Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae Bar

September 16, 2013  |  Food + Drinks

make your own ice cream sundae bar toppings |

Make your own ice cream sundae bars are wonderful.  They are fun for everyone, add some entertainment for guests and free up time that would otherwise be spent serving, for me to spend mingling.  We decided to celebrate what will most likely be the last hot day of summer with this simple but fun ice cream bar.  Making an ice cream sundae bar can be as simple or as decadent as you choose but it doesn’t need to be difficult.  I like to start with these same basic steps and work from there.  But first I like to pick a flavor theme to keep me on track.  The theme I picked for our ice cream sundae bar is an old time favorite – hot fudge & caramel.

make your own ice cream sundae bar |

{Step One} Pick your ice cream.  Don’t underestimate the value of good ice cream.  It should be delicious even without toppings (not that anyone will forgo the toppings) and it should work with the flavour theme that you have chosen.  I decided to go with two flavours, chocolate & vanilla, for our get-together.  I served the ice cream in mason jars with toppers to identify the flavours, and kept them on ice.  You can check out this post Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundaes | Mason Jar Toppers to see how I did it.

{Step Two} Next choose your sauces. 1 or 2 will do it, just make sure they compliment/balance the other flavours.  I chose hot fudge and caramel, of course.

make your own ice cream sundae bar |

{Step Three} Pick some toppings.  3-5 toppings is a good number, you don’t want to completely bury the ice cream (trust me, they will try) .  I always include fruit and something with a little crunch.  This time I went with fresh berries, mini Rolos and peanuts = more chocolate and caramel + some healthy toppings that go well with those flavours.

{Step Four} Add a side.  Think of this as a bonus.  My feeling is one is enough for consumption purposes but you could do more if you wanted to offer choice.  Bite size pieces of cake, cookies, wafer sticks, candy canes would all work great depending on the time of year.  For our get-together it’s fudge brownies all the way, but if I wanted to add options I could have included blonde brownies as well.

make your own ice cream sundae bar banner |

make your own ice cream sundae bar |

{Step Five} Set the stage.  Sundaes are fun, so make it an occasion.  Be creative with your serving dishes, use items you have on hand or that may have had been intended for some other use. This can be anything from champagne glasses at new years to mason jars at the cottage.  Add a banner, some food signs, straw flags and food flags for a simple but fun set-up.

Here is a list of some of the things I used:

Ice Cream Sundae Printable Party Collection from the shop
250 mL/half pint wide mouth mason jars for the ice cream
250 mL/half pint standard mouth mason jars for the drinks
Glass bottles from Starbucks Frappuccino Coffee Drink
Galvanized bucket to keep the ice cream on ice
Galvanized potting sets. These came with three small pots and a tray.  I have two sets.  I used one complete set for the toppings and just the tray for the sauces.

Have you ever hosted or been a guest at a get-together with a make your own ice cream sundae bar?  If so, what were your favorite toppings?

Here’s to the last few days of summer!

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