Small batch vanilla ice cream


Valentine's Day is just a week away and love is in the air. Whether that love is for a significant other, a gaggle of girlfriends or a cozy night snuggled with your fur baby, there is no better day of the year to indulge your sweet tooth!

I've been tinkering with a homemade vanilla ice cream recipe that only makes one pint. Okay, okay, so a pint is not technically one serving (or really even two servings)…but it is better than eating a quart, so you're still winning.

What I love about this recipe is that it has a strong flavor on its own and doesn't need add-ins. But it's a holiday after all so pick up a snack pack of Oreos or a candy bar in the grocery checkout lane. I like to use crushed potato chips which sounds really gross, but it is soooo good if you are into salty-sweet combos.


This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste rather than extract, and that is an essential yet expensive ingredient. Vanilla paste is sweetened and amps the vanilla flavor significantly which allows you to cut the amount of total sugar in the recipe. It also adds lovely flecks of bean throughout like gourmet ice creams. While a bottle of this paste is not cheap–trust me, there is no substitute and you’re worth it. Besides, a bottle of this will make quarts and quarts! If you happen to live near a HomeGoods store, I find they have the best price. Amazon, King Arthur Flour and Sur La Table carry it, too.

Don't skip the rum even if you don't like the taste–it prevents the ice cream from freezing rock hard. The cream covers the rum flavor.

I think people avoid making ice cream because they assume it is complicated. It is totally easy and takes only a few ingredients; however, you do need an ice cream maker. I happen to have a one-pint ice cream maker but no worries if yours is larger–most ice cream makers have no problem churning a smaller batch.

To make the mixture, I pour all the ingredients into a blender first. My blender has measurements on the side so that means I will have fewer measuring cups to wash. Mix on low until the sugar dissolves and then pour into the ice cream maker. About an hour later you will have soft serve ice cream and can stir in your extra ingredients. If you prefer firmer ice cream, transfer to a container and pop in the freezer for at least four hours.

Small batch vanilla ice cream

Makes 1 pint which (technically) serves 4

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup half and half

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste)

1 teaspoon dark rum

1/3 cup sugar

Add-ins such as cookies or candy (optional)

Add all ingredients except add-ins to a blender and “stir” until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream reaches soft-serve consistency, stir in your add-ins. Enjoy immediately or transfer to a container for four hours for a firmer consistency.

Hope you love it! XOXO