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9 Unique Homemade Ice Creams to Serve at Your Summer Social

9 Unique Homemade Ice Creams to Serve at Your Summer Social

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Enjoy these cold-serve treats with friends

Enjoy these cold-serve treats with friends.

If you’re looking forward to National Ice Cream month — July — what better way to celebrate than with a summer ice cream social? Ice cream socials are the perfect occasion to gather friends together (preferably in your backyard) and relish one of summer’s favorite treats.

9 Unique Homemade Ice Creams to Serve at Your Summer Social

An ice cream social can be done for kids or for adults or for both. You’ll have fun either way: children love trying new summer flavors, and adults love pairing ice cream with bourbon or cognac. The best thing about serving frozen treats is that you can make everything ahead and spend more time with your guests the day of.

So send out your invites, start whipping up these recipes a few days in advance, and enjoy a cold-served treat under the sun with friends.

Blueberry-Lemon Zest Ice Cream

Blending together blueberry and lemon screams summer. This sweet and tangy ice cream is great for a warm-weather soirée.

Bourbon-Butter-Salted Pecan Ice Cream

We love anything bourbon, and there’s no better dessert to follow grilled steaks than this bourbon-butter-salted-pecan ice cream.

Homemade Ice Cream and Gelato Recipes

Farideh Sadeghin

There is no more decadent respite from hot weather than a cool, silky scoop of homemade ice cream. From old favorites like chocolate and peppermint to surprising new flavors that incorporate fresh produce and savory ingredients—beets, basil, corn, and even olive oil—we have something for everything. Break out your ice cream maker and check out our favorite ice cream recipes.

It doesn’t get much more classic than chocolate ice cream. Our recipe, from the amazing Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio, is as chocolatey as it gets. Starting with a simple base, it adds a sauce made of unsweetened cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, and brewed coffee. Other great sweet ice cream flavors include peach, pumpkin, and bourbon. One of our favorite standbys is the simple classic rum raisin, with its concentrated burst of dried fruit and boozy kick of rum.

Tart black raspberry matches with sweet corn for a fresh, summery treat. Corn isn’t the only unusual ingredient we like to put in ice cream. Another Jeni’s recipe uses roasted beets with mascarpone, orange zest, and poppy seeds to make a vibrantly colored ice cream that is earthy, citrusy, and sweet. Perhaps stranger is our olive oil gelato, which is smooth, grassy, and slightly sweet. Our strangest—but possibly most delicious—savory ice cream ingredient? Garlic. Roasting the garlic brings out its sweetness and dulls its sharp edge, creating something that pairs remarkably well with a creamy base.

Find all these desserts and more in our collection of ice cream and gelato recipes.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This vegan ice cream from Brooklyn’s Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream takes a classic flavor combination, peanut butter and chocolate, and uses cashew milk to make for an extra rich ice cream. Get the recipe for Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream »

Vanilla Ice Cream

This basic ice cream recipe from pastry chef Tracy Obolsky of North End Grill is endlessly customizable turn it into anything from chocolate to rum-raisin to pistachio. Get the recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream »

Kaffir Lime Gelato

Fragrant Kaffir lime leaves bring a refreshingly tart and sweet balance to this gelato.

Cinnamon-Sugar Ice Cream

Buttery cinnamon-sugar crumbles swirled into a creamy base are reminiscent of cinnamon toast. Get the recipe for Cinnamon-Sugar Ice Cream »

Sour Cream Ice Cream with Strawberries and Brown Sugar

Sour Cream Ice Cream with Strawberries and Brown Sugar

Pandan-Coconut Ice Cream

Often used in Thai desserts, pandan leaf lends a warm, nutty, sweet flavor to this coconut ice cream. Get the recipe for Pandan-Coconut Ice Cream »

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

Sweetened condensed milk and a touch of spice set this caffeinated treat apart from other coffee ice creams. Get the recipe for Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream »

Peach Ice Cream

Sweet, pale orange ice cream flavored with ripe, juicy peaches simply screams summer.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream

A creamy peanut butter swirl suspended in strawberry- and jam-enriched ice cream turns the classic peanut butter and jelly on its head. Get the recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream »

Lavender Honey Ice Cream

This ice cream is best when made with true miel de lavande, French lavender honey from Provence, which is produced by bees that feed primarily on lavender blossoms, imparting a creamy texture and distinctive flavor and scent. Get the recipe for Lavender Honey Ice Cream »

Bourbon-Butterscotch Ice Cream

This grown up frozen treat pairs bourbon-laced custard with pockets of dense butterscotch. Get the recipe for Bourbon-Butterscotch Ice Cream »

Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, OH, has some of the most amazing flavors around, but they all start with one simple base. In this recipe, the addition of roasted beets and poppy seeds lends the end product a festive hue and a bit of crunch. Get the recipe for Beet Ice Cream with Mascarpone, Orange Zest, and Poppy Seeds »

Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream

Playing off two popular summertime ingredients, this unique recipe combines the silky flavor of corn with the tartness of black raspberries. Get the recipe for Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry Ice Cream »

Basil Gelato

Vividly green and intensely flavored, this smooth basil gelato is a perfectly unexpected dessert. Get the recipe for Basil Gelato »

The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World

This intense ice cream flavor owes its remarkable depth and richness to the combination of cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. Get the recipe for The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World »

Roasted Garlic Ice Cream

Roasting garlic brings out its sweetness, so the flavors meld beautifully in this simple vanilla ice cream inspired by one served at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.

Pistachio Ice Cream

Sweetened whole milk flavored with crushed cardamom, saffron, and pistachio is frozen in molds to create these impressive, sculptural desserts.

Blackstrap Praline Ice Cream

The recipe for this super-sweet and nutty flavor comes from the renowned Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, OH. Get the recipe for Blackstrap Praline Ice Cream »

Olive Oil Gelato

Smooth, grassy, and slightly savory, this rich olive oil gelato makes for an elegant dessert—we love it topped with a sprinkle of sea salt. Get the recipe for Olive Oil Gelato »

White Pepper Ice Cream

This white pepper-infused dessert is based on one served at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Manhattan restaurant JoJo, where author Josh Ozersky’s father, David, often dined in the 1990s. A creamy custard base is spiked with musky white peppercorns for an addictive balance of sweetness and heat.

Fig Ice Cream

Ripe Black Mission figs, sweet brown sugar, and just a hint of cinnamon combine beautifully in this swirled ice cream, as lovely to look at as it is to eat. Get the recipe for Fig Ice Cream »

Nutmeg Ice Cream

Serve this spiced ice cream on its own or scooped on top of warm fruit crisps, cobblers, or pies, particularly apple.

Ginger Ice Cream

The spiciness of the ginger adds some heat to this cool ice cream. Get the recipe for Ginger Ice Cream »

Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

For added decadence, top this ultra-peanutty ice cream with chocolate sauce or hot fudge. Get the recipe for Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

Sicilian Vanilla Ice Cream

This recipe is adapted from Mary Taylor Simeti’s book _Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food. Get the recipe for Sicilian Vanilla Ice Cream

Honey Ice Cream

No sugar added, this ice cream is delightfully sweetened with honey. Get the recipe for Honey Ice Cream »

Peppermint Pillow Ice Cream

The happy surprise of using good peppermint candies is the lovely pink shade they lend to this ice cream. Get the recipe for Peppermint Pillow Ice Cream »

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Delightful on its own or scooped onto a slice of warm pie, this cool and delicious pumpkin ice cream gets added complexity from cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

The combination of rum and raisins has long elevated all kinds of desserts, but when applied to a vanilla custard base, the flavors truly shine: a concentrated burst of dried fruit cut by the boozy kick of rum, all cushioned by creamy dairy. Get the recipe for Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap Ice Cream

Use up leftover pumpkin or squash puree in a sweet, spiced ice cream.

Lemon Curd-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream

This elegant ice cream recipe is a frozen riff on a pavlova. Get the recipe for Lemon Curd-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream »

50 Ice Cream Toppings

Food Network Magazine came up with dozens of ways to make ice cream even better.

Related To:

Salted Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge (No. 1)

Salted Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge (No. 1)

1: Salted Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge Combine 3/4 cup each heavy cream and sugar with 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat simmer, whisking, until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky salt and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Sprinkle with more salt if desired.

2: Raspberry Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge Make Salted Dark Chocolate Hot Fudge (No. 1), omitting the salt whisk in 2 tablespoons raspberry jam and 1 teaspoon raspberry extract.

3: Classic Hot Fudge Combine 1 cup each heavy cream and sugar with 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips until smooth. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of salt.

4: Orange-Chocolate Hot Fudge Make Classic Hot Fudge (No. 3) whisk in 1 teaspoon each orange extract and grated orange zest with the vanilla.

5: Olive Oil Hot Fudge Combine 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, 1/4 cup each extra-virgin olive oil and heavy cream, 2 tablespoons light corn syrup and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking, until smooth, 2 minutes.

6: Chocolate Shell Combine 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips and 1/4 cup coconut oil in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking, until melted, 4 to 5 minutes let cool slightly to thicken.

7: Birthday Cake Shell Make Chocolate Shell (No. 6), replacing the chocolate chips with 8 ounces chopped white chocolate use only 3 tablespoons coconut oil. Once melted, stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon butter extract, then 1 tablespoon finely chopped rainbow sprinkles.

8: Peanut Butter Shell Make Chocolate Shell (No. 6), replacing the chocolate chips with 1 cup each peanut butter chips and peanut butter and 1 tablespoon sugar.

Peanut Pretzel Brittle (No. 9)

Peanut Pretzel Brittle (No. 9)

9: Peanut Pretzel Brittle Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 6 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F. Stir in 3/4 cup mini pretzels and 1/3 cup salted peanuts. Spread onto a nonstick foil-lined baking sheet let cool, then chop into pieces.

10: Sesame Brittle Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over medium heat cook, swirling occasionally, until amber, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds and a pinch of salt, then 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Spread in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet let cool, then break into pieces.

11: Maple Nuts Combine 1/2 cup each light corn syrup and maple syrup and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking, then remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup each chopped pecans and walnuts and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

12: Coffee-Coconut Crunch Combine 1/4 cup each chopped coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, chocolate-covered espresso beans and toasted hazelnuts.

13: Tropical Crunch Combine 1/4 cup each chopped cashews, macadamia nuts, dried pineapple and coconut flakes.

14: Banana-Peanut Crunch Toss 1/3 cup each raisins, chopped dried bananas and honey-roasted peanuts and 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt.

15: Rose-Sugared Pistachios Whisk 1 egg white with 2 teaspoons rosewater and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt until frothy. Stir in 1 1/2 cups roasted pistachios, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup crushed dried rose petals. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes, until dry, 45 minutes.

16: Pie Chips Brush 1 round refrigerated pie dough with beaten egg sprinkle with turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut into 1-by-1/2-inch strips with a fluted cutter. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 425 degrees F until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

17: Apple Pie Topping Combine 3 Golden Delicious apples (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes), 1/2 cup apple juice, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 pinches of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat simmer until tender and syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes.

18: Blueberry Pie Topping Combine 2 cups blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat simmer until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.

19: Ancho Blackberry Sauce Combine 2 cups blackberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat simmer, mashing the berries occasionally, until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes.

20: Passion Fruit Sauce Bring one 14-ounce packet thawed frozen passion fruit pulp, the pulp and seeds from 2 fresh passion fruits and 1 1/4 cups sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk 2 tablespoons each cornstarch and water, then whisk into the passion fruit mixture and cook until thickened, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat whisk in 1 tablespoon butter.

21: Basil-Peach Compote Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup each water and fresh basil in a saucepan over medium heat simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool strain. Return the syrup to the saucepan and add 5 peaches (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges) simmer until the peaches start to break down, 15 minutes.

Spiced Pineapple Compote (No. 22)

Spiced Pineapple Compote (No. 22)

22: Spiced Pineapple Compote Combine 2 cups chopped pineapple, 2 tablespoons each granulated sugar, light brown sugar and lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and grated nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat simmer until softened and syrupy, 7 to 10 minutes.

Raspberry-Vanilla Sauce (No. 23)

Raspberry-Vanilla Sauce (No. 23)

23: Raspberry-Vanilla Sauce Combine 2 pints raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over medium heat simmer until the berries break down and thicken slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain.

24: Cardamom Strawberries Toss 2 cups sliced strawberries, 2 tablespoons each sugar and lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom. Let sit until juicy, about 30 minutes.

25: Sour Cherry–Red Wine Sauce Combine one 35-ounce jar sour cherries (undrained), 1/4 cup each sugar and dry red wine and 2 wide strips lemon zest in a saucepan over medium-high heat simmer, mashing the cherries, until the liquid reduces by three-quarters, 15 to 20 minutes.

26: Balsamic Cherries Toss 2 cups halved pitted cherries with 2 tablespoons each sugar and white balsamic vinegar and a pinch of coarsely ground pepper. Let sit until juicy, about 30 minutes.

27: Ginger Plums Toss 1 pound chopped plums with 1 tablespoon each sugar, lemon juice and honey and 1 teaspoon grated ginger. Let sit until juicy, about 30 minutes.

28: Cognac Prunes Combine 2 cups pitted prunes, 2/3 cup cognac and 1/2 cup each sugar and water in a saucepan bring to a simmer and cook until syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes.

29: Butterscotch Sauce Cook 1 stick butter and 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add 1 cup heavy cream and cook, whisking, until amber and thickened, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon each vanilla and scotch (optional) and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

30: Hot Buttered Rum Sauce Cook one 14-ounce can condensed milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 cup dark brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons each butter and dark rum, 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt.

31: Salted Caramel Sauce Combine 1 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat simmer, swirling the pan, until dark amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon flaky salt.

32: Coffee Caramel Sauce Whisk 2 tablespoons hot water with 2 teaspoons instant coffee. Make Salted Caramel Sauce (No. 31), whisking in the coffee mixture with the cream omit the salt.

33: Smoked Almond–Bourbon Caramel Sauce Make Salted Caramel Sauce (No. 31) off the heat, whisk in 1/4 cup bourbon with the cream omit the salt. Continue to cook 1 minute add 3/4 cup smoked almonds.

Coconut-Lime Caramel Sauce (No. 34)

Coconut-Lime Caramel Sauce (No. 34)

34: Coconut-Lime Caramel Sauce Make Salted Caramel Sauce (No. 31), using 1/4 cup heavy cream along with one 5-ounce can unsweetened coconut cream stir in 1 teaspoon lime juice and use a pinch of salt.

35: Whipped Coconut Cream Refrigerate two 5-ounce cans unsweetened coconut cream 2 hours. Scoop out the solid cream, leaving behind any liquid beat with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar beat on medium-high speed until medium peaks form.

36: Key Lime Pie Whipped Cream Whisk one 14-ounce can condensed milk with 3 tablespoons Key lime juice and the zest of 2 limes. Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form. Add the condensed milk mixture and beat until combined. Fold in 3 chopped graham crackers.

37: Maple-Walnut Whipped Cream Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with 3 tablespoons each confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup until medium peaks form. Add 1 teaspoon each vanilla and maple extracts and beat until combined. Top with chopped candied walnuts.

38: Brown Sugar–Molasses Whipped Cream Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with 1/4 cup light brown sugar until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons molasses and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and continue to beat until medium peaks form.

39: S’mores Whipped Cream Broil 2 cups mini marshmallows on a nonstick foil–lined baking sheet until toasted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let cool slightly. Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with the toasted marshmallows and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form. Top with finely chopped milk chocolate and finely crushed graham crackers.

40: Mexican Hot Cocoa Whipped Cream Whisk together 2 tablespoons each sweetened cocoa powder and boiling water until the cocoa is dissolved let cool. Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with the cocoa mixture, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne and a few drops of almond extract until medium peaks form.

41: Cookies-and-Cream Whipped Cream Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with 5 finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until medium peaks form. Top with more finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies.

42: Tiramisu Whipped Cream Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with 1/2 cup each confectioners’ sugar and mascarpone, 1 tablespoon Marsala wine and 1 teaspoon each instant coffee and vanilla and coffee extracts until medium peaks form. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans and dust with cocoa powder.

Raspberry Whipped Cream (No. 43)

Raspberry Whipped Cream (No. 43)

43: Raspberry Whipped Cream Pulse 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries in a food processor with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar until finely ground. Beat 1 cup cold heavy cream with the raspberry powder until medium peaks form.

44: Cereal Brittle Bring 3 tablespoons light corn syrup and 1/2 cup light brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Slowly stir in 4 tablespoons cold butter (cut into pieces). Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Drizzle over 2 cups crisp rice cereal and toss to coat. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool. Break into pieces.

45: Rocky Road Brittle Make Cereal Brittle (No. 44), using chocolate crisp rice cereal stir in 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds before baking. After baking, top with 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows while still warm.

46: Sesame Sprinkle Mix Combine 1 cup crumbled halvah, 3 tablespoons each cocoa nibs and nonpareils and 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds.

47: Strawberry-Coconut Clusters Toss 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips with 2 tablespoons each sugar and vegetable oil. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Toss with 2 tablespoons finely crushed freeze-dried strawberries while still warm.

48: Sugar Cone Crunch Toss 8 coarsely broken sugar cones with 3 tablespoons each melted butter and sugar and 1 tablespoon chocolate malt powder. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring every 5 minutes, until dry, 10 to 15 minutes.

Brownie-Batter Bites (No. 49)

Brownie-Batter Bites (No. 49)

49: Brownie-Batter Bites Pulse 1 cup almond flour in a food processor with 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons each Dutch-process cocoa powder and chocolate syrup and 1 tablespoon milk until smooth and creamy. Spread into a 6-by-9-inch rectangle on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. Freeze until firm, 1 hour. Cut into small squares.

50: Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumbs Beat 4 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 cup superfine sugar and 2 tablespoons each dark brown sugar and vegetable oil with a mixer on medium-high speed until creamy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon each water and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in 1 egg. Add 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt and beat on low speed. Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Spread 1/4 inch thick on a buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F until deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool. Break into small pieces.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes Made for Hot Summer Days

Cold, creamy ice cream is essential for surviving sweltering days in the South, and you don’t have to visit an ice cream parlor to get your fix. Break out the ice cream maker collecting dust in your closet and churn up a batch of our easy homemade ice cream in your favorite flavor. We have dozens of delicious ice cream recipes to choose from, whether you like chocolate, vanilla, fruity flavors, or all of the above. Just follow these expert tips and your batch of ice cream will come out smooth and creamy every time. No ice cream maker on hand? No problem. Get a little creative with technique and you can make an equally stunning batch of ice cream. Our Birthday Cake Ice Cream comes together in a loaf pan in the freezer, and our Strawberry Ice Cream in a Bag miraculously freezes with a little salt and shaking.

In the mood for something special for a summer party? Make an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake or a Creamy Peach Icebox Cake. No matter how you enjoy your ice cream, one thing’s for sure: This frozen treat is supremely satisfying.

75+ Best Summer Dessert Ideas That Make the Most of the Season's Produce

Summer is the season for sweet treats on the back porch.

Summer means outdoor eating time! While every backyard barbecue should have its fair share of potato salad and iced tea, it's just not complete until you've loaded the paper plates up with dessert. And summer desserts are the best! There are all the seasonal fruity desserts, like crisps and tarts. And the cold desserts, like ice cream, fro-yo, and milkshakes. Then there are the summer pies! To help you choose, we've rounded up our favorite summer treats.

Many of these are easy homemade ice creams, frozen yogurts, and other no-bake desserts, so you can avoid turning the oven on and warming up your kitchen. There's a delicious, fruity semifreddo&mdashessentially a frozen, custardy mousse&mdashas well as pies and tarts, an ice cream bombe that layers four different types of your favorite flavors, and a salty peanut banana pudding that is sure to be devoured.

If you're looking for desserts that will travel well, try making the strawberry hand pies or the banana split kebabs. (And here are some other picnic food ideas if you're looking to pack a destination lunch.) While you can always make a classic fruit salad, you'll want to include some of these more creative desserts both to have a wider variety of options, and because they're both easy and impressive. Of course, there are several treats you can make for a simple weeknight desserts, such as chewy brownie ice cream sandwiches or strawberry icebox cake your kids will love.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Try making these ice cream flavors in your food processor this summer:

1. Caramel Ice Cream

If you like caramel and ice cream, but aren’t sure about the burnt, salted, super-sweet kinds, this is the version for you. Sugar, vanilla, cream, eggs, half-and-half go into this one, plus a touch of salt to keep the rest from becoming cloying. Get our Caramel Ice Cream recipe.

2. Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Spiced cookie butter or spread like Biscoff’s has the taste of a graham cracker but the texture of peanut butter. It becomes like a cheesecake crust when combined with strawberry ice cream. Yaaaaasssss. Get our Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream recipe.

3. Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream

This is true, pistachio ice cream. Not that artificial green stuff. Roast your nuts yourself and get going making a better version than anything at the grocery store. Get our Roasted Pistachio Ice Cream recipe.

4. Mixed Berry Sherbet

Frozen raspberries and blackberries play together in this dessert that has no eggs but it does use whole milk. Sherbet isn’t as rich, but it’s still creamy. Get our Mixed Berry Sherbet recipe.

5. Toasted Sesame Seed and Honey Gelato

Sesame seeds and honey pair well as crunchy, sweet snack bars, and in cold cream, they also create something wonderful. Get our Toasted Sesame Seed and Honey Gelato recipe.

6. Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

You don’t have to wait until the pumpkin mania rears up again in the fall and winter. Pumpkin rules all year long, like ice cream in winter. Get our Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream recipe.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

If you haven't tried homemade cinnamon ice cream, you've missed out on a miraculous treat! Utterly divine.

whole Vanilla Bean (or 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract)

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the half-and-half and sugar. Stir it to combine, then add the cinnamon sticks, the caviar from the vanilla bean, and the empty vanilla bean pod. Stir the mixture around and heat it up until it's very hot but not boiling.

Meanwhile, add the egg yolks to a medium bow and whisk them vigorously for about 2 minutes, until the yolks are slightly lighter in color.

Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean pod from the saucepan. Grab a ladle of the hot half-and-half mixture and drizzle it very slowly into the yolks, whisking them constantly to temper the egg yolks. Repeat with another ladle of the hot liquid. When it's mixed in, slowly pour the entire egg mixture into the pan with the half-and-half, stirring with a spoon. Once added, stir and cook it for 2 minutes or so, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon.

Set a fine mesh strainer over a clean glass bowl and strain the custard. Don't worry if it's a little lumpy!

Add the heavy cream to the bowl, add the ground cinnamon, and stir it all together. Chill the mixture for an hour or so, then pour it into the ice cream machine and process it according to your machine's directions. When it's finished churning, it will be in the soft-serve stage transfer it to a freezer container and freeze for several hours or overnight until it's frozen firm.

To paraphrase the great Will Rogers: I never met an ice cream I didn&rsquot like.

Wait. I take that back. I accidentally had a bite of banana ice cream once, and I can honestly say that I didn&rsquot like that ice cream. Blech! Cough! Gag! Who in the world would put something as demonic as a banana in something as heavenly as ice cream? To this day, I&rsquom still confused. And I&rsquom still gagging.

But aside from that scary, awful, horrible, terrible bite of banana ice cream&hellipI never met an ice cream I didn&rsquot like. And this ice cream&mdashin all its cinnamony sweet goodness&mdashpretty much changed everything I thought I knew about myself and ice cream. Before I made it the first time, I would have said my favorite two flavors of ice cream were coffee and chocolate, in that order. But this totally threw a wrench into that whole thing, and I&rsquoll be darned if this isn&rsquot up there with coffee, fighting violently for first place. It really is that good.

Homemade Almond Milk Ice Cream Storage Instructions

Can you make it ahead?

Yes, you can make sugar-free almond milk ice cream ahead. And you’ll probably want to, since the custard has to chill before churning, and the whole thing has to freeze if you want firm ice cream rather than soft-serve.

How to store easy almond milk ice cream

Store this homemade almond milk ice cream recipe in the freezer, for up to 2-3 months.

It should be pretty scoopable straight from the freezer, but if it’s too hard, thaw on the counter for a few minutes to soften before eating.

Dinner party dessert recipes

Finish your evening in style with a decadent chocolate tart, fruity trifle, cheesecake or ice cream dessert. Our stunning yet simple puddings are sure to impress.

Next level key lime pie

Make our next level key lime pie for a dessert to impress. We’ve gone with a pastry base and cut through the sweetness with a sweet and sour cream

Next level chocolate fondant

Wow dinner guests with our ultimate chocolate fondant. Its molten middle is the stuff of dessert dreams – and we've added in caramel and coffee flavours too

Ultimate lemon meringue pie

You can't go wrong with a classic lemon meringue pie, and this easy recipe is particularly good

Millionaire’s cheesecake

Indulge in this no-bake chocolate cheesecake after a special dinner. Whether it's for New Year's Eve or a birthday, it's sure to impress

Coconut custard tart with roasted pineapple

This custard tart has a tropical twist with sunny Caribbean flavours. Bake it for your next dinner party and we guarantee your guests will go back for a second helping!

Retro trifle

Take trifle to the next level for the festive season. Make the jelly with raspberries and enrich the custard with clotted cream for ultra indulgence

Roasted vanilla & honey crème brûlée

Make Tom Kerridge's decadent honey and vanilla crème brûlée with just five ingredients. It's a special dessert to enjoy after a cosy dinner for two

No-bake chocolate tart

You can make this indulgent chocolate tart up to two days ahead. Any leftovers will make a welcome treat with a cup of coffee the next day

Strawberry cheesecake in 4 easy steps

Follow our step-by-step recipe for this easy no-cook cheesecake – a delicious summer dessert for all occasions

Melt-in-the-middle espresso martini brownies

Treat grown-up guests to these fabulous brownies inspired by a classic cocktail. They're a decadent ending to any dinner party

Chocolate cheesecake

Treat family and friends to this decadent chocolate dessert. It's an indulgent end to a dinner party or weekend family meal

Cassis & bay-baked pears with blackberries

Impress dinner guests with this grown-up dessert. Pears are wonderful for soaking up flavours – here that's cassis, red wine, blackberry and bay leaves

Profiterole & salted toffee ice cream sandwiches

Drizzle these fresh choux buns with plenty of hot toffee sauce and top with whatever you like – try homemade honeycomb, chopped nuts or your favourite chocolate bar.

Pistachio soufflé with pistachio ice cream

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Lavender poached pear with Poire Williams pudding

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Trifle cheesecake

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Sea-salted chocolate & pecan tart

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Rocky road cheesecake pudding

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Next level bakewell tart

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500 Ideas For Your Summer Bucket List

“Summer time and the living is easy, fish are jumpin, and the cotton is high” . . . and so goes the song written by George and Ira Gershwin way back in the 1930’s.

Beach weather, watermelons, fruit-flavored sorbets, sand-between-your-toes, fireworks, barbecues, flip flops and bathing suits come to mind for most people when they think of summer. And today, something else also comes to mind: summer bucket lists. Below you’ll find 20 ideas taken from my eBook, “Idea Book – 500 Ideas For Your Summer Bucket List”.

1. Run Through the Sprinklers

Put on your bathing suit and run through the sprinklers. Just turn on the sprinkler and proceed to run through over and over again until the cold water from the hose finally manages to cool you down from the summer heat. An added benefit is feeling the wet grass beneath your bare feet.

One idea, if you don’t have a sprinkler, is to attach an empty 2-liter bottle of coke to a hose with duct tape. Then, proceed to poke holes in three sides of the bottle with a small screwdriver.

And, of course, you can also get yourself a sprinkler. Not only will it keep your lawn green during the dry summer months, it will also provide lots of fun for your family. You can even use the sprinkler to play games, such as “Simon Says”. Here are some ideas:

  • Simon says . . . jump over the sprinkler.
  • Simon says . . . run around the sprinkler.
  • Simon says . . . get your hair wet with the sprinkler.

Get yourself some cheap castle making pieces, pick a spot where the sand is moist but not too wet, and get to work on your master piece. When it’s done, take a photo from a worm’s eye view. Here’s an 8-part tutorial on to help you out (it’s by a professional sand castle builder):

Go geocaching — an outdoor recreational activity in which participants use a GPS receiver and other navigational techniques to look for containers called “geocaches”.

Geochaching is a sport that combines technology and adventure. Once you find the container you log in your visit and you have the option of trading one of the “goodies” in the container with one of your own. Just visit to participate.

  • Get a plain 100% cotton shirt. Buy a dye kit which contains everything that you’ll need (except for the t-shirt).
  • Soak the t-shirt in a solution of warm water and soda ash for about 10 minutes.
  • After soaking, wring the shirt out thoroughly.
  • Create a spiral by creating a center point, with your finger or a stick, and spiraling the shirt around the center point.
  • Use large rubber bands to tie the shirt.
  • Have the different dye colors in different bowls and dip each section of the shirt in a different color.
  • Let the dye set.

Go out wearing your new groovy tie-dye shirt.

Root beer floats are a delicious summer treat. Just scoop some vanilla ice cream into a tall glass and pour your favorite root beer brand over the vanilla ice cream, filling the glass as much as you can.

If you want to go all out, you can use classic soda glasses like you would get at an old-fashioned soda fountain. They’re a big hit with kids and adults alike.

In addition to using them for root beer floats, you can also use them for milkshakes, smoothies, sodas (syrup and seltzer), egg creams–chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer– and other cool treats. And don’t forget the ice cream spoons with the extra long handles. Although you can just use straws, if you prefer.

Fireflies are easy to spot: just go outside and look for the flashing lights. Be sure to bring a net, a clear jar–with holes punched in the lid–, and a flashlight. In addition, you should place a moistened paper towel in the jar to keep the air in the jar humid. You can keep the fireflies for a day or two before releasing back into the night.

Hawaiian punch is a great tropical drink which will quench your thirst during the hot summer months. Here’s a great recipe for Hawaiian Punch that includes orange juice, guava juice, pineapple juice, grenadines, and Ginger Ale (you can add rum, I won’t tell). Serve it in tiki mugs (because everything is more delicious in a tiki mug).

Go to a county fair at least once during the summer and ride the Ferris Wheel. When you get to the highest point of the Ferris wheel, take a selfie and send it to all your friends.

9. Host a 4th of July Barbecue

Think hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs. For side dishes you can have pasta salad, a green salad, and corn on the cob. Make sure that you have plenty of beverages for your guests to drink. Traditional beverages include iced tea, lemonade, and a cooler full of your favorite carbonated beverages, as well as beer for the adults.

Don’t forget to include some type of chocolate dessert.

10. Pick an Official “Summer 2014” Song

Pick an official “Summer Song” play it until you’re sick of it (or until your neighbors threaten to call the police). One song that lends itself to be listened to over and over again is “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Croft.

And, of course, every summer you have to pull out your Beach Boys songs. Here are some of their best known songs, tailor-made for summer:

Here’s an interesting, healthy recipe lemonade recipe (which I got from here):

First. Run the apples and lemon through your electric vegetable juicer.
Second. Add nothing, no water, no sugar!
Third. Sit back and enjoy your lemonade.

You can also try watermelon lemonade, which is a Gooseberry Patch recipe:

4 c. watermelon, chopped
1 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. lemon juice
6 c. cold water

Place watermelon in a blender process until smooth and set aside. In a large pitcher, combine sugar and lemon juice stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in water. Add watermelon mix well. Serve very cold stir well before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

12. Plant Pint-sized Cherry Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets

Plant pint-sized cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets. Baskets overflowing with cherry tomatoes are attractive, and they’re easy to harvest.

13. Collect Seashells at the Beach

Go to the beach and collect seashells. You can put them in a mason jar and display them on a side table in your home, or you can use the seashells to make crafts. You can make seashell shadowboxes, seashell wreaths, or shell candles. The possibilities are endless.

Go on a road trip, preferably in a convertible. Plan a trip ahead of time, or simply hit the open road and see where it takes you. If you don’t own a convertible you can always rent one for the weekend.

15. Make Homemade Ice Cream

Make homemade ice cream—there are many recipes out there for making your own ice cream at home. Some recipes require an ice cream maker, but not all of them do. Making delicious ice cream is so easy, you’ll never want to shop for ice cream at the store again.

Jump in the pool and play the perennial favorite, Marco Polo. We all know how this goes: everyone gets into the pool and one person is designated as “It”. “It” has to close his or her eyes and, with eyes closed at all times, try to tag the other players. When “It” calls out “Marco”, all of the other players have to call out, ”Polo”.

Gather your family or get a group of friends together and set up a baseball game. Baseball is challenging enough to keep things interesting, while being easy enough that anyone can play.

Get a slip-n-slide– a long sheet of thin plastic flanked by tubes on both sides to which you can attach a garden hose to make it wet and slippery. You just run, jump on the slip n slide, and slide on the slippery surface.You can also create a homemade slip-n-slide.

An alternative to water is to use shaving cream.

19. Paint With Sidewalk Chalk

Get a big box of sidewalk chalk and draw on the sidewalk. Better yet, make an art gallery on the sidewalk – you can choose an underwater theme, abstract art, or a floral theme. Another idea is to create a portrait gallery with each member of your family represented.

Build a fire and make S’Mores, a summer classic. Although you can make them in the microwave, nothing beats the flavor of S’Mores cooked over a fire.

You can even have a S’Mores kit ready in your pantry. Just get a clear plastic box with a lid and fill it with everything that you need to make S’Mores—graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars.


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