Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

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Our old fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream recipe is a summer staple to remember. Mix the ice cream base with this family favorite recipe; then freeze it, using an old fashioned ice cream maker. Best ice cream for family gatherings and summer holidays!

My family's favorite old fashioned ice cream recipe has been a part of every summer for a long time, as far back as I can remember. While it's morphed from person to person, it's pretty much the same ice cream I remember enjoying with family on special summer occasions gone by. 

When we recently visited Boquillas, one of the main souvenirs we made a beeline for was a huge bottle of Mexican vanilla. I used to bake with it as a teenager; it has the best flavor, and guess how much this huge bottle cost when we picked it up in Mexico? A little over $13. If you've noticed how much vanilla costs lately, you know that's a bargain.

So far, we've made a batch of chocolate chip cookies with it, and then we made a big freezer of old fashioned homemade ice cream. It has amazing flavor and makes the best old fashioned vanilla ice cream ever. 

old fashioned homemade ice cream in a green pioneer woman mixing bowl

Ingredients and Substitutions Notes:

Gather a few simple ingredients to make this old-fashioned vanilla ice cream base…

  • Large Eggs – You'll need the whole egg, yolks and all, to make this custard base. If you choose to use raw eggs to make old fashioned homemade ice cream, do keep in mind that consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. But we have personally always used raw eggs and have never had any problem. That said, some people prefer to temper and heat the eggs up to at least 160ºF in order to prevent any possible food poisoning. This is a great guide on how and why to temper eggs for custard-based ice creams. You can temper the eggs with the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk in this recipe, following the instructions in the post that I linked to above. Then just whisk everything else in as I explain in the recipe card below. If you'd rather make an egg-free version, my raw milk ice cream without eggs is the best. Don't worry, you can use store bought milk and cream if you don't have access to raw milk.
  • Pure Cane Sugar – You can use granulated sugar, as well.
  • Vanilla Extract Use a really good dark vanilla extract, real vanilla if possible.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – My dad always loved using Eagle Brand; sometimes I use that, and sometimes I use Aldi's brand.
  • Evaporated Milk – If you prefer, you can use regular milk, but I do prefer to use evaporated milk. My mom and grandma always preferred to use Milnot evaporated milk; but I've always used what I can easily get, which is sometimes Milnot and sometimes generic or Aldi's brand.
  • Salt – If possible, use a good sea salt.
  • Whole Milk – Although you can use 2% milk or 1% milk in a pinch, I highly recommend that you use whole milk, because it will make your ice cream much more creamy. You can even use Half-and-Half or part heavy cream to get a creamier texture.
  • Ice and Rock Salt You'll need crushed ice and rock salt to freeze the ice cream. While you can find rock salt online and smaller bags or boxes at the grocery store, sometimes you can get a bigger and less expensive bag at a hardware store or feed store. So just keep that in mind.

Kitchen Tools and Equipment You'll Need:

Before you get started, you may want to check out our complete guide to ice cream accessories and tools for making ice cream at home. It's the ultimate list for every ice cream lover's kitchen and especially helpful if you're planning an ice cream social.

Mixer or Blender – A mixer or blender will ensure you mix everything together really well. I will say, a blender is less messy when mixing the ingredients for old fashioned homemade ice cream.

Ice Cream Freezer – This is an ice cream maker recipe that makes 4 quarts of ice cream, so you’ll need an ice cream maker or electric freezer that will churn ice cream.

Food Storage Containers – We use dishes similar to these to store our old fashioned ice cream in the freezer, especially when we have a big batch.

Ice Cream Scoop – Can’t have ice cream without a scooper.

How to Make Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Use a mixer to mix up homemade vanilla ice cream with eggs; this will ensure that the ingredients are mixed really well, especially the eggs*.

  1. Start by creaming (or mixing) the eggs and the sugar together.
  2. Then add in the vanilla extract to the egg mixture. Did you know you can even make your own vanilla?
adding Mexican vanilla to mixer for homemade ice cream recipe
  1. Next, mix in the sweetened condensed milk, scraping all the ooey gooey liquid out of the can with a spatula
adding sweetened condensed milk to mixer to make homemade ice cream with sweetened condensed milk
  1. Then add both cans of evaporated milk. 
adding evaporated milk to mixture in Bosch mixer to make homemade ice cream with evaporated milk and eggs
  1. Add in a good-sized dash of salt, which equals out to about a teaspoon.
  2. Mix everything together well.
  3. Pour the mixture into the metal canister of your ice cream maker. 
  4. Finish topping off the canister with whole milk, making sure to fill it about 3/4 of the way full, leaving room for expansion as it freezes. Your metal canister should have a fill line.
filled ice cream maker canister with old fashioned ice cream mixture

Make sure your ice cream freezer, especially the freezer bowl or canister, is washed out good. We store ours in the garage, so we always have to wash it before we use it.

How to Freeze Homemade Ice Cream with an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Maker

Freezing the mixture to make old fashioned ice cream is fairly easy, especially once you get it going. You will need to stay with it so you can monitor if it needs more ice, rock salt, or needs unplugged when done. 

While I always advise you to follow manufacturer instructions for your specific ice cream maker, here are a few tips.

  1. Put the lid on, place the metal canister down into the bucket of your ice cream maker, set the motor in place, and plug it in to turn it on and get the motor running, which will start to turn the canister.
  2. Crush a big bag of ice, gradually pouring ice around the canister. Tip: You can add up to a gallon of water if needed, as well. We sometimes do this because our motor will seize up. Adding a bit of water will help it keep turning.
  3. Add 2-3 cups of rock salt as you add the ice, making sure to top it off with rock salt.
ice cream maker with ice and rock salt, freezing old fashioned ice cream
  1. Let the motor run until it stops. Once the ice cream freezes, the motor on your ice cream maker will stop churning. Unplug it immediately. This should signal that the ice cream is completely frozen. Wipe any excess ice or rock salt off the lid and out from around the top of the canister. Then remove the lid to reveal the best vanilla ice cream ever.
creamy old fashioned vanilla ice cream in metal canister of ice cream maker set in ice

Carefully remove the churning paddle, and let your kids battle it out over who gets it. Oh, the memories! 

churning paddle in canister of old fashioned vanilla ice cream

Serve the ice cream immediately.

scooping old fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream out of an ice cream maker

If you’re not ready to serve it up just yet, you can always leave the lid on, remove the motor, top the canister off with ice, and place a towel or two over it to insulate it and keep it cold. 

green bowl full of homemade vanilla ice cream

Homemade vanilla ice cream pairs really well with peach cobbler, blueberry cobbler, and apple crumb pie. I LOVE a scoop of vanilla ice cream on this Dutch oven cherry cobbler! You can use leftovers to make delicious homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Favorite Toppings and Mix-Ins for Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

There are so many things you can mix into your ice cream to make it even more fun, especially with kids.

  • Fruit or Fruit Jam – We especially love mixing strawberry jam or old fashioned blackberry jam into our ice cream or on top of our ice cream to make ice cream sundaes.
  • Chocolate Syrup, Butterscotch Topping, Caramel Sauce, etc. – With whipped cream and a cherry on top, classic.
  • Oreo Cookies – I especially love crushing up Oreo Minis.
  • Chocolate candies – Like M&M's, Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and more treats.
  • Chocolate Chips and Sliced Strawberries
  • Brownies or Cookies
old fashioned ice cream in green pioneer woman bowl with spoon

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's

How should you store leftover homemade ice cream?

We always have a lot of leftover ice cream when we make it homemade, so we purchased some of these freezer containers to hold all the leftovers. They're big enough to hold 2-3+ servings of ice cream. Then we just stick it down in the freezer. If you have an upright, I'd place it on the shelves, rather than the door, so it doesn't melt or have a higher risk of freezer burn. Homemade ice cream usually keeps for up to about a month in the freezer.

How can I get a more firm consistency to this ice cream?

If you prefer a more firm ice cream than soft-serve that you can actually scoop, just place your ice cream in ice cream containers and stick it in the freezer, 'til it reaches the preferred consistency. It'll usually firm up enough to scoop onto an ice cream cone within 3-4 hours.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes for Ice Cream Makers

If you love this ice cream recipe as much as we do (isn't it a great recipe?!), you'll love these flavors too…

green bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream with spoon

If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. And subscribe to my email list too!

old fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream in a green pioneer woman bowl

Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Our homemade vanilla ice cream recipe has been a summer staple for as long as I can remember. How to make it the old fashioned way using an ice cream maker.
4.50 from 212 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff

Ingredients

Ice Cream:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups cane sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 24 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups whole milk

Freezing Supplies:

Instructions

  • Start by creaming (or mixing) the eggs and the sugar together using a mixer.
  • Then add in the vanilla extract.
  • Next, mix in the sweetened condensed milk, scraping all the ooey gooey liquid out of the can with a spatula.
  • Add both cans of evaporated milk.
  • Add in a good-sized dash of salt, which equals out to about a teaspoon, and mix everything together well.
  • Pour the mixture into the metal canister of your ice cream maker.
  • Finish topping off the canister with whole milk, making sure to fill it about 3/4 of the way full, leaving room for expansion as it freezes. Your metal canister should have a fill line.
  • Put the lid on, and place the metal canister down into the bucket of your ice cream maker.
  • Crush a big bag of ice, gradually pouring ice around the canister. Tip: You can add up to a gallon of water if needed, as well. We sometimes do this because our motor will seize up. Adding a bit of water will help it keep turning.
  • Add 2-3 cups of rock salt as you add the ice, making sure to top it off with rock salt.
  • Let the motor run until it stops. Once the ice cream is frozen, the motor on your ice cream maker will stop churning.
  • Unplug it immediately. This should signal that the ice cream is completely frozen.
  • Wipe any excess ice or rock salt off the lid and out from around the top of the canister. Then remove the lid.
  • Carefully remove the churning paddle.
  • Serve the ice cream immediately. If you’re not ready to serve it up just yet, you can always leave the lid on, remove the motor, top the canister off with ice, and place a towel or two over it to insulate it and keep it cold.

Notes

*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. Some people prefer to temper and heat the eggs up to at least 160ºF in order to prevent any possible food poisoning. This is a great guide on how and why to temper eggs for custard-based ice creams. You can temper the eggs with the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and whole milk in this recipe, following the instructions at the link above. Then just whisk everything else in as I explain in the recipe card instructions above. 
*You can use Half & Half in place of the whole milk if you want an even creamier texture to your ice cream.
FAVORITE MIX-INS FOR ICE CREAM
There are so many things you can mix into your ice cream to make it even more fun, especially with kids.
  • Fruit or Fruit Jam – We especially love mixing strawberry jam or blackberry jam into our ice cream.
  • Chocolate Syrup, Butterscotch Topping, Caramel Topping, etc. – With whipped cream and a cherry on top.
  • Oreo Cookies – I especially love crushing up Oreo Minis.
  • Chocolate candies – Like M&M's, Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and more.
  • Brownies or Cookies
How to Store Leftover Vanilla Ice Cream
We always have a lot of leftover ice cream when we make it homemade, so we purchased some of these freezer containers to hold all the leftovers. They're big enough to hold 2-3+ servings of ice cream.
Then we just stick it down in the freezer. If you have an upright, I'd place it on the shelves, rather than the door, so it doesn't melt or have a higher risk of freezer burn.
Homemade ice cream usually keeps for up to about a month in the freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 17212mg | Sugar: 35g
Tried this Recipe? Tag us Today!Mention @mellockcuff or tag #aomrecipes!
double image with top image of homemade ice cream in metal canister with churn paddle; middle text of homemade ice vanilla ice cream from adventuresofmel.com; and bottom image scooping ice cream out of ice cream maker

96 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I grew up on the recipe in Alabama. I made it every year like my granny taught me, but I only use the yolk of the egg and not the whites because I do temper my custard as long as I use eggs manly because we take the ice cream to picnic by the lake the first Sunday every August for generations back. So to be safe and do it this way, make sure you buy “pasteurized” eggs. All eggs are supposed to be in America, but if the package doesn’t say so or have a “P” indicator, don’t trust and chance you may or someone that already have an illness that weaken their system won’t get sick. It only takes about 15–20 minutes of constant stirring over med-low heat until it warms up the entire mixture and coats the spoon. Let it cool. Add your vanilla after it cools. Then set it in the fridge overnight. Next day, all the flavors had time to sit, and you can proceed to freeze as instructed.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! But serving size is incorrect on nutrition. It says 1 gram is a serving. I see it says 20 servings- I just need to know the size of one single serving. Any way I could get an updated number?

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    In the last year I have made this MANY times. It reminds me of my granny’s ice cream. According to my sister it has the exact ingredients with the exception of condensed milk. Hope you and your family have a safe and happy 4th of July. Thank you for sharing your recipe 😊

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    I grew up on this recipe. Never, ever had an issue with raw eggs. As for ice cream makers? Find yourself an old hand cranked model. The ice cream is more ‘hardened’ right out of the freezer.

    A rule to live by; scrape the paddle, removing any ‘low hanging’ ice cream, leaving just enough for the dog to enjoy some!

    Reply
  5. 3 stars
    This tasted GREAT until I remembered the part about adding a tsp of salt and stirred it in… UGH… Sniff… this sadly popped the b’day balloons… way too much salt. :'(

    Reply

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