How to make homemade ice cream in a baggie.

This is just as cool as my homemade butter in a canning jar. Oh how I wish I could take credit for coming up with this one, but I can’t. I saw it in Disney Family Fun Magazine the other day and thought it was such a great idea. I whipped up a few batches in no time and soon we were eating homemade ice cream from a baggie. I’m pretty sure this is not a new concept and has been done for years, but its new to me.

Here is what you will need to make homemade ice cream in a baggie:

2 TBL sugar
1 cup half & half (or light cream)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarse salt or table salt(I used canning salt)
gallon-sized Ziploc bag
pint-sized Ziploc bag

Mix the sugar, half & half and vanilla extract together. Pour into a pint-sized Ziploc baggie. Make sure it seals tightly.

Now take the gallon-sized Ziploc bag and fill it up halfway with ice and pour the salt over the ice. Now place the cream filled bag into the ice filled bag and seal.

Make sure it is sealed tightly and start shaking. Shake for about 5 minutes (or 8 minutes if you use heavy cream.)

Open the gallon-sized bag and check to see if the ice cream is hard, if not keep shaking. Once the ice cream is finished, quickly run the closed pint-sized baggie under cold water to quickly clean the salt off the baggie.

Open the baggie and pop in a spoon.

Hope you enjoy your homemade ice cream in a baggie as much as we do!

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  1. Rhiannon says:

    i saw this on rachel ray when kate gosslin was on and always wanted to try this!

  2. L.O.V.E. Thanks for sharing. Just a heads for those who don't do dairy, this should work with coconut milk and agave also =)

  3. We did this with the cub scouts and they had a blast!

  4. Heidi @ Mom's Crafty Space says:

    I just saw this in Family Fun magazine too and wanted to try it out! It looks AWESOME! :)

  5. Thanks for showing that it really does work. I just got my Family Fun yesterday and made a mental note to try this one soon. Now, I'm really going to try it soon.

    Laura @ Come Together Kids

  6. That's really cool. To bad I just got an ice cream machine :)

  7. ladychiara says:

    What fun!

  8. I just love the pictures of the kids on the farm! Such peace and joy! Thank you for sharing those moments with us!

  9. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [03 Jun 03:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  10. I saw the same article today and now I can't wait to make some! Although I still want my own ice cream mixer because I'm lazy…

  11. Stephanie Krohn says:

    I vaguely remember my younger sister making ice cream this way at summer camp. Thanks for posting! When I go to the store this week, I will definitely be buying more heavy cream! The kids will love it.

  12. Becky @ UCreate with Kids says:

    I love this! Check out UCreate with Kids tonight! I am totally featuring this!

  13. Stopping by from TT&J. I've heard of this before but have actually never seen how to do it. This looks so easy and I think I'll have to try it, once we start getting summer weather.

  14. This looks so easy. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Kim @ KimsKandyKreations says:

    This looks so yummy and easy. I will have to run to the store this week to get the ingredients. My kids would LOVE to make homemade ice cream for family night.

    Thanks for sharing such a great idea. I had to share it on my Shout Out Sunday post today! I'll be back to check out more of your great ideas.

  16. Chef in Training says:

    how awesome is this! I love this and it looks so simple! Thank you for sharing! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would come check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

  17. I did this with my family today, and it was a huge hit! Thank you! I linked up to you… and borrowed a picture, but totally gave you credit. I hope that is alright.

  18. Just Jaime says:

    Yum! Looks fun! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Chad and Mary Beth @ Nothing But Country says:

    OOHHHHH Icecream in a bag. I am SOOO DOING THIS!!!

    Would love if you would link up with us at Creative Creation Tuesday. We would love others to see your project too. Can be found here at Nothing But Country.

    Happy Creating! Thanks for sharing your great project.

  20. Kristen says:

    Oh man this is fabulous! I'm forever stumbling upon ice cream recipes that call for an ice cream machine (which we don't have) so I'm excited to finally be able to try making ice cream! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Turning a House into a Home

  21. Carla E. says:

    This is a really neat idea and seems like a lot of fun. I'll have to make ice cream in a baggie with my son.

  22. Rachel at Sun Scholars says:

    Always love doing this with the kids. Thanks for sharing this at For the Kids Friday! I'm going to share your post with my Facebook friends :) Hope to have you link up again this week! The party is now posted!!! Always a pleasure to have you!

    :)rachel at

  23. Anonymous says:

    It's even better with other flavored extracts instead of vanilla.

  24. Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea says:

    I saw this too but like your tutorial better. We are definetely giving it a try this school vacation! Fun and easy!!! I'm your newest follower – btw! Come visit me at

    Have a great day!

  25. Dana Jacobsen says:

    I remember making ice cream like this when I was younger from an American Girl project booklet. So good!

  26. Kristen says:

    I so want to try this! Thank you for sharing.

  27. Thank you for sharing! I will try.

  28. Stephanie Guillory says:

    I remember doing this when I was in kindergarten. If you have more than one child (or heck, do it WITH your child) it's fun to don mittens, and gently toss the bag back and forth instead of just shaking. Make a game of it while you're making ice cream! ^_^

  29. Danelle says:

    luv it!

  30. I can't wait to try this! Thank you for sharing! I featured you this week on my linky laundry list –


  31. East Coast Mommy says:

    LOVE it! Just posted a link on my Facebook page.

  32. I am gonna do this with mint extract and add chocolate chips at the end!! Yum!!

  33. We did it! Just had a play date and made it. My arms are killing me! But it was SO yummy, posting about it for What we ate Wednesday and will be linking back to you Momma!


  34. Malinda S. says:

    We tried it and it was so yummy! We added blackberries to one and peaches to another. The peach one didn't set up so well, so next time we will add after. My husband cheated a little and put the baggies in a small drink cooler. Him and my daughter sat down and rolled it back and forth between them. Their's set up much faster than mine. Thanks so much!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Just did this at my son's birthday. The kids LOVED it and it turned out great! :)

  36. Thanks for sharing….it was wonderful, even if Mommy stumped her toe while pouring vanilla. LOL

  37. Anonymous says:

    i saw that recipe in a national geographic kids magizine . it is so much fun and easy to make !

  38. Gabrielle @bstrung says:

    What a great idea for the summer!

  39. Planner Perfect says:

    love it and love your blog…I am a new follower. I have 7 babes and I love finding fun crafts and recipes for them to do.
    Check out mine, too, if you like! It's all about organization and the perfect planner to harness it all…:0)

  40. Seriously?! How fun!! Can't wait to try it!

  41. EdenSong Essentials says:

    Very clever!

  42. Susan Liber says:

    This will be great for our camping trip!

  43. Anonymous says:

    i tweaked this since i cant have sugar…gatric bypass patient…anyways i used fat free half and half..splenda…lemon extract instead of vanilla with a packet of true lemon crystallized lemon for extra zing. i also used part soy milk…with the half and half and OMG it is AMAZING!!!!!!!

  44. lovemyspy says:

    Just made this with my 2 boys, fun and tastes great! Thank you!!

  45. These are the Stamps of Our Lives says:

    Can't wait to try!

  46. I want to try this!

  47. Jennie Bender says:

    Too cute and fun, saving a link for my preschoolers when we learn i–ice cream=) Thanks!

  48. Can anybody tell me why the salt is needed?

    • Salt lowers the freezing point of water, melting the ice. This needs to happen so the temperature can drop below 32 degrees in order to freeze the mixture into ice cream.

  49. I have never heard of this either…. I think it's a brilliant idea. Thank you x

  50. Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels says:

    Brilliant! I will definitely make this!!

  51. rachele kehler says:

    Do you know if I can eliminate the sugar? or use a substitute like Stevia?

  52. 2littlehooligans says:

    i would think you could. the sugar just gives the ice cream its sweetness.

  53. Mrsblocko says:

    I made this when my daughter's best friend came over for a play date. We all had a lot of fun making this. (I blogged about it here.)

    p.s. Frances: the salt is needed to melt the ice faster, this creates a heat transfer, which starts to freeze the cream. Delicious delicious science!

  54. Thanks for sharing, we went ahead and tried it with coconut milk, and it came out delicious!

  55. Christy Mensi says:

    Just made this with my kiddos and it was GREAT! Thanks :)

  56. Tried this and was really happy with the results…. soooooo many possibilities!

    Linked back to this post on my blog –

    Thanks again!

  57. Just tried this with Thrive instant (powdered) milk. It was fantastic. So glad to know I can make this anytime even if I don't have store bought milk!

  58. My kids are going to LOVE this! Thanks… about it via Globetrotting in Heels and can't wait to try it….my kids will be begging for it all the time. Good thing we use half-n-half for coffee so we always have it on hand! MamaP

  59. This would be VERY cold on your hands. Instead, I use an empty peanut butter jar. Put the baggie of milk mixture (I just use chocolate milk from the cafeteria when I do this in class) in the jar, cover with ice and salt, screw the lid on…and then the fun part! Roll the jar back and forth on the floor with a partner! They have come up with a $30 soccer ball to do this very same thing, but my way is cheaper!

  60. corinajoyc says:

    I just made this. I used plain old 2% milk and liquid Stevia. In hind sight, I should have used powdered Stevia instead but it did work. When it was done, I added a sliced banana and about 2 TB of chocolate syrup. Eat it quickly as it does melt quickly! Nice treat. BTW you can do the same thing with a group but used small and large coffee cans instead of the ziploc bags. Make sure to tape (duct tape works best) the coffee can lids so you don't have a big mess! Have the kids roll it back and forth to each other for about ten or so minutes or til done. Did it with Cub Scouts years ago.

  61. Jen @ says:

    Great idea!! I just featured it on my TT&J facebook page :)


  62. I had completely forgotten about doing this.:) Thanks for the reminder.:)

  63. The Outlaw Mom says:

    Wow! Totally amazingly easy idea – I love it. Thanks for sharing :-)

  64. Can't wait to make this for my hubby! He always talks about this science experiment from childhood when they did this too. I just never had ingredients list! He will be so happy :)

  65. SnozzberryDreamer says:

    We made it this weekend. I posted pics at
    Thanks for sharing!

  66. We have tried this with a icecream mix and we love it!! so much faster than the ice cream machine

  67. I LOVED doing this. Thanks for sharing the idea! I just posted a blog about my experience with it. THANK YOU!!!

    Shannon @

  68. judee@ gluten Free A-Z says:

    What a great idea! Fun Fun .. I am your newest follower. Hope you will stop by and follow me back.

  69. NOW i understand!! have seen similar recipes in the past which haven't explained things properly and i've always wondered 'the ice cream must taste so salty' …………… doh!!!! what a doofus xxxxxxxx defnitely remaining anonymous!!

  70. Enjoyed making this with my boys, and posted it on my blog, thanks!

  71. Hi, Just a quick question, I'm in the UK, what do you mean by 2 TBL sugar? Is it tablespoons (tbsp)? Thanks

  72. 2littlehooligans says:

    yes it is 2 tablespoons.

  73. Anonymous says:

    I just made this, but instead of using vanilla i used COFFEE.

    SO. GOOD. try it.

  74. Anonymous says:

    could it be done with whole milk? or is there something I could do to the milk before to make it usable? cream is not avail where I live.

  75. Sarah Jio says:

    This is so amazing! I'm going to share on my health and fitness blog tomorrow. I'll link back to you and send some traffic your way. (Hope you don't mind me using one photo.) Thank you!

  76. The Urban Un-Martha says:

    great post, i really want to try it making pumpkin ice cream for a little autumn treat for my son.

  77. Hello, really a funny idea, i like to' make at my nursery, but I really don't understand what cup half&half means: half full milk and half cream? Half what and what ( seems the ingredient was lost. Thankyou!!

  78. Half & Half is a product found in the grocery case. Some people put it in coffee. Regular milk works too.

  79. Many years ago my mom would do the same thing with her first grade class at school, only they would put the ice cream into a cleaned out coffee can that would set inside a bigger coffee can. The salt and ice would go between the cans, and when the lids were on, the kids would roll the cans back and forth. It seems like it would be a little easier to roll it, and you might be able to make more. Who doesn't love more ice cream?

  80. Spot in Cyberspace says:

    I'm wondering if this would work with yogurt for a 'frozen yogurt' treat…ever try it?

  81. I made mine with fat free half and half, stevia, vanilla extract, and special dark cocoa powder. It turned out absolutely delicious, but I was wondering if there is a way to do it without so much shaking? Also, the consistency was a little thin…

  82. Shook for over 15 minutes, don't think there was enough ice in the bag! Added more salt to the ice-seemed to help a little. Tasted great!

  83. Such a fun idea!!

    Rene @ BargainHoot

  84. Love this! I made it with a bit more vanilla and it was great! Next I'm going to try brown sugar.

  85. uv detectors says:

    I will start making it right away. Thanks for the tip.

  86. Lydia Prislovsky says:

    I made this with Eggnog and Nutmeg for a holiday ice cream. Really enjoyed it..thanks for sharing!

  87. db38237e-076a-11e1-9b63-000bcdcb471e says:

    I used to do this as a kid!!! You can always use 2 of those metal coffee cans too…you know, the one that's the smaller size, then the big one…put your ice cream mixture in the smaller one, make sure it's closed tight, then center it in the larger can, add your ice & salt, close it tight, then just roll them around on the floor! :)

  88. db38237e-076a-11e1-9b63-000bcdcb471e says:

    Speaking of which…I have all the ingredients (well, Splenda in place of sugar…) and some nice peppermint extract…time for mint ice cream!

  89. I can see strawberries and blueberries in the mix! YUM

  90. Anonymous says:

    We have been doing this with 4-H groups for many years but the past few years we actually did everything the same except we put the baggie with the ice cream mixture in a pitcher and the ice and salt around the baggie in the pitcher and kids either shook or rolled it back and forth to each other while their ice cream was freezing. You could reuse the pitcher for the next group too. Always fun for kids.

  91. Anonymous says:

    does it still work if you add chocolate or strawberry syrup for different flavours??

  92. This is way too cool! My mom was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so making homemade ice cream is the safest way too go, not too mention healthiest.

  93. adaynasmile says:

    Love this! So yummy! Thanks for posting. I'm linking up to you on

  94. Anonymous says:

    I have had a daycare for 25 years and we have been making this yummy treat so far back I can't even remember when we started! I make it exactly like you did. We sometimes put strawberries, really ripe peaches or chocolate ice cream topping in it to make flavors! I just got some vanilla beans today that I ordered to make my own homemade vanilla (recipe from pinterest) and think I'll give them a try too!! Nice post!!

  95. Julie Jones says:

    I would love to make this with my girl scouts. How many servings does one bag yield? I need enough for 9 hungry 5 yr old girls. Thanks!

  96. Looks great! I was wondering the same thing as Julie-how much does it make? Is one bag one serving?

  97. Okay, answering mine and Julie's question about how much it makes. Well, it makes one cup which is kind of "duh" when you realize you use one cup of half and half. :) I think most ice cream containers say that a serving is 1/2 cup. It does melt VERY fast so I stuck mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes after rinsing the bag. Also, the bag gets VERY cold so the idea that others said about rolling it back and forth in some kind of container would probably work out well for the girl scouts…then each "team" could share the ice cream in the bag. As others have said, this is DELICIOUS!

  98. 2littlehooligans says:

    yes, it makes 1 cup of ice cream. it does melt faster then usual ice cream, so may want to place it into the freezer before eating. but we never seem to have an issue with this, since ours in gone really fast! enjoy:)

  99. Anonymous says:

    how would i make chocolate ice cream?

  100. OMG I just tried this, so good…going to try it with a 1/2tbl to 1 tbl of cocoa for chocolate ice cream. I did it with two quart bags which worked but was a bit soft since I couldn't put enough ice in it to keep it cold long enough. But it will do in a pinch

  101. This is how I make ice cream and it comes out delicious

  102. FYI – I used skim milk and it worked great!

  103. Unknown says:

    Thanks for posting the in a baggie ice cream. I am a pre-k teacher and for the after school kids I do a cooking class and they loved it!!!

  104. Sheila Saunders says:

    I made this when my grandchildren were small using coffee cans and rolling to each other on the concrete drive.

  105. Anonymous says:

    I noticed my ice tore up my bag with the cream in it. Any suggestions on what I can do next time?

  106. I made this with my kids today. I totally love it. We even added in oreos and it was amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing

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  108. We just did this with vanilla soy milk. I added just a bit of vanilla and NO sugar. My kids loved it!

  109. Rachelle says:

    This recipe is GREAT! I just made it, but all I had around was heavy whipping cream, so I used that instead! Tasted JUST LIKE Friendly’s vanilla ice cream! ♥ IT! I am a camp counselor over the summer and I am definitely bringing this recipe to camp for my girls! =] =] =]

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  113. Shari B says:

    Just had the kids make this. It turned out great and was very good. Thanks for posting it.

  114. if you snip the corner of the baggie you can squeeze it out like soft serve no need to scoop!

  115. That is so neat! :) Thank you for sharing. I wonder; could you do this with plain milk? Such a neat {and yummy} trick. :)

  116. YAY! We just made this and it was so fun and delicious-except the wee ones made me do all the shaking:) What a fun treat on a hot summer afternoon!

  117. This is awesome!!

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  119. Ok, so I just “made” this and it failed on me. This is the second time I’ve tried to make ice cream in a baggie and it hasn’t work. the only thing i did different was not use ice. Instead I used frozen strawberry. I shook the bag and for about 20 minutes, then I gave up and stuck it in the freezer. Would not using ice really make that big of a difference? Thanks!

  120. Just tried it and it was amazing…I used coconut milk instead of half and half.

  121. LOVE THSI! me and my best friend made this and we added nutella and it was way better than in the shop! Thanks for sharing

  122. Did this in my science class for 7th grade. Brings back memories.

  123. nitram99blue says:

    We used to make this in cub scouts with enough for the whole den. Instead of bags, we used a one lb. coffee can with the ice cream mix in it duct taped shut inside of a 3 lb. coffee can that had ice and salt in it and then that was duct taped shut. The boys would sit in a circle with their legs spread apart. The boys had a blast rolling it back and forth across the floor to each other. Our recipe was a little lower fat and sugar. We used one package of fat free, sugar free instant pudding mix in the flavor chosen by the boys and 3 cups of skim milk.

  124. nitram99blue says:

    It took about 15 minutes of rolling. Depending on how aggressive they were. They need to be reminded to keep rolling.

  125. I would love to try that icecream. I wonder is it good im just ten i dont know any thang

  126. I know how to male ice cream form my camp but this sounds fun!

  127. I just made this and it was so good. I am an ice cream lover and I had to make 2 batches just for me. It was wonderful and quick when you just have to have ice cream.

  128. I just re pinned this yummy ice cream recipe from you. I hope that is okay to do. I haven’t been on Pinterest for a long time and can’t remember if this is what one does to collect good ideas from others. I hope people who reprint this realize this is not my idea but yours!! I can’t wait to try with it granddaughters. (-:

  129. It is really just 2 tablespoons of sugar?

  130. How many servings does this make??

  131. Has anyone tried this with stevia instead of sugar?

  132. Elizabeth says:

    This also awesome to do if you replace the bags with a large and small coffee can and let the kids roll it to one another on the ground.

  133. Anonymous says:

    Great family fun. Came out delicious.

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  135. Brittany says:

    Will this work well with skim milk instead of half and half?

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