Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

An old fashioned vanilla ice cream recipe that everyone loves! This creamy custard base homemade vanilla ice cream recipe tastes like an ice cream parlor favorite.

Creamy Vanilla Custard Ice Cream Recipe from addapinch.com

There are vanilla ice cream recipes and then there are vanilla ice cream recipes. You know what I mean?

For years, we’ve made my Grandmother’s recipe for her homemade vanilla ice cream or we’ve made the two ingredient no churn variety. A while back, we found a recipe of my aunt’s that was a bit different from my Grandmother’s vanilla ice cream recipe and decided to give it a go.

Oh my!

Her’s is a custard base old fashioned vanilla ice cream recipe that is absolutely scrumptious. It tastes like ice cream parlor quality ice cream and is what my husband calls the ultimate vanilla ice cream! I couldn’t agree with him more!

My Grandmother’s is the ice cream that I grew up enjoying during hot summer afternoons for every celebration we could imagine. It tastes amazing and is one that I’ll always love. Light and easy to eat, it is one of those ice cream recipes that must be enjoyed in a bowl or cup, no ice cream cone would ever make friends with her recipe. But, on the other hand, my aunt’s recipe is more indulgent, more velvety and creamy.

My aunt’s is the perfect ice cream cone ice cream recipe, although I’d happily enjoy it in a bowl if cones weren’t around. The scoops hold up well and it doesn’t immediately begin melting the moment the scoop of ice cream is on the cone. Both have their place and I’m forever grateful that they shared their recipes with me.

Yield: 8 servings

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Total Time 15 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
An old fashioned vanilla ice cream recipe that everyone loves! This creamy custard base homemade vanilla ice cream recipe tastes like an ice cream parlor favorite.
4.82 from 11 votes
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  1. Add egg yolks and sugar to a medium saucepan and whisk until a light yellow color and well combined. In another small sauce pan, heat milk over medium-low heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not stir. Gradually add milk to egg and sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Return to heat until it reaches 165º F, but do not allow it to come to a boil. As soon as it reaches the correct temperature, remove it from the heat. Pour custard base into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until it chills to 65º F. The longer the custard base chills, the creamier your ice cream will be.
  2. Once the custard base is ready, stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract and pour it into your ice cream maker and process according to your ice cream maker's instructions.


Yield for recipe as written: 1 quart

This recipe can easily be doubled for a 2-quart ice cream maker or multiplied for a gallon container.

Nutrition Facts
Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 28mg 1%
Potassium 72mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Sugars 14g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 12.3%
Vitamin C 0.2%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 1.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

Robyn xo


Originally published in 2013.

75 comments on “Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe”

  1. I see black specks in the ice cream photo, did you use vanilla beans? I do not see that ingredient in the recipe

  2. This looks fabulous! Pinning!!

  3. Wow, does this look delicious! I like that you can use the custard base for other flavors. Very nice.

  4. Robyn,
    Love this recipe. Pinned. Have a great 4th of July.

  5. Wow this ice-cream does look so silky and delicious!! Nothing beats a perfect vanilla.

  6. This ice cream was fantastic and very easy to make! I put my custard base in the refrigerator for 8 hours and my ice cream was very creamy. My daughter said that it was like Dairy Queen, but it taste different. My son was scraping the bowl trying to get every melted drop.

  7. There is nothing better than homemade vanilla ice cream girlfriend. Old school recipes are indeed the best!!!

  8. This looks yummy ! Can’t wait to try it . Is your grandmother’s recipe on here also . I would love to try it too !

  9. I am excited to try this! I have two questions. First, what brand of vanilla bean paste do you recommend? Second, what do you do with the leftover egg whites? I am always looking for recipes or creative ways to use up egg whites. Thank you!

    • Hi Jocelyn,
      Those are great questions! I love Neilsen Massey vanilla bean paste. It is always top notch. For leftover egg whites, I’ll either make an egg white omelet or pavlova — pavlova usually wins! 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Robyn! I found the vanilla bean paste you recommended on Amazon; I shall order it soon. I also found the recipe for pavlova on your website. It looks fabulous!

      • I’m so glad you found it all, Jocelyn! Let me know once you try it what you think!!

  10. Most of the ice cream varieties that I make are custard style. It is just so good. I don’t always cook it and have never had any problems although I do let people know.
    My son’s favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla.

  11. Robyn, this ice cream is the real deal! I love the little flecks of vanilla bean throughout, and the fact that it’s a custard base. Totally indulgent, the way ice cream should be! : ) On my “to make” list for summer!

  12. How do you prevent the eggs from scrambling?

    • Hi Miranda,
      You’ll work carefully combining the egg yolks and the heated milk being sure to whisk constantly as you work. In the first step of the instructions, you’ll find more detail on this. Let me know if you have any more questions on making it! I hope you love it!

  13. Custard type ice cream is THE best. Vanilla is always always a winner. I could have licked the picture of the cone
    on the screen. Looks luscious.

  14. I haven’t made any ice cream yet this year, but this is making me want to get a move on! Yummmmm! Great photo.

  15. Just five simple ingredients to concoct an awesome vanilla ice cream? Heck yeah. This brings me back to when I was a young boy, making ice cream at some summer camp that I only vaguely recollect. I can’t wait to try this recipe out. I’m sure it’ll be a hit with the friends and family this summer.

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  19. Made it today, it’s the best homemade ice cream recipe we’ve had. It made a little less than a quart. I refrigerated the custard overnight and it made for the most creamy ice cream ever. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe!

  20. Decided to treat myself to an old fashioned hand crank maker (5 stores later found one) I already had an electric one but not the same. This recipe was fantastic. Surprised my family with it today and everyone loved it. Thanks so much for sharing it, think there is going to be a lot of ice cream parties this summer.

    • I’m so glad you all enjoyed it, Ruth! I remember years and years of my grandparents putting my sister and me in charge of being the ones to crank the hand crank for our ice cream! I think that was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had!

  21. I only had jumbo eggs and this did not turn out as I had hoped. What size eggs do you use?

  22. mine doesnt seem to be getting solid. It tastes like melted vanilla ice cream but its still a liquid. what did I do wrong.

    • Hi Renee,
      Did the custard reach the 165ºF while cooking and then chill to 65ºF before making in your ice cream maker? That should have done the trick to getting the custard nice and thick and perfectly creamy.

  23. Is it OK to chill the custard overnight?

  24. Yum yum yummy

  25. So I guess the cream goes into the milk? And for those of us without a thermometer, can you give some clues as to the correct temp? milk bubbling around the edges? steam coming off?

  26. I made this on the 4th. So much better than my old recipe.And it’s pretty easy. This is now my permanent go-to recipe. Thank you so much.

  27. I want to multiply by 4 for gallon freezer. Do I really use 16 egg yolks?

  28. Fantastic recipe. Thank you for sharing. Made it today for my friends here in Sydney Australia.

  29. Yessss eggs really helped it to set! Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Can you make this with using all whole milk instead of cream?

  31. Wow turned out perfect. Thanks!

  32. Thanks so much for sharing the ice cream recipe. I had lost mine and this sounds just like it. Happy 4th of July!!!!

  33. So, when you say make according to ice cream maker instructions, you just mean the churning part? You don’t add any additional milk or cream to the recipe,correct?

  34. Oh, Robyn – I wanted to reach right out and take that cone! Pinning so that I have this all summer long! xo

  35. Hi Robyn

    If I do not have an ice-cream maker, will this recipe still work by putting it into a container and putting it in the freezer to set? Thanks very much.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I’ve not made it without an ice cream maker, so I can’t say how it will turn out. If you try it that way, I’d love to hear. Have a wonderful summer! Thanks!

    • Try putting it in a small coffee can then place that in a larger can and surround with salt and ice……roll back and forth until set 🙂

  36. Is the temperature a huge thing, I don’t have a way to check it.

  37. Turned out perfect! So creamy and delicious

  38. When cooling down the custard it might help to put Saran Wrap plastic wrap over the top to keep a film from forming also setting it in a ice water bath helps it cool down faster. This will be my third time making this exact version. It has
    Been a great success. Next time I will attempt to make some with peaches. Thanks.

    • Hi Mark,
      I’m so thrilled you enjoy this ice cream! It is a delicious family favorite – I think you’ll love the peaches too! I appreciate you sharing your tips with others too. Thanks so much!

  39. My ice cream maker makes 1 gallon of ice cream. Can this recipe be doubled, tripled or quadrupled, without any adjustments?

  40. How long is homemade icecream good for?


  41. My ice cream maker makes a gallon so can I times it by four? Im gonna make it tomorrow so I would like to know if all ingredients should be multiplied by 4 like the vanilla.

  42. Is this recipe completely gluten free?

  43. Made this substituting Dominican vanilla extract and it is AMAZING!

  44. Hi, is there anything we can used instead of heavy cream?

  45. I doubled the recipie and mixed all of the ingredients in a pot and heated them to 165 degrees while whisking every minute or two, refrigerated, and then used my kitchen aid ice cream maker, turned out delicious.

    Rating: 4
  46. Thanks robyn! Why do you not stir the milk once it is heating?

  47. Best vanilla ice cream EVER! Reminded me of grandpas house

  48. Best ever.Thanks so much!

    Rating: 5

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