Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

by | Aug 5, 2019

The simplest of ice creams for a hot summer day. There is nothing like having homemade, delicious ice cream waiting for you in the freezer. This recipe does not use eggs (although I have other recipes for those days I’ve got the time to make a custard type ice cream) BUT it does use a real vanilla bean if you can get your hands on one. There’s a cool tip at the end of the article for making the most of that whole vanilla bean. Enjoy!

PS: how cute are these little edible pansies?! If you are interested in learning to garden and grow food and flowers like this, please subscribe to get access to all my tips and inside information!


Makes 1.5 quarts of ice cream

1 vanilla bean (optional: substitute 1 TBS vanilla extract)

3/4 cup granulated white sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

pinch of salt


In a small saucepan, mix together milk, sugar, and salt. Add the vanilla by carefully scraping the inside of the vanilla bean to get the tiny tiny seeds into the saucepan. *you first must slice the vanilla bean lengthwise so you can scrape the seeds out.

Cook over LOW heat, stirring constantly until sugar is just dissolved.

Important: don’t heat it to boiling or simmering. Just heat it enough to dissolve the sugar.

Remove from heat, mix in heavy cream, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until completely cooled.

Churn mixture in an ice cream machine according to manufactuer’s instructions. *I’ve linked the exact machine we have been using for years below. ↓

Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze. It will continue to set. We like to let it set overnight at least.

See tip for storage below.


We have tried a few different storage methods and have found our favorite!

Transfer your ice cream to a freezer safe container with a lid. Before putting on the lid, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the container and place it on top of the ice cream. This helps prevent freezer burn, ice crystals, and helps the ice cream maintain that luscious texture.

Cover with lid and store in the freezer! We eat our homemade ice cream so fast, but it can keep for a couple weeks.

Seasonal Serving Tips

Eat it allll summer with your favorite fruit, over a warm crumble, or just out of the container.

How about a homemade affogato? Place a scoop of ice cream in a serving dish and pour a shot of espresso or some coffee over the top—an Italian classic!

In Fall we love to top our pumpkin pie with a hearty scoop of this ice cream.

Here’s a link to the ice cream machine we currently use. We are very happy with it, but I have also linked their updated model for you to check out as well!

Make Your Own Vanilla Sugar

Don’t throw that vanilla pod away after scraping out the seeds! Rinse the pod and dry. Leave the pod on a paper towel on the kitchen counter for a few days-week (depending on your home temperature) until it is completely dried out.

Using a spice grinder, blend up the vanilla pod until it is super fine. Combine it with 1 cup white sugar.

Now, to help the flavors meld even futher, I like to pulse the vanilla/sugar mixture in my blender for a few seconds to get a finer grain. Voila!

Transfer the mixture to a mason jar with a  lid and let sit for at least a week to let the flavors really infuse.

Use your vanilla sugar in coffee, baking, or wherever you think it might taste delicious.

PS: Have you tried this recipe? Use my hashtag #FreckledCA on Instagram so I can see your results!

Meet Randi

Urban gardening is my jam. I’m Randi, California girl who obsessively gardens to grow food and flowers around my urban home. Seasonal, simple living is what inspires me~ I hope it will inspire you too. Join me in crafting a life and home connected to the garden Read More>>>>

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