Vanilla bean ice cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

This is a recipe for making indulgent vanilla bean ice cream that smooth and creamy. I recommend you chill the ice cream mixture in the fridge overnight before freezing. This will help infuse the vanilla bean’s amazing flavour through your dessert.

Not a fan of vanilla? Try this velvety chocolate option or this strawberry ice cream.

Vanilla bean ice cream
A rich, indulgent treat for the family.

A quick rundown on vanilla beans

Vanilla beans are dried up brown pods with a slightly waxy outside layer. Inside you’ll discover thousands of little black specks of flavour filled seeds.

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice on the market, behind saffron. But don’t let cost stop you from using them. A little goes a long way and many find the flavour is better than vanilla essence.

A sliced open vanilla bean pod
The foodie’s version of black gold

To prepare the vanilla beans, take a sharp non-serrated knife and slice into the pod length-ways. Then scrape out the black insides into a small dish. They’re now ready to make perfect vanilla bean ice cream recipe.

Don’t throw out the outer pods

The pods are full of flavour too. You can use these in two ways:

  1. Toss them into your ice cream base when heating up the milk, then discard just before churning.
  2. Add them to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry location for later use.
Scooping out vanilla beans using a knife.
The insides of these pods are full of flavour.

What is a cheaper alternative to vanilla beans?

For a cheaper option to vanilla beans, consider using vanilla bean paste. It offers a similar flavour profile to the bean, but you get less intensity and its cheaper. Paste is a nice middle ground between beans and vanilla essence.

Vanilla bean ice cream in a scoop
A scoop of freshly made ice cream.
Vanilla bean ice cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Learn the secret to rich, indulgent vanilla bean ice cream.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Keyword: ice cream, vanilla bean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Freeze time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
  • 1 1/2 cups thickened cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 vanilla bean


  • Heat milk, cream, and sugar in a saucepan over a medium-high heat until simmering then remove from heat.
  • Whisk yolks in a bowl until pale then slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk, all the while whisking.
  • Slowly pour the yolks back into the saucepan of milk and whisk until combined then add salt, vanilla essence, scraped vanilla bean, and vanilla pod. Continue heating on medium heat until liquid thickens (about 3 minutes).
  • Pour liquid into an airtight container and add to the fridge for 3 hours (or overnight).
  • The next day, pour the custard base through a strainer and add to ice cream maker. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Once churned, add to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours.

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  1. Hi!
    Do you always use fresh milk cream? And about milk, is it whole milk or skimmed milk?
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Pryscilla,

      I always use fresh milk and cream for ice cream. You could use other types of milk, other than fresh milk, so long as the fat content is high enough. The milk should be whole milk because it needs to have the right proportion of fat.


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