How to Make Snow Cream

So most of you are from places north of here.  Every time I ask you to tell me where you’re all from, the most popular states are Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, Utah, Washington, and Oregon.

Which means that you get about…167 times more snow than we do.


When we do have snow and I mention the epitomal* snow moment – the making of Snow Cream – it is always those who are Most North that are the first to ask.

“What is Snow Cream?”

“I’ve never heard of Snow Cream.”

“How do you make that?”

And then I weep for you.

Because seriously people – it’s the best thing about snow, and we know how to appreciate ALL facets of snow around here.  Like an Eskimo butchering a reindeer, we leave no parts unused.

Yet you are each missing out on the potential to make gallons and gallons of the stuff.

So I am here to save and enlighten you.

But first, today’s back story.

(You didn’t think you were going to get the recipe for Snow Cream without being forced to look at my snow pictures, did you?  This is Alabama, and we cherish these moments!)

So we received the gift of snow.  A great Southern Blizzard!! It snowed from about 11 am to 3 pm, and, just like the last time it snowed, I managed to pick the absolute worst moment to drive home – at around 2pm.


(I swear, our roads aren’t made to sustain these levels of frost!)

But after slipping and sliding all the way home, we jumped out of the car and manically began doing everything we ever dreamed of doing in the snow.

Including but not limited to allowing Noah his first toddler snow experience (and no, Ali is making yellow snow in the background,)


Photographing his one Snow Smile before he got grumpy and was shipped off to nap so that we could continue our Packed Snow Schedule,


Eating Raw Snow,


Liking Raw Snow,


Collecting snow…


for the world’s largest snowman,


(Or woman, really – she seemed to have eyelashes,)


Creating a Car Snowman,


just to release some stifled aggressive tendencies,

Offing the Snowman

And of course, throwing snowballs.

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All of this had to be done in an hour’s time, because…well, this is embarrassing to admit, but…

it wasn’t below freezing.

So the snow began melting as soon as the blizzard let up, which is why we are well-trained in how to be efficient with our fun.

But it’s time to get back to Snow Cream – as it is the most important bit of knowledge that I might ever pass onto you.

STEP ONE: You must start with clean snow.  Car surfaces are ideal.


STEP TWO: Scrape the snow off of the surface without getting the dirty snow underneath.  Collect in a metal bowl.


STEP THREE: Run inside and frantically prepare your ingredients.  But don’t worry – there are only three.  Sugar, milk, and vanilla.


STEP FOUR: Mix with a spoon.  Measurements are very imprecise and in much need of adjustment via tasting, but for my bowl of snow, I used approximately 3/4 cup of Sugar, 1 cup of Milk, and 3 tablespoons of Vanilla.


(Basically, you want it sweet, slushy, and dark beige in color.)

STEP FIVE: Serve this dreamy mixture to your kids, but make sure you save some for you – it’s the best ice cream you’ll ever eat.


STEP SIX: Watch their faces as they consume this elixir of childhood dreams.  It’s good stuff, y’all.


So if you have snow in your yard right now, drop your laptop and run out the door to collect it.  And if you don’t currently have a white covering, you can just help me spread the word – especially to those of you who actually get snow more often than Unicorns prance through your backyard.  Because it breaks my heart daily – the thought of such knowledge going unused, and such piles of snow going uncreamed.

* I am aware that epitomal is not a word.  But it should totally think about becoming one.

46 thoughts on “How to Make Snow Cream Like a Southerner.

    1. fun stuff. i’m so glad you got snow. that stuff looked legit! i have heard of it before but never made it before. i will keep this in mind for the rest of the winter!

  1. I have had snow cream. But since we have approximately 167 times more snow than you do here in Wisconsin, we have to abstain from making it every time the snow falls or we would end up looking like VERY jolly snowmen. We added cocoa powder to our snow cream.

    But as a teenager I remember laying out (outside) in a bikini with a friend because it was sunny and 40 degrees out in February and we wanted to get a tan. Yes, 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So I totally understand the need to jump on any fun weather anomalies post haste!

  2. It’s really one of my favorite parts of Winter. But unfortunately since I live in Oklahoma I get about as much snow as you do. We have had a few flurries this year but none near enough for snow ice cream as we call it. I can also remember when I was younger and my nanny let us put food coloring in it. BEST. DAY. EVER.

  3. So funny because we’ve had snow on the ground for the past three months straight and still haven’t gotten around to making any! Mommy fail! I promise to make some the next time we get a fresh batch! (by now it’s all crusty and un-fresh).

  4. “Like an Eskimo butchering a reindeer, we leave no parts unused.” Best simile ever. I laughed so hard, and then read that paragraph to my husband, who also laughed heartily.

  5. We got over 5 inches of snow here today, so I took the opportunity to make it with the kids before I forgot! I think I went overboard on the vanilla, but the kids liked it! We used to sprinkle Kool-Aid powder on snow when I was a kid to make it like shaved ice. Yum!

  6. We’ve got snow in England! So excited ‘cos as you know I’m from a part of New Zealand where we don’t get snow. And I live in a Southern, fairly coastal town so I didn’t think it’d ever snow here. But, look outside, there’s snow coming down, snow on trees, snow of cars… I’m thrilled.

    PS – my husband lobbed a snowball at me this morning as I was getting out of the shower? Grounds for divorce? It mosly hit my towel… :)

  7. And………………..make snowballs and freeze in freezer zip lock bags so you can take them out in the hottest part of summer and have a snow ball fight or make snow cones……….or a snowman to make your neighbors scratch their heads. :) So fun to see your children enjoying the snow.

  8. It is 12.52am I am lying in bed, its far too hot to sleep it was a 46 degree celcius day today and there is a bucks party gathering two houses down so even if it wasn’t too hot to sleep I wouldn’t be able to anyway!!! And now I want to try snow cream ! :-)

  9. Skim milk for snow cream?! No way! My mom always kept a small carton of cream in the fridge through the winter just so we’d have it on hand to make snow cream. Real cream is soooo much better in snow cream than milk!! I do love others’ suggestions to use sweetened condensed milk, though – you don’t have to worry about undissolved sugar, and you can keep it in the pantry instead of the fridge :-)

  10. My husband has actually gone and checked the kids out of school so that they could come home for snow ice cream when he could see that it was all going to be melted before school was out.

  11. I grew up surrounded by plenty of snow in New York State and never tried this. We used to drizzle maple syrup over the clean fresh snow and eat the frozen squiggles. Snow cream sounds much yummier, but I’d probably want to go whole hog and use the cream instead (if it were in the house, unlikely). Now I live in Southern California and am deprived of snow cream opportunity! Oh, the injustice!!

      1. Ditto on the maple syrup – but it has to be REAL maple syrup, not Mrs. Butterworth’s or something. Maple Snow Cones. YUM. (Maple syrup with the cream and vanilla would probably make an epic combination as well. You can almost write a cookbook at this point!)

  12. I live in California, we have to DRIVE to the snow. A friend of mine grew up in Colorado, and she said that when she moved here she thought people were so weird for “going to the snow” Next time I’m somewhere snowy, though, snow cream it is.

  13. That is funny, because we live in WA, and the kids make snow cream all the time! One of their favorite things about the snow.

  14. I love this stuff. My mom use to make it for us when we were kids with sweetened condensed milk, sugar and vanilla. I haven’t made it in a while because we haven’t had much snow lately. We didn’t get that much yesterday as some parts of Birmingham did.

  15. Making snow cream is the BEST! Here in Georgia we don’t get too much snow either, so we definitely make the most of it! Thank you for making others aware of snow cream’s fabulosity! (And that’s totally a word!)

  16. We also use the sweetened condensed milk and highly recommend it. We haven’t had enough snow for the last two years to do it though.

  17. I got a total kick out of the captions describing your child as eating ‘raw snow.’ Up here in the North, we don’t really cook it ever. I’d be curious to find out if it’s best broiled or fried. LOL

    ADORABLE post!

  18. Some of my favorite winter memories are from my Mama, my brother, and I running outside when we had snow, to collect enough to make snow ice cream! It truly is the best ice cream to me. I’ve made it for my kids, but living in north Louisiana we don’t get snow much. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and snow adventures! Maybe we’ll still get some before the winter is over, and we can make some ice cream; I have the ingredient in stock… :-D

  19. How fun! I grew up in Oregon, moved to Texas as an adult, and I’ve never heard of snow cream. Most of my family lives in Minnesota and they don’t do it there, either. Maybe because the snow isn’t exciting like it is in the south? We didn’t get snow very often in Oregon either, mostly rain ;)

  20. Omg. I’m in Wisconsin and never heard of this. We have plenty of opportunities through the wintry season too…
    I’m not a germaphobe and love trying new things so I don’t understand why this sounds so repulsive to me – maybe because I am a water resources major and understand the water cycle all too well?
    I will force myself to sick it up and try it though based on your recommendation. Promise.

  21. I always put an egg yolk in the sugar(I know raw eggs but Rocky liked then added vanilla and half and half

  22. I just saw where you linked this and wondered what recipe you used. I wanted to share a fun tip I learned from whoknowswhere. 1 can of sweetened condensed milk to 1 mixingbowlfull of snow and a tsp of vanilla will change your world AND reduces your amount of required ingredients :D

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