How to Make the Easiest and Tastiest (Mostly) Homemade Ice Cream

Over the last few years I discovered a new practice in the kitchen and it’s become one of my favorite things to do when it comes to desserts. Now today’s the day. I’m finally letting you in on my biggest secret. And of course it has to do with ice cream, a big tub of Haagen Dazs Vanilla ice cream to be specific.

The Inception of My Homemade
Ice Cream Addiction

When I was living in my small city apartment during school, I discovered my love of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream. It’s the best vanilla ice cream out there, I swear by it. I started making a habit of grabbing one any time I went grocery shopping.

Now Haagen Dazs is where it begins, but it’s certainly not where it ends. 

I always had a tub of my favorite vanilla ice cream on hand, but I will admit that vanilla is not my favorite flavor. Constantly, I found myself craving flavors like triple chocolate, mint chocolate chip, espresso chip, roasted strawberry and so many others.

One late night, I decided to experiment and make myself a chocolate milkshake out of vanilla ice cream. Sounds simple right? It’s just like what fast food restaurants do; they use vanilla custard plus different flavored syrups to make their milkshakes. Translating that idea to my own kitchen, I added the vanilla ice cream, cocoa powder and chocolate chips to a blender and voila; thus was born a chocolate milkshake accompanied by my new favorite kitchen practice. 

The Secret Weapon in My Kitchen:
Vanilla Ice Cream

So the big secret?? Using a vanilla ice cream as a base for all the homemade ice cream flavors you can imagine.

Forget buying a whole carton of each of your favorite flavors. Who has the room for that in the freezer? Forget going out to buy a single scoop every time you’re craving a new flavor. Who has the money (or the effort) for that? Forget buying an ice cream maker and dealing with fussy custards to make your own homemade ice cream from scratch. And don’t even come at me with the no-churn ice creams; they just aren’t the same as real ice cream, whether you want to admit it or not. Using an established, delicious vanilla ice cream as a base gives you the perfect texture and endless possibilities for flavor. 

Keep vanilla ice cream on hand and you’ll be able to make whatever flavor homemade ice cream you want whenever you want it! Create your favorite flavors in an instant or even invent new ones! It’s the easiest, most customizable trick in my kitchen.

The Basic Process for (Easily) Making Your
Own Homemade Ice Cream

Another great thing about my whole vanilla remix / homemade ice cream practice is how easy it is. Once you’ve figured out the flavor you wanna make, it comes together in a matter of minutes. The basic technique starts with scooping out however much ice cream you want. You can either make enough for just one serving and eat it all straight away or you can make a bit of a bigger batch and store it in the freezer for the week. I usually opt for the latter, it’s like meal prepping ice cream!

After you scoop out the ice cream, add in your base flavors. That’ll be cocoa powder for a chocolate base, espresso powder for a coffee base or an extract like mint or peppermint. Mix it all together well until it’s all combined. Then add in any mix-ins like chocolate chips. If you want to add a swirl/ripple, like a chocolate swirl, layer some ice cream with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, then a layer of ice cream, then a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Eat it straight away for more of a soft serve situation or throw it back in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to get it back to a hard scooped texture.

The Best Ice Cream Flavors to Try

*recipes based on 2 C of vanilla ice cream*

Mint Choc Chip (pictured) – ½ tsp mint extract, ½ tsp green food dye, ¼ C mini chocolate chips

Triple Chocolate (pictured) – 2 Tbs cocoa powder, ½ C chocolate chunks, chocolate swirl

Espresso Chip (pictured) – 2 Tbs Cocoa powder, 1 Tbs espresso powder, ¼ C choc chunks, chocolate swirl

Black Raspberry Chip (pictured) – ½ C each crushed and strained raspberries and blackberries OR ½ C black raspberry jam (opt for a seedless variety), ¼ C chocolate chunks

Roasted Strawberry – ½ C roasted strawberries, strawberry jam swirl 

Peanut Butter Cup – ¼ C peanut butter, ¼ C choc chips, ¼ C crushed peanut butter cups, chocolate swirl

Salted Caramel Pretzel Chunk – 1 C crushed pretzels, 1 C crushed chocolate-covered caramels, thick salted caramel swirl

Cookie Dough – ¼ C melted light brown sugar, cookie dough pieces½ C mini chocolate chips

Peppermint Bark – ½ tsp peppermint extract, ½ C crushed candy canes or peppermint bark, option to add ¼ tsp red food dye to make it pink 

Chocolate Peppermint – ¼ C cocoa powder, ½ tsp peppermint extract, ½ C crushed candy canes or peppermint bark, ¼ C chocolate chunks

Brownie Batter – ¼ C cocoa powder, 1 C crumbled fudgy brownies, optional chocolate swirl

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