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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

No ice cream maker? No problem! Make this easy Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag in less than 15 minutes from start to finish for a deliciously fun treat that is the ultimate kid-friendly summer science project!
Prep Time5 mins
Additional Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Ice Cream
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 462kcal
Author: Amy Nash


Ice Cream Base

  • 2 gallon-size Ziploc® freezer bags
  • 2 cups heavy cream half and half, or whole milk*
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6-8 cups ice
  • cup rock salt


  • Sprinkles
  • Crushed oreos
  • Mini m&ms
  • Sliced fruit
  • Chopped nuts


  • Add the heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk (any combination works as long as it equals 2 cups) along with the sugar and vanilla extract in one of the ziploc bags. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag well. Squish everything around to mix it up and dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the ice to the other gallon-size ziploc bag, along with the rock salt. Place the bag with the ice cream into the bag with the ice and seal the outer bag, pressing out as much extra air as you can.
  • Shake the bag for 5 to 10 minutes, squishing and massaging the cream mixture in the middle to freeze it and turn it into ice cream. You may want to wrap the bag in a towel or use gloves to protect your hands. Or play "hot potato" with it by passing it between a few people.
  • When the ice cream is ready, carefully open both the outside and inside bags, being especially careful not to let any ice and salt fall into the ice cream. Scoop it into bowls and top with your favorite ice cream toppings and enjoy right away, or add some mix-ins, seal the bag up, and squish it for another minute or two. You can also transfer the ice cream to the freezer for 2-3 hours to get hard and scoopable.


  • Dairy: We like 1 ½ cups heavy cream and ½ cup milk best, but any combination of the above will work.
  • Salt: In a pinch, kosher salt or even table salt will work, but rock salt, also sometimes labeled as ice cream salt, works best. Remember to be careful not to let any of the salt get into your ice cream when opening the bag!
  • Cold hands: You might want to grab some gloves or a hand towel to hold the bag of ice while you are making the ice cream since it gets really cold on your hands!
  • Ziploc bags: Be sure to use the heavy duty freezer safe bags or you might want to double up on the bag holding the ice cream base mixture as an extra precaution so it doesn't leak.


Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 9494mg | Potassium: 93mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1749IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg