If you love ice cream as much as I do, especially Dairy Queen’s soft serve ice cream, you will definitely love this recipe. You couldn’t get any closer to DQ’s recipe than this!

The recipe itself is extremely easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of fancy ingredients.

I make the base and refrigerate it overnight to give it time to thicken, then the next evening I set up my ice cream maker and we enjoy homemade ice cream for dessert — with all of the tasty toppings, of course! hehee.

Serves 16

Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 Envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups heavy cream


Mix gelatin in cold water. Set aside.

Heat milk in heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, just until hot. Do not boil or scorch.

Remove from heat and add thickened gelatin, sugar, vanilla and salt.

Allow to cool down and then add the heavy cream. Pour into container, cover and chill for 5 to 6 hours or overnight (this is preferred).

Remove from the refrigerator and either stir the mixture carefully to thin it out or use a hand mixer to blend well. Pour chilled mixture into a 4 to 6-quart ice cream freezer bowl/maker and process according to manufacturers suggestions.


When using this recipe you can turn it into yummy milkshakes, soft serve ice cream for sundaes or splits and/or run it for longer periods of time in your ice cream maker to achieve a thicker consistency for a blizzard or any other favorite ice cream treat.

Different flavors can be added such as chocolate syrup to make chocolate ice cream, strawberry syrup for strawberry ice cream, etc.

© 2011, BellaSavvy. All rights reserved.


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13 Responses to Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream {recipe}

  • Eileen says:

    I had NO idea you could do this. My mom had an old fashioned ice cream bucket style maker but we never did get the hang of it. Now want to go out and buy one. Bet we could find one at a garage sale! My girls are ice cream fiends and would love to try this. thanks!

  • Danielle says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I always wondered how to make soft serve.

  • ellen says:

    Ha! I bought an ice cream maker at a thrift shop last fall- I knew there was a reason- this sounds easier than some of the recipes they had in the box- thanks!

  • Jeane says:

    We get together with a bunch of friends on the 4th and have a BBQ. But that MORNING, we get out all of our ice cream makers and make three different types of ice cream. #1 rule..if you want some ice cream..you have to take your turn at the crank. Even the one year old can turn the crank at the beginning. All the kids love it. Last year, we made vanilla, fresh strawberry, and Rocky Road with some fancy nuts. Take lots of pictures..kids love it..it makes the whole day special

  • Just Coupons says:

    Now I want ice cream! My kids will love this idea when I tell them it is like Dairy Queen’s soft serve ice cream. Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Wanda M says:

    I’d love to make this, I love DQ soft serve. I know nothing about making ice cream but, do they all have gelatin in them? I had no idea! I’m gonna have to look for an ice cream maker now, I’ve been thinking about it seriously since peaches are in season!

  • Sabrina says:

    Hi, thanx for this gret recipe..I have to go gt some heavy cream… I want to make it now LOL
    I love your website and I’m following you..
    Please if you don’t mind and if you enjoy crafts, sewing, kids stuff, check out my new blog


    Have a great weekend!

  • Kendra says:

    I guess it’s time for me to get an ice cream maker. Sounds yummy

  • Marie C. says:

    Oh my word this recipe sounds good and those pictures are making me drool. Thanks Bella

  • grace says:

    This recipe is really awesome but leaves a strange texture in your mouth afterward. I think it might be the gelatin. Yummy anyway! Would totally make again.

  • Bella So Savvy says:

    I’m not sure what texture you are getting, ours is typically smooth and creamy. Are you blending the mixture when you remove it from the refrigerator before pouring it into your freezer bowl? That might help. I use a handheld blender that fits all the way down to the bottom of my 4 quart pitcher. I use the pitcher to store the mixture in the refrigerator while it cools and thickens. Preblending helps prevent clumping, which the ice cream base does due to the gelatin.

  • Alice Jones says:

    I found this recipe and got all my items to make it and it was just like being at the DQ.
    Thank You

  • Dee @ Bella Savvy says:

    You’re welcome Alice. Glad you liked it! 😀


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