Making Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag: A Cool Twist for Camping Desserts

Video how to make homemade ice cream in a bag

Add a fun and delicious twist to your camping desserts with this homemade ice cream in a bag recipe! With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy freshly made ice cream on your next camping trip.

Ice cream scooped into a small blue dish.

I have fond memories of making ice cream at summer camp. The excitement, anticipation, and magic of being able to make homemade ice cream at a campsite are unforgettable. It’s a dessert and a science project all in one, making it a fun activity for kids and camp counselors alike.

But when you’re camping, keeping store-bought ice cream frozen becomes a challenge. Even the best coolers can’t maintain freezing temperatures for long. Store-bought ice cream will inevitably melt in a matter of hours. So, if you want ice cream while camping, you’ve got to make it yourself. Luckily, this recipe requires just a handful of ingredients and doesn’t require a fancy ice cream maker or freezer. All you need is rock salt, ice, and a few other basic items.

Ice cream in a plastic bag with a spoon.

To make this ice cream in a bag recipe more suitable for camping, I recommend using a small bag inside a coffee can instead of the traditional method of placing one smaller bag inside a larger one. The coffee can provides more durability and prevents any accidental mishaps at the campsite.

This dessert is a blast to make, and I highly recommend giving it a try this summer!

Equipment Needed

  • Coffee Can: You can use steel, plastic, or foil-lined cardboard coffee cans. Metal cans are more durable but can become very cold to the touch. Foil-lined cardboard cans won’t get as cold on the outside but require more gentle handling.

  • Plastic Bags with a sealable top: Choose classic seal-top quart-sized sandwich bags. They allow the ice to churn the half & half effectively, unlike rigid-sided containers.

  • Ice: Regular ice cubes from your cooler work perfectly.

  • Rock Salt: This type of salt, often sold as Ice Cream salt, can usually be found in the baking section of your grocery store. Rock salt crystals are large and coarse, making them ideal for altering the melting point of ice.

The combination of ice and salt creates a chemical reaction that lowers the temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), making it possible to achieve freezing temperatures for your ice cream.

Ingredients for ice cream in a bag on a wooden table.

Ice Cream in a Bag Ingredients

  • Half and half: Instead of using heavy cream and whole milk separately, opt for half and half, which is a 1:1 ratio of the two. It provides a creamy texture to your ice cream. For a vegan version, you can use a plant-based coffee creamer like coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, or almond milk.

  • Sugar: Use white granulated sugar for the best results.

  • Vanilla Extract: Add a small amount of vanilla extract to make delicious vanilla ice cream. You can also customize your ice cream by adding chocolate chips, sprinkles, or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

See also  Enjoy a Delicious Frozen Mudslide with Ice Cream

How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag – Step by Step

Adding ingredients to plastic bags.

  1. Combine the half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla inside a resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and mix until the sugar is fully dissolved. Try to remove as much air as possible, and consider double-bagging for added security.

  2. In a coffee can, place a few cups of ice and half a cup of rock salt at the bottom.

  3. Insert the double zip-top bag with the ice cream mixture into the coffee can.

  4. Fill the remaining space in the can with more ice and rock salt.

  5. Firmly place the lid back on the coffee can.

  6. Start shaking the can vigorously! Motion is key to making ice cream, and there are many creative ways to do it. You can play “hot potato” by tossing it back and forth, roll it on the picnic table, or gently dribble it like a soccer ball.

Adding the bags to a coffee can with ice and rock salt.

  1. As the ice melts, you might need to add more ice and rock salt. Check the consistency of the ice cream after 10-15 minutes.

  2. Once the ice cream has hardened, remove the ziplock bag from the can.

  3. Serve and enjoy immediately!

Finished ice cream in a bag.

Serve it with…

Of course, you can savor this homemade ice cream on its own. However, it’s also perfect for topping Dutch oven peach cobbler, apple cobbler, or campfire baked apples. You can even enjoy it alongside banana boats for a delicious treat.

See also  How to Make No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

A scoop of ice cream in a small bowl with apple crisp.

Making homemade ice cream in a bag is not only a delightful camping activity but also a tasty and refreshing treat. Give it a try this summer and create lasting memories around the campfire!

Remember to visit Takeout Food for more mouthwatering recipes and camping inspiration.

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