Top ice cream artisans tell how to transform store-bought pints into great ice cream desserts like terrines, bonbons and pies.


Driving around New York City in a secondhand Mister Softee truck, Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck sell treats to customers at the curb. But their fans don't come for the soft serve itself, which Big Gay buys premade; the fun is in the toppings—olive oil and sea salt, crushed Trix, wasabi-pea dust. As Quint says, "The last place to look for ice cream toppings is a supermarket ice cream aisle." Inspired, F&W asked America's most brilliant ice cream artisans for fast ways to transform store-bought ice cream. The results range from a terrine layering ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet to chocolate-covered ice cream bonbons sprinkled with salt. And the Big Gay guys share their recipe for an ice cream pie with a fresh blueberry sauce.

Fast Ice Cream Tips

Use a tablespoonsize scoop.

Mini Scoop: Use a tablespoon-size scoop to make quick work of mini sundaes or bonbons.

chocolate bars melt best for shiny glazes.

Bars: Chocolate bars, not chips, melt best for shiny glazes, like the kind on bonbons.

Use a soft spatula.

Spatula: A soft spatula is the best tool for spreading ice cream into terrines, or pies.

Photos: Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma (scoop, spatula), courtesy of Lindt (chocolate).

Finished Recipes

Ice Cream Bonbons. Photo © Tina Rupp
Credit: © Tina Rupp

© Tina Rupp

Ice Cream Bonbons

At the Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz, California, Kendra Baker uses caramel ice cream in her bonbons, which have a silky chocolate shell and flaky sea salt on top.

Ice Cream, Sorbet and Froyo Terrine

© Tina Rupp

Ice Cream, Sorbet and Froyo Terrine

Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio, says the secret to a perfect layered terrine is the "clash of color and texture."

Best-Ever Banana Splits. Photo © Tina Rupp
Fudgy chocolate sauce and a light, crunchy almond topping make the ultimate banana split.
| Credit: © Tina Rupp

© Tina Rupp

Best-Ever Banana Splits

What makes these banana splits from Sweet Rose Creamery in Santa Monica, California, so good is the insanely fudgy chocolate sauce coupled with the light, crunchy almond topping.

More Sensational Ice Cream Desserts

Ice Cream Sundae Potluck
Coconut-Mango Frozen Yogurt
Mint Ice Cream
Credit: © Frances Janisch