This unique no churn vanilla ice cream recipe from Darina Allen is a game changer!
tried and true no churn vanilla ice cream recipe
This tried and true recipe is simple enough to memorize, and once you’ve mastered it, you can feel confident tinkering with it, this exact ice cream has been a Ballymaloe staple for over 50 years, and the basic formula has been turned into countless flavors.
The Irish chef and food writer Darina Allen founded her Ballymaloe cooking school and organic farm in the early ’80s. Ms Allen is a spokesperson for the slow, local, and back to basics food movement and this no churn vanilla ice cream recipe is one that she herself developed. You can find it in her book Forgotten Skills of Cooking.
I’ve made so many homemade ice creams, some with my machine, and some without, but this interesting technique was completely new to me. Most no churn recipes make use of sweetened condensed milk, which is tasty and convenient, but it can make for a heavy ice cream. Like a traditional cooked custard ice cream, this recipe relies on egg yolks to keep the mixture creamy and scoopable, and results in a lighter flavor and texture than any other no churn recipe I’ve tried.
This is definitely worth a try if you don’t have an ice cream machine and want to experience the wonders of freshly made ice cream. Even if you do have an ice cream machine you should try it, it’s lovely to know that you can get by without high tech equipment if you need to 😉
useful tools you’ll need
This no churn vanilla ice cream recipe is easy and straightforward, and while you don’t need an ice cream machine, you will need a couple of other basic tools to make it ~
- a candy or deep fry thermometer. These come with clips so you can attach it to the side of your pan and easily see when your syrup has reached the right temperature. Every kitchen needs one of these, you’ll use it for jam, candy, and frying.
- a stand mixer or electric beaters, a stand mixer is easiest.
I hope you give this a try, it’s absolutely delicious.
variations on no churn vanilla ice cream
- Vary the flavoring by using peppermint, almond, or any other extract you like.
- Add instant coffee powder to the mousse or the cream before whipping.
- The seeds of a vanilla bean would make this extra luxe.
- Add chocolate shavings.
- To make chocolate ice cream add cocoa powder to the whipping cream, fold melted and cooled chocolate into the mousse…or both!
- For another take on no churn ice cream, try my No Churn Bailey’s Ice Cream!
for vanilla lovers…
- Honey Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
- Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
- Winter Spice Vanilla Pudding with Brandied Whipped Cream
- Kentucky Bourbon Vanilla Bean Pudding
- White Chocolate Pecan Cookie Bars
- Triple Vanilla Pound Cake
Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
- stand mixer or electric beaters
- candy thermometer
- 4 large egg yolks, use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned about using raw eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp good vanilla extract, this is key
- 2 cups heavy cream, cold
- Beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy, at least several minutes. Ideally do this in a stand mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl, then refrigerate.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Keep at a full boil until the mixture reaches the ‘thread’ stage, 223°F-236F on your candy thermometer. This will take about 10 minutes, give or take, depending on the size of your pan, you don’t need to stir while it is boiling. The mixture will reduce down and will be syrupy, so use this as a guide if you don’t have a thermometer.
- With the mixer on, add the hot syrup to the egg yolks in a slow steady stream, beating all the time. Let the mixer go for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and very pale, like mousse.
- Gently mix the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream, using a classic folding technique so you don’t lose all the air in the whipped cream. When the mixture is fully combined and there are no streaks, spoon it into a freezable container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Scoop and enjoy!
Questions and Reviews
will definitely make this ice cream. looks so easy. would like recipe for chocolate ice cream.
I have a great one for chocolate ice cream, here.
I’ve already left my review on here (Absolutely perfect and delicious) but I did want to add some things I changed up to make it even more awesome. I like to make it as normal and freeze it in the mixing bowl for one hour, then whip it up again until almost stiff peaks, (About 4 minutes it takes me in a stand mixer) and then spoon it into a freezable container, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze completely. This gets an EXTREME creamy texture, like store bought texture. I noticed when I did it normally without this step it would turn out a little icy and hard, (But still delicious!) so I would recommend if you run into the same problem. I also add an additional 1/8 cup sugar (but this may be too sweet for some.) Also, for exact measurements to make chocolate, I added 3 TBSP cocoa powder to the heavy cream and 5 oz. Semi Sweet chocolate chips (Melted) to the mousse. It came out perfect!
Thanks so much Caleb, I’ll definitely try your technique!
This is the BEST homemade ice cream I have EVER TRIED! It is so yummy and I got so many compliments when serving. They said it was so tasty and came back for more and more! Thank you so much! It’s delicious and the texture is seriously PERFECT! Definitely try this if you haven’t yet! (It’s also fun to make!)
Hi, I’ve been looking for a good no churn ice cream recipe for a long time and I think I found it in this one! It looks so good and so easy. I don’t have room for one more appliance like an ice cream maker :-). I’m definitely going to try this recipe as is but wondered if there’s also a way to make it a bit healthier for friends who are Pretty strict about clean eating but mentioned they’d love to find a good recipe for making ice cream. I’m not an advanced enough cook to know what might work for this. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
How much chocolate do you recommend folding into the mousse for chocolate ice cream?