Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

Discover the magic of this vanilla bean ice cream recipe

I’ve tried many a vanilla bean ice cream recipe in my time. A few tweaks to the recipe can produce a wide range of flavours and textures. This recipe I’m going to show you today uses a French vanilla ice cream base. This style of ice cream uses eggs which is why it has a slightly yellow colour.

You’ll need to leave the custard base in the fridge overnight to help infuse the amazing flavours of the vanilla bean. But the wait is definitely worth it. It’s hard to beat vanilla bean for flavour and the eggs yolks create a softer, creamier texture.

If you prefer a lighter, less intensely flavoured ice cream base then this vanilla recipe may work better for you. It’s works well with a lot of different add-ins, is quick to make and is preferred by kids most of the time.

vanilla bean ice cream recipe

vanilla bean ice cream recipe

On the topic of egg yolks it’s worth reading up about the role egg yolks play in ice cream. I recommend you test out different quantities of yolk to see what you like best.

Here’s a quick reference for using eggs in ice cream

The less eggs used, the more icy and faster to melt. The more egg yolks used, the creamier, chewier and slower to melt. However, increased eggs leads to a heavier, more eggy ice cream which may not be to everyone’s liking.

A quick rundown on vanilla beans

The vanilla bean isn’t exactly the most inspiring looking spice in the kitchen. It’s a dried up looking brown pod with a slightly waxy outside layer. But slice into the pod and you’ll discover thousands of little black specks of flavour-filled deliciousness.

At the time of writing this recipe, vanilla was the second most expensive spice on the market – the most expensive being saffron. But don’t let this stop you from using them! A little goes a long way and the flavour is a world away from using vanilla essence.

A sliced open vanilla bean pod

The foodie’s version of black gold

Once you have your vanilla bean ready to use in the ice cream, you simply take a sharp non-serrated knife and slice into the pod lengthways. Then you scrape out the black insides and it’s ready for your perfect vanilla bean ice cream recipe.

Don’t throw out the outer pods – they’re full of flavour too. You can use these in two ways:

  1. Toss them into your ice cream base when you’re heating up the milk then discard just before churning the ice cream.
  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.

A cheaper alternative to vanilla beans

Vanilla beans are quite expensive and the cost can add up if you’re using them frequently. If you want a cheaper option, but don’t want to use vanilla essence, consider using a vanilla bean paste. This option offers a similar flavour profile to the bean, however, you don’t get the same intensity.

vanilla bean ice cream in a scoop

vanilla bean ice cream in a scoop

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

Prep Time: 20 mins
Yields: 1L


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


  1. Heat milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan over a med-high heat until simmering. Remove from heat before boiling.
  2. Whisk yolks in a bowl until pale then slowly pour in 1 cup of the hot milk, all the while whisking.
  3. 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).
  4. Pour liquid into an airtight container and add to fridge overnight.
  5. The next day, pour the custard base through a strainer and add to ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturers instructions.
  6. Once churned, add to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours.


User Rating

4.5 (8 Votes)




A Melbourne guy who loves to create amazing ice cream.

1 Reply to "Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe"

  • Vanilla Pear Ice Cream Recipe | Creamish | Homemade Ice Cream June 30, 2017 (9:46 am)

    […] cream base. There are plenty of good vanilla ice cream recipes available but my favourite is this recipe which uses vanilla beans. I understand this ingredient costs a fortune so if cost is a factor then you can get away with […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.