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Homemade rich and creamy Vanilla Ice Cream made with egg yolks, granulated and brown sugar, cream, and vanilla beans is a delicious dessert!

homemade ice vanilla bean ice cream in glass with mint on top

Why this recipe works so well:

  • I LOVE vanilla beans!!! They add so much flavor to this recipe. They are expensive but totally worth it.
  • This recipe uses both granulated and golden brown sugar. The combination is the perfect sweet mixture.
  • I use both half and half and heavy cream. This combination creates a creamy ice cream that’s not too heavy.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Start by whisking the egg yolks. Then whisk in the sugar and blend until the mixture is light in color and the sugar has dissolved. whisked egg yolks with sugar in bowl
  2. Next, heat up the cream and milk with the vanilla beans. You want to heat it gently until the mixture starts to gently simmer. You want to scald the cream.
  3. You will then take a ladle of the scalded cream mixture and add it to the egg yolk mixture. If you just add a small amount and keep on whisking, you’ll slowly raise the temperature of the eggs rather then cook them. Tempered egg yolk with hot cream for ice cream recipe
  4. You will continue adding the cream to the egg mixture, one spoonful at a time, until it is all mixed together. Then, you will take the entire mixture back to the stove and gently heat it until it thickens. This is your ice cream base. Base for vanilla bean ice cream in bowl
  5. The base is thoroughly chilled, the vanilla bean pods are removed, and then the mixture is processed in an ice cream maker.

Red ice cream scoop with melting vanilla bean ice cream

Recipe tips for perfect results:

  • This recipe really works best when real vanilla beans are used. I always have plump, moist, and preserved vanilla beans on hand because I make my own homemade vanilla extract. I bought them in bulk and just pull the vanilla beans out when I need them.
  • If you don’t have vanilla beans, you can substitute with 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste or 2-3 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract.
  • If you make this recipe with vanilla beans, you can add 1 tablespoon of vodka (optional) to the ice cream base. This will help prevent any ice crystals from forming when it freezes.
  • For best results, freeze the ice cream maker bowl for at least 24 hours prior to using to ensure it’s as cold as it can get.
  • Since you separate the eggs and only use the yolks in this recipe, save the whites for an omelet or a scramble. You can also use them to make Angel Food Cake or Macarons.

close up photo of vanilla bean ice cream in glass

I love making homemade ice cream. Some of my favorite recipes include Coconut Ice CreamOld Fashioned Strawberry Ice Cream, and Bourbon Nectarine Ice Cream.

Everyone loves a good ice cream cake, but what about a fun Inside Out Birthday Ice Cream Cake with homemade ice cream? You could also make some delicious two-ingredient Chocolate Magic Shell to put on top.

And if you love cooking with vanilla beans, you’ll want to make Brown Butter Vanilla Bean FrostingVanilla Bean Honeycrisp ApplesauceSalted Vanilla Bean CaramelsCanned Vanilla Bean Peaches, Homemade Vanilla Pudding, or Vanilla Fudge!

Did you make this recipe? Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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Extreme Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Prep20 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Total35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
There is nothing quite like a scoop of homemade rich and creamy Extreme Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Its the perfect dessert.


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  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Add granulated and brown sugars and whisk together until lightened in color and smooth.
  • Pour the half and half, the heavy cream, and the vanilla beans into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally while pressing onto the vanilla beans to extract the flavor and the seeds. Once the cream has been gently scalded, remove the pot from the heat.
  • Use a ladle to transfer one spoonful at a time of the hot cream to the egg yolk mixture while whisking the entire time. Your goal is to slowly mix in the hot mixture to temper the eggs but not to cook them. Continue to slowly add the hot cream while whisking until all of it has been thoroughly combined.
  • Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over medium low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. For me, this was more of a gut feel thing to know when it was ready, but you can definitely tell when the mixture has thickened. Do not let it get to the point where the eggs begin to cook. You should be able to touch the mixture with your finger without burning it.
  • Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least four hours. You can also place the bowl inside a larger bowl that has ice in it for more rapid cooling.
  • Remove vanilla bean pods from the mixture, scraping out as many seeds as you can to stir back in. Pour ice cream base into an ice cream maker where the ice cream maker bowl has been frozen and process according to the manufacturer's directions. I was able to process the entire batch at once in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Freeze for a couple of hours to allow the ice cream to harden. Then scoop and enjoy.


Recipe makes about a quart of homemade vanilla ice cream.  Serving size based on 1/2 cup per person.


Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 185mg, Sodium: 43mg, Potassium: 122mg, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 815IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 103mg, Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated with more helpful information and cooking tips. Don’t worry – I didn’t change the recipe!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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    1. No issues with making more, but you’ll still have to run the base through the ice cream maker in small batches.

    1. This recipe won’t work without the egg yolks, but I’m sure you can find plenty of egg free ice cream recipes out there. They just will taste more like frozen sweetened whipped cream and not ice cream.

  1. Do you find that scraping out the vanilla seeds enhances the flavor at all? I can’t wait to make this for thanksgiving dessert!

    1. You know what? I never ended up scraping them for this recipe. Because they were split lengthwise and allowed to stay in the mixture the whole time (even during the churning process), I found most of the seeds came out of the pod and scraping wasn’t necessary. It wouldn’t hurt to scrape them though! -Krissy

  2. 5 stars
    Simple is best. Love the flavor of this vanilla ice cream! Doesn’t even need chocolate syrup (although my kids topped it with a little drizzle).

  3. Just out of curiosity, what is the purpose of the brown sugar? Is it flavor or texture or both? I’ve never heard of using brown sugar in an ice cream recipe, and I’ve made (quite) a few!

    1. Hi Vanessa, I used brown sugar in this particular recipe because I thought it would compliment the richness of the vanilla cream and it totally did! It was just one of those things I tried and loved the results.