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Homemade Ice Cream Recipes (Without Maker Needed)

Updated on March 8, 2011

If you do not own an ice cream maker, but want the taste of fresh homemade ice cream, never fear. Sorbets and frozen yogurt can be made easily in the freezer as described in this hub, but it takes several hours to freeze properly. Ice cream requires a little more active participation, but you can enjoy it, fresh and cold, in only 5 minutes!

There are two methods of making ice cream without an ice cream maker that work particularly well, and are fun for kids to participate in, as well. They both require a basic recipe:

Homemade Ice Cream Recipe


  • ½ cup milk or half and half
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp rock salt
  • ice cubes


  • For chocolate ice cream, add 2 tsp cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp sugar.
  • For coffee ice cream, add 1 ½ tsp instant coffee and 1 tsp sugar.
  • For mocha ice cream, add ½ tsp instant coffee and 1 tsp cocoa powder and 1 tsp sugar.
  • For low-fat ice cream, use 1% or 2% milk or low-fat half and half.
  • For sugar-free ice cream, substitute white sugar substitute, such as Splenda.

Using these ingredients, there are two methods for making ice cream, both of which require nothing more than a few household items. Both methods are kid-friendly, especially the can method, which works particularly well for two small children who can sit on the floor and roll the can back and forth between them, though the bag method takes more exertion and less time.


Bag Method


  • 1 pint-sized zippered plastic bag
  • 1 gallon-sized zippered plastic bag


Fill the larger bag half full with ice cubes and add the rock salt. Zip closed and shake briefly to distribute salt evenly. Add milk, sugar, and vanilla to smaller bag and seal, then place inside larger bag and zip that one closed as well. Shake vigorously 5 minutes, or until mixture reaches ice cream consistency. Remove smaller bag, wipe off, and enjoy!

Can Method


  • pint-sized metal can with lid
  • gallon-sized metal can with lid


Add milk, sugar, and vanilla to smaller can, seal the top, and place in the center of the larger can. Distribute ice around smaller can, then sprinkle rock salt over ice. Seal larger can, then roll across the floor for about 30 minutes, until mixture in inner can is ice cream consistency. Inner can doubles as convenient storage for left-over ice cream-not that there will be any!


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    • profile image

      Michelle 2 years ago

      I have tried to make this twice and it never turns to ice cream, I don't know what I am doing wrong.

    • Maria Arsiq profile image

      Marija Arsic 2 years ago from Serbia

      Delicious..I just need it to be milk-free...I know, very difficult isn`t it?

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I love ice cream, way too much. I should not even be reading this. Far too dangerous to consider making it at home.

    • profile image

      Betty 5 years ago

      this was an awesome ice cream. Every one loved it and they wanted more

    • profile image

      bub 6 years ago

      it was fun making this ice cream

      thanks for making ice cream easier

    • profile image

      hu;lo;l 6 years ago

      fun i enjoyed making it its dilishous

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Yes, i can also see this being quite fun-- even for teens, who are a littl harder to entertain, but always like ice cream. Thanks , Maddie.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      I CANNOT wait to try this with the kiddies!! They love cooking and anything else to do with the kitchen so mix the kitchen and ice cream and it's a for sure crowd pleaser for my house. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Oh! Thanks, Rochelle. I was very confused. @Les, that is a link to a Hub containing links to many of my recipes, including some fat-free, some low-fat, and some sugar-free. I'm sorry for the confusion.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      That was probably a reference to the link right above your ice cream picture.

      " * Free Recipe Database - Fat-Free, Sugar-Free, Low-Fat"

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "your google site." The recipes on this page are obviously not sugar-free, and nothing in the title or summary of the page implies that they are.

    • profile image

      Les Hendrickson 6 years ago

      Your google site says sugar free and.all your recipes call for sugar. What's up widest?

    • profile image

      Andria 6 years ago

      Yes, you can use rock salt. Half and half means half milk, half cream.

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      The salt doesn't go into the ice cream itself, it is used in the *making* of the the ice cream.

    • profile image

      icecreamluver 6 years ago

      why so much salt and so little milk? :(

    • profile image

      Sarah Cummings 6 years ago

      can you substitute rock salt for regular salt?

    • profile image

      rana 6 years ago

      It is a very good idea since i like ice cream very very much also this way can help mothers that don't trust the ice cream in the shops

    • profile image

      Beth 7 years ago

      You know were it says "½ cup milk or half and half"

      Half and half of what?

    • profile image

      CupCakes 7 years ago

      Mmm that sounds simple, easy, and very delicious to eat. Thank you for the recipe.

    • profile image

      Ingrid 8 years ago

      This sounds so simple and easy, everyone should try it. Thanks!

    • Jenny30 profile image

      Jennifer 8 years ago from Canada

      mmm I love ice cream. I never made homemade ice cream before. I bet it is good! Maybe I will tackle this recipe someday!

    • profile image

      sabrina 8 years ago

      this is the way an elementary school had us make it and it was so much fun. ithink this would be great for infants learning to crawl too, it wouldgive them something to go after that would soud like a really big rattle!!

    • profile image

      Lulu 8 years ago

      What a great way to make ice cream without an ice cream maker! Can't wait to try it this summer! Thanks! :)

    • profile image

      shyam 9 years ago


    • profile image

      Cavyl 9 years ago

      I love ice cream! it's my only vice especially now that summer is almost here. I don't have an ice cream maker at the moment, but I intend to get one soon.

    • debby28 profile image

      debby28 9 years ago from WASHINGTON

      Sounds very good , we love ice cream

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 10 years ago from Texas

      We haven't had the ice cream maker out for a couple of years. It sounds like it's time to dust it off and sell it in a garage sale. One reason we didn't get it out is that we were always just making vanilla. This approach won't take up room in the garage.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      also I have done it a large coffee can and had the kids roll it back and forth for about an 1/2 an hour or so.. G-Ma :o)

    • Karen and Lesley profile image

      Karen and Lesley 10 years ago from United Kingdom

      That looks delicious Maddy anyway I would just like to say that we have also made chocolate peppermint ice cream in a food blender - only stipulation is that you have to have a strong motor in the blender because you are using ice cubes and a weak motor would only break the blades.

      But seriously you can throw everything into the blender, switch on and in 3mins you have ice cream ready to eat and it is delicious too.

    • flyingeagle profile image

      flyingeagle 10 years ago

      Hey, I never knew you could make ice cream like that. I bought an ice cream maker several years ago and never used it as it's too big for our freezer.

    • profile image

      jimmurdoch 10 years ago

      I love this idea - because I love ice cream.

    • profile image

      manpreet 10 years ago

      really nice dear god bless u

    • Blogger Mom profile image

      Blogger Mom 10 years ago from Northeast, US

      Thanks for writing this! I love the idea of the bag method, and I will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing your great ideas. =)