Tara Barker

You don't need a fancy ice cream maker to make the icy treat at home, just a plastic bag and 15 minutes!
Serves 2
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On a scorching hot day, ice cream brings much needed relief. If you’re out of pints, try this instant ice cream recipe that’s also fun to make with kids – and it teaches science at the same time.

Adding salt to ice causes an endothermic reaction – it absorbs energy and heat from the surroundings. This makes the cream mixture super-cold, and freezes it. Shaking the bag makes sure ice crystals stay small, giving you creamy ice-cream. The best part? It only takes 15 minutes!

For convenience, lay your ingredients out like this first:

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  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup coconut cream or condensed milk
  • 2 tbsps granulated brown or white sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 cup ice cubes, smashed
  • ⅓ cup salt
  • 1 small resealable plastic bag
  • 1 large sealable plastic bag
  • Asian fruits like mango and banana, to serve

Slice fruit and get your serving bowls ready. This ice-cream is fast to make and equally fast to thaw – so you need to be ready to serve it immediately.


In a small resealable plastic bag, combine milk, cream, coconut cream, sugar, vanilla essence.


Push out excess air – or suck out excess air with a straw. Seal bag tightly.


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine ice and salt. If the ice cubes are large, it helps to smash them into smaller pieces first.


Put the small bag inside the large bag of ice, and seal.

TIP: For the next step, it helps to pop both bags into an insulated bag. It slows heat transfer and makes firmer ice cream.


Shake both bags for 7 to 10 minutes. The ice will turn to water and the cream mix will harden into a soft ice-cream.


Spoon out ice-cream and enjoy immediately with your favorite fruit and toppings.

TIP: This soft coconut ice-cream is great served on South East Asian desserts like Bubur Cha Cha or Pulut Hitam black rice pudding.

Text, recipe, images and video by Tara Barker.

Download or print the recipe