Homemade Ice Cream Recipes & Inspiration

I’m not going to lie, I used to judge people who made their own ice cream. They were right up there with people who knitted their own clothing and built all the furniture in their house with their own two hands. Maybe I’m just jealous of their Pinterest-perfect ways, but I just didn’t want to be part of their group. Until one day I went over to a friend’s house for a play date and their five year old daughter whipped up some homemade ice cream for us. Seriously. FIVE YEARS OLD. So being the competitive person that I am, I gave it a go myself and am now hooked. Why? Because when something is homemade, you can feel the love in it as these Homemade Ice Cream Recipes and Inspiration will show.

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Homemade Ice Cream Recipes & Inspiration–The Fundamentals

I swear by having a great ice cream maker, measuring and mixing tools, as well as storage and serving containers to keep your homemade ice cream ready for whenver the mood strikes. So before you start dreaming up different flavor combos, make sure your pantry is stacked with the following ice cream tools:

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes & Inspiration–All About That Base

As Meghan Trainor likes to sing, we should be “All About That Bass,” but in this case, the base is vanilla or chocolate ice cream. You see, as long as you have a great recipe for both vanilla or chocolate ice cream, your homemade ice cream recipes are LIMITLESS. Seriously. The sky is the limit, and the more creative the better. So, here are my tried and true (and oh so easy) base recipes.


Vanilla (makes 1 ½ quarts of ice cream)

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Chocolate (makes 1 ½ quarts of ice cream)

  • ½ cup cocoa powder (add more if you like a RICH flavor)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract

As a rule of thumb, I always combine the dry ingredients and mix them together in a small bowl before slowly adding them into a large bowl filled with the wet ingredients. Then whisk (or use a mixer if you are lazy like me) until the sugar dissolves. Pour the entire mixture into your ice cream maker (to ensure that your freezer bowl stays frozen, always keep it stored in your freezer/deep freezer so it is ready to go—otherwise it will take at least 24 hours to completely freeze through), turn it on, and let it churn! 15-20 minutes later your ice cream is perfectly churned and ready to enjoy!

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes & Inspiration–Mix It In

There is nothing wrong with a scoop of classic vanilla or chocolate ice cream, but since I think variety is the spice of life, I tend to mix in different combinations, such as fruits, nuts, liquors…even herbs!

The key is adding the items at the correct time. Since fruit takes a while to fully freeze, I would add them to the mixture early on in the churning process (about five minutes in). For smaller additions, such as nuts, I save those for the later (about 15 minutes into the churning process). Finally, any alcohol should be added nearly at the end of the ice cream making process since it can change the freezing temperature of the entire batch of ice cream.


Looking for some delicious mix-it-in combos? I have found that you can use these ingredients with either chocolate or vanilla bases and they will be equally delicious.


  • S’mores Ice Cream–Mini marshmallows, chocolate morsels, crushed graham crackers
  • Strawberry Basil Ice Cream—Minced strawberries and chopped basil
  • Chocolate Banana Ice Cream—Two smashed bananas (frozen works, too!), mini chocolate morsels
  • Birthday Cake Ice Cream—One crumbled up cupcake, additional sprinkles (no icing)
  • Peppermint Ice Cream—Depending on your preference, you can either use crushed candy canes or fresh chopped mint from the garden
  • Nutella Almond Ice Cream—Dollups of Nutella and slivered almonds
  • Thin Mint Ice Cream—Crushed up Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies
  • Mixed Berry Ice Cream—Fresh Diced Berries
  • Peanut Butter Ice Cream—Dollups of Peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch morsels
  • Cinnamon Spiced Ice Cream (for ADULTS ONLY!)—1 tablespoon ground cinnamon and 1/3 cup Fireball Whisky

You can also make your own homemade ice cream cake, layering ingredients such as cookies and sweet crackers to form a crust, topping with ice cream and additional cookie crumbles, then finally adding a twist of chocolate sauce and sprinkles. I mean, how easy does this ice cream cake look?!?!

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes & Inspiration–Troubleshooting Tips

Ice cream consistency a little…off? Pop it in the freezer to get it to firm up. And don’t forget to keep your freezer tub in your freezer (especially if you have a deep freezer) so it is always ready at a moment’s notice.

Ice cream maker starting to overflow? That just means that your ice cream is getting thicker (yay!) so stop the machine, spoon some out and pop in the freezer while the rest of the ice cream mixture continues to churn.

Not sure how to store your ice cream? Pick up galloon or 2 quart sized Tupperware to have on hand. Simply label and toss in the freezer and you can create your own 31 Flavors.

I have no doubt that you will be inspired by these homemade ice cream recipes and inspiration and that your kitchen will become the most popular ice cream parlor on the lbock. And no, you don’t need to milk your own cow in order to create your own ice cream masterpieces. Be sure to comment here to keep me updated on whatever unique flavor combos your family has come up with!

Indulge your sweet tooth with these ice cream s’mores or stick to a delicious s’mores platter if you prefer!


Bon Appetite!


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  1. robin rue says

    I have never made my own ice cream before, but if I did, it would be coffee. It’s our favorite here. Topped with some coffee syrup and it’s out of this world.

  2. Alli Smith says

    I love homemade ice cream. It always takes me back to my childhood and hot Sunday afternoons. We’d all take turn churning that old hand-crank churn. Thankfully, it’s much easier to make homemade ice cream these days and I love your recipe and all the add-ins.

  3. Heather Gallagher says

    We love home made ice cream at our house. And I need some new inspiration so thanks for the fun ideas. It’s the perfect summer treat – and so much yummier when you make it yourself!

  4. Jeanette says

    I’m so excited for a post like this. It’s so hot in the summer and buying ice cream is so expensive it would be fun to make it myself and it would taste better too.

  5. Doria says

    I love making homemade ice cream so these recipes are PERFECT! We have family coming this weekend, I’m going to have to whip up a fresh batch <3

  6. Pam says

    I love homemade ice cream. I like to get creative with my mix-ins. But you can never go wrong with chocolate!

  7. Victoria Heckstall says

    I always wanted to make my own homemade ice cream! But I think I need more time! I’m really glad that I found this.

  8. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen says

    Homemade ice cream is so good because you can add any flavoring or goodie you want and as much as you want. It’s not too hard to make either. The recipes you listed sound really yummy. We’ll have to give them a try sometime. 🙂

  9. Our Family World says

    I sometimes make ice cream at home, but I am not as creative as you. I usually make chocolate ice cream because that is what the family likes. I think I should try making other flavors too.

  10. Jillian Spellman says

    I have an ice cream maker I got as a gift years ago that I never opened. We just got a deep freezer so I need to start using it now that we have the room for it.

  11. David Elliott says

    Reminds me of the Cold stone creamery ice creams that you get. I love the mixture of brownie with my vanilla, to be honest. This looks great though. May have to try this out.

  12. Amanda says

    Making your own ice cream is a great idea for the summer! My grandmother used to do it and her versions were always better than any store bought ice cream!

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