A make-your-own ice cream sundae bar is always a fun dessert option for any party, and will really take the pressure off of you, allowing you to focus more on the main meal. From the ice cream flavors to choose to the sauces and toppings that you will need, here are a few tips to help you to create the perfect ice cream sundae bar.
The Ice Cream
While it can be easy to be tempted by all of the more unusual ice cream flavors out there, it is best to keep things as simple as possible, as this will allow the focus to be placed on the toppings. A quality vanilla ice cream is a must, although you can also include a chocolate and strawberry option if you would like there to be more variety. You can also either pre-scoop this into a bowl, and store it in the freezer until you need it, placing the bowl in an ice bucket when it is time to serve, so that it does not melt too quickly.
Just like with your ice cream choices, your sauces can be kept relatively simple too, although you should try to aim for at least three or four as a minimum. A chocolate sauce, as well as a caramel sauce, will always be popular, and you should try to include a fruity sauce too. While it is easy enough to buy pre-made sauces, making your own sauce will really give the flavors a huge boost. A sweet cherry sauce is so quick to whip up, while nothing can beat a homemade raspberry sauce, especially if you use freshly picked fruit. If you have invited quite adventurous eaters to your party, it could be worth putting together a few innovative sauces, such as a balsamic glaze or a lemon curd. When it comes to serving, you can either place these into small bowls, along with a ladle in each, or even put them into plastic squeeze bottles to make them even easier to use.
By keeping the ice cream and sauces relatively simple, this means that you can really have some fun with the toppings that you choose. A mix of sweet, salty, crunchy and fruity is ideal, and there should be at least two of each kind to choose from. For the salty, you can go for anything from peanuts and walnuts to pretzels and potato chips, while the sweet can include crushed cookies, candy and sprinkles. For the fruity toppings, you can opt for just about any fruit that you desire, whether this may be berries or mango pieces, while the crunchy toppings could include coconut flakes or cereal.
The Finishing Touches
The finishing touches that you include in your ice cream sundae bar are what will help to make the experience a memorable one for your guests. Some whipped cream to top it all off will always be appreciated, especially if you make your own rather than opting for a pre-made can. A bowl of maraschino cherries to top off the sundaes will also add a charming, nostalgic touch.
When it comes to setting up your sundae bar, it is always a good idea to create small labels for each of the ice cream flavors, sauces and toppings, because while some of them may be easy to tell apart, others, such as different chopped nut varieties, can be quite difficult. This is a dessert option that really enables you to get creative, so do make the most of it.