How to Set Up an Ice Cream Bar

Ice cream is a convenient and delicious dessert option, but the whole method of serving it in a sundae glass topped with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry, has gotten fairly old and boring. Why not spice up dessert by setting up an ice cream bar the next time you host a party? The colourful and varied spread of ice cream, sauces, and toppings, is sure to be a great hit with children and adults alike.

Things Required:

– A long, rectangular table
– Plastic table cloth
– Different types of ice cream
– Bowls of whipped cream
– A selection of preferred sauces and toppings
– Plastic serving bowls and spoons
– Large metal bowls
– Ice cream scoops


  • 1

    Start by laying out the table, buffet-style. An ice cream bar is messy – there’s simply no way around that – so be prepared for spills. Before the party, cover the table with a plastic table cloth, and stack the serving bowls and spoons to one side of the table.

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  • 2

    Next, proceed to fill several small bowls with colourful and tasty toppings for the ice cream. There are no restrictions, and you can lay out bowls for virtually anything you like – just be sure to offer your guests plenty of variety and options. You can use crushed candy, chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, crushed cookies, crumbled brownies – the options are endless. Cover these, and remove the lids only when the ice cream bar is opened to the guests.

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  • 3

    Then, set up the large metal bowls, which will later be filled with ice, to keep the ice cream cold during dessert – simply line them up in a row. Finally, as a last touch to your prep before the party, you can string up colourful banners behind the ice cream bar table, or set up a menu reminiscent of a cafe, to let your guests know what’s on the table. However, if you’d rather not go through so much effort, simply prepare tags for all the ice cream and sauce flavours (the toppings can speak for themselves).

  • 4

    Now, get up a few minutes before the main course at your party ends, and proceed to set up your ice cream bar. First, fill the metal bowls with ice, and place your selection of ice cream cartons on the ice, to keep them cool – put the appropriate labels in front of each flavour and put out the ice cream scoops. Next lay out the sauces with their labels (chocolate, caramel, cherry, etc), and bowls of chilled whipped cream. Finally, uncover all the toppings. Your ice cream bar is now ready for you and your guests to enjoy.

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