Homemade Ice Cream: Quick, Easy, & on the Cheap!




Introduction: Homemade Ice Cream: Quick, Easy, & on the Cheap!

Want to make some good ol' fashioned ice cream? Don't feel like spending $20 and surrendering some kitchen space to an ice cream maker? DO YOU SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM?!?! If so, read on...

'Tis true, my friend; you can bring this playground favorite right to your own home, crafted from your own hands, using only a handful of common ingredients.

For all intents and purposes, I'll show you two ways to make your own ice cream: the Ziploc method, and the jar method.

AND GUESS WHAT!!! For all you allergy folks out there, great-tasting ice cream is now possible! You can substitute your favorite "milk" for this recipe!

Step 1: The Ziploc Method

The Ziploc method is my preferred method. It takes less time, and the ice cream usually ends up having a better texture. However, you'll need rock salt - an ingredient which is not a common household item, yet not hard to find in your local supermarket.

1. Milk - 1 cup or 240 mL - I used Rice Milk; just make sure that if your milk is sweetened, you use less sugar
2. Sugar - 2 tbsp or 30mL - use less if you are using a sweetened milk substitute
3. Vanilla - 1/2 tsp or 2mL
4. Ice - 2 cups or 475 mL
5. Rock Salt - 1/4 cup or 60 mL - this ingredient can also be referred to as ice cream salt
6. A 1-Qt (.94 L) Ziploc bag
7. A 1-Gal (3.78 L) Ziploc bag

Step 1
Pour milk, sugar, and vanilla into quart-sized (.94 L) Ziploc bag; shake.

Step 2
Pour ice and rock salt in gallon-sized (3.78 L) Ziploc back; shake.

Step 3
Put small Ziploc into larger Ziploc. Slosh the bag back and fourth across your countertop until the ice cream becomes nice and thick.

Step 4
This is Ziploc ice cream; grab a spoon and just eat it right out of the bag! ;]

Step 2: The Jar Method

The jar method does take longer than the Ziploc method, but you have less chances of a mess, and you don't need rock salt.

1. Milk - 1 cup or 240mL - I used Rice Milk; just make sure that if your milk is sweetened, you use less sugar
2. Sugar - 2 tbsp or 30mL - use less if you are using a sweetened milk substitute
3. Vanilla - 1/2 tsp or 2mL
4. Jar
5. Freezer

Step 1
Measure out and pour all ingredients into jar; shake.

Step 2
Place your jar in the freezer. Placing it in between other items will help speed up the process. You'll need to keep it in the freezer at least 3 1/2 hours, taking it out and shaking it at 30-minute intervals.

Step 3
When you take out your ice cream to shake and hear little or no "sloshing", it is ready. Run it under some cool water to loosen up the top.

Step 4
Pour, serve, and consume. =D

Step 3: Notes

A few notes on this Instructable...

On rock salt... Rock salt varies by brand. At school we used 1/4 cup of rock salt for every 2 cups of ice. However, at home I used a different brand of rock salt and discovered that I needed a lot more - a whole cup of the stuff!

Also - the ice cream mixture is not necessarily directly proportional to the rock salt mixture; that is, if you were to halve the ingredients in the ice cream mixture, you could still use the same amount of rock salt and ice.

Additional notes may be added at later times, so keep checking back!

Good luck, and have fun!

Oh! And I'd like to give a round of applause to Eric and everyone at Instructables HQ who helped design the new Editor! I absolutely LOVVEEE it! ;]

2 People Made This Project!


  • Water Contest

    Water Contest
  • Tiny Home Contest

    Tiny Home Contest
  • Metalworking Contest

    Metalworking Contest

76 Discussions

So I just made it! the first and only time I've made it and it was a horrible ice cream. It was a amazing milkshake though!

1 reply

i think you should have shaken it longer and then placed it into the freezer. That's what i do.

Just for the record, this recipe does make delicious ice cream that is very tasty. However, I have found that any salt will work for this, if you are using table salt add much more. The only thing that needs to happen here is bringing down the melting temp of the ice.

Hello, how do you make other flavors? Do you add it with the vanilla extract or do you substitute the vanilla extract with the desired flavor?

Thanks in advance.!!

So I tried it with mint extract and green food coloring!! Gonna see how it tastes in a couple minutes. Might wtf some sprinkles for fun because I don't have any chocolate chips!!! Perfect for a hot day thanks a bunch!!

1 reply

Is there anyway to make this coffee/ espresso flavored?

1 reply

I would say YES as i used chocolate milk but didnt add sugar or vanilla so whatever flavor youre going for tweak the sugar next im going to try frozen fruit to see if the fruit inside the mixture and the ice and salt outside the mixture if it may be thicker. I used 1 cup of chocolate and an additional cup of strawberry banana

If you do take it out i would put in freezer so it will be firmer and easier to get out or just cut the bag open once you figure its hard enough

I made it like this and its the easier way of making it. Its really Fun and it tastes so good!

I just used milk sugar vinilla essence in a ziplock bag shakes it all together and then put it in the freezer because the ice/rocksalt shake method didn'tb work, my method did but it took a little longer


1 year ago

I make that all the time in a jar and it does not taste anything like ice cream. It is good , but definitely not ice cream

ok i accidently got a little bit of rock salt in my ice cream...then i ate it anyway...then i looked on the package of salt and it said if eaten then call hospital immediately...should i be concerned low?

3 replies

Not really, but just to ease your mind, try to vomit and after that drink a lot of milk. Next, call 911 (or whatever is the phone for your emergency services) and tell them exactly which brand of rock salt you ate and how much. They will give you any additional info.

I tried it and it does not get hard, but it stays runny.

could you help me? I really want to make ice cream!!!