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vanilla ice cream scoops in clear glass.
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5 from 3 votes

Classic Vanilla Custard Ice Cream Base

Learn how to make vanilla ice cream at home. This is the perfect recipe for every use because you can customize it with mix-ins or toppings of your choice! The homemade custard ice cream base is made with lots of egg yolks (for creaminess), cream, and milk. This is the best simple machine ice cream recipe to make at home no matter the occasion!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Churning Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 ¼ quarts
Calories: 2888kcal
Author: Jessica Mode



  • Fill a large bowl with ice to use later as an ice bath. Place an empty bowl on top of the ice. Set aside.
  • In a heavy bottom sauce pan combine heavy cream, milk, and vanilla. Cook over medium heat until mixture is steaming and small bubbles start to form around the edge of the pot.
  • Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Once the milk and cream mixture is steaming, stream a ladle full of the hot mixture over the eggs while quickly whisking.
  • Add egg mixture to the saucepan, and whisk to combine. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the ice cream base reaches 180°F on an instant read thermometer.
  • Place a fine mesh strainer over the empty bowl on top of the ice bath. Stain ice cream base. Chill ice cream base until it has stopped steaming. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, or up to overnight.
  • Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process for about 20-25 minutes, or according to the manufacturer's directions. 
  • The ice cream will be on the soft side but can be eaten right away or put into the freezer to "cure" or harden up for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 - 3 weeks.



Learn more about how to properly store homemade ice cream.


Calories: 2888kcal | Carbohydrates: 232g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 207g | Saturated Fat: 123g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 63g | Cholesterol: 1567mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 852mg | Sugar: 217g | Vitamin A: 8648IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 749mg | Iron: 3mg