25 Frosty Treats That All Start with Store-Bought Ice Cream
Trade your usual scoops for a milkshake, sundae, ice cream sandwich, or a celebration bombe. Thanks to store-bought ice cream, they're easy to make and entirely impressive.
Who doesn't love a cone or a bowl of ice cream on a summer afternoon? While there's nothing wrong with a simple, delicious frozen treat, there are times when you want to take your love of ice cream to the next level; when that's the case, try one of these frosty treats that all start with store-bought ice cream (or gelato or sorbet). No churning necessary!
We have the scoop on transforming your favorite ice cream into something spectacular at home—whether you want to top scoops with a simple but special homemade sauce, create a layered sundae, or put together a masterpiece level cake, there are countless ways to up the ante on store-bought ice cream. Stock up on your favorite flavors next time you're at the store then get creative with mix-ins, pour-overs, and our hands-on techniques (we're giving you fair warning that some of these desserts require assembly). With treats this magnificent, brain freeze is a beautiful thing.
You'll find a flurry of crowd- pleasing dessert recipes desserts for all ages in this collection. Need a quick ice-cream fix? Then look to a sauce to spoon over a couple of scoops. Appeal to everyone's inner child with a decadent milkshake like the Bananas Foster Milkshake that's shown here. It starts with vanilla and coffee ice cream, then adds banana, milk, homemade caramel sauce, with pretzels and whipped cream for garnish. Take it a step further with one of our layered creations that mostly require assembly and time to chill. Or prepare everyone's favorite make-ahead dessert: ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies (or brookies!). The piece de resistance in this collection of creative uses for store-bought ice cream is certainly our ice cream cakes, from Tropical Sorbet and Meringue Stack Cake to a Cherry Cheesecake Celebration Bombe, any one is just right for a summer birthday or other special occasion.
When you consider ice cream an ingredient, the possibilities really are endless.
Frozen Cafe-Mochaccino Tart
Consider this your dream frozen cappuccino drink in dessert form. Simply smooth a blend of two parts store-bought coffee ice cream and one part chocolate ice cream into our chocolate-shortbread shell, then whip up an airy top layer of caramel meringue from egg whites, sugar, and cream caramel. The confection is finished with cocoa nibs and more caramel.
Chocolate-Sea-Salt Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
For these irresistible ice cream sandwiches, the cookie is actually a brookie (or a brownie cookie). The chocolately rounds are dense and fudgy on the inside and amazingly crackly on the outside. Use them to sandwich scoops of your very favorite ice cream(s).
Homemade "Drumstick" Cake Cones
If you feel a pang for a King Cone, Strawberry Shortcake, or Choco Taco when an ice cream truck rolls by, go ahead and indulge your inner child with these cake cones that are dipped in a quick homemade shell and rolled in chopped nuts. Once you add your scoops, drizzle on more glaze before freezing. When it's time to enjoy, everyone will discover the surprise ending: a spoonful of fudgy chocolate ganache and even more nuts at the bottom.
Cherry Cheesecake Celebration Bombe
Four components get layered into a large mixing bowl for this frozen opus. There's a tangy no-bake cheesecake filling made from cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk first; a crunchy blend of freeze-dried- cherry-spiked cookie crumbs; store-bought ice cream amped up with cherry syrup; and a tender round of sponge cake (made with oil, not butter, so it stays soft when chilled). After unmolding, gently pat more cherry cookie crumbs on top.
Green Tea Profiteroles
With a nod to the offerings at Taiyaki NYC, a cult ice cream shop known for its matcha-green-tea soft-serve swirled into fresh-baked taiyaki (Japanese waffle cakes shaped like fish), this elegant dessert stars green-tea ice cream tucked inside a golden profiterole with a black-sesame-flecked craquelin—French for "cracker"—baked on top.
Tropical Sorbet and Meringue Stack Cake
Our frosty spin on Appalachian stack cake calls for homemade meringues (baked into four rectangular slabs) and three layers of store-bought fruit sorbet; we're partial to mango, blood orange, and passion fruit for their intense color and tropical punch. On top is frozen whipped cream—a cool cloud that instantly melts in your mouth.
Fudgy Ice Cream Cake
Three pints of vanilla ice cream, graham crackers, and fudge sauce are the recipe for ice cream cake-success.
This centerpiece dessert requires creative assemblage but all the ingredients are store-bought. Simply put, it's the bombe.
Snowy Peak Pops
Turn store-bought vanilla into next level chocolate- dipped pops decorated with nonpareils.
Tropical Sorbet Terrine
Topped with toasted coconut, this three-layer terrine is oh so easy to make. Just pick up three brightly colored sorbets at the store, then layer them in loaf pan. The hardest part is waiting for this frosty treat to freeze firm.
Mini Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Sandwiching chocolate chip cookies around store-bought vanilla ice cream makes a wonderful dessert. Rolling them in mini chocolate chips before freezing takes them to the next level.
Almond Crunch Ice Cream Cake
Inspired by Good Humor's Toasted Almond Bar, the whipped cream frosting of this almond-to-the-max ice cream cake covers layers of almond cake brushed with amaretto syrup and sandwiched with vanilla ice cream and sugared almonds.
A scoop of store-bought coconut sorbet is placed on top of a chocolate wafer as the base of these dainty, decadent treats. A dark chocolate coating is the finishing touch.
Ice Cream Cupcakes
The best of both worlds—cake and ice cream come together in these party-ready treats. We used vanilla cupcakes but feel free to go with your favorite cupcakes and favorite flavor(s) of gelato or ice cream.
Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
Classic for good reason, these homemade ice cream sandwiches are made with store-bought ice cream and a soft, thin cake-like chocolate cookie. Try using coffee or strawberry ice cream, though vanilla is wonderful too.
Inside-Out Strawberry Ice-Cream Cake
Ice-cream replaces frosting in this must-try dessert. A homemade buttermilk layer cake is filled with jam and fresh berries plus softened vanilla ice cream. More ice cream is used to frost the cake for an unexpected and totally delightful sweet.
Ice Cream and Mixed-Berry Pops
Simply swirl store-bought vanilla ice cream with your favorite berry purée, then freeze in popsicle molds for these pretty as could be pops. (We love blueberry or raspberry best.)
An easy strawberry-rhubarb sauce makes the best spring ice cream sundae when paired with store-bought vanilla ice cream.
Ice cream is coated in shredded coconut then served with a bourbon-spiked butterscotch sauce and a crunchy chocolate-almond topping. It's like an ice cream-version of a coconut-chocolate candy bar.
Butterscotch Banana Splits
An all-time favorite and for good reason, our butterscotch take on the banana split calls for chocolate ice cream, homemade butterscotch sauce, bananas, and plenty of whipped cream. A cherry on top is optional.
Watermelon and Coconut Sorbet Parfaits
Its name means "drowned ice cream," and that's what happens with this sophisticated Italian dessert: scoops of ice cream are doused in espresso.