Simple Vanilla ‘Instant’ Ice-cream In A Bag

5 from 12 votes
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Learn how to make quick ice-cream with this simple ‘Instant’ Ice cream recipe. Ditch the ice-cream maker for some plastic reusable bags and you can enjoy this quick ice-cream recipe any time you please in just a few minutes!

Have you ever thought about making your own ice-cream but given up because you don’t have an ice-cream maker and/or the method sounds too finicky? Well, that certainly isn’t an issue with this quick ice-cream recipe. In fact, this soft-serve instant ice-cream only requires a couple of reusable plastic bags (one around sandwich bag size and one larger gallon size/4.5L ) and a little bit of muscle.

simple instant ice-cream in a bag recipe

Honestly, I’ve reduced my spending on store-bought ice-cream since finding this quick no-churn ice cream method. Because why buy it when you can enjoy your very own homemade ice-cream any time you want, at a low cost and with little effort and time required.

I’ve found that I prefer the taste and texture even better to ones I’ve made with an ice-cream maker/churner too, as it’s super-creamy and smoother in texture.

How To Make Ice-Cream In A Bag

Much like making homemade butter, where agitation is vital, learning how to make quick ice-cream is super simple and requires some arm muscle. Just like when making ice-cream with other methods, it’s important to agitate the mixture often, so that the ice-cream doesn’t crystalise and become more like a hard ice-lolly than creamy soft-serve ice-cream.

Serving of soft serve ice-cream with a spoon

I’ve called this quick ice-cream recipe ‘Instant’ soft serve because I only made a small amount of ice-cream and found 2-3 minutes of agitation was all that was needed ( even I was impressed).

This recipe can also easily be flavoured. Chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, salted caramel, even mint choc chip. So get creative ( you can even use store-bought flavoured milkshakes as your flavoured milk if you want to keep things super simple). For now, I’ve kept this DIY to a simple homemade vanilla ice-cream.

Here are all the ingredients and tools I used to make my instant ice-cream.

How Does This Ice Cream In A Bag Work?

It may seem a little like magic, but this instant ice-cream recipe is pure science. Whereas waters freezing point is zero degrees (Celcius), by adding salt the freezing point is lowered, and the ice begins to melt. As the ice melts, it absorbs heat energy from your ice-cream milk/cream mixture, allowing it to start freezing.

It may seem a little bit confusing, but, it works!

Ingredients for the quick ice-cream recipe

Ingredients for soft serve ice-cream

  • double cream (heavy cream)
  • whole milk
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla bean (optional)

Note* Exact amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of blog post

Also needed:

  • sea salt and ice cubes

Tools needed:

  • Balloon whisk
  • Two reusable bags

Note* The bag/container sizes are typically a smaller sandwich size bag and a larger gallon (4.5L) one. I’ve avoided using single-use plastic bags and instead use reusable ones. However, for your larger container, it’s worth noting that you need any container where the ice and salt can surround the smaller bag, i.e. a large glass jar/ can. 

Here is how to make this quick ice cream

The first thing to do is to prepare your ice-cream mix. Begin by mixing the double cream and whole milk.

I’m using vanilla pods, but it’s optional for you to use. You can also use homemade vanilla extract for this vanilla ice-cream or, you can experiment with other flavours including strawberry, chocolate ( with chocolate chips), peanut butter etc.

Note* For a super simple flavoured ice-cream you could use store-bought flavoured milkshake as your ‘milk’, combined with the cream and a little bit of sugar

Adding ingredients to soft serve ice-cream

Mix all the ingredients until you get a creamy ice-cream base.

Mixing the ingredients for soft serve ice-cream

After the ingredients are mixed, place into the smaller reusable plastic bag. Make sure to get out as much of the excess air from the bag when sealing it and seal tightly, to avoid any leaking.

In the larger bag (or container of your choice – such as glass jar/can), place the ice and salt. Add the smaller bag into the large bag full of ice and salt and shake, shake, shake that bag.

Steps for making soft serve ice-cream

The key is to keep the mixture in contact with the ice as much as possible. To do this, you can even roll the ice over the mixture too (make sure to use a tea towel, if needed as it will be very cold).

You can usually feel the mixture hardening but may want to open the bag quickly and check. If it’s not ready re-close the bags and continue to shake.

Note, the more ice-cream you make – the longer you’ll need to shake it sometimes up to 10-15 minutes. Try to get your family/friends involved then if you can ( in fact, kids will love helping with this recipe, and they can each make their own ice-cream!)

Voila- Your homemade ice-cream in a bag is ready.

Close-up picture of soft serve ice-cream

Serve some your instant ice-cream with some crushed pistachios, a bit of whipped cream or any of your favourite toppings, and you’re ready to eat the fruits of your labour.

Other Simple Recipes You May Like

If you’re in the mood for some other simple dessert recipes then here are a few you may like. For instance, these healthy Healthy Cacao & Almond Protein Balls. You may also like these Almond Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies Recipe, or how about these Vegan magnum ice-creams.

If you give this instant ice-cream recipe a try, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments. Also, feel free to tag me in your recreations @AlphaFoodie

Simple Vanilla 'Instant' Ice-cream In A Bag

5 from 12 votes
By: Samira
Learn how to make quick ice-cream with this simple 'Instant' Ice cream recipe. Ditch the ice-cream maker for re-usable bags, muscle and just a few minutes!
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 4 scoops

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup heavy cream (double cream)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean optional

The larger bag:

  • 1 Cup Ice-cubes
  • 1/2 Cup Sea salt

Instructions 

  • Note* The bag/container sizes are typically a smaller sandwich size bag and a larger gallon (4.5L) one. I've avoided using single-use plastic bags and instead use reusable ones. However, for your larger container, it's worth noting that you just need any container where the ice and salt can surround the smaller bag i.e. a large glass jar/ can.
  • The first thing to do is to prepare your ice-cream mix. Begin by mixing the double cream and whole milk together. I'm using vanilla pods but it's optional for you to use. You can also use homemade vanilla extract for this vanilla ice-cream or, you can experiment with other flavours including strawberry, chocolate ( with chocolate chips), peanut butter etc.*
  • Mix all the ingredients until you get a creamy ice-cream base. 
  • After the ingredients are mixed, placed into the smaller reusable plastic bag. Make sure to get out as much of the excess air from the bag when sealing it and seal tightly, to avoid any leaking.
  • In the larger bag (or container of your choice - such as glass jar/can), place the ice and salt. Add the smaller bag into the large bag full of ice and salt and shake, shake, shake that bag.The key is to keep the mixture in contact with the ice as much as possible. To do this you can even roll the ice over the mixture too (just make sure to use a tea towel, if needed as it will be very cold).You can usually feel the mixture hardening but may want to open the bag quickly and check. If it's not ready just re-close the bags and continue to shake. **
  • Voila! Your homemade ice-cream in a bag is ready. Serve with some crushed pistachios, a bit of whipped cream or any of your favourite toppings and you're ready to eat the fruits of your labour. 

Video

Notes

* For a super simple flavoured ice-cream you could use store-bought flavoured milkshake as your 'milk', combined with the cream and a little bit of sugar
** The more ice-cream you make - the longer you'll need to shake it sometimes up to 10-15 minutes. Try to get your family/friends involved then if you can (in fact, kids will love helping with this recipe and they can each make their own ice-cream!)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 1 Month

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 261kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 44mg, Sugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Emma,
      The ice melts very quickly because of the salt and so it absorbs heat energy from your milk/cream mixture, allowing it to start freezing quickly. So it’s important to add enough salt and, depending on your bag/container and how much ice there is, you might have to add more salt. I hope this helps.

    1. I haven’t yet tried it myself but I would think it would work. Since almond milk isn’t as creamy, I’d probably add something additional to make up for that, like a nut butter, let me know how it goes, if you try it