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!

Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream

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.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.85 from 38 votes

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch



  • 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.
  • 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.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 72mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 12.3% | Vitamin C: 0.2% | Calcium: 6.5% | Iron: 1.4%
Tried this recipe?Share a photo on Instagram and tag me with @addapinch and #addapinch!

Robyn xo


Originally published in 2013.

169 comments on “Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe”

  1. This is a delicious custard, not too sweet. Great with an apple tart. Thanks for sharing.

  2. My custard base was chunky, did I over heat it? Will it still be good?

  3. By accident I combined all ingredients to make the custard instead of adding the cream and vanilla after chilling the milk eggs and sugar. How will this turn out when I put the whole mixture into the ice cream machine?

    • Hi Joann,
      I’ve not made the recipe this way, but if you followed all the steps up until adding the cream and the vanilla at the end before chilling, it may work out fine. Thanks!

  4. How can I adapt this recipe to include strawberries? Thank you!

  5. Can this recipe be used in an ice cream maker?

  6. Please disregard my email. I didn’t red the final step! My apologies

  7. So if I’m multiplying correct it will use 16 eggs for a gallon of ice cream? 

  8. Is heavy cream and heavy whipping cream the same?

    • Hi Teresa,
      They are close, but not the same. Heavy cream has a higher fat content than heavy whipping cream and is “creamier”. I hope this helps. Enjoy the ice cream! xo

  9. The best and easiest to make ice cream recipe there is.

  10. I love this recipe.  I’ve been using coconut cream (just the solid without the liquid from the can) instead of the whole milk because we try not to moderate our dairy intake. I’ve used coconut cream in other recipes and it works great. I’m having trouble with this one though. The finished product is great out of the ice cream maker but when we have the leftovers the next day it is rock solid. Other recipes I’ve had stay smooth and creamy for days in the freezer. The strangest thing is that the first time I made this recipe it DID stay creamy in the freezer but I’m not doing anything differently! Any thoughts?

  11. His is one of the better ice cream recipes I’ve tried but for some reason the leftovers are rock hard the next day when I take it out of the freezer. I’d expect it to be a little thicker but I was hoping for something at least close to the original creamy goodness from when it came out of my ice cream maker bowl. Thoughts on why this happens?

    • It’s an ice crystallization issue. You need a stabilizer for it. Add “Xanthan gum” to it. Mix the gum powder with the sugar before the first process. For this recipe you’ll need about 1/4 teaspoon of the power. It will never be Rock solid. Even if you leave it to melt then refreeze again it will still be creamy

  12. What temperature is simmer for the milk?

  13. Absolutely The Best! I didn’t realize it was only a quart. My Family Agreed “The Best Ever”! Making a Gallon today! Many Thanks for sharing .

  14. I made it for the Fourth of July family gathering. It was perfect! Everyone enjoyed it, & I was so proud!

  15. This was my first time ever making homemade ice cream. I’ve always left this to others in the family to make but theirs is more like ice milk – not very creamy. Since the 1st week of July, we’ve made this recipe 4 times (the last 3 times were double batches) and I don’t know that I would ever use another recipe. We love it and everyone approved – especially the grand kids.

    As others have stated, the ice cream is very hard when stored in the freezer for the next day, but we just leave it out for a few minutes before serving and it will be creamy again.

    Today, I’ve shared your recipe with 2 other people and we are planning an end of summer party at work next month, and we will be gathering ice cream freezers for making homemade ice cream. I already know which recipe I will be using.

    Thank you for sharing!

  16. This was delicious! Wondering how to make it chocolate?

  17. This recipe calls for 2 cups total of milk/cream which equals a pint. The recipe says it yields one quart of ice cream? Are those numbers correct?

    Thank You

    Brian C

  18. Does it turn out fine if you use coconut sugar as well as regular sugar

  19. This recipe was amazing! My family devoured the entire quart immediately after it was done! I will definitely quadruple the recipe the next time I make it which will be today! 

  20. It’s important to note that you should put the mixture through a sieve when putting it into your ice cream maker in order to remove any potentially cooked egg or milk residue.

  21. I am new to the world of homemade ice cream. One question I had regarding the instructions…do you just combine the egg yolks and sugar, or do you do it over heat and have it thicken before adding the warmed milk? The instructions don’t seem clear on that point.

    • Hi Sarah,
      The egg & sugar mixture is not heated – only whisked well – then add the heated milk as directed and proceed heating as per the recipe instructions. Hope this helps and that you enjoy the ice cream! It’s truly one of our favorites! Thanks! xo

  22. I had some little thick bits at the bottom of the pan when making the custard. Are you supposed to stir while heating to 165 or just let it sit over the heat? Thank you.

    • Hi Jen,
      You will heat milk over medium-low heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not stir at this point. When you gradually add milk to egg and sugar mixture, you will stir constantly. Return to heat until it reaches 165º F, but do not allow it to come to a boil.
      I think that it possibly needed to be stirred more thoroughly during the step of gradually adding the milk to the egg & sugar mixture.
      I hope this helps and that you enjoy it! xo

  23. Tastes a lot like Hägen Däz. The taste and texture are lovely. Will definitely be making this again and again. 

  24. Awesome recipe

  25. Awesome recipe!

  26. Is this recipe able to be made in the old fashioned churn style with ice and salt ice cream maker? I really want to try this recipe and that is the only kind I have. My son asked for blackberry pie and homemade vanilla ice cream for his birthday and I thought this recipe sounds like it will go wonderful with the pie.

  27. Awesome taste. We made a gallon of this and it is the best. We made the stuff last night and then let the liquid chill overnight and then made ice cream the next day.

  28. Looking to convert this recipe to keto. I’m going to sub almond milk for the whole milk… do you suggest adding some full fat yogurt to give the almond milk a little more body or just change the cream: milk ratio? I’m thinking I should stir some yogurt in at the end along with the cream and vanilla. Thanks!

  29. My dad found my mom’s ice cream maker while cleaning out a closet. She absolutely loved to make homemade ice cream. We haven’t had any since she passed in early 2016. He gave the ice cream maker to me this past weekend. He asked me to make him some one day. I found your recipe and gave it a try. Best homemade ice cream we have had. I doubled the recipe but will quadruple it next time.

  30. Please advice if this can be made without an ice cream maker. How should I go about this. Many thanks

  31. I have made this ice cream twice now, and I may never eat any other ice cream !
    It really is the best home made I have ever had!

  32. Can this recipe be made without an ice cream maker?
    All I have are whisks and an electric whisk

  33. Hi, am just making this but am unsure of the part to heat the milk and egg till 165F , am I suppose to cook the liquid till it turns to custard? Because at 165F it is still liquidy 

    • The custard will still be a bit thin but after cooling it will thicken into the consistency of custard.

      • I also had this issue with heating to 165 degrees. My egg/sugar /milk mixture after cooling was still thin. Should I still go ahead and churn the icecream

  34. Well this was my first attempt at making ice cream and I went all in. I bought a 20 qt (5 gal) ice cream freezer powered by a 1931 John Deere hit and miss engine. I took the recipe and multiplied it times 20. Yep that had me separating 80 eggs and adding 10 cups of sugar, etc… It turned out awesome!!! I had many say it was the best ice cream they had ever had. So thanks for making me a hero. 🙂

  35. can you make this with all heavy cream and no milk?  

  36. This was the very first ice cream I ever made. I substituted a little Colombian coffee liqueur for a half cup of the half-and-half. I can’t eat dairy, but 4 people including a chef tried it and everyone thought it was magical. Next time I would cut the vanilla in half and add 1 cup of Bailey’s in lieu of some half-and-half.Simple, delicious, and almost fool proof.I would give it 6 stars for simplicity alone if I could.Philadelphia stlye ice cream may take a little longer to churn (this took half hour plus) but well worth the wait.I would recommend thos to everyone!

  37. Please what if you don’t have an ice cream maker? What should be done? Id there any other alternative

  38. It is a perfect old fashioned vanilla ice cream. I already made it a few times and I am definitely adding it to my recipe list. 

  39. Hi,
    Thank you for the recipe!
    I have a little question: how the consistency of the custard base has to be?
    Mine is really running!  DidI do it wrongly?
    Thank you very much in advance!
    Best regards,

  40. I don’t have an ice cream maker. Can I use the method using a hand mixer? Thanks.

  41. Awesome recipe. Made a batchaikovsky today. Wow. Never buying ice cream again. Quick and easy to follow. And extremely creaamy and tasty. Family just loves it….next is strawberry and chocolate flavour.
    Thank you…

  42. Oh my goodnessssss! A MILLION THANK YOU’S! THIS IS AMAZING!

  43. Can this be made without the ice cream maker?I don’t have one, sadly 🙁

  44. Great recipe. I tweaked it a little… I am on a low carb diet but I LOVE ICE CREAM. So, I used your recipe but changed the milk to 1/2 heavy whipping cream 1/2 water and I used 16 packets of truvia instead of sugar. It tastes great! I made it without an ice cream maker by putting the ice cream mixture into a quart bag then placing the quart bag into a gallon bag filled with ice and salt. Shake shake shake for about 10 minutes then put it in the freezer for about 1 hour. Now it’s amazing ice cream.

  45. Hi Robyn. Is it important to cool it to only 65 degrees? If you leave it in the fridge for longer it will obviously get much colder than that.

  46. Super excited to try this out! How long can I keep it in liquid form before putting in a machine would you think?

  47. Best ice cream ever!! Made a few changes (combined yours and the ice cream maker’s recipe in booklet) and it turned out heavenly!!

    Your recipe made more sense in the way it was combined and prepared.

  48. I’m on a keto diet can I use 2 cups of heavy cream instead of milk?

  49. So, being new to the “tempering” world, my eggs “scrambled” HOWEVER…my ice cream turned out quite delicious and creamy. I will use this recipe as my Go To. Thank you for sharing this with the world!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *