Dessert Ice Cream Summer

Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

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Overhead photo of Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream with old fashioned scoop

Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream ~ this classic vanilla ice cream recipe from Darina Allen is a dream come true for anyone who craves a homemade ice cream experience but lacks the fancy machine ~ her unusual no churn technique is life changing!

Scoops of Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream with vintage ice cream scoop in glass container

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 ice cream recipe is one that she herself developed, you can find it in her book Forgotten Skills of Cooking.

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.

Homemade Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream in a glass bowl with spoon

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 ;)

Scooping freshly made Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream out of a glass pan

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.

Overhead photo of Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream with old fashioned scoop

I hope you give this a try, it’s absolutely delicious.

Sccops of Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream with old fashioned scoop

*I’ve slightly adapted Darina Allen‘s no churn vanilla ice cream recipe for clarity and convenience.

Overhead photo of Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream with old fashioned scoop
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3.1 from 30 votes

Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

Course Dessert


  • 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
  • 1 pint 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!

Make it your own ~

  • 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!


Don’t forget to pin this Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream ~ a classic vanilla ice cream recipe from Darina Allen ~ this unusual no churn ice cream technique is life changing! #vanilla #recipes #icecream #easy #homemade #dessert #howtomakeicecream #DARINAALLEN #ballymaloe #Irishrecipe

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    August 17, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Can the syrup be made with splenda or stevia in place of the sugar.

    • Reply
      August 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      I don’t see why not!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Would love if it had more photos so I could see if I was doing it right. Great recipe tho!

  • Reply
    November 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    if you were to do an espresso version would you still use the vanilla or replace with the espresso?


    • Reply
      November 27, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Hmmmm, I probably would leave the vanilla out to allow the coffee flavor to be front and center.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    if you were making an espresso version would you still use the vanilla or replace with the espresso?


  • Reply
    August 24, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Do you whip the cream without any sugar at all? Just the cream by itself? I imagine the sugar syrup has enough sweetening power for the end result. But would appreciate confirmation if that’s the case. Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 24, 2018 at 6:35 pm

      I just whip the cream on its own Carol.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I cannot believe I made ice cream! We’re serving it will grilled pineapple and your coconut pound cake! Thanks a million!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm

      I can hear the excitement in your ‘voice’ :) Glad you like it!

  • Reply
    Jane Saunders
    May 4, 2018 at 1:15 am

    I struggle with the texture of regular no churn ice cream but yours looks so good I’m willing to give this different technique a go. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 28, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Loving this method of no-churn ice cream. It’s like the best of both worlds :)

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    April 27, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Such a dream and I love the technique!

  • Reply
    Edyta @ Innocent Delight
    April 27, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Oh my gosh. I never heard about this technique but it is so intriguing. I love homemade ice-cream but always felt intimidated…

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 9:47 am

    First of all, I’m in love with that ice cream scoop. It reminds me of the one at my late grandparents. Second, I’m loving the idea of this recipe. No churn! I’ve been wanting to make ice cream but just can’t be bothered to dig the machine out. Haha.

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Haha, I think lots of people would be tempted to make this even if they DO have a machine :)

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but was delighted to see the old brass ice cream scoop with the wooden handle—just like mine that I inherited from my parents. I wonder how old these are.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 9:07 am

    This ice cream has just the perfect consistency! I have to give this a try, ASAP!

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 9:17 am

      It was a real nice surprise, Beth, and to me it tastes like old fashioned vanilla ice cream.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Vanilla is my son’s favorite! We need to make this together soon. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 8:56 am

      I think he’ll enjoy this Ellen, I add extra vanilla to really bring home the flavor, it’s yummy.

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    April 27, 2018 at 8:51 am

    What could be better? It looks incredible! Wonderful Recipe for sunny summer. I definitely want to try it! Thank you for the recipe. This recipe is perfect for me and my family. I’m sure it is very tasty!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Hi. Looks like a great recipe I need to try. I am wondering if I can use Eurytherol instead of sugar?



    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 8:50 am

      I think that shouldn’t be a problem, Steve, just beat it with the egg yolks the same way. Let us know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 8:10 am

    When do you add the vanilla?

    • Reply
      April 27, 2018 at 8:13 am

      Thanks for spotting that Susan, it gets added to the beaten yolks :)

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    April 27, 2018 at 7:11 am

    So creamy and delicious! Have a wonderful weekend, Sue.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    April 27, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Okay now I want ice cream for breakfast! Love Darina’s recipes and this is a must try for me. I’m ready for ice cream season to begin :) Happy weekend Sue! Sharing and pinning