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The BEST Homemade Ice Cream Recipe: Vanilla, Chocolate or Mint Chocolate Chip

BEST Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

Looking for the BEST Homemade Ice Cream Recipe?!

This is our favorite! I actually let my kids have this homemade ice cream for breakfast the other day, knowing that they’d be getting all those healthy fats and nutrients, and less maple syrup than if they’d had some on a pancake! (Find more healthy breakfast ideas here.)

nourishingtraditions_thumb.jpgWe borrowed Sonia’s Ice Cream Maker last week and went crazy with that thing. After my friend, Julie, raved about the Nourishing Traditions recipe, I had to try it. Wow, she was right, it was amazing.

I would even venture to call this a low carb and healthy treat, just wait until you see these ingredients – it’s full of nutrients! It only has a half cup of real maple syrup in 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream, so it’s a natural sweetener, AND there’s not that much of it!

Below are recipes for chocolate, vanilla, and mint chocolate chip ice cream, but if you scroll to the end, you’ll find recipes for even more flavors, and also a recipe for homemade hot fudge!

Here’s the Ice Cream Maker I’m asking for this Christmas – it’s a little bigger than Sonia’s (this one is 2 qt.), which is important since we go through homemade ice cream fast around here.

The BEST Homemade Ice Cream Recipe

Nourishing Traditions VANILLA Ice Cream recipe (1.5 quart) (Posted with permission from Sally Fallon.)

See below for the 2 quart recipe which I use with the ice cream maker pictured on the right.


  • 3 egg yolks (be sure you use good quality eggs from a local farmer who raises healthy pasture-fed chickens…I wouldn’t recommend eating raw eggs from the grocery store.)
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup (I’ve been making it with 1/3 c. and it’s still great!)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Flour
  • 3 1/2 cups heavy cream/whipping cream, preferably from pastured cows and raw, but for sure NOT ultra-pasteurized (read why not at that link) — I also like to add in as part of that amount our grass-fed raw milk – it’s not quite as heavy tasting that way.
  • dash of sea salt


Beat egg yolks and blend in remaining ingredients. Pour into ice cream maker and process according to instructions.

CHOCOLATE ice cream (1.5 quart)


Same instructions as above.

I think I liked chocolate the best, but they’re both dreamy.

UPDATE: I got the above ice cream maker for Christmas (yay!) and here are the amounts for the 2 quart recipes….

2 quarts CHOCOLATE ice cream:

  • 2/3 cup real maple syrup (Lately I’ve been making it with only 1/2 cup and it’s still great!)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 2/3 cup cream (I use about 3 cups cream, 1 2/3 cups whole milk/raw milk if you like it with a bit lighter taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cocoa powder
  • Dash sea salt

Same instructions as above.

2 quarts VANILLA ice cream:


  • 2/3 cup real maple syrup (Lately I’ve been making it with only 1/2 cup and it’s still great!)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 2/3 cup cream (or 3 cups cream, 1 2/3 cups whole milk/raw milk if you like it with a bit lighter taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla (more to your taste)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Flour
  • Dash sea salt

Same instructions as above.

2 quarts MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ice cream:


  • Make vanilla as directed above, and add in 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract, and then put in some chocolate chips when it was almost done – it was the best mint chocolate chip ice cream we’ve ever had! (The kids ask for it all the time.)


How to Make Lemon Ice Cream

photo, another photo credit


  1. Somehow I knew you’d like that idea! I wonder what Anna will think of this, though! Anna, let me have it! I always love your comments, they challenge me to keep doing better.

  2. Not this time, Kelly! I love making ice cream. It's one of my occasional indulgences and it's always a hit with the family. I often use maple syrup, too. Because of the fat and protein (& no other high glucose ingredients like in baked pastry desserts ), I find the sugars in homemade ice cream doesn't send my BG up as high or as fast (non-fat frozen yogurt is another story!). So, with moderation and a somewhat lower sugar content, I can do ice cream now and then. Most often I use the basic uncooked egg, cream, & milk base in the Ben & Jerry's ice cream book, but with reduced sugar. Espresso is our favorite flavor, even with my 10 yr old.

    It only takes a few minutes to whip up the base, then get the freezer set up. In less than 30-40 minutes it is done, at the "soft serve" stage. If I start it at 4pm, then I can get to that stage before starting dinner (thought the 25-20 minutes of freezing time allows me to stay nearby but doing other things, too). I transfer the soft ice cream to a container (I like shallow wide open containers, like the large glass GlassLock container from Snapware – my newest food storage find) and by the time dinner is over, the ice cream is perfect for scooping.

    The main problem I've had with homemade ice cream is that it is frozen so hard after the first day in the freezer, that it is sometimes impossible to scoop. That's because homemade recipes don't have all the gums and additives that commercial ice cream use to control texture. If I turn adjust my freezer temp, other foods get too warm. I can't tell you how many times I put ice cream in the fridge before dinner to soften a bit or on the counter afterwards, then forgot about it, and later find cream soup.

    Now I whip half or all of the cream to a semi-whipped stage first, then fold it into the other ingredients (already mixed together) before adding to the ice cream maker. That adds enough air to make scooping much easier, even when it is super frozen (my separate freezer is set super cold).

    I make sure to use a recipe that doesn't make too much (1-1.5 qts), because with the air whipped into the cream, the volume is higher and a big batch might result in overspill near the end of freezing (ice cream expanding as it freezes), at least in my freezer bowl setup. Larger capacity machines might not have that problem.

    I make ice cream with a freezer bowl accessory for my Kitchenaid stand mixer. That way I don't have a separate motor base to store. But I think they all do a pretty good job. When I was looking for a in ice cream freezer device, Cuisinart got a lot of good reviews.

    BTW, when we went to Italy for two weeks this summer (my husband was the organizer for an international science conference in Tuscany, plus we met up with his family from the UK & Norway for a celebration of his mother's 80th birthday) – small gelatos were one of my vacation indulgences. I didn't haven't gelato every day when we were staying at a farmhouse apartment in the countryside, but when we were in towns and cities I sure did. Servings were very, very small and I was choosy, looking for the remaining establishments that make their own gelato (increasingly even in Italy gelato is commercially made). I nearly always chose a coffee or hazelnut flavor (might only be my imagination, but they seemed less sweet, though honestly they were still too sweet for my tastebuds – but oh so smooth and creamy).

  3. Woohooo!! I’m so excited that you like this dessert, Anna!

    GREAT tip on whipping the cream first.

    Love all your interesting stories, too. :)


  4. Kelly,

    This sounds wonderful! We don’t have an ice cream maker but have made ice cream using the “baggie” method. In fact, we happened to make it a few days ago with fresh raw cream and it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had! The raw cream made the difference. Each child had their own sandwich bag and could flavor it however they wanted. I put some raw cacao powder in mine with a few chocolate chips and just a bit of rapadura. One child put some crushed peppermint in hers (okay, totally a compromise ingredient!) along with cacao and rapadura. We each had a gallon-sized baggie as well into which we put ice and rock salt, and the little baggie. Then squish, squish until it becomes ice cream. Eat immediately. Yum!

    I don’t know how this would work with your recipe but I thought I’d throw it out there. I can’t think of a replacement for the plastic baggies though if you areavoiding all plastics.


  5. Hi Beth,

    You were just on my mind not 5 minutes ago!

    I thought about the baggie method (until we get an ice cream maker), but I think I’m too lazy for all that. :) I’ll bet the kids thought it was fun, though.


  6. We’ve started making our homemade ice cream with coconut milk – which (obviously) makes it non-dairy. My husband says I should find some place to sell it – it is so yummy!

  7. Hello, Kelly!

    We have been making this recipe from Nourishing Traditions (and making variations of it) for about two years now. We use only two tablespoons of maple syrup. We will have a bowl of it in place of dinner a couple times a week in the summer. Recently, I have been trying to get coconut oil and cod liver oil into my husband whom is reluctant to take it voluntarily, so I add it to the ice cream and serve it as a side with breakfast! I have to melt the coconut oil first, then I add both the coconut oil and cod liver oil to the egg yolks and vanilla before adding the cream. Yum!

  8. Vicki,

    That would be a great alternative to the coconut ice cream I’ve seen in the story – the ingredient list is so long!


    You sneak cod liver oil in ice cream? Wow, you’re good! (I’m surprised the coconut oil doesn’t harden back up once it’s cold?)


  9. I haven’t tried this but I’ve read you can freeze the ice cream mixture in your fridge freezer in a bowl, stirring it every once in a while to break up the ice crystals. it might be a bit icier, but it’ll taste great anyway.

  10. My mother-in-law made the vanilla ice cream the other day. We followed your recipe exactly. It was SO DELICIOUS.

    The night before, I almost fainted when I read the ingredients in my father-in-law’s favorite store-bought ice cream. Why do they have to put hydrogenated palm oil in there????

    Anyway, my in-laws were VERY impressed. And Kate ate a ton of it. This is not just a delicious dessert — it’s a health food!

  11. I’m sure you all figured this out, but up a few comments where I said, “story”, I meant “store”…

  12. I have NT as well as Shannon Hayes’ Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, which has the NT recipe for vanilla ice cream as well, only she uses 3 Tablespoons of vanilla extract instead of one. It’s so much better with 3! With 1 it just tastes like maple syrup to me.

  13. Thanks Gina, now I have an excuse to make another batch!
    Kelly p.s. I changed the amount in the recipe up in the post, too.

  14. Thanks for joining us for Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. We are glad to have you, Christmas recipe or not. Please, keep coming back!

  15. This sounds amazing and healthier for us, too! Thanks for sharing! I just got the Nourishing Traditions cookbook recently. 😀

  16. Yum! I want Ice cream for breakfast! I have “Nourishing Traditions” and was hoping to try out their ice cream recipe this summer . . . glad to know it is such a success!


    PS – That ice cream maker is on my wishlist too!

  17. Hi Sarah,

    Yah, Kent’s not real happy with me. I ordered it and gave it to him to wrap. Aren’t I bad?? I can’t wait to try it out!!


  18. Wow. Ice cream for breakfast. That’s REALLY thinking outside the box! I found a pretty good cookie recipe I made once and thought that was so “cool.” My friends’ moms were always giving them cookies for breakfast when I was growing up (or at least it seemed that way) and I thought it would be “cool” to do that for the kids, but they didn’t seem to get it.

    When we went camping, we’d make ice cream in aluminum (!) coffee cans. A big, three-pound can held the ice and salt, then the little one-pound can in the middle, taped shut with the cream, milk, eggs and sugar. We’d play kick-the-can until it was done. Very fun. Wouldn’t dream of doing that now.

    Hm, I have packed away my ice cream maker for the winter, perhaps I’ll get it out…

  19. Oh no, never never put the ice cream maker away, girl!

    Hey, the kick the can thing sounds like a blast! There’s got to be a way to do that without using aluminum cans, we just have to put our heads together!

  20. Rebecca, if I had a good source of raw cream I’d love it (I leave the cream on our raw milk and shake it in), but since I don’t, I use Meijer’s cream that is pasteurized, but not ULTRA-pasteurized like most cream that you can find. (It’s in a pinkish purplish 1 c. carton.)

  21. OH, and a link for the ice cream maker I have (and LOVE) is above – it’s a 2 quart, and we need the extra 1/2 quart that you can’t normally find, we still usually eat it all in one sitting! :)

  22. I just made coconut ice cream last night. I used coconut milk, cane sugar crystals and a pinch of salt. It tasted delicious!! Can’t wait to try the chocolate and and the chocolate mint. I may be awhile since I don’t eat ice cream very often.

  23. I just wanted to add that the reason homemade ice cream freezes up so much harder then store bought is the amount of sugar. The higher the concentration of sugar the lower the freezing point. So the less sweet you make it the harder it will get. One trick is to add a small amount of alcohol since that will also lower the freezing point. Also be generous with the pinch of salt because that will help too.

    Do you know what the purpose of the arrowroot powder is? I’ve been curious what it adds to the recipe. So far I’ve made the recipe without the egg yolks since I’ve been afraid of the raw egg and it’s still yummy. I just got some eggs from a very trusted source so I may finally get brave enough to try it the real way.

  24. This is my second time making the Nourishing Traditions vanilla ice cream, using your measurements for 2 QT! I love it, it is soo good and I know that it is soo GOOD for you and it doesn’t leave me guilty. I use 4 cups raw cream and 2/3 cup whole raw milk- the farm I buy the cream from sells it in pints and it’s not cheap! I also made the chocolate recipe for my dad. He liked it, but it wasn’t as chocolaty… so I may melt the cocoa powder and butter in a double boiler and then add it to the ice cream. This might make the chilling tricky because everything has to be VERY cold before it goes into the ice cream maker, but I am sure I will figure something out. Does anyone have any ideas for making it more chocolaty?

  25. I’m currently trying my first batch of ice cream with raw cream I skimmed from our milk-I’m so excited! I purchased the cuisinart ice cream maker a couple summers ago and absolutely fell in love-it’s so easy to use!

    Also, one of my favorite “cookbooks” has to be the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream book-there is a whole section in the beginning that talks the “whys” and science behind making ice cream, which comes in very handy when you’re trying to experiment. Today I’m just making their french vanilla ice cream which I’m trying with honey today instead of sugar (just 1/2 cup)-can’t wait to try it!

    As for the chocolate-they have THREE recipes for chocolate in there and they are all AMAZING. Once uses just melted chocolate, and the other two use a combination of melted chocolate and cocoa powder (their “light” chocolate recipe has the least amount of chocolate and still uses a combination of 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1/4 CUP cocoa powder, so LOTS more than what’s listed above. But yes, you DO need to chill the ice cream after mixing and before adding to the ice cream maker since it won’t be very cold from the melted chocolate.

    Also, I find that I like tall, narrow plastic containers the best to store it in. Glass causes ice cream to melt, so I NEVER add ice cream to a glass container right after freezing (when it’s like “soft serve”) or it seems to melt almost instantly.

    Hope this helps on the chocolate at least!

  26. Thanks for the recipe:-) I’m really looking forward to starting making homemade ice cream but can’t decide on the ice cream maker. The cuisinart one which I’ve seen looks like it has an aluminium bowl. I thought it’s best to avoid aluminium but could not find any info on the actual material used. Anyone know or have any recommendations for a ‘healthy material’ ice cream maker? :-)

    • Yes, that’s the bummer about that bowl. I actually just called the company to confirm it and it is made of aluminum. :( I had figured as much, darn it.

      • I wonder if there are ice cream makers made from other ‘safer’ materials?
        I’m sure that homemade ice cream in aluminium is still healthier than shop ice cream though. Maybe not much metal leaches into the ice cream since it’s cold, perhaps it’s worse using aluminium hot?? I’m not sure.

  27. Kelly, I love your website because I’ve finally found other ladies out there just like me who take the time to cook healthy meals for their family. It’s hard work and there were many times when I wondered if it was worth it. Now that my husband and I are at retirement age and not on some kind of medication I can only thank the Lord for His goodness in letting me discover good nutrition habits.

    Here is a recipe I came up with as an ice cream substitute. If I don’t tell anyone they don’t know it’s not real cream. Basically you use coconut milk instead. Now you may double check but I believe coconut milk is very good for you and contains lauric acid. Here is my recipe:

    2 cans coconut milk (I use whole vs lite)
    3 teas. vanilla extract
    1 teas. peppermint extract
    1 teas. cinnamon extract
    2 teas. chocolate extract
    a pinch of salt
    1/3 cup maple syrup
    2 T coconut nectar (very nutritious)

    I simply mix all above in a medium bowl with a hand egg beater. Put it in my Cuisinart ice cream maker and in 20 minutes it’s ready to eat or put in a container for freezing. Of course all my ingredients were organic. You can substitute coconut milk for the cream in any of your own ice cream favorites. Let me know what you think. God Bless! Diane


    • Wow, there’s a lot going on in that recipes, sounds yummy!!! Since we can do dairy fine, I might use part coconut milk and part cream so we get the benefits of both.

      Thanks for sharing! :)

  28. Have you ever tried making the ice cream into a custard first? If you think that recipe is good, try making it into a custard prior adding raw milk cream to and then chilling it before putting it through the ice cream maker. You will swoon. And cry. Then eat some more. Especially if you do half only egg yolk and half using the whole egg. It’s yummy!

    • Custard type is great. I wanted to keep the value of the raw egg yolks so I add 5-6 yolks to the recipe….. I also make coconut palm “simple syrup” and use that to keep the glycemic value low. I don’t bother with the arrowroot powder. I do add 1-2 Tbls vodka for the easy dipping.
      For Thanksgiving, I added 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and some pumpkin pie spice to the “custard”. Boy was that awesome.
      I used some of it to make Frozen Pumpkin Tarts. Made gingersnap crust for tart pans…. put in the ice cream….. then topped it with “caramel” flavored whipped coconut cream.
      We thought it was to die for. :-)

  29. Kelly, I just made this and am eating some right now. So good! I added an extra yolk, cut down the maple syrup slightly, added stevia liquid, and a big spoonful of almond butter. It worked well! Thanks for this. I’ve also tried cooked custard ice cream recipes, but this is so much easier, and I figure it has to be more healthful to get the yolks raw.

  30. I have made this vanilla ice cream using half coconut milk (the Thai Kitchen brand, which has about the same amount of fat as cream). It is really delicious. I didn’t care for ice cream using all coconut milk, although maybe I need to get a different brand. Thanks for all the suggestions… i’m planning to make Cheeseslave’s vanilla kefir ice cream for the 4th of July!

  31. Hi Kelly,
    I have tried a couple of ice cream recipes lately, and just tried the chocolate one from this post last night. My whole family loved it! My mom said it was by far my best batch so far, and my kids even said, “It tastes just like the kind from the ice cream man!” (A HUGE compliment). Thanks so much!

  32. I realize it’s been a while since this was posted, but I had to put in my two cents about these recipes. I’ve been trying to perfect my homemade ice cream for a few years now, mostly with high-maintenance custard recipes that tasted ridiculously eggy or froze too hard. I am never going back! I tried the vanilla just last night (doubling everything except the maple and vanilla, using store-bought cream), and hubby and I both agree it is, hands down, the best recipe we’ve tested yet! And it comes together so fast! Even straight out of the freezer today, I was able to scoop some out with a spoon, which means it’s not going to take forever to soften for dessert tonight. I can’t wait to play with the flavors. Methinks my ice cream maker won’t be going back into winter storage this year after all.

    • Well aren’t you a big sweetie for sharing this fun feedback?! We’re making vanilla again soon to use in root beer floats – I found some Blue Sky root beer with only 4 ingredients!

      Thanks Christine!

  33. Great website! I’ve tried the NT vanilla ice cream and loved it! My son and I are partial to chocolate so, I was happy to find your chocolate version. I see that you didn’t use arrowroot in the chocolate recipe. Does it still come out with a nice, creamy texture?

  34. Jenny on Nourished Kitchen (.com) has a recipe for a cinnamon ice cream. It calls for honey but since we live in maple syrup country, I used amber (grade b) syrup instead. It tastes fantastic, you can really taste the maple and cinnamon and it makes an awesome combonation.

  35. I have never been big on ice cream. It’s okay every now and then. But, I received an ice cream maker for my birthday and made your strawberry ice cream. Oh. My. Goodness. I’m sad when it’s all gone! But, that’s okay, I just make more. It is SO GOOD! I’m eating it every night!

  36. Hi Kelly –

    I’ve been using this recipe for a few years. I had never tried to make it with Raw Cream until just now. I don’t know why but the ice cream didn’t fluff up the way it usually does. I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer ice cream attachment and in the past I have just used whatever heavy cream I could find. Do you have any insight as to why it wouldn’t have fluffed up and become really creamy now that I am actually using raw cream?? Thank you!

  37. I realize this negates some of the benefits of using healthy, raw egg yolks, but for those of us who don’t (yet) have a source of raw eggs we trust, is there any reason you couldn’t use pasteurized egg yolks? I’ve pasteurized eggs before for Ceasar dressing, and it seems to work fine.

    • Hi Jenny,

      Well I’ve done it a lot in past years (cookie dough!), and it’s probably okay if they’re pasteurized, but I’m just not as comfortable with eggs from factory farms.


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