This Vanilla Frozen Custard Ice Cream is rich, decadent, and oh so creamy. Pair with your favorite pie, cake, or cookie or simply perfect on its own.

This Vanilla Custard Ice Cream serves 6 and costs $8.45 to make. That is just $1.41 per serving. This ice cream is creamy and decadent and perfect for a warm summer day. 

There is simply nothing better than homemade ice cream. I love all of the fun flavor combinations. Some of my favorites include Fresh Peach Ice Cream, Cookie Dough Ice Cream, and Holy Cannoli Ice Cream

Frozen custard in a waffle cone.

You will love this frozen Vanilla Custard Recipe

This Vanilla Frozen Custard Ice Cream is the best because it is rich, decadent, and oh so creamy. After making it just once, you’ll understand why I (almost) always have a pint on hand in the freezer. 

It’s perfect on its own, or amazing when paired with your favorite pie, cake, or freshly baked cookie. It honestly tastes like your favorite vanilla custard, in ice cream form, {think the luscious custard hidden beneath the crispy burnt sugar layer of crème brûlée}. 

This frozen custard is the kind of treat I like to enjoy all to myself in peace and quiet on the couch, watching my favorite show after the kids are in bed. Anyone else with me on this “me time” strategy?! 

What is Frozen Custard?

Frozen custard is a frozen dessert similar to ice cream but has a richer and creamier texture. It is made from a base of cream, milk, sugar, and pasteurized egg yolks. The key difference between frozen custard and traditional ice cream is the addition of egg yolks, which gives frozen custard its smooth and velvety consistency.

An overhead picture of frozen custard in ice cream cones.

Vanilla Custard Ice Cream Recipe ingredients



NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

An overhead picture of all of the ingredients needed to make frozen custard.
  • 1 cup whole milk – $0.12
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar – $0.18
  • 2 cups heavy cream – $1.94
  • Pinch of salt – $0.10
  • 1 vanilla bean – $5.50
  • 6 large egg yolks – $0.30
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – $0.31

Cook’s Tools:

  • Ice Cream Machine– I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Maker. For me, it’s the best buy for ice cream makers on the market. It’s probably not the best (or highest priced) model out there, but its modest price tag and excellent results make it the best buy in my book. Plus it comes in a ton of wicked cute colors.
  • Instant-Read Thermometer– I use a CDN ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer. I love this little thermometer; it’s speedy, accurate, and inexpensive.
  • Strainer– I use a fine mesh strainer that comes in a set of 3. It’s an inexpensive set that does more than just strain, I also use these for sifting ingredients and sifting powder sugar for garnish.
  • Ice Cream Containers– I use these white pint frozen dessert containers. They’re inexpensive (less than $19 for a set of 40!) and super cute. When giving ice cream away to friends and family, I like the decorate the containers with scrapbook paper and pretty string or ribbon. 

How to make Frozen Custard Ice Cream

STEP ONE: First place a medium pot over medium-high heat and stir together the milk, sugar, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. 

STEP TWO: After adding the vanilla bean to the pot, heat the mixture while stirring often until the mixture reaches 110  degrees. 

Add the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean to a pot.

STEP THREE: Next, cover the pot and let the mixture cool until it reaches 80 degrees. This will take about 25 minutes. 

STEP FOUR: Remove the vanilla bean, and add the egg yolks to the pot. While stirring the mixture, cook until the mixture reaches 170-175 degrees F. 

Egg yolks aded to the warm milk mixture.

STEP FIVE: After removing the pot from the heat, place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl, and pour the custard mixture through the sieve. 

STEP SIX: Then mix in the remaining cup of heavy cream and vanilla extract. After cooling the mixture for 10 minutes, cover and refrigerate it for at least two hours.

Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer and add in the remaining cream and vanilla extract.

STEP SEVEN: Finally, churn in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll want to churn until the frozen custard is the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. 

STEP EIGHT: Transfer the custard to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, about 3 hours. 

Chill and then churn the custard in an ice cream maker.

STEP NINE: Scoop and serve! 

Transfer the custard to a container and freeze for 3 hours., then scoop and serve.
Vanilla Custard in a cone with other scoops of ifrozen custard surrounding it.

Desserts to serve with this Vanilla Frozen Custard Ice Cream:

I have the perfect cake to go along with this custard ice cream. My mom’s chocolate chip cake screams for a scoop of custard ice cream to complement the richness of the cake.

Or who doesn’t love a chocolate chip cookie with custard ice cream? I know I love it! How delicious would this raspberry sauce be drizzled over the top of the custard ice cream? I want to make all of these right now! 

I also like serving this frozen custard with my salted caramel recipe. SO good. 

How to store this Ice Cream Custard Recipe

Homemade ice cream custard is best consumed within 1 to 2 weeks for optimal flavor and texture. Over time, ice crystals can form, affecting the creamy consistency.

Place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface of the custard before sealing the container. This helps prevent ice crystals from forming on the top layer of the custard.

Frozen Vanilla Custard Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between ice cream and frozen custard?

Custard vs ice cream, that is the question of the day! Custard ice cream and regular ice cream are both made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar. However, egg yolk is the major difference between custard and ice cream. According to the FDA, a custard should have 1.4% egg yolk solids by weight of the finished food. 

What is healthier custard or ice cream?

The ice cream usually has more calories and saturated fat than custard. But ice cream does have less sugar and salt than custard. So, it’s kind of tied.

What makes frozen custard so creamy?

Frozen custard has a particularly creamy texture due to a few key factors:
Higher Fat Content: Frozen custard typically contains more milk fat than regular ice cream. It commonly includes a higher percentage of cream, contributing to its rich and creamy consistency. The additional fat content provides a smoother mouthfeel and enhances the overall creaminess.
Egg Yolks: One of the main ingredients that set frozen custard apart from traditional ice cream is the inclusion of pasteurized egg yolks. The egg yolks contain emulsifiers and proteins that help stabilize the mixture and create a smoother texture. They also add richness and contribute to the custard’s velvety mouthfeel.
Churning Process: Frozen custard is churned in an ice cream maker during freezing. The churning incorporates air into the mixture and helps create smaller ice crystals and a denser and creamier consistency. The continuous churning helps distribute the fat and air throughout the custard, enhancing its creaminess.

Frozen custard in a waffle cone.
4.70 from 20 votes

Vanilla Frozen Custard Recipe

Recipe Cost $ 8.45
Serving Cost $ 1.41
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
6 people
This Vanilla Frozen Custard Ice Cream is rich, decadent, and oh so creamy. Pair with your favorite pie, cake, or cookie or simply perfect on its own.


  • medium saucepan
  • whisk
  • fine mesh strainer
  • Medium bowl
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • ice cream machine
  • ice cream container




  • Place a medium pot over medium-high heat, and whisk together the milk, sugar, and 1 cup of the heavy cream.
  • Use a spoon or the back of a butter knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pot. Add the vanilla bean to the pot, too.


  • Heat the mixture, while stirring often, until the mixture reaches 110 degrees.
  • Cover the pot and let the mixture cool for about 25 minutes, or until it cools to 80 degrees.


  • Remove the vanilla bean and add the egg yolks to the pot and whisk it into the warm milk mixture until combined.


  • Place the pot back on the stove and heat it over medium heat. Cook, while stirring constantly (make sure you scrape all around the bottom of the pan and edges).
  • Cook until the mixture reaches 170-175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. The mixture will be thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pot from the heat.


  • Place a fine-mesh​ strainer over a medium bowl and pour the custard mixture through the strainer.


  • Whisk in the remaining cup of heavy cream and vanilla extract. Cool the mixture for 10 minutes, and then cover it and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


  • Churn in an ice cream maker as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Churn until custard resembles soft-serve ice cream.
  • Transfer the frozen custard to an airtight container and freeze for 3 hours.


  • Scoop and serve!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 308mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 133mg | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1492IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 1mg

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This recipe first appeared on FFF during August of 2013. I have since updated the pictures and post copy. 

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Recipe Rating


  1. Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes says:

    Custard based ice creams are my favorite! I LOVE the idea of getting the ice cream container to package them up for friends, definitely getting some!

    1. Thanks, Lily. I love the containers, too. And they’re pretty economical to boot.

  2. This was so delicious, I can’t wait to make it again.

    1. Thanks, Meegan. 🙂

  3. This sounds so delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  4. This recipe is so easy and delicious. The whole family BEGS for more. Definitely a fast new favorite in our house!

  5. Oh my goodness this is so delicious and the perfect summer treat! My kids love this ice cream! Can’t wait to make this again!

  6. LOVE how easy this recipe is! also using a vanilla bean in it is so smart, it makes the custard super vanilla-y

  7. Very nice recipe. My sons loved it. Definitly making this again

  8. Sarah James says:

    I love a custard ice cream to have as a treat. Thanks for such detailed instructions, your information on the correct temperature to cook the custard will make it so much easier to make.

  9. Denay DeGuzman says:

    My daughter assembled this vanilla custard ice cream. It was pure YUM! She’ll be making a second batch this weekend. A refreshing treat for a hot summer day!

  10. Absolutely fantastic! I didn’t have a vanilla bean, so I simply added another teaspoon of vanilla. Soooo, creamy!

  11. So easy to make, delicious and makes me love my Cuisinart even more! I made this for my Dad, he said it was the best Custard ice cream he’s ever had. Now he wants banana flavor!