I see those ripe bananas on your counter, and I raise you a scoop of homemade Banana Ice Cream. Actually, make that two scoops—no way are you going to want to stop at just one serving of this creamy, dreamy summer bliss!
What we have today is a real-deal, from-scratch, old-fashioned banana ice cream recipe with milk, cream, eggs, and should you desire, bonus add-in flavors like peanut butter and/or chocolate chips.
I know that one-ingredient banana “nice cream” (the one that caused me to burn out my mini blender) is social media famous, and I do still enjoy it from time to time when I need a healthy dessert fix.
But—and I think we should all be honest about this for a moment—it’s not real ice cream.
Sure, frozen bananas taste like ice cream (a little), but it’s not the same as having a bowl of truly spectacular, real-deal ice cream.
If you want luscious, creamy banana ice cream the way your grandmother would have done it—with real cream, eggs, and a touch of sugar—THIS IS THAT RECIPE.
Real-deal ice cream is one of summer’s greatest joys. It’s actually surprisingly easy and fun to make ice cream from scratch!
If at this point you are wondering, Why would I make ice cream when I can just buy it, let me share my top two reasons.
- Flip that store-bought ice cream container around and look at the back. That ingredient is list LONG, and I can barely pronounce most of it.
Now, compare that list to this simple banana ice cream recipe. Milk. Cream. Banana. Eggs. Vanilla.
That is pretty much it. In comparison, the first container of store-bought ice cream I checked at the grocery store contained well over 15 ingredients.
- It is tremendously fun and deliciously rewarding.
The joy of watching custard you conjured from eggs and milk transform into a bowl of sweet, creamy summer bliss cannot be oversold.
5 Star Review
“This is some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I don’t love bananas, and even I couldn’t get enough of this. It was so creamy!”— Sarah —
How to Make Banana Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream is easy to make, even for a novice cook, and its flavor is so superior to the mass-produced stuff, you’ll be gleefully ruined for life.
Just make sure to choose each ingredient carefully, as its taste will shine.
- Bananas. The riper, spottier, and uglier, the better. A deeply ripe banana will give you the best natural sweetness, creaminess, and banana flavor.
- Eggs. I like to use cage-free eggs. The shells are sturdier, the yolks are more vibrantly colored, and the flavor is purer.
- Whole Milk + Heavy Cream. This is not the place to count banana ice cream calories. If you try to swap skim (or any other milk), the ice cream will be more icy than soft. Conversely, I don’t think you need entirely heavy cream, as this ice cream is already quite rich. The ratio of 1 cup milk to 2 cups heavy cream is the right one for us.
- Rum. Since homemade ice cream is made without additives, it freezes harder than mass-produced ice cream. Because alcohol doesn’t freeze, a splash of rum keeps the ice cream softer.
- Sugar. Just 2/3 cup makes this ice cream taste like a treat, without stealing the spotlight from the banana’s natural fruity sweetness.
- Make the egg, milk, cream, and sugar custard base.
- Cook the custard until it easily coats the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Blend the bananas with half of the custard.
- Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours.
- Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker, adding the chocolate during the last five minutes. Transfer to an airtight freezer-safe storage container. DIG IN!
Special Banana Ice Cream Flavors
As written, this recipe makes an outstanding banana ice cream. It is simple and sublime. If you’d like to gussy it up, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips. Chocolate banana ice cream is my go-to! Toward the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, slowly add 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks. I like to chop up a good-quality dark chocolate bar. We’re making ice cream from scratch. No skimping!
- Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream. Toward the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, slowly add 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter.
- Chunky Monkey Banana Ice Cream. Combine both of the above! Toward the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, slowly add 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips.
- Ultimate Reeses Banana Ice Cream. Another way to peanut butter! Toward the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, slowly add 1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cup candies.
- Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. Toward the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, slowly add 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (or pecans) and 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate.
- To Store. Freeze ice cream in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
For a fun treat, turn leftover ice cream into a delicious ice cream sandwich. Use Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies or graham crackers as the “buns.”
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Ice Cream Maker. I use the ice cream maker attachment that fits on my KitchenAid stand mixer. You can also use a regular ice cream maker.
- Blender. Helps ensure a smooth and creamy ice cream.
- Spatula. Heat-resistant, long-lasting, and versatile.
Stop wondering where to buy banana ice cream, and start treating yourself to this homemade, healthy banana ice cream instead!
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve only tested this recipe as a homemade banana ice cream with milk, so I can’t say for certain. However, if you need a dairy-free recipe, I’d recommend checking out my Oat Milk Ice Cream instead.
Compared to the store-bought kind (like banana ice cream Nestle), this ice cream is good for you (as far as ice creams go, at least). This recipe is made of only a handful of simple ingredients and garners health benefits from the bananas.
While I’ve never tried to make banana ice cream without machine help, this article provides some tips that might be helpful.
Store bought ice cream contains filler ingredients designed to keep it soft directly from the freezer—it’s convenient but not natural. Simple homemade ice cream freezers harder because it is made without these. Set your homemade ice cream out on the counter 15 minutes prior to serving to allow it to soften and become scoopable.
Banana Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks save the whites for another use
- 1 cup whole milk yes, it must be WHOLE milk!
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large very ripe bananas (or 4 medium) the more brown, the better
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dark rum or vodka*
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate roughly chopped (about 2/3 cup)
- Prep your workstation: Create an ice bath by placing a moderate amount of ice and water in a large bowl. Set an empty, medium bowl in the larger one on top of the ice. Pour the heavy cream into the medium bowl and set a strainer on top. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well combined.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the milk, sugar, and salt until small bubbles form along the edges and the sugar has dissolved. Do not let boil.
- Gradually pour some of the milk into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly as you pour (I like to use a ladle for this). Once you've poured in some of the milk, return the saucepan to the stove over low heat. Slowly pour the yolks into the saucepan, stirring constantly. This process is called tempering and will keep the eggs from scrambling.
- Continue cooking the egg-milk mixture (also called custard) over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the saucepan with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula. Strain the custard into the bowl with the heavy cream.
- Place half of the custard into a blender or food processor with the bananas. Puree until smooth, then pour it back into the bowl with the rest of the custard. Stir in the vanilla extract and rum. Cover, pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface, then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, if time allows, overnight.
- Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chocolate during the last 5 minutes of churning. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze 3 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
- *The addition of hard alcohol helps keep the ice cream softer and creamier. If you like the flavor of rum, it’s delicious in this recipe. If not, vodka is a flavorless addition that will still keep the ice cream creamy. If you prefer not to use alcohol, it can be omitted completely, though the ice cream will freezer slightly harder.
- TO STORE: Freeze ice cream in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
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