An easy recipe for creamy custard based homemade vanilla bean ice cream. A classic ice cream flavor everyone should know how to make!

Creamy homemade French vanilla bean ice cream recipe from @bakedbyrachel

It dawned on me not too long ago that I hadn’t shared a single plain ole vanilla ice cream recipe. Sure, I have plenty of ice cream recipes with vanilla or with a vanilla base, but not a simple straight up vanilla ice cream. Which meant that I clearly needed to fix that!

According to all of the random ‘most popular’ ice cream flavor lists I came across, vanilla is definitely up there. It ranked in the top 3 on every list I found. Would you rank vanilla in your top 3 favorite flavors? I’m probably the wrong person to ask because I love SO many ice cream flavors. But, there’s just something special about a really good vanilla ice cream. You can eat it plain, with absolutely any topping you desire, on top of pie or next to a slice of cake. I wouldn’t say that about most other flavors.

Creamy homemade French vanilla bean ice cream recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Ditch the store bought and whip up this flavorful custard based vanilla bean ice cream (aka French vanilla ice cream). What makes it French? The custard base. Which if you’ve been following along for a while, you’ve noticed that’s my preferred method of making ice cream. It’s just so incredibly creamy and doesn’t freeze as hard as Philadelphia style, which doesn’t contain egg yolks. It’s worth every ounce of effort.

Need the perfect vanilla ice cream for your next party… or day ending in Y? Be sure to try this French vanilla bean ice cream! I promise you’ll love it!

Creamy homemade French vanilla bean ice cream recipe from @bakedbyrachel

No ratings yet

French Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 day
Yield: 4 plus
Creamy homemade vanilla bean ice cream.


  • 1 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Add 1 cup heavy cream to a medium bowl with mesh strainer set on top. Set aside.
  • Add remaining heavy cream, milk, salt and sugar to a small saucepan. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the vanilla bean contents into the saucepan along with the split vanilla bean pod. Stir to combine ingredients and dissolve sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to steam and bubble around the edges.
  • While whisking egg yolks, slowly pour roughly 1 cup of hot milk mixture into yolks. Transfer mixture into saucepan. Stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pour through the mesh strainer into the reserved heavy cream. Place vanilla bean in custard mixture. Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, if desired.
  • Cool over an ice bath to room temperature. Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Discard vanilla bean. Churn according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a freezer safe container, freezing until solid, roughly 4-6 hours or overnight.


Recipe serves roughly 4-6, yields 1 quart.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Ice cream

More ice cream recipes to try:

Cake Batter Funfetti Ice Cream Recipe from

Cake batter funfetti ice cream

Cookies and Coffee Ice Cream Recipe from

Cookies and coffee ice cream

A creamy coconut-coffee ice cream recipe from @bakedbyrachel DAIRY FREE!

Coconut coffee ice cream

Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream Recipe from

Blackberry swirl ice cream

This post contains affiliate links.