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Lactose-free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

The summer heat is starting to sink in this July Fourth weekend. In between naps and back yard BBQs, all I can think about is cooling down. Taking a swim is out of the question because I live in a condominium where the pool is constantly occupied by kids during the summer months. Sitting inside a walk-in refrigerator would be nice, but we don’t own one. I suppose the next best thing is stuffing ice cream in my face while hiding from the sun.

Lactose-free-vanilla-bean-ice-cream-1I love ice cream and pretty much everything dairy really. And I appreciate my digestion system so much for being able to tolerate it. But Ryan is not so lucky, he eats handful of Lactaid pills before he eats anything dairy, and that includes ice cream! He’s a good sport though, he doesn’t complain about it. But when I asked for an ice cream maker last Christmas, I decided to try making lactose-free ice cream! My first homemade ice cream, a simple yet delicious vanilla bean ice cream.

Lactose-Free-vanilla-bean-ice-cream-2I use Lactaid milk, whole milk, which is what Ryan drinks at home. The ice cream comes out very delicious, you won’t be able to tell the difference, but your tummy will thank you. Another plus is the lower fat content since the ice cream is made with milk instead of cream, guilt-free indulgence! Who’s with me?


Lactose-free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Yields about 1.5 quarts Making the summer heat tolerable!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Author: Trang


  • 6 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cup lactose free whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 whole vanilla bean
  • Special equipment: Ice cream maker


  • Heat the milk and vanilla bean in a medium sauce pan over medium heat to a simmer. Turn off heat.
  • Whisk egg yolk on medium speed until lighten in color, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the sugar to the egg gradually while whisking vigorously, whisk until the mixture thicken.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low, temper the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture by adding very small amount to avoid cooking the egg until half the milk is gone. Then gradually add the rest of the milk.
  • Return the entire mixture to the pan and cook on low heat, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes or until custard thicken and coat the back of the spoon. The custard temperature should be about 175°F.
  • Remove from heat and allow custard to cool to room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for further cooling, 4 to 8 hours, or overnight. Only cover with a lid when the custard is cool enough so that no condensation can form.
  • When ready to make ice cream, pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer directions.
  • Transfer to an air tight container and freeze for a few hours until harden.


Vanilla bean paste is a lot more economical than whole vanilla bean. One bottle will last you a while and you can use it in any recipe that calls for whole vanilla bean or vanilla extract.
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

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  1. Mamalecia
    July 9, 2019 /

    So, do you cut the vanilla bean open and scrape the beans out?

    • Trang
      July 9, 2019 /

      Yes, apology the direction wasn’t clear, you split it open, scrape out the seed, add both seed and pod to the milk and heat it up.

  2. May 20, 2019 /

    This looks super creamy and gorgeous and reading the other comments, I’m excited at the flavour opportunities I could make with this recipe

  3. Holly Lamprecht
    September 4, 2018 /

    Do you have any other lactose free recipes? We just recently discovered my 3 year old is lactose intolerant but I still want her to enjoy everything.

    • Trang
      September 4, 2018 /

      Are you looking for ice cream type recipe in specific or any recipe that’s lactose free? I’ll link to a few below, but let me know if there’s anything you’re looking for in particular.
      Blueberry Popsicles made with coconut yogurt.
      Banana Nut Muffins with absolutely no dairy.
      Olive Oil Rosemary Madeleines made with olive oil instead of butter.

  4. Ann Baker
    September 3, 2018 /

    How can I make this strawberry lactose free?

    • Trang
      September 3, 2018 /

      You can try adding ground freeze dried strawberry when heating up the milk. You’ll need a food processor to get the freeze dried strawberry in powder form, see this Strawberry Shortbread Cookies recipe for example. I usually get freeze dried strawberry at Target. I would use the whole bag, it should give enough strawberry flavor. But you might need to experiment since I have never made this before and am only giving advice based on what I would do if I was to make this.

  5. Kristopher
    June 24, 2018 /

    What would be the best way to make this chocolate? Should I add sugar relative to the amount of cocoa I add to the recipe to compensate, or add enough cocoa to balance the sugar already in the recipe? Thanks.

    • Trang
      June 27, 2018 /

      I would add enough cocoa powder to balance the sugar, about 6 tablespoon will be enough. Also, don’t skip vanilla, the flavor will be flat if you do. If you don’t want to buy vanilla bean, just stir in extract when the mixture is at room temperature.

      • Guy
        December 29, 2018 /

        This works very well for chocolate!

        • Trang
          December 30, 2018 /

          Excellent, thanks for the feedback Guy!

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