Fun Ice Cream Recipes and (FREE) DIY Ice Cream Recipes

Here are some free DIY ice cream recipes you will want to try with your kids and toddlers.


Ice Cream in a Bag

Difficulty: Very Easy

Parental supervision is recommended

Milk can become ice cream in five minutes! This homemade ice cream in a bag is a summertime delight for kids and adults alike.

Ice Cream image
Various Flavored Ice Cream

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • 1 pint-size Ziploc plastic bag
  • 1 gallon-size Ziploc plastic bag
  • Ice cubes

How to make it:

  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal again carefully.
  4. Shake until mixture is ice cream, about 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe off top of small bag, then open carefully and enjoy!


To make a larger amount, try doubling the recipe. Anything larger might be too big for kids to pick-up, because the ice itself is quite heavy.

Here’s an improvised version from another parent:


  • 1/4 tsp butternut flavored imitation vanilla
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • Ziploc sandwich bag
  • 12 water softener pellets
  • 1 tray of ice (Mine breaks it into small pieces and it is really only about half tray)
  • Large plastic bag (I didn’t have a Ziploc.)


  1. Put the ice cream ingredients in the small bag and then put it, salt and ice in the big bag.
  2. Hold the bag shut and sort of stir it around on the floor for about 5 minutes.
  3. Although the salt pellets hardly dissolved , I got ice cream.
  4. It was not as smooth as ice cream, probably because of the low-fat milk — it was a little like sherbet.
  5. I think if I had more ice in the bag I could have shaken it better.
  6. I’d recommend wearing gloves.
  7. It is incredible that it is ready in 5 minutes (not counting assembling the ingredients.)

Next, I changed the recipe. A tablespoon of cocoa, a tablespoon of sugar, and a cup of milk.  I really wanted to use carob but we didn’t have any. It was a tad too chocolate, but good! My daughter has milk allergies, so I suggested she try this with fruit juice. She used straight pineapple juice and got terrific fruit sorbet.

Coffee Can Ice Cream

Difficulty: Very Easy

Parental supervision is recommended

Who knew crafting a batch of homemade ice cream could be so much fun? Grab the kids, two coffee cans, ingredients for the ice cream and roll away!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 clean metal cans, both with lids (make one can larger than the second)
  • Use the ice cream recipe already given in Ice Cream in a Bag or:
    • 1 cup of very cold milk
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tbs chocolate syrup
  • Ice
  • Salt

How to make it:

  1. Place the ice cream mixture in the smaller coffee can (make sure it’s clean) and seal with the lid on tightly.
  2. Place the smaller can in the larger can. Pour the ice and salt around the smaller can making sure it is more or less in the center.
  3. Seal the larger can with its lid tightly and roll it around for about a half hour. This process works great if you have kids. Let them sit on the floor and roll the can between them. When it’s done you’ll have a nice container to keep the ice cream in!


Ice Cream in a Can or Kick the Can

Difficulty: Easy An ice cream treat and a kids’ game all in one! This ice cream in a an craft is great fun to make with the kids on a summer day.

What you’ll need:

  • a 1 pound coffee can
  • a 3 pound coffee can
  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 package (4 oz) instant pudding
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups rock salt
  • 10 pounds ice

How to make it:

  1. Mix pudding with milk. Add sugar and condensed milk. Makes 3 quarts. Place in smaller can leaving a one inch space. One recipe fills three one-pound cans.
  2. Put ice and rock salt around smaller can [in larger can].
  3. Place lids tightly on cans. You may want to seal the lids with duct tape.
  4. Take turns kicking can around.

Rock ‘n ‘Roll Ice Cream

Difficulty: Very Easy First put that rock salt in the can with cream, sugar and the other ingredients before getting the kids to roll it into a delicious ice cream treat. Presto: Rock ‘n Roll Ice Cream!

What you’ll need:

  • 3 pound empty coffee can
  • 1 pound empty coffee can
  • 1 Pint of half & half cream
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar
  • Rock Salt
  • Ice (try freezing water in empty milk cartons or whatever container fits into refrigerator freezer.)

How to make it:

  1. Be sure empty cans are clean and free of any smell or residue of soap.
  2. In small can mix half & half with 1/2 cup of sugar. I usually add a small amount of vanilla. You can also add any frozen fruit you like.
  3. Place small can inside big can. Add enough ice to cover small can. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of rock salt to ice. Be sure can lids are secure.
  4. Now comes the fun! Put a sheet or other large covering on floor. Everyone have a seat on the floor and start rolling the big can to each other. This takes about 10 minutes of time. Look at the ice cream to see it is hard enough. If it is not, continue to roll a little longer.
  5. Eat the ice cream and enjoy!


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