Table of Contents
  1. What is a true ice cream?
  2. How does ice cream thicken?
  3. Watch how to make this vanilla bean ice cream
  4. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

If you know me, you know I have a love for ice cream. And this love isn’t relegated to summer. No, any time of the year is the right time for good ice cream. But, there is a definite difference in ice creams and not all are created equal.

Growing up, we made ice cream in a White Mountain freezer for special occasions: birthday parties, family get-togethers, and Christmastime. Iowa is cold at Christmas, but one side of my family always has ice cream. Why mess with a perfect tradition, right? A White Mountain makes six quarts of ice cream, but you have to crush a lot of ice and pack it around the cylinder with salt.

Nowadays, many of us have smaller countertop ice cream freezers. You do not need to crush ice, but instead, freeze the canister for 24 hours. It’s easy and almost mess-free, especially when you have the perfect recipe!

Hand holding ice cream cone filled with vanilla ice cream with rest of vanilla ice cream in silver container below sitting on countertop

What is a true ice cream?

Depending on where you are from, ice cream can have different meanings. In the United States, the most common type of ice cream is from a french custard base: a mixture of milk, cream, egg, and sugar, all cooked together. Once chilled, the mixture is churned at a below-freezing temperature. Air mixes in as it churns and creates… ice cream!

Using this method, the ice cream needs to be churned quick enough and cold enough that the ice crystals stay as small as possible. Otherwise, the texture will seem grainy or icy.

Close up view of ice cream scoop scooping vanilla ice cream from silver container in which it was frozen

More ice cream recipes

How does ice cream thicken?

Traditionally, egg yolks are used to thicken the ice cream base, upwards of five to eight eggs for a single quart of ice cream. The egg yolk adds richness, but I find with the yolk alone, I never achieve the thick consistency and smooth texture I’m looking for.

Instead, I use a hybrid method consisting of some egg yolk mixed with cornstarch. The addition of cornstarch helps temper the egg yolks so they whisk into the hot ice cream base easily. The cornstarch also thickens the base to help create a perfectly smooth finish.

Top down view of vanilla ice cream sitting in ice cream cones with fudge and sprinkles all over the top

Watch how to make this vanilla bean ice cream

YouTube video
Top down view of vanilla ice cream in container with ice cream scooped into an ice cream cone with sprinkles in white container

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

4 from 48 votes
Making homemade ice cream is so much easier than it sounds! This vanilla bean paste ice cream is packed with vanilla flavor and is super smooth and creamy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Freezing Time 25 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste

For the fudge sauce

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


For the ice cream

  • In a 4 quart kettle, combine the 2 cups milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, 5-8 minutes.
  • While heating, whisk together the remaining 2 tbsp milk, egg yolks, and cornstarch.
  • When the milk and cream mixture begins to simmer throughout, remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to medium-low heat and whisk until simmering throughout and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from the heat and add the vanilla bean paste. Whisk to combine and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 6-8 hours.
  • Once chilled, pour into the freezer and follow the manufacturer's instructions. This usually takes 20-25 minutes. After churning, the ice cream can be immediately enjoyed as soft serve or poured into a container and frozen for an additional 4-6 hours for a harder consistency.

For the fudge sauce

  • In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the water, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Heat in the microwave in 30-second to 1-minute increments until thickened, stirring between heatings, 2-3 minutes in total.
  • Once thickened, add the butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Heat slightly before serving.


Serving: 1serving (with hot fudge)Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 43.7gProtein: 3.6gFat: 13.2gSaturated Fat: 7.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.7gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 81.4mgSodium: 330.9mgPotassium: 160.9mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 40.4gVitamin A: 147.4IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 95.9mgIron: 0.5mg
Course Ice Cream
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Freezing

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. 5 stars
    Dear Kaled,

    I love your approach to life. I follow your receipts and you gardening skills. It is a pleasure to watch your videos, specially during the difficult times your friend and companion is going thought.

    I prey for the quick and smooth recovery of your little one.

    Take care and best wishes.



  2. 5 stars
    This ice cream recipe is the BEST!
    I doubled the recipe and made it in my electric White Mountain freezer.
    My daughter said the chocolate sauce was almost better than the ice cream. I thought my hot fudge sauce was good but this recipe is also THE BEST! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    I have made many of your recipes and never have I had a failure! Keep them coming. I love your gardening ideas and canning recipes and of course your decorating ideas.

  3. I enjoy your Facebook page very much, and I do cook and bake a lot but, i’ve been looking for oat meal raisin cookie , that stays soft I have tried more brown sugar less brown sugar, more eggs taking them out of the oven before cooked still can’t get texture.
    Do you have any suggestions

  4. 4 stars
    Delicious taste! But it leaves a little bit of odd texture in your mouth- i do believe its the corn syrup. I may use less next time.

  5. 5 stars
    Best and easiest ice cream I have ever made! And the chocolate fudge, is just as fantastic. I have made this recipe multiple times and it is always a hit! TY TY TY for sharing this recipe. Can u imagine a world without ice cream?! Ugh – I’d rather not.

  6. Hi, Kaleb,

    I hope all is well! I love your recipes and gardening tips! Thank you for sharing! For this recipe is the cornstarch measurement 1 tablespoon? That is what I used but I feel it changed the flavor of the ice cream. I do like that it is easier to make than tempering the egg yolks but not loving the flavor.

    Thank you,

  7. Hey Kaleb, listen to, or read this book The Secret life of Nature. It will give you interesting information to pass on to your audience…

  8. Trying your ice cream recipe for 4th of July. Is it possible to chill the mixture for a couple of days before freezing? Trying to save some time ahead. Thanks

  9. Very tasty recipe. This is the only vanilla ice cream recipe that I now use. The flavour is rich and delicious.