Easy Vanilla Ice Cream (No-churn recipe!)

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This is the only recipe for homemade Vanilla Ice Cream you will ever need!  It’s fast and easy, and you don’t need any special equipment to make it. Enjoy it plain, or add your favorite mix-ins to create your own custom flavors.

Close-up of waffle cone holding big scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

 🍦 No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

I love all ice cream and frozen desserts. Give me all the flavors, all the mix-ins, all the toppings…if it’s frozen and sweet, I am in.

Although chocolate will always be my greatest love, there is something so satisfying about plain old vanilla ice cream. To quote the Barenaked Ladies, “Vanilla is the finest of the flavors.” It’s hard to go wrong with the smooth, creamy, rich flavor of classic vanilla bean. It’s also the perfect blank slate for creating your own customized ice cream flavors!

This Easy Vanilla Ice Cream is one of my favorite vanilla ice creams ever. It’s a simple, no-churn recipe that yields the perfect vanilla ice cream. All you need is an electric mixer, a bowl, and three super simple ingredients!

If you just can’t get enough no-churn ice cream recipes, don’t miss our No-Churn Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream, No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream, and No-Churn Peach Ice Cream!

Overhead shot of waffle cone with three big scoops of vanilla ice cream inside.

🧾 What You’ll Need

Overhead shot of ingredients needed to make Easy Vanilla Ice Cream.

Ingredients

This easy homemade vanilla ice cream is made with just three ingredients! It seriously doesn’t get any easier than that. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Heavy Cream: I recommend using heavy cream or manufacturing cream over whipping cream, when possible. Heavy cream and manufacturing cream have the most fat, which produces a better flavor and texture. You can definitely use whipping cream if that’s what you have, but when given the choice, I always recommend heavy cream.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk:make sure you’re using sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk. The cans look similar and they’re usually in the same section at the grocery store, but they are not the same thing. Sweetened condensed milk has added sugar, which is exactly what we want for this recipe.
  • Vanilla Flavor: you can add the vanilla flavor to your no-churn ice cream with vanilla bean, vanilla paste, or vanilla extract. Any one of them will work! I love the strong vanilla flavor a vanilla bean gives to the ice cream, but use whatever is available to you. If you are adding a lot of mix-ins, I suggest using vanilla extract — it’s cheaper, and the flavor will likely get overshadowed by your additional ingredients, anyhow.
Overhead shot of vanilla ice cream in a loaf pan, with six scoops taken out.

Equipment

I love any recipe that doesn’t require any special equipment! And this no-churn vanilla ice cream is one of those recipes. Here are a couple things that I own and love, and that might make your ice cream-making life easier. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Ice Cream Scoop: for serving of course! An ice cream scoop makes it so easy to portion the ice cream out in perfect rounded scoops.
  • Ice Cream Storage Container: an ice cream storage container keeps the ice cream fresh in the freezer. I have this set, and can personally vouch that the containers are amazing. If you don’t have one, you can store it in a tightly wrapped loaf pan instead.

📋 Instructions

Here’s a quick overview of how to make this easy vanilla ice cream recipe. Full instructions are included in the recipe card down below.

Two photo collage showing how to scrape seeds from vanilla bean pod.
  • If you’re using vanilla bean, use a knife to split it down the middle, then scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife.
Two photo collage showing adding vanilla beans to ice cream base.
  • In a bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the condensed milk and vanilla, then gently fold everything together.
Two photo collage showing freezing and scooping vanilla ice cream.
  • Pour the mixture into an ice cream storage container or loaf pan, then freeze until firm.
  • Scoop and enjoy!
Waffle cone with scoops of vanilla ice cream, with more ice cream and waffle cones in the background.

💭 Variations

Plain vanilla ice cream is great, but this recipe also makes a great base for any ice cream your heart desires! Here are a few ideas:

  • Use another flavor: You can add other extracts like mint, almond, orange, lemon etc. to flavor the ice cream. Start with one teaspoon, then add more to taste.
  • Add some crunchies: crushed Oreos, M&Ms, chopped nuts, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, chopped Andes mints, crushed peppermint pieces, you name it.
  • Make it fruity: mix in fresh or canned fruit like berries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, cherries, etc. OR mix in your favorite pie filling. Apple or cherry would both be delicious!
  • Add a swirl: swirl in your favorite peanut butter, hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, marshmallow fluff, etc. You really can’t go wrong!
Waffle cone with scoops of vanilla ice cream, standing upright in a silver cone holder.

💡 Tips and FAQs  

  • Get creative! This is a delicious recipe for vanilla ice cream, but can also be used as a jumping-off point for SO MANY other flavors.
  • Check the milk. Make sure the milk you use is sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk. They will definitely not yield the same flavor and texture.
  • Mix gently. Over-mixing will deflate the cream. The whipped cream is the key to a light and fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla flavor: When using this recipe to make vanilla ice cream, I like using vanilla beans best. It has the biggest flavor payoff and a real, powerful vanilla taste.
  • If you’re using this recipe as a base for another flavor, vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract are a better, cheaper option. You still get the vanilla flavor, but its less expensive. The other flavors will likely overpower the vanilla anyway!
Close-up of waffle cone holding big scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.
No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream
No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream is an easy recipe made with only 3-ingredients! All you need are whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk, and cocoa powder to make this rich and creamy homemade chocolate ice cream.
Get the recipe!
Close up of 6 scoops of No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream in a silver container.
No-Churn Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream
This strawberry shortcake ice cream is packed with juicy strawberries and buttery pound cake. Best of all, you don't need any special equipment to make this delicious and easy homemade ice cream.
Get the recipe!
Top view of scooped No-Churn Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream in a waffle cone with strawberries in the background.

Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Vanilla Ice Creamcheck out the web story here!

Leave a review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Close-up of waffle cone holding big scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

5 from 5 votes
This is the only recipe for homemade Vanilla Ice Cream you will ever need! It’s fast and easy, and you don't need any special equipment to make it. Enjoy it plain, or add your favorite mix-ins to create your own custom flavors.
Prep Time 15 mins
Chilling Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins
Yield 8 servings
Calories 363 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold (16 fl oz)
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk, (1 standard can)
  • 1 vanilla bean, can substitute 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
CUSTOMIZE: 8 servings

Instructions
 

  • In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream with a hand mixer or stand mixer, until firm peaks form.
  • If you’re using a vanilla bean, use a sharp paring knife to split the bean down the middle, then use the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla bean seeds.
  • Add the condensed milk and vanilla bean seeds (or extract, or paste) to the whipped cream, and begin gently folding them together. This ice cream gets its texture from the whipped cream, so you don’t want to stir it too vigorously and deflate the cream.
  • Scrape the ice cream mixture into an ice cream storage container, or a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover the container firmly with a lid, or plastic wrap if using a loaf pan. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 4-6 hours, or until the top of the ice cream is firm to the touch.
  • Scoop and enjoy! This ice cream can be stored, well-wrapped, in the freezer for up to a month.

MEASURING TIPS

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.

Nutrition

Calories: 363 kcal | Carbohydrates: 29 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 26 g | Saturated Fat: 16 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g | Cholesterol: 84 mg | Sodium: 79 mg | Potassium: 241 mg | Sugar: 29 g | Vitamin A: 1007 IU | Vitamin C: 2 mg | Calcium: 180 mg | Iron: 0.2 mg
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Photo of Easy Vanilla Ice Cream with text overlay for Pinterest.

About Elizabeth LaBau

I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me SugarHero! I’m a former pastry chef turned blogger, cookbook author, and baking instructor, and I consider myself sugar’s #1 fan. Learn more from my About page, or connect with me on social media:

What You'll Need
Editor's Note

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  For more information, see my Disclaimer and Disclosure Policy.

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