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How to Make Dry Ice Ice Cream – Cool Science!

Learn how to make dry ice ice cream – some of the coolest science out there for kids!

Read also: 5 Easy Dry Ice Experiments for Kids

Dry Ice Ice Cream: Delicious Science for Kids

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Have you ever tried dry ice ice cream? If not, you need to! Remember how I wrote about dry ice and sublimation? Dry ice sublimating in a cream plus whatever else you like mixture makes for a quick-freezing, very lightly carbonated ice cream!

How to Make Dry Ice Ice Cream

Fun science kids love - making dry ice ice cream

First, make your ice cream mixture. So far we have just thrown ingredients together haphazardly to create two flavors of ice cream:

Vanilla Dry Ice Ice Cream

Combine cream with sugar to taste, plus a teaspoon of vanilla. It really is that easy!

Chocolate Dry Ice Ice Cream

Combine cream with cocoa and maple syrup to taste. Add a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

If you would like a more formal recipe, we recommend using any of the recipes in the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.

Dry Ice Safety

Dry ice should  not be handled by children. Adults should always use insulated gloves, oven mitts, or tongs when handling dry ice to prevent frostbite or severe burns. Dry ice should also be handled in well ventilated areas, since it can lower oxygen levels (you’ll notice that all of our experiments took place outside). Visit this site for more dry ice safety information, and please use your own best judgement and common sense.

Dry ice science fun for kids - make dry ice ice cream!

Now, for the dry ice part! You need your dry ice to be crushed very finely, to make sure it sublimates completely. We crushed ours with a wooden spoon, but a blender would have been faster.

 

A video posted by MaryAnne (@mamasmiles) on

Add the dry ice to your mixer one spoonful at a time. You don’t want to put too much in at a time, or it will bubble over into a cold, sticky mess. Looks pretty amazing, doesn’t it!

This is why you don't touch dry ice!

Notice how frosted our spoon got from being used to add dry ice!

Delicious science for kids: make dry ice ice cream

Your ice cream mixture will quickly turn to soft-serve smooth ice cream! Set it in the freezer for twenty minutes to settle (and to give any remaining dry ice bits the opportunity to sublimate).

Deliciously cool science for kids: how to make dry ice ice cream

Enjoy your dry ice ice cream! I feel like the carbonation makes this ice cream taste slightly sweeter than usual – like the ice cream in a root beer float.

Why It Works

Because dry ice is so cold, it doesn’t take very much of it – or very much time – for your ice cream mixture to freeze. Since dry ice sublimates – moves from a solid instantly to a gas – adding it to the mixture does not affect the taste, beyond adding a lightly carbonated texture. This sublimation also creates the light texture of the nearly-instantly-frozen ice cream mixture.

Fun dry ice experiments for kids

Looking for more dry ice activities for your kids? Check out these five easy dry ice experiments your kids will love!

Have you ever made dry ice ice cream? Do you have another fun science experiment we need to try? Let me know in the comments, or with a post on my Facebook page or a tag on Instagram.

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

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