Food & Drink

Jeni’s Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

With an infinite number of ice cream flavors to make, you might think vanilla would not be high on Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams list to perfect. But Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is about as close to perfect as you could get. Their technique (using Ugandan vanilla beans) produces not a typical “plain old vanilla,” but a richly scented, voluptuous, velvety, and unforgettable vanilla.

Vanilla Ice Cream Spoon with credit

Ugandan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 quart


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out, seeds and bean reserved



PREP: Mix about 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 heat, 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 the heat.


CHILL: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed 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 and spin 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. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.


Pairs well with: Is there anything that is not made better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? Try with Hot Honey Apple Cinnamon Raisin Topping to make an Apple Pie Sundae!


Addictive flavors, and a breakthrough method for making creamy, scoopable ice cream at home make this cookbook a must-have. From Jeni Britton Bauer, the proprietor of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which Time has called “America’s Best,” this cookbook is on a mission to help foodies create perfect ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets—ones that are every bit as perfect as hers—in their own kitchens.

A James Beard Award-winning book, crowned Best Baking and Dessert Book of 2011!

GET THE BOOK: Amazon | B&N | | Google Play | iBooks | Kobo