ice cream in a bag activity
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How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice cream in a bag has been our favorite science experiment recently. In fact, we’ve repeated it three times. (Just to make sure we got it right.) 

Since I haven’t shared a cold, treat recipe since our Frozen-Fruity LaCroix Ice Pops, I thought I would pass this one along. Besides, this is such a fun and easy activity you can do with your kids at home.

I do want to mention, I didn’t invent this recipe. In fact, I’ve seen a ton of variations. For example, people use whole milk, cream, half & and half, sugar, monk fruit, stevia, etc)  Clearly, this is a forgiving recipe.

As for our family, we used stevia instead of granulated sugar and it turned out great.





  • Gallon Ziplock Bag
  • Quart Ziplock Bag



  • Ice (we used three trays full)
  • 1 cupHeavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup sugar OR *alternative sweetner
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Rock Salt or Course Sea Salt


*We used Stevia and it still turned out great!



1. Combine the heavy whipping cream, half & half, vanilla, and sweetener in the quart size bag. Get all the air out and seal it tightly.

2. Fill the gallon sized ziplock bag about half way with the ice and rock salt. Mix together.

3. Put the sealed, quart-sized bag into the gallon bag. Squeeze the air out and seal it tightly.

4.  Wrap it in a towel or wear gloves to keep your hands warm.

5. Shake rigorously for 5-8 minutes.

6. Remove the quart sized bag from the gallon bag, scoop the creamy goodness into a bowl, and enjoy!



Flavor ideas:

Coffee- Use a half of a pack of instant coffee. (individual size)

Chocolate- I TBS of Chocolate powder

Peppermint- 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract

Strawberry- 1/4 cup of chopped strawberries

Mint Chocolate Chip- 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract and 1 TBS of crushed chocolate pieces.

Maple Pecan – 1 TBS Maple syrup and 1 TBS of crushed pecans

Cookies n’ Cream- 1/4 cup of crushed oreos




Science Behind Ice Cream in a Bag

  1. Salt lowers the freezing point of the ice lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. (You can check this with an instant-read thermometer) It will be close to zero degrees!
  2. As you shake the bag, the salt/ice absorbs the heat from the creamy mixture and the ice-cream is able to freeze quickly.
  3. By shaking the mixture, the protein and fats from the milk are able to emulsify and the ice crystals disperse to form a soothe consistency.




Need a fun, reading activity for the summer? Check out these Summer Reading Challenges!



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