Ice cream and I have a very complicated relationship — bordering on frosty at times. You see, I am a strong believer that if it is chilly outside (let’s say under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, because I am from Atlanta), you should steer clear of frozen confections. I mean, you wouldn’t drink hot chocolate outside on a hot, July day, right?
That said, when summer roles around and it is July, ice cream and I are back on, being best buddies, hanging out, and letting out hearts melt together in happiness.
For ice cream, summer is it’s shining moment in the sun, and let’s face it, between heat waves and a broken ozone layer, we are talking about the literal sun here. It’s a time for your friends and acquaintances to post delectable pictures of their ice cream from adventures abroad or around town for you to oggle at.
Although, instead of staring in jealously at all the ways they are enjoying their ice cream, it’s time for you to get off the couch, or from wherever you are reading this, to create your own version of summer bliss.
Below are 16 different ice cream recipes you can make in the comfort of your pajamas with a little determination and a generous pint or gallon. You will be the object of your friends’ frozen dessert desires soon enough.
1. Baked Alaska
First up is my personal, classy favorite. Baked Alaska is a showstopper-style dessert that will woo a crowd, but it’s also super simple to make.
Essentially, this treat consists of cake or brownie topped with ice cream and coated in meringue, and then baked or flambéed to perfection. If you start with store bought cake or brownie mix and a pint of freezer-aisle ice cream, you can whip up this treat in no time. Just be warned that this is not something you can make ahead. It is meant to be prepared and then enjoyed immediately.
When you’re ready, get the recipe here.
2. Fried Ice Cream
Why not combine two of world’s best culinary creations in one: fried food and ice cream?
This simple recipe from Tasty calls for four ingredients: biscuit dough, ice cream, frying oil and patience. At least three of these are available at your nearest grocery store, so get cookin’.
I recently tried my first ever Donutwich, courtesy of Goodies, a food truck in Washington, D.C. While the frozen custard-filled dessert knocked me off my feet, it is not every day that you can dish out $12 for dessert. (I know, it was a lot, but man you should have seen this thing.)
With a fresh or store bought doughnut, you can easily put one of these masterpieces together on your own. All you need to do is slice that baby in half, stuff it with ice cream, and drizzle on a nice syrup topping to take your ice cream sandwich game to the next level.
If you have time to spare, you can even make your own fresh doughnuts to round out the showstopper factor.
4. Fancy Cones
Get super fancy by giving your ice cream a beautiful, sweet capsule in which to steal hearts.
5. Funfetti Dibs
Surrender your cake pops and pick up a bite sized Klondike Bar look-alike instead. These ice cream-filled bites are perfect pick-me-ups for parties and can be customized with sprinkles or even food coloring if you replace the milk chocolate with white chocolate.
In Italian, affogato means “drowned,” and if you are a coffee-lover looking to drown your sorrows of an impeding semester of classes or work, then this is the ice cream dessert for you.
An affogato has two parts: ice cream and espresso, so the recipe is straightforward. From there, the dessert is up to personal interpretation and flare, whether you add shaved chocolate on top or mix up the ice cream flavors used.
The affogato picture above is from food blogger Sheil Shukla and his website Plant Based Artist, which I highly recommend drooling over while eating your ice cream treat of choice.
7. Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
Why enjoy a sandwich solo when you could make an ice cream sandwich cake that can be shared with friends? Turn that creamy-cakey dream team into a sliceable confection with this no-bake recipe.
8. Black Tap-Style Milkshake
Black Tap is a burger bar in New York that is taking milkshakes to new heights — literally. They have become insta-famous for their sky-high milkshakes, featuring extravagant toppings.
If you aren’t in New York, don’t despair. A group of Spoon writers from the University of Florida put together six milkshake recipes with similar showstopper-appeal, from Cookies ‘n Cream to Sinfully S’mores.
9. Quick ‘n Sweet Ice Cream “Bread”
So people are judgy and might give you weird looks for eating a pint of ice cream for breakfast, but no one will give you a second glance for starting your morning with a slice of bread, right? I mean, toast is an acceptable breakfast food.
That is the genius behind this recipe, in which Crystal Shi shows you how to turn your favorite ice cream flavor into a sliceable loaf of bread.
Best part: all you need is two ingredients.
10. Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag
Instead of dressing up a pint of pre-bought ice cream, impress a crowd (or your stomach) with your craftiness by making your own. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, creating a homemade version may seem intimidating, but this Spoon recipe will show you how to get the job done using a plastic zipper bag.
11. Ice Cream Float
If you want something a little more fizzy for your featured dessert, try making an ice cream float. This is the perfect treat for a movie or game night.
Spoon writer Dorothy Ballowe shows you how to create four fun takes on a regular float with these recipes.
12. Whoopie Pie
When my family took a summer trip to Maine a few years back, we made it our mission to taste every whoopie pie that crossed our paths. I mean, we had to. The state even boasts a Whoopie Pie Festival.
After saying good-bye to the beautiful state, we wanted to replicate the oh-so soft and cakey, cream-filled treats. A basic whoopie pie is surprisingly easy to make, but it is tricky getting the right fluffy consistency for a filling.
In order to do the cakes justice, I found that you can easily swap in ice cream as a filling for something resembling an ice cream sandwich, but just a few steps classier and more delicious.
I first encountered profiteroles (aka cream puffs) in Italy and simply put, it was a transcendental experience. These little French dreams can be filled with pastry cream, whipped cream, or most movingly, ice cream or gelato.
Profiteroles can be finicky to make, and you need to carefully follow the directions, but watching them puff up in the oven is extremely satisfying. Seriously, try making them and you will see. Once you bake ’em, slice them in half and add a scoop from your favorite pint.
14. Fruit-Shelled Frozen Dessert
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Cut open a grapefruit (or any peel-able fruit), scoop out and enjoy the inside, and replace it with scoops of fruity ice cream or sorbet.
This can be done using pineapple, orange, or even a lemon for a small individual serving. If you are hosting a backyard barbecue and serving more people, you can fill up a watermelon shell with a frozen treat.
15. Ice Cream Brûlée
Yes, yes this does exist; and yes, yes you do need it in your life
There are a few ways of putting brûlée topping on ice cream. If you don’t have a kitchen torch sitting around in your college apartment, you can bake a different harder topping and crumble it for a similar, crunchy-sweet effect. Get the recipe from Baking Mad.
16. Vegan Ice “Cream”
Introduce yourself to a new kind of ice “cream” this summer, which can be equally presentation-worthy.
It is surprisingly simple to turn a banana into a frozen treat resembling the texture and sweetness of ice cream, and you can personalize it by adding in everything from peanut butter to blueberries.
Check out this article for four takes on banana-based vegan ice cream.