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Lightened Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke
Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 9 hrs, 20 mins
Yield Makes about 1 qt. (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Instead of regular granulated sugar, we used an all-natural granular sweetener in this reduced-sugar, reduced-fat homemade vanilla ice cream.


  • 1/2 cup granular sweetener for ice cream*
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract

Nutrition Information

  • calories 92
  • fat 5 g
  • satfat 3 g
  • monofat 2 g
  • polyfat 0.0 g
  • protein 3 g
  • carbohydrate 18 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 42 mg
  • iron 0.0 mg
  • sodium 76 mg
  • calcium 106 mg

How to Make It

  1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

  2. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla.

  3. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture; chill 8 to 24 hours.

  4. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  5. *Granulated sugar may be substituted.



  8. Cherry-Bourbon Ice Cream: Stir in 1/2 cup drained and coarsely chopped canned, pitted cherries in heavy syrup and 3 Tbsp. bourbon halfway through freezing. Per 1/2 cup: Calories 110; Fat 5g (sat 3g, mono 2g, poly 0g); Protein 3g; Carb 20g; Fiber 0g; Chol 42mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 76mg; Calc 108mg

  9. Coffee-Chocolate Ice Cream: Substitute 2 Tbsp. instant espresso for 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste. Stir in 1/4 cup shaved semisweet chocolate baking bar halfway through freezing. Per 1/2 cup: Calories 103; Fat 6g (sat 4g, mono 2g, poly 0g); Protein 4g; Carb 21g; Fiber 0g; Chol 42mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 76mg; Calc 107mg

  10. Key Lime Pie Ice Cream: Omit vanilla bean paste. Stir in 1 tsp. Key lime zest, 1/3 cup Key lime juice, and 1/2 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers halfway through freezing. Per 1/2 cup: Calories 104; Fat 6g (sat 3g, mono 2g, poly 0g); Protein 4g; Carb 21g; Fiber 0g; Chol 42mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 102mg; Calc 106mg

  11. Banana Pudding Ice Cream: Preheat oven to 400°. Peel 3 medium-size ripe bananas, and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place in a 2-qt. baking dish, and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar and 1 Tbsp. butter, cut up. Bake 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool 30 minutes. Gently mash into chunks. Prepare ice cream as directed, stirring in bananas and 1/2 cup coarsely crushed vanilla wafers halfway through freezing. Per 1/2 cup: Calories 172; Fat 7g (sat 4g, mono 2g, poly 0g); Protein 4g; Carb 36g; Fiber 1g; Chol 47mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 100mg; Calc 112mg

Cook's Notes

We tested with Whey Low 100% All Natural Granular Sweetener for Ice Cream. Note that the total time listed for this recipe does not include freezing.

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