Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

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This homemade vanilla ice cream recipe uses only 5 natural ingredients to make the creamiest topping for all your summer pies, cobblers, and brownies! No machine required, easy and fast prep, and completely refined sugar free.

Homemade vanilla ice cream naturally sweetened with agave syrup rolled up and ready to serve from a loaf tin.

I know it’s been some time, so first of all I want to thank you for having patience and sticking with me over the last six weeks while I worked on myself and my mental health. I truly appreciate you coming back and continuing to enjoy all the great stuff I have in store for you! And to kick off the end of summer (I’m sorry, what?!), I thought nothing would be better than a recipe for refined sugar free vanilla ice cream.

When I was developing this recipe, I debated whether simple vanilla would be enough. Would you find this recipe interesting? Would it be better if I created something extravagant like double chocolate mocha cookie dough swirl? (Noting that one down for later…)

But then two things happened: I polled my Instagram and nearly 90% of you said that vanilla is your favourite flavour of ice cream. Not gonna lie, I was a bit surprised! But I did some digging and a national survey revealed vanilla is America’s second favourite ice cream flavour, narrowly beaten out by chocolate. So I stuck with my gut on this one!

A scoop of vanilla bean flecked frozen dessert sitting on a marble countertop.

Tips for making refined sugar free ice cream at home

Homemade vanilla ice cream is one of those staple recipes you will be thankful to have in your back pocket. Even better when said recipe doesn’t require an ice cream machine or any weird ingredients! When it comes to the classics, I think simplicity is best, which is why this recipe only uses five natural ingredients: cream, milk, agave syrup, egg yolks, and vanilla. The end result is a sweet, creamy frozen treat that will become a natural accompaniment to any dessert, but is also rich and decadent enough to stand on its own.

Here are some tips for making this vanilla ice cream at home:

  • Ensure all of your ingredients are fresh and local. Since we’re only using five ingredients, it’s important to use the best and it truly does make all the difference.
  • Vanilla extract will not do here – it doesn’t produce the same result. Get yourself some vanilla paste for that irresistible vanilla bean flavour. Alternatively, you could use vanilla beans if you have them on hand. I’ve left a note on how to substitute these in the recipe below.
  • I chose agave syrup for this recipe because I find it has the most neutral flavour of the liquid sweeteners. If you don’t have agave on hand, you could use honey or maple syrup, but they will infuse the ice cream with their flavour. (Not necessarily a bad thing!)
  • Make sure the container you’re using is airtight. The first time I made this ice cream, I froze it in a loaf pan with aluminum foil over the top, which resulted in an “icier” ice cream. Using an airtight container (I use one with suction and clips) will ensure your ice cream stays as creamy as possible.
A glass dish of naturally sweetened ice cream with a vintage spoon sticking out the top.

How to make ice cream without a machine

Although I’m a food blogger, I’m trying to live as minimally as possible when it comes to extraneous kitchen gadgets. An ice cream machine is something I don’t think I’ll ever purchase, because I find them a bit unnecessary. You can make stunning ice cream at home without a machine and it’s super easy!

  1. Heat your milk and cream to scalding point. This is the point where little bubbles start to form around the edges of the saucepan.
  2. Whisk into beaten egg yolks. Make sure you’re stirring continuously so as not to curdle the eggs.
  3. Add the custard back to the saucepan and heat until thickened. This should only take 5 minutes.
  4. Freeze for 6-8 hours, stirring once halfway through. (Also known as waiting – the hardest part!)
Two glass dishes of a frozen vanilla dessert with Zeroll scoop in the background.

Top ten best ways to use homemade vanilla ice cream

I know you can probably think of a billion ways to use this ice cream, but I thought I’d let you in on my favourites for a little inspo.

  1. As a topper for warm blackberry peach pie or 15-minute apple crisp.
  2. Whizzed up in a milkshake with some macerated fruit.
  3. By itself with a drizzle of natural peanut butter and dark chocolate chips.
  4. Swap it for whipped cream in strawberry shortcake cookie cups.
  5. In between two layers of apple chai cake for a truly epic ice cream cake.
  6. By itself with a generous spoon of spiced peach syrup.
  7. Hidden inside a decadent baked Alaska.
  8. A sweet filling for classic ice cream sandwiches.
  9. As the base for a beautiful Italian affogato.
  10. As the centre of light and fluffy cream puffs drizzled with melted dark chocolate.

Now I’m hungry.

I hope you love this homemade vanilla ice cream! If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this ice cream by leaving a comment and rating below!

This no churn, refined sugar free vanilla ice cream uses only 5 ingredients and is rich and creamy, perfect for topping all of your summer pies and cobblers. Get the recipe at naturallysweetkitchen.com
A scoop rolling a ball of vanilla ice cream in a loaf tin.
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

This no churn, homemade vanilla ice cream recipe uses only 5 natural ingredients to make a rich and creamy refined sugar free treat.

Category Ice Cream & Frozen
Keyword homemade vanilla ice cream
Prep Time 20 minutes
Freeze 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes
Serves 3 pints
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 600 ml whole milk
  • 600 ml double cream
  • 200 ml agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla paste


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Set aside.
  2. Add the milk, cream, agave syrup, and vanilla paste to a large saucepan and place it over a medium-low heat.
  3. Bring the mixture to scalding point, stirring slowly and continuously while it heats so that the milk doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and scoop out 500ml into a measuring cup with a spout.
  5. Temper the eggs by drizzling the hot milk into the eggs, whisking quickly to keep the eggs moving and prevent them from curdling.
  6. Once combined, pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Place the pan back over a low heat and continuously stir until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This should take about 5-6 minutes.
  7. Decant the custard into a freezer safe container and allow to come to room temperature. Once it’s reached room temperature, cover with an airtight lid and freeze for 6-8 hours.


  • Around the 3-4 hour mark, give the ice cream a good stir to ensure it doesn’t ice over.
  • You can use 2 vanilla beans instead of the vanilla paste. In step two, slice open the beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into the milk and cream mixture, then add the pods as well. Remove the pods once the milk has reached the scalding point in step four.
  • This ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months, sealed in an airtight container.
  • Need a smaller amount? This recipe easily cuts in half!

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  1. Tried this out since ice cream is my all time favorite thing. It is superb, rich and creamy, just the way it should be. LOVE IT!

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