10 Simple Ways to Take a Scoop of Ice Cream to the Next Level

Overhead photo of Ballymaloe no churn vanilla ice cream with old fashioned scoop

10 Simple Ways to Take a Scoop of Ice Cream to the Next Level ~ don’t get me wrong, a plain scoop of ice cream is a wonderful thing, especially in summer ~ but sometimes it could use a helping hand, you know?

vanilla ice cream in a dish

Maybe you have half a tub of vanilla ice cream in the freezer and friends coming over for dinner. Maybe you made a beautiful, minimalist vanilla bean ice cream from scratch, but tonight you’re feeling a little maximalist. Whatever the reason, sometimes you just need to turn a humble scoop of ice cream into a little something extra. I leafed through the tvfgi archives and came up with some neat ideas to help you out with that…

Vanilla ice cream


DIY Magic Shell

Did you know it’s beyond simple to make your own magic-shell-type sauce? Two ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry are all that stand between you and a magical, crackly chocolate topping on your ice cream. The real bonus is that your homemade magic shell will actually taste like real chocolate. And as if that wasn’t good enough, I also have recipes for Nutella Magic Shell, and Vanilla Bean Magic Shell!

DIY Nutella magic shell and vanilla bean magic shell.



Cooked Fruit Sauce

A quick stint in a saucepan or in the oven can intensify the flavors of fresh fruit, leaving you with an amazing sauce for your ice cream. I especially like roasting juicy summer stone-fruit like peaches and plums for a minimal-effort accompaniment to ice cream that tastes pretty amazing.

Ice cream with roasted plums and bourbon fried peaches.

Recipes ~




Affogato is all about contrast ~ hot, bitter coffee or espresso poured over cold, creamy, sweet ice cream. It’s about as easy as dessert gets, but surprisingly sophisticated and complex. My Cardamom Affogato is made with homemade cardamom ice cream and espresso, but you could make it extra special by topping it with intense Turkish Coffee.

Affogato with cardamom ice cream.



Hot Fudge Sauce

My Simple Bittersweet Hot Fudge Sauce is nostalgic and delicious. It’s so thick and rich that it’s solid at room temp, but heat it up and you’ve got the best thing to ever hit a scoop of ice cream.

Jars of homemade bittersweet hot fudge sauce.



Ice Cream Bon Bons

Once you’ve mastered making your own magic shell sauce, you’re awfully close to making your own adorable Ice Cream Bon Bons. Mini scoops of ice cream are dunked in a homemade magic shell and decorated with sprinkles. Customize them with your favorite chocolate, IMHO.

DIY ice cream bon bons.



Jam or Fruit Curd

Citrus curd or fruit jam (warmed up if you like) is wonderful swirled into slightly softened ice cream, and might be just the thing if you don’t have a lot else in the kitchen or pantry. I’ve got tons of recipes on the blog for all sorts of jams and curds ~ from the classic to the unique and unusual, so get creative with your combinations! How about chocolate topped with blood orange jam, or vanilla topped with Meyer lemon curd?

Homemade fruit jam and citrus curd in jars.

Recipes ~




Take that scoop (or 2!) of ice cream and blitz it into something incredible. My Toasted Almond Milkshake is an almond lover’s dream.

Toasted almond milkshake.



Make your own sprinkle ice cream cones

Even plain vanilla will look spectacular when it’s cradled in one of these bedazzled cones or waffle cups. These are fun to make and help whittle down your sprinkle stash.

DIY chocolate dipped waffle cones and waffle cone cups.

Recipes ~



Ice Cream Sandwiches

All sorts of cookies make a great ice cream sandwich ~ either homemade or store-bought. I’m partial to softer chewier cookies for easier eating. (Check out the list below for some recommendations.) My Ginger Cookie and Nutmeg Ice Cream Sandwiches combine the best of summer and fall.

Homemade ice cream sandwiches

Recipes ~



DIY Sprinkles

Making your own Homemade Sprinkles is probably easier than you think, and so much fun! One batch will guarantee a funfetti filled season.

How to make homemade sprinkles



Ice cream pin.


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    March 10, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    My favorite way to enjoy ice cream is with a cookie hot from the oven draped over it-divine! Underbake the cookie just a little bit and it is heaven. My favorite is with a good ginger cookie, but really, you can’t go wrong.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Great post! Love all the ideas to make ice cream extra special and especially when entertaining- it never disappoints! Who doesn’t love ice cream during the summer!

  • Reply
    Tricia B
    July 14, 2019 at 8:41 am

    You cook and make all the things I LOVE to eat! I’ve never tried magic shell but want to make your vanilla version for sure. And those homemade sprinkles look amazing! My little ones might like that project 🙂 Pinning!

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