total Time
25 to 30 mins + freeze time
27 ratings

Vanilla ice cream is one of life’s little joys. Churn your own to make it a big one.



1. Prepare/freeze the insert of your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.


2. Use a whisk to stir sugar into milk (or half & half) until it completely dissolves. Stir in the whipping cream and vanilla extract.


3. Add mixture to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze the ice cream 4 or more hours.


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Tracy from Hillsboro, OR on June 19th, 2012
Hey Gloria--I've used agave syrup with great success. for this recipe i'd use 1/3 cup sugar + 1/3 cup of agave to replace the 2/3 cup sugar the recipe calls for.
Jaime from on June 19th, 2012
Sue- I have tried the same thing and found I need to use coconut extract in place of vanilla. Also a tiny bit of almond extract compliments the flavor very well!
Jan from Oregon on June 19th, 2012
How can I adapt this recipe to make coffee ice cream?
Sue from Washington on June 19th, 2012
I used coconut milk in my last batch of vanilla ice cream, trying for a coconut flavor. I didn't get much coconut flavor and wondered if the vanilla might have overpowered the coconut - should I use less? (I used a small can of coconut milk and didn't add any shredded coconut to the mix - should I have?)
Nancy from CA on June 19th, 2012
Any ice cream that taste like Breyer's Original Vanilla ice cream with vanilla bits in it has to be good. We will try this.
kotbee from Franklin Park on November 14th, 2011
If I use vainilla milk, how is the recipe changed?
Judy from Kent, Ohio on December 5th, 2010
Is it possible to replace the whipping cream with whole milk? What does the whipping cream contribute to the end product?
Terese Allen, Food Editor at Organic Valley

Whipping cream is what makes it ice cream. Using milk would make it ice milk. Cream gives the thick, creamy texture and the full cream flavor of ice cream. Milk will give an "icier" texture as opposed to a creamy, smooth texture and it will have a lighter flavor.

Gloria from Connecticut on May 13th, 2010
I had heard that you could make healthier ice cream by using dates in place of the sugar? Or perhaps you know of other ideas. In my studies they say even organic sugar is not the way to go. Thank you,
Angie at Organic Valley

Hi Gloria, I checked with Terese, our food editor, and she has not worked with sugar substitutes a lot in recipes. She found one recipe via Google that uses date syrup in ice cream to replace the sugar, but nothing much else. Likely there are recipes out there that use honey or maple syrup or other sugar substitutes, although some people would argue that they are not any healthier than cane sugar. It's a personal choice whether to use certain forms of sugar, use sugar in moderation, or use it not at all. If you do use sugar, however, it definitely makes a difference to choose organic (or to seek out products made with organic sugar.) This reduces your exposure to pesticides.  Also, since last year's introduction of genetically engineered sugar beets, choosing organic sugar is a good way to avoid the yet-unknown consequences of GMOs.

Vanessa from TN on April 24th, 2010
This tastes just like Bryers Vanilla, same consistency & texture!

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