You might have heard of “ice cream in a bag.” It’s a fun summer activity to do with kids, but adults can have fun with it too. The end product is not as rich and creamy as regular ice cream, but it’s a rewarding result with very basic ingredients and only 10-15 minutes of work.

On Shavuot it’s traditional to eat dairy foods, and many synagogues hold an ice cream party after the reading of the Ten Commandments. Since we’ll be celebrating Shavuot at home this year, you can make this ice cream yourselves—with minimal ingredients—and still have an ice cream party.

NOTE: This may be made on Yom Tov, but not on Shabbat. Since this year the two days of Shavuot are on Friday and Shabbat, make this recipe on the first day, Friday, only.

You can vary the toppings to suit your taste (or based on what you have on hand). I had no sprinkles, but for some reason I do have a long-forgotten bag of freeze-dried strawberries which I crumbled over the top, along with some chocolate syrup and whole peanuts which I roughly chopped. The tartness of the freeze-dried berries was an excellent contrast to the sweetness.

While it works faster with rock salt, who really has that sitting around? I don't. Just use the largest salt you have (I used coarse sea salt); even kosher salt will work.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar OR chocolate syrup
  • Ice
  • Rock salt (or the coarsest salt you can find)
  • Small and large (good quality) zip-top bags
  • Optional toppings: syrup, sprinkles, crushed nuts, fresh (or freeze-dried) fruit


  1. Pour the milk, vanilla extract, and sugar (or chocolate syrup) into a small zip-top bag. Seal tightly and double bag.
  2. Fill a larger zip-top bag about half-way with ice cubes and ½ cup rock salt. Place the small bag in the larger bag, seal the bag, and shake vigorously for approximately 10 minutes. If your hands get cold, take turns with others, or pull out a pair of gl
  3. oves and keep going.
  4. Open the larger bag, pull out the small bag, and check if it feels firm and frozen. If it’s almost there, but you want it a big firmer, stick it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Rinse off the outside of the small bag and squeeze out the ice cream into a bowl. Top with sprinkles, syrup, or anything else you like, and dig right in.