The moment there is a blanket of freshly fallen snow that means one thing—it's time to make snow ice cream. The wintertime sweet treat is simple to make: All you need is some milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and, of course, snow. It's best to make snow ice cream (sometimes called snow cream) with freshly fallen snow—scoop it up the snow the same day it fell and gather away from roads or foot traffic. You certainly don't want to gather snow from an area where animals might have been walking or salt trucks may have been treating the roadways.
Snow ice cream is beloved in the South, even though a good snowfall is a rare treat in the warmer states. In fact, there is a famous dessert from New Orleans known as a snowball or Sno-Ball, which is a mound of fluffy shaved ice topped with your choice of flavored syrups. It is certainly refreshing on a hot Southern day, but this dessert is uniquely different from snow ice cream made in cold climates.
Homemade snow ice cream can be made from freshly fallen snow or shaved ice when snow is not available. Kids of all ages find it fun to make and eat in the wintertime.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups clean snow (or shaved ice)
- Garnish: Multi-colored nonpareil sprinkles
Gather the ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla extract until the sugar dissolves.
Add the clean snow or shaved ice to the mixing bowl 2 cups at a time and gently stir to combine. The ice cream should be fluffy and not wet or runny.
Spoon into serving bowls and top with multi-colored nonpareil sprinkles.
Enjoy immediately. Snow ice cream does not keep in the freezer and it melts quickly so it is best to eat it right away outside with your mittens on.
- Almond Snow Ice Cream: Prepare using almond extract instead of vanilla and top with sliced almonds
- Sicilian Snow Ice Cream: Prepare using orange extract and top with chopped pistachios
- Lemon Pie Snow Ice Cream: Prepare using lemon extract and top with graham cracker crumbs
- Strawberry Shortcake Snow Ice Cream: Fold in sliced fresh strawberries and top with white chocolate chips
- Cookies and Cream Snow Ice Cream: Fold in chopped Oreo cookies and mini chocolate chips
Is Snow Ice Cream Safe?
There are many opinions on whether or not it is safe to eat snow. As snow falls through the sky, it can catch pollutants from the atmosphere, so some scientists suggest waiting a few hours into a snowfall to gather your fresh catch to make snow ice cream. This is because the longer the snow falls, the lower the pollution levels in the air and thus less in the snow itself. Always collect snow away from roadways and where people and animals are present. If the snow has an off or salty taste, don't use it to make snow ice cream.