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Dairy Queen Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream

Dairy Queen vanilla soft serve ice cream is made with store bought ice cream and you don’t need a machine. It’s simple and tastes as good, if not better, than traditional soft serve. What are you waiting for?

Dairy Queen Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I can make my own Dairy Queen vanilla soft serve ice cream.

No, it’s not Dairy Queen’s soft serve. In fact, it might even be better.

Dairy Queen’s famous soft-serve has minimum butterfat content, so much so that it doesn’t even qualify as ice cream.

This easy recipe is made for home cooks.

To understand soft serve-well, it’s really ice cream with a lot of air whipped in.

Beginning with vanilla ice cream makes this soft serve recipe much easier to make than Dairy Queen’s secret recipe.

I don’t know about you but I’m not into softening gelatin sheets or have guar gum laying around, in order to make an ice cream treat.

I’d much rather take grocery store ice cream, add some heavy whipping cream and beat the heck out of it on high speed until it becomes soft ice cream!

With the addition of vanilla extract that makes just three ingredients in this entire recipe which makes this one of the best things of my summer.

It is said that Dairy Queen keeps the original recipe in a safe deposit box so I guess this copycat recipe will have to do!

Dairy Queen soft serve cones

It doesn’t matter whether I use this in an ice cream cone, top it with hot fudge sauce, mix it with Oreo cookies, or turn it into a banana split, this sure beats the local Dairy Queen any day!

Make sure you choose a good, rich vanilla ice cream.

I buy Trader Joe’s French vanilla ice cream which is just 5 ingredients, not counting the two stabilizers.

This isn’t a plug for TJ’s but honestly they do make really good French Vanilla ice cream.

How To Make Copycat Dairy Queen Soft Serve Ice Cream:

For best results, use a large mixer bowl and make sure the ice cream is close to room temperature without it being totally melted. Just soft, please!

Beat the soft vanilla ice cream and heavy cream together, along with the vanilla extract and whip this slowly until well mixed. No need for stiff peaks! Or corn syrup.

Place the mixture in a covered plastic container and let chill for 4 to 12 hours, however this totally depends on how cold your freezer is.

I couldn’t wait to dive into this cold treat so mine was a bit more on the soft side.

An alternative method is to pour the mixture into a large zip lock bag.

When ready to eat just cut a corner of the bag off and using the bag like a pastry bag, swirl this good thing into a cone or dish. Perhaps even between two cookies!

I have several ice cream recipes that I love but it is this one that brings out the child in everyone.

Let’s face it-everyone loves DQ.

Next time, I need to figure out how to make a chocolate version, but at least I have this to add to my delicious recipes file!

Everyone has their own tastes and I do love all ice cream, but DQ has been a part of my life since I was a wee one.

Whether it was eating the top of the fudge layer of a Buster Bar or Blizzard, or asking for chocolate crunchies on my cone, DQ always makes my day special.

I’ll admit that making this yourself it not quite the same as standing in line on a hot summer day, but I still get a thrill seeing people’s eyes light up a little bit when you give them a taste of this!

No nothing will ever remove those magic moments of standing in line on a warm spring night, ice cream dripping down my cone, puddling at my feet…but no matter.

Dairy Queen Soft Serve Homemade Ice Cream

It was spring and summer was so close by.

As a child, the change to daylight savings time always meant ice cream to me. Dairy Queen in particular. Kankakee didn’t have many choices when I was young.

So the minute Dairy Queen opened for the season we were there…thanks to Mom and Dad who I think craved extra daylight too. Or perhaps it was soft serve?

I remember long lines as we waited in the late sunshine and I remember excitedly perusing the front windows to see the latest concoctions.

I think the fanciest cone I ever got was a chocolate dip, but I sure did love DQ’s hot fudge sundaes.

Soft serve is not something I take lightly. Road trips are meant for spotting DQ’s and other custard places in the smallest of small towns. And the minute I spot one I have to stop.

Many now have food, but forget the food…I just want a cone. And if they have a twist cone, so much the better.

Our DQ only had vanilla, but that was all right in my book. I’m a chocolate lover, but let’s face it, I’m never one to turn down ice cream of any flavor.

When my kids were wee ones I continued the tradition. Of course Denver has many more choices for ice cream, but each season we always began with Dairy Queen.

Near us was a stand similar to the one in Kankakee, that operated seasonally, and only served ice cream. No fancy stuff there, but sadly it closed a few years ago.

As soon as the weather became warm I remember Alex asking for ice cream. Please Mom. Let’s go to Fairy Queen. Yes, he called it Fairy Queen and I thought it was so cute that I never corrected him.

I’m not sure when he figured out the real name…

For that matter he always called windshield wipers wish wipers and I thought that was cute too! I think now he has it all figured out.

Yes, Dairy Queen/Fairy Queen was and still is a special treat for us.

Zoe loved DQ ice cream cake for her birthday, but this year we are doing better than that.

Yes, Zoe asked for a Mr. Softee truck to swing by during her bridal shower in Philly. Can’t wait!

Dairy Queen Soft Serve with Sprinkles

OF COURSE…Vanilla Soft Serve ice cream would also taste great in these:

Grown Up Root Beer Floats.

Grown up Root Beer Floats

Oatmeal Crunch makes a great topping on soft serve or yogurt.

Oatmeal Crunch Topping

Hot Fudge Sauce, Anyone?


I’d Love It If You’d Follow Me and Pin and Share!


This is an updated post from 2018.

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Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream

Dairy Queen Ice Cream Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 4 - 12 hours*
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Freezer
  • Cuisine: American


Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream is made with store bought ice cream and you don’t need a machine. It’s simple and tastes as good, if not better, than traditional soft serve. What are you waiting for?



3 c really good vanilla ice cream, softened

1 c whipped heavy cream

1 1/2 t vanilla


Scoop the ice cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the whipped cream. Beat slowly until thoroughly blended. This will resemble ice cream soup.

Stir in vanilla  extract.

Pour ice cream into a container with a lid. Place in freezer for about 4 – 12 hours. Chilling time depends on your freezer.

If you want to swirl the ice cream and attempt the DQ curl, instead of pouring into a covered container, pour into a big zip lock bag and then freeze. When you are ready to serve the ice cream, take the bag out of the freezer and let soften a bit. You can even massage the bag if you’d like. Then cut off one corner of the bag and swirl the ice cream into your dish or cone. This does melt fast, so don’t dilly dally!

Otherwise just scoop into a cone or dish and top with your favorite toppings!


Use the best vanilla ice cream you can find with natural ingredients. I like Trader Joe’s French Vanilla.

*Total Time does not include inactive freezer time!



Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Eva Taylor

Thursday 15th of July 2021

I cannot recall the last time I had DQ, it's probably 20+ years! But a homemade version is definitely up my alley. I had no idead you could make soft serve at home, great receipe.

Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert

Sunday 26th of August 2018

Gosh Abbe - this looks so lick-able! I never tire of ice cream and love how easy this is - outstanding!


Wednesday 22nd of August 2018

I used to eat Softie in India and it was soft than the regular vanilla ice cream. Never thought of trying it at home. Great Idea, Abbe! and, I love all your options of serving.

GiGi Eats

Tuesday 21st of August 2018

LANDON TURNS INTO A 2 year old when we see a DAIRY QUEEN when driving (they're sparse in Los Angeles), he legit gets giddy and talks like a little boy. HAHAHHAHAHA And then of course I turn into the bitchy "mom" and ugh, IT IS NOT HEALTHY and then he says PLEAAAAAZEEEEEEEEEE and BAM, he gets his blizzard. LOL!


Tuesday 21st of August 2018

Looks wonderful, especially with those jimmies :) The grandsons would love it!