Ready to savour every last bit of summer? This french vanilla ice cream recipe will have you craving more well beyond the last bite. And when there is only five ingredients in a batch that makes multiple pints, there's no reason not to make enough to last you all summer long.

Before we dive into the recipe, there are a few quick tips for ice cream perfection and a little background on french vanilla which are not only informational, but will help you whip up the best batch of ice cream imaginable. But if you feel you're good to go, feel free to scroll down to the recipe below!

how is french vanilla different than plain vanilla?

French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks in it, whereas plain vanilla ice cream does not. This plain version (sometimes called Philadelphia-style) is usually lighter in colour due to the absence of eggs. Of course, this is not always true for plain vanilla ice cream, as some types may still contain eggs. However, french vanilla ice cream is known for its yellow hue and creamier, custard-like taste from the egg yolks.

The difference between these two popular flavours of ice cream is typically found in their ingredients, appearance, and consistency. When developing this recipe, I stayed true to the use of eggs within the ice cream, but as I've always found egg custards to be a bit of a pain, I left out the eggs. This recipe uses custard powder instead, which provides the same thick texture and yellow colour of an egg. And with no raw eggs involved, this recipe became even easier - no stovetop required. Simply combine the ingredients, whip them together for a few minutes, spread out in a pan, freeze, and voila!

Serving your frozen treat

This recipe yields 2-3 pints of ice cream. It may seem like plenty at first, but once you try your first bite, it's all as good as gone. Now, I'm not going to tell you how to enjoy your ice cream, but I am going to dish out a few suggestions.

  • Take the ice cream out of the freezer up to five minutes before ready to scoop. This will allow it to soften, without turning runny and melting before you're ready to eat.
  • Get creative with it! The best thing about this recipe is how well it combines with different flavours. The french vanilla flavour is tasty enough on its own, but it also makes a perfect base for a variety of ice cream toppings you might want.
  • Everyone enjoys their ice cream differently. Swirl in some jam, drizzle on a caramel sauce, add some sprinkles. Each scoop should taste exactly how you like it. For the photos of this recipe, I used a combination of chocolate chips and granola.

The recipe for your new favourite ice cream (homemade or non!) is just ahead. Be sure to tag @sugarbutterflourbakery and #sugarbutterflourbakery to let me know if you whipped up a batch!

Eggless French Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep time: 10 minutes

Inactive time: 4 hours

Yields: 2-3 pints


  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup custard powder
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the heavy cream on medium speed for about one minute. Once ripples have started to form along the cream's surface, increase to high speed and whip for another 3-5 minutes, or until the base has a medium-stiff peak when scooped.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the 2% milk and vanilla extract. Add the custard powder and powdered sugar, then whisk to combine. Pour this mixture into the mixing bowl, then return the hand or stand mixer to medium-high speed. Whip for approximately 30 seconds, or until the base has stiffened without clumps of the whipped cream separating. (If the cream begins to separate, you may have overwhipped it. To fix this, add in a tablespoon more of cream, then whip again, stopping before it can separate.)
  3. Turn off the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure the cream has been whipped evenly. Transfer the ice cream base into a 9 x 9" baking pan (greased and lined with parchment, if desired). Spread out evenly within the pan, then cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally overnight.
  4. The ice cream is ready once it is firm to the touch. Scoop and enjoy your frozen treat!