Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream

Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream scooped into two blue bowls.
Number of Servings: 
Makes 1 quart


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk (or half and half)
  • 1 cup sugar 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Ice Cream Maker


  1. In a large saucepan, beat the eggs, milk and sugar until well blended.
  2. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. It should smoothly coat the back of a wooden spoon. It will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Let the mixture cool.
  4. Add the heavy cream and the vanilla.
  5. Stir until blended and refrigerate the mixture until it is completely chilled, for several hours or up to overnight. Following the instructions of your ice cream maker, pour the chilled mixture into your machine and stir it until the ice cream forms. It will typically be more like soft-serve when you first make it. If you want firmer ice cream, transfer it to a sealed container and let it freeze for several hours until it hardens.


French vanilla is typically more rich and creamy than standard vanilla because the egg yolks and milk are cooked to make a custard prior to mixing the ice cream. This simplified version uses vanilla extract but you could use a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the custard to get the black flecks of vanilla in your ice cream if desired. You can stir the ice cream to reach your desired consistency. A word of warning, though: if you take a bite while it’s at milkshake consistency, you may never finish stirring it. It’s that good. To get it hard like store-bought ice cream, you will need to freeze it for several hours before serving it.


Itsy Bitsy Foodies

Itsy Bitsy Foodies is an online resource for families looking for ways to spend more time together enjoying food and exploring the world beyond the children’s menu. They offer tips to help kids become more adventurous eaters, getting them involved in the kitchen and introducing them to new and exciting ingredients.

They feel strongly that getting kids involved in meal choices and cooking at an early age will help them make smarter eating and lifestyle choices, and ideally help to reverse the fast food trend.