Looking for an inexpensive alternative to store-bought ice cream? This is a simple recipe making the rounds on Pinterest that tastes great and entertains the kiddos. You do not need an ice cream maker, and the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. This recipe makes the perfect single portion, so make a setup for each of the kids.

Here are some great deals on sandwich bags and other ingredients to get you started:

You Need:

  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2% works best, no soy milk)
  • ice
  • 5 Tbs. rock salt or kosher salt
  • 1 quart-size plastic zip top bag
  • 1 gallon-size plastic zip top bag
  • favorite ice cream toppings


  • Pour the sugar, vanilla extract and milk into the quart-size plastic bag. Close securely and set aside.
  • Fill the gallon-size plastic bag half full with ice. Add the salt to the ice. This is necessary to get the ingredients cold enough to make ice cream.
  • Place the sealed, smaller bag inside the gallon bag. Close the gallon bag securely. You may want to double bag the gallon bag, especially if your kids get a little rowdy during the mixing process.
  • Give the bag to your kid and tell her to start shaking the bag. This works great for groups too, because they can pair off and take turns shaking the bag. Shake the bag continuously and vigorously for approximately five minutes.
  • Open the gallon bag and look at the small bag. It should be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. If it is still too soft, reseal the gallon bag and keep shaking.
  • Once it reaches the desired consistency, take the ice cream bag out of the large bag. Open it and stir in your favorite ice cream toppings. We like sprinkles, M&M's, chocolate chips or chopped fresh fruit.
  • Get a spoon and eat it right out of the bag!
We All Scream for Quick DIY Ice Cream