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Recipe: No Hassle Honey and Vanilla Ice Cream

Recipe: No Hassle Honey and Vanilla Ice Cream


  • 600ml Double Cream
  • 150ml runny honey
  • 2 Madagascan vanilla pods

When it's warm outside and the kids are off school, what better than an easy home-made ice cream? This is a no-hassle recipe, made with very few ingredients - no stabilisers, emulsifiers, vegetable oils or any of that nonsense commonly found in supermarket ices.

There are 3 basic ingredients in real ice cream, the proportions of which can be varied to taste: butterfat from a dairy product such as double or single cream, milk or condensed milk which gives richness and body; eggs for additional richness if required; and sweeteners such as honey or sugar. To these basic ingredients, your chosen flavour can be added, whether that's vanilla, fruit or something exotic. The recipe below is really easy so there is plenty of scope to experiment. A note though: if you are using fruits such as raspberries, you would do well to mash these first, as biting onto a whole, frozen raspberry isn't great, but biting into a seam of squashed raspberryness is.

Traditional ice cream depends on its fat content and regular stirring during freezing to ensure that the ice crystals that form are kept very small, to produce a smooth cream rather than a solid block. If you have an ice cream maker then you can use that, but this recipe can be made equally well without one, making it safer and easier for children to help.

In this recipe, you don't even need to add eggs, so there are only 3 ingredients: double cream, honey and vanilla. The cream and the honey provide the creaminess, body and sweetness while the vanilla provides the flavour. Of all the methods for making ice cream, this one is about as simple as it gets - no custards or anything remotely tricky, perfect for a school holiday treat. We've tried it at home a couple of times and it has been very popular with the children - although I am not sure that testing ice cream on children is exactly objective - almost as popular as the Malteser and Ovaltine ice cream that we make which takes a bit more effort.


Pour the double cream into a mixer and add the vanilla. We used our LittlePod Madagascan Organic Vanilla Pods. The pods should be slit open and the tiny seeds inside scraped out with a knife and added to the cream. Add 100ml of the honey and whisk the mixture for 2 minutes until fully combined and slightly thickened.

If you have an ice cream maker, pour in the mixture and just as it is setting and about to be transferred to the freezer container, drizzle the remaining 50ml honey over it. Otherwise, if you are making the ice cream by hand, pour the mixture into your container and put it in the freezer. Over the next couple of hours, the mixture will freeze, so to avoid the ice cream becoming gritty, remove it from the freezer after an hour and give it a good stir. Then drizzle with the remaining 50ml of honey - the aim is to have a thick seam of honey through the finished ice cream, so after drizzling, give it only the most sparing of stirs. The result should be a subtle, honey and vanilla ice cream, excellent served with summer fruits.