Ice-Cream Sundae Bar

Ice-Cream Sundae Bar

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 12
Fun for the guests and easy for the host, a self-serve ice-cream bar is perfect for a crowd that includes kids. Set out bowls of toppings on trays in the kitchen ahead of time for quick last-minute setup.

Both kids and adults will have fun making their favorite soda fountain specialty, whether it is an old-fashioned root beer float, a classic banana split, or a traditional sundae topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Have plenty of ice or dry ice on hand to keep the ice cream well chilled.


  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought caramel sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought strawberry sauce
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 cup broken toffee-bar pieces
  • 1 cup whole miniature cookies or cookie pieces
  • 1 cup walnuts or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1 quart chocolate ice cream
  • 1 quart strawberry ice cream
  • 6 bottles (each 12 fl. oz.) old-fashioned root beer, chilled
  • 3 bananas, unpeeled
  • 12 waffle ice cream cones


  • 3 plastic squirt bottles
  • Assorted small glass bowls
  • 2 bags (each 20 lb.) ice
  • Ice cream scoops
  • Assorted soda fountain glasses
  • Soda fountain spoons
  • Straws


Transfer the store-bought sauces to squirt bottles and label each bottle. Place the blueberries, raspberries, maraschino cherries, chocolate chips, toffee-bar pieces, cookie pieces and nuts in small bowls for toppings. Transfer the whipped cream to a small serving bowl.

Pack the whipped cream, ice cream and root beer on ice so that they remain cold, and place within easy reach of guests. Set out the sauces, toppings, bananas and waffle cones. Let guests create their own ice cream confections. Serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining, by George Dolese (Free Press, 2005).
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