Mason Jar Ice Cream Recipe

Mason Jar Ice Cream Recipe

Mason jar ice cream is the easiest, fastest way to enjoy the exact flavor you’re dreaming of without an ice cream maker (or a trip to the ice cream shop). Whether you’re a fresh fruit fan, cookies ‘n cream obsessive, or devout chocoholic, if you can dream of your ideal frozen treat, you can make it in a Mason jar in your freezer at home.

Now’s a great time to experiment with flavored sugars (lemon and vanilla, especially). Try swirling in fun ribbons like salted caramel, peanut butter sauce, or brownie batter for an extra-delicious experience.


  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Crushed cookies, optional

  • Fruit, optional

  • Flavored extracts, optional

  • Caramel sauce, optional

  • Chocolate sauce, optional

  • Fruit syrup, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Pour the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt into a pint-sized Mason jar. Add in flavorings (crushed cookies, flavored extract, fruit) if using.

    Heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla poured into a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack 

  3. Screw on the cap and shake for 3 to 4 minutes or until doubled in volume. Don't overdo it or you'll get whipped cream—the mixture should thickly coat the back of a spoon. 

    Mixed ingredients for mason jar ice cream thickening in a jar

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack 

  4. Transfer the jar to the freezer and freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until soft-serve consistency (but no longer than that, or it will form ice crystals and be hard to scoop).

    A spoon holding a scoop of the ice cream mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack 

  5. If you're adding a swirl, remove the jar halfway through freezing (or whenever it's frozen enough to support a chopstick or wooden spoon handle upright), and pour in however much swirl ingredient you'd like. Use the chopstick or spoon handle to swirl it through, then return to freezer until frozen to soft-serve consistency.

    Chocolate syrup being poured into the frozen ice cream mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack 

  6. Enjoy!

    A Mason jar ice cream treat resting on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack 

Recipe Tips

  • If swirling in a ribbon, check the ice cream's texture every half hour after the first 90 minutes, as getting an effective suspended swirl is dependent on a thicker, more frozen texture (otherwise, it may sink to the bottom). Return to the freezer immediately, and the swirl will set over the next hour.
  • When swirling in a ribbon, make sure the bottom of the chopstick or spoon handle hits the base and sides of the jar for even distribution.
  • Avoid over-mixing to maintain thicker swirls.
  • Using a wide-mouth jar will make adding mix-ins easier.

Recipe Variations

  • Infuse the heavy cream by warming it with spices like cinnamon and cardamom in a small saucepan over low heat for extra flavor, and cool completely before using.
  • Substitute a couple tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk for the sugar.


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