Easiest ice cream recipe for National Ice Cream Month

homemade ice cream
Elysa Dombro/Staff

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July’s a great month for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that it’s National Ice Cream Month! That’s right, you have a legitimate excuse to eat ice cream all month. As amazing as that news is, if your wallet is feeling the pain after buying ice cream every day for a month, here’s a super easy, super cheap recipe that will be a great throwback to your seventh grade chemistry class. In no time, you’ll be feeling like a scientist (even if you haven’t taken any STEM classes since freshman year). All you need is two plastic bags, one large and one small, as well as five simple ingredients!


  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (or other preferred flavorings)
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1⁄3 cup salt (any kind)


  1. Pour the half-and-half, sugar and vanilla extract into a small plastic bag. Seal tightly.
  2. Take a larger plastic bag, and fill it with ice and salt.
  3. Carefully place the small bag inside the large bag, and seal the large bag.
  4. Shake the bags for about 10 minutes, or until the cream mixture has hardened to a consistency like that of ice cream. You might need gloves to protect your hands from the cold.
  5. Carefully remove the small bag from the large bag, and rinse the outside of the small bag before opening. 
  6. Pour into a bowl and add toppings!

There you have it! Easy ice cream. In case you ditched most of middle school chemistry (or tried to block it out), adding the salt to the ice lowers the freezing point of the ice. For the ice to melt, it absorbs heat from the cream until the mixture of cream and sugar freezes. We recommend you try new flavors and toppings to spice up your ice cream! This recipe is super quick and easy, though it can get a bit boring sitting in your kitchen shaking a bag of ice, salt and cream. Zoom ice cream party, anyone? 

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].