Whatcom 4H Super Saturday (Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag)

4H kids enjoying the fruits of their labor!

For the third year in a row I taught a kid’s cooking class today at the annual 4H Super Saturday, held at Meridian High School.  It’s always fun looking for a good recipe that any age of child can make, and for this year’s class I found one that proved to be immensely popular – Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag.

The recipe is from www.familyfun.com, a website full of fun recipes and activities for kids.  The basic idea is that you put your ice cream ingredients in a plastic sandwich bag (cream, sugar and vanilla), and then you put that bag inside a gallon bag half full of ice and coarse salt and then you shake it for five minutes.  Guess what?  It totally works, tastes delicious, and is an appropriate recipe for kids of any age!

I knew this would be a hit for the 4H event, and I was right – normally I have about 12 kids in my class (along with a few parents), and this year I had 22 kids sign up ranging in age from 3 to 16!  The kids and parents loved the recipe because you don’t really need any special ingredients or equipment (oh, and because it was ICE CREAM!).

The recipe calls for half and half (we used local Fresh Breeze organic half and half), but you can use regular milk and I have even made it using coconut milk (and coconut sugar).  The coconut milk version is delicious and comes out tasting light and has a very nice texture.  I haven’t made the recipe with other alternative “milks”, like almond or soy milk, but I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t work.  You can also use just about any sweetener in this as well, so it is only limited by your imagination!

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag – chocolate and coconut © 2012 Sassy Sampler

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

serves 1


  • 2 T organic sugar
  • 1 c organic, local half and half
  • 1/2 t organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c coarse salt
  • Ice cubes (enough to fill the gallon size bag about half full)
  • 1 pint-sized resealable plastic bag
  • 1 gallon-sized resealable freezer bag
  • Mittens, gloves, or a dishtowel

Mix-ins (optional):

  • Chopped nuts
  • Candies (like SunDrops)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate or berry flavored syrup (add after making the ice cream)
  • Pretzels


  1. Combine sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.  If you have smaller children preparing this recipe, prop the bag inside a glass so it is easier for them to fill or hold the bag for them.
  2. Place the salt and the ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the tightly sealed pint-size bag inside the gallon bag.  Seal the gallon bag tightly.
  3. Shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes).  This is when you should put on your mittens, or wrap the bag in a dish cloth.  Feel the smaller bag to decide when it’s done.
  4. Take the pint-size bag out of the gallon bag and rinse in cold water to remove any salt residue.
  5. Add any desired mix-ins and eat the ice cream right out of the bag!


  • You can also use milk in place of half and half in this recipe.
  • You can use alternative sweeteners as well, just be sure they are in granulated/powder form.  You will also have to adjust the quantity depending on the kind of sweetener you use.
  • You can use table salt in a pinch, but you should increase the quantity to 3/4-1 c.
  • You can make a chocolate version using dry cocoa mix.  Check the directions to see how much to add for 1 c of milk and add it with the half and half before you shake up the bag and you may want to omit the vanilla.  You may want to omit the sugar if your cocoa mix is sweetened.
  • You can also make this using coconut milk (I used unsweetened Coconut Dream from Imagine in the aseptic container) and coconut sugar to sweeten it for a light tasting and textured ice “cream”.

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag PDF

2 thoughts on “Whatcom 4H Super Saturday (Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag)

    • You can use this recipe to make vegan ice cream – I have made it using unsweetened coconut milk from Imagine Foods (and coconut sugar), and I bet soy or rice milk would work as well!

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