How to Make Ice Cream In a Bag | Fun Summer Activity

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

yield: 1 SERVINGS

prep time: 5 MINUTES

cook time: 10 MINUTES

total time: 15 MINUTES

Directions

1

In a larger gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt and ice.

2

In the sandwich-size freezer bag, mix together half & half, vanilla, and sugar. If making chocolate ice cream, add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder + 1 additional teaspoon sugar.

3

Seal the sandwich-size bag tightly and place it inside the gallon bag.

4

Seal gallon-size bag tightly, and shake for about 10 minutes until mixture is frozen. This is the perfect opportunity for a kid helper but consider using gloves or a kitchen towel because the mixture will be cold.

5

Be gentle enough not to break the bag. Eat right from the bag or scoop in a bowl or cone.

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46 Comments
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There’s no ice cream maker needed for this easy freezing method. Learn how to make ice cream in a bag just by shaking up cream in ice and salt!

spoon with ice cream in a bag

Want a fun way to make a frozen dessert at home with the family?!

Try making delicious creamy homemade ice cream in a bag at home with just a few simple ingredients. This recipe makes a perfect project for the kiddos to help with – great for a summer break activity or any time of the year!

The process works similarly to a churning ice cream maker. The rock salt helps the ice get cold enough to quickly freeze the cream. When you manually shake up the bag yourself for a few minutes, it starts to get frozen!

spoonful of ice cream in a bag

The result is delicious serving of individual ice cream that is perfectly creamy and frozen, just like the kind from an ice cream maker. It also ends up being kind of a fun kind of an arm workout and something the entire family can enjoy doing together!

ingredients for ice cream in a bag

More tips on how to make ice cream in a bag:

  • Vanilla is always a great flavor option for this idea. We’ve made a chocolate flavor in the past as well, but you can get even more creative and make different flavors, or add fun toppings. It’s all up to you!
  • Consider using gloves or covering the bag with a kitchen towel because the mixture will be cold.
  • Various kinds of milk and sugar substitutes can be used for this idea according to your individual dietary needs.
  • Be sure to seal the Ziploc plastic bags well and be gentle while shaking so that you don’t get saltwater in your ice cream.

ice in a bag with rock salt

adding sugar to half and half

process of ice cream in a bag

ice cream in a ziploc bag

frozen ice cream in a towel

frozen ice cream in a bag

ice cream in a bag after shaking

vanilla ice cream in a bag


Print

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

yield: 1 SERVINGS

prep time: 5 MINUTES

cook time: 10 MINUTES

total time: 15 MINUTES

Make this delicious and easy to create ice cream in a bag! It's a fun way to make a cool treat on a hot summer day.

Directions

1

In a larger gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt and ice.

2

In the sandwich-size freezer bag, mix together half & half, vanilla, and sugar. If making chocolate ice cream, add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder + 1 additional teaspoon sugar.

3

Seal the sandwich-size bag tightly and place it inside the gallon bag.

4

Seal gallon-size bag tightly, and shake for about 10 minutes until mixture is frozen. This is the perfect opportunity for a kid helper but consider using gloves or a kitchen towel because the mixture will be cold.

5

Be gentle enough not to break the bag. Eat right from the bag or scoop in a bowl or cone.

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

ice cream in a bag with sprinkles

Learning how to make ice cream in a bag is a great summer bucket list item!

My kids loved this activity so much when they were younger, and still do today! It really is a delclious treat and also a fun chemistry experiment. To learn more about the science behind this process, visit ScienceBuddies.org for more details!


Check out 6 of the best ice cream makers to buy!


About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 46

  1. Renae

    I do this when we study colligative properties in my chemistry class. Probably the only reason kids take my class…they love it!

    • Catie

      Me too– kids love it!

  2. babymair

    I lv this idea..but what & where do u buy rock salt.. or is it the stuff u buy @ home depot?? TIA..gr8 for camping…

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      You can buy smaller bags for ice cream machines at any grocery store.

    • Jenni

      I picked up a box at walmart last year. Look in the section where they sell the flavor for ice cream (May be seasonal). It comes in a 4lb box that says “Morton’s Ice Cream Salt” This can also be purchased on Amazon for around $8.34.
      I can’t wait to actually make this ice cream with the kids!!!

    • Helen

      Filipino stores

    • Hilma

      At any grocery store. It’s what you use to put in you electric ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream. Morton Rock salt crystals. You can buy it in a small container

    • Alex

      So I found out, you can use regular table salt and it works just as good. I would suggest using what you have and not going out to buy it as it makes a very minimal difference.

      • Autumn King

        Do you use the same amount of regular salt? We have table salt and kosher

  3. Lalith

    Hi, can we use soy milk?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      yes, I would use your desired milk!

  4. babymair

    Thx so much ladies..:)..now i cant wait to try it with the boys..

  5. Gescena

    Oh my goodness…. We just did this the other night for my daughters 5th birthday!!! It turned out great; I used regular salt because that was all I had and it still came out yummy! It’s going to be our new favorite thing to do while camping too 😀

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Oh great idea for camping!!

  6. Diana

    I remember doing this is kindergarten. It was so fun and intriguing. I was thinking about using this process to make green tea ice cream for a cookout! Hope it works!

  7. Heather C

    Ironic! My daughter was JUST saying that she was going to make ice cream with milk and sugar. I told her there was more to it. This will be a fun project- thanks!!

  8. K

    Another fun idea is to put it in a coffee can, seal up tight with duct tape and let the kiddos kick it around the yard.

    • jhlmom

      Good one!!!

  9. Chrissie

    I did this lady year for my sons 4th grade class and the kids absolutely loved it. I was the mystery reader for the class and the book I read to them was about ice cream and how it was made. Afterwards, we made it in the classroom and each child got the recipe to bring home and a sample spoonful to taste. There were too many children to make enough to feed the whole class, so after the taste, I gave each child a small cup of Hagen Daz ice cream as a treat. It was a huge success and I was told I was the favorite mystery reader.

    • Chrissie

      I forgot to add, I also used regular table salt and it came out just as good. The only downside was that it can be messy as the bag sweats. I brought towels in and we held a towel over the bag as each child took turns shaking the bag as to not get water dripping all over.

  10. Cyndi

    Our house is lactose intolerant does anyone have a non milk version?

  11. Jen

    Awesome thanks …I’m gunna have to try this with the kiddos

  12. Cyndi

    thanks for the ideas this is great

  13. J

    I remember doing this in school! It’ll be a fun activity to do this summer with the kids! Thanks!!

  14. Elizabeth

    How many servings does the recipe make?

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      One

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you! : )

  15. Teresa

    you can wrap the bag in newspaper to avoid the very cold hands for the little kids and it also it a bit colder.

  16. Polly

    I’ve never heard of this, but I’m in love! Thanks Lina!

  17. Dee Dee

    By any chance can you use a sugar substitute such as Truvia, etc.?

    • IceCreamFan

      Yes, you can use a sugar substitute. The original recipe mentions that sugar substitutes can be used.

  18. tilla ham

    i’ll eat my ben and jerrys’ while i watch the kids do this lol

  19. FosterMom

    We have done this with alternative milks and sweeteners, it worked fine.

  20. Belinda

    Just made it and added 1/4 frozen banana. Yummy.
    I doubled the recipe, made 2 baggies each with a full cup of milk, put both inside my gallon bag with just table salt… still worked.

  21. jason

    One tablespoon of sugar to these proportions makes it taste basically like frozen milk with vanilla, and i made sure all the sugar has dissolved. Def use more sugar if you want it sweet.

  22. Kit

    Id like to make this also in a mason jar so my kids wont have a hard time getting or eating it from the bag. Thanks for sharing this! Ill make a dark chocolate version.

  23. Theressa

    Can you double the recipe if so how long do you shake it for

    • Theressa

      Idk

    • Ashlyn Oler

      You have to shake it for about 15 minutes. If it’s still not frozen or it’s still a liquid shake it for more time.
      🙂

  24. Kyla Galloway

    So good!!! I doubled it and used whole milk and it worked great and tasted great. Definitely doing it again.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay! so awesome thanks for sharing!

  25. MrsG

    Look up the science and teach your kiddos! I use this activity in physical science. Energy transfer!

  26. Priscilla

    Is there a way to make this lactose free? I’ve never looked for lactose free half and half, I wonder if they make it?

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