Ice Cream Desserts to Make This Summer

Summer is the season for ice cream; however, you can only stop at the ice cream truck so many times before you realize it’d be cheaper to enjoy the good stuff at home. But gallons of ice cream don’t feel as fun, and not everyone has an ice cream maker so it’s easy to feel stuck. Luckily, there are a number of ice cream dessert recipes you can try that don’t require an ice cream maker and still feel fancy. Whether you’re making a homemade sundae with pints of ice cream or mixing your ice cream into a cake, you can master the art of ice cream desserts at home and these six food formulas will help.

1. Best Banana Splits

Ice cream, caramelized bananas

Banana split |

The banana split is a timeless dessert that will never get old. There’s just something about the combination of creamy ice cream and bananas that people will never be able to resist, and when it is topped with a crunchy almond topping and rich chocolate sauce, all bets are off. That dessert is what this recipe from Food & Wine yields, and it proves that you don’t need to visit your favorite ice cream outpost to enjoy a decadent summer treat. Pick up the crucial ingredients at the grocery store and then get to work on the refreshing dessert that is perfect for an outdoor party, as it serves eight.


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pints each of vanilla and chocolate ice cream
  • 8 small bananas, split
  • Whipped cream, for serving

DirectionsPreheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the sugar with 1 tablespoon of water and cook just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Spread the almonds on the prepared sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until tacky and just beginning to brown. Sprinkle with salt, stir and bake for about 10 minutes longer, stirring once or twice, until golden. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cocoa powder, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the corn syrup and the cream and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil over high heat for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips and butter until melted. Stir in the vanilla.

Scoop vanilla and chocolate ice cream into banana boats and lay the halved bananas alongside. Top with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream and candied almonds and serve right away.

2. Ice Cream Sundae with Chocolate-Coffee Sauce

Ice cream sundae with chocolate-coffee sauce

Ice cream sundae with chocolate-coffee sauce |

You also can’t beat an ice cream sundae, and with this recipe from Epicurious, you can make yours at home. Even better, the food formula yields an ice cream sundae with chocolate-coffee sauce, so if you enjoy coffee-flavored drinks and sweets, you’re really going to like this treat. To make your homemade sauce, you’ll simply combine chocolate, coffee-flavored liqueur, and whipping cream before pouring the good stuff over vanilla ice cream. The dessert will take you fewer than 10 minutes to make and unfortunately, much quicker than that to eat.


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Coffee-flavored liqueur like Kahlúa plus additional for passing
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ gallon purchased vanilla ice cream

Directions: Combine chocolate, liqueur, and whipping cream in heavy small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until melted and smooth.

Scoop ice cream into dessert dishes or goblets. Spoon warm sauce over. Serve, passing additional liqueur.

3. Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Ice cream cookie sandwiches

Ice cream cookie sandwiches |

There’s nothing better than chocolate chip cookies, until you stuff them with ice cream. Then you have ice cream cookie sandwiches and you’ve hit it big. Here’s a recipe from the Food Network that will make your dessert dreams come true. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ice cream cookie sandwiches are dangerously easy, but this food formula teaches you how to make the perfect sturdy cookie for hosting your ice cream. It’s up to you to decide what flavor of ice cream you’ll use for your treat, and then all you need to do is wait at least 4 hours for your sandwiches to freeze.


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) instant coffee granules
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (heaping) milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons flax seed, crushed in a mortar/pestle
  • 2 tablespoons millet, crushed in mortar/pestle
  • Vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
  • Miniature chocolate chips
  • Miniature candy-coated chocolates

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixer, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, butter and margarine until combined. Add the vanilla, and eggs, and stir together.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, instant coffee, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing gently after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips, flax seed and millet.

Drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool.

Using a kitchen scoop, take one scoop of ice cream and place it onto the flat side of a cookie, then top with second cookie, pressing to allow the ice cream to spread slightly. Immediately roll the edges of the cookie in chocolate chips or candies so that the ice cream is coated. Wrap individually in plastic and freeze until the ice cream is very firm, at least 4 hours.

4. Fudgy Ice Cream Cake

Tiramisu Cake Bite

Fudgy ice cream cake |

Ready for an impressive looking dessert that is also less complicated than you may think? This fudgy ice cream cake from Martha Stewart will be a showstopper at your next party and it serves 12. Ice cream cakes can cost a fortune, but if you make them at home, not only will you save money, you’ll also cut out suspicious ingredients and impress your guests with your homemade skills. To make your cake, you’ll need corn syrup, heavy cream, butter sugar, graham crackers, cocoa powder, and vanilla ice cream. As long as you prepare ahead of time and start your cake early, there’s no reason you can’t follow these fool-proof instructions for your next party.


  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream, divided
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for serving
  • Salt
  • 3 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 18 graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Directions: Lightly coat an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray; line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 6-inch overhang on two sides. Freeze pan at least 10 minutes.

In a medium pot, combine corn syrup, ¼ cup cream, butter, granulated sugar, cocoa, and pinch of salt; bring to a boil, whisking, over medium-high. Remove from heat and let fudge sauce cool. Meanwhile, remove 1 pint ice cream from freezer and let soften, about 15 minutes.

Evenly press softened ice cream into pan. Top with a single layer of graham crackers, breaking to fit. Drizzle with 1/4 cup fudge sauce and freeze 15 minutes. Repeat twice, omitting sauce on final layer. Wrap in plastic and freeze until firm, 8 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining fudge sauce.

To serve, invert pan and run under tepid water to loosen cake. Invert onto a platter and remove plastic. Microwave fudge sauce in 30-second increments until pourable. Pour over cake and freeze to solidify, 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, using a mixer, whip 1½ cups cream and confectioners’ sugar on high until stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Dollop cake with whipped cream and dust with cocoa. Serve immediately.

5. Ice Cream Bonbons


Bonbons |

Next is a less traditional ice cream dessert that is just as tasty, and even more easy. Try these ice cream bon bons from Food & Wine next time you want to mix up your dessert rotation. They only require five ingredients and will take 30 minutes of your time. As long as you work quickly, you can make these bon bons that are mastered by taking a scoop of ice cream, coating it in melted chocolate, and then dipping it in cookie crumbs and salt. Freeze your bon bons for 30 minutes and then serve and eat before they melt!


  • 10 ounces extra-dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces good-quality white chocolate from a bar, chopped
  • 1 cup finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1 pint caramel, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla or coffee ice cream
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

DirectionsIn a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the dark and white chocolates together. Scrape into a smaller bowl and let cool slightly.

Put the crushed cookies on a small plate. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and place one in the freezer. Fill a cup with ice water.

Working very quickly, scoop a 1-tablespoon-size scoop of ice cream, packing it tightly. Transfer it to the melted chocolate. Using a skewer, poke the rounded top of the ice cream and coat the ball in the chocolate. Lift the bonbon, allowing the excess chocolate to drip into the bowl. Dip the bottom of the bonbon in the cookie crumbs and set on the baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on top. Let stand for 10 seconds, then transfer the bonbon to the baking sheet in the freezer. Repeat to form the remaining bonbons; dip the ice cream scoop in the ice water between scoops. Freeze the bonbons until firm, 30 minutes, then serve.

6. Affogato


Affogato dessert |

Last up is the affogato, the perfect way to enjoy both ice cream and caffeine. If this doesn’t get you out of bed in the morning, we don’t know what will. Regardless if you follow this formula from Food Network for a breakfast or dessert treat, you’ll enjoy the affogato that is made from coffee and homemade whipped cream poured over gelato or ice cream. This recipe makes four servings and encourages you to have ice cream with your morning cup of coffee.


  • 1/3 cup cold whipping cream
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 pint chocolate gelato or ice cream

Directions: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate the whipped cream.

Whisk the boiling water and espresso powder in a 1 cup glass measuring cup until the powder is dissolved, or use an espresso machine to make 4 shots of espresso. Scoop ½ cup of the gelato or ice cream into each of 4 dessert bowls or glasses. Pour 2 tablespoons or 1 shot of hot espresso over each. Top with the whipped cream and serve immediately.

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