Home About Big Learning Treasure Troves Newsletter Books Workshops Blog Search Site Map Links


No-cook home-made ice cream + science

Ice Cream Science

Making ice cream – now there’s a quintessential summer activity. Turns out you don’t need an ice cream maker to do it – a couple of zip-top bags work really well.

The Recipe

You need two heavy duty freezer bags – one for the ice cream mix and one for the ice and salt. Fill one bag with four cups of ice cubes and a quarter cup of table salt. In the other bag, put a cup of whole milk, two tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla, squeeze out the air and seal it. Then put the bag of ice cream mix into the bag of ice, seal the ice bag, and shake for 5-10 minutes. You’ll get a soupy kind of ice cream – kind of like a thick, very cold milk shake. Tastes wonderful on a hot day.

The Science

There’s plenty of Big Learning to be had – around here we just scratched the surface but our kids did get some practice with measurement and cooking skills along the way. But you may want to experiment scientifically with the process and content. We had many questions after our first two batches. For example, knowing that fat is involved in creating the ice cream structure, would cream, with its higher fat content, have made the ice cream more solid and substantial? Would nested plastic-ware containers work as well or better? How about crushed ice versus ice cubes? Then there’s the recipe itself. How would more sugar be? Would soy milk work? Can we double it?

If you’d like to brush up on the science of ice cream, try this web page.



boys eating ice cream  


2003 Karen Cole Privacy Policy HomeAboutTreasure Troves Newsletter WorkshopsBooks Column Site Map Karen ColeLinks