While those in the northern hemisphere are freezing their tootsies off or looking out the window at snow falling, down under it’s ice cream weather. Santa goes to the beach in shorts and he likes ice cream. I asked him.
When we were kids, the summertime excursion to the ice cream parlour was highly anticipated by all three of us. It was usually a scorching hot day (and there weren’t many of those in Maine), and there was nothing more exciting than scoffing down a big sundae. In hindsight we were lucky that the owner allowed three free toppings because my parents would have never paid for extras.
It took forever for me to decide what it was going to be and I was always last to choose. That’s the amazing thing about sundaes, the topping choices are nearly endless, and you can garnish it any way possible to cater to your taste. While the classic sundae of just ice cream, sauce, whipped cream and a cherry is a timeless classic, you can’t help but want to get creative with it.
Here are some great sundae ideas for any occasion. Oh nuts… don’t forget nuts!
For the kids – a turtle sundae
While this recipe sounds complicated, it’s so easy, you could do it with your eyes closed. Well maybe not with them closed, big cleanup ahead if you cook with your eyes closed. Children love ice cream and they love any kind of food with a face on it, so this turtley sundae will bring big smiles. Best of all, you can make the sundaes together.
All you need is your favourite flavour of ice cream – I used Chocolate Fudge Brownie, waffle bowls and candies/lollies for facial features. Just fill the waffle bowls with the ice cream and place upside down on a serving plate, then use the candy to represent the feet. Finish it off by using a small scoop of ice cream as the head and decorate it with a smiley face using licorice.
I made my own turtle shell (recipe below) and you can too if you’ve got a waffle cone maker. They are not expensive but you’ll probably keep it put away and spend ages hunting for it like I did today.
Note that photographing ice cream on a hot summer day like this can be less than successful. Kids don’t seem to mind that their new turtle friends melt.
For the health conscious – a 350 calorie banana split
Eating healthy can be hard, especially with the temptation of Ben and Jerry’s Australia ice cream staring at you through the supermarket fridge. Luckily, there are delicious dessert ideas that don’t blow your daily calorie count in the one go, one of them being a take on the classic sinful treat – a banana split.
It still has all the necessary ingredients: ice cream, sprinkles, nuts, banana and even a cherry, the only difference is you use vegan ice cream instead of a full cream dairy blend. The vegan ice cream means you reduce your saturated fat content and save on overall calories but keep all the good taste.
For the dinner party – Ice Cream Sundae Smorgasbord
Coming up with creative ideas that all your party guests will like can be tricky. While the dessert doesn’t have to be the pièce de résistance, you do want everyone to enjoy it. Have you ever served ice cream and received complaints? Me neither. I recently had a dinner party with good friends and I wanted to have a good time too, so no hard work all evening for me.
For dessert, I prepared ice cream in dishes and kept them covered in the freezer and I had every topping I could think of in bowls and everyone made their own sundae. Yeah, some people put so much on that it dribbled on the placemats but it’s easier to get out than red wine. We even had a competition for the most creative and the sloppiest. Winners didn’t have to help with dishes, so they tried hard to win.
- 1½ cups cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cups icing (powdered) sugar
- ¾ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1½ teaspoon corn flour (cornstarch)
- Sift everything but the cream and vanilla and set aside.
- Whip cream and vanilla until it's like mousse but no peaks.
- Add dry ingredients to the cream and make a batter. Set aside for 30 minutes. (I learned the hard way that this is important)
- Heat waffle cone maker and brush with a bit of oil if yours needs it.
- Add ¼ cup of batter in the center and close the cover and cook until browned.
- Open the cone maker and with a non-stick spatula, lift the flat turtle and place it over a small upturned bowl.
- Place one scoop of ice cream on a serving dish and place the turtle shell over it. Use Candies for feet, licorice for a tail and a small scoop of ice cream for the head. Use licorice for eyes, nose and mouth.
- Add spoon.
What’s the most creative sundae recipe you’ve ever tried? Tell us in the comments below.
This post was kindly sponsored by Ben and Jerry’s Australia. My opinions are my own.
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Ben and Jerry’s will be coming to Rundle Mall in SA soon too!
I was not a big fan other then the Chunky Monkey, but sense based on nostalgia, I will have to visit too!
Always loved banana splits as took me to very fond childhood memories Maureen, true!
If only we could click our heels and re-visit those moments in time briefly sometimes!!
I know just what you mean. I like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and I’m happy to buy it if I don’t have time to make my own. (I’ll admit that I like that best)
Me too, me too, I scream for ice cream! I’ll take the turtle…adorable 🙂 ela
We ate him 🙂
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
I don’t care that it’s freezing in Scotland right now, for me its Ice Cream time all year round 🙂 I could fair go one of your banana splits right now. I love ice cream because it was such a treat for me, like you as a kid. The ice cream made from where I grew up was always so rich and creamy and I always grab a scoop when I go home to visit my family. Thanks for a trip down memory lane 😀
I know. I’d weigh 50 pounds only if I didn’t like ice cream. 🙂
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Love that turtle! And I totally love ice cream during the warm weather months. And the cool ones. And the cold ones! We’re eating peppermint and eggnog ice cream at the moment. We should make them into sundaes – preferably the turtle ones. We always had ice cream for Christmas when we lived in Florida. And more often than not wore shorts. 😉
Peppermint and eggnog ice cream? I love it!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Sitting here at precisely 6.00am (I had a good night’s sleep!) drooling over your banana split, Ms Maureen… that’s the best one I have EVER seen! Hope you are feeling better my friend… I think of you every day.
I think of you too, Liz. I AM better. Some days if I overdo things I get chest pain but mostly I’m okay.
We’re expecting a snow storm this weekend so what did I do? I went to the store and stocked up on Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Caramel Buzz and What A Cluster. There will be Ice Cream this weekend and now, there just may be Sundaes too!!! Thanks for sharing, Maureen. Enjoy the heat:)
You are a clever woman, Louise!
Well Maureen, this is so timely for me as you know I’m in the heat just like you! And, I’m doing a party tomorrow to include children – it’s actually an after dance recital party in my friend’s home and will be having an ice cream bar for the kids! So, imagine my surprise to be able to check out yours for tips! I thought to also freeze small bowls so was glad to see that you did that; seems to be the best and easiest way to serve for a party. Based on your comment, I may get some adults wanting these sundaes too so I better fill more bowls!!
Adults turn into kids when you give them ice cream and toppings 🙂
Love that banana split. Dreamy. 🙂
Rob said it was very good – both of them 🙂
Your picture of a banana split took me right back to my childhood – I had forgotten about these delicious treats. I think it’s time they went back on the menu!
I know. I remember back when I was 17 and working in an ice cream joint in the summer – one of my favorite things to make were banana splits.
Oh Maureen thats a great idea. I can just imagine some of the disastrous sundae’s that were made. I am not one for all in. Less is more!. It is a bit of a challenge to photograph ice cream at 35 degrees. Imagine that once we all had to go to an icecream parlour for such a treat?. No wonder we are struggling with the calories we only have to walk to the freezer these days!
It was fun. It wasn’t so much about what they put on, it was them trying not to have to do the dishes. 🙂
suzanne Perazzini says
Love the turtle and what a great idea for dessert with guests. I also have trouble with making choices like which topping to choose.
It’s because we want them all, Suzanne! 🙂
Yvonne @ bitter baker says
I scream, You scream – haha that made me smile 🙂
Hi Yvonne! Everyone likes ice cream!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
We used to always have ice cream sundaes for Christmas dessert. These bring back wonderful memories!
Easy and everyone likes it! 🙂
Fiona @TIFFIN bite sized food adventures says
That’s a good looking Banana Split, Maureen. And I don’t even like bananas!
Wow, now that says a lot, Fiona!
OK, now you’ve done it, Maureen! I’m craving a turtle sundae AND your hot weather. It’s snowing here in Indiana :/
We deserve summer – you had it long enough. 🙂
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
Now i am not a huge ice cream eater EXCEPT when it is in the form of a sundae! I love everything that goes on top. I love hot fudge! I love bananas. I love that turtle. Now I need grand kids but that is a long way away. Whew! I better stick with one just for me!
You would have felt right at home today!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Maureen the turtle is absolutely adorable! I can’t believe you have a waffle cone maker. I am seriously jealous although I am now starting to see why John says you can’t have any more kitchen equipment.
Claire, any time you want to bottom the cone maker, just say the word. I don’t think it had been turned on in 4 years. 🙂
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I have such fond memories of making ice cream sundaes at the Sizzler all-you-can eat buffet, as a 10-12 (ish) year old. You’ve taken me right back and sparked an adult craving now!
LOL Kari, what a cute comment.
Glamorous Glutton says
Ice cream sundaes, a real piece of nostalgia. I love how creative you are with them. I’d completely forgotten about banana splits, they seemed the ultimate luxury when I was a child. Mainly because I was so rarely allowed one. Great idea for s dinner party, fun and nostalgic. I’ll have to try it. GG
I know, my parents’ budget only went as high as small sundaes. 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
This looks so good, Maureen, I grew up in a town where there was an ice cream parlour and you could go and look at all the varieties of sundaes they had – and they had so many. My two favourite flavours were licorice and coconut. I love the look of your turtle shells xx
I loved licorice ice cream as a kid. I think because my mother hated that it turned my teeth dark gray. LOL Chocolate and peanut butter would be my favourite.
I know two kids and two adults in this house that would happily scream for these sundaes. 🙂
Bam's Kitchen says
I agree all you need to add is a spoon. Just adorable and love this turtle idea. You are so creative. I bet Santa looks dashing is his red and white Burmuda swim trunks in your neighborhood. Its a little cooler in HK so remind him to grab a sweater/jumper before hoping on his sleigh. Have a super week. BAM
I’ll leave Santa a note about the sweater. He won’t need one here. It’s 11:33pm and I’m barefoot and all the doors are open. 🙂
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Love the idea of the turtle sundae…every kid and kid at heart has to love it. We’ve got snow on the ground here in New Hampshire with a foot more predicted for tonight through tomorrow. No shorts for Santa this year in our neck of the woods. 🙂
One of the things I miss most about Christmas is the crunch, crunch, crunch of my feet on fresh dry snow. I don’t know why it is but I’m eager to enjoy that again. Then I’ll be ready for more sun. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Great ideas Maureen! 😀 Hehe and speaking as someone that is currently freezing their ass off, I can’t wait until I feel summer and see Santa at the beach 😛
OMG you spelled it in American for me??? (Note that spelt isn’t a word in American) Santa is here and waiting for you. It was SO hot up here today and so many boats on the canal looking at the lights that I can smell diesel in the house.
It’s snowing quite heavily in Toronto right now and I suspect we will accumulate more than the 5-10cm that was predicted! I’m also procrastinating to shovel the sidewalk and driveway, which will likely have to be shovelled more than once today!
Although ice cream isn’t top of my mind today, your post comes in good timing. I made several batches of sponge toffee for a photo shoot and was thinking of making sponge toffee ice cream, but crumbling it to put on top of a sundae is also a fantastic idea! Love your waffle cone recipe too.
Oh Eva, that does sound yummy! Growing up in Maine, I can remember my mother making us go outside to SWEEP the snow until it was heavy enough to shovel. The best day in my life came when they bought a snow blower.
I’ve always loved the waffle cone presentation of ice cream or frozen yogurt. My parents wouldn’t have paid extra for those either … just the regular pressed version.
After the 2nd hip replacement I started paying to have it shovelled. In fact, I’m waiting now for my handyman to come (with family, shovels and snow blower, if it’s working) and dig me out. Only problem is that the alley onto which I have to back out my car in order to get to the side street to get to the MAIN streets, which are the only ones which have been shovelled yet, still have 8 inches of snow with ruts on them. Can hardly wait for them for thaw a bit and then freeze into rock hard ridges that I can get stuck going over. 🙂
Lordy! I remember those days. Driving through all the slush during the day and then overnight it freezes so hard you can cut yourself if you fall on it. I have done that too many times to admit. Or fall and tear a ligament – done that. I still have both my hips though.. poor you. I don’t miss snow shoveling. When my dad retired he wanted to put a snow shovel on his shoulder and walk south. When the first person said, “What’s that?” he was going to settle there. He died before he had a chance. sad.
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
Maureen, thanks for the ice cream sundae extravaganza! Wow! I am going to make the turtle sundae for my nieces and nephews. They’ll be delighted.
Most creative sundae – well the tallest sundae was one I ordered in Ghiradeli Square in San Fran – about 5 spoonfuls in, I was defeated. Eyes bigger than belly 🙂
I’m guilty of that. I can’t eat half of what I think I can. Although… ice cream goes down really well. 🙂
My parents would not pay for the extra toppings either, lol!! I am saving this – the turtle sundae is going to be a huge hit, I have no doubt on that. It’s snowing here, so as of now, ice creams don’t seem as appetizing though as they would if the sun was smiling.
Yeah, I feel the same way when I see recipes that will turn my kitchen into a blast oven. 🙂
Marie @citronlimette says
Maureen, I am drooling over your banana split. It’s 80 degrees here in Florida and I would love one. Happy Holidays!
Be right over! 🙂
Yum! Everything loves ice cream sundaes!
yes! I couldn’t agree more.
Eight inches of snow on the ground and blowing wind doesn’t inspire me to dig into an ice cream sundae but I’ll keep these ideas in mind for when the weather gets nicer.
I know. I see all these heavy soups and stews from northern hemisphere bloggers and I think, “I can’t sweat through that.” 🙂
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
I had a Christmas BBQ over the weekend and served up DIY ice-cream too and it certainly went down an absolute treat! Most of the time, after drinking and eating you want something sweet afterwards but not too filling and ice-cream always hits that spot! x
I love parties!!
Love it, love it, love it… ice cream is so good no matter how you fix it. I love the ice cream sundae and banana splits!
Maureen, did you see my Chocolate Chip Cake recipe? Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cake
Dear Maureen, It is freezing!!! here, but those Sundays still look real good.
I think I could manage one, despite the weather.
Blessings dear. Catherine xo
I enjoy ice cream year round, Maureen. For me, if it’s good, it’s good no matter the temp outside. Love your 3 sundaes and the idea of serving a sundae smörgåsbord for a dinner party’s dessert. Good to know that vegan ice cream has come so far. My how things have changed on that front.
When I was in my 20s who knew that vegan would be an important part of so many peoples’ lives? There were a couple of vegetarians when I went to college but there weren’t any vegetarians in Maine where I lived. 🙂
I still love that classic banana split!
We enjoyed them. 🙂
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
Love this post! The turtle is just adorable. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?