How to Make an Ice Cream Terrine ~ if you’re entertaining friends and family this summer, how about trying one of these pretty terrines? It requires no cooking skills, and the payoff is enormous for such a simple project. Everybody will want to gather around and watch you ‘carve’ dessert!
This is the ultimate summer frozen dessert and one you’ll be so glad you mastered. Wow your friends and family with your own customized ice cream cake ~ if you can open a pint of ice cream, you can make a terrine!
What is an ice cream terrine?
An ice cream terrine is a beautiful frozen dessert made with layers of ice cream, molded in a bowl or a pan. It’s sliced to serve, which shows off all the pretty layers. No two pieces will be alike.
What kind of mold do I use for an ice cream terrine?
I like to use a loaf pan because it makes a nice cake-like shape that’s easy to portion into equal slices. Any loaf pan will work, just be sure you line it with plastic or parchment paper with long ends so you can lift it out after it has been frozen. You can also use a small to medium sized bowl lined with plastic to make a round ice cream ‘bomb’ shape.
How do I choose the flavors for my terrine?
That’s the fun part! Nowadays the market has exploded with gourmet ice cream flavors, both in stores and ice cream shops. Take a tour of the freezer aisle, or make your own creative flavors. There aren’t any hard and fast rules, which is nice, and there are a number of ways you can go ~
- Choose contrasting colors ~ this helps achieve that ‘wow factor’ when the terrine is sliced.
- Choose by type: use all fruit sorbets, or all chocolate ice cream variations to keep a consistent flavor palate.
- Choose compatible flavors like chocolate and coffee, or fruit and vanilla. Use common sense and don’t mix mint chip with mango (unless you like that sort of thing!)
- Arrange a rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
- Choose two flavors and alternate for a simple palette.
- Go with red white and blue for the patriotic holidays.
frozen Neapolitan terrine from Dairy Goodness
frozen sorbet terrine from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Do I have to use ice cream in my terrine?
No, you can use frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, or semifreddo as well, so you can make it low fat, sugar free, or non dairy.
vanilla frozen yogurt and blueberry terrine from Cooking and Beer
This gorgeous terrine is made with semifreddo, an Italian frozen treat that’s similar to ice cream.
raspberry and chocolate ripple semifreddo from Bakers Royale
What else can I put in a frozen terrine?
You can layer yummy extras into your terrine, like chocolate, fruit, sprinkles, nuts, etc. When you’ve softened your ice cream, you can stir them in and then spread into the mold, or add the ice cream first and layer in the berries, etc. afterwards.
I added blueberries to a vanilla layering my terrine, and the one below has beautiful raspberries scattered throughout, don’t the slices look pretty?
frozen berry and chocolate terrine from Design Sponge
The terrine below has cookie crumbs, fresh raspberries and fresh peaches layered into it.
apricot raspberry ice cream cake from Shutterbean
Pistachios give extra texture and interest to this semifreddo.
strawberry pistachio semifreddo from Martha Stewart
Do I have to layer my terrine?
No, you can do it any way you like, this pretty terrine is dotted with pistachios and Turkish delight candy. I like to add my flavors in big blobs, and then take a chopstick and swirl them together for a marbleized effect. Get creative and add see what you come up with.
Turkish delight terrine from Delicious
And of course you can just use one flavor for your terrine if you prefer, like the mint chocolate example below. The benefit is that your dessert can be neatly sliced instead of having to scoop it out, and you can decorate it beautifully. No one needs to know how easy it was 😉
mint chocolate ice cream terrine from Tesco
Can I make a healthy frozen terrine?
Why not? These healthy lemony yogurt or yogurt and berry terrines are proof.
lemony frozen-yogurt terrine with blueberries and mango ~ Food & Wine
yogurt and berry terrine ~ Best Health
Can I make a decadent terrine?
Do you have to ask??
hazelnut chocolate ice cream terrine from Style at Home
How do I serve my ice cream terrine?
An ice cream terrine is super easy to serve to guests because it can be made ahead of time and hangs out in the freezer until you’re ready for it. Simply remove it from the pan, and slice it up with a large knife…it slices like buttah!
Serve it topped with fresh fruit if you like, or chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, or anything else you would normally serve with ice cream.
Ice cream terrine with sautéed peaches from Cooking Channel
How to Make an Ice Cream Terrine
- 6 varied flavors of ice cream, about 1 1/2 cups each
- In mine I used:
- strawberry coconut ice cream
- vanilla ice cream with fresh blueberries
- raspberry sorbet
- chocolate chip ice cream
- mango sorbet
- Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Make sure to leave long ends extending so you can lift the frozen cake out for cutting.
- Starting with your first layer, take out the ice cream from the freezer and put it int a small bowl. Mash it with a spoon until it becomes a spreadable consistency. If your ice cream is super hard you can let it sit for a few minutes, first. Spread the softened ice cream out into an even layer across the bottom of the loaf pan. Put in the freezer to harden up, 30-40 minutes or so, depending on your freezer and the thickness of your layers.
- Do the same with each layer, freezing solid in between each one, until you have filled the loaf pan to the very top. Cover with plastic and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until serving.
- To serve, lift the terrine out of the pan using the ends of the plastic wrap. Flip it upside down on a platter and carefully peel away the plastic. It's ready to slice and serve!
Questions and Reviews
Hi Sue: just wanted to let you know you’ve never disapointed us with wonderful recipes to explore and enjoy…Thank You So Very Much! I live trying the recipes and surprising my family..Can’t wait to try this!
My mother-in-law made me a terrine cake for my first birthday with their family. She put some type of thin candy layer in between each ice cream. She always added chocolate ice cream and a sorbet for contrast with 2 other flavors. Do you know what the thin candy layer could have been. It was like a thin praline and gave it a crunch.
That sounds wonderful, I love the contrast of the chocolate ice cream with sorbet, so pretty. I can’t think offhand what the candy could have been unless she maybe made her own thin praline.
Sue, this is a super post! Thank you! You think I could add a layer with meringue somewhere in the middle?
Gosh, I don’t know how the meringue would freeze, texture-wise, Alexandra…might be worth a try!
To be on the safe side I will simply use it as a cushion to rest the terrine ..thank you Sue…