Introduction: How to Make Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Picture of How to Make Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Skill Level

What You'll Need
Ice Cubes
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup Kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag
Any of your favorite ice cream mixins 

Serves 1

Step 1: Measure Ingredients

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Combine the half and half, sugar and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag. Seal the bag tightly, so that none of the liquid will leak out.

Step 2: Prep Ice Bag

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Fill the gallon-size ziplock bag halfway with ice cubes. Sprinkle Kosher salt over the ice cubes.

Step 3: Zipping Bags

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Insert the pint-size bag filled with ingredients into the bag of ice and salt. Seal the gallon-size ziplock bag. If the bag begins to leak, don't hesitate double bagging it to reduce the mess.

Step 4: Shake It Up!

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Shake the bag for 5-10 minutes until the ice cream mixture begins to harden. Feel the small bag to determine the consistency of your ice cream. Once satisfied with the consistency, remove the small bag from the bag of ice.

Step 5: Enjoy

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Open the small ziplock bag and add any desired mixins that you want. I added raspberries to mine. Feel free to eat the ice cream right out of the bag or, if you prefer, scoop it into a bowl. 



jayfeather (author)2017-11-16

Has anyone ever made it with whip cream? That’s what I’m doing for a pr

MrCurious1115 (author)2016-08-11

Don't skimp on the salt and it will work. You can use any salt you want packaged for use in the kitchen. I'm not sure I'd want to use driveway salt cause sometimes depending on the brand it can be mixed with other deicing chemicals. Personally I use plain old iodized table salt in my little electric ice cream maker. The manual calls for Kosher or rock salt but table salt works fine. As with any home made ice cream if you will put it in the freezer promptly after making it will firm up more. The churning or sloshing in this case puts air into the mix so instead of a milk ice cube you get icecream.

SzilviaB (author)MrCurious1115 2017-07-08

The salt will never come in contact with your ice cream, hence, it doesn't matter what kind it is, in theory.

All you're getting with salt, is it's making your ice melt. This process is what makes your ice cream recipe freeze. Not sure what the thermal reaction is,

but it works.

Salt mixing with water causes what is called "freezing point depression," and as the ice melts, the entire mixture cools. The key thing is to have enough salt around so that as more ice melts, there is more solid salt left to dissolve in the water. The lowest temperature will be when the liquid water that is present has as much salt dissolved in it as it possibly can ("saturated solution"). If the salty water just gets diluted as the ice melts, the temperature will start to rise again, approaching the regular melting point of ice (32 F.; 0 C.) as the water gets less and less salty. When I used to use a salt-ice churn, I just put a huge amount of salt in, and when I was done, I would carefully remove the floating ice, pour off the liquid, and save the salt right there in the churn for next time. Any kind of salt will do. Typically, home freezers are a bit colder than what you can achieve with ice and salt, so if you leave a batch of ice cream in there to "ripen" for a while, it will get closer to commercial ice-cream texture. If you use whipping cream, as I strongly suggest, the ice cream will get VERY hard after a few hours in the freezer.

thank you. ill add reg salt

WadCutter1 (author)2017-07-05

Pure fantastic! Thank you for sharing. wc

AlejandroB82 (author)2017-01-13

Just figured out you can also use soy milk and it takes half the time

Freddlestix (author)AlejandroB822017-01-30

Hi can you be more specific, did you just use soy or add some cream too? I'd love to make a vegan ice cream!

BenR96 (author)Freddlestix2017-07-04

You can use practically anything, so long as it's freezing point is similar to that of water. The more fat content, the "creamier" it will be. Less fat means more "icy". What result you want is up to your personal taste. You could add soy cream or yoghurt to up the fat content for a creamier result.

jtechian (author)AlejandroB822017-07-02

I've read that soy in hard on the body as we cant digest it very well, along with artificial sweeteners. Best lean to moderation with real natural fats and sweeteners.

Swansong (author)2017-07-04

I want to try this method, this looks like a much more fun way to make ice cream :)

mooster (author)2017-07-03

I'd like to add that if you have a vacuum sealer device, the bags from that would be much stronger and will hold up to whatever beating kids might want to dish out. Seal it with little air space, but don't vacuum, of course. I let them make deviled eggs in them, so I know it would work for this.

BethC106 made it! (author)2017-05-05

It took a fair amount of shaking but within 20 minutes we had ice cream. We used half and half in one bag and Lactaid in the other - both came out well.

I was going to make the same comment. At its coldest, a salt-ice mixture is cold enough to freeze human flesh and blood. Gloves will allow you to really get in there and mix without discomfort or even damage.

I'm especially grateful for this because I was going to do this with a young grandson. It will be fun to dig out mittens in July. Thanks!

RachelM155 (author)2016-09-08

Has anyone had experience with this recipe working with using Silk Soy milk and not milk or half and half? I know the same fat content is not in soy milk, but I was just curious. Thank you!!

EarlB26 (author)RachelM1552017-07-03

Why don't you TRY IT and post back and let us know how it came out. Dare to be Different.

kristinah31 (author)RachelM1552016-10-05

I would try canned coconut milk, it has a higher fat content, and I know it can be used for vegan whipped "cream" so it might be a good substitute in Ice cream

kevlari (author)2016-08-11

Just one question, what is 'half and half'?

"Half and Half" is also a brand of chewing tobacco. I wouldn't recommend using that in this recipe!

I'll remember that advice!!

mdeloor (author)kevlari2016-08-14

It's all about understanding the milk fat percentage in the dairy products.

Homogized milk has 3.25% milk fat.

Half and Half cream has 10 % milk fat.

Coffee cream has 18 % milk fat.

Whipping cream has 32 % milk fat.

Hope this helps simplify the confusion?

kevlari (author)mdeloor2016-08-15

Things are so different in the US eh?? Many thanks for your thorough reply.

elizabeth4052 (author)kevlari2017-01-27

This is so fun to make with your friends and if you want chocolate ice cream use 1 fourth or 1 half of a cup

NariS1 (author)kevlari2016-10-13

They have these things called 2% and 1% milk in the US.. Of course it is a marketing gimmick as they dont put 3.5% milk on regular milk.. they just call it "Whole Milk" - So all the people fall for the trap and buy 2% milk thinking they are cutting down on fat consumption by 98% or something like that..

erwin (author)kevlari2016-08-11

Bought readily in the store next to milk and heavy cream. It is half milk and half cream. People use it mostly in their coffee. Not expensive. I used to use heavy cream for this. More$$$

kevlari (author)erwin2016-08-11

Thanks for your reply - I'm in the UK. I guess we call it single cream. I'm guessing what you are calling heavy cream is the equivalent of our double cream.

Cheryl MB (author)kevlari2016-08-11

I'm in Australia - we have the same terms. Thanks for that!

chive_turkey (author)kevlari2016-08-11

Half cream and half milk. You can find it in the grocery with the refrigerated coffee creamers.

kevlari (author)chive_turkey2016-08-11

Thanks for your reply.

macgyver71 (author)2017-07-02

Would Heavy Cream work, or is the Half&Half the "sweet spot" as far as fat content?

pmorse1 (author)2017-07-02

This is really fun for kids to make on a hot summer day. After mixing everything as directed, send them outside to play catch with the bag for 10 min. or so. Voila, ice cream, & a good time making it! Adding their favorite fruit makes it even more flavorful.... strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, blueberries, peaches, whatever they like best!

BrookeeCrayCray (author)2016-01-29

Will it still be good if I use water insted of half and half?

MaddieM5 (author)BrookeeCrayCray2016-01-29

No... ice cream isn't called ice water... use milk if you need to

yrralguthrie (author)MaddieM52016-08-11

Using water won't work, but as a kid I made "snow ice cream". Forget the recipe, but had to still use some cream, or half and half.

For the one who asked, half and half is half milk and half cream, or close.

RobertH25 (author)yrralguthrie2016-08-11

Snow Cream: 1 bowl of CLEAN, FRESH snow
a little cream (or milk if you don't have cream or half/n/half
some white sugar sweeten till you like it
a few drops of vanilla extract

Mix it all together and scarf down before the snow melts any more

BTW, if not sweet enough, you can add sugar; if too sweet, just put in more snow and milk.

TexomaEV (author)RobertH252017-07-02

Loved this as a kid, but watch out for the yellow snow....

exfftx11 (author)RobertH252016-08-14

Can you use "yellow snow" and tell everyone it's lemon ice? LOL

EdnaD5 (author)RobertH252016-08-11

What a nice thing to do! I'm sure yrralguthrie appreciates you sharing this with her. That's what this discussion group is all about! Nice of you.

BrookeeCrayCray (author)MaddieM52016-08-11

Sorry! I had a brain fart and typed water instead of milk

PattyP17 (author)BrookeeCrayCray2016-08-11

That would make a slushy popsickle, or flaovored slushy ice, not ice CREAM.

EdnaD5 (author)PattyP172016-08-11

Yep! That's why it's called Snow Cream. The slushiness of it is the fun part for kids! Lighten up...

NariS1 (author)BrookeeCrayCray2016-08-11

I am not 100% sure, but you might get a "Sorbet" instead of ice cream. However, you might as well directly make crushed ice in a blender and add flavors to it and have it fresh!

gizmologist (author)2017-07-02

Why spend the extra money on kosher salt if you're not even going to eat it? Plain salt will work just as well.

cdnrose (author)2017-07-02

Two guys on TV, canadian students, slit an old soccer ball along seam, inserted the bag of salted ice, and the bag of ingredients, played soccer for twenty minutes,[more fun at the beach than shaking a bag,] and presto, firm, cold, ice cream.

ClayS11 (author)2017-03-31

Does anyone have tips on how to make it less liquidy and more thick? It's really soft the way I made it.

EricS406 (author)ClayS112017-06-21

harden the ice cream by letting it sit in freezer for half an hour to an hour . i can never wait tho!!

BR95510 (author)2017-06-06

I would add one thing to the ingredient list. GLOVES! We made this over Memorial Day weekend while camping with our grandchildren. It came out wonderful and we only tossed and turned the bag for about 10 minutes. Their little hands did get pretty cold though, so I'll bring some garden gloves next time. We also used water softener salt because that's all I had. I think that may be a better option than table salt, because we certainly had no trouble getting it to firm up in a short amount of time. I will try adding some fresh strawberries next time. This will be a camping regular! Thanks for posting this!!

teama2 (author)2017-05-02

i didn't like shaking the bag so long but sooo good

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