Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

By: The contributors of Kaboose.com, plus additional recipe testing and photography by Christina Stanley-Salerno

Difficulty: Very Easy


Parental supervision is recommended

Summer Crafts: Milk can become homemade ice cream in five minutes by using a bag! This homemade, creamy treat is a summertime delight for kids and adults alike.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • 1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
  • 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
  • Ice cubes

How to make it:

  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one, and seal it again carefully.
  4. Shake until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe off the top of the small bag, then open it carefully. Enjoy!


A 1/2 cup milk will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. But don’t increase the proportions more that that — a large amount might be too big for kids to pick-up because the ice itself is heavy.

Here’s an improvised version of the homemade ice cream recipe from another parent:

These are the homemade ice cream ingredients . . .

  • 1/4 teaspoon imitation vanilla butter and nut flavor
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk

These are the other supplies . . .

  • Plastic sandwich bag (e.g., Ziploc)
  • 12 water softener pellets
  • 1 tray of ice (My ice cube tray makes small cubes, so it produces only about half a tray.)
  • Large plastic bag

Put the ice-cream ingredients in the small bag, and then put the bag, salt, and ice in the big bag. Hold the bag shut and stir it around on the floor for about 5 minutes. Although the salt pellets hardly dissolved, I got ice cream. It was not as smooth as ice cream, probably because of the low-fat milk. Instead, it was a little like sherbet. I think if I had more ice in the bag, I could have shaken it better. I’d recommend wearing gloves. It is incredible that it is ready in 5 minutes (not counting assembling the ingredients.)
Next, I changed the recipe, using a tablespoon of cocoa, a tablespoon of sugar, and a cup of milk. I really wanted to use carob, but I didn’t have any. It was a tad too chocolatey, but good! My daughter has milk allergies, so I suggested she try this with fruit juice. She used straight pineapple juice and got a terrific fruit sorbet.