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Homemade Vanilla Tin Can Ice Cream
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Can Ice Cream

Make homemade vanilla ice cream in a tin coffee can this summer! It's a perfect backyard activity to keep your kids cool this summer.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rolling Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coffee Can Ice Cream
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 510kcal


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash salt
  • 1 box rock salt or ice cream salt
  • ice


  • In a mixing bowl, pour the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt and mix well.
  • Pour the ice cream mixture into the small coffee can and secure the lid tightly.
  • Place the small coffee can into the center of the large coffee can.
  • Surround the small coffee can with about one inch of ice, then sprinkle a heavy heaping of rock salt on top.
  • Add another layer of ice and then salt. Continue until the salt and ice reach the very top of the coffee can. 
  • Secure the lid on the extra large coffee can. 
  • Roll and shake the coffee cans back and forth. Vigorous rolling is needed for 15-30 minutes. 
  • As you roll it, the ice will melt. Add more salt and more ice, draining some of the water as needed.
  • When you check on your ice cream to see if it’s frozen, ensure that you don’t let the salty ice water drip into your ingredients or your ice cream will taste salty. 
  •  When the ice cream is frozen or has the consistency of soft serve, transfer the ice cream to a bowl or container and let it harden further in the freezer. 


The outside of the extra large coffee can will get super cold. If your kids have sensitive hands, mittens can help them continue to want to roll it back and forth.
You may need to add more ice and rock salt 2-4 times throughout the process.
Unlike ice cream you buy in the store, there are no ingredients in this to keep the ice cream from melting quickly. So this ice cream is best eaten out of a bowl rather than an ice cream cone.
Encourage your kids to roll the coffee can quickly several times before rolling it to a friend or sibling.


Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 89mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1750IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 77mg