Fifteen Spatulas

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine

As I promised last week, here is a post on how to make french vanilla ice cream at home, no ice cream machine required.  This is basically a spin on a semifreddo, which I have made so many times I could do it with my eyes closed.  What’s with all the semifreddo in my life?  Well, after I tasted some, I simply didn’t care for storebought ice cream anymore.  Most of them are these atrocious guar gum xanthan gum whatever gum filled fakeries (exception: Haagen Dazs, which is pretty expensive), and this way I can put whatever I want in my ice cream for CHEAP.  I’ve done this as pistachio, mango, peanut butter, chocolate, melon, and so on, but today I’m going to show you how to make some good old vanilla, so you can take that Summer Berry Cobbler Ramekin Pie I posted the other day to the next level.

Start by whisking up eggs and sugar in a double boiler until thickened and frothy:

Fold whipped cream into the custard, and place it in a glass container:

Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so a skin doesn’t form:

Freeze immediately for 4-6 hours, and enjoy!

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Machine

Yield: 6-8 servings


2 extra large eggs
4 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar+2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract


Start by setting up a double boiler (a heatproof bowl set over a pot with an inch of simmering water), and prepare an ice bath that the bowl can be set into later. Place the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt into the bowl. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds, and add those and the scraped vanilla bean to the bowl as well. Cook for about 10 minutes, whisking frequently so the egg doesn't scramble**, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Immediately remove the custard and place it into the ice bath to cool, and remove the vanilla bean.

**If you do happen to scramble some of the eggs, don't worry. Just strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve after it's reached 160 and beat air back into it with a hand mixer.
In a medium bowl using a mixer, whip the heavy cream until a little frothy. Add in the 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whip to soft peaks.

Remove the egg custard from the ice bath, and add 1/3 of the whipped cream to it to lighten. Fold in the rest of the cream and pour into a container. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard so a skin doesn't form. Freeze immediately for 4-6 hours, depending on your freezer. Enjoy your homemade ice cream!!!!

Leave a comment:


  1. fatbottomedfriends posted on June 28, 2011 at 10:46 am (#)

    Joanne!!! This looks fantastic!! I can’t wait to try it… Thanks for thinking of us!! :)

  2. Mi Vida en un Dulce posted on June 28, 2011 at 11:11 am (#)

    OH…ice cream without a machine, that is exactly what I need, it’s very expensive to have one here in my country, so I never make ice cream at home…now I can try. Thanks Joanne…!!!

    • Joanne replied on June 29th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      I’m so glad! Let me know how it goes =)

  3. Meg posted on June 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm (#)

    How creative and yummy! I’m a vanilla freak, so this is something I could definitely get behind. I would never have tried to make ice cream on my own (with or without machine), but I think I could handle this!

  4. magicofspice posted on June 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm (#)

    Your ice cream looks wonderful!

  5. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts posted on June 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm (#)

    Great job! Sounds delicious! I have an ice cream maker I got YEARS ago, but nice to know you can make it without!

    • Joanne replied on June 29th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      If I got one as a gift I would definitely use it, but for now, there’s not enough room in my kitchen/I’d buy a few other things before I bought an ice cream machine. But one day I’ll get one!

  6. Platanos, Mangoes and Me! posted on June 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm (#)

    My mom would make this and we called it “limber”. She used to freeze them in ice cube trays

  7. Andrea posted on July 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm (#)

    OMG I can’t wait to try this!! THanks, Joanne!

  8. caligirl posted on August 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm (#)

    looks so delicious it’s hard to believe it’s so simple. i’ll give it a whirl.

  9. Maggy posted on October 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm (#)

    I did this recipe and i only had Vanilla bean paste that 1 Tbsp equals to 1 whole vanilla bean. My family loved it so much they are already planning for me to do the next one. Excellent recipe would recommend.

    • Joanne Ozug replied on October 11th, 2013 at 9:35 am

      Hi Maggy, I’m so happy to hear your family enjoyed this recipe! And yes, vanilla bean paste is a great substitute!

  10. Francesca posted on February 9, 2014 at 6:44 pm (#)

    SOO good! tried it tonight. Didn’t take 30 min to prepare… the longest thing was the wait – and it was definetly WORTH it. i didn’t have vanilla bean nor paste so i used more vanilla xtract – about 1-1/2 tbsp
    Thank you!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on February 10th, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      That’s wonderful Francesca, glad you enjoyed it!!

  11. Judy posted on February 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm (#)

    Where do you get vanilla bean or paste?

  12. Emily posted on August 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm (#)

    I would love to try this – after looking at quite a few ice cream recipes (all without ice cream machine), yours look the simplest! Yours doesn’t require frequent stirring after putting in the freezer – which most other recipes say to do (in order to prevent build up of ice in the ice cream). So your ice cream still turns out creamy without stirring while freezing? Thanks for sharing!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 20th, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Emily, yes it’s very creamy, and what allows it to work is the egg yolks. No need to stir mid-freezing. Hope you give it a try!

  13. Gary posted on August 15, 2014 at 10:26 am (#)

    We made this last night and were so excited to try it, it was part of our breakfast this morning. OUTSTANDING and easy to make. I doubled the recipe and have a surprising amount of Icecream. I was concerned about the texture being “grainy” or “icy” but it is not! It’s smooth and creamy and better than store bought. Just an opinion but since you need vanilla beans (which can be expensive) don’t cheap out on the vanilla extract. Buy a good quality one …you’ll be glad you did as the flavor is so much more intense and pure. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 20th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Gary, wonderful!!!! So glad you enjoyed the ice cream. And yes, it’s wonderful it’s super creamy!

  14. Emily posted on August 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm (#)

    Ended up trying it yesterday and it was FANTASTIC!! Love the creamy texture, tastes like expensive ice cream, and best of all, it wasn’t hard to make! Would love to make other versions, such as chocolate, various fruits, etc. Can you tell us how? Can I just add cocoa powder?

    • Joanne Ozug replied on August 20th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Oh you did try it! Didn’t see your new comment until now. Glad you enjoyed it!!! You can definitely play around with different versions. My favorite actually happens to be peanut butter. Just make sure that whatever flavors you’re adding, you’re doing it before you add in the whipped cream (just so you don’t deflate the mixture). For the chocolate version, make sure the cocoa powder is cooked in the egg mixture since raw cocoa powder would make it a bit unpalatable. Enjoy!

      • Emily replied on August 20th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

        Thank you for the cocoa powder tip! Do you recommend cocoa powder or melted semi-sweet chocolate? Peanut butter sounds awesome, how much do you put in it and does it need to be softened first? If adding fruit, like mango or strawberries, is it better to use chopped fruit or mashed/pureed fruit? Sorry for the questions! Just want to increase my chances of success when trying different flavors :)

        • Joanne Ozug replied on September 2nd, 2014 at 9:59 am

          I usually do cocoa powder with ice cream. For PB, I usually add about 2 tbsp of peanut butter. For fruit it’d probably better to do pureed because fruit chunks are hard to bite when frozen.

  15. Dani posted on October 20, 2014 at 1:29 am (#)

    This looks great – though if one were to modify this to make dulce de leche ice cream, do you have any suggestions for how much should be added?

    • Joanne Ozug replied on October 28th, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Dulce de leche would work well here, however you’d want to cut down on the added sugar since the dulce de leche has a lot in it. You should simply sweeten it to taste, but I’d imagine you’d use about 1/2 cup. Start there and taste.

  16. Gofi posted on March 16, 2015 at 2:31 pm (#)

    Lovely wil try for sure as I m new to baking I ve found it easy with step guide

  17. Gabriel posted on July 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm (#)

    Hi how much does this recipe make