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Yes, You Can Make Ice Cream in a Bag

Created February 25, 2019
Homemade ice cream
Craving a late-night sweet treat, but don’t want to leave the house? We’ve all been there before. Don’t settle for some old and definitely stale cookies you dug up from the back of your pantry. You can make sweet, delicious ice cream at home in just a few minutes – no expensive equipment required.

Whether you’re satisfying your sweet tooth, looking for an activity that’s fun and tasty or just trying to beat the summer heat, this homemade ice cream recipe hits the mark. Not only is it delicious, but this dessert-hack is surprisingly easy. Plus, you can make this ice cream in a bag with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

Getting Started

As a general guide, the following quantities will be enough to make around one scoop of homemade ice cream, so adjust your ingredients depending on how much you're craving.

What You Need

  • 2 small resealable bags
  • 1 large freezer bag
  • Hand towel or tea towel


  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 cups ice, crushed or cubed
  • 6 tablespoons salt

Add half-and-half and sugar to a resealable bag

Take a small, resealable bag and add in the half-and-half and sugar. For added flavor, add vanilla extract as well. Seal the bag, getting rid of as much air as you can. Next, double-bag it inside a similar-sized bag.

Put ice and salt into a freezer bag

Throw crushed or cubed ice with the salt into a large freezer bag. You can use any kind of salt, as you won't actually be eating it. The salt is there to lower the freezing point of water. Place the double bag in the larger bag, then seal it up, getting rid of as much air as possible.

Shake It!

Now for the fun part – get to shaking, baby! Wrap the bag in a towel and shake for at least five minutes.

Wrap bag in a towel and shake

You’ll start to notice the half-and-half mixture getting thicker simply by touching it through the plastic bag. In eight minutes max you should have some seriously delicious ice cream. Note: the more ice cream you’re trying to make, the more shaking you’ll have to do. If you’re making ice cream for a crowd, we recommend sharing the shaking duties with others.

When you remove the smaller bag, wipe it down carefully to get rid of all the salt on the outside. Nothing ruins homemade ice cream quite like a big glob of wet salt.

Now that you’ve gotten your arm workout in for the day, it’s time to serve up your fresh homemade ice cream and cover it in toppings.


Now that you know how to make ice cream in a bag, there’s no end to the flavor combinations you can experiment with. Top your sweet cream with Cinnamon Toast Crunch™ cereal, hot fudge sauce, sprinkles, chocolate chips, marshmallows – you get the idea! You can also get creative with the ice cream-making process itself by using chocolate or strawberry milk or even adding some fruit puree towards the end of the process. You can also try substituting heavy whipping cream in place of the half-and-half for a richer, more indulgent treat. With three resealable bags, ice and salt, there’s no limit to the sweet treats you can create at home.

Making ice cream at home is a fun hack, especially in the heat of summertime. If you love chilled treats, we have plenty more where that came from.