Mason Jar Ice Cream

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5 from 15 votes
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Craving ice cream? Make it yourself using super simple ingredients and mason jars — no ice cream maker required! Try vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, or a scoop of all three to make Neapolitan!

Nothing says summer like a bowl of cold, creamy ice cream covered in your favorite toppings. The next time you’re craving some, skip the store or the local ice cream shop. It’s super easy to make at home without any fancy ingredients or special equipment. Who needs an ice cream machine? Not you!

Mason jar ice cream in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate scooped into a bowl and garnished with a fresh strawberry.

Using a handful of simple ingredients and a few mason jars, you can create just about any flavor combinations you can dream up. It’s as easy as adding the ingredients to the jar, popping on the lid, shaking for about 5 minutes, and then letting it freeze for a few hours or overnight. The next morning, you’ll have a delicious treat to enjoy. The best part is that each jar only makes two servings, so our recipe is great for portion control.

The process is so simple kids can make their own ice cream! They can take turns shaking the jars and create their favorite flavors. Want to get really creative? Make these yummy ice cream nachos or an ice cream pie with your homemade vanilla ice cream!

Ingredients  

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for mason jar ice cream on tabletop..
  • Heavy Whipping Cream— This will make your ice cream base smooth and creamy — just the way you like it! Heavy cream can be used as well. Just make sure you use cold cream. If it isn’t nice and cold it won’t thicken correctly.
  • Granulated Sugar— To sweeten things up. Cane sugar or honey could be used as a sweetener instead if desired.
  • Vanilla Extract— Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. You can also sub other types of extracts to create different flavors such as maple, lemon, or peppermint.
  • Salt— Salt is what makes the magic happen! Salt lowers the freezing point, but you only need a healthy pinch of the stuff for this ice cream in a jar recipe.
  • Strawberry Jam— Use a couple tablespoons to jazz up the vanilla ice cream recipe to make strawberry flavored ice cream instead. You can substitute other types of jam like blackberry or rhubarb.
  • Chocolate— Baking cocoa or dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder are best for making a smooth chocolate ice cream everyone will love. They have less acid than regular cocoa powder, but that can work as well in a pinch.
  • Red Food Coloring— Optional, used to enhance the color of the strawberry ice cream.

Equipment You’ll Need

This no churn ice cream only requires a few kitchen tools and 5 simple steps!

How to Make Ice Cream in a Mason Jar

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1: Choose the flavor options you want to make, and add all the ingredients for those particular flavors to your mason jars.

Three mason jars, each with the ingredients for different flavors of ice cream: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

Step 2: Place the metal lid and ring that comes with the mason jar on top. Make sure it’s closed nice and tight. Shake the jar for 4-5 minutes to mix all the ingredients. After shaking the mixture will be thicker.

Note: To test that it has reached the desired consistency you can open the jar and insert a spoon. The ice cream mixture should coat the back of a spoon and will drip off slightly.

Hand shaking a jar of chocolate ice cream.

Step 3: Make sure the jar is tightly sealed and put it in the freezer. Leave the jar of ice cream in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Overnight would be even better.

Strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla mason jar ice cream.

Step 4: Enjoy your homemade ice cream straight out of the jar with a long handle spoon or scooped into a bowl. Top it with your favorite ice cream toppings such as whipped cream, maraschino cherries, sprinkles, or hot fudge. Enjoy!

Neapolitan mason jar ice cream in bowl with spoon and jars of ice cream in the background.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this easy mason jar ice cream with your favorite toppings. Here are some of ours!

  • hot fudge
  • chocolate syrup
  • caramel sauce
  • whipped cream
  • maraschino cherries
  • crushed nuts
  • crushed candies
  • crushed cookies
  • fresh fruit
  • mini marshmallows
  • mini chocolate chips
  • honey
  • pure maple syrup

Storage and Freezing

You can store your no churn ice cream in the freezer for 2 to 3 months, though it will get harder and icy over time. To fix this, let it sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes first. Give it a stir, and it’ll be nice and creamy — just the way you like it.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Make sure you use freezer-safe mason jars for this recipe.
  • Each pint jar makes two servings. You can split the mixture (before freezing) into half-pint jars for convenient individual servings.
  • Wide mouth jars work best for scooping the ice cream out of the glass jars.
  • Be sure to leave at least 1″ empty at the top of each jar to leave room for the ice cream to expand in the freezer.
  • Don’t shake the jars more than 5 minutes. You want a thick, creamy mixture… not butter. But if you do want to make mason jar butter, we have a tutorial for that, too!
  • Freezing the ice cream for about 3-4 hours will make a soft-serve type consistency. For firmer ice cream, freeze overnight.
Spoonful of vanilla mason jar ice cream.

Additions and Variations

The sky is the limit when it comes to mix-ins and flavor combinations. Simply add your desired mix-ins to the jar after shaking and give it a quick stir to make sure they’re well-incorporated throughout the ice cream before freezing.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream: Add 1/4 cup of crushed Oreo cookies to the vanilla ice cream to make a cookies and cream version.

Peppermint Ice Cream: Make a delicious ice cream for the holidays by adding a little peppermint extract and some crushed peppermint candies to the homemade vanilla ice cream.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: Add a tablespoon of peanut butter and a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips to make this version. It’s delicious in either the vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

Lemon Ice Cream: Add lemon extract and a bit of grated lemon zest for a bright and sunny flavor that’s perfect for summer.

Mason Jar Ice Cream Recipe FAQ

Can you freeze ice cream in a mason jar?

Yes, you can freeze just about anything, including ice cream, in a mason jar. The important thing is to remember to use freezer-safe jars. Look for jars with straight sides instead of shoulders. If you’re buying new jars, just read the label to make sure they’re suited for freezer use.

Can you shake mason jar ice cream too much?

Yes, you can. That’s why we recommend stopping at five minutes. Shaking the ice cream for much longer will result in a sweet whipped butter, which isn’t what you’re going for. The mixture should have the consistency of sour cream when you’re done shaking it.

Is heavy cream the same as heavy whipping cream?

They’re not exactly the same, but they’re close enough that they can usually be used interchangeably. According to Healthline, heavy cream has at least 36% milkfat while heavy whipping cream is typically in the 30-36% range. Heavy cream is richer and creamier while whipping cream is a bit lighter.

Can you use whipping cream instead of heavy cream for ice cream?

We recommend heavy whipping cream for this recipe, but if you grabbed heavy cream instead, that’ll still work. You’ll just get a richer cream flavor than you would with the whipping cream.

More No-Churn Ice Cream Recipes

Recipe
Mason jar ice cream in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate scooped into a bowl and garnished with a fresh strawberry.
Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Mason Jar Ice Cream

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Learn how to make ice cream in a mason jar in 3 delicious flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry!

Equipment

Ingredients
 

Vanilla Mason Jar Ice Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Strawberry Mason Jar Ice Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons strawberry jam
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Mason Jar Ice Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons baking cocoa
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Add everything to a wide-mouth pint mason jar per your desired flavor.
  • Place the metal lid that comes with the mason jars (preferably not plastic lids) on your mason jar. Make sure it is closed tightly.
  • Mix your mason jar by shaking for 5 minutes. It should look like it has thickened.
  • Make sure the lid is sealed on your jar before adding to the freezer. Leave it in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or preferably, overnight.
  • Enjoy straight out of the jar or scooped into a bowl. Top with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and any other fun toppings you might want to add. Enjoy!

Notes

Add a few drops of red food coloring to enhance the color of the strawberry ice cream, if desired.
Make all three flavors and add a scoop of each to a bowl for Neapolitan ice cream.
Keep in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months, though it will get harder and icy over time. To fix this, let it sit out at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before serving and then give it a gentle stir.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 506kcal
Mason jar ice cream in strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate scooped into a bowl and garnished with a fresh strawberry.

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Mason Jar Ice Cream Pin.
5 from 15 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Can’t believe how easy this is, I made all 3 And got the approval from the hubby. I will never buy ice cream again. Can’t wait to try other flavors. Thank you for posting.🥰

  2. 5 stars
    Simple recipe. Like that it makes just a small portion. Made chocolate earlier and trying one butterscotch chip & one peanut butter next. Thanks!

  3. I am sooo making this, ASAP. My husbands dr. told him he was losing muscle tone in his arms. This will be a good job for him. Maybe he will end up with Arnold Schwartzenegger arms.

  4. A quick question. Can I use plastic jars? Like the size peanut butter comes in. Thank You

    1. To be honest I am not sure. I have never tried making ice cream in a plastic jar or freezing a plastic jar. My guess is that it would be okay though. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a try!!

  5. 5 stars
    Crazy good!! I subbed 1/2 cup maple syrup in place of the sugar and it’s so so good!! the vanilla version tastes like butter pecan using the maple syrup! My 2nd batch I made the chocolate (again with maple syrup) but I also added instant espresso powder. I used my handheld frother thing to help break up the cocoa and espresso clumps and then shook it up. So excited to try more flavors and avoid the guilt since I make it without sugar!!

  6. My grandsons and I made all three ice creams today. All were delicious, however the vanilla didn’t firm up like the others. They didn’t care , it was eaten anyway.

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