How to Make Dry Ice Ice Cream

Cry ice ice cream is bubbly and carbonated, similar to a root beer float. (photo: Joel Kramer)
Cry ice ice cream is bubbly and carbonated, similar to a root beer float. (photo: Joel Kramer)

Have you tried fizzy ice cream? It has the flavor and bubbles of an ice cream float without the soda. It’s an extremely easy recipe to try. It doesn’t even require a freezer; you just need dry ice. I’ve had a recipe for vanilla dry ice ice cream up for a while, but here’s a chocolate recipe, along with a few tips and tricks I learned making the ice cream:

Carbonated Ice Cream Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • dry ice

Make Dry Ice Ice Cream

  1. You’ll get a better texture for your ice cream if you crush your dry ice. The easiest way to do this is to put the dry ice into a paper bag and smash it with a mallet or walk on the bag. The ice crushes easily so you don’t have to get medieval on it.
  2. In a very large bowl, mix all of the ingredients except for the dry ice.
  3. Stir in the dry ice a little at a time. “A little at a time” is the key point here, because if you add a lot of dry ice at once you’ll get mountains of bubbles that will overflow your bowl. The bubbling will continue as long as any dry ice remains.
  4. I actually liked the partly-frozen, partly-bubbly ice cream, but you can continue to add dry ice until you get a solid ice cream. The ice cream will be very cold, so be careful when eating it.
  5. You can store uneaten ice cream in the freezer.

The dry ice sublimates to form carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide is perfectly safe… you drink it in soda all the time. In ice cream carbonation adds a slightly sour flavor, like the taste of seltzer water. The only risks from the recipe are weight gain (not exactly a low-cal, low-fat recipe) and frostbite (use gloves if you plan to handle the dry ice and don’t eat dry ice chunks). If you have leftover dry ice, there are many other projects you can try.