How To Make Snow Cream & Snow Cream Affogato While Camping

Two Ways to Have Fun in the Snow Making Snow Cream

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For two Florida kids snow is still pretty exciting. While in the desert–yes the desert–we found ourselves hoping for some snowfall to try out something called snow cream.

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What is Snow Cream?

It’s homemade ice-cream made with fresh snow instead of ice.

If you grew up somewhere with snowy winters you may have eaten it as a special treat on snow days. Or, it might have been a fun snow day project you got to do as a kid.

We have no such fond memories, but when we heard of snow cream, it struck us that this was the perfect treat for camping.

Believe it or not, it did snow in the desert while we were boondocking outside Las Vegas. We had a fun morning trying to make snow cream and snow cream affogato before the snow melted!

Below we break down how people usually make it, our camping hacks for snow cream, and what we thought about the whole thing.

How Do You Make Snow Cream?

Very few ingredients are needed!

  • Snow

  • Milk

  • Sugar

A little bit of internet research shows that some people include vanilla, salt, or replace the sugar and milk with creamer.

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All you need to do is add milk and sugar to your snow and mix. If it is too “snowflakey”, add more liquid. If it’s too creamy add a little snow.

But How Much?

We know what you’re thinking, how much of everything do you need?

Most recipes online call for 8 cups of snow, 1 cup of milk, and ½ cup of sugar. Since we were making this for two, just for fun, and while boondocking we modified things a bit.

If you’re trying this at home or while camping with hookups (meaning more water for doing dishes, etc.) we would recommend going with the recipe ratios in most kids’ ice-cream science project instructions. This is what snow cream most reminded us of.

Most of those are at about a 2 to 1 ratio of snow to liquid.

Snow Cream Camping Hacks

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What we did instead was adapt a combination of online recipes to suit our boondocking needs.

Instead of a mixing bowl and spoon, we used our blender bottle. (You may still need to use a spoon to mix though).

Instead of sugar we used Truvia. We try really hard to watch our sugar intake and we’d rather consume sugar in the form of wine or chocolate brownies LOL

Our Ingredients

2 cups of snow

1 cup of milk (begin with  ½ cup and add as needed)

3 tsp Truvia (Truvia recommends ½ teaspoon for every teaspoon of sugar)

Dark chocolate shavings

1 Dark chocolate square

Our Method

Scoop the snow into your blender bottle. If you don’t happen to have measuring cups with you while camping, think 1 tennis ball = 1 cup.

How awesome are these new Blender Bottles with quotes?!

Add milk and sugar and mix. For the cup of milk, your blender bottle will have oz. markings. If not, just eyeball it by adding a little at a time.

Scoop the snow cream into a chilled camping mug. We chilled our mugs right in the snow.

Add any toppings you have on hand. We had dark chocolate squares. We placed one chocolate square on top of our snow cream.

Sprinkle chocolate shavings over top. We didn’t have a zester on hand while boondocking. BUT we always have a wine opener on us. Turns out the little knife in most wine openers creates cute little chocolate shavings. We used the little wine knife to shave dark chocolate off one of our dark chocolate squares.

Some Tips

To help keep things from melting while you’re making your snow cream, chill your mug and blender bottle before you start. You can chill these items in your freezer. We just chilled ours in the snow while first playing in the snow and taking in the views.

Be sure to use fresh, clean snow.

Avoid any yellow snow. Avoid snow that is in the path of any runoff. Like snow that runoff from the car roof or awning might be dripping onto.

Overall, just make sure the snow is clean and free of debris or any other contaminant.

Getting Creative: Snow Cream Affogato

Jon absolutely LOVES coffee. So I really wanted to try to make a snow cream affogato for him while we were playing around with snow and all things snow cream.

What is an Affogato?

An affogato is an Italian dessert. The dessert consists of one scoop of gelato with a shot of espresso poured straight over top of it. Mmmm!

Our Boondocking Snow Cream Affogato

To help with the espresso part of this I got Jon’s new kitchen favorite, the Nanopresso, ready to go. I scooped espresso and boiled water to get it ready. If you’d like to know more, check out the video we made on the Nanopresso below.


Our Method

Prepare espresso with Nanopresso as described in the video above. But, stop just short of pressing the espresso out. You’re going to do this over the snow cream!

Prepare snow cream as described above in this post.

Scoop the snow cream into a chilled mug. Again we just chilled the mug in the snow.

Top the snow cream with chocolate shavings. It’s not traditional to add a topping, but dark chocolate and espresso belong together in our opinion. Again, not having a zester on hand, I just shaved some chocolate off using the little knife in our wine opener.

Use the Nanopresso to pour espresso over the snow cream. You could also pour a shot of strong, black coffee over the snow cream as an alternative.

Affogato espresso shot drip.jpg

Our Verdict on Snow Cream

We had a ton of fun trying snow cream out while boondocking. Because we were in the desert–where it’s not supposed to snow even during winter–we didn’t have an abundance of snow to experiment with.

We chose to just go for the experience rather than worrying about finding the perfect recipe, or getting it all just right.

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We’re not ice-cream lovers (though I do love gelato…) and this was a fun treat to make and a fun experience for us Florida kids.

We would say though, that snow cream tastes more like the “ice-cream” made in classroom science experiments (to teach kids that salt can lower the freezing point of water) than Ben & Jerry’s. We also lack the nostalgia that might take some of you back to the snow days of your youth.

Overall, making snow cream is fun and a great way to play in the snow if snow catches you off guard while camping!

Now we can’t wait to try to make traditional affogatos in the RV! Look out for our experiments with that. Do you have any suggestions for making snow cream? Is this something you remember doing when you were a kid? Let us know in the comments below!