Branch Out

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Erin Julius,
Editor, Branch Out

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Make Your Own Soft Ice Cream at Home Using a Few Simple Ingredients!


Make Your Own Soft Ice Cream at Home

By Brooke Stoneman, Former FCPL Librarian


  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Ice
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 Ziploc bags: 1 small, 1 large


  • Pour half-and-half, vanilla extract and sugar into the small bag.
  • Seal it up tight and make sure to push all the extra air out.
  • Fill the large bag with ¼ cup salt and ice until about ½ full.
  • Place the small bag inside and continue to fill up the large bag with ice.
  • Seal the large bag and shake. Shake the bag for six minutes – you may want to use kitchen mitts for this part. Brrr!

Now, remove the inside bag, rinse if needed and carefully open it. Give your ice cream a stir and add any fruit, chocolate or even sprinkles. Enjoy!

-adapted from

Fairfax Virtual Assistant