The cooped-up-due-to-chickenpox guide to making ice cream in a bag

Recently we’ve been a bit cooped up in the house. First James had chickenpox, starting on Christmas Eve, and then we were waiting for Noah to start. Just when we thought it had been long enough that he wasn’t going to get it; of course he erupted in a million spots. We have enjoyed our time together, and particularly liked making ice cream in a bag. See below for information how you can make some too!
ice cream in a bag tutorial uk

Over Christmas the boys took to staying in the house rather well. They had new toys to play with, after all. We were able to drop them off at their Nana’s house for some good outdoor time, too. I don’t think they really noticed we had suddenly stopped going to places, and James’ chickenpox was quite mild.
Poor Noah has chickenpox rather worse than his older brother, and he is struggling especially with the itchy spots on his face, and staying indoors. I managed to escape to the supermarket on Sunday, and Noah called for me mournfully as I put my shoes on; “Mine come too, Mammy! Mine come too!”

So we have been rather creative with our time indoors. There has been lots of free play, and time when they’ve been happy to get on with it – making a boat or a rocket out of the cushions and zooming off somewhere to rescue something or other. While James has been out at preschool or with his Daddy, Noah and I have really enjoyed peacefully making puzzles, threading beads on string, and building tall towers.
Together we all made ice cream in a bag, which didn’t take much time but was the most fun two little boys stuck inside for the day could have. I did a fair amount of reading various recipes before we tried it. I showed James a pictorial recipe to see if he was able to figure out what we would need but it had the words for spoon instead of being wholly pictures.
I read lots of instructions on how to make ice cream in a bag that literally just used milk and honey, so I suppose if that’s all you have in the cupboard and refrigerator, then go for it – you could have ice cream in 10 minutes or so!
However, despite all my research, when it came to it, I winged it.

How to make ice cream in a bag


So here’s our recipe for a fun filled afternoon, and ice cream in a bag. This is enough for two scoops of ice cream.

You will need:

  • 4oz (110 ml) single cream
  • 4oz (110 ml) semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 dessert spoons of icing (powdered) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Ice
  • 3 tablespoons of rock salt
  • How to do it

    Into a sealable food bag pour the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla essence. Seal it up. If you want to, you can put that in the freezer for a bit while you make the next bag up.
    Put as much ice as you have into a larger, sealable food bag. We had only one tray of ice cubes and it still worked. Some recipes recommend filling the bag, others say half way. For this reason I reckon you can just go with what you’ve got.
    Before you seal it up, sprinkle rock salt over the top of the ice. The salt makes the ice colder because science. Do not do what I saw in one instructional video on how to make ice cream in a bag – the rock salt does not go in the bag with milk!

    Put the milky bag inside the icey bag, and make sure both bags are sealed tight. We found pretty quickly that we needed to put those bags inside a third, larger sealable bag. We used a 1l, a 2.5l and a 4.5l bag – all from IKEA.
    how to make ice cream in a bag
    Shake! Shake the bag! Shake! Little kids might need to wear gloves if they can’t get a grip on the bag outside of where there’s ice.


    Other instructions for making ice cream in a bag will tell you to keep shaking for around 10 minutes. That’s actually really hard and a very long time unless you have a class full of willing shakers. So we put our bag of milk into the freezer, and I squelched and shook it every now and again, for 10 minutes.

    When you see it solid in the bag then you can eat it! We got two boules of ice cream from the bag, so enough for one each. We served ours with chocolate chips, though of course the possibilities are almost endless, and the ice cream was delicious as it was.

    I don’t know too much about alternative milk products but I’m guessing you could make ice cream in a bag with any kind of “milk” you wanted.

    I’d love to know how you get on if you make ice cream in a bag!

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    8 Comments

    1. January 9, 2017 / 11:31 pm

      What a clever idea! I have an ice cream maker I’ve used once but it takes forever!

      Cat x

      • January 9, 2017 / 11:39 pm

        Try this with E – he’ll love it! And if he doesn’t like the shaking too much, at least he’ll enjoy the ice cream 🙂

    2. January 11, 2017 / 11:29 am

      I could have done with reading this post four weeks ago when we too were cooped up due to chickenpox .

      • January 11, 2017 / 12:43 pm

        Oh no Rachel! At least you’ve been through it now x

    3. January 12, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      This looks like fun! On the list for a rainy day, thanks x

    4. January 12, 2017 / 8:21 pm

      I remember seeing this on an episode of come dine with me and wanting to try it x

    5. January 13, 2017 / 10:29 am

      I think I’ve seen this on facebook too. I like the idea of making it but I get very lazy. At least I now have the recipe if I ever do get inspired.

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