Home > Desserts > Frozen Treats > Ice Cream In A Bag Ice Cream In A Bag June 2, 2023 | No Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. We’re making ice cream, but not just any ice cream – we’re making homemade Ice Cream In A Bag! Forget about fancy and expensive ice cream machines or waiting hours for your treat to freeze. We’re going all-in with a simple, mess-free, and exciting way to whip up your ice cream in mere minutes! That’s right, with just a handful of everyday kitchen ingredients and a little bit of magic (in the form of rock salt and ice), you’ll churn out a creamy, dreamy dessert that’s sure to be a hit. No Ice Cream Maker Needed! This is a recipe that doesn’t require an expensive ice cream machine or hours of waiting for the mixture to freeze. It’s almost-instant gratification, served up in a frosty bowl. And this isn’t just a recipe; it’s an adventure, a science experiment, and a party all rolled into one! It’s a total blast for kids and adults alike. Whether you’re chilling at home on a hot summer day, on a camping trip, or simply trying to keep the little ones entertained, making Ice Cream in a Bag is guaranteed to beat the heat (and boredom). Our ice cream recipe is creamy, dreamy, and fully customizable. You can stick with our classic vanilla and chocolate mix, or let your imagination run wild. Add some crushed cookies, swirl in some caramel, or throw in a handful of fresh berries. The sky’s the limit! And don’t forget the toppings! Once you’ve shaken your way to the perfect soft-serve consistency, load up your ice cream with all your favorite goodies. Sprinkles, whipped cream, hot fudge, cherries–whatever you love! How Does Ice Cream In A Bag Work? The “Ice Cream in a Bag” method works due to two key scientific principles: freezing point depression and heat transfer. Freezing point depression: Adding rock salt to ice lowers the freezing point of the ice, making it colder than usual. Normally, ice melts at 0 degrees Celsius, but when you add rock salt, it lowers the temperature at which the ice melts. Heat transfer: The ice cream mixture in the smaller bag doesn’t freeze at the same temperature as water, so when it comes in contact with the cold ice-salt mixture, it starts to freeze. This is due to heat transfer, where the heat from the warmer ice cream mix is transferred to the colder ice-salt mixture. The ice cream mix loses heat (and therefore gets colder), while the ice-salt mixture gains heat (and thus melts more ice). Shaking or tossing the bag helps ensure the cold is distributed evenly across the ice cream mix– which helps it to freeze uniformly. After about 5-10 minutes of shaking, the liquid mixture transforms into a delicious soft-serve consistency ice cream. If you want firmer ice cream, pop the bag in the freezer for 30 minutes. Don’t leave it in the freezer too long, though, or you’ll end up with a hard brick of ice cream. Supplies Needed Gallon zipper-top bag: This will hold the ice and rock salt and be the outer bag for your ice-cream-making process. It’s important to ensure this bag doesn’t have any holes and can seal securely. Sandwich-size zipper-top bag: This smaller bag will hold your ice cream mixture. Like the larger bag, it should be leak-proof and able to seal tightly to prevent the mixture from spilling out. Rock salt: This is crucial for lowering the freezing point of the ice, allowing the ice cream mixture to freeze. Do not substitute with table salt; the effect won’t be the same. Rock salt, also known as ice cream salt, can typically be found in the spice aisle along with other salts and seasonings. It’s most likely to be on the bottom shelf. Ice: The ice is needed to freeze your ice cream mixture. Crushed ice will work better than larger cubes because it has more surface area in contact with the salt, making the mixture colder. Ingredients Half-and-half or heavy cream: This provides the creaminess to your ice cream. For a richer flavor, use heavy cream, or for a lighter option, you can use half-and-half. Make sure the liquid you’re using is well-refrigerated before you start. Sugar: This sweetens your ice cream. You can adjust the amount to taste, but remember, flavors tend to dull slightly when frozen. Vanilla extract: This gives the classic vanilla flavor. Use pure extract, not imitation, for the best possible flavor. Salt: A pinch of fine sea salt can enhance the flavors of your Ice Cream In A Bag. Salt might seem like a surprising ingredient in a dessert, but it works to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. QUICK TIP What Is Half and Half? Half-and-half is a dairy product that is equal parts whole milk and light cream. In the United States, it’s a common ingredient used in recipes that require a fat content higher than milk but lower than heavy cream. It is typically found near coffee creamers and milk in the grocery store. Or, make your own by using equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. How To Make Ice Cream In A Bag (Tips) Make sure you seal both bags well to prevent any salty water from getting into your ice cream or any ice cream from leaking out. Try to remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing, to ensure good contact between the ice and the ice cream mixture. Shake the bag continuously and try to move the ice around the ice cream mixture as much as possible. Wear oven mitts or wrap the bag in a towel while shaking because the bag can get very cold. VARIATIONS Ice Cream In A Bag Flavor Variations Chocolate ice cream: Add 2 tablespoons of good-quality hot fudge sauce to the vanilla base. Strawberry ice cream: Add a few tablespoons of finely diced fresh strawberries to the mixture or top the ice cream with crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Mint chocolate chip: Add 1/8 up to 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract (or to taste), a few drops of green food coloring (optional), and add mini chocolate chips to the mix. Caramel swirl: Add in 2 tablespoons of good caramel sauce or syrup. You can also add in a few chunks of toffee for an added crunch. Cookies and cream: Stir through crushed Oreo cookies to your vanilla base. Peanut butter blast: Stir in a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter with your vanilla base and top with finely chopped chocolate-peanut butter cups. Topping Ideas Chocolate or caramel sauce: Drizzle over the top of your ice cream for a sweet and flavorful addition. Whipped cream: A classic ice cream topping that adds a light, creamy touch. Fresh berries and crushed graham crackers: Mix through finely chopped fresh berries and top ice cream with a sprinkle of crumbled graham crackers. Chopped nuts: Try almonds, pecans, pistachios, or peanuts. Use dry-roasted and lightly salted nuts for the best flavor. Sprinkles, candy, or chocolate chips: Perfect for a fun, colorful addition, especially for kids. Grab your favorite candies and coarsely chop to mix through. Crushed cookies or brownie pieces: These add a delicious texture and flavor. Try Oreos, graham crackers, or chunks of your favorite brownies. More Easy Dessert Recipes: Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake only four ingredients Mint Oreo Truffles made with mint Oreos No-Bake Cookies chocolate and peanut butter oat cookies Buncha Crunch made with three ingredients! Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizzas with store-bought sugar cookies FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Ice Cream In A Bag 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe We're making ice cream, but not just any ice cream – we're making homemade Ice Cream In A Bag! Forget about fancy and expensive ice cream machines or waiting hours for your treat to freeze. We’re going all-in with a simple, mess-free, and exciting way to whip up ice cream in mere minutes! That's right, with just a handful of everyday kitchen ingredients and a little bit of magic (in the form of rock salt and ice), you can churn out a creamy, dreamy dessert that's sure to be a hit. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Ice Cream In A Bag 5 from 1 vote - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe We're making ice cream, but not just any ice cream – we're making homemade Ice Cream In A Bag! Forget about fancy and expensive ice cream machines or waiting hours for your treat to freeze. We’re going all-in with a simple, mess-free, and exciting way to whip up ice cream in mere minutes! That's right, with just a handful of everyday kitchen ingredients and a little bit of magic (in the form of rock salt and ice), you can churn out a creamy, dreamy dessert that's sure to be a hit. Course Dessert, treat Cuisine American, Vegetarian Keyword ice cream in a bag Prep Time 5 minutes minutes Shaking Time 10 minutes minutes Total Time 15 minutes minutes Servings 1 ice cream (recipe can be scaled up easily!) Chelsea Lords Calories 457kcal Author Chelsea Lords Cost $4.12 IngredientsSupplies Needed▢ 1 gallon-sized freezer gallon zip-top bag▢ 1 sandwich-sized zip-top plastic bag▢ 1/3 cup rock salt (also called ice cream salt; see Note 1)▢ Crushed or cubed iceIce Cream▢ ½ cup heavy whipping cream (or half-and-half; see Note 2)▢ 1 tablespoon white, granulated sugar▢ ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract▢ tiny pinch fine sea salt▢ Optional: 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (for chocolate ice cream)▢ Optional: toppings of choice like crushed Oreos, crushed toffee, hot fudge sauce, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc. InstructionsPREP: Prepare any toppings you'll be using. You'll want to eat the ice cream quickly once it's ready! Also, consider chilling the bowl(s) you'll be using for the ice cream in the freezer to get them nice and cold.PREPARE ICE CREAM MIXTURE: Carefully add heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt to the smaller plastic bag. Add chocolate syrup if making a chocolate version. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and then smoosh around to combine ingredients. Set aside for now. PREPARE ICE: Fill the gallon bag halfway with crushed ice. Add the rock salt to the ice and smoosh together to integrate. SHAKE: Place the small ice cream bag into the larger bag and seal, removing as much air as possible. Wrap the bag in a towel (or use oven mitts) and shake or toss the bag for 5-10 minutes or until the ice cream reaches a soft-serve consistency. ENJOY: Remove the smaller bag from the larger bag and squeeze the ice cream into a bowl. Add toppings and enjoy! Remember to eat quickly, as the ice cream melts fast! Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Rock salt: Rock salt, also known as ice cream salt, can typically be found in the spice aisle along with other salts and seasonings. It's most likely to be on the bottom shelf. Note 2: Heavy cream/half-and-half: For a richer flavor, use heavy cream. For a lighter option, you can use half-and-half, which will result in less creamy ice cream. Make sure the dairy you're using is well-refrigerated before you start. Half-and-half is a dairy product that is equal parts whole milk and light cream. It's typically found near coffee creamers and milk in the grocery store. Alternatively, you can make your own by using equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. Nutrition information is calculated for one serving of vanilla ice cream without toppings. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 116mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1749IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 0.1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.