Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Recipe At-A-Glance

Just because this ice cream isn’t packed with add-ins, it doesn’t mean it’s low on flavor. The classic, simple flavor of Vanilla Ice Cream is the perfect partner for a warm bowl of cobbler!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

Ready in 4 hours, 30 minutes

I think you can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite ice cream flavor. For example, you can probably get a good indication of my ever-so-flighty nature based on the fact that I have a really hard time narrowing down my favorite scoop to just one flavor. I’m the kinda girl who gets a three-scoop cone, not because she wants three scoops of ice cream (okay, maybe sometimes), but because she can’t decide on just one flavor. It also probably says something about me that I tend to go for the most tricked out ice creams available. The more chocolate, chunks of candy, and swirls of flavors it has, the more I’ll probably love it. Bring on the triple chocolate brownie with raspberry swirl, please.

ice cream

My dear husband, on the other hand, is an ice cream purist. He doesn’t like things in his ice cream. And if he had his druthers, either plain ole vanilla or plain ole butter pecan (without chunks of pecan) would be the only ice cream flavors on the market. It’s interesting, because if you saw my tattooed, hipster-glasses wearing husband walking down the street, you probably wouldn’t think he’s a plain ice cream kind of guy, but he certainly is. I think his love of simple ice cream goes hand-in-hand with his dependable, hard-working, back-to-nature mentality. It fits. Although, maybe not at first appearances.

ice cream

So every now and again, when I pull out my ice cream maker, I do it to make my husband a batch of plain-and-simple, run-of-the-mill, but still totally delicious vanilla ice cream. It takes pretty much every ounce of willpower in my body to not throw in a handful of candy or swirl it with some crazy fun flavor (like feta, anyone?), but the end result is actually something pretty spectacular for something so simple. It almost makes me want to hang up my quadruple brownie batter, chocolate chip cookie dough, caramel toffee ice cream eating spoon. Almost.

Enjoy (and feel free to toss in a handful of something chocolate, I won’t tell).


Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Just because this ice cream isn't packed with add-in, it doesn't mean it's low on flavor. The classic, simple flavor of Vanilla Ice Cream is the perfect partner for a warm bowl of cobbler!


  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups 2% milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and two tablespoon of the milk. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the remaining milk, half and half, sugar and honey until it just begins to bubble around the edges. Do not boil.
  3. Remove milk mixture from heat, and stir in the cream cheese and salt. Continue stirring until the cream cheese is completely dissolved (using an immersion blender can help speed up this process). Stir in the cornstarch mixture.
  4. Return the milk mixture to medium-low heat, and heat until the thickness of melted ice cream, about five minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla.
  5. Transfer the ice cream mixture to a heat-proof bowl, and refrigerate until cold, about three hours. Once completely cold, spin in an ice cream maker per manufacturer's directions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, about an hour.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 27gProtein: 4g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

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  1. you can never go wrong with a classic vanilla ice cream. looks delicious, craving a scoop right now!

  2. I’m always, always partial to anything chocolate. BUT! I do venture into vanilla purity when it comes to our local soft-serve joint down the street (it’s to die for). When my ice cream maker and I set a date to explore, however, I tend to veer on the side of different and sporadic flavors. It’s so fun!

  3. Ahh simple and pure. 🙂 I can’t believe I still don’t have an ice cream maker. You make it sound so magical. I pull out my ice cream maker and then I can devour this perfect, creamy vanilla ice cream. Ok. It’s official. Summer cannot end without me making my own ice cream in a new ice cream maker. Thanks Cassie and have a great day. 🙂

    1. I always thought ice cream makers were some ridiculous extravagance, and then I got one as a gift a few years back and fell in love! It is so much fun!