Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

4.53 from 120 votes
Whip up my 2-ingredient vanilla ice cream recipe for a perfect summer refreshment, or use it as the base in my 50+ homemade ice cream recipes!
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe - Just a few ingredients and no ice cream machine needed!

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.

Gemma's Freezer Section Ice Cream Destination

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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

4.53 from 120 votes
Indulge in a scoop of vanilla ice cream or use it as a base in over fifty of my homemade ice cream recipes.
Servings: 2 pints
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.
Servings: 2 pints


  • 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


  • Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip the cold cream on medium/ high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Turn off the machine and pour the condensed milk into the whipped cream.
  • 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.
  • Carefully scrape the seeds out of one vanilla bean pod. Add the seeds to your ice cream base and give it a mix.
  • Transfer your vanilla ice cream mixture to an air-tight sealable container and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight before eating.
  • Keep stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.


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Suzy Kay

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1 year ago

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

1 year ago

Hi Gemma!

I make ice cream (from your basic recipe) every couple of days. It has become the staple “go-to” dessert in my house – everybody LOVES it, no matter what flavour. Store bought substitutes are no longer acceptable alternatives! LOL! ANyway I want to make COFFEE ice cream. I saw your recipe for the dairy-free version but I want to make a cream and condensed milk, coffee ice cream. What do I do? Use instant coffee granules? Brewed coffee?

Aline Trve K.
7 months ago

Hi! I tried this recipe and it tasted amazing. My only problem is that after I took it out of the freezer, the texture felt odd. It didn’t feel airy like ice cream and felt a bit too dense. How do I make it less dense/airier next time?

sierra h
sierra h
11 months ago

Please please PLEASE make a recipe for cake batter ice cream (like the one from coldstone creamery).

Monica Gatt.
Monica Gatt.
1 year ago

Hi Gemma here in Australia our condensed milk comes in 350 gram cans will that be enough for the ice cream or should I buy another can to make it equal 400 grams. Thankyou.

2 years ago

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

22 days ago

Hi Gemma,
How could I make maple-walnut ice cream with this recipe? I have real maple syrup. Could I substitute some of the sweetened condensed milk with maple syrup?

MilseanSweets Ally
1 month ago

Made this a few times and each time I make it my husband wants to eat all of it himself! This time I made mint chocolate chip and his response was “I just wanna give Gemma a hug!” So thank you for this recipe!

1 month ago

Hi Gemma,

I used store bought vanilla bean paste from a bottle, and the vanilla extract. The ice cream tasted good, but I could taste the condensed milk more than the vanilla. How can I make it better?
& I have a recipe request for the Cold Stone creamery ‘Founder’s Favorite’ ice cream flavor 😃


2 months ago

Hey gemma
Can we substitute condensed milk with honey in the recipe??

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!