5 Fun & Interesting Ice Cream Toppings (Slideshow)


Summer is officially here. And you know what that means: it’s time to get used to the sound of the ice cream truck music, and the throngs of screaming kids ready to fork over their allowance for ice cream sandwiches or ice pops shaped like cartoon characters. As delicious as those treats are, though, us adults usually have a more sophisticated palate than that. So it only makes sense that we upgrade our ice cream for something more, well, adult. Well we’ve got you covered here! Check out five unusual and interesting ice cream toppings after the kids are in bed!

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1. Balsamic Vinegar & Berries

Try it on: Vanilla or Chocolate.

If there were any justice in the world, balsamic vinegar and berries would be up there with ketchup and mustard or peanut butter and jelly in terms of perfect food combinations. You could go the easy route here and toss some berries onto your ice cream and top it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Or, you can try something a little more decadent (and a little more work!) and with this recipe:

  • 1/2 1-pint basket sliced berries
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs pine nuts
  • Pinch of cloves, ground
  • 1. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, half of the sugar, and berries.
    2. In a small heavy skillet, combine pine nuts, cloves and the rest of the sugar. Stir for around 4 minutes over medium-low heat. You’ll know they’re done when the pine nuts are golden brown and the sugar has melted.
    3. Top ice cream with the strawberries first, and then top with nuts.

    Recipe Credit: Epicurious

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    2. Popcorn and Caramel Sauce

    Who doesn’t love caramel popcorn? And, for that matter, who doesn’t love ice cream? So it certainly makes sense to combine the two together. All of you ambitious cooks can check out the recipe for buttery popcorn ice cream from scratch over at The Kitchn. It sounds perfect: the popcorn is more than just a topping, it’s in the ice cream itself. The rest of us, in the meantime, can pour some caramel sauce and buttered popcorn over our store-bought vanilla.


    3. Olive Oil & Sea Salt

    One thing I know for sure: I love the flavor of olive oil and sea salt, and I love ice cream. Together? Eh, that sounded kind of gross — I’m not very big on savory + sweet flavor combinations. When I tried it, though, I had to throw that all out the window. If you’re using good-quality ingredients (especially, in this case, olive oil!) harmoniously complement each other. There’s also a lot of room to experiment with the type of sea salt you use.

    How to: Drizzle olive oil onto ice cream — about 1/2 tablespoon per scoop is a good start. Sprinkle sea salt. You can even add fresh herbs like basil, rosemary or thyme. Lemon zest works well, too!

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    4. Black Sesame Seeds & Orange Zest

    Though it may sound strange to westerners, in Asia, black sesame ice cream is quite common. According to Serious Eats, in fact, it’s as common as vanilla is in the United States! You can click that link to find a recipe for sesame seed ice cream, or revamp your vanilla ice cream with the seeds and some orange zest. Totally delicious!

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    5. Cayenne Pepper & Cinnamon

    Fans of Mexican hot chocolate will love this one! Sprinkle some cayenne pepper and cinnamon on top of some rich chocolate ice cream for a spicy take on a classic dessert.

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    Danuta Watola
    Danuta Watola3 years ago

    thanks for sharing

    Dale Overall

    Intriguing but will pass on the olive oil and Randolf....fish heads? Okay....a flavour for every season no doubt. think I will stick with hot fudge!

    Alicia Coker
    Alicia Coker3 years ago

    most of that kinda sounds nasty. just saying

    Mukesh R.
    Mukesh Ramteke3 years ago


    Laurie D.
    Laurie D.3 years ago

    NOT!! Most of this sounds just plain SCARY!!! (except the caramel...)

    Salla T.
    Salla T.3 years ago

    When I was a kid, I used to tune my scoops if there was only plain vanilla ice cream avalaible. My favorite was crumbed cookies mixed into the ice cream. Now that I'm old, I don't like ice cream toppings of any kind anymore. I find these suggestions interesting anyhow, I think I'm going to test berries with balsamico as a dessert!

    Teresa Cowley
    Teresa Cowley3 years ago

    Most of these toppings are a bit "out there" for me, but I'll take caramel on almost anything!

    Ishma Shumama
    Natalie Kulk3 years ago


    Marielaina Perrone Dds

    Thanks for the unusual toppings. Might have to sneak one of these in on my kids and see what they think. Would be a true test of tatse.

    Marielaina Perrone DDS

    Angela N.
    Angela N.3 years ago

    thanks :)