Simple Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream | Omega

No special equipment is needed for this easy homemade ice cream recipe. Whip up the dairy or vegan version whenever you want a sweet treat at home. Or, try both!

American playwright and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Thorton Wilder once said, “My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.”

Of all treats, ice cream can bring back some of our best childhood memories. Even as adults, it’s fun to catch the ice cream truck or grab a scoop on the go.

If you want to try making your own ice cream at home, here’s a basic vanilla recipe that doesn’t require an ice cream maker. A hand mixer or a whisk with the right amount of elbow grease will work—no fancy equipment necessary. Want more flavor? Add extras or toppings as you like.  

Dairy Version

Makes 3 Pints


1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, cold
2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt


Refrigerate the can of sweetened condensed milk for a few hours. Using a hand mixer or a whisk, whip the cream until soft peaks form. This could take up to 5 minutes. Pour the cold condensed milk into the whipped cream and whisk until the mixture is thick—about 3 to 4 minutes. Gently stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

If you want to add additional flavors, now is the time. Consider fresh blueberries or strawberries, pecans, chocolate chips, or your favorite cookie crumbles.

Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze for at least 6 to 8 hours.

Topping Ideas: fresh fruit, sprinkles, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, hot fudge, whipped cream

Vegan Version

Makes 2 pints


2 cans (13.5 ounces each) full fat coconut milk
1 can (13.5 ounces) full fat coconut milk
⅔ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt


Chill two cans of coconut milk in the refrigerator for a few hours. Empty the room temperature can into a saucepan, add the coconut sugar, and bring to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced and become thick—this is now condensed coconut milk. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Open the two cold cans of coconut milk. The cream should be at the top. Scoop the cream into a mixing bowl.* With a hand mixer or whisk, whip the coconut cream until light and fluffy (approximately 4 to 5 minutes). Add the condensed coconut milk and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes. Gently mix in the vanilla extract and salt.

Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze for 6 to 8 hours.

*Use the leftover coconut water for a smoothie.

© 2018 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

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