Classic vanilla ice cream

Classic vanilla ice cream

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus cooling, churning and freezing

More effort

Serves 6
Everyone will be impressed by this smooth and creamy classic ice cream

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal396
  • fat33g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars21g
  • fibre0g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 1 plump vanilla pod
  • 300ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 300ml double cream
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 4 egg yolks


  1. Place a container in the freezer. Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape the seeds out with the point of the knife and tip into a pan with the milk, cream and pod. Bring to the boil, then remove heat and leave to infuse for at least 20 mins. For the best flavour, this can be done a few hours beforehand and left to go cold.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together for a few mins until they turn pale and fluffy. Put the vanilla cream back on the heat until it's just about to boil, then carefully sieve the liquid onto the yolks, beating with the whisk until completely mixed.

  3. At this point, get a large bowl of iced water and sit a smaller bowl in it. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook on the lowest heat, stirring slowly and continuously, making sure the spoon touches the bottom of the pan, for about 10 mins until thickened. Strain the custard into the bowl sitting in the iced water and leave to cool, then churn until scoopable. Transfer to the container and freeze.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Kafie's picture
22nd Jan, 2019
Found this much too sweet. Perhaps I read the amount wrong ☹️
KathyMolan's picture
30th Sep, 2017
Delicious! First time I made this I forgot the cream (DOH) and it was still lovely - like a frozen crème anglais....
30th Apr, 2015
Just made this ice cream, it's really yummy!! I didn't quite follow your process tho. instead I just cooked it like a crème anglaise then let it cool, then put it in the turbine. YUM!!!!!
29th Jul, 2014
Just made this this morning with some leftover egg yolks and oh my word it's the most delicious ice cream ice ever tasted! So creamy and really vanilla :) I did have a slight issue when the custard started to split even though I had it on the lowest setting and stirred continuously, but I just plunged pan into iced water and beat it with a stick blender and all was well :)
12th Oct, 2013
Try as I may I cannot get this cream to fluff before freezing. What am I doing wrong?
10th Jun, 2015
Are you using an electric whisk?
4th Sep, 2011
i dont get why you have to keep cooking it ???????????
10th Jun, 2015
It is firstly to get the flavor out the vanilla pod and to get the pod moist from being a dried pot then the flavor can come out of it. Second heating is to get the yolk and cream/milk to cook together to make a smooth creamy texture
4th Sep, 2011
last night i made this ice cream for a come dine with me i dintent think it was going to work but it did and it tasted amazing i put spinkles on it and that gave it an even better flavor :)
26th Apr, 2011
Going to try this recipe at my royal wedding bbq and serving it with chocolate and ginger torte. I don't own an ice cream maker and this recipe seems pretty easy. Will post my review soon.


7th Nov, 2018
What's the serving size? In gramsor ounces or scoops
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2018
We do not have an exact weight for this. It's roughly two scoops but if you want to be spot on, we'd suggest marking the surface of the ice cream to give you six portions and scooping one out.
12th Oct, 2016
How much is needed for 1 serving
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Oct, 2016
Hi there, we wouldn't recommend reducing the recipe to serve 1 as it will prove tricky with such a small volume of ingredients and also difficult to split the eggs accurately. If you want to reduce it, you could halve all the ingredients but as this recipe is one that freezes, you could simply make the full amount and eat it over the course of three months. Hope that appeals.
11th Feb, 2014
hi I have 2l whipping cream. can i make ice cream from this? thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
21st Feb, 2014
Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. Yes, you can substitute the double cream for the same amount of whipping if that's what you have available. Hope it turns out well. Best wishes, BBC Good Food team
10th Jun, 2015
I put in a teaspoon of lavender flavoring instead of a vanilla pod and it is delightful. Lavender flavor is a bit love it or hate it but I feel it is so easy to use in lots of things but it is not.
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