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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe - Just a few ingredients and no ice cream machine needed!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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You can’t go wrong with this creamy classic. Indulge in a scoop of vanilla ice cream or use it as a base in over fifty of my ice cream recipes.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Now that summer is in the air, it’s finally time to start busting out my favorite frozen dessert recipes. If you’re anything like me, your favorite way to cool down is to indulge in a big ol’ scoop of ice cream. I’ve created every ice cream flavor under the sun from Mint Chocolate Chip to Butter Pecan. While I love to get creative in the kitchen and come up with all kinds of bold flavors, at the end of the day I truly live for classic homemade vanilla ice cream.

After all, if it’s not broken… don’t fix it!

What are the Ingredients to Make Ice Cream?

As always, the base for my ice vanilla ice cream is the master recipe for my 2-Ingredient No Machine Ice Cream. For those of you who are not familiar, my recipe is simply heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk whipped up to yield you a creamy, customizable canvas. This is your ice cream base. You can add any mix-in to your ice cream base so get really creative. That being said, this vanilla ice cream recipe is a fan favorite on its own, and if you haven’t tried it yet you have got to put it on the top of your list!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

How Do You Make Vanilla Ice Cream?

If you have never made this ice cream before, it’s going to change the way you think about homemade ice cream. Most ice cream recipes require making a custard with eggs, milk, and cream and then churning them in an ice cream machine to achieve the right texture. Well, all you need to make my homemade vanilla ice cream is a hand or stand mixer, some heavy whipping cream, a can of sweetened condensed milk and good quality vanilla extract. Vanilla acts as the flavoring and keeps your ice cream soft and scoopable once frozen. If you really want to put some elbow grease into it, you can always whip it up with a bowl and a whisk too.

What makes my homemade ice cream recipe foolproof is the process of combining plain whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. The whipping cream is full and rich and, once whipped with the condensed milk, the 2 ingredients are transformed into a rich ice cream with all the body and sweetness of its store-bought alternative. Finally, I add vanilla extract and the seeds scraped from a vanilla pod. After this mixture sets in the freezer for just 5-6 hours, you’ll yield the most decadent vanilla-infused ice cream.

It’s nothing short of ice cream heaven!

How Do You Make Condensed Milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is super important to this recipe and cannot be substituted. Luckily, homemade condensed milk is simple to make if you aren’t able to buy some locally or would prefer to make it from scratch.

How Long Does Homemade Ice Cream Last?

Just like regular ice cream, my homemade vanilla ice cream can be kept in the freezer for quite a while. If stored in an airtight container, your ice cream will keep for up to 6 weeks. That’s right. Your dessert will always be waiting for you and you will never be waiting for it.

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4.38 from 79 votes
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe - Just a few ingredients and no ice cream machine needed!
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Indulge in a scoop of vanilla ice cream or use it as a base in over fifty of my homemade ice cream recipes.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 pints
Author: Gemma Stafford
  • 2 cups (16oz/450 ml ) cold heavy whipping cream (all purpose cream or heavy cream)
  • 14 ounces (1 can/ 400ml) cold sweetened condensed milk (fat-free or regular)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  1. Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip the cold cream on medium/ high speed until soft peaks form.
  2. Turn off the machine and pour the condensed milk into the whipped cream.
  3. Turn the speed up to high and whisk until the mixture is thick and stiff peaks form. Turn off the machine and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Carefully scrape the seeds out of one vanilla bean pod. Add the seeds to your ice cream base and give it a mix.
  5. Transfer your vanilla ice cream mixture to an air-tight sealable container and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight before eating.
  6. Keep stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Watch the Recipe Video!



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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.

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Write a Comment and Review

  1. Fombe on August 29, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Gemma, thanks for sharing your recipes with us, am so getting on the neapolitan icecream right away, be sure to get feed backs…

    • Gemma Stafford on August 30, 2019 at 9:18 am

      Go for it! Let me know how you get on. Have a great time baking!

  2. lorri on August 24, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Can you replace the vanilla pod with the extract if we can’t afford it?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 25, 2019 at 9:49 am

      Yes you can Lorri, but use one that’s of really good quality to achieve the right level of vanilla flavor.

  3. Coopsta on August 11, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    This turned out great! Excited now to make more flavors! The highest fat content I can find for cream here is 33 percent, so I used it and it turned out fabulous. Maybe those of you who aren’t having luck aren’t whipping it quite enough, or maybe your condensed milk isn’t really really cold? Mine turned out absolutely perfect! Thank you so much Gemma, this is another winner!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 12, 2019 at 8:19 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that!! Thanks for letting me know you were successful.


    • Jenn on August 14, 2019 at 3:20 am

      I realize now that I didn’t chill the condensed milk. Sadly, I haven’t tried this again. My husband and I are trying to lose weight. We still talk about this ice cream though, it’s amazing and oh how we miss it!

      • Gemma Stafford on August 16, 2019 at 12:38 pm

        Yes chilled ingredients are very important.

        I try to limit my desserts too and it’s hard. A little of what I like every so often seems to do the trick.


  4. ma ria on July 29, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Where I live I can’t find cream with more than 30% fat. What can I do to “raise” the fat content?

    I’d love to make your ice cream.

    Congratulations for your website. It’s wonderful.

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 30, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Hum, you know Maria it’s not ideal but it actually might still work for ice-cream. If it will whip to soft peaks it will work.

      Hope this helps,

  5. Mary Ann on July 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Absolutely love this recipe, in one measurement of recipe, I made cream cycles, strawberry and coffee. I have to make more batches family loved it. Thanks again Gemma for another great recipe.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 28, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      I’m thrilled to hear that Mary Ann! Thanks for trying it and letting me know 🙂


  6. Hajra on July 8, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Love your recipes and you are my go-to for most desserts.
    I recently made the 2-ingredient ice cream and it’s a hit with my family. I’ve made it twice now, once with cookie crumble and once with coconut.

    I live in Pakistan, where the dairy industry is not as evolved. I would like to share how to skim cream from full fat milk that we get from regular milkman. Here are a 3 simple steps.
    1- Boil fresh milk (just like we normally do where milk is not pasteurised)
    2- allow the milk to cool and come to room temperature. There will be a thin solid layer of fat on top which is the milk skin. Scoop it out with a strainer and discard.
    3- refrigerate the milk till chilled. Thick whipping cream would rise to the surface. Skim it with a large spoon.

    This cream will spoil in 3-4 days even refrigerated. I gather it for 3 days to get the 2 cups required for the recipe. I need 2..5 to 3 kg fresh milk to get 3/4cup of cream.

    Hope it helps all the the awesome Bold Bakers in places where packaged fresh produce aren’t readily available.


    • Gemma Stafford on July 8, 2019 at 1:30 pm

      Oh Hajra! Thank you for sharing this valuable process. Yes, I love when Bold Bakers do share their own tips to help more Bold Bakers. Best community ever! Gemma ????

  7. Jenn on July 1, 2019 at 10:19 am

    What went wrong? First time I made it, it was perfect. I went in the second time feeling like a pro. It ended up being runny, and kind of separated. What did I do wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 2, 2019 at 2:58 am

      Hi Jenn,
      Tell me about the cream you are using!
      The cream which I use for most of my recipes is fresh dairy cream. This needs to be at least 35% fat content to whip well. This is from cows milk. It is a liquid product found in the chill cabinet in your store. It will spoil in a few days, even when refrigerated. It has no additives, it is just natural cream skimmed from milk.
      In some places, where there is no dairy industry, there are manufactured products, usually made with milk powders and fats. These are good for some applications, but they are not fresh cream, these will not work well in this ice cream recipe, the mix will separate as you describe when the condensed milk is added.
      If you tell me where you are in the world I may be able to help further,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Jenn on July 2, 2019 at 12:07 pm

        I live in USA. I used Aldi brand Heavy Whipping cream. Ingredients to follow. The first time, same ingredients, I whipped the cream until stiff peaks formed (then I saw SOFT peaks in your recipe). The second time, I whipped the cream until soft peaks were achieved, added the condensed milk and whipped an whipped but no stiff peaks, just started to separate….butter?
        Heavy Cream Milk, Contains Less Than 0.5% Of: Carrageenan, Mono And Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80.

        Nutrition Facts
        Serving Size 1.00 Tbsp
        Servings Per Container 32
        Amount Per Serving
        Calories 50
        % Daily Value
        Total Fat 5g8%
        Saturated Fat 3.5g18%
        Trans Fat 0g
        Cholesterol 20mg7%
        Sodium 5mg0%
        Total Carbohydrate 1g0%
        Dietary Fiber 0g0%
        Sugars 0g
        Protein 0g
        Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

        • Gemma Stafford on July 2, 2019 at 5:25 pm

          You guessed it right. You overwhipped your cream and it already started turning into butter. Unfortunately, there is no turning back from there! Only way is to move forward to get butter and whey. Gemma ????

          • Jenn on July 3, 2019 at 4:25 am

            Thanks Gemma. My husband and I love you! Great recipes! Anxious to try those Irish Biscuits!

            • Gemma Stafford on July 4, 2019 at 1:53 am

              Thank you, Jenn, that is too kind.
              To make sure I do not get into trouble, these biscuits are more British than Irish, but we are so closely related that I am sure I will be forgiven!
              Gemma 🙂

  8. Michaela Jordan on May 31, 2019 at 4:18 am

    Hi if possible can you give me the link to the spatula thermometer you use, and would you recommend using this for jams, syrups, fudge and caramels etc many thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Yes absolutely, here you go

      Just a note about this thermometer it doesn’t clip on to the side of the pot and sometimes thats useful when making caramels.

      Hope this helps,

      • Michaela Jordan on May 31, 2019 at 11:55 am

        Thank you for the link, and ok for the information.

  9. Nik on May 30, 2019 at 7:23 am

    I just tried it and I love it. Everyone loves it! I just like it to be less milk so it is not that sweet. Whipped cream is not readily available in the Philippines so I used Nestle all purpose cream. It is not like the soft peak you have but it taste good. It is also creamy after freezing and I think it is because of the cream. I have read somewhere that I have to use the canned nestle cream and not the all purpose. I will be trying it for my next rum raisin ice cream for my Dutch bf! Thanks Gemma 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on May 30, 2019 at 11:32 pm

      Yay!!! I’m thrilled to hear that. Thanks for trying it out 🙂


  10. Michaela Jordan on May 28, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Made the vanilla ice cream for a 3 year old bbq birthday party sunday, went down really well with cones, sorry to say they were shop brought ones, no time left to make these, also tried this basic one but left out the vanilla and added caramel essence, delicious, had nothing left, will definitely be making more.
    Made one with coconut milk for those who were on a diet, I found it plain I used vanilla essance, but they loved it, everyone happy.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 30, 2019 at 2:06 am

      That is fantastic!! I’m really happy to hear that.

      Thanks for trying it out.

  11. Donné Kruger on May 3, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    I need some help… My sister came across your site a few weeks ago and we couldn’t wait to try making ice cream!! With our first batch I completely misread the recipe and added 2 cans of condensmilk (we have 290g cans). Although the ice cream was incredibly creamy and the texture perfect, it was crazy sweet – but we finished it in a day regardless!

    Fast forward 2 weeks, I decided to get a Phillips food processor to help with the whisking as the handheld whisk I was using wasn’t up to scratch.

    Since then atch ice cream leaves a waxy layer on the spoon and in your mouth. I’m not certain if it’s from the cream (the first time we used heavy cream, and the last 2 times normal or whipping cream), or the food processor that’s too potent? I did end up with butter and condensmilk the one time, but have since decided to mix in 10s intervals. The texture seems perfect when I poured it in too set.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2019 at 5:10 am

      Hi there Donne,
      I am taking this opportunity to give a little run down on what dairy cream is, in various places as I do not know where you are. Neither do I know what ‘Normal Whipping Cream’ means as this term is used for different things in different places.
      The cream which I use for most of my recipes is fresh dairy cream. This needs to be at least 35% fat content to whip well. This is from cows milk. It is a liquid product found in the chill cabinet in your store. It will spoil in a few days, even when refrigerated. It has no additives, it is just natural cream, skimmed from milk.
      In some places, where there is no dairy industry, there are manufactured products, usually made with milk powders and fats. These are good for some applications, but they are not fresh cream. I am sorry, it cannot be actually made!
      In the Philippines:
      Hi this is in response to Toni’s I’m also here in the Philippines what I use is whipping cream with 35% fat content look for these brands in the chiller section ARLA; EMBORG; and ANCHOR

      I do not know which creams are dairy cream in India. Amrit seems to be one, and Amul too I think, but I am not sure. This too from a follower: I’ve used Milky Mist Cream for all recipes that need heavy/whipping cream eg. Mascarpone, Homemade ice cream etc. Please add it and recommend it for all Indians.
      Your store manager should be able to advise you too.
      In Dubai I am told PUCK whipping cream is very good. (Puck Cream Pure and Natural is described as plain flavored Danish cream. It contains fresh cream from cow’s milk, butterfat (minimum 23 percent), vegetable thickeners (soybean oil, sodium alginate, and locust bean gum), and salt. The product is solely preserved by sterilization.) not for ice cream!
      A food processor is a bridge too far for cream, if the cream is right a handheld appliance will do a good job, to take it to a soft peak finish.
      I hope all this helps you to clarify this, it should not be a difficult thing, easy when the ingredients are right!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Elise-60 on May 29, 2019 at 6:42 pm

        Where can I get the ice cream cups from

  12. Grumpysanta on March 31, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Recently saw this being done by Mary Berry, she added rum soaked raisins, searched on line and found your site. I decided to try your recipe out and added fresh raspberries to the mix, some crushed and some whole. This has to be the creamiest ice cream I’ve eaten and it needs a sharp fruit to offset the sweetness of the base ice cream , love the taste and the simplicity of it all.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      Mary Berry made this ice cream? oh I’m honored.

      The rum raisins are a fantastic idea! Also the alcohol will mean the ice cream won’t freeze sold and it will be scoopable.


  13. Terisa Behara on March 31, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Hi Emma I have tried the ice cream base using whipping cream and condensed milk post that added different flavoured essence and kept in freezer. Everything went well the texture is soft and creamy. However, the ice isn’t set despite of freezing it for 2 days it’s still creamy. I am still wondering where is the problem. My family says it’s good but tasting like a pastry cream. What should I do to get the binding

    • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Terisa,

      Hum, it is on the creamier side for sure but it should have frozen. Because it’s just the 2 ingredients it does tend to be softer than churned ice cream.


    • Michael Hinton on March 31, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Just a thought, did you make sure the condensed milk was cold as from the fridge, does say in the recipe that the condensed milk has to be cold in order to freeze properly.

      • Gemma Stafford on March 31, 2019 at 2:40 pm

        great point! that’s really important.

    • Grumpysanta on March 31, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      I read somewhere that the condensed milk needs to be cold as well for the mix to work and freeze properly, did you keep your condensed milk in the fridge for several hours before making the ice cream. I did and it worked perfectly first time.

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