Rootbeer Freeze Made With
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk!

When I was growing up in Long Beach, California…one of our favorite places to go for a treat as a family was the Tastee Freez!

For those of you from there….remember the one next to the car wash on Stearns?  They were FAMOUS for their vanilla cones dipped in chocolate! But for ME…they were famous for their Rootbeer Freezes!

While everyone else was getting their dipped cones or Rootbeer FLOATS…I had to make SURE they got my order right…

Rootbeer FREEZE please. :-)

I haven’t had one of those for YEARS….DECADES even!  Until (by happy accident) last night!

It all started with wanting to try a neat idea I saw on The Farmer’s Nest for making Soda Pop Ice Cream. Because you know how much I ADORE pretty much any frozen treat!

I’ve seen a couple versions of this “recipe”…one using Orange Soda and one using Big Red Strawberry Soda. Last night I tried the Orange Soda. Let’s just say it was a big sticky FAILURE!   Note to self: TWO LITERS of soda do not fit in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker!

Here are the “before” pictures. I didn’t have the heart to take pictures of the “after”(math)/disaster. :-)

About the only SUCCESSFUL part of this attempt was the Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk I made for it.  SUPER DUPER easy and tasty!

Just combine . . .

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/8 cups powdered milk

. . . in a saucepan, and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cook until thick about 15 to 20 minutes.  Looked and tasted just like the stuff I buy in the can!

I’m not sure if this is a huge MONEY saver…but it sure is nice to know you can make in a pinch without having to run to the store.

Now, most NORMAL people would just chalk the whole Soda Pop ice cream experiment up to experience and move on. Not yours truly! I, of course, couldn’t let it go. I had to try again!

Thankfully…this time my relentlessness paid off! In a flash of brilliance I decided to try Rootbeer…not even thinking about the Rootbeer Freezes of my youth.

This time, however, I did things a little differently. I cut the original “recipe” in half. I used 1 liter of soda and 14 oz. (equivalent to one can of Sweetened Condensed Milk you would buy at the store). I also mixed the soda and the SCM in a bowl FIRST before pouring into the ice cream maker. This got rid of most of the bubbles that contributed to the huge sticky mess I had ended up with the night before.

FYI….if you don’t have an ice cream maker…try this “Refrigerator – Freezer method”:

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl; Turn into 13×9 inch baking pan; Freeze to a firm mush, about 1 hour; Break into pieces and turn into a large mixing bowl; Beat until smooth, then return to the pan, and cover; Freeze until firm.

It worked beautifully!  And in about 25 minutes I had this frozen concoction that was every bit as good as I remember the  Tastee Freez treat of my youth being.



Not only did I get to enjoy a sweet TREAT….but a sweet MEMORY as well. :-)


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  1. Mary Malone says

    I don’t have an ice cream maker but I wish I did. But I bet the diet AW rootbeer would be just as good as it is in a diet root beer float making this a lower cal treat. I learn something every day here!

    • says

      Mary…..I found this “Refrigerator – Freezer method”. Might be worth a try? :-)

      Combine the ingredients in a large bowl.
      Turn into 13×9 inch baking pan.
      Freeze to a firm mush, about 1 hour.
      Break into pieces and turn into a large mixing bowl.
      Beat until smooth, then return to the pan, and cover.
      Freeze until firm.

      • Sheila says

        I wonder if the baggie method would work for this………

        Pour ingredients into a zippered sandwich bag
        fill a gallon size zipper bag half full with ice
        pour 2 tbs salt over ice place the sandwich baggie inside gallon baggie zip and gently aggitate (squish around) until frozen about 5- 10 minutes. I have made ice cream this way with the kids so I do not see why this wouldn’t work also going to try it tomorrow

    • says

      Kris….I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my ice cream maker! I bought it as a Mother’s Day present for myself….and I can’t stop using it!

      Here is my other favorite “recipe” for it:
      1 can peaches with the juice
      2 cups vanilla yogurt (I use Honey Flavored Greek Yogurt)
      1/3 cup sugar
      Mix together in blender, then pour in ice cream maker! DELICIOUS!!!!!

  2. Lindsy says

    No way! This sounds so good coming from a root beer and burch beer household! I also love the recipe for scm since it is one thing that we either run out of (used in ice coffes daily) or its expired when I do need it and I dont want to mess with exp dairy even if it is in a can. We will def be trying this out! Thank you!

  3. says

    The original recipe was 2 liters of soda and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. When you cut the recipe in half, you still used a whole can of sweetened condensed milk? Was it too sweet? Just trying to figure out the ratios here for the best result.

    • says

      ahhh…good question Amber. I looked at several other similar recipes after my first FAIL with this recipe….and most of them called for TWO 14 oz cans with a 2-liter bottle of soda. So I went with that when I was cutting the recipe in half. Does that make sense?
      Anyway…to answer your question…it was sweet….but not TOO sweet. :-) Loved it!!!

  4. Demaroge says

    Jillee ~ My Grandparents live in Long Beach…and I have been to that Tastee Freez A LOT! That is just crazy…. :)

    I remember thinking that they spelled their sign wrong! LOL

  5. Linda says

    I live south of San Diego, and I do remember Tastee Freez, but I didn’t go there much. Don’t remember Rootbeer Freezes. I was more of an A & W kind of girl. I think I’m going to try this with Diet orange soda, and the sugar-free Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe I have at home. I haven’t used my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker yet, and this is the kind of recipe to christen it.

  6. Deb L. says

    Linda…or anyone~~Would you share the Sugar Free Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe? Always looking for treats to make with less calories! This Root Beer Freeze sounds like the Root Beer Milkshakes I loved as a kid. With A&W, of course.

  7. says

    Jillee, I just found your website today through Pinterest–and imagine my delighted surprise when I read this post and saw you are also from “the LB”. I grew up right off Studebaker & Atherton and went to Millikan High School! And we used to go to that Tastee Freeze ALL the time! Now I have to try this recipe. And I’ve bookmarked your website. I can’t wait to keep reading all of the interesting posts. Thanks for a little taste of home!

    • says

      Whoa. I live right off Studebaker between Stearns and Atherton. What a small world! However, my kids went to Los Alamitos schools.

      Jillee, I love your website and read it every day.

      P.S. The Tastee Freeze at Stearns & Bellflower is no longer a Tastee Freeze. The carwash is still there, though.

      • Andrea says

        I am in Long Beach as well. Such a small world. However, I’ve recently become more familiar with the area around Stearns, as I work at an elementary school in the neighborhood. I do remember going to the Tastee Freez, perhaps not quite as fondly as my dad. He still wishes the Tastee Freez was there, but he is quite happy with the new replacement, a local hamburger place that has made the old TF site into their second burger stand. MVP Burgers. It’s really good stuff. I highly recommend the Kamehameha burger with some of those delicious seasoned fries.
        THanks for this awesome recipe Jillee, it looks delicious. I will definitely be trying it.

  8. Lisa says

    Jillee- how big a can of peaches do you use for your frozen yogurt? I am new to your site and am really loving it! And hey! We’re neighbors! I live in Sandy. I’m also a beach baby- but from Charleston, South Carolina~ Looking forward to lots of great ideas from you here and as your newest follower on Pinterest!

    • says

      Lisa…just the regular sized can? lol. It’s not little (like a sweetened condensed milk can) and it’s not big (like a large can of stewed tomatoes)…but in-between those (like a can of kidney beans). Is that helpful?? LOL! I am so challenged sometimes. ;-)

      • Lisa says

        Perfect description- you’re referring to a 15 oz can. Made the root beer tonight and WHAT A HIT!!! Also the first time I’ve used our Cuisinart…gave it to my husband 11 years ago thinking HE would make it….!!
        Plus, our little family was too big for the smaller batch so we kept using a traditional ice cream machine. The Babe loved it so much and wants orange soda next, then ruby red squirt, then…!!! He kept exclaiming how delicious it was! And my daughter and granddaughter loved it as well. Thanks!!

        • says

          Wonderful! LOVE a good success story. :-) I think there are probably a lot of people like you with the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker just sitting in the cupboard never being used. Hopefully you have inspired them! :-)

  9. Twila says

    This looks yummy. I love rootbeer. I’ve made the recipe for the sweetened condensed milk before, and you don’t even have to cook it. You can just blend in the blender, but make sure you use warm water. Just like the boughten stuff!

  10. Fawn says

    Guess what we had for dessert last night? And IT ROCKED! My hubby is a huge fan of rootbeer freeze’s. I was never sold on them. Until making this. Of course we had to eat before we had dessert so for our main dish the meat was grilled chicken, made with homemade teriyaki sauce. I can’t believe how easy both were to make. Both of these recipes where instant favorites in my house! Thank you Jillee!

  11. says

    Wow, small world!!! I grew up in the LBC, too!! Went to Wilson, hung out in Belmont Shore…..ate at the Tastee Freez!!! :D It’s still there, you know!! Come by and we’ll have a treat!!!

    Thanks for this recipe, btw!! My son is a root beer lover and will think this is heaven on earth!! :)

      • says

        It’s so true how the world gets smaller and smaller!! You are the second blogger that I’ve followed for a while before finding out that your roots are mine, too!! Both of you live in other places now so the revelation of where you were from was totally amazing to me!!! I saw above that you went to Wilson, too!! Yay!!!!! We’ll have to compare notes while enjoying our cold treats together someday!!!! :D

  12. penny williams says

    i do remeber the tastee freez we lived in long beach for years we lived on golden avenue. we use to go to tastee frezze on the wekends. i will have to make this see if my kids remeber it. ill let you know.

  13. Erica says

    When I was growing up my aunt’s sister used to own this place called Robars that made the BEST Dr. Pepper Freezes. I have been thinking about those a lot lately but can’t get anyone to tell me how they made them! I am SO HAPPY to have seen this!!!! I will be using DP instead of root beer to recreate my memory. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

  14. Shannon says

    Hi there,
    I grew up with my mom and her best friend making the orange soda ice cream. They always used a 6 pack of orange soda with 1 can of SCM and a small can of crushed pineapple drained. Mix it all together first then freeze it. It’s a bit much for my 2 qt ice cream maker but I save the rest of the base in the fridge to freeze at a later date. A refreshing and delicious orange pineapple ice cream.

  15. says

    Great blog! Do you have any recommendations for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but
    I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest
    starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
    a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..

    Any tips? Many thanks!


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