Recipe Redux: Ice Cream in a Bag

Ok, I’ll be the first one to admit, I’m taking a bit of liberties with this month’s topic–Food in a Jar. But, as we’re in the dog days of summer and I just returned from a family camping trip (where we made this), this recipe is all I can think about. And really, how much different is a bag from a jar, right?

So, ice cream in a bag, yes you read it correctly. Sounds weird, but yum! Keep in mind, this is ice cream and therefore will contain real cream and real sugar, but that’s pretty much it, except for a splash of pure vanilla extract. And personally, I’d much rather feed my family a small amount of the “real” stuff than a bunch of stuff with words I can’t pronounce–seems kinda strange to me that some store bought ice creams have an ingredient list that’s over an inch thick. Really, how much room do the words “cream, sugar” take?

Something else to keep in mind about this recipe–it’s portion control at it’s finest. If you can’t stop yourself with just a scoop of ice cream, no worries here, you have to, that’s about all there is.

Plus, it’s a great activity for the whole family. My kids are amazed that I pour a liquid into a bag and a few minutes later we’re scooping out a solid, a sort of solid at least.

This recipe is pure vanilla, but we’ve experimented with adding a little chocolate syrup which of course is yummy too. Let me know if you try any fun flavors.

Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice Cream in a Bag


  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • dash of vanilla
  • additional needs:
  • 1/2 cup rock salt
  • crushed ice


  1. Place first three ingredients into a quart-sized freezer ziplock bag and close tightly.
  2. Place salt in a second quart or gallon-sized freezer ziplock bag.
  3. Place first bag in second bag. Add a couple of cups of ice to second bag, on both sides of first bag. Seal second bag.
  4. Begin squeezing, kneading, and shaking bags (may want to wrap them in a thin dish towel, as it gets VERY cold). After about 10 minutes cream mixture will begin to thicken, continue squeezing and kneading until it reaches desired consistency. You may need to add more ice if it melts before your ice cream is thick enough.

See how my fellow bloggers dealt with this challenge:

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3 Responses to Recipe Redux: Ice Cream in a Bag

  1. Ha- You sure did take liberties with this one Heidi! :) Love the ice cream in a bag idea. Fun for the whole family!

  2. Love the ice cream in a bag trick back from my Dairy Council days. We’d also make it in coffee cans and kick it around :) After you make it, then you can serve it in a jar!

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