French Vanilla Ice Cream

(+5 rating, 3 votes)

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

French Vanilla Ice Cream

French Vanilla Ice Cream - MethodFrench Vanilla Ice Cream - Method

French Vanilla Ice Cream - MethodFrench Vanilla Ice Cream - Soft-Serve Consistency

French Vanilla Ice Cream

There is something about homemade ice cream which is simply the best.  Fortunately, making ice cream is so easy these days.  You just have to remember to freeze your ice cream bowl for at least a day ahead of time.  This is the basic vanilla recipe that came from the users manual of my family’s old Donvier ice cream maker.  I now use a Kitchen Aid with the ice cream attachment (which is great because the machine does all of the stirring) but the same Donvier recipe is still my go-to for French vanilla ice cream.

French vanilla is typically more rich and creamy than standard vanilla because the egg yolks and milk are cooked to make a custard prior to mixing the ice cream.  This simplified version uses vanilla extract but you could use a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the custard to get the black flecks of vanilla in your ice cream if desired.

You can stir the ice cream to reach your desired consistency. A word of warning, though: if you take a bite while it’s at milkshake or soft-serve consistency, you may never finish stirring it.  It’s that good.  To get it hard like store-bought ice cream, you will need to freeze it for several hours before serving it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
French vanilla ice cream is rich and creamy because egg yolks and milk are cooked to make a custard prior to mixing the ice cream. You can make it with or without an ice cream maker.
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk (or half and half)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large saucepan, beat the eggs, milk and sugar until well blended.
  2. Cook the egg mixture over low heat for roughly 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. It should smoothly coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Let the mixture cool.
  4. Add the heavy cream and the vanilla.
  5. Stir until blended and refrigerate the mixture until it is completely chilled, for several hours or up to overnight.
  6. Following the instructions of your ice cream maker, pour the chilled mixture into your machine and stir it until the ice cream forms. It will typically be more like soft-serve when you first make it. If you want firmer ice cream, transfer it to a sealed container once it reaches the soft-serve consistency and let it freeze for several hours until it hardens.
  7. Recipe makes 1 quart of ice cream.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

TIP: You can still make ice cream without an ice cream maker. Check out David Lebovitz’ article: How to Make Ice Cream Without a Machine.

Recipe source: Ice Cream The Donvier Way

You can buy a Donvier Ice Cream Maker online: Donvier 837409W 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker

Or a Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment (which is what I use): KitchenAid KICA0WH Ice Cream Maker Attachment

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “French Vanilla Ice Cream”

  1. Pikko says:

    I want to try this for an ice cream cake. Do you know if you can use 2% milk?

  2. kelsey says:

    Yes, 2% milk will work. For a richer, creamier ice cream I would still use 2 cups cream + 2 cups milk. I usually use skim milk because that’s what we have on hand and it turns our great!

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe:  

Contact Us

Do you have any suggestions? Would you like to submit a recipe? I would love to hear from you! Contact me.


Link Love

Follow Me on Pinterest