We all scream for [Ugandan Vanilla Bean] ice cream!


We love ice cream. Especially a good, hand-packed ice cream. And yet we live in the land of Dairy Queen (we also love Dairy Queen) where such ice cream is not readily available. Luckily for us our BFFs live in the land of Jeni’s Ice Cream and over the years have gifted us with an ice cream maker attachment for our stand mixer and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home recipe book. Let the ice cream making begin! 026

Making ice cream with the kiddos is one of the easiest things to do. The motivation factor is high (ice cream!!!), the process is super straight-forward and there’s good measuring and pouring practice to get some math skills in there as well.

This ice cream strikes a good balance of being kid-friendly (it is vanilla after all), but if you go with the Ugandan Vanilla Bean you’ll get an intense, fragrant vanilla that takes the grocery store variety up a couple of notches.

Yummy ways to eat this treat: over grilled peaches, with a fruit sauce, with a fruity pie (we’re in strawberry-rhubarb country) or with covered with lots of hot fudge (we dream of Malley’s). Today we were making a treat for Grammy’s birthday so we kept it simple and threw in some confetti-style sprinkles at the end of the mixing process for a little fun.

On with the recipe!


Makes about 1 quart


  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 tbls plus 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 tbls) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 tbls light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out, seeds and bean reserved
  • Any mix-in you’d like to add (in our case, confetti sprinkles)


PREP: Make sure you know how your ice cream maker works and any prep required. Our stand mixer attachment needs to be frozen overnight so this isn’t something we’re able to do on a whim!

Once you’re ready, mix  2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

COOK: Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla seeds and bean in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high hear, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.IMG_6372

CHILL: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. If you’re adding in anything (sprinkles, m&ms, etc.) pour those in once your base is nice and smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag and seal tightly. Submerge the bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

FREEZE: Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister (see prep) and get things mixing until thick and creamy. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. IMG_6383

Enjoy the clean-up process…

Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Eat & enjoy (babies like ice cream cones)!



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