Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 quart

Recipe photo

This ice cream features the strong, true flavor of vanilla. Serve it in an ice cream sandwich, or use it to make any of your favorite summer desserts à la mode.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

star rating (6) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 quart
Published: 03/19/2012


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon King Arthur Pure Vanilla Plus, vanilla bean paste, Vanilla Bean Crush, or vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, optional; for creamier texture

Tips from our bakers

  • To keep ice cream from becoming rock-hard in the freezer, stir in 2 tablespoons rum, vodka, brandy, or the spirit of your choice, just before removing from the ice cream maker. Alcohol will keep the ice cream from freezing too solidly.
  • For a sweeter, more American-style ice cream, increase the sugar to 2/3 cup.


see this recipe's blog »

Note: This recipe has been amended as of Jan. 21, 2013, to address a customer comment about lack of strong vanilla flavor. Thanks, as always, for your feedback.

1) Freeze the work bowl of an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2) Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan set over medium-high heat, and bring it just to a boil. Add the vanilla, remove from the heat, and let sit in the saucepan at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3) In another saucepan, beat together the egg yolks, sugar, and xanthan gum until light and airy. Stir the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture.

4) Heat the yolk/milk mixture (custard) over low heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula until it thickens somewhat; it'll be approaching the thickness of heavy cream and will register between 170°F and 180°F on a digital thermometer.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and let the custard cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

6) Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

7) If you prefer soft, creamy (soft-serve) ice cream, serve immediately. For a firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for about 2 hours.

Yield: about 1 quart.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: about 1/2 cup Servings Per Batch: 8 servings Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309 Calories from Fat: 226 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 175mg Sodium: 51mg Total Carbohydrate: 18g Dietary Fiber: 0g Sugars: 16g Protein: 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


  • star rating 04/19/2015
  • Patricia from
  • Prepared exactly as to ingredients and method . . . it was absolutely wonderful. Yes, it does take a little time to prepare but the end result is well worth it. None of the commercial high end vanilla ice creams even come close. Thanks KA for giving us the vanilla answer to your Chocolate Decadence recipe.
  • star rating 11/01/2014
  • Scott from Chesterfield, MO
  • 4.5 stars. I made the recipe almost exactly as-is, except I add a little (30g) HFCS to round out the sweetness a little. Texture was great. Even after a month in the freezer it never turned icey. Always easy to scoop. I like vanilla but I thought 1T was too much. Re-making tonight with 2t. I suppose the quantity depends on your exact vanilla though. I'm using the stuff I get from Costco.
  • star rating 08/30/2013
  • GoldenWhiskNYC from Connecticut
  • I've been making ice cream for decades and this one is the hands down best vanilla ice cream recipe...because of the xanthan gum. It makes all the difference, especially since my ice cream usually isn't eaten in the first few days. Even after 10 days it stays very creamy. It's worth the expense and trouble to get your hands on the xanthan gum. I didn't use heavy cream, substituting lower fat dairy and the ice cream is even better; the vanilla flavor isn't masked by heavy rich cream. Vanilla paste gave better flavor than extract, IMO. Sometimes I'll add chocolate chips or a few nuts, but pure vanilla is wonderful. Again, do not omit the xanthan gum.
  • star rating 05/22/2013
  • Julie from Seymour, IN
  • I just used this Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe to make an exceptional vanilla ice cream and that is what this recipe delivered. I recently purchased a self freezing ice cream maker and I have also made KAF's Mocha Madness and Strawberry Sorbet. I love the ease of preparation that KAF's recipe provide, so that was why I chose this vanilla ice cream recipe. I did follow the method of preparation, but made 5 ingredient changes. I did not have the Vanilla Crush, but I did scrape one vanilla bean and added the seed/pulp to the heating milk. I used 1/3 cup granulated and 1/3 cup brown sugar. That is a little hint that I have used for several years, now. It really complements the vanilla flavor. I used 2 cups of half and half instead of heavy cream and really like the lighter textured ice cream. I did not have the xantham gum, but substituted 2 tsp. of cornstarch stirred into 2 Tbsps. of the milk to make a slurry that was added to the heated milk when it reached 180 degrees.I liked the method of mixing the sugar and egg yolks in the mixer until light and fluffy. I added 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. salt. These were my ingredient changes, but followed the mixing method. I like making my ice cream mixture early in the day and letting it chill thoroughly in a glass jar in my refrigerator until I am ready to freeze it. I love the texture. It is still smooth and creamy, but not icy. Light enough in texture that I enjoy it to the end without feeling weighed down by heavy cream. I will make this ice cream again and again! Super recipe! Thanks KAF!
    Wow, Julie! Thanks for sharing your variation for all to enjoy - I'm inspired to get some ingredients on the way home - happy baking OR ice cream making! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 01/07/2013
  • from
  • star rating 08/10/2012
  • awmurphy from KAF Community
  • Easy to prepare, although would recommend using a candy thermometer to make sure the eggs are cooked to a safe temperature ). Wished the vanilla flavor was more pronounced. Used the vanilla bean paste and extract per the recipe, but the vanilla flavor was so mild I would describe the flavor as "sweet cream" over vanilla, as the dairy flavor was stronger than the vanilla. Also, I used a Cusinart ice cream maker and 15 minutes was not enough in my maker, despite refrigerating the custard and freezing the bowl overnight. Overall, the recipe was a good start, but needs the vanilla flavor kicked up and a little extra time in the mixer.

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