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Ultimate Ice Cream Sundae Bar Ideas & Toppings

ice cream sundae bar setup

Looking to add a wow factor at your next soirée, dinner party or birthday celebration? Take dessert to a whole new level with an ice cream sundae bar party! Ice cream parties don’t have to just be for the summer, with our sundae bar ideas and tips you’ll be able to create a stunning dessert bar all year long and for any event. Guests will love choosing from a variety of toppings to construct their very own custom ice cream sundaes.

Here at Lake Champlain Chocolates we LOVE ice cream. Unless you are fortunate to visit beautiful Vermont, you might not know that we make irresistibly delicious ice cream. (We even have our very own gourmet ice cream truck, but that’s a story for another time.) We like to say, “if you love our chocolates, just wait ‘til you try our ice cream!” Crafted from only the best ingredients, like fresh, Vermont cream, and loaded with delicious inclusions, like salted caramel sauce, our ice cream is just as extraordinary as our chocolates.

cups of ice cream sundaes

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream month?! To celebrate, we hosted our very own ice cream sundae bar party. We’d like to share are a few ideas and tips we learned, so that you can host an unforgettable ice cream party!

10 Tips for Creating the Perfect Ice Cream Sundae Bar

scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream on a try

1. Selecting the right ice cream flavors

The most essential ingredient in any ice cream sundae is the ice cream, of course. When it comes to selecting ice cream flavors for your party, we recommend sticking to the classics, like vanilla and chocolate. Keep it simple, but remember to keep it high quality, because better ingredients make a world of difference.

scoops of vanilla ice cream on a tray

2. Pre-scoop your ice cream

Scooping ice cream ahead of time will save you the hassle and mess of trying to portion out ice cream during the party. Carefully scoop your ice cream into 2-ounce balls. (This Zeroll scoop is our favorite tool for the job.) Place the scoops on a wax paper lined sheet tray and then put them back in the freezer until you are ready to serve.  Need a lot of ice cream? Stack your scoops on the tray with layers of wax paper in between.

compostable cups for ice cream sundaes

3. Avoid the great Goldilocks bowl dilemma

The right bowls can make a big difference when it comes to building the perfect sundae. Too small and your guests won’t be able to fit all their favorite toppings. Too big and your guests will leave with a belly ache.  You want a bowl that is just right. For our party, we used small 8-ounce ice cream cups which perfectly fit 2 scoops of ice cream and a good amount of toppings. After all, guests that are feeling extra hungry can always go back for seconds.

bowls of cookie and brownie chunks

4. Add chunks of baked goods

Bowl, check. Ice cream, check. Now on to the fun stuff — the toppings!  These homemade brownies are super chocolatey, slightly fudgy, and totally delicious. Cut them up into small chunks and it’s a match made in ice cream sundae heaven. Not a fan of brownies? Try pieces of chocolate chip cookies or cookie dough chunks instead.

jars of chocolate fudge sauce and salted caramel sauce

5. Make it a saucy sundae

Sauce is a key component of any sundae. We recommend offering a couple different options. Rich, chocolate sauce was the guest of honor at our ice cream sundae party.  But, this golden, salted caramel sauce was equally delicious. (These sauces are available exclusively at our three Vermont stores.) The key to a perfect ice cream sundae bar is making sure your sauces are served warm. If you are planning on having your toppings out for a while, put your sauces in a crock pot to help keep them at optimal drizzle temperature.

bowls of nuts for ice cream sundae bar

6. Go nutty with toppings

Add a little crunch to your ice cream sundae bar with some chopped almonds or peanuts.  If you want to go all out we highly recommend maple candied pecans. Have guests with nut allergies? Caramel corn adds a great salty-sweet crunch to any sundae!

bowls of fruit for ice cream sundae

7. Don’t forget the fruit

Fresh fruit is a must for any ice cream sundae bar. Local raspberries and blueberries were a big hit at our party, but you can’t go wrong with strawberries or bananas (hello banana split!).

bowls of chocolate for ice cream sundae bar

8. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Make your sundae bar FIVE STAR with pieces of Peanut Butter and Caramel Five Star Bars®.  These chopped up chocolate bars were by far the most popular ice cream sundae topping.  Call us crazy, but the chocolate fanatic in us can never have too much chocolate. 

bowls for pretzels and coconut for ice cream sundae bar

9. Load on the extra toppings

When it comes to ice cream sundae toppings there are an endless number of ideas. It all depends on how creative you want to be — toasted coconut, candy pieces, gummies, marshmallows, and cereal are among our staff’s childhood favorites.  Little decorative bowls of toppings illuminate the possibilities. Just be sure to make it easy on your guests by labeling the different options!

bowl of homemade whipped cream for ice cream sundae bar

10. Whip it up fresh

Every ice cream sundae needs a little whipped cream.  Homemade whipped cream is super easy to make and is so much more delicious than anything you can get in a can.

bowl of all-natural ice cream sprinkles

11. Add the finishing touches

Sprinkles are like glitter for the dessert world, they help add a little color and pizazz. This fun sundae topping is available in every shape and color imaginable! We are partial to this rainbow starfetti, because its non-gmo and doesn’t contain any artificial colors.

ice cream sundae with a cherry on top

12. Don't forget the cherry on top

No ice cream sundae is complete without a cherry on top. These bada bing cherries are our favorite, they are almost twice the size of traditional maraschino cherries, are non-gmo, and don’t contain any of the harsh preservatives or artificial food coloring! 

LCC employees enjoying the ice cream sundae bar

Woohoo, that’s it! You are now ready to host your very own extraordinary ice cream sundae party! Share your sundae bar party photos with us on Facebook or Instagram @LCChocolates. Be sure to include the hashtag #ilovelcc and #icecreamsundaebar for a chance to win a jar of our new chocolate sauce!

ice cream sundaes loaded with toppings