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Ice Cream in a Can

Ice Cream in a Can
I scream, you scream, we all scream for homemade ice cream!

Ice Cream in a Can

Looking for a fun—and delicious—summer activity for the neighborhood kids? Try making ice cream in a can! It’s portable enough to take along on a summer camping trip, and fun enough to bring all the neighborhood kids running for an instant front yard ice cream party.

Ice Cream in a Can

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ice Cream in a Can

I scream, you scream, we all scream for homemade ice cream!


  • 1 1-pound metal coffee can with lid
  • 1 3-pound metal coffee can with lid
  • Duct tape
  • 1 pint of half & half or whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, or ¼ cup sliced strawberries
  • Crushed ice
  • Rock salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients together and pour into the 1 pound coffee can.
  2. Replace the lid and secure with duct tape.
  3. Place the filled coffee can inside the larger 3 pound can.
  4. Surround the can with ice and rock salt (which causes the ice to melt, allowing the resulting water/salt mixture to absorb the heat of the ice cream mix).
  5. Duct tape the lid in place.
  6. Shake, roll, or kick the can back and forth for 8–10 minutes.


After rolling, take a quick break and check to see if the ice cream is hard, being careful to avoid getting salt water in the ice cream. If the ice cream is not finished, replace the lid and continue rolling for another 8–10 minutes until finished. Remove the lids and serve in bowls.

YUM! What are your favorite flavors?

About the author

Grown Ups

Grown Ups

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  • Fun thing to do! My favorite was always strawberry and fresh peach that my dad used to make. We had an old fashioned machine similar to this can system.

  • Jen Leeman

    I remember my husband doing this with my stepson when he was little – it was so much fun for him! (both of them, actually…)

  • Looks really yummy and easy to make. I only made home made ice cream once and we had to shake it. My favorite ice cream was always cookies and cream.

  • Krystle Kouture

    This sounds like fun. I bet it tastes delicious too!

  • Nichole

    Oh Neat! I believe I have only ever had homemade icecream once and it was when I was little and friends dad did it at school..will def. have to show this to my mom with all the fruit she has around and this is so much of summer feel…

  • Katie

    This was a favorite way to make ice cream for me and my Sister as kids. The only way my Granny would make it 🙂 Great reminder!

  • Taylor Speikers

    I’ve never heard of this – how cute!

  • Tatanisha Worthey

    Oh this looks totally delicious! I have not tried my hand at homemade ice cream… but I may have to after looking at this picture! Drool!

  • notageek4u

    Uhm…deee-lish and totally easy to do!

  • Sadie

    I love that this is so simple! Thanks for sharing.

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