easy 3 ingredient vanilla ice cream

Last weekend the smallest kid and I found an ice cream maker at a thrift store, still wrapped in plastic in its box for a whopping $5. We adopted it and started a search for easy ice cream recipes.

We’ve tried a couple of recipes so far, but this one  I found a few days ago and its the one we will be sticking to from here on in. It meets my criteria for great taste with minimal ingredients and minimum effort. I want to make our food better for us, but if it’s too complicated or messy.. it probably won’t be repeated at our house.

I can see making this a lot this summer. Tonight we are going to try a recipe for hard shell chocolate. That, a bowl of homemade ice cream and a G&T around my house will get you.. well, pregnant. So I may skip the drink this time.

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

(we tweaked it a little according to the ingredients we had available and it worked just fine)
  • 4 cups half-and-half or light cream (we used 2 cups of whipping cream and 2 cups of 2% milk)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (we used our homemade vanilla extract and scraped some of the inside of a bean into the mix)
Combine ingredients and mix.  Pour into ice cream maker container.  Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Freeze leftovers.

The ice cream was perfect. It would be easy to add in extras like fruit or chocolate chips. Next time I’m going to try it with 1/4 cup cocoa and 1/4 cup instant coffee to make mocha, as was suggested by someone in the original recipe.

Apparently you can also make this without an icecream maker by eliminating 2 cups of cream and folding two cups of whipped cream into the condensed milk and vanilla, pouring it into a freezer container and freeze it until solid.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

 And here is our homemade vanilla, in case anyone wonders about making it yourself. We started making it last winter when we amped up our efforts at home baking.

We purchased a bunch of vanilla beans, split them lengthwise, scraped the seeds & put them seeds and all into a couple of mason jars. We filled one with vodka and the other with dark rum. I like the rum version better, but both taste like vanilla extract. Actually, they both are better than anything I’ve bought in a store before. You have to let it brew for a month or two, shaking occasionally

When the extract gets low, we top it up with more booze and it keeps going strong.

Linking to Cozy Home Scenes, Frugally Sustainable, Our Delightful Home, Skip to My Lou, Our Simple Farm, A Turtle’s Life for Me, A Pinch of Joy, Addicted to Recipes, Homestead Simple

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17 thoughts on “easy 3 ingredient vanilla ice cream

  1. I love making icecream! It’s like you read my mind. I’m on my way to the States in a few days and plan to load up on vanilla beans to make my own vanilla. Now I will have to make some rum vanilla too 🙂

  2. I’ve always used vodka. How do the flavors differ between the vodka and rum?

  3. saradraws says:

    I’m learning a great deal from your posts…thank you. I have fond memories of making ice cream at my grandmother’s house. Might have to bring that tradition back.

    • Glad I brought up good memories. I wish my grandma had made ice cream.. but I’m starting new traditions, I guess. Maybe my kids will look back on them fondly some day.

  4. sj says:

    When I was growing up, we had friends with cows, so we would trade eggs for fresh milk. We’d skim the cream off of the top and use that for ice cream in the summer. Our ice cream maker was this weird electric thing that required lots of rock salt on the outside? Maybe my memory is hazy, what I do remember is that it broke on my 14th birthday because we left it unattended too long and the ice cream got too thick. 😦

    • Sounds like you need to make ice cream. Sadly, we never made any growing up. Can’t imagine why not, we did everything else ourselves. I think maybe mom was always on a diet.

      I’m making up for it now.

  5. Nothing beats homemade ice cream! Such a fun childhood memory. My parents still make it for family summer gatherings! I am intrigued by the vanilla extract.. I gotta do this sometime! Would love for you to link up and share with us at Kids in the Kitchen Tuesday linky: http://younglivingoillady.com/home/kids-in-the-kitchen-link-up-week-8/
    Thanks and have a great week! Carrie – younglivingoillady 🙂

  6. Great post! My kiddos would love trying this recipe. I would love for you to link up at my linky party via: http://ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com/2012/04/show-me-what-you-got-linky-party-8.html to share this recipe with my readers.

    Mrs. Delightful

  7. […] house tonight for my side of the family, so I thought an easy dessert was in order. We made some vanilla ice cream and will serve these chocolate bird’s nests along side […]

  8. My Grandfather used to make me homemade ice cream on the farm. So so good 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  9. slowborg says:

    um, yes. Yes to the vanilla essence and yes to it being added to my homemade list. Amazing! I can’t wait to try some, excellent post!

  10. Jodi says:

    Make sure you use the new style ice cream maker as in the photo. The ice cream recipe is not meant for the old fashioned style ice cream makers. It never sets up. 😦

    • I’m sorry it didn’t set for you – though in the comments with the original recipe, people had made it using Ice and salt and said it turned out perfectly for them. We found we had to turn ours every 15 minutes or so, or it took forever to set, but then when we looked, that’s what the ice cream maker directions said to do, anyway. We just assumed that you cranked it continuously.

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