Homemade Ice Cream...in a Bag!

"The perfect summer treat...and you don't even need an ice cream freezer! Fun for kids- they can all make their own, anytime!"
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by Jonathan Melendez
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by  Pamela photo by  Pamela
photo by Jonathan Melendez photo by Jonathan Melendez
Ready In:




  • Put first 3 ingredients in the smaller Ziplock bag and seal bag (Make sure it is tightly closed!). Put ice and rock salt in the larger bag and then add the filled small bag. Seal the large bag.
  • Squeeze bag until ice cream is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove small bag, unseal, and eat with spoon.
  • No need to even dirty a bowl!

Questions & Replies

  1. Has anyone used Lactaid for this? I want to do this with a friend, but she has a dairy sensitivity and drinks Lactaid instead of regular milk.
  2. has anyone tried using non-dairy milk substitutes like soy, almond or coconut milk?
  3. can it be 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract?
  4. can i substitute the half and half for 2% milk?
  5. Can add a form of chocolate sauce or anything to this or food dye


  1. I Love this recipe I have discovered that it can also be made using two jars with lids if you are out of Ziploc bags though and the benefit of using the jars it that it is less likely to pop open and spill everywhere! another thing I have discovered is that regular milk can be used in place of the half and half in a pinch! the only down side it that it takes a little longer to achieve the desired effect when using these methods probably because the sides of the jar are thicker than the bags and therefore takes longer to get the inside cold. :)
  2. May 1, 2006: I had my fourth grade class make this. On the day we made it, we went on a field trip to a very old house built in the 1800's. There my students were taught a lesson in the one room school house, churned butter and washed clothes with a washboard. I thought it was only fittingly that we made ice cream that afternoon without the modern conveniences that we have today. The students put the ingredients in their bags and then we went outside and had great fun throwing our bags around as we waited for them to harden. Some of my students were a little too zealous with their bags and the inner bag broke, thus releasing the cream into the salt water. However, many students were able to make ice cream, which we shared with those less fortunate students. They all raved about the ice cream and several students stuck their faces in their bags to lick up every last drop. One of my students is allergic to dairy, so I had him bring in some rice milk. I was delighted to see that this type of milk worked just as well as the half and half. All in all, we had a fabulous time and I am sure this recipe will live on in the hearts of my students. Edited to Add (Dec. 22, 2008) I just used this recipe again with twenty-five 4th and 5th graders in an after school cooking class. It fit the bill perfectly as it doesn't need to cook, chill or mix. I was once again surprised about how quickly it turned into soft-serve ice cream. I also had some students whose bags broke again, thus ruining the ice cream with salt water. Next time, I think I will double bag the inner ingredients part. At our next cooking class (a mere week later) several students reported they had made the recipe at home. One of the eighth grade teachers also just made this recipe with his students in his science class to demonstrate physical and chemical changes. He said it went very well and the students loved it!
  3. Just made this tonite and it was fun and easy. We made chocolate and I recommend adding chocolate syrup for this and not cocoa, otherwise it's not sugary enough and has bland flavor. Used plain table salt 1/3 cup and tripled the recipe, divided it into 3 bags. Used snow for ice. Worked great. Also added malted milk powder. Will make this again! My 6 year old had fun
  4. This was pretty yummy but not as creamy as I would have liked. You really do need to double bag. Mine had a hole in it and dripped into the second bag. You could have a very interesting version of hot potato with this. (Or cold potato.) A fun activity for a really loooooong day in August.
  5. When I was a 4-H camp counselor, we made this as a workshop with the kids. We used milk in place of half-and-half and instead of ziploc bags, we used coffee tins. (Used a small one for the ingredients and a larger one for the ice and rock salt. Just be sure it's well sealed!) Then just rolled it back and forth between two of the kids. Worked great and was really delicious! The kids loved it! Thanks for reminding me of this great recipe!


  1. Wonderful and simple recipe! I couldn't believe it was so easy and fast! Never again will I have to drive to the store when I have an ice cream craving. I used sea salt instead of rock salt and ziplock bags and everything turned out perfect! I would prefer it to be a little more creamy, but very good overall!
  2. This is fun, and tasty! My twins and I did this this afternoon as a new activity, they loved it, cold hands and all!! The only change I made was using agave nectar instead of the sugar since it's already a liquid. We'll be doing this many more times in the future (thank goodness I have an ice maker). Thanks for posting.
  3. I added about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh strawberries to the mix!
  4. kosher salt also works if you don't have it
  5. I added more sugar and vanilla and instead of half and half I had half a cup of milk and half a cup of heavy whipping cream! SO DELICIOUS! I also did not crush the ice I put full ice in the bag with 1/5th maybe more or less of salt! Same ingredients but COMPLETELY different amounts:( Sorry


<p>I enjoy cooking and especially baking.Love homemade bread.I really enjoy trying new recipes.I have a husband and 5 children,so it is a challenge trying to cook to please them all.Some of my kids are very picky eaters.At this time in my life,I am interested in healthy cooking.I lost 70 lbs with Weight Watchers and am trying to keep it off!</p>
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