The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

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The Best Vanilla Ice Cream lives up to its name.  It is rich, creamy and luxurious!  The recipe has to be my favorite ever, from culinary scientist Alton Brown.  No adaptations, no substitutions, this recipe is PERFECT and is our go to ice cream. 



The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla bean ice cream is a fantastic frozen dessert any time of year. This homemade ice cream recipe is inspired by Alton Brown’s version.

Enjoy!  Plan on this not lasting very long.  I have yet to find someone who didn’t like this…  It is THAT good!!!

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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best ever vanilla ice cream in dish

The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

Donna Elick
Vanilla bean ice cream is a fantastic frozen dessert any time of year. This homemade ice cream is inspired by Alton Brown's recipe.
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Inactive Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 6


  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 9 ounces sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Place the half-and-half and the heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color.
  • Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat.
  • Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F.
  • Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.
  • Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 541cal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 346mg | Sodium: 97mg | Sugar: 49g | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally Published September 2011.

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  1. I haven't had homemade ice cream is AGES. Try a good 6 years. This looks SOOOO good ๐Ÿ™‚ I'd eat it for breakfast right now if I could!

  2. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! No other words here. Homemade vanilla ice cream is my all-time favorite. Throw a little vanilla bean in there and I'm even happier. Looks delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I just had to check it out because of the name! It sounds perfect for our fall weather here, now in the high 80s. Hehe! ๐Ÿ™‚ and your's in the 90's. Yum Yum delicious!

  4. Summertime is one of my favorite times of the year to go out and find the best vanilla ice cream. I love all flavors of ice cream, but a scoop of true pure vanilla is the ultimate sophisticated dessert

  5. 5 stars
    I love homemade ice-cream and your recipes make it easy! i love this vanilla ice-cream so much, and love to use it for milkshakes too!

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