How To Make Mason Jar Ice Cream

Mason jar ice cream. When you need dessert fast!

There’s been a lot of talk about mason jars over recent months, both positive and negative. So this is a good point for me to make a quick confession: when I see people on the train in Melbourne eating layered salads out of their little mason jars it kind of grates on my nerves.

I don’t really know why I feel this, but I do? Sorry to all the mason jar lovers out there. The hatred has to stop.

Three jars of ice cream: mint, chocolate and vanilla.

Ice cream in mason jars.

I originally scoffed at the idea of making mason jar ice cream when a friend mentioned it to me. After all, I’m the proud owner of a fancy ice cream machine that allows me to churn a range of frozen desserts with the press of a button. And I didn’t want to join the mason jar brigade. What would people think of me eating mason jar ice cream on the train?

But then I got thinking some more and decided the idea is brilliant for several reasons.

What’s so good about mason jar ice cream?

  1. It’s as easy as making toast.
  2. Anyone can make it: there’s no need for any appliances.
  3. You get a hellishly good arm workout.
  4. It produces an okay ice cream at the end of it.
  5. It’s a fun activity for kids (and adults).
  6. Ice cream in a jar is super portable. Take them to the beach!
A hand holding a mason jar full of ice cream.

Shake that jar!

The down side of mason jar ice cream

  1. I mentioned that an advantage of making this ice cream is that it’s a great workout. Well, I’m sure that would also be a negative for some. I won’t lie, it takes a bit of shaking action to get the job done… Yes, I’m still talking about making ice cream!
  2. The mouth feel of this dessert can be too much for some. Because no milk is used, it has a lot of fat and it tends to coat your tongue if you eat the whole jar. The answer to this problem is simple. Eat a bit less.

Flavour 1: Vanilla ice cream

What you need to make vanilla mason jar ice cream

The basic building blocks for making this ice cream are cream, sugar and vanilla. A nice vanilla extract will provide a better taste than vanilla essence but hey, we aren’t trying to make a Michelin hat ice cream with this recipe. So whatever you’ve got will work.

For a smallish sized mason jar like I used, fill the jar a little over half way then add a tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla. For a larger jar, just increase the ingredients in proportion.

Ingredients to make vanilla ice cream in a jar.

What you need to make vanilla ice cream

How to make the ice cream

This is where the workout comes in. Screw on the lid and start shaking. If you have a helper that’s good, you can tag out when you feel the burn. From my experience, kids feel the burn after about 15 seconds.

Once you can’t hear any shaking in the jar you’re done. Wet a paper towel and wrap around the jar. Then pop in the freezer for about an hour to harden.

Here’s how the vanilla ice cream turned out. It was a very creamy ice cream. As an ice cream machine wasn’t used there wasn’t a lot of overrun which meant it was very dense. You’ll need to let it sit out of the freezer for 10 minutes+ to let it soften a little.

A jar of vanilla ice cream next to a spoon of ice cream.

Vanilla mason jar ice cream

Flavour 2: Chocolate Ice Cream

This was my favourite flavour. I think folding through some chocolate fudge sauce would have been a nice addition to this flavour.

What you need to make chocolate ice cream in a mason jar

The only difference to the vanilla version is that you’ll ad a tablespoon of cocoa. Then start shaking! You could also stir in some chocolate chips at the end of the shaking process.

Ingredients to make chocolate ice cream in a jar.

What you need to make chocolate ice cream

This is how my ice cream turned out. Magically creamy chocolate ice cream you can eat straight from the jar. Jazz it up a little with choc chips, M&Ms or your favourite sauce drizzled on top.

A jar of chocolate ice cream next to a spoon of ice cream.

Chocolate ice cream ready to eat!

Flavour 3: Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream

What you need to make mint ice cream

You’ll need cream, sugar and peppermint flavour. If you don’t mind using food colouring then add a dash of green colour.

Once you’ve finished shaking the ice cream you could add some chocolate chips. I added some chopped Lindt mint chocolate which was perfect.

Ingredients to make mint chocolate chip ice cream in a jar.

Ingredients to make mint ice cream


Mint flavoured ice cream made using mason jars. Yum!

A jar of mint choc chip ice cream and a spoon of ice cream next to it.

Mint choc chip ice cream ready to eat.

A portable summer dessert ideal for picnics. Just don’t forget lots of ice.

We had ours cooling in an ice box when some friends came over for a BBQ. They’d also be handy to take to the beach in a cooler bag. Remember this ice cream doesn’t have any stabilisers so you’ll need to keep them cool or they’ll melt fast.

Three jars of ice cream in a wooden crate filled with ice.

Mason jar ice cream is ideal for summer picnics and parties.

Mason jars packed with ice cream. Which is your favourite?

Mine was chocolate because the texture was the best. I assume the cocoa helped. It reminded me of those tubs of chocolate mousse you can buy at the supermarket – only a denser texture.

Mason jar ice cream flavours: chocolate, mint choc chip and vanilla.

Which flavour would you choose?

Now it’s your turn

Get yourself some jars and start shaking your way to some serious ice cream action. As I mentioned previously, you won’t create award winning ice cream with these recipes. But don’t let that stop you. You still get an enjoyable dessert at the end of it and it’s definitely one the kids will love making… and eating.

If making ice cream with jars sounds a little too energetic, check out 60 more ice cream recipes here. There’s sure to be an ice cream that you’ll love in that collection.

Nathan Teague is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Mason Jar Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 2 mins
Yields: 1 jar

Ingredients (vary depending on jar size)

  • A little over half a mason jar of cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar if using a small jar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if using a small jar

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to mason jar and close lid.
  2. Shake jar for about 3-5 minutes until you no longer hear the cream shaking. This time will vary depending on how hard you shake.
  3. Once the cream has thickened, wrap with a wet paper towel and freeze for about an hour until hard.

Other Flavours

You can get really creative with your flavours. Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa to make chocolate ice cream. Add half a teaspoon of peppermint essence, a few drops of green colouring and chocolate to make mint choc chip ice cream. Get creative and add your favourite flavour!

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A Melbourne guy who loves to create amazing ice cream.

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