You don’t have to worry about getting that rich vanilla bean flavor from store bought ice cream anymore, my friends.
This is the kind of frozen dessert that’s not only easy to make at home, but it only requires three ingredients total.
Pull out that wonderful ice cream machine you love and trust, and just like that, celebrating summer just got a whole lot easier.
Vanilla bean is one of my favorite types of ice cream. I know it might sound kind of basic, especially compared to other flavor-packed recipes I’ve made like summery peach and rum raisin, but it’s one of those flavors that reminds me of so many happy dessert memories.
The first time I made this recipe, I declared it my favorite version of all time. I stand by that today.
It’s so simple to make. It takes just three ingredients, and each of them shines in the final product. Using high quality ingredients is the key to getting the best results.
We used raw goat’s milk, but raw cow’s milk would be the next best thing, followed by pasteurized whole milk, and then perhaps coconut milk for a dairy-free version. Whatever type you choose to use, be sure to select one with a high fat content for a creamy texture.
Technically an ice milk, it’s a lower fat option than its heavy cream-containing counterparts. And it’s egg-free as well, an added bonus in other recipes like our pomegranate orange ice cream, so you don’t need to spend any time hovering over the stove while you wait for your custard to thicken.
Whole vanilla beans are packed with seeds that bring a big wallop of flavor, and every scoop has those little flecks throughout to let you know this homemade treat was made with the real deal. I know that buying them at the store can get pretty expensive, so I like to purchase these in bulk.
If you store them correctly, then they will last for a good amount of time, upwards of a year.
Keep them in a cool, dark place in an airtight container, or in a plastic bag that’s been zipped up tight with your vacuum sealer. You can make so many different recipes with them, and if you keep a few extras in your pantry, you can make this dessert over and over again all summer long.
The maple syrup adds sweetness, and just a touch of earthy, rich flavor that pairs so well with the vanilla.
This simple recipe takes just minutes to pull together before you put the base in your ice cream machine to churn. Then all you have to do is freeze it until it is set. In just a few hours, you will be in vanilla heaven.
I love a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top, but you can top it with fruit preserves, sprinkles, whipped cream, chopped nuts, and so much more.
Grab your favorite ice cream scoop and a few bowls or cones, and dig in!Print
Simple homemade frozen treats aren’t easy to come by, but this 3-ingredient vanilla ice cream is a cinch to prepare. Try coconut milk for a dairy-free version!
- 3 1/2 cups raw goat’s, whole cow’s, or coconut milk, divided
- 4 whole vanilla beans
- 1 cup pure maple syrup (Grade A dark recommended)
- Freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker for at least 24 hours before you start the recipe, or according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Put ½ cup milk in your Vitamix or other high-speed blender.
- Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the blender. Add the maple syrup.
- Blend on high until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the remaining milk. Blend until well-combined and frothy. Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer to an airtight container with a lid and chill in the freezer until set, about 4 hours.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Ice Cream
- Method: No-Cook, Freezer
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla ice cream, dairy-free
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 24 hours before you start this recipe.
Different models will have different directions, so be sure to follow them and plan ahead. If you are using a hand churn ice cream maker, set it up now.
Step 2 – Measure Ingredients
Measure out the ingredients listed on the ingredients list.
Place 1/2 cup of your desired milk in a high-speed blender.
Step 3 – Add Vanilla
Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise.
Use a small knife to scrape the seeds out.
Add the seeds to the blender.
Step 4 – Make Base
Blend on high until well combined.
Add the rest of the milk. Continue to blend until frothy and well combined.
Step 5 – Freeze
Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer the semi-frozen mixture to an airtight container with a lid. Freeze until set, for at least 4 hours.
Allow to defrost for a few minutes on the counter before scooping and serving.
Go Dairy-Free for a New Twist
Besides choosing pure, high-quality ingredients to make this recipe, selecting a full fat milk option is the most important factor to creating this homemade treat. But you can easily make this frozen dessert dairy-free by using full fat coconut milk.
It’s a nice twist because it adds a touch of coconut flavor to the party, and all of your lactose-free friends can join in the fun.
Want to make more frozen treats for dessert this summer? Check out these recipes:
- 4-Ingredient Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
- Grapefruit and Honey Sorbet
- Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt
- Strawberry Walnut Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
- Orange Sherbet
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Cherry
And for the fall season, check out our pumpkin spice ice cream to make all autumn long!
What will you top yours with? Bowl or cone? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe after you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on November 14, 2013. Last updated: July 27, 2021 at 19:15 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.