Ice cream ingredients egg, cream and sugar

Ice Cream Ingredients

Ice Cream Ingredients

Basic Ingredients You’ll Need

For many of the ice cream recipes listed you only need a handful of ingredients. Here is a list of the basic ice cream ingredients you’ll need. You can add much more to any good base:

  • Half & Half Cream or Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Whipping Cream
  • Vanilla Extract and/or other flavoring


Eggs can add richness and great texture to ice cream recipes. eggs in ice cream recipesFor recipes like Vanilla Ice Cream recipe which uses primarily cream, or recipes that call for mostly milk…egg yolks enhance the overall result.

It’s important to always use good eggs. In conversations with U.S. food safety agencies, I learned how to keep track of the dates for using eggs and what it really means if an egg floats. You can read about these tips here.

Other recipes that call for additional flavor ingredients which contain very little in the way of rich bulk such as cocoa powder, extracts and flavors, nuts…these recipes often benefit in flavor and denseness from egg yolks.

Recipes that use rich bulk such as chocolate syrup, melted marshmallows or marshmallow creme, cream cheese…ingredients that either contain an amount of corn syrup in processing or additional butter fat may not need egg yolks or work perfectly with fewer yolks than you would need for…say…this Chocolate Ice Cream recipe.

For milder flavors of ice cream, fewer egg yolks may work better so that flavor of your ice cream isn’t too ‘eggy’. In this case, alternative ingredients may be used like dry milk, pudding, or corn syrup.

I typically prefer the cooked egg custard method made on a stove top. I found the richness and texture hard to match however, with many of my eggless ice cream recipes I’ve also learned, through recipe creation, isn’t always necessary to use eggs for a rich, dense, smooth and creamy texture as long as other ingredients bring their own rich qualities to the mix.

Additional Ingredients

Other ingredients you might want to use or try include chocolate chips, flaked coconut, fruit or fruit purees canned or freshly pureed, nuts, marshmallows or marshmallow creme, etc. Each recipe on this site has a list of the ingredients you’ll need to complete that recipe but don’t be shy! Feel free to add additional items to suit your taste. You never know where your next favorite flavor may come from.

Often vanilla extract is combined with other flavors like a base that enhances the overall flavor. You will find it in recipes that include fruits, nuts, chocolates and other tasty additions. You may have a favorite brand of vanilla extract that works great for you. I like “McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract” because it contains only water and alcohol as a base. Some readily available brands contain corn syrup and I prefer a more pure extract.

If you’re ready to make your ice cream, you’ll find the ice cream recipes here.

Check out these tips to help you make the most of your ice cream ingredients.