How to Create a Charming Ice Cream Bar

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Ideas for creating a charming ice cream bar! It’s perfect for any summer gathering like a birthday party, 4th of July party, or a summer kick-off party. Everyone loves ice cream and this is an easy summer dessert idea. So bring the ice cream shop to your home for your next gathering.

An ice cream bar is the only dessert you need for a summer party! Whether you’re hosting a last-minute birthday bash or fun in the sun party, adults and kids will love this! It’s an easy, no-bake fun entertaining idea for everyone!

If you love this entertaining idea, check out our festive snow cone bar and agua fresca bar!

ice cream cones in a wooden holder on a bar

We’re covering all the details, what you’ll need, and fun ideas for creating your ice cream bar for your next party.

ice cream bar with pink flowers and a green cooler with ice cream tubs

How to Create an Ice Cream Bar at Home

An ice cream bar can be created on the kitchen island, bar cart, large dining table, or bar. Once you have the area picked out, you can start planning what you’ll need. You’ll need everything from small bowls to ice cream scoopers to decorations to create the best ice cream bar!

ice cream bar with ice cream cones and colorful flowers

What do you put on an ice cream bar?

Here is a list of supplies and ingredients you use to make your ice cream bar the best it can be!

Ice Cream Cones and Cups

Wooden Ice Cream Cone Holder

Toppings – See our list below

Ice Cream Scooper – A must for getting those perfect ice cream scoops.

Ice Chest – To keep ice cream cold

Different Flavors of Ice Cream

Spoons – Wooden spoons work great!

Small Bowls for Toppings

Napkins

Flowers – To add color and charm.

Ice Cream Themed Desserts – Like our Ice Cream Sundae Cake!

Ice Cream Bar Ideas

You can find so many charming products for an ice cream bar on Etsy! From unique sprinkle blends to mini waffle cones, charming cups to the sweetest handmade walnut ice cream cone holder! Here are some fun ideas!

waffle cones on a wall behind an ice cream bar

Waffle Cone Wall

This is a fun way to decorate for an ice cream party! We gently nailed in waffles cones for a backdrop! You can also use Command strips for this.

colorful flowers

Charming Colorful Flowers

Adding flowers to an ice cream bar is the perfect way to add color and beauty! Here are 10 floral tips from a pro!

waffle cones and flowers on an ice cream bar

Ice Cream Cone Holder

wooden ice cream cone holder is perfect for an ice cream bar! There are several handmade versions on Etsy that are stunning. They add a lot of charm and detail to the bar.

chocolate dipped spoons

Chocolate Dipped Spoons

An easy and charming idea to make for your ice cream party! Just dip wooden spoons in melted chocolate, add a few sprinkles and let them dry on parchment paper.

You can also make these with copper or gold spoons!

mini ice cream cone sugar cookies

Mini Ice Cream Cone Cookies

Making mini ice cream cone cookies with frosting is a fun idea. Serve them as an ice cream topping or in a bowl. Here’s a great recipe and a mini cookie cutter.

Ice Cream on Ice

Add pints of colorful ice cream and different flavors in an ice chest on ice. This way it will stay cold while scooping.

ice cream over ice

Ice Cream Flavors

When buying ice cream, get a few different flavors for guests to choose from. Here are some flavors you can serve:

Coconut

Mint Chip

Espresso

Mango Sorbet

Black Raspberry

Chocolate

Vanilla

Birthday Cake

Peanutbutter

If you want to get super fancy, you can make homemade ice cream! This puts more work into throwing an ice cream party, but if you’re an ice cream connoisseur you’ll love these recipes!

sprinkles, ice cream cones and dipped chocolate spoons for ice cream bar toppings

Ice Cream Bar Toppings

There are so many delicious toppings you add to an ice cream bar! Here are a few fun ideas. Have them in small serving bowls with mini scoops.

  • Sprinkles
  • Mini Sugar Cookies
  • Whipped Cream
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • Edible Flowers
  • Dried Flower Petals
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Cherries
  • Gummies
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Peanutbutter Sauce
  • Fresh Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

How many toppings do I need for an ice cream bar?

It’s all about the toppings when creating a DIY ice cra, the bar! Try to have a variety of at least 10 toppings, 3 sauces, cherries, and whipped cream. This will give guests a good amount to choose from when creating an ice cream sundae. However, it’s always nice to have even more options if you can!

It can also be tricky to know exactly how much to get. There are so many toppings you can choose from, such as nuts and sprinkles. cherries, mini marshmallows, etc. We like to have about 4 ounces of toppings per guest.

The most popular ice cream toppings are the classic ones! Peanuts, whipped cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, cherries and chocolate sauce.

fancy sprinkles in bowls

Fancy Sprinkles has so many great blends! We love the uniqueness of their sprinkles and they add a lot of fun and charm to an ice cream party.

Dried, edible flowers are beautiful on ice cream! They add a floral flavor too.

Scoop of purple ice cream with cones, flowers, whipped cream.

Tips for Creating an Ice Cream Bar

Food Covers – Anytime you’re serving food outside, have food covers available to keep unwanted bugs away.

Wet Washcloths – Keep a few wet washcloths nearby to quickly wipe up sticky spills and messes. It’s best to have a clean surface and bar when making sundaes.

Make it Fun – Have a lot of fun toppings and sauces to make it over the top and festive! It’s all about the presentation and creating something that is special for guests.

What is the best way to scoop ice cream?

  1. Dip the scooper into warm water and shake off the excess water.
  2. Scoop at an angle into the ice cream and around like a full circle until a ball of ice cream forms.
  3. Gently release onto an ice cream cone.

How much is in a scoop of ice cream?

One scoop of ice cream can be 1/2 to 1 cup. If you do a double scoop it’s about 2 cups!

How much ice cream do I need for an ice cream bar?

Have at least 2 cups per guest, which is 16 ounces. For reference, one gallon of ice cream has 128 ounces. So you can serve about 8 guests with 1 gallon. If you’re worried about running out of ice cream then plan for 3 cups of ice cream per guest. Also have at least 4-6 varieties of ice cream flavors.

How do I keep the ice cream from melting?

There is no way to prevent ice cream from melting. However, here are a few helpful tips to try when serving ice cream at an ice cream bar.

Set the entire bar up with toppings, decorations, sauces creating a beautiful bar that gets guests excited!

Store the ice cream at the bottom of the freezer where it will harden and become very frozen.

Do not take the ice cream out until you’re ready for the ice cream bar.

Place the ice cream in a cooler filled with ice or a large bucket with ice.

In a few minutes, the ice cream will be perfect for serving and you’ll get a decent amount of time to scoop it for everyone before it turns into a dripping mess. Did we mention napkins are a must at an ice cream bar?

wooden spoons dipped in chocolate

Best Occasion to Serve an Ice Cream Bar

There are so many wonderful celebrations and gatherings that an ice cream bar is great for! Here are some ideas:

Summer Brunch

Pool Party 

Birthday Party

Carnival Party

Garden Party 

Tropical Party

Graduation Party

4th of July Party

Ice Cream Bar Shopping

Ice Cream Sundae Tray

For a smaller gathering, you can create this same concept on a large serving tray. Have a few varieties of ice cream, toppings, and sauces on a tray along with bowls, ice cream, scoopers, and whipped cream! It makes a fun presentation when you bring out an ice cream tray filled with treats!

ice cream cones

More Fun Entertaining Ideas You’ll Love!

Fun Ways to Use a Tiered Galvanized Tray

Make Your Own Spritzer Bar

Romantic Gin and Flower Bar

Everything You Need for Hosting an Outdoor Movie Night

Charming Lemonade Stand for Adults

Now you’re ready to set up the most epic ice cream bar and have your guests make their own ice cream sundaes!

Let us know if you make this ice cream bar! We’d love to see your ideas! Please comment below and tag us on social @sugarandcharm

You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes, cocktails, desserts, and parties!

ice cream bar

Ice Cream Bar

Everything you need to create a beautiful ice cream bar!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 1633kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprinkles
  • 1 cup gummies
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 2 cups chocolate sauce
  • 2 cups caramel sauce
  • 16 ounces whipped cream
  • 1 gallon ice cream , different flavors
  • 10 waffle cones
  • 10 sugar cones

Instructions

  • Place all of the toppings in mini bowls.
  • Place everything on a kicthen bar or island.
  • Organize all of the supplies and ice cream bar decorations.
  • Have guests create their own ice cream sundaes!

Notes

This is a rough estimate for 10 guests. Add more or less of whatever you love!

Nutrition

Calories: 1633kcal | Carbohydrates: 264g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 912mg | Potassium: 840mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 154g | Vitamin A: 1310IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 418mg | Iron: 3mg
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2 thoughts on “How to Create a Charming Ice Cream Bar”

    • Hi Lani, not sure which link you are talking about. We checked the Etsy Journal Link and it is linking back to Etsy. The cart is from HomeGoods! We use it a lot for entertaining.

      Reply

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