The Best (and Easiest) Ice Cream You’ll Ever Make

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Homemade Ice Cream is the quintessential summer treat, isn’t it?

This homemade ice cream recipe can also be called the easiest (and best!) ice cream you will ever make or taste. I’ve been making this ice cream at least once a month for over 5 years now.

The BEST and easiest vanilla ice cream you will ever make! get the recipe at

Can anyone ever turn down a scoop of rich and creamy vanilla ice cream? This ice cream recipe is the easiest once I make and it’s adaptable for whichever add-ins you’re craving.

I try to keep a stash of crumbled cookies, brownies, and other treats in the freezer so that I can toss in a few handfuls whenever I’m making a fresh batch of ice cream.

Don’t miss our Ice Cream Maker Review for all the information you need to find the BEST Ice Cream Maker for your needs! Spoiler alert – our top-rated machine under $50 just might surprise you. It sure surprised me!


While ice cream is a staple in our freezer year round, the add-in potentials for this particular ice cream are endless. I’ve filled this ice cream with chunks of brownies, bits of cookie dough, pieces of oatmeal cookies, and swirls of salted caramel sauce.

I’ve also topped this ice cream with warm chocolate sauce, and my favorite of all this simple berry sauce. There has yet to be a combination that we didn’t love.

I probably don’t even need to mention it, but this Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is a pretty much dream come true for topping Southern Peach Cobbler, Grandma’s Cherry Flop, an Old Fashioned Apple Crisp, or this Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch.

You only need FIVE ingredients to make the best and easiest homemade ice cream! get the recipe at

How To Make Homemade Ice Cream

With just five simple ingredients, you can have this smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream at your fingertips as well.

When I first started making homemade ice cream, I initially followed the recommended recipes and tried several custard-style ice creams. Traditionally, many ice creams begin with an egg custard.

While a custard base does make for an amazing ice cream, don’t get me wrong, custard ice cream is rich as can be and I quickly found that it just isn’t my thing.

Besides, I’ll be honest, I like to make things simpler and not more complicated in the kitchen wherever possible.

When I discovered Philadelphia-style ice cream, it was a complete game changer. Philadelphia style ice cream is simply ice cream made with no eggs.

I’ve played with the basic ratios and the method over the past few years and I’m telling you now that this recipe is hands down, the BEST simple vanilla ice cream I have ever made.

The most popular question I get is whether it’s possible to make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine. Find the full directions here!

Homemade Ice Cream is like no other! get the recipe at

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This ice cream is dead simple. Stir everything together in a saucepan, simmer, Stir, Chill and Freeze; less than 10 minutes of actual prep time.

If I put the mixture together in the morning, refrigerate it, and then churn it in the afternoon, we are easily having this for dessert the same evening.

However, if you are in a rush, you can simply stir everything together cold and pour it into the machine. I can’t deny that simmering it just long enough to dissolve the sugar and then cooling it again does makes it even better.

Truthfully though, I’m impatient about half the time, so I skip the simmer step frequently. This is fantastic ice cream however you make it.

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream is like no other! get the recipe at

This ice cream works beautifully in every ice cream maker I’ve tried. Hand crank, electric crank, freezer bowl, and ice cream compressor. Homemade Ice Cream turns out great in each one!

(And yes, I may have a wee bit of a thing for ice cream, because I have each of those machines and love them all!)

Ice Cream Recipes

Once you have an ice cream maker in your kitchen, get ready for all the ice cream recipes you can handle.

These recipes for Rocky Road Ice Cream, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream, and Cafe con Leche Ice Cream all need to be on your list to try. Fresh Mint Ice Cream is like no other mint ice cream you’ve tried in the past. 

Sweet chunks of edible cookie dough fill each scoop of this rich and creamy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream.

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream by The View from Great Island and Peanut Butter Ice Cream by Pint Sized Baker both look delicious as well.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

  1. Pour 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan and add the sugar, salt. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and then add the vanilla pod to the pot.
  2. Warm the mixture over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cream, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.
  3. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod, whisk mixture again and pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve.

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The Best and Easiest Ice Cream Recipe

The Best (and Easiest) Ice Cream You’ll Ever Make

4.66 from 406 votes
Rich and creamy homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that only requires five ingredients!
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings (about 1.5 quarts)


  • cups heavy cream
  • cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise or
  • Optional: 2 cups of add-ins – soft brownies, cookies, and blondies work great


  • Pour 1 cup of the cream into a saucepan and add the sugar, salt. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and then add the vanilla pod to the pot. Warm the mixture over medium heat, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the remaining cream, milk, and vanilla extract (if using extract). Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to churn, remove the vanilla pod, whisk mixture again and pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!


Feel free to skip the simmer step and simply whisk everything together, then pour directly into the ice cream maker. The ice cream is absolutely delicious this way, as well as when simmered and chilled first.


Calories: 373kcal · Carbohydrates: 30g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 27g · Saturated Fat: 17g · Cholesterol: 100mg · Sodium: 97mg · Potassium: 119mg · Sugar: 28g · Vitamin A: 1103IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 103mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 5/22/18 – recipe notes and photos updated 7/1/21}

The Best and Easiest Ice Cream Recipe you will ever make! get the recipe at

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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1,483 Comments Leave a comment or review

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    • Mary Younkin says

      I’d probably just double the recipe OR set the serving amount to 14 or 15. You’ll have some wacky looking amounts, but it will work to give you closer to the 4QT amount. Enjoy!

  1. DrDavid M Ward says

    I have been making ice cream for 15 years using the flavors that were created by Baskin & Robbins when i was a manager working there. I can make french vanilla and neighbors think it is better than store purchased. My winter white Chocolate is like a which chocolate candy bar but this melts in your mouth and it amazing.5 stars

    • Kim Smidl says

      Hi Dr David M Ward! What is your recipe for homemade ice cream? I’m making some tomorrow and the note you put on Pinterest has me wondering
      Thank you ,
      Kim Smidl5 stars

    • Lisa says

      Do you have recipes for vanilla & chocolate ice cream you are willing to share? Curious what your ingredient measurements are.
      Thanks!!5 stars

    • Carmelita says

      David, how would you make Daquri Ice, I can’t find it anywhere or white licorice? My machine capacity is a quart but I could probably eat a gallon of both🤪I could always keep the xtra mixed ingredients in the fridge until the bowl refreezes…thank you🙂5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      I’m not quite sure what you mean, Bella. If you’re using an ice cream machine, I always recommend finishing the full cycle per manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy the ice cream!

  2. Betty says

    This is a very easy and delicious homemade ice-cream recipe. Thanks for sharing. We are wondering if we can use 2%milk instead of whole?

    • Mary Younkin says

      If that’s what you keep on hand, it will work fine, Betty. If it were me, I might add a splash more cream (maybe 2-3 tablespoons) and reduce the milk by the same amount. Happy ice cream making!

  3. Debra says

    Just made my first batch and it is so good. Very rich flavor. I crumbled choco chip cookies and cannot wait to try some other ideas like banana or strawberry.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      That sounds delicious, Debra! I’m so glad you’re loving the ice cream. It’s a very fun and easy recipe to experiment with. Enjoy, and happy cooking!

  4. Paula says

    Best ice cream I have ever made! Had to add some extra cream and milk to fill a 1 gallon freezer, but it came out perfectly creamy with a soft but firm consistency. Since adding extra milk I opted to add a can of condensed milk.5 stars

  5. Gary Dennis says

    I am a diabetic, so will replace Sugar with Stevia. I have used this in previous ice cream recipes I have used. But this makes it become a solid brick after it is put into the freezer. I have heard of using xantham gum to help keep it softer in the freezer. What are your thoughts? How much should I use in your recipe?

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Barb! You should be able to scale the ingredients in the recipe for 1/2 cup of sugar; if you leave everything else the same, the texture of the ice cream may change a bit. 1/2 cup of sugar is roughly equivalent to 110 grams of sugar.

  6. Carmelita says

    Looking forward to making some this weekend put my bowl for my maker in freezer today, going to add fresh raspberries and blackberries, thank you for sharing your recipe

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Angie! While that may work in this recipe, I’m not sure what other effects replacing the milk with heavy cream would have on the consistency of the ice cream.

  7. Lucy says

    Hi Mary,

    This recipe is absolutely delicious! My 2 batches have turned out to be a bit icy, though, and I’m wondering if you have any advice. I know iciness is usually due to too much water in the mix, but everyone else seems to be getting a creamy texture, so I must be doing something wrong! Could it be that I’m chilling the mixture too much before churning so it freezes too quickly? I’m using a compressor machine and it’s taking roughly 50 mins to get to the point where it is too thick to churn. Have you come across this issue in your recipe testing?

    I’m going to keep using this recipe anyway, because it’s super yummy, but improving the texture would be a bonus!

    Lucy 😊5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      In my machine, it rarely gets that firm, but compressor machines can vary in strength. I haven’t every had it turn out icy though. I wonder if the fat content in your cream and milk might vary from ours here in the states?

  8. Lucy says

    Hi again,

    I wanted to add that I converted the measurements to metric (I’m in Australia) so I used 420ml heavy cream, 300ml full fat milk, and 150g sugar. Does this line up with your measurements?

    Sorry for posting separately. I can’t find the post I just made!

    Lucy 😊5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Lucy, I replied to the other comment, but wanted to answer here as well. That sounds about right to me, but I wonder if the fat content might vary from ours here in the states? You might try upping the cream a bit and reducing the milk to see if that helps.

  9. dolly pritchard says

    hi mary can i use oatmilk to replace milk i am in perth west australia i am going to try anyway thank you dolly

  10. Baylie says

    Just used this recipe to make ice cream with our white mountain ice cream maker. It was amazing and so simple. Super pleased with this recipe!5 stars

  11. Gina says

    I make this recipe all of the time. It’s so quick and easy. When the grandkids come to visit, I add candy cane bits to it and they absolutely love it. If it’s off-season (and they love it year-round) I just buy a bag of the starlight mints to break up and use.5 stars