How to make a homemade ice cream recipe – in a bag?

Ice cream in a bag recipe

For a quick summer treat and activity in one, I love this handy trick – baggie ice cream. With just 5 ingredients and a few zipper plastic bags, I will teach you how to make homemade ice cream in a bag.

My creative mother used to make handy little magic like this with us as children. It is fun teaching my children simple joys. I think these little delights are the stuff of the magic of childhood.

It is so simple and pure and maybe one day I will be able to put words to the feeling these clever treasures have in my heart.

What you will need to make a homemade ice cream recipe in a bag recipe:

3 zipper-lock plastic bags – small, medium, and large – you do not want these bags to break, so use freezer bags or very good quality bags that seal well.

Ice, crushed, if available

Salt – any kind works, for example, table salt or rock salt, you will need 1/4 cup

Cream – the recipe calls for half and half, but you can use milk or heavy or light cream, whichever pleases you. You might have to make several batches. Wink!



Pot holders or oven mitts to protect your hands from the cold of the ice.

That is all. So simple, right?

Grab some supplies on Amazon:

Variations to the ice cream in a bag recipe

Vanilla ice cream is so classic. You can add some other flavors too!

Chocolate ic cream calls for 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder and an additional Tablespoon of sugar.

For strawberry ice cream, add 1/2 cup sliced strawberries. Check out this post about a delightful little way to cut your strawberries into hearts.

strawberry heart slices

To make coffee ice cream, use 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (instead of half and half) and 1/2 cup of strong coffee.

For more ideas of ice cream flavor recipes and the old-fashioned ice cream method, check out this post from Southern Living. 48 Easy Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Homemade ice cream in a bag recipe

ice cream in a bag recipe

Total time 15-20 minutes


1 cup of half and half cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups of ice, crush if available

1/4 cup of salt for the ice

3 zipper-seal bags, small, medium, and large


Add the cream, vanilla, and sugar to the smallest zipper-seal bag. Seal it, removing as much air as possible.

Place the small bag inside the medium bag. Seal it, removing as much air as possible.

Add the ice and the salt to the large bag and shake it around a little bit to get the salt all around the ice.

Place the bags holding the cream solution in the largest bag and get it down in between the ice as much as possible so the cream is getting contact with the ice through the bags.

With protected hands, gently knead the ice and cream for 10-15 minutes.

Once the solution begins to firm up, it is ready.

Use care when removing the ice cream

Because of the salt added to the bag, use care when taking the inner bags out. Quickly, rinse the medium bag in cold water to remove as much salt as you can, making sure it is away from the zipper area.

Remove the smallest bag and do a quick rinse in the cold water of that bag as well to ensure you do not have to eat salty ice cream.

You may eat your ice cream right out of the bag or put it in a bowl. Either way, I won’t judge.


Isn’t it is so simple and pure? I love clever little memories like these. I wish I had the words. These little tricks we learn from our mothers is part of what our feelings of her are made of.

For a simple and easy treat and quick activity, try the homemade ice cream in a bag recipe this week. Do you have the ingredients and a few zipper plastic bags already? I hope you will come back and share your review of this delightful little recipe.

Au Revoir!

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About the author, Jaime

Jaime Ragsdale
Jaime Ragsdale, Founder of Altogether Mostly

Here at Altogether Mostly, you will find grace, compassion, joy, and beauty. I use empathy and a little tough love to bring out the best in people. I live in the Midwest United States with my loving husband and awesome children. For more about me and Altogether Mostly, please visit my about page here.

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