Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream


I’m sure it’s a bit bizarre to see ice cream recipes popping up during the winter months, but when you are lucky enough to receive the KA ice cream maker attachment for Christmas, there really isn’t an alternative to churning out new ice cream recipes! After a successful Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, I definitely got the bug to keep trying new recipes and after hearing rave reviews, I ran out and picked up The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. For anyone interested in making homemade ice cream, this book is a definite must-have. It is full not only of absolutely fabulous-sounding recipes, but also serves as a wonderful reference that includes a significant amount of background information on the ingredients used for ice creams, methods, equipment, and tips for churning out the best homemade ice cream.

Vanilla ice cream is a classic that just about everyone loves, so mastering it was on the top of my list. A short list of ingredients ensures a rich, smooth, and fresh-tasting ice cream that melts in your mouth (slight pun intended). Using real vanilla beans gives the ice cream robust flavor and infuses it with speckles of vanilla bean, which I just love.

The recipes for classic vanilla and chocolate ice creams are offered in two varieties – one made with a cooked custard involving egg yolks (“French-style”), and another made simply with cream or a combination of cream and whole milk (“Philadelphia-style”). The difference between these two methods lies primarily in the texture achieved – French-style ice creams tend to be smoother and silkier, due to the emulsifying properties of the egg yolks, while Philadelphia-style ice creams tend to be a bit firmer and freeze harder, but are somewhat lighter tasting. A distinct advantage of Philadelphia-style ice cream is how quickly they can be mixed together before chilling and freezing.

Since I was pressed for time, the batch of ice cream I made was Philadelphia-style and I thought it had a wonderful texture and was light and creamy, which makes me even more excited to try the French-style next time and compare the two.

Aside from eating it straight out of the container, my favorite way to enjoy homemade vanilla ice cream:

A decadent Oreo sundae 🙂


Don’t forget! If you’re dying for homemade ice cream and cursing yourself for not having an ice cream maker, head straight to this tutorial on how to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker!

Vanilla Ice Cream, Philadelphia-Style

Yield: About 2 quarts

Prep Time: 30 minutes (active) 8 hours (inactive)

Total Time: 9 hours


3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract


Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream (or the remaining 1 cup cream and the milk) and the vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

(The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, page 25)


59 Responses to “Philadelphia-Style Vanilla Ice Cream”

  1. Kelly on February 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I got a Kitchenaid for Christmas and the first attachment I get is going to have to be the ice cream maker. I’ve just seen too many good recipes to not own it.


  2. Annie on February 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    So glad you enjoyed this recipe! It is my favorite vanilla ever, so much that I have very little motivation to try the French-style 🙂 And that sundae looks FABULOUS, I’m going to have to try that!


  3. Joelen on February 4, 2009 at 9:21 am

    What a great ice cream! I recently used David’s vanilla ice cream recipe as a base for another flavor – yum!


  4. Maria on February 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I haven’t tried David’s Philly style vanilla. It looks great! I love the Oreo sundae!! I have tried the other vanilla and it is fabulous!! You must try it next!


  5. Hallie on February 4, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I love classic vanilla bean ice cream. wow that looks so good!


  6. Kate on February 4, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I can’t wait to see your french vanilla ice cream!


  7. Hayley on February 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    I got the KA ice cream attachment for Christmas too. I’ll definately have to pick up this book. Thanks for sharing, it look so wonderfully creamy.


  8. Talita Gomes on February 4, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I love ice cream!! This one looks so creamy and yummy!!


  9. The Food Hunter on February 6, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I love making ice cream. Yours looks yummy.


  10. Claire Mason on February 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Mmm, that sundae does look decadent. Isn’t it weird how sometimes it is the simplest classics that are the hardest to find a just right recipe for?


  11. Amber on February 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I have yet to try any of the Philadelphia style recipes. I am always to scared that they won’t taste good. I suppose I need to give them a try because they are soo much quicker to make.


  12. Usha on February 13, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I love classic vanilla ice cream and I recently purchased an ice cream maker…I have to try this recipe, it looks so beautiful and perfect 🙂


  13. Memoria on May 3, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve tried the other Vanilla ice cream recipe from David, and while it tastes awesome, I’m not particularly excited about using all those eggs. This recipe sounds much easier and quicker. It probably won’t feel as heavy either. Thanks!


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  15. Heather F on July 11, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I learned today that if you fall asleep and let this ice cream churn for 2.5 hours you make a really yummy cool-whip. I’ve invented an ice cream that doesn’t melt in the fridge!


    • Susy S on April 20th, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Tastes exactly like cool whip- not a bad thing in general but not what I was going for. Maybe I should have substituted some cream for milk or…? 🙁


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  20. Carrie on January 31, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I made this ice cream yesterday. It almost tastes like an extra thick whipped cream. The vanilla flavor was wonderful and the texture was very light. I let it mix in my KA for about 25-30 mins and then freeze for about 2 hours before our dinner party and it was gone by the end. I wonder if the texture changes at it sits in the freezer (it was still very soft to scoop after 2 hours)? I think a scoop of it would be good in a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!


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  25. Deanna on May 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I got the KA ice cream mixer attachment as the rebate for my mixer, threw the freeze bowl in the freezer the second it came, and made my first ice cream today. This was AWESOME! Super easy (dangerously easy…) and delicious. I used 1C of fat free milk in the place of 1C of the cream to make it slightly less unhealthy. It’s been in the freezer for about 5 hours now and it’s still on the softer side but I actually prefer that consistency. Thanks so much for posting!


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  27. rileigh hansen on July 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Loved this recipe! So delicious!


  28. Carolyn on July 24, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Hi there! Okay I am about to attempt my first go at ice cream and starting with your vanilla…..did you do all cream or the cream milk combo for your version? If I mix in chocolate bits how much and do I do that the last 5 minutes of mixing? Wish me luck….my 7 year old has great expectations 🙂


    • Michelle on July 25th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      I believe I did the split of heavy cream and whole milk. If you add in the chocolate, yes, do it at the end of the mixing. Enjoy the ice cream, and have fun with your 7 year old! 🙂


      • Carolyn on August 4th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

        Success!!!! Thank you for the recipe and tip……this weekend we are attempting the mint chocolate chip! You rock and I can’t wait to try more of your recipes:-)


  29. Barbara on July 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I have a Cuisinart cabinet top frozen yogurt, sorbet and ice cream maker. Ther are some good recipes that came with it but not as good as this sounds! It is more like the recipe I use in my 1 1/2 gallon ice cream maker! Going to try this right now!!


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  35. Taryn on December 7, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I have used a lot of the recipes here and they’ve been amazing. This one was the first without eggs and it does have a different texture, not nearly as smooth as an egg based one and I didn’t like it as much. still the kids will eat this while I finish the pistachio icecream I made last week!


  36. Rachel on April 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    I made this recipe last summer and everyone loved it! They said it was the best vanilla they’d ever put in their mouths! Making it again for my preschool class this week 🙂


  37. Anne on June 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

    This is my first attempt at ice cream – with brand new machine 🙂 Slightly confused with with the timings . . . . . . . . what’s the 8 hours (inactive) about? Sorry if this is a stupid question!


    • Michelle on June 27th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Anne, That’s the time to chill in the refrigerator.


  38. Becky on June 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I have a KA and recently bought the ice cream bowl. I tried to make dairy free vanilla ice cream and it did not freeze to the consistency of frozen ice cream. I substited milk & heavy cream with coconut milk. Do you have a dairy free vanilla ice cream recipe for the KA mixer? I refuse to believe it is the mixer, it is something I am doing wrong. Any suggestions would greatly be accepted. Thank you.


    • Michelle on June 28th, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Hi Becky, Unfortunately, I do not have a dairy-free ice cream recipe.


      • brandon hyman on July 3rd, 2014 at 11:43 am

        I know this post is a year late, but I think the problem is that coconut milk doesnt have the required richness to work right. Coconut cream or cream of coconut is probably a better solution to mix with the milk.


    • Sydney's Sweets on July 30th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      i blend peeled then frozen bananas with coconut milk for a yummy dairy free ice cream which has similar consistency as dairy ice cream. add milk little by little to desire. i make right in the blender/bullet and then freeze, no KA needed.


  39. Shannon on July 12, 2013 at 4:13 am

    This is such a wonderful,easy recipe. I didn’t have vanilla bean and didn’t want to wait until the morning to go and get some (it was 3am! lol…), so I put an extra 1 1/2 tsp of a good quality vanilla extract. To improve the creamy texture and mouth feel a bit, I sprinkled about 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum and mixed very well.This was soooo yummy! I am definitely going to check out more of these wonderful flavors! Thanks for the recipe!


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  43. Melanie on April 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    So I can personally attest to the fact that you CAN make ice cream without a machine! This was my very first time making ice cream and I can’t believe how simple and easy it was. I made this using 2 cups cream & 1 cup whole milk, and substituted 2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. I had no problems with the mixture freezing hard, and the flavour is fantastic! I can’t wait to try the other flavours!


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  49. MaureenT on June 20, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I made this ice cream the other day. The ice cream is very good but it as rich as the one made with eggs. I researched adding chocolate chips to the ice cream. I found a suggestion that I take the Nestlé’s chocolate chips and melt it in the microwave and add a couple tablespoons of oii. Mix it thoroughly. Then I put it on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet & put it in the freezer. A few minutes later when it was starting to firm, I took it out of the freezer and quickly used my pizza cutter in both directions and on a diagonaI. After a few more minutes in the freezer, I went over it again with the pizza cutter. Then I loosened the pieces from the parchment paper so I knew the pieces would be the size I wanted for the chocolate chip ice cream. It was better than any other chocolate chip ice cream that I have ever eaten. There were some chips that were larger than the usual chocolate chips in commercial ice cream. It was pockets of chocolate deliciousness. You could taste the chocolate because it hardened but not as hard as the original chips. More like the taste of chocolate in a home made chocolate chip cookie. Thanks for another very good recipe.


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  51. Marilyn on July 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    BINGO! wow – this is by far my favorite ice cream recipe. I tried it with the Heavy Cream and can’t believe how smooth and creamy it is. I know it is very important to let the mixture cool completely before adding to freezer. My freezer is a bit bigger so next time I will adjust the recipe using 4 cups heavy cream and one cup of sugar. I have made lots of recipes but from now on this is the one that will be used.


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