Ice Cream in a Bag
This isn’t just a recipe for ice cream, it is really a recipe, a super fun activity and snack time!
Ice cream has long been common thread between the young and the young-at-heart. The only things that I can think of better than that double cone or hot fudge sundae is MAKING your own ice cream.
This recipe is so simple, with ingredients you usually have on hand, that it can be that perfect way to entertain kids on a rainy afternoon, kill some time waiting for the barbeque to be ready or delight a big group at a birthday party!
How Do You Make Ice Cream in a Bag?
3 Ingredients, 2 Ziplock Bags = ICE CREAM!
This ice cream comes together in less than 10 minutes. It will be soft serve, but you can build a little toppings bar and everyone can add their favorite candies, sprinkles or syrup directly to their own bag of ice cream.
You really only MUST have three ingredients, but additions and substitutions can be made.
- You can substitute Splenda or some other artificial sweetner if you are watching your sugar consumption
- You can add flavorings and extracts like vanilla, peppermint, orange or any other concentrated bottled flavoring you like
- Of course you can add sprinkles, candy bar pieces, nuts, chocolate chips, hard candy or syrups to your finished product
- Fresh fruit can be used too! For the best results, I would use those as toppings or mix-ins at the end after your ice cream has already “set up”
Americans Love Ice Cream – Chill Out!
It is a pretty safe bet that many Americans will turn to ice cream to cool down after a sizzling summer day in July, but they probably don’t turn it down in December either, if you believe the info below.
July is National Ice Cream Month. According to icecream.com, Americans lick and scoop their way through more ice cream than in any other country – an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person annually!
Frozen treats, including fruit flavored ices, go back as far as the Persian Empire in 400 B.C. But until reliable refrigeration in the latter half of the 20th century, all frozen desserts were a treat for primarily the upper class.
Tips For Success to Make Ice Cream in a Bag
As usual with recipes, even when it’s easy (maybe ESPECIALLY when it’s “easy,” there are always a few things you need to know to make everything go more smoothly.
- You can use half and half or even whole milk as ONE HALF of the volume of liquid, but heavy cream seems to work best.
- I wouldn’t leave out the salt! Salt makes the ice melt more slowly and evenly. You don’t want all your ice to melt and your cream isn’t set.
- If you don’t have rock salt somewhere in the back of your pantry, substitute (in this order) Kosher Salt or Table Salt. It’s the size of the crystals that matter as much as what the salt does (slow melting.) So if you have some kind of fancy sea salt, save it – unless it is larger chunks. Buy one container of rock salt and you will probably have it for at least a year…
- Add only extracts and liquid flavorings in the “making” phase, and toppings after the ice cream sets up. You can stir in larger things like chocolate chips or candy bar pieces.
- If you have several participants, increase the recipe and mix together in a big pitcher or bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Then add portions to the small bags. In this method, everyone doesn’t have to have a full cup of ice cream base – if you have some very young kids, you might just want them to have a half portion.
INSTANT ICE CREAM IN A BAG
- You will need 1 Gallon size zip-top bag and one quart size zip-top bag for each person making ice cream.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar Splenda or another sweetener is fine
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 quart size zip-close bag
- 1 gallon size zip-close bag
- 3 –4 cups ice
- 1/2 cup rock salt optional
- Mix all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the ice cream base into the smaller bag. Make sure the bag is sealed tight.Place the small bag into the larger one. Add enough ice to the large bag so that it surrounds the one with the ice cream base. Add salt, trying to get it well distributed with the ice. The salt makes the ice melt more slowly.Massage the bag gently for 8 to ten minutes, taking care not to burst the seal on your smaller bag. The ice cream base will firm up to a soft-serve consistency. Add more ice if needed. Remove the ice cream bag. Rinse the salt off the outside, add toppings. Get a spoon and Enjoy right from the bag!
The next recipe calls for store bought ice cream.
I haven’t done it, but you could freeze your soft-serve in the pie shell. The homemade simple recipe is delicious and can’t be beat!
STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM PIE
- 2 - 3 cups strawberries halved and capped
- 1/2 cup sugar add more to taste if desired
- 1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream softened
- 1 citrus zest orange, lemon or lime
- Place prepared strawberries in bowl, reserving about 1/2 cup for garnish. Sprinkle with sugar, and set aside to macerate. Stir occasionally.
- In a large bowl, mix together the softened ice cream, the citrus zest and strawberries (along with their juice). Stir until berries are evenly distributed. Pour into pie crust. Freeze about 3 hours until firm. Serve each slice of pie with some of the reserved berries for garnish.
8 thoughts on “Ice Cream in a Bag – A Dessert AND Activity!”
This will be great at my grandson’s Birthday party. Thanks for the idea.
Thanks Ashley! Check us out on Pinterest too – it’s a great way to share with new friends!
Adrienne, I can’t wait to try the ice cream in a bag recipe with Little Michael. I also think it would be a great idea for his birthday party later this summer. I’m very excited about your website! Every dish I’ve ever eaten that you have cooked has been fabulous! Thank you for sharing your ideas and insights. Happy cooking! Julia
Thanks Julia! LM will love that ice cream – it’s like magic! Check Whimsy and Wow out on Pinterest too!
Thanks Julia! LM will love that ice cream – it’s like magic! Check Whimsy and Wow on Pinterest too! Pinning is a great way to find new friends!
Thanks for pointing out that salt is an important component to prevent ice cream from melting too fast. I’m thinking about buying wholesale ice cream flavoring for my attempts at making ice cream in my own home. Having full control on how sweet they can be will help in making sure that I’m feeding just the right amount of sugar to my kids.
That’s smart. I have slipped an alternative sweetener in this recipe and also in my no-churn ice cream too (www.whimsyandwow.com/no-churn-ice-cream)
You can use Splenda, Stevia, etc with no difference in taste. If you are doing low carb or keto – alternative sweetener makes it a WIN!