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Ice Cream STEM Challenge

This is our sweetest challenge yet! 

Your challenge: to create a perfect scoop of ice cream featuring a unique flavour!

The specs: use the Ice Cream at Home recipe (below) as your base to create a smooth, delicious, and creative new ice cream flavour. You can experiment with additional ingredients, inclusions, and techniques to make the perfect scoop, just like the one seen in Off Limits: Ice Cream (at 3 min 16 sec).

Want to work together on this STEM Challenge? Join our CAGIS Virtual session, Frozen Delights, on Saturday, September 23 to learn all about ice cream and experiment with flavours, colours, and inclusions with a food engineer! Register now!

Ice Cream at Home Recipe


125 ml milk or non-dairy alternative such as coconut milk (1%-15% fat; for a creamier texture, 10-15% fat is best. Less than 10% fat makes a delicious ice milk.)                   

1 Tbs. sugar                         

½ tsp. vanilla                                  


1 bowl

2 sandwich-sized resealable bags

1 large resealable bag

1 liter ice (crushed is best)

80 ml salt (coarse or kosher is best)

1 spoon

Oven mitts, gloves, mittens or a large cloth to hold the cold bag (it’s surprisingly cold!)


  1. Pour milk, vanilla, and sugar into a resealable sandwich bag.  
  2. Carefully seal the bag so it does not leak. Place it in a second sandwich bag for extra protection and carefully seal it.
  3. Place the ice and salt into the large resealable bag.
  4. Place the small bag with your ice cream mixture into the large bag with your ice and salt mixture. 
  5. Seal the large bag and put on oven mitts or heavy winter gloves. Shake the bag vigorously for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Remove your resealable sandwich bag and open it. You should have ice cream!  


Note for ice cream scientists- and engineers-in-training: Usually colour (like food colouring) would be added at step 1 and inclusions like sprinkles or chocolate chips would be added at step 6. However, you can be creative and experiment with different colours, flavours, and inclusions at different steps of the process to see what happens! 

Meet the Winners

Congratulations to Stella (10) and Adrianna (14)! Watch their winning entries below.

This project is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

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three ice cream cones