Homemade vanilla Ice Cream in bowl

Even if you do not have rock salt or an ice cream maker, you can still have fresh, homemade ice cream any time of the year. This activity is especially good for kids who can burn off some of their excess energy when they shake the bags. The best part is that each serving can be customized to particular flavor preferences before mixing. See the tips section for more information.

Add the ice and salt into the large gallon-sized zip top bag.

Combine the sugar, cream (or milk) and vanilla into the smaller sandwich bag and seal.

Put the two bags into the gallon bag with the ice in it, and seal the gallon-sized bag.

Shake the gallon-sized bag vigorously for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how cold your ingredients were when they were mixed.

Remove the smallest bag from the other two, check the ice cream for consistency, add any desired mix in ingredients and enjoy.


  • If you are adding solid items like chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, or candy bits, stir these in after the ice cream has frozen. This will ensure that the nothing is in the way of freezing the ice cream as quickly as possible. To crush your ice, you can put it into a zip top bag, cover with a towel, and break it with a hammer. Diabetics can substitute 2 to 3 packets of Equal, Splenda, or Sweet & Low for the sugar (Note: there will still be sugar from the cream or milk used.) This works best and freezes fastest if you mix each in its own gallon zip top bag with ice. If you are making multiple servings, you might want to purchase an 8 to 10 pound bag of ice.