Customize a Simple Base Recipe to Get the Creamy, Cool Flavor of Your Dreams

Little boy and girl eating homemade ice cream

Taking your whole family out to an ice-cream parlor can be awesome, but it's also pricey. With a basic ice-cream maker, however, you can make a batch large enough to serve everyone, in whatever flavors you desire. Start with a base of 1/3 cup of sugar and about 3 cups of liquid—about half whole milk and half heavy cream_._ Customize according to any of the recipes below and then process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Vegan or lactose intolerant? No problem. Substitute a mixture of chilled coconut cream and coconut milk for the dairy ingredients in your base ice cream recipe.

1. Classic Vanilla Bean

A super simple dessert, vanilla bean ice cream is a classic for good reason. It pairs perfectly with just about any other sweet treat, yet it's also excellent on its own. Get those beautiful little flecks by mixing your base recipe with the insides of 1 to 2 vanilla beans or about 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste, which is a mixture of both extract and vanilla pod seeds.

2. Deep Chocolate

Got chocoholic tendencies? This ice cream will satisfy. In a large bowl, pour about 1/2 cup of cocoa powder plus 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chocolate chunks of your choice. Regular chocolate chips are fine, as are pieces of chopped dark chocolate or milk chocolate from a bar. To intensify the chocolate flavor, add a small amount of instant espresso powder. Heat your liquid ice cream base and stir it into the chocolate ingredients until smooth and combined, then cool and process in your ice cream maker.

3. Mint Chip

Something about the mint in mint chip ice cream makes it even more refreshing than other flavors. To get that cool flavor, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of mint extract to your base recipe. If you want the ice cream to be green, add 10 to 12 drops of green food coloring as well. During the churning, melt chocolate with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour the chocolate into the ice cream maker during the last few minutes of churning for thin, frozen chips.

4. Cookie Dough

A perennial kid favorite, cookie dough ice cream needs no accompaniment and makes a decadent dessert all by itself. To avoid any risk of salmonella contamination from raw eggs in cookie dough, prepare a dough recipe without eggs (adding more liquid in the form of milk or melted butter if needed) or use a vegan cookie recipe. Crumble the dough into small pieces and add them to the ice cream in the last few minutes of churning.