This is the best Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe! No ice cream machine required and it’s the perfect combination of fluffy and creamy with so much sweet vanilla flavor!
Guess what?! I have great news — you can make the BEST vanilla ice cream at home AND you don’t need an ice cream machine!
You’re only 5 ingredients away from the BEST vanilla ice cream recipe.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – the sweetener for our ice cream. It provides a rich, sweet, vanilla-y flavor and creamy texture.
- Unsalted Butter – adds a rich, buttery flavor and smooth texture.
- Vanilla Extract – adds extra warmth and depth to the ice cream.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – whipped until stiff peaks form to create extra fluffy ice cream.
- Vanilla Pudding Mix – adds additional vanilla flavor and gives the ice cream structure.
How to make
Whisk, whip, fold, and freeze! No ice cream machine required. Who knew homemade ice cream could be so easy?!
- In a large bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla.
- In another bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to whip together heavy whipping cream and pudding mix.
- Fold the whipped cream mixture into the milk mixture then pour into a freezer-safe container.
- Once frozen, serve and enjoy!
How long to freeze
Freeze ice cream for at least 8 hours to allow it to fully harden. If you’re thinking ahead, make the ice cream in the morning and it’ll be ready for dessert after dinner!
How do you make ice cream fluffy?
Here are a couple of ways you can ensure that your ice cream. is extra light and fluffy!
- Use a hand-mixer or stand mixer. Whip the heavy whipping cream and pudding mix together using a mixer to make it extra fluffy before incorporating it into the other ingredients.
- Don’t over-stir. Fold the whipped cream mixture into the condensed milk mixture using a spatula until it’s just combined. Don’t over mix it or you’ll lose the air in the whipped cream.
Is there vanilla extract in vanilla ice cream?
For this vanilla ice cream recipe, we’re using both vanilla extract AND vanilla pudding mix for extract vanilla flavor.
You could omit the extract and use fresh vanilla beans instead if you like. One vanilla bean is equivalent to about 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract, so you’ll need about half the seeds from the vanilla bean for this recipe.
I love the plain vanilla ice cream but I also love adding texture with one (or more) mix-ins! Here are some ideas:
- Candy. Try crushed peppermint, M&Ms, or bite sized pieces of your favorite candy bar.
- Cookies. Add in crushed up Oreo or pieces of chocolate chip cookies.
- Chocolate chips. Peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips would also work.
- Sauce. Try swirling in peanut butter, hot fudge, caramel, jam, or more!
- Brownies. Whip up a batch of homemade brownies, let them cool, then chop and mix.
I also love serving this vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of caramel or hot fudge sauce and a generous layer of sprinkles.
How to store
This homemade vanilla ice cream will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks!
Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 (3.4 oz) package vanilla pudding mix
- In a large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, butter, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream and pudding mix together with a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream mixture into the condensed milk mixture with a spatula.
- Pour into a freezer safe container.
- Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.