Banana Ice Cream
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 Banana Ice Cream 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 Pinterest 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 Banana 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!
To help you make the best Banana Ice Cream with success, at the bottom of the post just above the recipe, I’ve added a recipe video so you can see exactly how to make this rich, creamy Banana Ice Cream too.
Why Make Banana Ice Cream from Scratch
If at this point you are wondering, Why would I make ice cream when I can just buy it, let’s 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.
Even if the store-bought ingredient list doesn’t bother you, then let me present another compelling reason to make Banana Ice Cream (or any ice cream!) from scratch: 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.
And if it could be oversold, the phenomenal flavor, luscious texture, and blissed-out experience of eating homemade Banana Ice Cream cannot.
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.
Banana Ice Cream: From-Scratch Ingredient Lineup
As I mentioned, homemade ice cream is remarkable for its short, straightforward ingredient list. 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 and banana flavor.
Wondering what to do with frozen bananas? You can use them to make Banana Ice Cream as well! Let the bananas thaw overnight, pat away excess moisture, then use in the recipe as directed.
- Eggs. I like to use the cage-free eggs. The shells are sturdier, the yolks are more vibrantly colored, and the flavor is more pure.
- 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 Banana Ice Cream is already quite rich. The ratio of 1 cup milk to 2 cups heavy cream is the right one for us.
- Rum. Or vodka for a more neutral flavor. Because homemade ice cream is made without additives, it freezes harder than mass-produced ice cream. Because alcohol doesn’t freeze, a splash keeps the ice cream softer.
If you prefer not to include alcohol, you can omit it and set the ice cream out 15 minutes prior to serving to give it additional time to soften.
- Sugar. Just 2/3 cup makes this ice cream taste like a treat, without stealing the spotlight from the banana’s natural fruity sweetness.
How to Make Banana Ice Cream
The video shows this in more detail (and the recipe explains in very specific detail), but here’s a quick overview!
- Make the egg, milk, cream, and sugar custard base. This is the starting point to any flavor of homemade ice cream. Once you’ve mastered custard, you are ready to take on the homemade ice cream world.
- You want to cook the custard until it easily coats the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. It will look like this:
Now, the ripe bananas arrive on scene.
- In a blender (any old blender; you don’t need a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix here), blend the bananas with half of the custard.
The bananas make the ice cream naturally sweet, gloriously creamy, and give it fresh banana flavor too.
From here, all that remains is a bit of patience.
- Chill. Before the custard is ready for the ice cream maker, you want to leave it in the refrigerator for several hours to get nice and chilly.
- Freeze in Your Ice Cream Maker. Resist the urge to eat the entire blender of custard with a spoon and pour it into your ice cream maker instead.
Optional 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. 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.
As you can see, this velvety Banana Ice Cream recipe is ripe with dreamy dessert possibility!
Recommended Tools to Make Banana Ice Cream
- I use the ice cream maker attachment that fits on my KitchenAid stand mixer.
- My sister owns and loves this regular ice cream maker.
- Recommended for anyone serious about making homemade ice cream: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. It’s taught me everything I ever wanted to know about how to make homemade ice cream, and the recipes are FABULOUS.
Homemade 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 work station: 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.
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