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How to Make Snow Ice Cream

A bowl of snow, ready to be mixed into snow ice cream!

A bowl of snow, ready to be mixed into snow ice cream!

What's Snow Ice Cream?

Newly fallen snow can be not only beautiful to look at, but a delicious treat as well. Snow ice cream is a traditional winter dessert made when there is heavy enough snowfall.

Ice cream can be made from snow using a few simple ingredients. Find out how to safely gather the snow and then mix up a batch of snow ice cream in less than 20 minutes. When you are stuck inside during a snowstorm, why not whip up some snow ice cream to pass the time and fill your belly?

Gathering the Snow

The fresher the snow, the better. The less time the snow has been sitting means that it has had less chance of getting contaminated. Remember the old adage: avoid yellow snow.

Also, don't eat the snow from the first snowfall of the season. Snow cleans the atmosphere as it comes down. The first snowfall has collected all the dirt particles that have been hanging around in the air.

If it is still snowing, you can place a large bowl on your porch to collect the snow as it falls.

If it has stopped snowing, or you didn't think that far ahead, you can gather the snow that has already fallen. Make sure the snow is deep enough that you can gather it without gathering dirt as well. Typically, you need about half a foot of snow or more to have enough clean snow to make the ice cream.

To gather the snow, get a big bowl or bucket and a spoon or scoop. Try to find snow on top of cars or on porch rails. Avoid high-traffic areas and places where someone may have walked. Fill the bowl and bring the snow inside to mix the other ingredients.


Approximate prep time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla flavoring
  • Approximately 1 gallon of snow
  • 2 cups of milk, (condensed milk may be substituted)
  • 1 egg
  • Any other flavors or toppings desired


  1. Add the sugar, vanilla flavoring, and milk together in a large bowl. Stir the ingredients until well-mixed.
  2. Begin adding the snow slowly making sure it is mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients. A blender works best for this process, but mixing by hand can also do the job.
  3. More sugar can be added to taste. Sweetened condensed milk can be substituted for a creamier taste as well.
  4. Adding a raw egg will also give it more flavor and is the way that snow cream was traditionally made. But raw eggs can carry salmonella, so keep that in mind if you decide to add it in. My family always added eggs and none of us ever got sick from it.
  5. When the desired texture is reached, the ice cream is ready to eat. It can be refrigerated or frozen for a while if it has become too melted indoors.
  6. For added flavor, substitute chocolate milk or even eggnog for regular milk. You can also use almond flavoring. Or add in chocolate chips, nuts, or cinnamon. Fresh fruit can also be delicious. Caramel syrup and sprinkles can be fun toppings.

More Snow Activities and Information

  • Easy Snow and Ice Experiments
    Ideas for simple but cool science experiments about snow and ice that will get kids interested in learning about nature's frozen wonders. Includes exploding ice, making frost, snow, and icicles, salt, and dry ice.

© 2010 Candace Bacon