12 Summer Desserts That Start With a Pint of Ice Cream

a carton of ice cream for summer desserts

Grab a carton of your favorite ice cream and turn it into something memorable! Easy summer desserts from terrines and sundaes to ice cream cakes, milkshakes, and pie!

stack of cookie ice cream sandwiches

ice cream based summer dessert recipes

There’s enough to worry about when you’re entertaining in summer – wilting salads on the buffet table, grill flare-ups, ice melting in the cooler…let’s make dessert easy! A carton of good ice cream gets you halfway to some of my favorite warm weather treats, from roasted seasonal fruit served with a scoop of vanilla, to a fancy (but easy!) layered ice cream terrine.

want to make your own ice cream?


how to make an ice cream terrine

I can guarantee this will be the most fun you’ll have in the kitchen this summer. Store bought ice cream in all your favorite flavors are layered, terrine-style, in a loaf pan for a colorful eye-catching summer treat. Save me a slice!

striped ice cream terrine slices on a distressed metal surface

fresh cherry dessert sauce with ice cream

If you have fresh seasonal cherries, you have to make this unbelievable cherry sauce! It’s divine with a bowl of good vanilla ice cream, but I also love it over cheesecake or a slice of grilled pound cake.

Fresh cherry sauce on vanilla ice cream

the best homemade hot fudge sauce

When was the last time you had a hot fudge sundae? This is my mom’s recipe, and I think it’s the best hot fudge recipe in the world. As far as summer desserts go, this is right at the top.

hot fudge sauce in a jar, dribbling down the side

homemade sprinkled ice cream cones

Take your ice cream up a notch by making your own super fun be-dazzled ice cream cones! Kids will love the colorful cones and it’s a great excuse to break out the sprinkle collection this summer.


roasted plums with ice cream

Simple cooked seasonal fruit with ice cream is one of those treats I don’t think to make very often, but every time I do, I’m floored by how delicious and sophisticated it is! Plums make a beautiful pairing with vanilla bean ice cream, but lots of other seasonal fruit will work just as well. Try peaches with butter pecan ice cream, or strawberries with chocolate.

roasted plums with ice cream in a glass with spoon

ice cream bon bons

These little bite sized summer desserts are so easy and fun to make, and so customizable! Use any ice cream flavor you want and decorate them with sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, or whatever you love.

Ice Cream Bon bons with sprinkles

tiramisu ice cream cake

This fun take on the flavors of tiramisu uses store bought ice cream and a store bought pound cake, so it’s super simple and all the focus is on the fun assembly. Once you’ve tried this grown up version of an ice cream cake, I bet you’ll be dreaming up other flavor combinations!


drumstick ice cream pie

Remember drumsticks? Well I’ve just taken the concept and made it into an ice cream pie. You’re welcome.

Drumstick Ice Cream Pie is inpired by one of summer's great treats --- this easy, no-bake ice cream pie is a huge hit every time!

the hummer cocktail

Revive this rum and Kahlua-spiked staple of ’60’s in your own backyard this summer. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

pouring a hummer cocktail into a glass

bourbon fried peaches with ice cream

Bourbon fried peaches is a gourmet summer dessert on its own, but pair them with some classic vanilla bean ice cream, and you’ve got a company-worthy dessert that took next to no effort to put together.

Bourbon Fried Peaches with Ice Cream ~ this super easy and super luscious dessert is the perfect way to close out the summer season --- and be sure to freeze some fresh peaches so you can enjoy it all year long! | theviewfromgreatisland.com

Nutella magic shell ice cream topping

When I made a classic “magic shell” ice cream topping, it was so easy, fun, and satisfying that my brain immediately went to work thinking of other versions I could try. This Nutella version is just as good as it sounds. I love it paired with vanilla ice cream, but also try coffee, caramel, or chocolate!

An ice cream scoop with ice cream and Nutella magic shell topping

toasted almond milkshake

A classic milkshake is an old fashioned summer dessert I can never turn one down! This toasted almond version is layered with nutty almond flavor and crunchy texture.

This Toasted Almond Milkshake is a celebration of all things almond! | theviewfromgreatisland.com
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