Tasty Tuesday – Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

My 15-year old SUV has been in the garage for a week having a new exhaust system installed and getting the A/C repaired (lucky me). Because it was the last week of school I had something going on each day where I needed a car, so I ended up driving my husband to work and picking him up every day. I felt like I’d spent my entire week in the car… Today I told him to just take his car and I’d survive being stuck at home for the day.

My kids spent 2/3 of the day watching TV. Finally after listening to 6 hours of Psych in the background I’d had enough! I threw my kids outside and told them to turn on the sprinkler and have fun outdoors so I could have some peace and quiet in the house!

Wouldn’t you know that today would be the hottest day of the year!?!

They lasted about 5 minutes. It was just too hot to stay outside. They came running in asking for ice cream. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any ice cream and had no way to go to the store to pick some up. I was looking around in the fridge to see what they could have and saw some Half & Half on the shelf and remembered something we made when we lived in Virginia… Ice Cream in a bag!

We had all the ingredients on hand, it’s super easy to make, and the girls LOVE to make it. And I don’t even need to supervise! Score one for mom today!

Tasty Tuesday – Homemade Ice Cream in Bag


Tasty Tuesday – Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

  • Author: Kate Kelly - My Mommy Brain
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1
  • Category: dessert


  • 1 cup Half & Half (milk or cream will also work, but I think the Half & Half gives it the best flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • 1 small (sandwich) Ziploc bag
  • 1 medium (quart) Ziploc FREEZER bag (Use the freezer bags here because they are less likely to be punctured or leak while you are shaking the mixture.)
  • 1 large (gallon) Ziploc FREEZER bag
  • 4 cups of ice cubes – crushed is better but cubes will work (enough to fill the gallon Ziplock bag about half way)
  • 1/2 cup Kosher or rock/ice cream salt (table salt will also work in a pinch)


  1. Combine the Half & Half, vanilla and sugar in the small bag and seal it tightly, getting as much air out as you can.
  2. Place the small bag into the medium bag and seal it tightly, again with no air in the bag (double bagging is not necessary, but it helps to prevent leaks).
  3. Place the salt and ice in the large freezer bag, then place the medium freezer bag inside and seal the bag tightly.
  4. Put on gloves or wrap the bag in a towel and shake continuously until the mixture hardens (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Carefully open the large bag and take the medium bag out, then remove the small bag, open and enjoy your homemade ice cream! (rinse off and keep the freezer bags to use again the next time you make ice cream)

Tasty Tuesday - Homemade Ice Cream in a BagMy kids love to mix in things as well. M&Ms, chocolate chips, sprinkles, you name it! You can also add other flavors to the bag to change it up.


Chocolate ice cream: add 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup and decrease the vanilla to 1/4 teaspoon.

Chocolate chip mint ice cream: Replace vanilla extract with 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and add 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips.

Strawberry ice cream: Add 3 tablespoons sweetened, pureed strawberries.

Experiment with other flavors by replacing the vanilla extract with 1/2 to 1 tsp. of lemon or almond extracts. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag is a super easy and delicious treat that the kids enjoy making as much as eating.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?


Comments 22

  1. As a teacher I have made this in class. The kids do enjoy this. I wish more parents would do things like this with their children instead of buying toys.

  2. We used to do this at camp when i was a kid but we somehow used coffee canisters instead of Ziplocs and would roll them back and forth to each other. The metal woud get really cold and helped it freeze really fast. Can't wait to try this again as an adult haha 🙂

  3. This looks like so much fun to make and so yummy to eat. I have seen this done before but haven’t done it myself…I think it’s time! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. Totally going to try this once my son gets back home. He will enjoy this and I think it will be something fun that we can do together not to mention tasty.

  5. This really looks fun and I am thinking of trying this with my older grandchildren… adding some fresh fruit. I still don't get how its works, but it looks yummy!

  6. How have I missed this all my life? Husband wants homemade ice cream but there is no way we can afford an ice cream maker right now. Thanks for sharing this. I'm a chocolate fan but my husband loves fruit. Maybe a chocolate raspberry flavor? Yum!

  7. Pingback: Summer Ideas, Recipes and Projects - What Meegan Makes — What Meegan Makes

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