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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 90ΒΊ 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: 331 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 186mg Sodium: 51mg Carbohydrates: 22g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 22g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
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61 comments on “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream”

  1. Look really delicious Lizzy!!!

  2. Hiiiii Lizzy!!! πŸ˜€

    It was so lovely to hear from you! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

    You’re so right, it’s like overnight the days got hot and sticky. Homemade is still the best summer treat. You remind me of my family…everyone has a preferred flavor of ice cream, yet we can all come together for vanilla.

    Ahhh…there’s just one teensy problem. I don’t have an ice cream maker. -_- I’ll be keeping my eye out for one. Thank you for reminding me!! πŸ˜€


    I hope you and your loved ones had a joyous and safe 4th! xo

  3. The hot fudge sauce is an essential with vanilla ice cream. Even though we are in the middle of winter, I could eat a bowl of this.

  4. Vanilla bean ice cream is just so dreamy!

  5. Yum!! Bookmarked to try at a later date. Thanks, Liz! Have a great weekend.

  6. 2 cups of cream would definitely make it creamier. πŸ™‚ Funny thing I churn so many but my son keeps coming back to good ole’ vanilla, his favorite. πŸ™‚

  7. This looks like the perfect recipe for vanilla ice cream. I love your anthro props, too. πŸ™‚

  8. Pure vanilla ice cream! Looks perfect Liz!

  9. I am in love with those bowls from Anthropologie!! I saw them and just about bought them…now I will need them to serve this ice cream. wow! with fudge sauce? perfect!

  10. Lizzy,
    As a kid I loved chocolate ice cream but now my favorite is vanilla. This is a perfect treat for the hazy, hot and humid days we’ve been having.

  11. I grew up eating hot fudge sundaes. In fact there’s was never a time my mom wouldn’t buy 6 from Baskin Robbins and keep them in the freezer for whenever we felt like some.

    David has great ice cream recipes so I’m sure this is delicious. As for the hot fudge, I have every magazine Chocolatier ever put out but I don’t recall this recipe. I’m sure it’s phenomenal – since everything I’ve ever made of theirs was perfect!

    Thanks for sharing these recipes. I’ll be sure to save them.

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