Snow Ice Cream


red rubber boots snow

Even though I technically don’t get “snow days” anymore, they are still super fun!

Thankfully, my job is flexible and a snow day for me means staying at home, working from my couch in my jammies. Snow days do not suck.

Wholefully snow

Woke up this morning to about an inch, but it has been coming down all day. I’d say we are closing in on 6 inches, which isn’t a huge amount, but if I don’t have to drive in it, I’m not gonna.

snowy road

Puppyface got a snow day from daycare and that meant she and I both needed to work off some excess energy. So we bundled up (well I bundled, Puppyface is perma-bundled) and took a nice long hike.

me snow coat

It was so stunningly beautiful outside. I loved it. I love living in the Midwest and getting four distinct seasons.

Puppyface enjoyed herself as well. Her lady beard collects snowballs, which makes me giggle.

Once we came inside (and I finished picking all the snowballs off Puppyface), I decided it was high time I make a snow day treat from my childhood—snow ice cream.

Now, it is entirely possible (probable even) that my memory is incorrect, but I seem to remember that nearly every time it snowed a decent amount when I was a kid, we made snow ice cream.

In a world where food comes from a supermarket or a drive-thru, the idea of simply walking outside and scooping up a snack was so much fun for me (and still is).

Snow ice cream is a mixture of snow, milk, sugar, flavoring (we always used vanilla) and optional food coloring.

Although realistically, if you are making this with kids, the food coloring is never optional.

To make snow ice cream, first you need snow (obviously). Clean, fresh powder. Please don’t use yellow snow. Or really any color snow. Snow should be the whitest sparkling white you’ve ever seen. Also, if you live near a factory or other heavy air polluter, I’d skip this one. Pollutants fall to the ground in precipitation. Pollution is not good eats. And one last thing, only scrape the top part of the snow off the ground. You need at least 4-6 inches on the ground before you can make ice cream, no one wants dirt, grass or leaves in their ice cream. Bonus if you scrape it not off the ground. I took mine from our snow-covered patio table.

Fill a big bowl. The biggest one you have. Do not pack the snow. Just fill it to the brim with fluffiness.

The finished product is about 1/4 the volume. Take it inside and wedge it in your freezer (between the Quorn cutlets and cheesecake) to keep cold while you gather your other ingredients.

Milk, vanilla, sugar and food coloring.

Avoid yellow. Please. No one wants to eat yellow snow ice cream.

Measure out about 8 cups of unpacked snow. This isn’t exact here, just eyeball it.

Add in 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Now here is where it get’s hard to measure. Snow has different consistencies. If you are using wet snow, you’ll need a lot less milk. Dry snow (like mine) will require more. Just gauge by how it feels. You are looking for the consistency of a thick cream of wheat or mushed up watermelon.

Mix it well. It will thin out and melt as you mix. That’s fine, because the next step is to add more snow. Add 3-4 cups or until it comes back to that cream of wheat thickness.

Now divide into bowls and color accordingly.

I love green and pink!

Now you could stop right here and eat it, and it will be delicious! You could even pour it into a glass and drink it like a slushie. But for an optimal ice cream experience, pop these back into the freezer for an hour or more. Then, you can dish them out with a regular ice cream scoop.

Sprinkles are mandatory.

The white version I tried subbing in almond milk and honey. Very, very good! But definitely almond flavored instead of vanilla.

If you are having a snow day, I hope you eat lots of snow ice cream, drink lots of cocoa and find the best sledding hill in existence. As adults we get all wrapped up in adulthood. Complain about the roads. Complain about cold. Complain about the packed grocery store.

Today, I urge you to embrace you inner kid and just have fun with it! Life is too short to worry about salt trucks and bread on store shelves.

Besides, if you can’t get to the store, you could always just live on snow ice cream until the snow melts. 🙂

Edit : This post has had a great response! Now that it has been picked up by a few large websites, there is a little bit of a controversy over whether or not it is safe to eat snow. So here is my disclaimer: you make your own decision. For me, I believe eating 1/2 cup of snow once a year won’t hurt me. Especially considering I don’t live in a highly polluted area. If you are worried about it, don’t eat snow. This all being said, I personally believe there are a lot worse things out there that people are eating than a little polluted snow. McDonald’s anyone? And I don’t see anyone complaining about the chemically-based food coloring I used. As with anything, moderation is the key. Other than my little grocery store joke above, I don’t recommend making snow ice cream your go to form of nutrition. Have it as a treat, or not, and go off and worry about the big problems in life.

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  1. Have waited years to try this recipe! Never had enough snow or cold enough temps, or lived in an apartment where I wouldn’t trust any of the snow. Now that I live in the middle of nowhere and the most delightful giant snow storm came throughthis weekend, this could finally happen! Delicious. Used maple syrup instead of sugar and vanilla and it was just lovely. Such a fun thing! Thank you for sharing this so many years ago. :). Can’t wait for another big snow to come through!

  2. I have been wondering if you could flavor the snow ice cream with Jello? It would give it color and flavor I think. What do you think?