From charred fruits to homemade brittle, here are 11 awesome ice cream toppings.

White Fudge Sundae
Credit: © Anna Williams

From charred fruits to homemade brittle, here are 11 awesome ice cream toppings.

1. Halvah. The Middle Eastern sesame candy transforms a boring scoop of vanilla ice cream into an unexpected and sophisticated new dessert.

2. Brittle. Make next-level peanut brittle using rice cereal and banana chips to sprinkle over chocolate ice cream. Or make a nut-free brittle with sunflower seeds.

3. Candied Bacon. A terrific cocktail snack, lacquered bacon is equally good with vanilla ice cream.

4. Caramelized Pineapple. Make a piña colada sundae with charred pineapple and sweetened shredded coconut.

5. Coconut Crispies. Coat coconut flakes in egg whites and sugar and bake to create an ethereally crisp sundae topping. Then sprinkle on almonds and chocolate sauce for a candy-bar-inspired sundae.

6. Spiked Peaches. How do you make peaches even better? Cook them in a bourbon-laced butter sauce, of course. (Then spoon over vanilla ice cream.)

7. Tapioca. Chewy pearls of tapioca are a delightful surprise on top of ice cream.

8. White Fudge Sauce. Pretend it’s opposite day and make a creamy white chocolate sauce to serve over chocolate ice cream.

9. Upgraded Caramel Sauce. Make your favorite caramel sauce a bit more grown-up and add a spoonful or two of sweet-tangy balsamic vinegar or freshly grated ginger.

10. Granola. For a quick, crunchy ice cream topping, sprinkle with a little granola, either store-bought or homemade. (Granolas without dried fruit, which can get hard from the cold ice cream, work best).

11. Fruit Sauce. If you have a surplus of berries, make this super-easy blueberry syrup or this raspberry coulis to serve over ice cream, pancakes or both at the same time.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.