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Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

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June 18th, 2009 · Print Print

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream from Sugarlaws

Usually, I am a lazy person when I make ice cream.  That means no custard bases for me — my ice creams have milk, cream and sugar, but never will you see an egg yolk in the ingredient list. 

But when I thought about a traditional vanilla bean recipe, I realized that if I wanted the subtle, deep flavor that accompanies the best vanilla recipes, it needed to be a custard base. 

And, even more importantly, it needed a really good vanilla bean.  When I was contacted by Singing Dog Vanilla a month or two ago, I agreed to try their vanilla beans, not really knowing what quality they’d be.  When they arrived, I was so impressed with the biodegradable packaging and the “Free Trade Plus” program they use for their farmers.  But, as great a selling point as both of those are, they would have meant nothing if the beans hadn’t been good.

And they weren’t good — they were amazing.  Without hesitation, I will say that they were the best vanilla beans I’ve ever gotten my hands on, and I’ve bought them locally from spice importers in NYC, in bottles and packages in grocery stores, and tried them in cooking classes.  These were so moist and fresh, and I got more seeds out of one bean than I usually do out of two — I would have felt totally comfortable using half of one of these beans in the recipe, still guaranteeing strong vanilla flavor.

Which brings me to the exciting news: Two of you, lucky readers, can win a package of these vanilla beans I’m raving about!  Just leave a comment to this post, and I’ll pick two winners randomly next week.  Hopefully you guys will love them as much as I do!

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream from Sugarlaws

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream


3/4 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1/4 cup honey


Over low heat, mix the heavy cream, sugar and egg yolks, and heat, stirring frequently with a whisk, until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon.  Remove the mixture from the heat, and whisk in the milk, vanilla bean seeds and honey, stirring until combined.  Process in an ice cream maker for 45 minutes, and then freeze overnight until the ice cream reaches the consistency you prefer.

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream from Sugarlaws


Tags: desserts · food

76 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LeeH // Jun 18, 2009 at 4:55 am

    I would love to try this recipe with these amazing vanilla beans. Of course, I’ll try it anyway with the best I can find.
    have a great day

  • 2 Amanda // Jun 18, 2009 at 6:23 am

    I loved the Honey Vanilla Haagen Daaz you mentioned before, so I’d love to make my own. I’m always on the lookout for a good vanilla bean. Their website looks good – cinnamon too even!

  • 3 Amy // Jun 18, 2009 at 6:28 am

    Oooh I would love to try thos vanilla beans. Especially after that endorsement!

  • 4 Jim // Jun 18, 2009 at 6:38 am

    We make homemade IC, will try this, looks so good.

  • 5 Pearl // Jun 18, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I made honey vanilla ice cream, too, except I didn’t really follow the ingredients and added more honey for a deeper taste!

  • 6 Ellen // Jun 18, 2009 at 6:54 am

    wow, that ice cream looks fantastic! i’d love some of these vanilla beans to give it a try.

  • 7 VeggieGirl // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Gorgeous scoop of ice cream!!

    VANILLA BEANS?!??!! Oh my, I’d love to have some in my kitchen.

  • 8 Will // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Looks good.  I wish that you would describe the flavor of the ice cream a little more.  Does it have good honey flavor along with the vanilla?

  • 9 Sandra // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Oh my, this looks SO GOOD! I haven’t used fresh vanilla beans in ages, and I haven’t made ice cream in slightly fewer ages. But this is inspiring me!

  • 10 Beth // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I live in rural WI and it’s hard to get my hands on great vanilla beans.  I went to a baby shower where everyone received vanilla beans as a gift… I took home as many as I could get my hands on for homemade ice cream.  YUM!

  • 11 Alyson // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I love speckled vanilla treats! SeriousEats just did a vanilla ice cream taste test and Breyer’s Vanilla (with specks) did not do well. It has always been one of my favorites, even if the specks just trick me into thinking it is more vanilla-y than it is. Your fancy vanilla beans sound like they take it to a whole new level. I’d love to try them out! Vanilla Bean Mousse is tempting me too.

  • 12 Inge // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Love this ice-cream, i’m not much of an ice-cream maker myself but boy does that look delicious :)
    It such a shame vanilla beans are so expensive, if they were cheaper i would use them more often, but i’m a poor student ;) so i really would like to win them :p do i’m not sure if you could send them to te Netherlands….

  • 13 AJ // Jun 18, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Would love to make some great meals with that vanilla. I read your blog every time you post and you have great recipes. Thanks!

  • 14 Alicw // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I would love to win some vanilla beans! Count me in on the contest!

  • 15 patsyk // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Nothing like a quality ingredient to force you to try something new! Would love to give them a try myself!

  • 16 maris // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:11 am

    OH sign me up! Why does everything on your blog look SO amazing?

  • 17 Yvette // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:11 am

    OHMYGOSH YUM.  I just got an ice cream maker and have been experimenting with different flavors.  Of course, custard bases are my favorite and that’s all I’ve been making.  I think this may be my next attempt (when I finish my peanut butter and fresh-picked blackberry :)

  • 18 zoe // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Simple and classic. I love the honey addition. I would love to experiment with vanilla beans! You are so generous!

  • 19 Christy // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Honey is probably my favorite food. I cannot wait to try this recipe! though it will probably have to wait until after my wedding in August. I’m pretty sure I will impress my dude even without your superultrafantastical vanilla beans, but I would love to try them!


  • 20 Dayna // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:18 am

    this looks amazing!  will definitely try the recipe.

  • 21 Sonia // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I would love to use Vanilla Beans and I love the taste of them, but I’ve somehow convinced myself that they are extremely difficult to use. Reading your recipes makes it look really easy! I will definitely have to try to do that soon!

  • 22 nicole // Jun 18, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Pick me, Pick me! I’ve just recently discovered the power of vanilla beans and am excited to give this a try. My muffin tops are crying no, but my mouth is saying yes!

  • 23 Pamela // Jun 18, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I’m feeling guilty. Looking for ice cream recipes I found you and have no need to look further. You’ve done all the work, and done it so well. We’re just going to work our way through your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing! And nothing compares to vanilla from beans.

  • 24 Natalie // Jun 18, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I think I may have to make this for Father’s Day this weekend.  I have been craving homemade ice cream and this recipe put my cravings over the top!  I would love to have some of those vanilla beans!

  • 25 Cynthia A // Jun 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Your Ice cream looks really luscious!  Does the taste of the honey come through, or is it all about the vanilla?  I’ve not yet used vanilla beans, but I sure would love to try, especially with such wonderful ones ;)

  • 26 shannon // Jun 18, 2009 at 10:09 am

    ooooh!  me!  pick me!  i made vanilla bean cheesecake wtih my last vanilla bean last week. 

    i will definitely be adding this ice cream to my “must make” list.

  • 27 Erin // Jun 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I’ve been craving ice cream lately, and have even put the bowl for my ice cream maker in the freezer in anticipation of finding a good recipe.  I think this honey vanilla will prove worthy!  It sounds delicious.  Thanks for the recipe, and the chance to try those awesome beans!

  • 28 Maja // Jun 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Iiiiice cream!! :) It’s not terribly hot here, but i’m still in no mood for cooking lately … but what i have been doing is tones and tones of ice cream. Carrot cake and peanut butter and lemon and roasted nectarine … and even though lately i’m so lazy i opt for non-custard ice cream, you sold it pretty well here. :) I like that it also has honey in it, i’m gonna try it and report back! :)

  • 29 Jessica // Jun 18, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Wow!  This sounds delicious!!  And I’m not just saying that to win vanilla beans.. Although that sure would be awesome too!

  • 30 Kathryn // Jun 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Yum! I need to make this – and would love some good vanila beans!

  • 31 Leah // Jun 18, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    As I just used my first vanilla bean recently (to make your Vanilla Bean Mousse…oh, wow), I would love to try a new one!!

  • 32 Whitney // Jun 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I just used up my last bean with some ice cream and I would love to win some to restock!

  • 33 Annie // Jun 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve used vanilla beans before, in a few things, but this looks really good. My mom makes her own vanilla extract, so she’s constantly trying new kinds of vanilla beans for that.

  • 34 ttfn300 // Jun 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    ok, so now you’re gonna make me want to try a custard base…

  • 35 Prissy // Jun 18, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve never used vanilla beans, but I would really love to! I would love to try this ice cream recipe! My husband’s favorite is vanilla bean ice cream.

  • 36 Charles // Jun 18, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I also love using fresh vanilla pods!

  • 37 Kelly // Jun 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    This looks so good! I’ve never used vanilla beans and would love to try.

  • 38 Chel // Jun 18, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    My mom makes an amazing custard-based vanilla ice cream.  I can’t even imagine how good it would be with these vanilla beans.

  • 39 Jeanette // Jun 18, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I just made your Rhubarb Ice Cream the other day.  Supper yummy!  This looks like a fabulous follow up to that.

  • 40 Kristen // Jun 19, 2009 at 5:21 am

    I love vanilla honey frozen custard… yum!

  • 41 Sarah // Jun 19, 2009 at 5:55 am

    This looks great! I would love to try it at a family reunion we are having with my inlaws. I live in Montana and we have one whole food store and everywhere else is just the big box guys and I’m willing to bet their beans are nothing compared to yours!!!

  • 42 stephchows // Jun 19, 2009 at 7:28 am

    recipes like this make me wish I didn’t return the ice cream maker I got as a gift (i liked in a studio apt with a closet that was turned into a kitchen)

  • 43 allison // Jun 19, 2009 at 7:42 am

    i just got an ice cream maker and i can’t wait to try this recipe! it sounds delicious (in that wonderful comfort food way).

  • 44 Mary // Jun 19, 2009 at 7:59 am

    i just got a new ice cream maker and would love to try this with yummy vanilla beans!

  • 45 Lauren // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I’ve made some more offbeat flavors of ice cream (basil, Thai iced coffee), but have always been a little intimidated by using vanilla beans and have never tried to make basic vanilla. Your post made me resolved to conquer my fear – can’t wait to taste the results!

  • 46 Lasse // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:12 am

    You should have included a picture of the vanilla pods :)

    The food science nerd in me would like to ask, if you noticed any change in the texture compared to recipes without honey?

  • 47 Sunski // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:44 am

    With an endorsement like that, I’d love to win some beans. 

    I second Lasse’s question though — what effect does honey have on texture?  I’m hoping that it would keep it from freezing as rock hard as homemade ice cream usually does, but worried that the opposite might be true.  How about adding a tablespoon of vodka to this recipe?

  • 48 Esther // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:24 am

    the hubs and i adore all of your ice cream recipes (cardamom is our fave!) and this looks just as awesome as the others. can’t wait to try it out!

  • 49 Yuya // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Looks great! I’ll have to try this during our next liquid nitrogen ice cream party.  Last time we used Alice Waters’ recipe and it was a big hit, although a few complained (I know, sacrilegious!) that it was too custard-y. This has less yolks so maybe this will appease them.

  • 50 katie // Jun 20, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I have been planning to make some vanilla ice cream!  Hopefully I can use vanilla beans instead of extract.

  • 51 julie // Jun 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    New to your blog.  Enjoying your recipes, especially since they’re often healthier versions of the classics.  This ice cream sounds amazing with the excellent vanilla beans and honey… can’t wait to try it if I win some!  My kids would be THRILLED!

  • 52 Rachel // Jun 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve only recently begun using my first vanilla beans – used 2 so far, and I have no idea if they are of good or bad quality.

    With your endorsement, though, I may give these singing dog beans a try!

  • 53 KristinT. // Jun 20, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Ooh I’d love to try recipes with vanilla beans..ooh I could make my own extract with that tutorial on cut-out and…

  • 54 Kathy // Jun 21, 2009 at 6:55 am

    stumbled on your site while looking for a recipe for rhubarb ice cream – and am very glad I did! inspiring ideas and photos – thank you for sharing.

  • 55 Ricci // Jun 21, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I just recently got into ice cream making. I am pondering attempting a custard-based recipe. We shall see.

  • 56 Patricia // Jun 21, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Love vanilla ice cream with a custard base. My mother always called it French Vanilla.

  • 57 karmel // Jun 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I just spent all day making ice cream sandwiches…would’ve been better w/ homemade ice cream, but my ice cream makers at home =( and i’m traveling for work)

  • 58 allison // Jun 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Just stumbled upon your blog today and am loving the recipes and pictures – what a great find!

  • 59 AmateurBaker // Jun 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve recently started making my own ice cream and was trying to find a good vanilla bean recipe. I can’t wait to try this one! It looks delectable!

  • 60 Ryan // Jun 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    This has been a great site since I stumbled across it a year ago.  I’m a student and these recipes have gone over really well in our review sessions.  Although I don’t think people come to study if I make some of this ice cream!

  • 61 KarenW // Jun 22, 2009 at 3:50 am

    I’ve never actually used vanilla beans and would love to try them! We’ve got our ice cream maker all cleaned up and dusted off….

  • 62 Marissa // Jun 22, 2009 at 6:42 am

    In the pouring rain in NYC, your recipe made me go out to purchase the ice cream maker attachment to my mixer that I’ve always wanted.  Hopefully the second time I make this ice cream, it will be with those Singing Dog beans!!

  • 63 Brooke // Jun 22, 2009 at 8:19 am

    This ice cream looks so good…can’t wait to try it out!

  • 64 Sherry // Jun 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I would love to try the beans.  I use vanilla bean paste all the time and have used the Madascar vanilla products.  Hope I win.  :)

  • 65 Christie C. // Jun 22, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Hopefully it’s not too late to enter.  Those vanilla beans sounds heavenly!

  • 66 Deanna // Jun 24, 2009 at 6:14 am

    I just got obsessed with using my ice cream maker……I would love to win these!

  • 67 Shelley E. // Jun 26, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Vanilla ice cream is my favorite but this may be the top. It sounds and looks amazing. I plan on trying this soon! Thanks for sharing.

  • 68 Yvette // Jun 26, 2009 at 7:35 am

    I tried this last night using my madagascar vanilla instead of vanilla bean.  Oh my!  this is the best ice cream recipe yet!!  Thank you.  :)

  • 69 Around the Internet Kitchen: Against the Odds | Feed Your Hunger // Jun 26, 2009 at 11:32 am

    […] Honey Vanilla Ice Cream – Now Pete would probably say that his pie doesn’t need ice cream, but if you insist, this ice cream looks about as good as it gets.  Also, Katy recently celebrated Page View 1 million.  That’s serious business for a blogger. (@ Sugar Laws) […]

  • 70 mary beth // Jun 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I am trying your recipe this weekend, but will be using Watkins vanilla.  Can’t wait to share it with my family.  But would love to try it with those perfect beans.  Thanks for the inspiration!
    Mary Beth

  • 71 mikki // May 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

    tried this recipe and it was good but waaaaay too sweet for me.  i cut out the sugar and just used honey and it was splendid!

  • 72 Hannah // May 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    How much does this recipe make? It looks great! There’s a farm down the road that sells raw milk – so I am thrilled that this is a custard-style recipe that doesn’t cook the milk (what’s the point of going to the trouble to buy raw milk if you’re going to heat it up?). I keep my own bees so this will be a very happy, local bowl of ice cream.

  • 73 katy // May 14, 2010 at 8:57 am

    It makes about a pint (maybe a little more)!  Let me know if you try it!!!

  • 74 Melissa // May 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I got my ice cream maker a little over a year ago and I love being able to make my own ice cream without all the weird preservatives and chemicals that store-bought ice creams have. I would love to try those vanilla beans!! Vanilla is my husbands favorite ice cream.

  • 75 Will Buchanan // Sep 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    looks great! wondering what type of honey would be best

  • 76 Ron Mayes // Jan 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I am looking for an all honey vanilla recipe with no sugar.  Have you tried this yet?  I have taken the recipe for vanilla ice cream from the “Perfect Scoop” and substituted organic coconut palm sugar in place of white sugar while using the singing dog vanilla liquid and the results are astonishing.  It really is something other than vanilla for the palm sugar inserts its own rich, almost caramel like essence into the mixture.  Anyway, I would like to try a all honey vanilla.

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