DIY 5-minute Ice Cream!

Leave your fancy ice cream makers at home for this kid-friendly DIY. Last week, we had a chance to try out this fun activity. Days later, my toddler is still emphatically telling every stranger on the street how he made his own ice cream. Of course, the delicious end product is the ice cream on the cake!

5-minute Ziploc Ice Cream

You will need: 

  • A large (gallon) size Ziploc
  • A small (pint) size Ziploc
  • 1/2 gallon of ice (about enough to half fill the large Ziploc)
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


1. Place the ice and salt in the large Ziploc bag.

2. Place heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and mix.

3. Pour liquid mixture into small Ziploc and seal it tightly, making sure there is little air in the ziploc.

4. Put the small Ziploc in the larger one, burying it in the ice.


5. Shake vigorously for 5 minutes. It gets cold! Use oven mitts to make the experience even more hilarious!

6. Ice cream is ready to serve! Yum! icecream

Variations: Try adding chocolate or strawberry syrup, Oreos, or chocolate chips for new ice cream flavors.

Science connections: Heat Transfer

Why do we add salt?

Salt makes ice melt (that’s why it is used on icy roads). But, ice can only melt if it absorbs heat from somewhere. The heat in the cream mixture quickly transfers to the ice when we shake it. When the heat is gone from the cream, it freezes to make delicious ice cream!

2890957767_0912269570 Photo credit: Rae / Foter / Creative Commons 

Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

One thought on “DIY 5-minute Ice Cream!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: