Take your homemade ice cream to the next level of deliciousness and watch your friends and family members help themselves to seconds and thirds with enthusiasm. The Creamiest Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe will become your family favorite.
Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Rodelle and receive products to use and review. Please check that all ingredients are suitable for your allergies and be sure to ask your medical care team regarding any allergy related questions (I do not share medical advice). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Update (2/7/2023) – This post was updated with minor edits for readability.Jump to Recipe
Why Try So Hard to Make the Best Homemade Ice Cream
Those of you who follow my blog closely know that I recently shared a recipe for vanilla ice cream in a bag and maybe you’re wondering, “ANOTHER vanilla ice cream recipe”? Yep, yep, and this one is absolutely divine because it is the creamiest vanilla bean ice cream recipe because of a simple little step that will change how you make homemade ice cream.
Those of us who love someone with food allergies will go to great lengths to make an allergy safe treat for our loved ones. Ice cream is probably one of the most difficult products to buy free of cross-contact with peanuts and tree nuts and of course can be a special challenge for those with milk and/or egg allergies. We try hard to make our nut free treats to be tasty for inclusion and because we love someone with a food allergy and want to keep them safe.
Ice Cream Making Challenges
When we first received our Cuisinart ice cream maker (affiliate link) as a gift, I used simple and high quality ingredients and we followed the instructions in the recipe booklet that came with the machine exactly. The resulting ice cream was ok but I wasn’t 100% happy with the results, the ice cream overflowed out of the machine and after freezing for a bit it was too icy. Other than being in complete control of the quality and allergen safety of the ingredients, I couldn’t see any additional advantages.
Then I started feeling concerned about the amount of heavy cream and sugar that goes into making ice cream and started adjusting the recipes willy nilly and we ended up with hard as a rock and difficult to scoop ice cream. We would leave the ice cream out on the counter to soften a bit but the constant defrosting and refreezing did not improve the texture of the ice cream.
Finding Solutions for Making the Creamiest Vanilla Ice Cream
Lesson #1 – By chance I found “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” (affiliate link) at the library and learned that in order to make the creamiest ice cream, the base needs to be 20% fat and 15% sugar to have a creamy texture. Now I’ve settled on a basic ice cream recipe of 2 cups heavy cream, 2 cups whole milk, and 3/4 cups sugar with some flavor boosts with infusions, extracts, or mix-ins.
Lesson #2 – But we still longed for the creamiest vanilla bean ice cream from a supermarket or an ice cream shop. I had been reading about no-churn ice cream recipes. The basic recipe is make whipped cream, add sweetened condensed milk and any flavoring variations, and freeze to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. That was the final inspiration that I needed for this recipe, rather than simmer the milk, cream, and sugar together, simmer only milk and sugar together and later combine it with whipped cream.
Lesson #3 – Handle heavy whipping cream with care.
- Along the way, I learned that if I heat the heavy whipping cream, it won’t thicken and become foamy. I am guessing that the heat affects the cream’s ability to foam.
- I guess that ultra-pasteurized heavy cream would not whip very well either because ultra-pasteurization heats the whipping cream at higher temperatures than pasteurization.
- If I overmix the whipped cream, the ice cream ends up with pockets of air that turn icy in texture or I end up with some buttery bites of ice cream, which is even worse.
- I have the best results by whipping cold heavy whipping cream until it’s thickened, doubled in volume, but before it starts to form peaks. I’m like Goldilocks when it comes to making the creamiest vanilla bean ice cream…
Vanilla Is the Star of this Recipe
I am so happy with my Rodelle ingredients that I became one of their brand ambassadors because their vanilla and extracts are made with out peanuts or tree-nuts in the facility. Rodelle’s whole vanilla beans is an excellent ingredient to use in this recipe. The ice cream has a lovely vanilla taste and it looks beautiful, creamy white with black flecks of vanilla bean.
If their whole vanilla beans are not available due to shortages, Rodelle’s vanilla paste (affiliate) is an excellent ingredient, it has all the flavor of a whole vanilla bean and as easy to use as vanilla extract. Of course, if you only have vanilla extract on hand, that would be very suitable as well. If you had to switch between the three products 1 vanilla bean is the equivalent to 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
If you’ve never tried splitting and scraping a vanilla bean, use a sharp knife and split it down the middle lengthwise and then use the flat edge of the knife to scrape the seeds. Try to be as clean and neat as possible so you don’t waste anything. Rodelle’s website has more information on how to split and scrape. Since vanilla is in such short supply, I do not waste the vanilla pod and will reuse it the next day in a second batch of a fruit flavored ice cream (usually I find some vanilla specks in the base) or at the very least put the vanilla pod in my tea or coffee (oh yum!).
I want to share the love! One lucky winner will win Rodelle Vanilla’s baker’s favorites gift set, which includes one each of vanilla beans, vanilla extract, vanilla paste, lemon extract, and baking cocoa. The giveaway begins Wednesday, October 26, 2016 and ends Monday, November 8, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. PST. I will be at the Food Allergy Blogger’s Conference toward the end of the contest period, so I won’t be around to remind you to enter, just enter now. No purchase is necessary and contest is open to everyone (US & international too, thank you Rodelle!).
Please enter by using the Rafflecopter widget below and leave a comment in the blog below by answering the following question: What are your favorite holiday cookies? I might use your favorites to inspire my next cookie recipe.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks, Rodelle, for sponsoring this giveaway.
Please visit Rodelle’s website and check out their products available on Amazon.
This recipe as written is free of peanuts, tree nuts, soy, egg, fish, shellfish, wheat and sesame.
If you like this ice cream recipe, you might like some of my other ice cream recipes or recipes using ice cream.
- Strawberry Ice Cream – Smooth, Creamy, & No Churn
- How to Make Ice Cream Book Review & Peaches and Cream Recipe
- Mochi Ice Cream with Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk
- Aquafaba Baked Alaskas, Egg-Free Dessert
The Creamiest Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean I use Rodelle Vanilla
- 1 pint 2 cups heavy whipping cream
Preparations the Day Before
Freeze ice cream maker freezer bowl overnight.
Combine the milk and sugar in a small sauce pan.
Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the black seeds and add the paste and vanilla bean to the milk.
Simmer the milk on low heat until the milk starts to bubble and the sugar is dissolves, remove from heat, and allow the milk to cool to room temperature.
Place the vanilla milk, the heavy cream, and a large clean mixing bowl in the back of your refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
To Make the Ice Cream
When you are ready to make your ice cream, vigorously shake the carton of cream for 1 minute and place in the freezer for a few minutes.
Plug in the ice cream maker, have all your parts ready, and leave the frozen ice cream freezer bowl in the freezer until the last minute.
Shake the whipping cream container again and empty it into the whipping cream into the chilled mixing bowl (scoop out any lumps of cream that might still be in the container).
Use an electric hand mixer to whip the whipping cream until it's thickened and doubled in volume, 1-2 minutes, stop before it makes peaks. If you don't have an electric hand mixer, you can use a whisk to whip the heavy cream by hand.
Add the vanilla milk mixture and mix for 1 minute (discard or reserve the vanilla bean for other purposes).
Pour the vanilla base into the freezer bowl and set it up according per your machine’s instructions.
Churn for 20-25 minutes until the ice cream thickens.
Transfer the partially frozen ice cream mixture into a 6 cup or larger capacity container, cover, and freeze for 4 hours or more before serving.
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I like sugar cookies with holiday sprinkles.
My family loves shortbread cookies for the Holidays! I have a holiday themed shortbread pan that makes perfect buttery cookies.
How fun to have a cute holiday pan! I am really impatient about rolling out dough and cutting cookie shapes so a pan might be a good idea for someone like me.
Need to try Rodelle vanilla products!
I agree, and if you read my post about making ice cream in a bag, I wrote about how you can buy a Rodelle product, review it on Amazon, and receive a free sample to try. Definitely check it out. I hope you entered the giveaway contest, good luck!
My favorite are the almond snowball cookies.
I love those too. Boo to nut allergies. 😉
My favorite Holiday cookies are sugar cookies, we love to decorate them and later eat them.
Yum and fun!
My favorite holiday cookies are my mom’s raisin griddle cookies, our variation of tradition welsh griddle cookies. They’re so good! I try to make them every year
Sarah, that is so cool that you make a traditional Welsh cookie. I hope you share it on your blog to preserve the recipe.
Frosted sugar cookies
Creamy vanilla ice cream?! Yes, please! Makes me want apple pie a la mode!
That’s where I’m going next…apple pie! Yum 🙂
My favorite holiday cookie is anything involving chocolate!
Mmmm. Love home made ice cream. A silver lining to food allergies is that we make our own ice cream in any desired flavor and color. 🙂
Oh, yes! Homemade ice cream tastes so good and I cannot wait until I have time someday to make MY favorite flavor.
mine are simple shortbread cookies with mint on them i love that so so much
Yum!! That sounds so good!
My favorite holiday cookie is gingerbread bars with cream cheese frosting.
Oh wow, sounds wonderful!
I have so many favorites, but as for ease and mass production for the Holiday baking season and a great tasting cookie I always make Meltaways. They are so soft and buttery and I can bake 60 on one sheet at a time which is great because they always go fast. P.s. thanks for your ice cream recipe, I love all the great info here… 🙂
This looks so good! I love vanilla bean ice cream.
Love festive sugar cookies!
My favorite holiday cookies to make are the regular old sugar cookie cut out ones, so my kids can have fun decorating them. I will be looking for vanilla beans at Costco!
Thank you for all those tips. My experience trying to ‘lighten’ ice cream has been quite unsuccessful… rock hard ice cream that really isn’t ice cream. I will definitely be trying this recipe during the holidays.
There are other ways to lighten up the ice cream too but this is a good start and portion control is key for now!
I LOVE snickerdoodle cookies
My favorite holiday cookie is the yummy Italian Wedding Cookie! Thanks for an awesome giveaway!
(edited: I removed your email address for your privacy, but I have it if I need to contact you! ~Sharon)
Sugar cookies are my favorite holiday cookie.
We love to make cut out sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.
Classic chocolate chip is my favorite
Sugar cookies and snickerdoodles, yum! Thanks for the tip on the vanilla beans! Always looking for great nut free options.
Decorating sugar cookies for Christmas was always the best, but last year we made the most delicious gingerbread cookies that they’re our new family favorite!
My favorite holiday cookies are snickerdoodles!
We make soynut butter balls using rice krispie cereal, powdered suga and butter and wowbutter to form balls and them dip them in melted chocolate. They are our absolute favorite!
Love sugar cookies
Homemade sugar cookies– My six year old son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame, which makes almost all store bought cookies unsafe for him. I love making sugar cookies and decorating them so that he can have something that looks and tastes even better than the store bought versions.
I like sugar cookies during the holidays. I like almost any cookie at any time though.
I like sugar cookies during the holidays. I like all cookies all the time too.
I am so excited to try this vanilla bean icecream! Do you typically find Rodelle Vanilla Beans in the baking aisle? Rodelles website list several stores having them in stock, but no one can seem to find them when I call (we live an hour from the stores that carry it, so I was hoping to call to confirm they have it first). Thanks for any help, Kristy
Hi Kristy! I used to be able to buy their vanilla beans from Costco (I am so glad I stocked up!!)! But there is a vanilla shortage currently so I would imagine that they can’t afford to sell their beans at Costco for now. I have also seen them at Mollie Stone’s, which is a fine foods and gourmet food retailer in the Bay Area. I’m sure that you have similar stores in your area. I think the best option would be to purchase them online.
When do you take out the vanilla bean from the vanilla milk mixture? I don’t see that in the instructions. Thank you!
I take out the vanilla bean right before pouring the vanilla milk into the ice cream maker (step 10). Thank you for your observation and updated the recipe!
I see you have the 2 quart Cuisinart. Will this fit in the 1.5 quart Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker?
I’m not sure, perhaps halve the recipe and see?