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Ice Cream in a Bag

This easy homemade ice cream in a bag recipe is a must-try this summer! You only need 5 ingredients to make this homemade ice cream. Kids will love seeing how quickly they can make their own ice cream. Don’t forget to add your favorite toppings like sprinkles or fruit!

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How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

This is such a fun activity for kids in the summer! And if you’re low on ice cream in your freezer, it’s a great way to make your own treat! Kids can help shake the bags and of course finish off the ice cream.

Ice Cream in a Bag Ingredients

You only need 5 ingredients to make ice cream in a bag:

  • Half and Half – OR you can use 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 cream. We have also made it with whole milk and it will still turn out but the ice cream won’t be as creamy
  • Salt – the type of salt doesn’t matter. We used regular table salt. But the chunkier the salt you use, the less chance you’ll get salt mixed into your ice cream by accident.
  • Ice 
  • Artificial or Imitation Vanilla
  • Sugar
Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe

Can I use Whole Milk? 

Yes! You can still make this recipe with whole milk. The ice cream won’t be as creamy but will still be tasty. For an even creamier version use cream and whole milk instead. You can experiment with different proportions until you find it to be a texture and flavor you prefer!

How to Prevent Salty Ice Cream

This is important – because there’s nothing worse than shaking the bags and then having salty ice cream. You want to make sure that the bags you are using are quality bags. Typically no name brands won’t give a good seal to keep the salt out.

Make sure you properly seal the bag that has the half and half mixture in it. You don’t want salt accidentally getting into this bag. To be safe, you could double bag this also. Once you’re done shaking, rinse off the little bag with cold water (including the top part above the seal) before opening it up to eat the ice cream. This will ensure that any salt on the outside doesn’t leak in.

If you use chunkier salt, this will also help prevent the salt from getting into the little bag.

Finally, be extra careful when taking the ice cream out of the bag. If there is any salt still on the outside of the small bag, it will mix with the ice cream.

Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe
5 from 55 votes

Ice Cream in a Bag

An easy step-by-step tutorial to make homemade ice cream in a bag!
Prep Time10 minutes
Active Time6 minutes
Total Time16 minutes



  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 tsp artificial or imitation vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ice
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • Ziploc bags 1 Small, 1 Large


  • Pour 1 cup of half and half into a small ziploc bag.
    Add Half and Half into Bag
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of artificial vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of sugar. 
    Add Vanilla and Sugar to Bag
  • Seal the bag firmly and get any excess air out. 
    Seal Bag for Homemade Ice Cream
  • In the larger ziploc bag, fill it about 1/2 way with ice. Add 1/4 cup of salt.
    Add Ice to Bag
  • Then add your small bag and fill with extra ice on top. Seal the large bag.
    Add Ice Cream Bag and Ice
  • Get gloves for shaking and shake for 6 minutes. *Gloves are needed since the salt makes the ice extra cold.
    Shake Bag with Gloves
  • Take the small bag out of the large bag and rinse the outside of the small bag with cold water. Make sure to rinse out the top part of the bag also (above the seal).
  • Once done rinsing, carefully open the small bag to not get any remaining salt from the outside of the bag inside the bag.
  • The ice cream will be a little icy looking to start. Use a spoon to mix it around and soften it up a bit. Scoop out and enjoy!
    Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 50mg, Potassium: 157mg, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 428IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 127mg


See tips above for preventing salty ice cream: 
  1. Properly seal the bag. 
  2. Rinse off the little bag after shaking. 
  3. Double bag if still salty. 

Your kids will love making their own ice cream! Mix in some chocolate syrup or add your favorite toppings to make it even more delicious!

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46 comments on “Ice Cream in a Bag”

  1. How many kids can eat from the baggie-full??? Would you suggest one baggie per pair of kids or one per kid??? My class voted this option for part of our year-ender party! A favorite memory of mine!! 🙂

    1. You can get two smaller portions from each batch. You could also halve the amounts and do 1 batch per kid.

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