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Recipe For Snow Ice Cream

Updated on January 16, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects recipes from past generations among ethnic groups, the 13 Original Colonies, the American Civil War & the 19th century.


Famous Midwestern Blizzards and a Recipe

Snow ice cream was recommended by friends one April evening as we experienced an unexpected blizzard in Ohio. It was a one-day snow storm that dumped clean, white snow on the city after a previous day of temperatures in the 60s F. The drifting made enough material for ice cream.

The next afternoon, the temperature climbed to 65° and the snow melted quickly, but we had made ice cream and stayed home in the snow because many of the city streets were closed for a day, as were schools and businesses.

Snow in the 2010s might contain too many additives in the form of pollutants for us to enjoy snow ice cream in the big cities of America, but in the 1980s, we felt safe to try the concoction.

In 1985, we had a one-day snowfall in Central Ohio of about three inches in April that provided enough material for ice cream for a few hours. The next day, it was all melted by noon!

— Patty Inglish
Photo in nature of a tree like a dish of ice cream.
Photo in nature of a tree like a dish of ice cream. | Source

A decade earlier, during The Great Blizzard of 1978 that literally snowed us into our homes for a month, we could have put the various ice cream recipes to constant use.

January 25, 26, and 27 were the worst days of the blizzard in Ohio and all around the Great Lakes Area.

The US National Guard stated that the storm was nearly equivalent to a nuclear attack in its impact upon the state.


The winter of 1978 was great for this recipe, but we found it useful in the blizzards of January 2018 as well!

Recipes for Vanilla and Peach Snow Ice Cream

The traditional Southern and Midwestern recipe that calls for only three ingredients - snow, vanilla, and condensed milk - results in a too icy, melty, and weak concoction for my taste, so a little experimentation resulted in the following recipe. It's richer overall, and more solid.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Several servings


  • A large metal mixing bowl and a wooden spoon
  • 2 Whole large eggs
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 Cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons pure vanilla
  • Clean fresh snow

I like to chill the metal bowl first in the freezer and then make the ice cream outside to keep the bowl cold and the snow from melting. In fact, it's great to put the bowl down into a mound of snow to hold it still. COLD!


  1. Break and beat the eggs briskly in the bowl.
  2. Pour in the cream, sugar and vanilla all at once.
  3. Stir together and begin adding the cleanest white snow until the ice cream is thick enough for you.
  4. Serve and place the rest in the freezer immediately, because of the raw eggs.
  5. Use up the ice cream within 24 hours to prevent egg spoilage. It should be all right in the freezer, unless you take it out and let it sit at room temperature. If that happens, throw it out. Heavy cream can be expensive, so take care of the finished product.

Have you ever made ice cream with snow?

5 stars from 1 rating of Snow Ice Cream

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Add Peaches to the Ice Cream

Before making the ice cream, remove a cup of frozen peach slices from a bag of frozen peaches you have purchased at the supermarket. Set them on the kitchen counter to thaw and as they begin to soften, chop them into bite-sized pieces. Canned peaches are often soft and do not work as well.

Prepare the vanilla ice cream recipe as given above and add the chopped peaches at the last minutes. It is fine if they are still partially frozen. Mix gently and serve the ice cream.

Add Some Coconut

Peaches and coconut are good together in this recipe. Use about half a cup of shredded coconut or a little more, if you like. Mix it into the ice cream when you add the chopped, partially frozen peaches.

You Might Like Chocolate

While I've had no luck with chocolate syrup, which seems to disintegrate the snow ice cream, chunking up fudge brownies and adding them to the vanilla recipe at the end seems to work fine. A squeeze bottle of chocolate shell that hardens on contact with ice cream would also probably work well.

Plus, if it's summertime, you can used shaved ice instead of snow.

Enjoy! - Please list your ideas in the Comments Section.

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This is how we felt in 1978! We still enjoyed making snow ice cream, though.Central Ohio, January 1978.
This is how we felt in 1978! We still enjoyed making snow ice cream, though.
This is how we felt in 1978! We still enjoyed making snow ice cream, though. | Source
Central Ohio, January 1978.
Central Ohio, January 1978. | Source

Buried Alive in the City

I remember that the front door to the house would only open about three inches.

We had to stick a broom out the opening and brush away snow that had piled up over four-and-a-half feet deep against the door.

A day previously, Wednesday, January 24, the weather was mild and warm. It began to rain that evening and the temperature dropped. On Thursday January 25, many of us were nearly trapped in our dwellings and the streets were impassable.

Heavy accumulating snow remained with us for nearly two months and the majority of Columbus residents missed at least a full week of work or school. When we could get outside, we walked down the center of the streets, snow and ice being a few feet high on the sidewalks.

In Cleveland, conditions were worse and in northwest Pennsylvania, worse yet.

I don't have a personal photo from 1978, but this is about how I looked during the Blizzard, after snow plows had done their best.
I don't have a personal photo from 1978, but this is about how I looked during the Blizzard, after snow plows had done their best. | Source

Dangerous Conditions Of Power Outage and Stranding

Everything in Columbus was closed down the first week, except hospitals, fire stations, and law enforcement facilities. A very few restaurants opened and gave free coffee to anyone that was out, especially snow removal operators. It was so cold that restaurant staff worked in their coats.

Snow fell throughout January 26-27 and the temperatures stayed relatively cold throughout February. AAA stopped taking calls for cars that refused to start early on January 25. I remember drivers complaining for over a week that AAA operators told them that it was not an emergency that their cars would not start.

No one at AAA explained that dozens of National Guard helicopters were out looking for lost and stranded people who might die and that all the AAA trucks were out helping plow streets and dig people out of houses where the power had gone out.

Throughout all the harsh weather conditions, older folks remembered snow ice cream from their childhoods and taught the young people how to make it.

Hard-Hit Ohio Cities

show route and directions
A markerCleveland OH -
Cleveland, OH, USA
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B markerColumbus OH -
Columbus, OH, USA
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C markerSpringfield OH -
Springfield, OH, USA
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Many people were stranded on the roads and highways of the state during these days of 1978 - 1979, but the weather was worst around the Greater Cleveland Area. There, barometric pressure reduced to 28.28, the record non-tropical low for America until October of 2010.

For Canada, Southern Ontario received barometric pressure even lower, at 28.05. The Ohio National Guard mobilized 5,000 troops to help around Ohio, but 51 persons still died in the snow.

Another problem spot was, and still is, the I-70 and Route 40 corridor between Columbus and Springfield 40+ miles to the west.

This is in a low point in the Ohio Valley and is subject to fog and drifting snows. Even in non-blizzard years, this mostly rural area can be hazardous in snowfall to people traveling on foot through fields. Otherwise, it is great for snowmobiling.

This is not Ohio in 1978; it's Minnesota in 1881, but this is how we felt. Many of our cars were stuck this far in the snow. Some vehicles were completely covered for weeks.
This is not Ohio in 1978; it's Minnesota in 1881, but this is how we felt. Many of our cars were stuck this far in the snow. Some vehicles were completely covered for weeks. | Source


  • 1978 Ohio Statewide Blizzard - Ohio History Central. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  • Adjutant General of Ohio and Ohio National Guard. Blizzard '78 After Action Report; pp 1 - 42. 1978
  • Dean, L. The long, hungry winter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Star Tribune; February 10, 2014.

© 2011 Patty Inglish

Comments and Snow Ice Cream Ideas

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    • daviddwarren22 profile image

      daviddwarren22 6 years ago

      Thanks for the information.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Wow, you are great making fun out this awfyl situation. It sounds great.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Pamela99 - Cleveland certainly has its share of snow! friends from there wonder why Columbus schools even have snow days. Thanks for posting.

      Chuck - You brought my 1st grade class back to mind, because our teacher also told us about snow and maple syrup. We went to a farm that had maples and produced candy and pancake syrup every year. It was different. Many of the kids had never had maple candy before. Imagine candy from a tree! We had a good time.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 6 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      I never heard of snow ice cream but I vaguely remember one of my teachers in grade school talking about pouring maple syrup over fresh snow which caused the maple syrup to harden at which point a person would eat it like candy.

      As I recall, my teacher indicated that she liked it but we lived in the city and never tried making this.

      Your snow ice cream recipe sounds good but I won't get to try it because, with or without chemicals, we don't get snow in southern Arizona.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      That was the last year I lived in Cleveland before moving to Jacksonville, FL. I must say I don't miss blizzards! I remember driving by the airport a couple of days after the worse of the storm and the snow was plowed off the road and it was like going through a tunnel of snow as the sides were at least 10' high. As for snow cream, it is delicious. I never tried it with peaches but it sounds good. Very interesting hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Moonlake - No yellow snow in the ingredients! Eggs will make the final product yellowish lol.

      kimh039 - Babies last longer than ice cream!

      ktrapp - I look forward to your recipe for Snow Blower Ice Cream in the near future. :)

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      I think I could have made enough snow ice cream to feed the country after last winter! I am hoping that is not the case this year, but I will vote your article useful since your ice cream made me think of blizzards, which made me think winter is coming, which made me think I better get my snow blower tuned up.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 6 years ago

      I lived in Ohio, but joined the Army in October 78. Thankfully, I spent October to December in Alabama and Jan to April in Tx. I was however in Denver during the blizzard of 82 - and during that blizzard our first daughter was conceived:) We were making something, but it wasn't ice cream.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      My Mom use to make snow ice cream. We were always told it couldn't be made from the first snow but after that she could make it. We loved it. We would get the snow for her but we had to be sure it wasn't YELLOW.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Shaved ice can be fun as well.

      And, before anyone thinks of it, probably the snow made at commercial ski slopes is laced with chemicals or something.

      Thanks for the comments!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      The snow here wouldn't be clean for every 24 hours, even without mentioning the additives. Never going to have Snow Ice Cream. I might try the shaved ice, though.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Oh shucks! I don't get snow here so I can't do this. It's too warm here, I would have to use an icecream maker.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      The old saying "when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade" seems to apply here.Too much ice and snow you made ice cream. very positive outlook.When one lives in the north country they learn to take weather in stride.

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 6 years ago from London

      Wow, I've never heard to snow ice cream before, what a good idea, utilising it to make something you can eat!!

      There is talk that we might get snow as early as October (hard to believe with this late summer we're having now, and the 25 degrees C forecast for next week!) But if it happens then at least I will be able to make ice cream! Thanks. :)