How to Make Ice Cream In a Bag | Fun Summer Activity

There’s no ice cream maker needed for this easy freezing method. Learn how to make ice cream in a bag just by shaking up cream in ice and salt!

spoon with ice cream in a bag

Want a fun way to make a frozen dessert at home with the family?!

Try making delicious creamy homemade ice cream in a bag at home with just a few simple ingredients. This recipe makes a perfect project for the kiddos to help with – great for a summer break activity or any time of the year!

The process works similarly to a churning ice cream maker. The rock salt helps the ice get cold enough to quickly freeze the cream. When you manually shake up the bag yourself for a few minutes, it starts to get frozen!

spoonful of ice cream in a bag

The result is delicious serving of individual ice cream that is perfectly creamy and frozen, just like the kind from an ice cream maker. It also ends up being kind of a fun kind of an arm workout and something the entire family can enjoy doing together!

ingredients for ice cream in a bag

More tips on how to make ice cream in a bag:

  • Vanilla is always a great flavor option for this idea. We’ve made a chocolate flavor in the past as well, but you can get even more creative and make different flavors, or add fun toppings. It’s all up to you!
  • Consider using gloves or covering the bag with a kitchen towel because the mixture will be cold.
  • Various kinds of milk and sugar substitutes can be used for this idea according to your individual dietary needs.
  • Be sure to seal the Ziploc plastic bags well and be gentle while shaking so that you don’t get saltwater in your ice cream.

ice in a bag with rock salt

adding sugar to half and half

process of ice cream in a bag

ice cream in a ziploc bag

frozen ice cream in a towel

frozen ice cream in a bag

ice cream in a bag after shaking

vanilla ice cream in a bag

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

yield: 1 SERVINGS

prep time: 5 MINUTES

cook time: 10 MINUTES

total time: 15 MINUTES

Make this delicious and easy to create ice cream in a bag! It's a fun way to make a cool treat on a hot summer day.



In a larger gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt and ice.


In the sandwich-size freezer bag, mix together half & half, vanilla, and sugar. If making chocolate ice cream, add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder + 1 additional teaspoon sugar.


Seal the sandwich-size bag tightly and place it inside the gallon bag.


Seal gallon-size bag tightly, and shake for about 10 minutes until mixture is frozen. This is the perfect opportunity for a kid helper but consider using gloves or a kitchen towel because the mixture will be cold.


Be gentle enough not to break the bag. Eat right from the bag or scoop in a bowl or cone.

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

ice cream in a bag with sprinkles

Learning how to make ice cream in a bag is a great summer bucket list item!

My kids loved this activity so much when they were younger, and still do today! It really is a delclious treat and also a fun chemistry experiment. To learn more about the science behind this process, visit for more details!

Check out 6 of the best ice cream makers to buy!