Vanilla Gelato: A Delicious Treat for Every Occasion

What is Vanilla Gelato Made Of?

Vanilla gelato is a classic frozen dessert that combines the rich flavor of vanilla with a smooth, creamy texture. It’s a delightful treat for any occasion, whether you’re enjoying it on a hot summer day or as a special dessert after dinner.

Key Ingredients:

  • Milk: Whole milk is typically used for a richer flavor and creamier texture. Some recipes may use a combination of milk and cream.
  • Vanilla Bean: The star ingredient! Vanilla beans add an intense and authentic vanilla flavor to the gelato.
  • Egg Yolks: Egg yolks provide richness and help thicken the gelato.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the gelato and helps achieve the desired texture.
  • Heavy Cream: Adding a small amount of heavy cream enhances the gelato’s creaminess.
  • Vanilla Extract: This optional ingredient can add an extra boost of vanilla flavor.

How to Make Vanilla Gelato:

There are two main methods for making vanilla gelato: with an ice cream maker or without one.

With an Ice Cream Maker:

  1. Heat the milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan until simmering.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat, discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  6. Chill the mixture thoroughly.
  7. Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Without an Ice Cream Maker:

  1. Follow steps 1-5 above.
  2. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container.
  3. Freeze for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  4. Once frozen, the gelato will have a soft-serve consistency. You can enjoy it as is or freeze it for a firmer texture.

Tips for Making the Perfect Vanilla Gelato:

  • Use high-quality vanilla beans for the best flavor.
  • Don’t overcook the egg yolk mixture, or it will become scrambled.
  • Chill the mixture thoroughly before churning or freezing.
  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, the no-churn method works well, but the texture may not be as smooth.


  • Chocolate Vanilla Gelato: Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the egg yolk mixture.
  • Strawberry Vanilla Gelato: Puree 1 cup of fresh strawberries and add it to the chilled mixture before churning or freezing.
  • Coffee Vanilla Gelato: Add 1 tablespoon of instant coffee to the hot milk.


Vanilla gelato is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed on its own, with toppings like fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream, or as part of a larger dessert.

Additional Resources:

See the video to see how to make my blueberry and vanilla bean gelato. My wonderful niece Alex joins me. She loves gelato!.

It is easiest to make gelato with an automatic gelato/ice cream machine. I use my DeLonghi all the time. Cuisinart makes a great one too. Once you master this basic gelato recipe you can create many different flavors to suit your mood or menu. This traditional vanilla bean base makes enough for a 1 quart machine. I do not like to crowd the bowl in the machine as it expands during the freezing and churning process, so make it in two batches if needed. And I like to leave room to mix in some chocolate chunks or other goodies during the last 5 minutes.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Gelato is the best! This is darn close to the best vanilla gelato we had in Italy! With summer in full swing, this is a perfect time to learn how to make gelato at home using an electric ice cream/gelato maker. The Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream/Gelato Maker is a great choice.

What then distinguishes gelato from ice cream? The only thing that unites Italians is that gelato has lower fat content than ice cream. Compared to ice cream, gelato often contains less cream and more milk. Gelato typically has stronger flavors and is denser. This is because gelato is slowly churned, giving it a denser texture, and contains less fat, which lets the other flavors shine through. Some gelato recipes from Italy substitute cornstarch for the egg yolks in order to thicken the mixture. Much like many recipes from Italy, there’s disagreement over the ideal way to prepare it. Any gelato is good, in my opinion, especially when it’s homemade.

Step 1: In the milk, combine the sugar and cornflour and whisk until the mixture is fully dissolved. Heat the mixture gently over medium heat, allowing the sugar to dissolve and the milk to slightly thicken. Add the vanilla bean paste and stir to combine well. If it seems overly sweet when you first try it, don’t worry. Once the mixture freezes, it tastes less sweet. Place in the fridge to cool completely. After making the gelato, place a container in the freezer.

So tell me, Dear Reader, are you experiencing higher costs for goods or are you directly impacted by the crisis in the cost of living?

Please be aware that the blog is and always has been free (even during the COVID-19 pandemic when many of us were struggling to make ends meet). Readers of other travel blogs will see the same amount of advertisements as before, so I’ll try to figure out a configuration that suits everyone. However, while we test out different levels, I ask for your patience. I hope you realize that although I would never want to charge you for the recipes, reviews, or travelogues—or even accept advertisements—I also have to earn a living. Thank you for your understanding x.

The gelato machine, which churns the ice and breaks up the crystals, is another essential to creating smooth gelato. However, since most of us lack a convenient gelato maker, you can also make this gelato in an ice cream maker. This is because the key to creating the smallest possible ice crystals is breaking up the ice. I freeze this after running it through the ice cream churner for a few hours, and then I use the Thermomix or high-speed food processor to repeatedly break up the ice on the highest setting. It makes it so lovely and smooth!.

I used some extra milk I had on hand to make this dish. Dear Reader, I wrote to you earlier regarding my excess milk and the accidental delivery of 12 litres. There was full cream and skim milk in there as well. I put most of it in the freezer, but I used the milk that I couldn’t fit in the freezer to make ricotta and a few other things. It was actually a pleasant surprise because, typically, the supermarket undercuts you by giving you milk or small produce with a short shelf life, instead of the other way around. Furthermore, since we are all experiencing a financial crisis, it is far better to use that last litre of milk in a homemade gelato than to throw it away!

Homemade Vanilla Gelato – Recipe by Laura Vitale – Laura in the Kitchen Episode 157

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