This basic homemade ice cream recipe is what dreams are made of! It's egg-free and uses only 5 ingredients that you likely have on-hand. This delicious dessert turns out perfectly every time.

Homemade ice cream recipe in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Homemade ice cream is welcome any time of the year in our house, but it's especially good during those hot summer months to help keep you cool! It's so refreshing and is crazy easy to make. The best part? It's so. much. cheaper. than what you can buy at the store!

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Buy a tub of ice cream on the regular and you can kiss your grocery budget goodbye. But learn how to make this simple homemade ice cream recipe and you can eat it every night without having to spend an arm and a leg! #ShelfCookingWin


Strawberry ice cream in a pan, from Shelf Cooking

Ice cream is perfectly good plain Jane, obviously. But don't be afraid to add in some extra goodies to give it a little extra somethin' somethin'! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Brownie Bits
  • Cookie Bits
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Candy Bits
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Fudge Sauce
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pretzel Bits

Pro Tip: Make your fruity homemade ice cream smooth by pureeing your fruit in a food processor or blender rather than keeping it in chunks. It'll still taste delicious, but you won't have to worry about your fruit chunks getting icy this way.


But wait, what if there's no ice cream maker to been seen?? No worries! Add your cooled ingredients into a baggie, make sure all the air is out, and zip that puppy up. In a separate baggie, add 3 cups of ice and ⅓ cup salt, then mix it up a little.

Add your ice cream bag in with the ice, zip the baggie, and shake shake shake! Do this for about 10 minutes or until the ice cream has hardened. Remove from the bag and store in the freezer, or eat directly from the bag… We won't judge! 😉


Homemade ice cream with peach dessert in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

…is right out of the container, of course! 😉 But seriously, ice cream is delicious by itself AND with other sweet treats as well. Here are some of our favorite delectable treats to either eat with ice cream or make out of ice cream:

Mmmhmmm, yes please! Are you starting to see why we love making homemade ice cream?!


Three scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Ready to see how easy it is to make homemade ice cream? Grab your ice cream maker and let's get to it.

(Recipe adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen.)

Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

Whip up this simple recipe in under 10 minutes and have delicious ice cream in just a few hours!
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook, Cooling, & Churning Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cups milk (preferably whole – gotta get those fats!)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: add-ins and toppings


  • Add in 1 cup of the cream, sugar, and salt into a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely. (This will make the texture nice and smooth!) Don't let it come to a boil, though!
  • Remove from heat and add in the remaining cream, milk, and vanilla extract.
  • Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator until cooled and ready to churn. (You can also stick in in the freezer to help it cool off quicker, but don't leave it in there too long! That's not how you want your ice cream to freeze or it'll grow ice crystals.)
  • Remove from the fridge and whisk again. Mix in any add-ins, pour into the ice cream maker, and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Once the ice cream is set, add it to an airtight container and store in the freezer until you're ready to chow down.
  • Enjoy with your favorite toppings!


*You can totally skip the simmering step and put it straight into the ice cream maker if you're in a rush and can't wait to have some ice cream in your life! However, you'll get the smoothest, creamiest, dreamiest consistency if you take the time to dissolve the sugar.
**This is for a 1.5-quart maker. Feel free to double if you have a larger ice cream machine!
Keyword creamy, easy, quick

Voila! Store it in an airtight container in the freezer to finish it out. An ice cream freezer storage container is the best way to store it because they'll fit in your freezer door! Plus, they make scooping a breeze since they're long and skinny.

Now that you're a pro, what type are you going to make first? Let us know in the comments! We're always looking for new ideas to add in.

Image with text that reads "Easy, creamy homemade ice cream" from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more greatness?

  • Fruit salad with Cool Whip is a great way to sneak some goodness into your family because it tastes just like a dessert!
  • Store your fruits and vegetables the proper way so they'll last longer, saving you some major dolla bills!
  • Have leftover rice? Repurpose it with these easy leftover rice recipes that'll keep things fresh and different!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!