8 Best Ice Cream Recipes for an Ice Cream Social

Let's throw an ice cream social! Here's everything you need to know from best bowls to 8 favorite ice cream recipes and 6 toppings.

When temps are scorching outside, your desserts should be ICE COLD. I’m 100% convinced of that, and I think you should be, too!

There are two things I love in life: Gathering people together to socialize and have a grand old time, and ice cream. Put the two together, and you’ve got one happy Claudia. It’s simple math, really.

Hosting ice cream socials is one of my favorite things to do! I love it so much that last year I bought a fun ice cream maker and a waffle cone maker, and with the help of my oldest daughter, we made waffle cones for days.

This summer, she’s been selling the ice cream at her neighborhood ice cream stand, and I keep some of the supplies for myself to have friends over for a fun, summer treat.

By the way… yes, her ice cream stand is a legit thing and is just one of her many entrepreneurial pursuits. She has a new one every week, I swear.

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ice Cream Social Basics

Hosting your own ice cream social can be as simple or as festive as you want it. If you don’t have a waffle cone maker, don’t let that stop you from hosting! Here are some of the basics you need to get your party stared:

Cones and Bowls

You should have a variety of sugar cones and waffle cones, and you’ll want to have some bowls on hand, too. In a pinch, I’ve used just my plain old white bowls from Ikea, but I think these bowls are really cute to use and would be easy to clean up!

I also love serving my ice cream with these tiny spoons from Ikea. It makes the ice cream last longer, I promise!

If you’re going to do bowls, you could do banana splits. I’ve also included brownies in this round-up because hot, fudgy brownies + cold ice cream = MAJOR SWOONING. Again, it’s simple math.

What flavors of ice cream to serve?

Strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla are all classic flavors and you can’t really go wrong. I’ve mixed in some other recipes that everyone knows and loves, but are a little different and funky fresh.

I would pick out 2 to 3 of these recipes to serve, making sure to have a fruity option in the mix. Keep the flavors separate so guests can have one or all the options.

homemade Chocolate Ice Cream in glass bowl

Chocolate Ice Cream

Toppings are a must!

You can’t have an ice cream bar without toppings! I always love having a fruity option on hand, which is why I’ve included the raspberry sauce. Fresh fruit is always fun, but if you really want to impress your guests, homemade cookie crumbles would be delightful, which is why the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is included!

You could also serve nuts, marshmallows, pretzels, chopped up Oreos, sprinkles (Sweetapolita has some really fun selections!), and of course whipped cream and maraschino cherries for the final touch!

Whatever you decided to serve, just have fun!

The whole purpose of an ice cream social is to just enjoy the moment with those you love. Don’t stress yourself over making things perfect. Trust me, I’ve done it so many times, and when it comes down to it, people are just happy to be together and will love anything you put together.

Choose an Ice Cream (or Three!)

Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe

You will literally be tasting strawberry fields forever with this recipe. It boasts that freshly picked berry flavor that just seems to scream SUMMER IS HERE!

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homemade Chocolate Ice Cream in glass bowl

Chocolate is such a classic and this recipe is chocolatey enough to make even Willy Wonka jealous.

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Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream topped with caramel sauce in a bowl

This recipe has a rich, deep flavor thanks to a custard base and vanilla beans. I think you’ll be as crazy about those flecks of vanilla bean as I am!

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Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This is a must for any of your dairy-free a friends. If you’re intimidated by the thought of making ice cream with coconut milk, don’t be! This recipe has simple, every day ingredients is churned like regular ice cream.

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Chai Ice Cream

This ice cream stars with infusing rich and spicy chai flavors in milk. It may take a little longer, but the end result is well worth it. Promise.

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Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I am purely convinced that browned butter makes ANY recipe better, and this ice cream is no exception! And let’s not even get started on how the toasted pecans just bring all the glorious flavors together!

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Coffee Oreo Cookie Ice Cream

This is basically the adult version of cookies ‘n’ cream. It’s practically irresistible with its coffee custard base and touch of rum. That’s right, rum!

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Blueberry Sorbet

If you’re not totally into ice cream, it’s okay! Sorbet is a fantastic treat that will still cool you down. If you want to switch up the flavor, you could add in some raspberries to the mix. Just don’t forget the lemon zest and lemon juice as the really brighten up the flavor!

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Now Choose Your Toppings!

Homemade Caramel Sauce

I always recommend keeping this on hand in case of emergency. You just never know when you’re going to need a little caramel fix, but this is also a must for drizzling over ice cream! It would pair really well with our chocolate, French vanilla, and butter pecan ice creams!

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Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce - close up of pancake stack

(Just take the raspberry sauce from this recipe!) I always like to have a fruity topping when serving my guests. While I hold chocolate or caramel toppings near and dear to my heart, I recognize that not everyone may feel that way. This syrup starts with frozen raspberries, and you could easily use frozen strawberries, blueberries, or even frozen mixed berries!

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Candied walnuts in a bowl

These are an extra-special treat scattered on top of ice cream!

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How to make the Best Chocolate Chip cookies from this Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

If I have leftover cookies (which is rare… but when I do…) you best believe I’m going to crumble them up and enjoy them with some ice cream!

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Best Chocolate Brownies

Nothing is better as a base for ice cream than chewy brownies. Top with any ice cream (vanilla is always my choice) and drizzle with caramel!

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A person tipping the metal bowl of a stand mixer to show the whipped cream inside.

Whipped cream is a must if you want to do banana splits. Scoop this into a Ziplock baggie, snip the corner and pipe onto your ice cream. If you’re on the hunt for a a dairy-free option, go for this Coconut Whipped Cream!

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Claudia Cash

Claudia is the Community Manager for Simply Recipes, and finds joy building relationships with our readers through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As the mother of 5 girls, she is passionate about family dinner and having that time together every day to connect with those we love, even if it's over toast and eggs.

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