Yow know how people say that they’ve been “waiting their whole life” for something? Well, I can say with fervor that I have absolutely been waiting my entire life to make french vanilla ice cream at home.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

French vanilla ice cream has got to be one of the first sweet treats I put in my mouth, and I’ve loved it ever since. In the warmer months growing up, my Poppa would drive me to our local dairy after dinner for a large cone, and we would just sit outside the building in his truck while we finished. Every once and a while I would order mint chocolate chip or cookies and cream, but these “dates” were more often than not reserved for french vanilla. Easy to order and a memory that makes my heart swell to think of.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

A good vanilla ice cream (in my opinion) should be creamy and sweet enough to stand on its own.

The key? Using the best ingredients possible! And the ingredient list isn’t long at all. I used a big, fat Madagascar vanilla bean and pure vanilla extract for this recipe and went with a traditional French custard base. It is my favorite.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

On my list of 30 Things to Do Before Turning 30 I have:

#23 Make some homemade ice cream and homemade hot fudge

CHECK! Very exciting.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

I made this ice cream and then poured my favorite recipe for homemade hot fudge all over it. The whole container was gone in days.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

I mean, just look at this creamy stuff! I love when you can see the vanilla seeds in ice cream.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

And of course, you can use this ice cream in any way you please. I recently made a batch of this ice cream and then made a big batch of bourbon milkshakes (recipe coming soon!) with it.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

Happy Monday!

French Vanilla Ice Cream

Total Time: 7 hours

Yield: 1 Quart


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split it half lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. The night before, place your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer.
  2. Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and add the bean as well. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, set up an ice bath by partially filling a large bowl with cold water and ice. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into another large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Place this bowl into the ice bath.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Set aside.
  5. After the cream has steeped for 30 minutes, pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, and then scrape this mixture back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
  6. Pro tip: if your custard boils and ends up curdling, you can save it by blending it with an immersion blender for 2 minutes!
  7. Quickly, pour the hot custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, add the vanilla extract, and stir until cool over an ice bath.
  8. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.*
  9. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


*Prior to churning, this ice cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop


Tagged with →  

23 Responses to French Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. Ice cream perfection, Katrina! I want some now (and it’s only 7am 😉

  2. There is nothing quite like a few scoops of perfect French vanilla ice cream – with the intensity of all the vanilla bean flecks! This looks absolutely stunning!

  3. Gina says:

    I definitely need to get an ice cream maker. That ice cream looks amazing!

  4. Nanny says:

    Poppa had a big grin on his face thinking of the many trips to the dairy with you . Good taste, good memories

  5. It really doesn’t matter how may fancy – pants flavored ice creams I eat, I always ALWAYS keep coming back to this classic French Vanilla ice cream and what can be better than making it fresh at home with all natural ingredients!!! <3 Yum!

  6. I’m one of those boring people who loves vanilla ice cream. I mean what’s better than vanilla ice cream with hot fudge.

  7. There is nothing, I mean nothing, like a classic cup of perfect vanilla ice cream! Looks delicious!

  8. Hi Katrina!
    I’m so glad I found your blog via Thalia’s! This ice cream looks so absolutely creamy and gorgeous… I don’t have an ice cream maker, but now I wish I sure did! Loving loving loving everything about this recipe!

    cheers from Buenos Aires!

  9. Joanne says:

    I truly feel that really good vanilla ice cream is SO underrated!! This is the good stuff right here.

  10. Mmmm good honest vanilla icecream for sweet days in the scorching sun – this looks amazing! And you’re right, you know it’s the real deal when you can see the vanilla seeds <3 That fudge looks amazing too… Looking forward to the bourbon milkshake recipe! x

  11. Yum, I love a good, flavorful vanilla ice cream and I could certainly go for a cone-full of this right now!

  12. Yumyumyum. This ice cream looks like creamy, vanilla-y perfection. I totally agree, I love those little specks from the vanilla bean, it feels super fancy. Great recipe, beautiful photos, so glad I came upon your blog!

  13. amanda says:

    This looks so creamy and delicious! Love it!

  14. Kristina says:

    You are right, nothing beats home made vanilla ice cream. I love to drip it with caramel sauce. Your’s looks delicious!

  15. […] Keep It Simple Dessert: French Vanilla Ice Cream from Warm Vanilla Sugar.  Sometimes the best things are the […]

  16. […] calories get to be consumed that day. My favorite recipe that I made in August is definitely my French vanilla ice cream. A simple pleasure and so wonderfully […]

  17. […] you can make it with a variety of ice cream flavours. I’ve tried it with cinnamon ice cream, french vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream and most recently this dulce de leche pumpkin ice […]

  18. […] toasted oat and honey waffles. (6) A Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop // Making ice cream at home is such a fantastic feeling. Zeroll makes the BEST scoop and I think this cheap ice cream […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *