How to Make An Easy Ice Cream Sundae Bar

I scream, you scream, We all scream for ICE CREAM!

Create an ice cream sundae bar for your next party.

Ice cream sundae bars are perfect for kids (of all ages) birthday parties, a great way to finish a summer barbecue, a fun reason to get a group together for an afternoon ice cream social or a great dessert option for almost any occasion.


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The Easy 15 Minute Ice Cream Sundae Bar Set-up


Toppings are where you and your guest can get really creative.  The sky is the limit on the types of toppings, sauces and add-ins.

The ultimate ice cream sundae creation is just a few toppings away.



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What you need for an Ice Cream Bar

Sundae Bar Checklist

Ice Cream Sundae Bar | Sauces

Serve the basics:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Ice Cream

Then add a fun flavor or 2 like:

  • Chocolate Chip
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Strawberry
  • Coconut
  • Orange Sherbert

Ice Cream Sundae Bar | Sauces

  • Hot fudge
  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Strawberry sauce
  • Butterscotch sauce
  • Nutella
  • Whipped cream

Ice Cream Sundae Bar | Crunchy Toppings

  • Brownie bits
  • Oreo cookies
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Sprinkles ( or Jimmies for the Philly crowd)
  • Your favorite candy bar crushed up – I love Butterfingers
  • Slices of Snickers bars
  • Pretzels
  • M&Ms
  • Gummy bears
  • Chocolate chips
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Chopped candy bars
  • Jelly beans

Ice Cream Sundae Bar | Better For You Toppings

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries
  • Coconut, shredded
  • Peaches
  • Candied Ginger


Ice Cream Sundae Bar | Nut Toppings

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Praline pecans
  • Chocolate covered almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
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How to Set up a “Make Your Own” Ice Cream Bar

If you want to make make ice cream you should plan to make it the day before so it has plenty of time to set-up.

But this is such a fun party and the ice cream is just the excuse to make wild and wacky sundae creations so save the homemade ice cream for another occasion and just buy good quality ice cream.  You’ll have more fun and no one will even think about where the ice cream came from.


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Easy Steps to Set-up an Ice Cream Bar

      • Figure out how much will feed your crowd with this rule of thumb:
      A quart container of ice cream yields about 8 scoops, 1/4 cup of sauce goes on each sundae, and everyone will want a big dollop of whipped dessert topping to finish it off.
    • Choose 2 – 3 ice cream flavors, 2-3 sauces or syrups, and 3-5 add-in toppings.
      • Pre-scoop the ice cream into cupcake liners.
      Place ice cream filled cupcake liners onto a sheet pan and place in the freezer.  You can add ice cream layers by placing wax paper between layers.  Keep the ice cream in the freezer until the last minute. Plan on two scoops per person.
      • Keep your ice cream frozen on a hot day
      If you plan to serve outside you may want to place dry ice in a galvanized or copper tub and line with a plastic tablecloth.  Then stack ice cream in the cupcake liners in the tub.
      • Set out your toppings in little bowls, mason jars, or fancy glasses.
      I like to use plastic bowls from the dollars store if the party is outside or is primarily for children.  Stemless wine glasses work well and martini glasses are fun if the party is for adults.
    • Set out small bowls, plastic spoons and napkins.


Now it’s time to have fun!  Who will make the ultimate ice cream sundae?

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Ice Cream Sundae Bar | More Awesome (and super fun) Options

Ice Cream Sandwich Makings

Turn up the fun by offering a selection of cookies for making ice cream sandwiches.

Ice Cream Floats

Set out some soda, cups and some straws on the table to create an ice cream float station.

  • Vanilla Ice cream pairs well with the classics – Cherry soda, Coca-Cola, root beer, grape soda, and orange soda
  • Chocolate ice cream pair well with – Cherry soda, Strawberry soda, Orange soda or Coca-Cola

Added Fun For Adults:

Adult Ice Cream Soda Bar

Grab some craft soda, like ginger beer, craft root beer, birch beer, flavored colas or sodas and serve with bourbon, rum, amaretto, or Kahlua.

Make a Mojito Ice Cream Float

Muddle mint in a glass, use vanilla ice cream, rum and top with Sprite or other lemon-lime soda.


Keep Bugs Away.


  • Keep a bucket of soapy water and a bar towel to wipe up spills immediately.


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1 Comment

  1. Kathy
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    Thanks for the inspiration! What a creative fun idea!


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