How to Make Snow Ice Cream (Like a Mennonite)

snow ice cream

It’s February here in Southwestern Ontario, meaning we’re likely to still get a few good snowfalls before spring. I can’t believe I haven’t made snow ice cream yet this year.

Like most Mennonites (and many others, no doubt) living in the northern climates, I grew up making snow ice cream with my mom. So simple, so special, so fluffy and fun.

When I wrote about the history of the Mennonites in North America, I touched on the fact that the past few generations of Old Colony Mennonites have had poor literacy rates. Naturally, then, reading and writing are not a big part of Old Colony Mennonite culture.

Food and cooking, by contrast, are a huge part of Mennonite culture. (Come to think of it, what culture doesn’t have a huge emphasis on food?) So most Mennonite women do most of their cooking and baking by memory and by sight. My mom taught me how to feel when there’s enough flour in the bread dough. She taught me what a proper “handful” of salt looks like when seasoning ground beef.

Likewise, we grew up making snow ice cream in the way I made it today: without measurements. You do it by sight, mixing in cream and sugar until it looks like the right consistency.

I thought about going out and re-doing this recipe with measurements for the blog, but the idea made me tired.

So here you go: snow ice cream, Mennonite-style. I’ll offer some estimated amounts to help.

Note: you want to make this quickly, as snow melts rapidly once it’s brought inside and mixed with other ingredients.


  • snow (obvs)
  • cream
  • sweetener
  • vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


Step one: go outside and get yourself a bowl of fresh, clean snow. I just made myself a single serving, and I probably scooped about 4 cups of snow.

snow ice cream 1Gather your remaining items: cream, sweetener, and vanilla extract.

For the cream, I happened to have half-and-half on hand, but I would have used heavy whipping cream with equal enthusiasm. (Side note to folks watching their weight: fat is not the problem. Go ahead and indulge in some high-fat cream. It’s good for you, especially if it’s organic, and especially if it’s raw!). (What? Yes, I got my cream 50% off because it was about to expire. Ever the frugal Mennonite!)

For the sweetener, I shied away from my Mennonite roots and skipped the white sugar, choosing maple syrup instead. I find that the flavour of maple syrup blends beautifully with cream. Plus, it’s not poison.

(I forgot that a friend once suggested adding a pinch of salt. I recommend it, though I forgot here.)

snow ice cream 004I removed some snow from my bowl first, to add later if necessary, leaving about 3 cups. I then proceeded by slowly adding some cream (I’d guess about half a cup) and stirring until it reached a thick, slushy consistency.

snow ice cream 006Stir, stir, stir.

That looks about right for now.

snow ice cream 007Next, I added the maple syrup. I probably used about 2 Tablespoons when all was said and done.

snow ice cream maple syrupsnow ice cream 010Stir it in.

Next, dribble in a bit of vanilla – about half a teaspoon should do.

snow ice cream 013Keep stirring until it’s smooth. Taste and adjust with more snow, cream, or maple syrup. I ended up adding more cream and maple syrup — it was a little too snowy.


snow ice cream 014Pour into a nice serving bowl if you like.

snow ice cream 015

Notice how quickly it’s melting. Eat immediately!

Have you ever made snow ice cream? Do you have any tips?

Shared on Your Green Resource at SortaCrunchy and Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade.


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  1. PepperReed says

    I’m going to do this the next time we get a good snow (I live in Lansing, MI, so you get what we get, weather-wise)!!

    And YES on the good quality cream; why on earth would anyone even create low-fat half-n-half? If you can, check out the book ‘Fat: An Appreciation for a Misunderstood Ingredient’ by Jennifer McLagan. Excelling science on how fat affects our bodies and recipes. Fat is not EVIL, you just need to be thoughtful about it along with every other thing you eat.

  2. I went to the park today and am about to walk the mile and a half to the local farmer’s market as its sunny and about 70 today, but BOY do I wish we had some snow right now to make this! I guess I’ll just have to enjoy this vicariously through you :)

  3. THAT LOOKS AMAZING. It’s snowing here lightly right now like it has been for weeks, but not enough to accumulate. But if it does again this winter, I’m making this!

  4. I just found your blog. I must say, I read it all the way to the end! Your posts on parenting and natural beauty are SO interesting!! I plan on making some of your sweet orange deodorant in a few weeks since my trusty arm & hammer essentials deodorant got discontinued :(. Can’t wait to read more!!

    Madison, university student, Age 21

  5. Um, this is officially AWESOME. We’ve had snow here, just a few inches but on an off since Christmas which is really unusual so it THE topic of conversation for everyone I meet ;) Might need to scoop some fresh snow off our balcony and have a go at this!
    fiona lynne recently posted..letter to the woman at the gym, from a hypocrite.My Profile

  6. This looks so yummy! But, unfortunately….I’m unable to make that here. I have 2 reasons. #1. The snow here isn’t clean. With all the polution and stuff. (I live in northern America) #2. We haven’t got snow yet…wish I could make this, though!

  7. What a great idea! That looks so yummy!
    Michele recently posted..How to Make a Mei Tai – Creating Paneling & Removable Leg PadsMy Profile

  8. Hey, Thanks For sharing snow ice cream ingredients and instruction its really so yummy.


  1. […] post I chose to pin from last week is How to Make Snow Ice Cream (Like a Mennonite!) from Kathleen at Becoming Peculiar. We had a huge snowstorm last week with a couple feet of snow, […]

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