(updated 9/28/2023) I thought the email that Downtown Tom forwarded me from a distant cousin was a joke – the one that said “ICE CREAM BREAD TWO INGREDIENT (no joke!)” in the subject line. He commented, “Don’t know if it’s a joke or not.”

That had to be a joke, right? The only two ingredients were 2 cups of softened ice cream and 1-1/2 cups self-rising flour. But it made sense that it would work. Ice cream is milk and eggs and sugar; self-rising flour has baking soda and salt, so all the components are technically there. I re-read the email and saw there was an explanation under the recipe:

For those that are scratching their heads wondering how this could work – let’s consider that most ice cream is made of eggs and fat/dairy. Toss in some self-rising flour and you have some basic ingredients for a bake-capable product. Just choose the flavoring of ice cream that seems promising and have a fun weekend of experimentation.

Oh, one more thing – others asked about the self-rising flour (or if they didn’t have it, could they simply use regular flour).

You must – MUST have a rising agent in the flour. Self-rising flour is an easy solution (and commonly available). However, if you don’t have self-rising flour accessible, you can make it very simply:
For every cup of flour add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt (sift together).

There you go, now you have self-rising flour.

So in the interest of science, of course, we tried making it. The Kids brought home Dryer’s low-fat cookie dough ice cream and regular flour for the project*,  so I added the baking soda and salt myself to make it self-rising. I didn’t have the required 8×4 inch bread pan, so I used a larger 9×5 inch. And it was bread, to be sure, but not a particular interesting or flavorful one. Pup was a fan, though, and gave us his best face to ask for another bite.


So we tried again. The problem had to be the low-fat ice cream, we thought, so the second time around we used Marianne’s 1020 ice cream, a rich, luscious creamy caramel ice cream with fudge swirls and chunks of Oreo cookies that’s made locally in Santa Cruz. This time I bought actual self-rising flour and an 8×4 inch loaf pan to test the recipe for real.

It really didn’t make a difference. The loaf was still lovely looking but dense, moist, and small. Perfectly passable but still disappointingly bland. There is something lost in translation, I suppose; I’m not sure what we were expecting. Maybe it needed a little salt.

However, this is a really forgiving novelty recipe that’s great activity with kids. It’s a springboard to conversations about  cooking and kitchen science and ends up with a treat. The next day you can slice up that loaf and turn it into French toast with some strawberries and whipped cream.

Ice cream bread

Life in a Skillet
This is a simple, forgiving two ingredient quick bread.
Course quick bread


  • 2 cups softened ice cream
  • 1 1-2 cups self-rising flour


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix both ingredients together.
  • Pour into buttered 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


If you don't have self-rising flour, you can make it yourself by sifting together 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt with 1-1/2 cups regular flour.


*I hope the low-fat ice cream choice was an accident. I certainly did not raise children who ate anything less than richly flavored, full fat ice creams. When I had it in the fridge. Which wasn’t very often.