Make a batch of delicious vanilla snow ice cream with 2 ingredients and big bowl of freshly-fallen snow! It’s a super winter activity to do with your family or your students, and it tastes so good!
I love ice cream, but I’ll admit, when I first heard about snow ice cream, I thought ewww. Who would want to make ice cream out of snow? Or more specifically, who would want to EAT ice cream made with snow?
Using snow as a main ingredient in a dish sounded so bizarre to me, but I kept seeing all these recipes for snow ice cream (also known as snow cream) all over the net, and in every one, people raved about how good it tasted. Plus I’ve made maple sugar candy pops on the snow many times, and that’s always fantastic.
Being in Canada, we’ve been pummelled with snow-fall after snow-fall this week, and yesterday, looking out at my yard all a-glistening with a fresh new layer of fluffy snow, I thought, “Let’s do it. Let’s find out what the hoopla is all about”, so I talked my 14 year-old into making my first-ever batch of vanilla snow ice cream with me.
He actually didn’t need much convincing. It was me who was skeptical…
…until I tasted it. O.M.G. I never thought I’d say it, but snow ice cream is delicious. I mean SERIOUSLY delicious. It’s better than any store-bought ice cream I’ve ever tasted. It’s rich and sweet and packed with flavour. And it was so easy and fun to make!
If you’re a skeptic like I was, I urge you to get outside with your kids, and find a clean patch of new-fallen snow, and give this recipe a try. I can almost guarantee that you’ll love it! And what a great winter activity to do with your family.
Who knows, maybe you’ll start an annual winter-time tradition!
This recipe makes quite a big batch of snow cream, so it’s perfect for making with a group of children or students. If you’re making it for just a few, you can freeze your leftovers.
Watch the Step-by-Step Video Here:
How To Make 3-ingredient Vanilla Snow Ice Cream
Snow Cream Ingredients:
- 8-12 cups of fresh, white, new-fallen snow (a cup here in North America is 8 oz.)
- 300 ml can of sweetened condensed milk (10 ounces)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Large bowl
- measuring cup
- wooden spoon
- freezer-proof container for storing your leftovers
How to Make Snow Ice Cream:
To start, I filled a huge salad bowl with fresh snow. I probably gathered about 10-12 cups of snow. My snow was very light and fluffy and impossible to pack. Your snow might be heavier, and you may not need as much as I did. Don’t worry too much about being precise. You can always add more snow to your ice cream if need be.
You Can Make Snow Cream Indoors
We brought our snow into the house to make our ice cream because it was -40, and far too cold to stay outside. Brrrr! It’s FREEZING cold here.
Once inside, I scooped about half of the snow into a smaller bowl. I wasn’t sure how much snow we’d actually use, so I figured we’d start out with some of it, and add more as needed.
To start, my son sprinkled a tsp of vanilla onto the snow.
Then he drizzled half the condensed milk over top.
With the wooden spoon, he folded the condensed milk and vanilla into the snow, kind of chopping, stirring and mixing to combine everything.
Then we transferred the whole mixture back into the big bowl of remaining snow, and we added the rest of the condensed milk.
The condensed milk does not melt the snow or make it watery. It’s quite the opposite, actually. The snow sort of freezes the condensed milk, making it thick and icy.
Ok! Time for the taste-test.
We got out our fancy ice cream bowls, filled them and dug in.
Oooooh Myyyy! It was amazing! You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. I couldn’t believe how good it was.
COLD though! Holy Moly! Much colder than regular ice cream. I guess the -40 temps had something to do with that.
Use Condensed Milk for the Richest Snow Ice Cream
I honestly couldn’t believe how rich and delicious this ice cream was! There are other recipes for ice cream snow that you can make with regular milk, but condensed milk makes snow cream much more decadent.
There was no way we could eat our whole batch of snow ice cream, but I didn’t want it to go to waste, plus, I wanted my older son to taste it, and he wouldn’t be home for a few hours. We spooned our leftovers into a shallow, freezer-proof container with a lid, and patted it all down.
Mmmmm… doesn’t it look delicious?
You Can Freeze Snow Ice Cream
We popped it into the freezer, and when my older son came home, I served him some. I didn’t tell him what was in it. I wanted him to guess.
He’s recently been to Europe, and he raves about the ice cream they have there, so I wondered what his opinion would be of our new recipe.
He took a spoonful, and said “Oh My! What is this? It’s CRAZY good!”
He took a couple of guesses at the ingredients, and when I finally told him it was SNOW, he said “NO WAY!” I said “YES! Doesn’t it taste like French Vanilla Ice Cream?”, and he replied “This is WAY better than any French Vanilla Ice Cream I’ve ever had”.
And there you have it. Snow ice cream. So fun and easy to make, and totally delicious.
I’m totally sold. It really is amazing!
Make some with your family before the snow is gone. And let me know what you think!
To Soften Snow Cream after Freezing:
*Note: we ate more of our snow ice cream again today. It had frozen rock-solid in the freezer over-night so I put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften it enough that we could scoop it. I’m happy to report that our snow ice cream was just as delicious today as it was yesterday.
Print our Snow Cream Recipe For Home or Your Classroom
3-Ingredient Vanilla SNOW Ice Cream – Happy Hooligans
- 8-12 cups fresh, clean snow
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300 mls sweetened condensed milk 10 oz
- Scoop clean, fresh snow into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle vanilla over snow.
- Drizzle condensed milk over all.
- Fold all ingredients together, and stir until well-combined.
- If necessary, add more snow until you’re happy with the consistency of your ice cream.
- Scoop into a bowl, and enjoy!
- To freeze leftovers, pat remaining snow ice cream into a freezer-proof container with a lid.
More fun ways to make ice cream:
Vanilla Coffee Can Ice Cream – How to Make Ice Cream in a Tin Can
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
I’m always shocked when I learn people have never tried this, I’ve been eating snow ice cream since… well my whole life. we usually only get one good snow a year so I always make sure I make this for my boys, and I can’t help myself I eat probably half the bowl!
International Elf Service
What an amazing idea! I would never have thought to make ice-cream with snow but it’s so obvious now you’ve pointed it out 🙂
We don’t very often get snow where I live and it is usually so lame that you can see the grass through it,and it melts by midday. More than an inch and everywhere shuts down. I’ m in Hastings on SE Coast of England.
You can also add other flavors of extract instead of vanilla if you want to experiment with flavors. We’ve done lemon, coconut, rum, and orange flavors before.
Oh yum! That sounds amazing!
And chocolate. We’ve added chocolate powder to ours. This is the first time I’ve heard of using condensed milk. We just always used milk, sugar, and vanilla (and cocoa if we were doing chocolate).
Does the snow have to be fresh? can it be a couple of days old? A week? I know that seems like an odd question but we have so much snow here in NY that it would be fun to do this with my 8-year-old.
As long as it’s clean, it should be ok, Lisa. Dig deep. 🙂
We used snow that fell a few days ago. Tasted great!
I would use caution I always place a bowl on the highest spot I can find then it comes straight from heaven LOL!!
I wouldn’t use old snow. If it’s below freezing, it doesn’t take long for it too be icy
You definitely want to use new snow as it will be fluffy AND clean. 🙂
Now where am i gona get snow i live in dubai uae no rain here wat snow 🙁 but what to do about the urge to taste such ice.cream 🙁
Ohh! I’ve heard you can use shaved ice, Aysha!
What is shaved ice?
You need a little machine like this, Carol: (this is my affiliate link) https://amzn.to/34MY5oM
at first, loved the idea, but then I started thinking ; did any of you ever melted snow that looked fresh and perfectly clean??? well, I did since I live in Canada ; it is not clean at all, but rather contains a lot of hidden particles. One time we melted snow into our spa, and the next day the water was all full of tiny particles of dirt that came from the ‘clean’ snow, and that become visible only once it has melted… So I would not recommend eating it, and even less to a child!!!
Very true, and I used to feel the same way, and then I started thinking about all the times we pick cherry tomatoes and beans and strawberries straight out of the garden and eat them without washing them. Probably loads of dust and pollen on those. And all the outdoor potlucks I’ve been to where the food is spread out on tables in the yard, or when we leave our drinks on the deck to sip from all day while we’re playing. I’m sure there’s dust that settles on our food and drinks that way too, but we don’t really think about it. As a one-time winter treat, with freshly fallen snow, I don’t feel that the number of dirt particles are enough to worry too much about. After all, what child doesn’t eat snow or suck on an icicle when they’re outside playing. As my dear, old Nan used to say: “You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die”. 🙂
I so agree with you happyhooligans. When we think about it we can become paranoid about what we are eating. If it is clean or bad for us or not. Every day we eat out or eat things without looking at it trusting complete strangers have cleaned it for us. Example , riding and eating or opening candy / cakes , chips , etc.. I have bitten into candy before only to find it was full of bugs. Once it was worms. Same things at family restaurants, fast food places , gas stations , and anywhere there is food sold. There may be roaches or rodents or spiders crawling on/in dishes. Bugs in food that gets cooked and served to you. Not on purpose but just the same it happens.
I had rather eat a little specks of dust or dirt. I am not going to let it drive me to where all I can do is think about what I am or am not eating. The government allows more trash and bugs in our food than what is in our snow cream. If we get it from where there are no animals and so forth on/been on it.
My Aunt Rita used to tell me “God made dirt, so dirt can’t hurt”
Our modern opposition to dirt is actually one of the things scientists believe is leading to increased allergies. We need exposure to the microbes that come along with normal dirt.
Although I might be less inclined to use the snow if you live in a very high-POLLUTION area where there are a lot of toxic chemicals in your precipitation.
Small town TN girl!
Hopefully this will help soothe your worries from both sides of the fence…Actually, your not supposed to make snow cream until the second round of snow comes thru… Snow forms like a net as it falls through the atmosphere and collects pollutants as it falls to the ground. Thats why you ALWAYS wait for the second round of snowfall before you gather your snow, by then the first snow has had a chance to clean the atmosphere around where you live from pollutants and any nasty particles that can come from nearby factories etc. My grandmother has been making snow cream for over 65 years and that’s the first tip she taught us… Also along with the ingredients you already have listed most snow cream recipes also call for 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 beaten raw egg. ( optional )! I know “raw egg”? Yucky.. but actually it gives the snow cream a very creamy texture, and believe it or not… most ice creams are made with eggs. Thats why “custard” ice cream is so much creamier than regular ice creams. and for over 40 years me nor my siblings have ever gotten sick a single time and we make it every year, 3 to 4 times a year! Egg or no egg, adding the sugar will make you fall in love with it all over again. I hope this will help you to decide to give it another try and not have to worry about eating any dirt when you make your next batch.. even the dirt you can’t see!!
Eating snow is a necessary rite of childhood passage (so all the better with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla)!
Until a few years ago I didn’t have running water (or electricity) and it was easier to melt snow then prime the frozen hand pump for water.
I never experienced what you are talking about unless I scraped the ground when I was putting snow in the bucket.
Sometimes there was little bits of stuff like pine needles or dried up lichen but I just flicked it out.
So I’m looking forward to trying this! Yum! But now I need to get to town for condensed milk…
Set a bowl out to catch the snow..that’s what I do.
This looks so delicious. Shame it doesn’t snow here in Melbourne, Australia. 🙂
We never have snow in south africa in Johannesburg. What can we use?
I’ve heard shaved ice works, Sharon. You could try that. 🙂
You can add little chocolate chips too
Don’t eat YELLOW snow!
Merry | Sunshine On My Shoulder
I’ve been making it this way my whole life, learned it from my mother, passed it on to my daughters. When my oldest daughter was dating her future husband, she went on a weekend vacation with him and his family. And it snowed. She called home for the recipe and properly impressed them all. It is surprisingly delicious. I’ve also used chocolate milk which is also yummy. When the girls were little, I would color it with food coloring sometimes – but we never colored it yellow because you shouldn’t eat yellow snow 🙂
If making the vanilla snow cream, try a light dusting of ground nutmeg! Delicious!
Born and raised in Canada and remarkably I’ve never heard of this let alone try it. Today with the fresh snow coming down (again) I made this for my 3 teenage girls and it was a hit (…and I may have enjoyed it too!!).
I made this for the family and everyone loved it, that is until I told my husband it was made from snow. Then he started going on about acid in the rain, and therefore in the snow. The way I see it, we eat the plants we grow in our garden, drink out of the hose, so if it is in our water systems we are already consuming it. This is a once a year treat, that is easy for the kids to participate in, and though I had never heard of snow ice cream until your page, I grew up taking fresh snow and making snow cones, and I grew up just fine!
let it snow let it snow, we dont had a bit of snow this morning here in the uk, i was paraying for more jus so i could make one of these, our snows no good, we dont get enough, jus lots os slugde, its not ideal lol x
I’ve eaten this since a child & when my own kids were born, I’d make it in vanilla, chocolate & strawberry using Hershey’s syrup. I would also freeze it in small empty yogurt containers & when summer rolled around, we’d thaw it out & have a winter treat on a hot day. Today a lady told me that if you do plan to freeze it, the best thing to do is to substitute whipping cream for the milk. Haven’t tried that yet but it’s supposed to snow mid week so maybe we’ll find out!
We Make that in Trinidad all the time … its called Snow Cone
Ate my first Snow Ice Cream about 70 years ago.
believe me it is snowing in east Texas and I just made snow ice cream in the freezer waiting and wanting it yum yum I live in Longview Texas
Put you a large bowl outside and let it catch the snow for your Snow Cream and you will know it is clean.
Can u use something else beside condensed milk???? I don’t have any. 🙁
I’ve heard of some recipes calling for milk, salt and sugar, and other recipes calling for icing sugar, Penny. You could hit google with a few of those keywords and see what comes up.
Use evaporated milk and just add sugar ! Worked for me!
THANK YOU!!! we just tried it tonight and it was the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had!!! LOED IT!! And my favorite part, it was ready in a minute vs all that shaking and shaking and shaking we usually have to do!!! Thanks!!!!
I loved snow ice cream. My mom would make it for my brother & me when we had a good a clean snow in western OK. Am glad to have this recipe. It wasn’t in mom’s recipes when she passed. She did that a lot, had everything memorized & never wrote them down. Thank you very much for publishing this AND for the Rice Krispie Treats, which were not written down either. What a wonderful find. Thank you,thank you!
This looks good. I will try it with shaved ice since it does not snow here or I will just have to plan a trip to the snow so I can try it.
Also, there is not chocolate and caramel flavored condensed milk. Something to try!
I accidentally used evaporated milk instead of condensed milk! I just added sugar and it tasted fine!
Too sweet! Next time I’ll use evaporated milk and sugar.
I live in GA so we don’t get much snow but whenever we do, we make snow cream! My mom ALWAYS made this when it snowed and I try to keep the tradition going. If this recipe is too sweet, there are recipes available on the Internet to make your own blend of milk, vanilla and sugar in order to control the taste. But it’s also really delicious when made with the chocolate flavored condensed milk!
would have been nice to have ingredients BEFORE thevsnow came so we could get them.
I’ve been sharing the post for weeks on my facebook page, noard0. Sorry you missed it!
Thanks so much for this! We just got some snow here in France and made a batch- yum!
Yay! Glad you enjoyed it!
First time and I’m highly impressed. Easy, tasty and quick.
Here in NC a lot of people add sugar to the mix along with sweet milk. It’s been passed down in my southern family for about 3 generations or more. You can also add chocolate syrup to the mix to make chocolate snow cream
This was absolutely amazing! My family and I loved it! Thank you for sharing! I topped mine with some cherries too. Wow, good!
Glad you loved it, Sherra!
Sharing this on my show tonight and will put this link on our Facebook page so our listeners can get the step by step recipe themselves! Thanks for sharing this!
Host, The Healthy Heart Show w/Alishia Louis-Potter
Thanks so much for sharing, Alishia!
I can’t believe you haven’t heard of Snow Cream Before now, I been eating Snow Cream since the 50’s that I can remember, and I grew up in W.Va. and I still do when we get a heavy snow, here in western Arkansas, The way my mom made it was, She made Eggnog, and mixed in the snow , Sssssooooooo Gooooooood lol
C W Clarke
That sounds amazing!
I tried it with my kids this week when school was canceled because of severe cold weather. It was a wonderful treat! What might be in the snow is not even on my worry radar. Eat it and enjoy the time with your kids!
I can’t wait to try it.
This actually isn’t an original idea. Something similar is a traditional desert called Korean Bingsu or Bingsoo. Check it out. Consisting of shaved ice and sweet condensed milk with variety of toppings and flavors. It’s amazing. There’s a place actually in Nashville, TN that has something such as this called “Cotton and Snow” aswell!
No, it’s definitely not an original idea. People have been making snow ice cream for years. 🙂
This snow cream is SO good! I live in the Deep South where we rarely get snow and it usually doesn’t stick around more than a few hours. We received snow yesterday and it’s still around so I decided to try this recipe. I’m so glad I did. I had a full bowl and I want more! Lol. Thx for sharing! Darla
I’m so glad you finally got to try it! Stay warm and safe!
It was a childhood favorite. So many fond memories of Grandma, Mom and me making it for the family of. ,6. So much fun.