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Easy ice cream recipe

Easy ice cream recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Frozen desserts
  • Ice cream
  • Vanilla ice cream

This is my mum's vanilla ice cream recipe that is so quick to make. Add fruit of your choice just before it fully sets.

18 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • 1L single cream
  • 1L milk
  • 1 (400g) tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MethodPrep:10min ›Extra time:1hr freezing › Ready in:1hr10min

  1. Beat cream, milk, condensed milk and eggs together in a bowl on low mixer speed; slowly add sugar while continuously beating, followed by vanilla extract.
  2. Pour milk mixture into ice cream maker's container and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.


This recipe contains raw eggs. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly and the infirm do not consume raw eggs.

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How to Make Easy No-Churn Homemade Ice Cream

No ice cream maker? No problem! This simple 3-ingredient homemade ice cream base is the easiest way to make creamy ice cream that isn’t icy, and, it’s made even better with 10 favorite flavor mix-in ideas to make this recipe your own.

Our Best Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Whether you’re a fan of classic vanilla in a dish or all about a mile-high cone with scoops in a variety of flavors, nothing beats ice cream. With these recipes, there’s something for everyone — from classic flavors like vanilla or cookies and cream to creative takes made with vegan-friendly ingredients. No ice cream machine? That’s ok we’ve got plenty of no-churn options, too!

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Whisk together the milk and granulated sugar.

Gently stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.

Freeze according to the directions of your ice-cream maker.

  • Don’t whip the mixture too much once you've added the heavy cream. You don’t want to beat too much air into the mixture before it goes into the ice-cream maker, or it will change the texture of the finished product. The ice-cream maker will beat in plenty of air, so you shouldn't add to that.
  • Once you perfect your ice-cream technique, make multiple batches so you never run out. When properly stored, ice cream keeps well for two months.

Recipe Variations

  • While vanilla ice cream is great, it's even better when made with a real vanilla bean. If you have one available, it’s easy to substitute it for the vanilla extract in this recipe: Using a paring knife, split a vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and add them and the pod to the cream, milk, and sugar. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes (overnight is better). Remove the pod and freeze your ice cream as normal.
  • You can turn this vanilla ice cream into any flavor you can imagine. Add cocoa powder to make chocolate ice cream or add your favorite ice-cream treats.
  • Crumble sandwich cookies into the finished product, toss in chocolate chips, or swirl the ice cream with a ribbon of caramel. The mix-in possibilities are endless, so get creative.

How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine

You can still make ice cream from scratch without a dedicated ice-cream maker, and this is a perfect recipe for that. It will take more time and effort, but it will still taste great. Follow our step-by-step instructions that show you how to freeze your ice cream without buying another small appliance.

What's the Secret to Creamier Homemade Ice Cream?

Many ice-cream recipes use egg yolks for flavor and color, and the egg custard helps prevent ice crystallization, which makes it creamier. In egg-free ice-cream recipes, you can get that same creaminess by choosing whole milk. While any kind of milk will work, the extra butterfat in whole milk helps retain the texture of your ice cream while it's stored in the freezer. For example, after two days in the freezer, an ice cream made with 1 percent milk can become a little too icy. While it still tastes great, the texture might be a bit of a disappointment.

Why Does Homemade Ice Cream Freeze So Hard?

Many people notice that homemade ice cream freezes harder than store-bought ice cream. That's often caused by ice crystals that are too large. These can form if your mixture is not cold enough or if it's not churned fast enough in the machine. Try chilling the mix for 30 minutes to an hour (or more) and see if that helps. Since the machines vary so much it may take some experimentation to find the right approach for your system as well. Adding too much sugar or reducing the fat with different versions of cream or milk can also harden the ice cream. Finally, ice cream stored in a deep freezer will be more solid than if it's in a refrigerator's freezer. If you're storing lots of ice cream, transfer a pint to the fridge unit about a day before eating. Setting hard ice cream out on the counter for five to 15 minutes makes it easier to scoop, too.

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The cake is make in a leakproof springform pan. To gain height on the pan, spray it with cooking spray then line the inside with parchment paper so it sticks out 2-3 inches above the top of the springform.

Next, add the softened chocolate ice cream (or whatever flavor you want) and freeze for 10 minutes.

Remove the lids from the fudge and microwave until the sauce is pourable. Layer on one fudge sauce, then crushed Oreos, then the other fudge sauce.

Freeze for 30 minutes until hardened. Add on the softened vanilla ice cream and return to freezer.

Freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove from freezer and let sit for 5 minutes then remove the springform and parchment. Return to freezer while you make the whipped cream.

Easy Whipped Cream for Ice Cream Cake

This is a super simple whipped cream recipe consisting of only whipped cream and sugar. Just whip using a handheld mixer and your done. It makes the perfect frosting for your ice cream cake too!

Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on cake and return to freezer to firm up. This is the “crumb coat” and will make the final frosting layer adhere better and have a more uniform appearance.

Freeze for 10 minutes and add on second top layer of whipped cream frosting.

If adding sprinkles or decorations, put them on now so they have a chance to “stick” to the frosting.

Return to freezer to firm up completely. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Let sit at room temperature 10 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

More delicious cake recipes

Nothing is more special than making someone a birthday cake from scratch. Moreover, all of my cake recipes are easy to make and include make-ahead instructions. Check out some of my favorites:

  • Peppa Pig Birthday Cake is make using Kit Kat bars and is perfect for your Peppa Pig loving kids!
  • Limoncello Ricotta Cake with Cream Cheese Frostingis another fan favorite cake that’s full of flavor.
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Hope you enjoy this recipe for easy ice cream cake. Substitute whatever flavor of ice cream you like and you may never buy a store-bought cake again!

Recipe Summary

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • Choice of flavoring
  • 2 cups heavy cream

In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until blended. Gradually whisk in milk.

Cook over medium, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens slightly and evenly coats back of spoon (it should hold a line drawn by your finger), 10 to 12 minutes.

Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over ice. Stir in cream. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer ice cream to a resealable plastic container and freeze until firm, about 2 hours (or up to 3 months).


If you’ve ever been to an ice cream shop where you get to choose your toppings, you know there are so many different options! The same applies here.

Some of our favorite topping ideas include:

  • Sliced fresh fruit (such as kiwi, banana, or berries)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Nut butter
  • Shredded coconut

We hope you LOVE this ice cream! It’s:

It’s perfect any time you’re craving a healthier dessert (or when you need to use up extra bananas)! It would also be fun as a homemade ice cream bar, allowing everyone to customize with different flavors and toppings.

Tips to get your home-made ice cream right

1. When adding mix-ins like vanilla, almond, chocolate chips or any other make sure you do so only when the batter cools down and add them in the end just before churning.2. Put the custard base in a container and place it in the freezer. Whisk after every two-three hours to remove the ice crystals till frozen.3. You can also cover it with cling film to prevent the formation of ice crystals.4. Use shallow, flat containers to freeze the ice cream which promotes consistency.5. Make sure the ice cream batter is cold. Don't be in a hurry to place it in the freezer. Chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before freezing it.

Vanilla ice cream with warm chocolate sauce

Learn how to make this supremely creamy vanilla ice cream and you’ll be set for summer. If you’re looking for summer desserts to serve it with, click here for plenty of inspiration.

No-churn Vietnamese coffee ice cream

Cardamom and cinnamon add a fragrant edge to this quick coffee ice cream recipe. You only need 15 minutes to prepare before freezing – an easy pick-me-up for summer entertaining.

Roasted banana caramel swirl ice cream

Check out our impressive ice cream recipe with roasted bananas and homemade caramel sauce swirled through. Black bananas are best for this recipe as they’re super ripe and sweet.

Brown butter ice cream

Brown butter adds a nutty, caramelised flavour to creamy homemade vanilla ice cream in this recipe. It’s a little effort but so worth it for a grown-up summer treat.

No-churn double strawberry ice cream

Strawberry ice cream is a family favourite but home-made just tastes so much better. This recipe for no-churn double strawberry ice cream is super easy and makes delicious, creamy ice cream that everyone will love. Try our strawberry dessert recipes here.

Vanilla ice cream

Try this quick and easy homemade vanilla ice cream with just 20 minutes of prep. Serve alongside your favourite summer dessert – we have plenty of inspiration here.

Spiced coffee kulfi

Nik Sharma’s Indian frozen dessert is flavoured with coffee, cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. A perfect kulfi should contain ice crystals, so look out for them!

Maple honeycomb ice cream

Making this delicious maple honeycomb ice cream is easier than you may think with step-by-step help from the olive test kitchen. It’s guaranteed to be a new family favourite any time of year.

Chocolate and black pepper gelato

Try our recipe for indulgent and creamy homemade chocolate gelato spiced up with black pepper. Gelato differs from ice-cream in the fat content – ice cream is usually made with cream, while gelato is milk-based. The trick to this silky smooth gelato is to add some liquid glucose – this lowers the freezing point so it doesn’t freeze rock solid.

Dairy-free no-churn banana ice cream

Dairy-free, no-churn, no-effort ice cream. Once you’re confident with the process, try experimenting with different flavours – add frozen berries, peanut butter or raw cacao powder to get the flavours shown in our picture below.

Pecan praline ice cream

Make our easy homemade ice cream with a twist. Master your own praline, then make a custard-based ice-cream, mix in the caramel-pecan nuts and freeze.

Peach melba ice cream

Peach melba is a classic British dessert created to honour the Australian soprano Nellie Melba. Try the great combination of peaches and raspberries in our peach melba ice cream for a sweet and tart frozen dessert for summer.

Bitter chocolate ice cream

A grown-up version of Italy’s favourite flavour, this bitter chocolate ice cream is easy to make and creates a sophisticated ice cream cone dessert alternative. Indulgent, intense and seriously chocolatey!

Peanut butter and salted caramel ice cream

This homemade ice cream combines two luxurious flavours – smooth peanut butter and the delicious sweet and salty combo of salted caramel. Check out our caramel cakes and bakes here.

Double honey ice cream

We use a simple-to-follow custard-based recipe to create this ice cream, with broken honeycomb stirred through for a sweet crunch.

Blackcurrant ripple ice cream

This no-churn homemade ice cream with blackcurrant sauce rippled through is the perfect weekend treat for the family.

Elderflower ice cream

Valentine Warner’s elderflower ice cream is light, aromatic and calls for only five ingredients. You don’t even have to go and pick your own elderflower – a good cordial will work just fine.

Instant mango fro-yo

Check out this super speedy dairy-free frozen yogurt. Our easy recipe only uses three ingredients (lime, mango and coconut yogurt) and takes minutes to make.

Whipped avocado with frozen yogurt

Try this elegant avocado dessert with frozen yogurt and meringue to serve at your next dinner party.

Easy ice cream toppings

Try our fun ice cream toppings for your homemade vanilla ice cream (recipe below). Choose between retro caramel banana split, boozy Baileys affogato, spiced nuts and fudge, and hot chocolate and berry ice cream sundae.

Make your ice cream better with our DIY ice cream sundae bar

Pack tubs of ice cream into a big bowl of ice. Make some easy sauces then pile up shop-bought ingredients into pretty bowls and glasses so guests can build their own bespoke sundae.

This is important – because there’s nothing worse than shaking the bags and then having salty ice cream. You want to make sure that the bags you are using are quality bags. Typically no name brands won’t give a good seal to keep the salt out.

Make sure you properly seal the bag that has the half and half mixture in it. You don’t want salt accidentally getting into this bag. To be safe, you could double bag this also. Once you’re done shaking, rinse off the little bag with cold water (including the top part above the seal) before opening it up to eat the ice cream. This will ensure that any salt on the outside doesn’t leak in.

If you use chunkier salt, this will also help prevent the salt from getting into the little bag.

Finally, be extra careful when taking the ice cream out of the bag. If there is any salt still on the outside of the small bag, it will mix with the ice cream.


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