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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a white and turquoise ice cream bowl on a polka dot napkin

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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This rich, luscious Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is made with heavy cream and vanilla bean paste for the best flavor and mouthfeel.  

This versatile ice cream is terrific on fruit pies, crisps or served topped with berries or fudge sauce. You’ll love it!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a white and turquoise ice cream bowl on a polka dot napkin

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It’s June, but it feels like August. Hot, sultry, sticky days…and nights. It was time to break out my ice cream maker. To keep peace in the house, I made plain ol’ vanilla, but not any ordinary ice cream. This Vanilla Bean Ice Cream was ultra-rich, with the ultimate creamy mouth-feel. And cold…yup, that’s important when it’s 90º outside. I took David Lebovitz’s (the ice cream guru) ingredients and used an abbreviated technique.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream in a cone textured ice cream bowl topped with hot fudge sauce

Tips for Making Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

  • I allowed the vanilla bean paste to steep in the hot milk for a few minutes. The original recipe used a whole vanilla bean and called for an hour infusion time. As I was starting the process at 9 PM, I hurried it up bit, but there will be more flavor transfer if you let it steep the full hour.
  • The addition of two whole cups of cream allowed for a silky, decadent ice cream…so don’t skimp or replace with half and half if you want the best results. Just have a smaller helping if you’re counting calories.
  • There was an overnight rest in the fridge…as with all the best ice cream custard recipes. So plan to make the custard the day before you want to indulge.
  • I served this with homemade hot fudge sauce to appease the chocoholics…the perfect summer treat! And this was also the ice cream used in Monday’s Brownie Sundaes with Hot Fudge.

The Ceramic ice cream bowls and ice cream cones used in my photos were found at Anthropologie, summer 2013.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

A simple, luscious ice cream flavored with real vanilla pods.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 1 quart


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat the milk, salt and sugar in a large saucepan. When the mixture comes to a simmer, take it off the heat and stir in vanilla paste. Let steep a few minutes.
  2. Whisk yolks in 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup (or use a bowl). Slowly drizzle just a bit of the hot mixture in the yolks while whisking constantly. Continue to slowly add the milk to the eggs, then return the mixture to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, till mixture thickens (it should coat the back of a spoon).
  3. Wash the Pryex measuring cup and add the cream to the cup. Strain the yolk/milk mixture (to remove any cooked egg particles) into the cup full of cream and mix in vanilla.
  4. Cool at room temperature, then place custard in a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
  5. To make ice cream, follow manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker.


Inspired by David Lebovitz.

Total time does not include overnight chilling.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g
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61 comments on “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream”

  1. Your ice cream bowls are so cute! Love vanilla bean ice cream and you just can’t beat homemade!

  2. Thank you, Liz! On my to-do list was to go hunting for the David Lebovitz ice cream you mentioned in a previous post. I wholeheartedly am for shortening the process (so as to enjoy sooner!) Your ice cream and the dishes do look very inviting =)

  3. I’ll bet the vanilla bean paste adds great flavor! Love your cute little cone shaped bowls:@)

  4. I want the aqua bowl, AND I want the ice cream!

  5. Oh yum! Nothing like a bowl of “good” homemade ice cream on a hot day! A wonderful treat!

  6. Homemade ice cream always great and yes perfect for hot summer days 🙂

  7. Who could say no to this?! It sounds fantastic! 😀 Those ice cream bowls are so cute!

  8. Can’t beat homemade Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream! #Yum!

  9. Yummo! It’s cold here, but I could sure try this anyway.

  10. I have come over to the dark side … it’s been so sticky and gross that I suspended my general disinterest in sweets and had ice cream this weekend. This looks SO refreshing!!!

  11. Love the ice cream bowls and cones!!

  12. Perfect summer treat indeed! This was an annual treat at our place on Labour Day with our friends and when the kids were all little – great memories. Should revive this tradition again – maybe with grandchildren this time? :). Keep cool…..

  13. Vanilla ice cream has always been my favorite. I don’t need any fancy things in it, just simple perfect vanilla bean 🙂

  14. Liz, I love the deliciousness and simplicity of homemade vanilla ice cream. I seldom make any other kind. Instead, I prefer to make tasty toppings for it. I think it’s a nostagia thing because when I was a little girl on Christmas my grandpa would get out the ice cream maker and make homemade vanilla ice cream while my grandma would make the homemade hot fudge sauce. I’ve always made a no-cook version of Vanilla but I’d love to try your recipe 🙂 Happy 4th!

  15. ooooooooh so silkyyyy this sounds so gooood

  16. Nothing says summer like a couple of scoops of good vanilla bean ice cream. Great recipe, thanks for sharing Liz and stay cool.

  17. Looks delicious! And I love your ice cream bowls! 🙂

  18. Vanilla. Sigh. I’d have the same problem with waiting for the vanilla to steep into the cream, but because I’d want to dive in sooner than later, not because of the time of day. I love an ice cream that tastes like vanilla, not just like cold cream. This sounds perfect.

  19. Oh, how nice if I could have that bowl right now on my table! Looks so yummy!

  20. Over the years, I’ve become much more partial to vanilla than chocolate! This looks so perfect, Lizzy!

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