How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

Summer is coming, and with it the demands for ice cream—from children and adults alike. Very little tastes better than some creamy vanilla ice cream on a hot day. We’d like to share a recipe we found that explains how to make homemade ice cream in small amounts within a few minutes. It also doubles as a neat (and tasty!) science experiment.


How to Make Homemade Ice Cream

You’ll need:

  • 1½ cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup rock salt
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 gallon-size Ziploc
  • 1 pint-size Ziploc
  • Sprinkles, chocolate chips, and other sweet extras
  • Dish towel.


Fill the gallon-size Ziploc with half the ice, and sprinkle half the rock salt over the ice.


Place the pint-size Ziploc in the gallon bag, and carefully pour in the half-and-half, vanilla, and sugar. Seal the bag tightly.


Pack the remaining cup and a half of ice over and around the pint bag. Sprinkle with the remaining rock salt and seal the gallon bag tightly. Wrap in the dish towel and have the child shake the whole thing for about two minutes. Check to see if the ice cream is ready—if not reclose the bags and shake for another minute.


Remove the pint bag from the ice. Add chocolate chips, sprinkles, or other treats to the ice cream and eat it right out of the bag! Depending on your appetite, you’ve either made enough to share or a single serving. Of course, if you have more than one kid, you might have to make an ice bag for each child.


Where’s the Science?

Okay, so now you know how to make homemade ice cream, but where’s the science experiment? The secret’s in the salt.


The freezing point of fresh water—32 Fahrenheit—isn’t cold enough to turn the cream into ice cream. The freezing point of saltwater is lower than for freshwater, so by adding rock salt, you make the ice cold enough to make the treat!