This is the only ice cream recipe you’ll ever need! Learning How To Make Sweet Cream Ice Cream will wow all of your friends when you hand them a cone. This recipe is easy to customize, only requires 4 ingredients, and the machine does most of the work!
Ready to customize your ice cream?
Sweet Cream Ice Cream is easy to make and acts as a thick and rich base to all of your favorite flavors. All you need are egg yolks, milk, cream, and sugar! Its luxurious custard base is out-of-this-world creamy and tastes just like the real deal from McConnell’s and Haagen-Dazs!
Your guests will be floored when they find out the ice cream you’re serving is made from scratch. I highly recommend mixing in all the flavors you can imagine. My favorites include cookie crumbles, caramel sauce, mint, chocolate chips, or vanilla bean.
What makes this ice cream different?
This is a French custard-style ice cream recipe. It has the addition of egg yolks rather than the more common Philadelphia-style recipe, which is made with milk, cream, and sugar. Philadelphia ice cream is easier to make and incorporates flavors nicely, but a French custard ice cream has deep, rich flavors and an ultra-smooth texture.
A traditional French recipe can require up to 10 egg yolks for the custard base! My recipe (which only uses 3 yolks) has a nice balance and is a great place to start when you’re new to ice cream making or for when you want to customize the flavors.
Do I need an ice cream maker?
Yes, but it’s so worth it! There’s a dramatic difference between churn and no-churn ice cream recipes. Freshly churned ice cream in a machine has a thick and luxurious texture, freezes better, and never turns out gummy.
The ice cream maker I use is from Cuisinart. It’s fully automatic and makes perfect soft serve ice cream every time!
Ingredients you need
Four basic ingredients and that’s all you need! Homemade ice cream has never been easier.
This is what makes it a custard-based ice cream! Use large chicken eggs for this recipe. Make sure to save the whites to make homemade marshmallows (to throw on top of your ice cream of course) or my seven-minute frosting.
Heavy cream and milk
These are what make the recipe super creamy. Heavy cream will make the ice cream smooth and rich, but if you’re looking for something a little lighter, use half-and-half instead or use more milk and less cream. Just make sure the dairy portions still equal 3 cups, and don’t even try to use fat-free!
Did you know that sugar is necessary to a good ice cream? Granulated sugar will not only add the necessary sweetness, but gives the ice cream body as well.
I find that the amount of sugar in this recipe is very well balanced, but feel free to use a little less or a little more (just don’t get rid of it completely).
How to make it
Follow these steps to make your own ice cream at home:
Step 1: Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl.
Step 2: Heat the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, stirring often until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and whisk 1 ½ cups of the cream mixture to the egg yolks.
Step 3: Transfer the cream and egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir it constantly until the custard has thickened. Remove it from the heat.
Strain the custard into a large bowl and discard any solids leftover. Place the bowl with the custard over an ice bath, stirring constantly until cool. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge.
Step 4: Once the custard is chilled, pour it into your ice cream maker and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 5: Transfer the finished ice cream to a container until it's firm.
Step 6: Keep the ice cream frozen for up to 3 months! Enjoy a scoop with chocolate sauce, nuts, cookie crumbles, or sprinkles.
Helpful recipe tips
Make the homemade ice cream of your dreams using these tips:
Don’t let the custard curdle
Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding in some of the steaming milk mixture while whisking constantly. Using a thermometer (I love my ThermoWorks ThermoPop!) will help monitor the temperature so it doesn’t go above 170ºF.
Gently cook (don't boil) the custard until it thickens and coats a spoon, leaving a trail that doesn't quickly disappear.
Need more custard-making tips? Click here to watch me make this recipe from scratch.
When do I add the mix-ins or flavors?
Some ingredients can be added as soon as the custard is set and cooled, like vanilla bean, ground coffee beans, or mint.
Most fruit (like strawberries or peaches) usually need to be pureed, strained, cooked down to remove the water content (excess water will make your ice cream icy!), and then stirred into the ice cream base before churning.
For more significant mix-ins like nuts, peanut butter, or melted chocolate, they’ll need to be added a few minutes before the ice cream is done churning or mixed in by hand.
Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions
Every ice cream maker is different, so make sure to review the manufacturer's instructions before getting started. For the best results, determine the instructions on freezing the churning bowl ahead of time and the recommended churning time.
Making it ahead of time
You can prepare the custard base up to 3 days ahead of time. Just cover the batch and keep it in your fridge until it’s ice cream time!
When the ice cream is churned and finished, add it to a container, like this ice cream tub, and place a piece of parchment paper directly on top before sealing with a lid. This will prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze it for at least 4 hours so it becomes hard and scoopable.
The finished batch can freeze for up to 3 months. That means homemade ice cream all summer long!
It's you're turn to make some ice cream!
Okay friend! Make some icecream using this recipe and leave a comment below letting me know how much you like it!
How to Make Ice Cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- pinch salt
- ⅔ cup sugar
- Beat egg yolks thoroughly in a large bowl.
- Heat remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until sugar has dissolved and it's l warm (115 degrees F), about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Whisking constantly, slowly add 1 ½ cups of the cream mixture to the egg yolks.
- Transfer the cream and egg mixture back into the saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan until the custard has thickened and has reached 170 degrees, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Pour the custard through the fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Discard any solids remaining in the strainer.
- Place the bowl of custard onto an ice bath. Stir the custard constantly until cool, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
- Once chilled thoroughly, churn the custard base in your ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer to an ice cream tub and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.
- This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Notes: Using the Cuisinart ICE 30-BC Pure Indulgence 2-quart machine, I freeze the base for at least 24 hours before churring and churn it for 20 minutes.
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