Simple Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

easy homemade ice cream recipe

Ice cream is usually considered to be junk food.

And yes, if you are buying the stuff in the carton at the grocery store, then it definitely falls into the category of something we shouldn’t eat very often.

Many store-bought ice creams contain all sorts of fillers and chemicals– not to mention low-quality, skim milk.


If you make homemade ice cream with quality ingredients, it almost turns into a ‘healthy food.’ Almost.

Since getting our dairy goats and milk cow, I’ve made (and eaten) a lot of homemade ice cream. It’s really the perfect homestead food when you are in those seasons of overflowing milk.

raw ice cream recipe

Many homemade ice cream recipes call for you to cook the ice cream base. While that step is not overly difficult, I try to avoid that for 3 reasons:

1. The cooking kills most of the beneficial bacteria and enzymes of the raw milk. Not a huge deal if you are swimming in fresh milk, but if you pay the big bucks for your raw milk, then you want to get as much benefit as possible from the rawness. (Is that a word?)

2. It heats up the house in the summer, and then requires a lengthy refrigeration time to bring the milk down to a cool temp.

3. It’s an extra step. I’m always busy. The more steps I can cut out, the better.

I’m not sure if this recipe would pass muster with an official ice cream connoisseur, since it doesn’t contain the traditional egg yolks of many other ice cream recipes. However, I could hardly tell any difference at all between this simple recipe, and the cooked, egg-yolk versions I’ve used in the past.

This is the perfect recipe if you need to whip up a batch of homemade ice cream in a hurry, or if you are feeding a large crowd and have lots of other prep to do.

no cook ice cream recipe

Simple Homemade No-Cook Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups of sugar (feel free to use whatever organic sugar you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional- see note below)

Combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla beans (if using) in a blender.

Thoroughly blend until the vanilla bean is chopped into teeny tiny pieces. 

Add the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is combined.

Place it in your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Serve immediately for soft-serve style, or place it in the freezer and allow it to harden for a while for a firmer result.

simple ice cream recipe

Kitchen Notes:

  • Feel free to experiment with other sweetener options–I’ve added maple syrup and honey to mine in the past. They change the flavor a bit, but it’s still yummy.
  • The vanilla beans are optional- however they do add a nice bit of extra flavor, as well as the classic “bean specks.” Since I make my own vanilla extract, I simply grab a few of the “spent” beans from one of my jars. They still have plenty of flavor, and I don’t have to use up my fresh beans.
  • Since this recipe is completely uncooked, this is a good time to use your raw milk and cream, if you have them. If not, then try to choose the best quality milk you have available.
  • I’m not currently milking our goats, so I haven’t tried this particular recipe with goat’s milk. However, in the past I’ve been able to use goat’s milk to substitute for 100% of the milk and cream in other recipes. So in this recipe, try using 4 cups of goat’s milk instead of the 2 cups of cream and 2 cups of milk.
  • If I’m preparing a large meal, I like to make the ice cream base ahead of time (up to 24 hours) so it’s one less thing I have to worry about.
  • This recipe only makes a quart. I always, always end up multiplying ice cream recipes. We had a whole bunch of people over for the 4th of July, and I made TWO quadruple batches. It was a hit!
  • This is my favorite ice cream maker in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. (affiliate link)
  • With other ice cream recipes I’ve made, you have to let it sit out at room temp for 15-30 minutes before it’s scoop-able. I particularly like this recipe because I had no problem scooping it straight from the freezer- even after it had frozen solid.

raw milk ice cream recipe


Simple No-Cook Vanilla Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 or 2 vanilla beans


  1. Combine milk, sugar, and vanilla beans in blender
  2. Thoroughly blend until vanilla beans are chopped into tiny bits
  3. Add remaining ingredients, blend until combined
  4. Place in your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions
  5. Serve immediately for soft-serve style, or place in freezer for firmer results

All in all, I think you’ll really like this recipe. You really can’t go wrong with homemade ice cream- and I especially love it since it’s a old-fashioned treat that brings back fond memories for many folks.



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  1. cheryl says

    I use the pure maple syrup and skip the vanilla extract. I have also used stevia and vanilla. Both ways taste wonderful.

  2. says

    I’m going to try this with Honey…because it sounds good… I have goats milk but I don’t like our ice cream made with just goats milk…I think it tastes like iced milk instead of iced cream! Maybe my goats milk is just not fatty enough? And I never thought of grinding up the vanilla bean pods, great idea! Thanks

    • Jill says

      The goat’s milk ice cream I’ve made has been ok, but not as creamy as the cow milk. There is just something about using that cream… 😉

  3. says

    I was wondering why you said “almost” to the health food part, as I consider homemade ice cream with quality ingredients to be a wonderful, healthy treat, until I read the white sugar part. I have used both honey and maple syrup. I love both, honey does add a taste, so it may be acquired. Also, use less honey than you would sugar. My favorite way to prepare my ice cream ingredients is to kefir the cream before, and add a couple of pastured egg yolks. Makes it so creamy, nutritious and delicious!

  4. Denise says

    Use pastured egg yolks and there is no concern of illness. We never cook our mix. But do not use store bought raw yolks. Yolks from eggs laid by pastured chickens add so much nutrition We always use them.

    3 cups cream
    3 pastured egg yolks
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1 1/2 TB organic vanilla
    pinch sea salt.

    !00 % healthy and so good! Whisk it all and freeze in a Donvier or similar.

    • Jill says

      I agree- I happily eat my own eggs raw with no problems. However, I’ve found that this recipe stays the same whether I add them or not. So, I don’t always add them. :)

    • says

      Hello do u think this recipe would work and taste as well if I were to substitute the maple for honey and add lavender? I am dying for a healthy delicious honey lavender vanilla ice cream!
      Thanks for sharing
      Do u know a “primitive” (ha ha) ” small child friendly/very simple way to make this ice cream without the luxury or convenience of any type of frezzing or frozen food making appliance other then a regular fridge/freezer? If this recipe would be alright to use that alternative?
      Thanks again I do hope to get a maker sooner than later! :-)

  5. says

    This sounds just like mine! However, I don’t put the vanilla beans in it – mainly because I”m cheap. But they do make really pretty speckledies don’t they?
    And your pictures are so pretty. I need some ice cream now. It’s totally for the baby.

  6. Kelly says

    A quick question for you…we have lots of raw cow milk we need to use but when we made ice cream out of it recently it turned out more like ice milk. How do you separate your cream from your milk to get the heavy whipping cream called for in so many recipes?

    • Jill says

      With cow milk, you can just wait a day or so and let the cream rise to the top and then skim it off. I usually have to save up my cream for a couple days in order to get enough to make the ice cream.

  7. says

    Looks AMAZING Jill! :) I normally make raw ice cream as well. It’s such a time saver. I like to use raw honey instead of sugar. Some people tell me that they can taste the honey in it but I think I’m so used to it that don’t notice anymore. The same goes with coconut oil in recipes. :)

  8. says

    I was just wondering if anyone has tried (with any success) doing the same with Sheep’s Milk. We have a child who is allergic to the casein in Cows/Goat’s milk so we invested in sheep and milk the sheep. Just curious if it would possibly work the same or not. Thank you for the recipe, can’t wait to try it…one way or another, I mean it IS summer and we NEED ice cream, right?!?

    • Jill says

      Hmmm… Never tried sheep’s milk, so can’t say for sure. However, I’m betting that it would be worth a try. Let me know how it turns out! :)

    • Kaylin says

      We have a milk allergy here, too, so I usually make coconut milk ice cream. Mix together 2 cans (I use organic, classic, no bpa’s) of coconut milk, 1/3-1/2 cup raw honey, 2 tablespoons homemade vanilla extract. Put the mixture in your ice cream maker (I use the KitchenAid attachment) until creamy and delicious. It does have a coconut flavor, but only one of six in this house doesn’t like it :)

  9. says

    I love this : “3. It’s an extra step. I’m always busy. The more steps I can cut out, the better.”!
    I’ve never made ice cream, so thanks for the tip on buying pre-loved ice-cream makers. We have recently started to really look at the dairy industry in Australia, and as a result are now trying to source our milk from the most seemingly ethical dairies we can find (ie where the calves aren’t separated from the cows within a day of birth and the bobby calves aren’t slaughtered), but I’d been wondering about ice cream. We’re not big ice cream eaters, but making the occasional batch ourselves could be the solution. And if it’s quick and fairly painless – I’m much more likely to do it! :)

  10. says

    I’m going to try this ~ we love homemade ice cream. I have to confess though that I am partial to one of my recipes that features a cooked custard it *is* though pretty labor intensive and a three day process: cook custard and cool, make the ice cream, allow it to ripen. This would be great for something that is quick and easy.

    • Jill says

      Yeah, if you have the time, the cooked ones are good, too. But I’m always in a hurry it seems! :)

  11. says

    It’s perfectly legitimate to make ice cream without eggs. Its a matter of “New York Style” versus “Philadelphia Style” Ice cream.

    I made a honey ice cream last summer, though it has eggs. It’s the recipe from Ashley English’s beekeeping book. My family loved it.

    • Jill says

      Good to know! :) That honey ice cream sounds heavenly. I think I’m definitely going to have to start experimenting a bit with that!

  12. Janet McCollom says

    Just made this with raw goat milk and one cup of whipping cream plus added one raw egg(for extra richness) from my free range chickens. It is to die for!

  13. sharon says

    Good morning:) if I wanted to make this a coffee ice cream with chocolate covered espresso beans. How much coffee would I use? Thank you:)

    • Jill says

      Hi Sharon,
      Well, I’ve never made a coffee version, but I would try adding 1/8 to 1/4 cup at a time until you had the desired flavor. The good part about this recipe is that you can taste it before you freeze it to make sure it’s how you want it. (I did a lot of taste-testing with my batches to make sure it had enough vanilla) Hope that helps and good luck!

  14. says

    I don’t yet have my own cow or goat but as I only like whole milk with the cream mixed in, I would have a hard time skimming off the cream to create enough cream! It is also hard for the body to digest even raw milk if it is skimmed.
    Does anyone have a solution to this?

  15. Amy says

    Adding some form of alcohol is supposed to help the ice cream keep from freezing to hard. Perhaps that is why you’ve had success with scooping this frozen; 2 Tbsp vanilla is more than most recipes I’ve seen.

  16. says

    I have made this recipe for years and we do add a couple of our own pastured eggs. My son in law has a wood fired coffee roasting business and their coffee is roasted over mesquite wood a totally green operation called Summermoon Coffee Roasters. I use some of that to make cold brew coffee and have made coffee ice cream with the cold brewed coffee. Just substitue about 1/4 or so of your milk/cream with coffee. It is soooo yummy ! I am sure you could use leftover coffee from your morning brew that has cooled too.

  17. says

    Haven’t read all the otehr comments, so hopefully this isn’t repetitive. But- we enjoy honey, however it really is strong. It definitely makes it “honey ice cream” not vanilla. I’ve found that maple syrup doesn’t change the flavor noticeably (at least not to us) at all….though that’s really pricey. We use sucanat whenever I’m doing chocolate or something that will mask the flavor….or if we don’t care about having a pure vanilla flavor, such as if we’re mixing it with homemade chocolate chips and peanut butter swirl.

    And BTW- I’ve done both cooked and uncooked recipes, and currently do a cooked one since I like to use the eggs for extra protein, but mine aren’t local/pastured. I don’t want to loose the benefits of our raw milk, either, or take the time to cool… I just cook the eggs, sugar, and 1/2-1 cup of milk, then add it to my raw cream/remaining milk. It cools off instantly, and most of it’s still raw! :-)

  18. Jay says

    If you don’t have an ice cream churn and you aren’t interested in putting this ice cream mix a stoneware dish to pull it out of the freezer every 5 mins for hours on end to churn it, you should be able to get away by cheating if you have a good enough blender/food processor.
    All you need to do is:

    Freeze the mix until it is solid, remove from the freezer to soften slightly.

    Place in blender/processor and blend (slowly at first, but increasing to top speed) for a few minutes until it reaches the consistency of soft-serve. This must be done quickly to avoid the mixture melting too much.

    Then place this into a container and return to the freezer.

    By doing this, you will incorporate air without needing to churn. It will not turn out quite as well as churned ice cream, but it works well as a substitute. I also use this method for making sorbet :)

  19. says

    I’ve never made the vanilla recipe, but happy to see that there’s a tried and true recipe that you love. I’ve only made the strawberry version, same thing only no vanilla and I do it in my food processor with frozen berries. I had some last night while watching a movie! I’ve been wondering about making a vanilla version, thanks for the info.

  20. says

    Hi Dear, first time i jumped to your site when searching for healthy home made peanut butter.You have a good blog. I liked it. You an check upon my ice cream recipe also.

  21. Caroline Rodgers says

    One of the main reasons I bought a Blendtec blender was to make good ice cream from raw milk in a safe container. It appears that they are vegan. All their ice cream recipes avoid any cow’s milk. Can you help me with a blender recipe for vanilla ice cream made from raw cow’s milk/cream?

    Frustrated raw milk devotee ;o)

    • Jill says

      Hi Caroline,
      Unfortunately, I have never tried blender ice cream. But how frustrating that they only included vegan recipes! Sorry I’m not more help!

  22. Karin says

    Dear Julie
    I’ve made this twice now. It’s simple,quick reliable, versatile and delicious. Many thanks for sharing this recipe Julie.
    Cheers and warmest regards from country Australia

  23. Seth says

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I added 14oz of sweetened condensed milk (because I saw it in some other recipes) and I only used half the vanilla (that’s all I had left) and it tasted great, and great texture. I doubled the recipe and my 4 Qt ice cream maker was full to the top. I’m not sure how you get 4 quarts from doubling a 1 quart recipe… the ice cream definitely expanded as it was mixing since it was only 3/4 full before mixing. I’m glad I didn’t fill it to the top before mixing.

  24. Katie says

    Hi Jill! I kinda feel stupid right now….I don’t exactly know what an ice cream maker is :-( (though i can just google it…..How else does one find out anything? 😉 ) And I’m pretty sure we don’t have one. So, is there anything else i could use? I don’t know!!!! :-C

    • says

      Hi Katie,
      An ice cream maker is an appliance (either electric or manual) that slowly turns a container surrounded by ice until the milk mixture turns to ice cream. There are a few other methods you can try if you don’t have an ice cream maker, but I haven’t had great success with those. Might be worth googling though.

  25. Haleigh says

    Can you add eggs to this also? I would love to leave it the same but just add some eggs for the nutrition. Thanks!

    • says

      Sure! I would probably just stick with yolks to help thicken it– and make sure they are pasture-raised eggs from healthy chickens since you’ll be eating them raw. :)

  26. Haleigh says

    And also, would you use whole eggs or just the yolks? What is the difference? I have made recipes with whole eggs and then some with just yolks.

  27. Haleigh says

    How many yolks would you use in this recipe? I only get pastured eggs, they are the best! Thanks for such a quick reply!

  28. Alesha says

    Thanks for this recipe. I have used it many times. I have twice used coconut sugar and loved the results. Gives a richer almost maple taste but not maple. It does not give any coconut taste. I have had success freezing it in a bowl and stirring.

  29. Tara Lindis says

    I replaced the white sugar with maple syrup (my son has cavities and we’re on the remineralization/paleo diet is one of various reasons why we avoid traditional white sugar) and while it’s sweet (next time I’ll use maybe 1/2 cup) it’s great! I’m going to try making chocolate by adding 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder! Thanks for this!

  30. Elaine says

    We have an ice cream maker but usually make our “healthy” ice cream in our Vitamix using “basically”:
    1 tray of frozen fresh raw milk (we prefer one particular farm source that is extra creamy)
    about 1/4 C sweetener (either one or combo of raw cane, powdered stevia, honey, etc depending on flavor we’re going for)
    1 C of fresh unfrozen milk or cream
    and sometimes…Add’l ingredient of choice ((freshly picked peaches (fav so far), strawberries, blueberries, cocoa)

    The Vitamix (which stays out since we use it daily) makes a softer ice cream that we devour immediately, but maybe I’ll pull out the ice cream maker to make tonight’s dessert. As a short person in a tall person kitchen, items stored in high cabinets don’t get used often…and oftentimes get forgotten. Thanks for the reminder.

  31. Brighid says

    We add frozen fruit to our raw cream and milk mix to sweeten it. Tonight was cherry ice cream!

    • says

      I’ve heard varying opinions on Agave– a lot of people say it’s not a whole lot better for you than sugar, so I don’t really use it. However, I imagine it’d work ok as a sub. 😉

  32. Donna says

    I have made this twice – once a couple weeks ago when I followed the recipe exactly and tonight when I added three pastured eggs. The first batch was good but tonight’s is even better. I did add the whole egg, not just the yolk. It is much creamier than the last time.

  33. Barbara says

    I want to make a vanilla bean, no cook recipe like yours for a cooking class we teach. I will be using vanilla beans directly from my co-op and see that you use your spent beans. Can I just blend new beans, or should I soak them first? Thanks for the recipe. Sounds perfect! We’ll be using it with our Cherries Jubilee recipe we are making this week!
    Thanks for your help!

  34. Edie Kile says

    I have a great ice cream recipe from my mom that whe used while we were growing up. We always had vanilla (my favorite) and chocolate. As fruit came into season she would make fresh cheery, or peach ice cream. My father and I liked a flavor by a local dairy – Orange Pineapple. We never made that flavor. I would like to try my hand at it as I can no longer buy that flavor. Any idea how to go about mixing this? I have thought adding an orange and maybe pineapple, should I use juice in it also.
    If anyone out there has successfully made fruit ice cream please let me know.
    Thank you.

    • Kristin says

      Did you already try it? I would sub orange juice for some of the milk (1/2-1c?), and then add crushed pineapple slowly once the ice cream is in the maker to make a “pineapple swirl.” If it’s not “orangey” enough for you, try adding a tablespoon or more of the orange zest. I would use a much smaller amount of vanilla, also, but don’t leave it out! I think vanilla would be a good complement to these flavors.

      • Edie says

        I have not tried to make any yet. I am afraid of ruining it with out a starting point. I will try your suggestions out. Right now we are using all the milk we get. Setting my cream aside for that chance to make ice cream. Thanks for the suggestions.

  35. says

    We LOVE homemade ice cream. We took our Young Women on a “Pioneer” campout last fall. I brought my ice cream maker because while it is electric, it also switches and becomes hand-cranked. We went to a local dairy and showed the girls where milk REALLY comes from and bought a gallon of raw milk. At the campsite they added sugar and vanilla, then cranked it themselves. We had dehydrated fruits and to me it was better than Ben & Jerry’s or Baskin Robbins! The girls were in heaven! After we came home, my 15 yo DD made ice cream everyday for a week! She would hand churn it while she watched the news at lunch time. Thank you for sharing!

  36. Brad Phillips says

    Have you tried adding a couple of eggs to this recipe? I love the texture and richness eggs add. Just wondering. Thanks!

  37. lisa says

    I use the same basic recipe but have never used a vanilla bean, only extract. I also go a little overboard with adding other flavors. I was throwing in leftover pie (any kind ) or crumbled cookies. Of course berries too but the berry ice cream (even cranBERRY ) went a new level with cream cheese added to it! I’m going to start trying to do a chocolate peanut butter with banana ice cream next. Makes me feel like a mad scientist lol

  38. says

    Wonderful! If only I had a freezing or ice cream maker searching possible ways to make without? Could Brown sugar be used instead? My uncle used to always give my cousin and I homemade vanilla ice cream with brown sugar sprinked on top when we where kids it was our Friday night treat! It was the best! He always added a bit of honey around the outter edges of his ice cream back then WHITE sugar was all us children knew it was hard enough to begin with when the brown sugar popped up :-) but honey?? Only on biscuits. I did try his it was great but super sweeeet. Dose the good bacteria in the raw dairy still exist in recipes such as this? I’m new to raw and a lot of organic healthy foods.
    Another great recipe


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