Ice cream in a bag

It’s hot and the kids want a cool treat. With this recipe for homemade ice cream, you can satisfy that sweet tooth and learn a lesson in science at the same time.

Ice cream starts with milk --or cream-- a little sugar and a splash of vanilla. But how do those three simple ingredients turn into a bowl of goodness you eat with a spoon?

Put your liquid ingredients into a sandwich Ziplock bag and seal it up tight. Next, add several cups of ice to a gallon Ziplock bag. Now for the science… add salt to the ice and shake it up. Then put the tightly sealed Ziplock with your milk mixture inside the gallon bag, seal it up and shake it. You may want to wear gloves or oven mitts for this part, or pass it around. After five to seven minutes, feel the liquid bag. You will discover it is no longer a liquid, but a solid! It has become ice cream!

Wipe the salt water off the bag and enjoy your experiment with a little chocolate sauce or the topping of your choice.

We all know that when a liquid freezes, it becomes a solid. The science lesson here is what happens when you add salt to the ice. It lowers the freezing point and makes your ice cream possible because the ice is colder with the salt added.

About the Author...
Pam Tauscher
Pam works as Executive Producer and Panel Moderator for the MomsEveryday Show, as well as serving as MomsEveryday host in her local market in Madison, WI.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup milk, half and half, heavy cream or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1/3 cup rock salt
  • Sandwich Ziplock
  • Gallon Ziplock


  1. In a small bag, combine milk, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  2. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, then seal it tightly.
  3. Fill the gallon bag halfway with ice. Add rock salt over the ice and carefully shake the bag to help distribute the salt.
  4. Place the smaller bag with your ice cream mixture into the larger bag and seal it well.
  5. Shake the bag continuously for several minutes, or until the mixture becomes firmer. Use a kitchen towel or oven mitts to protect your hands from the cold.
  6. Remove the ice cream filled bag from the ice and wipe the bag clean of salt.
  7. Scoop out the ice cream to serve.