Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links which means we receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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 homemade ice cream for family gatherings and summer holidays!

Along with old fashioned banana ice cream, 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 homemade old fashioned ice cream recipe I remember enjoying with family on special summer occasions gone by. 

When we visited Boquillas, one of the main souvenirs we came home with was a huge bottle of Mexican vanilla. 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. 

When You'll Want to Make Old Fashioned Ice Cream

You can make a batch of homemade ice cream for an ordinary everyday treat, but there are a few special occasions when you'll definitely want to grab the ice cream maker and get freezing.

  • Family Gatherings – Whether it's a holiday or just Sunday family dinner, family gatherings are the best time to make a freezer full of this delicious ice cream.
  • Holidays – Make a refreshing batch of old fashion ice cream for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day… Even holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving, to go with all those delectable desserts on the dessert table.
  • Potlucks and Backyard BBQ's – Church potlucks are one of the best times to serve this old fashioned ice cream maker recipe.
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. (Just a note for housekeeping purposes: If you choose to make an old fashioned homemade ice cream recipe with raw eggs, 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.) That said, we have always made homemade ice cream with eggs and have never had a problem. However, if you're leery, some people prefer to temper and heat the eggs up to at least 160ºF in order to prevent any possible food poisoning. Here's 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 called for in this recipe, while following the instructions in that guide. 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, using whole milk from our milk cow, is the best. Don't worry, you can use store bought milk and cream if you don't have access to raw milk.
  • 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 to make this homemade ice cream with sweetened condensed milk and whole milk.
  • 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 when making evaporated milk ice cream.
  • 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.

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.

Also, 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 Make Old Fashioned Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Use a mixer or blender to mix up homemade vanilla ice cream with eggs; this will ensure that the ingredients are mixed really well, especially the eggs*. This recipe fills a 4-quart ice cream maker.

  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 old fashioned 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 and whole milk
  1. Then add both cans of evaporated milk. 
adding evaporated milk to mixture in Bosch mixer to make homemade evaporated milk ice cream
  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

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's directions for your specific ice cream maker, here are a few tips.

  1. Set the freezer in a sink, or somewhere where it can drain without making a mess. Then 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 electric 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
  1. Carefully remove the churning paddle, and let your kids battle it out over who gets it. Oh, the memories! 
churning paddle in canister of vanilla old fashioned homemade ice cream
  1. 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 for an hour or two. 
scooping old fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream out of an ice cream maker

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 frozen leftovers to make delicious homemade ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cones.

What Not to Do When Making Ice Cream

I've shared how to make the ice cream, but here are a few tips for things to avoid when making and freezing homemade ice cream.

  • Avoid low-fat ingredients, for example, skim milk. You'll get the best ice cream with a creamy texture when you use full fat ingredients, like whole milk.
  • If possible, try not to mix by hand. Blend the ingredients really well, using either a blender or a mixer. Either one works just fine. This will ensure you have a smooth, creamy mixture going into the ice cream maker.
  • Try not to overfill the ice cream canister in your ice cream maker. Overfilling will lead to one big mess if it overflows while freezing. Remember… Freezing means expansion. Always leave room for expansion, and don't go over the fill line on your ice cream maker.
  • When freezing the ice cream in an ice cream maker, place the maker down in a sink, or freeze it outside on a porch. You'll flood your countertop with a mess from all the ice, water, and rock salt if you don't.
  • When the ice cream is done, don't open the lid 'til you've wiped all the rock salt and ice off the top. That way you avoid getting any of the gunk in your ice cream.

As long as you follow specific old-fashioned ice cream maker instructions for your ice cream maker, you'll be fine.

green bowl full of homemade vanilla ice cream

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. It's my favorite way to add mix-ins, especially when enjoying a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
  • 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. Each storage container is big enough to hold 2-3+ servings of ice cream. Then we just stick each airtight container 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.

Why do you put raw eggs in homemade ice cream?

Eggs give rich flavor to homemade ice cream, and they give that characteristic yellow color, as well. They act as a stabilizer and provide a custard base that turns to smooth, creamy ice cream when finished.

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 old fashioned 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: 4 quarts
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff

Ingredients

Ice Cream:

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. Here's 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 called for in this recipe, while following the instructions in that guide. 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.
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. Absolutely delicious and super easy recipe to follow!! Thank you for sharing with the video!! I’ll definitely be making this one again!!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Reminds me of my childhood! Making memories with my grandchildren now!
    Thank you so much,
    Barbara

    Reply
  3. Thanks for this recipe you are sharing. It is the same one I use regularly, including the Mexican vanilla. One alteration I do make is that after adding the evaporated milk I cook the mixture to ensure the safety of the eggs. I then put that in the fridge to cool before filling the ice cream freezer. It does real well with keeping it over night since the eggs are cooked. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • That’s a good idea, Penney! A lot of people do not like to use raw eggs in their ice cream for obvious safety reasons. We’ve never had the trouble, but cooking the eggs as you’ve done is a simple fix for that concern.

      Reply
        • Marsha, I’ve never tried it myself, but on a quick Google search, I notice that most people are steaming the eggs until they reach a “safe” temperature of around 165ºF. The trick is to keep the eggs from setting at all. They need to stay liquid in order for the recipe to work. That is why they are merely heated with a steam bath.

          Reply
  4. Thanks SO MUCH for this recipe! This is the one I grew up making with my parents. I, too, was the “motor” (😬💪🏻) and would also be assigned to sit and hold it down while others would take turns turning. Oh how I miss the good ole days.

    Reply
  5. Have you ever made the mixture up ahead of time and put in the refrigerator cir a couple of days before churning?

    Reply
      • I think his comment was more tongue-in-cheek, referring to the fact that many of us grew up BEING the motor of the original ice cream machines – we were the arms that turned the cranks that made the deliciousness that comes si easy for kids these days.

        Reply
    • I was one of those motors, those motors ran out of power way before the ice cream was don, had to bring in new motors more than one time during a making of ice cream session :)

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating





featured on ...

↑ Back To Top