snow ice cream

okay, so we don’t have any snow here in the SF bay area, but most of my east coast friends and family have been enduring the white stuff for weeks. i’ve gotten several requests for my family’s snow ice cream recipe, so i thought i’d share the ritual here that i’ve been enjoying since the 70s. it’s the yummiest snow activity i can think of! (hot cocoa is amazing, sure, but this is such a treat!) we made snow ice cream last march when we were living in virginia, so i’ll put those photos here for nostalgia’s sake.

first put a big bowl (about a gallon sized bowl) on your deck or porch to catch the freshly fallen flakes when it’s about to snow.

then bring it inside and stir one can of sweetened condensed milk into the snow. then add a one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

if you don’t have a can of sweetened condensed milk and can’t get to the store, you can always use vanilla pudding (my mom’s recommended substitute) or a cup of sugar and a cup of cream or milk… but NOTHING beats some good ol’ sweetened condensed milk, so stock up for the winter!


eat it immediately. if you don’t finish it, you can freeze some, but let it get soupy before eating it again. you can also add crushed pineapple (my mom’s fav) or other fruit, but i like mine straight up!

enjoy… and don’t you eat that yellow snow! now i’m counting down the days until my family can make snow ice cream in tahoe… sooon…


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  • k. in va.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. The bowl is out, and we are looking forward to enjoying a sweet treat during our blizzard-y day.
    Can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog.

  • Thank you for sharing your recipe – It snowed here yesterday but I didn’t get to catch the snow in a bowl. I will try to be prepared next time and I have the condensed sweetened milk all ready to go!

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  • Maria

    ok, so we’re not weird afterall! Reading about your snow ice cream reminded me of my culture’s summer treat called halo-halo (from Philippines, and it literally translates to mix-mix). Growing up every summer we would make this treat which is made of fruits, gelatin cut up in cubes, tapioca, sugar, then topped with shaved ice then drizzled with evaporated milk and colored water (yes, just really colored water–water with food color–i guess just for fun colors!)and them mix them all up! Some would even top it with flan (kinda like creme brulee without the crusty sugar). Every time I mention about our halo-halo to my American friends, they think I’m crazy and I keep telling them its refreshing for the summer and you use the fruits that are in season. I can’t wait until this summer so my children can try them, never really thought of having them try it until i read your snow ice cream blog. Thanks for sharing this! Now I don’t feel too weird!

  • Lisa

    My Mom always made it with just milk, sugar and vanilla extract to taste- we always got so excited when it snowed because it’s so good

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  • Jena @ HappyLittleMesses

    blizzard day, trying your snow ice cream