Creating the Ultimate at Home Ice Cream Bar: How to Satisfy Your Tastebuds

March 1, 2022, by 

Ice cream is a delicious treat that many people enjoy, and if you are one of those people, why not create an at-home ice cream bar? Setting up an ice cream bar at home can make creating the perfect dessert that much easier. While attempting to create an at-home ice cream bar may seem like a daunting task, there are many easy renovations you can make to ensure that your tastebuds will be satisfied. To help you get started, we reached out to ice cream experts from Cincinnati, OH to Surrey, BC to give us their best tips on how to create the ultimate home ice cream bar. From installing a blast fridge to coming up with a theme, check out what they had to say.

A row of colorful ice cream

1) Purchase new equipment

Buy new – don’t buy old refurbished equipment such as sundae bars or dipping cabinets. I’ve learned the hard way by buying used equipment for our ice cream locations. As soon as you have a leak in the walls within your freezer, there is nothing that can be done and your entire unit has to be replaced. – Pav’s Creamery

2) Start with the necessities

Five things you need for the perfect home ice cream bar:

  • Adequate seating.
  • Glass mason jars for the ice cream and cute matching bowls or shallow jars for the toppings.
  • Spoons.
  • A cookie sheet with parchment paper to contain the fixings so you avoid a huge mess.
  • A selection of toppings that include sweet, savory, crunchy, and salty. These combinations would pair well with the sweetness of the ice cream.

– Cajou Creamery

3) Incorporate an ice cream machine into your bar area

If we were creating a home ice cream bar, it would be located in our bar area by all the liquor.  We would add a really nice Cuisinart ice cream maker to make sure our ice cream texture was perfect. Lastly, we would include some really nice glass jars to store all of our toppings and mix-ins to give us some versatility with flavors. – Buzzed Bull Creamery

4) Consider a roll your own ice cream machine

Wherever you like to entertain – your kitchen, bonus room, or an outdoor kitchen, consider installing a built-in “roll your own” home ice cream bar. Grab some heavy whipping cream, milk, and your favorite topping. When you’re done, put it in your homemade waffle bowl. – Double Scoop Ice Cream

5) Add a mini-fridge and some cabinets

Make sure to add a mini-fridge or some cabinets and drawers next to your ice cream freezer. Just imagine, you’ve used your scoop for your favorite ice cream, put it in your special bowl, and topped it with sprinkles and whipped cream all in one go – the ice cream bar will beckon you and any guests that come over any time you pass it. – Beckon Ice Cream 

6) Purchase a blast freezer

The most critical component is a blast freezer. -20 degrees “blast” freezes the ice cream so no ice crystals form in the product. The result is creamier, denser ice cream. – Capannari Ice Cream

7) Source the home ice cream bar in the main gathering space

The perfect place for a home ice cream bar is in the main gathering space because food, especially ice cream, brings people together. I prefer having an ice cream bar in my house over a traditional wine bar. – Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

8) Make your own homemade ice cream

We think everyone should be able to enjoy homemade ice cream. If your local ice cream shop doesn’t make their own ice cream, consider making your own at home. Some things to keep in mind are to:

  • Use the best ingredients (so many great recipes can be found online).
  • Make sure your freezer can get your products cold quickly. (-10 degrees).
  • Consider a small commercial batch freezer if you are really serious about your ice cream.

– Katie’s Ice Cream

9) Upgrade your wet bar icebox

At home ice cream bars are hard to come by but leave a lasting impression. To wow your friends, upgrade your wet bar icebox to a larger freezer and pack it full of a variety of ice cream flavors. Keep the fridge stocked with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and a jar of cherries. – Scoop DeVille

10) Make your home ice cream bar portable

We recommend investing in a fun ice cream cart that can be moved to anywhere you have a freezer with ice cream. The cart should be outfitted for the ultimate in ice cream enjoyment by including the necessities like bowls, spoons, cones, and colorful napkins, in addition to a large assortment of toppings like hot fudge, caramel, candy, cookies, brownies, fruits, and nuts. – eCreamery

11) Consider a display freezer

Presentation is key, both for the ice cream and the toppings, but so is functionality. I would recommend a display freezer with a glass top, see through topping containers, and a high-quality ice cream scooper. As for location, generally, always by the rest of the food, or, if it applies, by the pool. – The Hop Ice Cream

12) Personalize your utensils and bowls

Monogrammed ice cream spoons, along with Zeroll scoops (the Rolls Royce of ice cream scoops), and some stylish bowls or sundae glasses will make you feel like you’re at the coolest ice cream shop in town. – True Scoops

13) Install a dipwell

To keep your ice cream bar looking good, you should have a dip well nearby to provide running water to house your ice cream scoop. Clean off the scoop by dipping it in the well and be sure to shake off that water before beginning your next scoop to remove the chance of adding unwanted ice crystals to your treat. To avoid messy cross-contamination of flavors mixing together and just looking completely unprofessional, each scoop should be pristine before your next flavor dip. – Gofer Ice Cream

14) Stock up with your favorite toppings

Swap out that wet bar and set up a gelato nook by restocking the under-counter fridge with whipped cream, root beer, and pints of ice cream. Above be sure to have all your accessories like scoopers, spoons, and bowls and for the shelving above stock your favorite toppings from toasted nuts, sprinkles, candied fruit, and our personal favorite: Jersey rainbow cookies. Don’t forget the chocolate sauce. – Apem Creamery 

Pistachio Ice Cream

15) Don’t forget the essentials

For the perfect ice cream bar you need the essentials, such as multiple flavors of ice cream and a variety of toppings. You will need a good freezer that can get pretty chill to hold your ice cream for longer than a week, and maybe a big one in case you plan on stocking up. To keep things fun, try creating cocktail sundaes by thinking of your favorite drinks and changing up what flavors of ice creams you buy. Themed ice cream parties can really keep things cool in the Summer and tasty in the Winter. – Sarah’s Creamery

16) Buy self-serve topping dispensers

We pride ourselves on fun and crazy toppings. Therefore, we recommend making toppings the center of your home ice cream bar. One idea is to buy self-serve topping dispensers for kids and adults to make their own sundaes. There isn’t anything much better than a homemade waffle cone too, waffle cone presses can be bought by anyone and mix can be bought for easy waffle cone creation. – Bigfoot Creamery

17) Install condiment dispensers for your favorite sauces

Creating the perfect home ice cream bar can be fun. You can purchase “warming” condiment dispensers or even simple squeeze bottles for your favorite sauces. With proper shelving, you can have multiple mason jars containing your favorite toppings whether they’re chocolate, fruity, or nutty. Add a wooden or plastic cone holder for the finishing touches, and of course, don’t forget the whipped cream. – The Farmers Cow Calfe

18) Create a theme such as an old-school parlor

Want to create the ultimate home ice cream bar? First, find a space such as a bonus room or family room where you install a bar and give it an old-school parlor look with built-in stools. Make sure to install a chest freezer to hold your ice cream at 0 degrees F. Glass shelving on the wall behind can hold cups and glasses. Glass containers can complete the look and hold all the sweet and salty treats that you can top your ice cream with. Splurge and buy a blender and containers to hold sauces on the counter and don’t forget your favorite sodas. – Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn

19) Focus on aesthetic

The ultimate home ice cream bar would have a soft serve machine and a lot of counter space to display glass canisters filled with cones and all toppings imaginable. It would also have glass-front cabinet doors to show off your banana split boats and sundae bowls while keeping everything neat and tidy. – Devious Desserts

20) If ice cream isn’t your thing, try gelato

For gorgeous homemade gelato, we recommend the Buffalo Ice Cream Maker 1.5Ltr DM067 – our owner Amy has one in her flat! Her top tip is to enjoy the ice cream within the first few hours – if you leave it overnight it isn’t as yummy. – The Little Ice Cream Shop

21) Remember there are ice cream alternatives

Consider making your ice cream bar a place of healthy indulgence, and you might find you can max out the use and offer something for everyone–from breakfast smoothies, to milkshakes, and superfood ice cream sundaes. Stock your chest freezer with healthy brands and don’t forget all about the fun scoops, bowls, and spoons. – Cado Avocado Ice Cream