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How to make your own ice cream

If you’re in the mood for ice cream but can’t be bothered leaving your air-conditioned house, why not try making it yourself? Follow these steps and you’ll be licking that cone before you know it.

If you want to cool off with an ice cream, don’t go running off to the store. Chances are you already have all the ingredients, so why not just make it at home? That way, you’ll skip the supermarket queues and all of the nasties in ice cream that has been sitting on the shelf for who knows how long. Here are two step-by-step guides to making ice cream using just the tools you have in your own kitchen — and guess what? It’s easier than you think!

The zip lock bag method

Need a vanilla ice cream right this instant? Well, with a few ingredients, a couple of zip lock bags and a little bit of manpower, you could be enjoying your treat within minutes.

Serves 1


  • 1/2 cup of whole milk or cream (you can use skim or “lite” milk, but you will get some crystallisation due to the water content. If you’re going to indulge, you may as well go the whole way, right?!)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 cups of ice

Other supplies:

  • 1 small zip lock bag
  • 1 sandwich-size zip lock bag


  1. Combine the milk, sugar and vanilla extract in the sandwich-size zip lock bag.
  2. Add the ice and salt to the smaller bag and seal tightly. This will likely open when you are shaking the bag but don’t worry about it.
  3. Place the smaller bag into the larger bag and seal the larger bag tightly.
  4. Shake the bag as hard as you can (being careful not to pop it open) for about five minutes or until it becomes the consistency of ice cream. Tip: Before you start shaking, wrap a towel around the bag so that you don’t freeze your fingers.
  5. That’s it! Take the ice cream out of the bag, serve and enjoy.

The low-tech method

If you can hold out a little longer for your ice cream fix, this recipe will deliver a smooth and creamy treat that’s worth the wait. The best thing? You don’t even need a machine.

Makes about 1 litre


  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 150 grams of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of cream (depending on how rich you like your ice cream to be, you can use either full or skimmed cream)
  • 5 egg yolks


  1. Prepare your ice cream mixture and leave it to chill over ice.
  2. Pour the mixture into a deep baking dish or plastic bowl and put it in the freezer.
  3. Check the progress after around 45 minutes. As the mix starts to freeze around the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it thoroughly with a spatula. Be sure to break up any still-frozen sections before putting it back in the freezer.
  4. Keep checking and stirring the mixture every 30 minutes until the ice cream is frozen. Expect the whole process to take anywhere between two and three hours. Tip: For the best results, try using a hand-held electronic mixer. If you don’t have one, a sturdy spatula and a bit of manual effort will work just as well.
  5. Once the ice cream is ready, transfer it to a covered storage container until you want to serve it.

Note: Since it doesn’t have any of the preservatives that store-bought ice cream does, homemade ice cream is best eaten within a couple of days. That shouldn’t be a problem, though, right?

More sweet treats

Delicious homemade Oreo ice cream cake recipe
3-Step sorbet recipe

Tasty sticky toffee pudding

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