Host Your Own Ice Cream Sundae Party

Are you looking for a unique family friendly party idea? How about throwing an ice cream sundae party? It doesn't have to be only for the kids. What a perfect way to spend an evening or afternoon during any time of year. This could be a great half time show during football season or a child's birthday party. Make it just like an old-fashioned ice cream social and invite your friends or neighbors that you haven't seen for a while to an afternoon gathering at your home.

The Goal:

To try and taste as many different combinations of ice cream, dessert sauces and toppings as possible before you end up with a stomach ache!

What are you going to need? Ice Cream of course! What kinds should you buy and how much? Here is a general guide:

  • Basic flavors of Ice Cream to have on hand for your Ice Cream Sundae Party:
    • Vanilla or French Vanilla- I would recommend a natural vanilla Ice Cream such as Breyer's brand. It really makes a difference on how everything tastes.
    • Plain Chocolate- something rich and creamy and milk chocolate
    • Maple Nut- a classic ice cream flavor
    • Strawberry- tastes wonderful with a blueberry or raspberry sauce on top.

    Pick your favorite flavors. Just about anything goes. Please buy good ice cream if you can. Try to stay away from too many artificial flavorings in the ice cream. It detracts from the great flavors of the dessert sauces and toppings. You don't have to necessarily buy top shelf gourmet stuff, but stay away from the really cheap ice creams as well. You may also substitute a variety of frozen yogurts or sorbets for the regular ice cream flavors.

    How much? Well, the serving size on most containers of ice cream is ½ cup. Most people will eat somewhat more than that, so take a look at whom you are inviting and if you know if someone is a big eater. Also, is this the only thing you are serving? Decide if you will have other types desserts too.

    What time of day will you have the party? If this were held in place of a regular meal, your guests will eat more ice cream. I would recommend 2 to 2 ½ servings per person, so that equates to 1 to 1 ½ cups of ice cream per person. If you are serving other desserts, decrease serving portions to 2 servings per person.

    If you are doing a children's party, you may want to limit the serving sizes accordingly. If you allow a bit too much sugar intake, you may have an uncontrollable mob on your hands in short order. Remember to take into consideration a child's weight in comparison to a full grown adult. Keep the serving sizes in check and they will have plenty of fun just helping to add toppings to their creations.

  • Basic dessert sauce flavors for your ice cream sundae party:
    • You should have on hand a jar of each of the following: chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and a fruit flavor such as blueberry or red raspberry. If you want to try something different, try cheesecake flavored dessert sauces, apple cinnamon syrup, three-berry chipotle sauce or a raspberry jalapeno sauce. For coffee lovers, you may want to try hazelnut coffee concentrate syrup drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream. For the adults, flavorful dessert liqueurs such as Kahlua or Bailey's Irish Cream taste great on ice cream also.

  • Ideas for Sprinkles and Toppings:
    • Sprinkles, colored sugars, chocolate chips, chocolate vermicelli sprinkles, chopped walnuts, pecans and peanuts, malted milk powder, yogurt chips, shredded coconut, nonpareil seeds, peanut butter chips, mini M&M's, toffee chips, butterscotch chips, and crumbled brownie bits are all great choices. Just pick two or three of these to start. If you have more people, you can increase the number of toppings accordingly.

  • Other items to have on hand:
    • Bananas for making a banana split, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, lots of sundae dishes, plenty of napkins and glasses of ice water.

Share some time with those that mean a lot to you. Invite them over to visit and also enjoy some ice cream.

    Editor's Note: Laura Warnke is owner of an online gourmet retail store, The Topping Shoppe, LLC. Here you will find a great selection of dessert sauces and ice cream sundae toppings to purchase. If you want to know more about how to use different types of dessert sauces in your recipes please visit her website.

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