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Frozen Vanilla Custard

Rated as 4.61 out of 5 Stars

"American-style ice cream uses no eggs, but this is the French style--with eggs! It's rich and creamy and, although traditionally served soft in cones, I prefer to freeze it firm then scoop it."
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3 h 40 m servings 650
Original recipe yields 4 servings (1 quart)


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  1. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together until mixture changes from dark golden to pale yellow becomes fluffy.
  2. Heat milk and cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom. Cook just until mixture starts to simmer when little bubbles begin to appear on the surface, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk a ladleful of milk-cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Add another ladleful and whisk thoroughly before adding the next (this will keep the eggs from cooking). Gradually add the remaining milk-cream mixture and whisk thoroughly. Whisk in vanilla. Cool completely (you can place the bowl in a larger bowl with ice water to cool it faster).
  4. Pour cooled mixture into a pitcher; cover. Refrigerate until ice cold or overnight.
  5. Pour custard mixture into ice cream maker and process (according to manufacturer's instructions) until custard reaches the consistency of soft ice cream, about 20 minutes. Quickly transfer to a plastic container. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the custard. Cover container and freeze until custard is firm enough to scoop, at least 3 hours.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • You can substitute 1 split and scraped whole vanilla bean for 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  • To cool the custard mixture, I float the mixing bowl in a larger bowl with some ice water.
  • If you want to make ice cream cones with the leftover egg whites, here's a great recipe from Chef John.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 650 calories; 51.5 40.5 7.7 425 119 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 26
  1. 31 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Made just as recipe said but we wanted more servings so I doubled it as we were using an outside electric ice cream churn. Was awesome! Everyone kept saying yum and quit talking to just enjoy t...

Most helpful critical review

I didn’t like it. It was too creamy for my taste. It had a great flavor, just too creamy.

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

Made just as recipe said but we wanted more servings so I doubled it as we were using an outside electric ice cream churn. Was awesome! Everyone kept saying yum and quit talking to just enjoy t...

Excellent! And easy. Followed recipe as written. No issues with crystallization even after 7 days in the freezer. Easy to scoop as it is a firmer soft serve. This is my go to frozen vanilla cust...

So super yummy! When I was heating the cream and milk I was stirring it consistently and watching for it to simmer, it hadn’t started simmering yet and then next thing I know it bubbles over and...

I am on a ketogenic diet so I tried this swapping out the sugar for xylitol and erythritol (1/3 cup ea). I also swapped out the milk for half and half. I split the H&H and cream, 1.5 cups each. ...

This was excellent! Very rich and creamy. I added 1/8 teaspoon of xanthan gum to keep the ice cream from crystallizing. It tasted like the best ice cream you can buy (and maybe better).

This is my go to for an ice cream (custard) recipe. The family loves it. It does take several hours because you have to chill the mix then freeze afterwards, but it's well worth it.

Made this during quarantine along with Chef John's cones. Very creamy and rewarding to see the smile on my three girls!

Sooo tasty, this was another of our boredom busters for covid 19 lockdown. I'm not sure why, but the texture of this was super soft - like gelato texture. Super tasty but not firm like I'm use...

Easy to make. I added the vanilla bean to the milk mixture while it was warming up and the caviar to the eggs. Chilled overnight in the fridge and strained as I poured it into the maker. Roommat...