Mason Jar Ice Cream

Mason jar ice cream

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 3 hrs
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 2 servings
Yields: 2 servings

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
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: Crushed cookies, fresh or preserved fruit, flavored extracts
  • Optional: Caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, fruit syrup

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for mason jar ice cream
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Pour the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt into a Mason jar. Add in flavorings (crushed cookies, flavored extract, fruit) if using.

    Pour heavy cream, sugar, vanilla into jar
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  3. Screw on the cap and shake for 3-4 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. 

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

    Transfer jar to freezer
    The Spruce / 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.

    Remove jar top and add chocolate
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Enjoy!

    Mason jar ice cream
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Recipe Tip

  • 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.

Recipe Variation

  • 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.