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Making Ice Cream in Two Coffee Cans

Making Ice Cream in Two Coffee Cans

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 0 Comments

Yes, it's true! If you're really desperate (you don't have a decent ice cream maker), you can make passable ice cream, just using a couple of old coffee cans, ice and some salt!

Exactly what you'll need:

  • Large empty coffee can
  • Smaller empty coffee can (that will fit in the larger can with space to spare)
  • Ice
  • 2 cups of salt
  • Duct tape

Exactly what to do:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the ice cream into the smaller coffee can
  2. Put the lid on the smaller can and seal with duct tape
  3. Put the smaller can inside the larger coffee can
  4. Pack the space around the smaller can with ice
  5. Pour 1 cup of salt over the ice
  6. Put the lid on the larger can and seal with duct tape
  7. Roll the large can back and forth on its side for 15 minutes
  8. Open the large can, dump the ice and salt
  9. Open the small can, scrape the mixture from the sides into the middle
  10. Add any extras (nuts, dried fruit, candies, cookie crumbs etc) 
  11. Reseal the small can, repack with ice and the second cup of salt
  12. Reseal the large can, roll back and forth for another 10 minutes
  13. Open the large can, dump the salt and ice
  14. Open the small can and tuck into the ice cream (it's best straight of of the can)!

Here's three quick recipes that work really well in coffee cans:

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 beaten egg (you could use powdered if you're really desperate)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Coffee Ice Cream (of course!)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

These are basic recipes for a pretty basic way of making ice cream. However, this is the way ice cream was made for centuries, and you can still buy ice cream makers that use salt and ice today (and they do a very good job).

However, if you're looking for a tidier and more efficient way to make ice cream at home, there's a lot more choice these days and you really don't need to spend a lot of money.

Check out my guide to the best ice cream makers for more information!

About the author 


Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing, I'm always looking for the perfect ice cream. The "dream scoop". I document my findings, my successes and failures here...

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